A Spa Vacation for Pheena the Fin Whale
Imagine seeing this 3,000 lb, life sized replica of a teenage Fin Whale driving down 580, or through the near-hairpin turns of the Berkeley hills. The 50' fiberglass whale designed by artist Larry Foster of the World Wildlife Fund is so loved by the children (of all ages) who visit the Lawrence Hall of Science that she'd started becoming dangerously worn. Thankfully, we were offered the opportunity to repair both her structural damages, and give her a shiny new coat.
Out of hundreds of enthused applicants, Svendsen's Bay Marine (then Bay Marine Boatworks) was awarded this project from the Lawrence Hall of Science.
Pheena was delivered to Bay Marine via flatbed truck (after her creation by Larry Foster in the 1970's, she was transported to Berkeley by helicopter!), and over a total of six weeks, Pheena's refurbishment commenced. She was evaluated for damages which revealed the need for steel reinforcement and fiberglass and vinyl fillers. Finally, she was primed and her shiny gel coat was sprayed on by our excellent paint team, who researched the markings of Fin Whales to ensure a lifelike result.
If not for these repairs, Pheena may have been fenced off from the public due to the weaknesses in her structure posing a concern for safety. We are proud to have restored her structural integrity for hundreds of thousands of climbers yet to come, as well as given her a shiny new protective coat and ultra-lifelike appearance.
You can see a video timelapse of her repairs here, as well get more information about Pheena, her history, and the Lawrence Hall of Science.