New decking part of off-season upgrades
You might think the winter months would be quiet ones for Maid of the Mist maintenance crews, but that’s not the case.
At the Maid’s dry dock maintenance facility in the Niagara Gorge along the Lower Niagara River, Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII are undergoing thorough inspections in preparation for the 2017 season, which will begin once ice from Lake Erie has completed its run down the Niagara River, over the Niagara Falls and cleared the Lower Niagara.
It has been a mild January, with temperatures above freezing most days, so it’s possible the Maid’s 132nd season could get off to an early start. The 2016 season began Apr. 2.
Andrew Messer (pictured below), Maid of the Mist Assistant Manage-Marine, said new decking has been installed on both vessels. The quarter-inch thick, marine grade coating features non-skid grooves have safety in mind. “You are always in watery conditions, so you want that deck to be as non-slippery as you can have it. It’s such a crisp clean look on both the upper and lower decks.”
The new decking is expected to last 15 to 20 years. Stairs on Maid of the Mist feature aluminum, non-skid plates.