Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Moving Day

Many hours of work -- some painstaking, some grueling -- were completed with celebration as the 29 foot Richardson powerboat To 'N Fro, finally left the shop.  She was bright, shiny, and very grand.  More importantly, she is once again the solid and sound craft that left the builder's yard more than 80 years ago.  The owners are happy, the WoW team is happy, and soon many people who will have the pleasure of seeing her ply the lake waters of upstate New York will be happy as well.  What could be better?

Moving a big boat out of the shop is a day-long project that requires relocating tools, machines, and boats to create enough space to maneuver the  vessel through the door to the awaiting trailer.  The To 'N Fro move was no exception.  Work actually began on Monday, with the relocation of some of the floor machines to clear the way for setting up the move.
Open floor space gives a clear shot to the doorway
The whaleboat was temporarily rolled outside to allow maneuvering room on the shop floor
Before the move could begin, however, last minute punch list tasks needed to be completed, and the team worked most of Tuesday morning on those, in addition to setting up for the move.  The most time consuming task was the application of Slick Seam, a wax based product that retards the infiltration of water when the workshop-dry hull is relaunched.
A team of 5 applied Slick Seam to all underwater seams to slow down water infiltration
Bruce and Bob attach a protective strip to the transom edge
Bruce attaches new number boards to the house sides
To 'N Fro fills the WoW doorway pretty completely, at least in terms of height. Because of that, it was not possible to move her on rolling dollies, since that would have caused her house roof to hit the top of the doorway.  Instead, she was mounted on two gantries using slings.  After her blocking was removed, the slings were lowered so that the skeg was no more than four inches above the floor, and the move was begun.
Forward gantry ready to be moved into position
Setting up the straps from the chainfalls
4x4s were clamped to the gantries on both sides so they would move together
Ready to go!
Now to make that right turn out the door!
A power winch pulls the boat through the doorway
Fully emerged, and ready to turn toward the trailer
To 'N Fro was loaded onto the high-tech, hydraulically adjustable trailer by Matt of Ship Bottom Boat Towing.  They do a great job with classic boats, having moved the original Silent Maid as well as the replica Silent Maid for WoW.   
Lining her up for the trailer
The trailer backed into position and ready to take the weight.
Gantries are gone, and she's ready to roll.
Celebrating a job well done.  Now, let's fill up that space again!

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