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.

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