Friday, October 19, 2012

Back to work

With the Seaport Festival over, it is time to return to the ongoing boat projects.  The largest among the projects is, of course, the Beetle replica whaleboat.   Newt has been working on it almost single handedly for the past weeks, but now that the Festival work is behind us, he is getting more volunteer assistance.  The very laborious task of cutting and fitting the ceiling is the major work at this time.  Since the ceiling goes from above the waterline down to the keel, for nearly the entire length of the boat, it is very much like building another hull -- only inside out!  Each ceiling plank must be spiled, cut, fitted, back painted, and fastened. It is slow but important work.
Newt and Rashid clamp a scarphed plank section in the bow.
The halfway point in ceiling planking. Clamps hold a glued scarph joint.

Knots provide a foothold for rot in a board.  Therefore, before fastening each plank, all knots are drilled out and plugged with cedar bungs, glued in place with epoxy glue.  After the glue dries, the plank may be painted and fitted.
The next  ceiling plank, knots drilled and bunged, ready for fitting.
 Repair work on the bottom of the Lightning Flying Jib II is done.  A fresh couple of coats of bottom paint has been applied, and it is time to turn attention to the repairs needed on the inside.  The most critical is the refastening of most of the floors amidships, which were mortised into the centerboard case.  Over the years, the tenons have begun to rot, and the connection of the floors to the case has been weakened.  Bronze angle brackets will be bolted to each floor and securely screwed to the case as an alternative to the more complex and much more costly job of removing and replacing all the floors.  

The first step, though, was flipping the boat.  This was accomplished more or less painlessly, with a gantry, a bunch of volunteers and staff, and, most important of all, Jeff.
Gantry in place, ready to go.
Off the horses, she starts her journey.
Passing the halfway point.
And down.  Back on the horses again.
OK, let's get started on the inside work.
Rashid has the Bevins skiff back in the shop for some finish work that wasn't completed before she went into the water for the Seaport Festival.  Some rough spots got filled, sanded, and are awaiting another coat of paint.  Also, a few minor leaking spots along the chines have been repaired, so she should be very dry now.
Filled and sanded, waiting for paint.
The new school year has begun for the kids from CHAD and Urban Promise.  They have their first assignment at WoW:  making a perfect  4" cube from wood. They may use power tools to form the initial shape, but must do the final entirely with hand tools.  The project introduces them to a range of woodworking skills important in boatbuilding, not the least of which is precision.
Glued up cubes-to-be await their next step.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Launching, and Some Last Minute Preparations

WoW celebrated the launching of the newest member of the ISM fleet, the Bevins skiff, built by our high school students, interns, and the occasional volunteer.  The boat looked very sharp with its new coating of bright white paint, and a very cool, albeit deadly stem decoration designed and fabricated by Rashid.
Headed down the ramp for launching
It's great to have that new 6 foot wide ramp and gate!
Rashid, Jeff, and John prepare to toss her in.
The boat stayed nice and dry.  There was minimal leaking from a few spots where the bottom planks meet the chines, but that will disappear quickly as the cedar swells.  Good job!
In she goes
Rashid heads out across the basin, with deserved pride in a job well done.
Hours were spent by most of the staff and volunteers getting ready for the upcoming Old City Seaport Festival.  Floating docks needed to be moved, barges needed to be fastened together, and final preparations needed to be made for the arrival of the tall ships.  Pride of Baltimore II was due to arrive early Friday morning, October 5, and dock space opposite Olympia needed to be prepared for her. The other tall ships will follow soon after, and all will participate in a parade on the river on Friday evening.

Charles fastens down decking on a barge to make it safe for visitors.

Meanwhile, a few projects were being completed in the shop.  Charles finished a pedestal for the cup to be awarded to the winner of the Philadelphia to Baltimore schooner race to take place at the conclusion of the seaport festival.   The cup will be displayed after the race in the Museum.
The Philadelphia to Baltimore Race cup.
Final rigging was completed on the Comet restoration, and the owner, John, stopped in to have a look.  She will be on display at the Festival for all to see and admire.
Comet rigging and centerboard case.
The rudder and tiller with new hardware
One very shiny hull!
A happy owner (John) and an equally happy boatbuilder (Bruce)