Friday, September 28, 2012

Big Stuff Coming

WoW staff and volunteers have been keeping very busy with preparations for the two big forthcoming events -- the Philadelphia Cup Regatta on Saturday, September 29, and the Old City Seaport Festival on October 6 and 7.  The shop has been thoroughly picked up and dusted, and the necessary projects have been completed.  The Philadelphia Cup is now mounted on its new pedestal, and its silver plating has gotten a thorough polishing, courtesy of Newt.
The cup ready for its 2012 awards
The new ramp and gate are in place and ready for the arrival of the tall ships, which will to kick off the Old City Seaport Festival on October 5.  The setup looks every bit as cool as one could have hoped it would.  Jeff and Bob did the final welding of posts and the access step, and the ramp is good to go.  It will be great to be able to actually carry or roll a boat onto the floating dock.
The gate fully assembled
Last minute welding and fitting
In preparation for the arrival of the ships and boats, every available barge in the basin has been brought in to extend the Museum's floating dock.  The barges are being fastened together to allow visitors to walk past all the vessels.  The barges have received fresh coats of paint, and will serve their purpose very nicely.
Olympia's work barge has become a floating dock extension
While most of the WoW activity these days is in preparation for the coming events, there is still a bit of boatwork taking place.  Newt is back at it, finishing up the ceiling in the whaleboat, and the Comet is being finished up and will be in the water for the Festival.
Newt fits the next ceiling strip in the whaleboat

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ramping Up

While we managed to put in some work on ongoing boat projects, the big project of the day was the replacement of the ramp to the ISM floating dock, just outside the windows of WoW. The new ramp is a full 6 feet wide, and replaces one barely half that width.  It will now be possible to carry or roll boats onto the dock for launching or display without having to turn them sideways.

The ramp replacement project started with some serious welding by Jeff.  In anticipation of the arrival of the new ramp, we needed to lengthen the shore-side connection structure to handle the additional width.  Working his usual magic with the arc welder, Jeff added vertical support, and an additional three horizontal feet of 1/2 inch by 6 inch steel plate.  The ramp hinge bolts to the horizontal member.
Jeff, the Unknown Welder, works on the ramp support girder
The new ramp, an aluminum structure over 6 feet wide and more than 30 feet long, arrived, amazingly, atop a pickup truck all the way from Maine.  Clearly, low bridges had been successfully avoided.
You didn't really drive down from Maine that way.  Did you?
The ramp, gate, railing, and related structure was fabricated to order by Superior Docks of Ellsworth, Maine.  They are clearly artists as well as craftspeople, and they succeeded in making a basically utilitarian object into a thing of beauty -- sort of like the folks a  WoW do with boats.  Delivering the ramp were the two principals of Superior Docks, Deb and Ric Newman.
Moving the ramp from the parking lot in front of the museum to the water side was an engineering endeavor all its own.  Jeff set aside his welding mask and gloves and mounted a fork lift to first remove the ramp from the truck, and then maneuver it to its temporary resting place, outside WoW.  The installation will be complete well in advance of the upcoming Philadelphia Cup Regatta and the Old City Seaport Festival
Pretty sure that's the balance point, but what's the worst thing that could happen?
Here we go.
Nudged temporarily away, while prep continues on the dock.

Bruce, Lee, Jeff, and Jeff try the ramp on for size.  It fits.
An interesting challenge was presented by the need to remove the old dock, a full ton of it, without dropping it into the water.  Since the preferred (and sensible) method would require use of Olympia's barge, which was already in use by the Olympia team, we resorted to Plan B -- the forklift and a stout block and tackle.  It is safe to say that anything can be moved anywhere with a forklift and block and tackle.
Jeff begins to lift the shore-side end of the old ramp.
Bruce on the floating dock with block and tackle.
Now how did we say we're getting back to land?

The old ramp, balanced on the floating dock, awaiting redeployment.

Meanwhile, back in the shop, work was taking place.  The new pedestal for the Philadelphia Cup, to be awarded at the upcoming Regatta was completed, oiled with a half dozen coats of Tung oil, and is ready for the race.  Brass plates indicating names of winner in each class, will be affixed to the flat panels on the 4 sides of the base.
Philadelphia Cup on its new base
The Lightning class boat, Flying Jib II, has gotten a new garboard plank, all scarphed and glued in place.  Reinforcements for broken frame ends have been designed and fabricated as well.
New garboard section in place and glued,
Also, the Bevins skiff has gotten her rub rails and is looking more and more like she is ready for the water.
Bevins skiff with rub rails and thwarts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Visitors Welcomed

We enjoyed a visit from our old friend, A. J. Meerwald, New Jersey's Tall Ship. She will be with us until September 19th.  She will be back again in early October to help ISM celebrate the Old City Seaport Festival on October 6 and 7.  Meerwald visits us a few times a year, and it is a delight to see her majestic rig when we look up from work in the shop.

A. J. Meerwald on the far side of the floating dock.
Meerwald crew member catching the breeze.
Another new arrival is the L. Francis Herreshoff 36 foot ketch, Suzy.  She is at the dock for some maintenance to be performed in the water by the WoW team.  

Admiring Suzy
A very roomy cockpit
Work has begun on Flying Jib II, the Lightening class sloop.  A badly cracked section of garboard has been removed and a new one spiled and cut.  It will be scarphed in place to make the bottom sound once again.
Cracked garboard section removed, new one ready to be inserted.
The reason for the crack appears to be the deterioration of the mortises joining the floors to the centerboard case.  This will have to be addressed in order to make the Lightening seaworthy again.
Decayed floor ends, and a newly cut floor ready to go in.
Much further along is the Comet restoration.  She has one more coat of paint to go, and then a coating of sand grip on the decks, before she heads out.  The standing rigging is complete, and was checked out on a beautiful day outside the shop.
The Comet with mast stepped and wedged.  Very sharp wedges!
Shrouds fastened, Forestay in place.  Everything looks good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Neighbor

Flying Jib II, a classic Lightning class sailboat that has been to WoW for work in years past, is back in the shop.  She is sitting in the space formerly occupied by To 'N Fro.  While she doesn't take up quite as much floor as the former occupant, everyone is happy to see another fine old boat in the shop, and to have an opportunity to bring her back closer to her original beauty. Bruce and Jeff are assessing the condition of the boat to determine what needs to be done for her this year.

Flying Jib II up on the horses for examination
The smaller the boat, the bigger the shop looks.
Meanwhile, the crew continued working on several projects, including the nearly completed Comet.  The standing rigging is being installed, including new chainplates, both forward and side, new blocks, cleats, etc.  The traveler is fastened, and she looks to be nearly ready for the wind and water.  The new mast has been fitted in the new mast step.  Fortunately, the hull is located near an access hole in the highest part of the shop ceiling.  By inserting the top of the mast through that hole, it was possible to step the mast.

Lucky that hole in the ceiling was there!

Standing rigging being installed, including new shrouds.
Bruce and John looking for the right part.
New Comet mast wedges varnished and drying on the bench.

The skiff was caulked, had an outer keel and skeg attached, and has been set aside awaiting the return of the students.  It is temporarily on display in the hallway outside the shop.

Keel and skeg in place, hull caulked.
WoW volunteers were working on a few special projects for ISM's upcoming special events, including the every popular penny sailboats, and a couple of authentic design peg legs (so you can walk like a pirate as well as talk like one,)  for the October 6 Old City Seaport Festival. A new pedestal is being constructed for the Philadelphia Cup trophy. The races will be sailed on September 29 this year.

Lee practices the Zen art of penny boat construction.
Carl pauses to contemplate the next "step" in his peg leg project.
Charles' Philadelphia Cup trophy base in clamps after glueup.