Friday, November 30, 2012

Loggerheads and lumber

Lots of projects are underway, and good progress is being made on all of them.  In addition, a great load of white oak and another of white cedar arrived at the shop and were stickered and stacked in anticipation of boats yet to be built.  The shop was busy with the staff and a half dozen volunteers scurrying about nearly all day on Thursday.

The whaleboat is in the trim phase now that the ceiling is completely installed and primed.  Charles worked on fastening the aft deck, along with Newt.  They also installed and fastened the lion's tongue, which gives stability to the loggerhead, and began the installation of the loggerhead.
The aft deck installed, and primed.  Square hole is for loggerhead.

Lion's tongue bedded and screwed.  Loggerhead in position.
Loggerhead leveled and ready for installation.
The loggerhead post needs to be let into the ceiling on the port side so that it will sit flush on the deck and be supported by the hull.  Then, the loggerhead base can be scribed and cut to allow it to sit level on the aft deck.  A tenon inserted through the post below the deck will keep it from popping out. At that point, the aft deck will be essentially done and ready for painting.

Bruce has been working hard on the Marsh Cat Obadiah, repairing delaminations  in the outer layer of the cold molded hull.  The process has been to remove the damaged delaminated areas, fill them with epoxy thickened with fairing filler, and sand smooth.  Later, a layer of fiberglas will be installed on the outside of the hull.
Bruce sanding the patches prior to installing fiberglas.

A close look at the better-than-new repaired hull.
The stitch and glue rowing boat built in Annapolis by Bruce and Nick is in the shop for some cosmetic finishing.  She is a pretty boat, beautifully constructed, and will obviously be a joy to row.
The stitch and glue rowing boat gets a good pre-varnish sanding
Lee works on sanding the transom.

Mid-day, work stopped to receive and stack a pile of cedar, fresh from the forests of Maine.  Nearly the whole crew got involved because there was a LOT of wood to unload and stack.
Steve, Charlie and John sticker and stack white cedar boards
One more cartload rolled in by Lee, Charlie and Jeff.
ISM is preparing for the holiday season, and so the Whitehall Puffin was brought into the shop to be used in a holiday display.  The green topsides and red bottom makes her a very Christmas-y boat indeed.

Puffin with her temporary display base nearly ready for Santa.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting cold outside

While it's getting colder outside, the shop is a pleasant temperature, and projects are moving along nicely.  On a beautiful, sunny, late Autumn day, there are not many nicer places to work.  Lots of activity is taking place on the whaleboat, most of it focused on the ceiling.  Each plank needs to be milled from rough cedar, knots drilled out and bunged, spiled, bottoms and edges painted, and finally fitted and screwed in place.

Next-to-last ceiling plank being fitted adjacent to centerboard case
Board planed to 1/2" with knots drilled out, bunged, and surfaced before sanding
The last plank on each side had to be spiled to fit between the two adjacent ones, just like the whiskey plank in a carvel hull.  Newt and Charles took care of this, and finally hammered home the last ceiling plank yesterday afternoon.
Port side finished, starboard one ceiling plank to go.
Finally!  All ceiling planks cut and fastened into place.
A good sanding is all that's left before painting the ceiling.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the shop, John S. was preparing the thwarts for installation by priming them.  The thwart installation will take place as soon as the ceiling is painted.  
Thwarts painted and awaiting installation.
The whaleboat may be the biggest project in the shop right now, but it is not the only one.  The Lightning is gone.  Work was completed and it was delivered to its owner yesterday.  In its place is a vintage Marsh Cat, called Obadiah.  She is in the shop for repair of centerboard case leaks, but some potentially serious de-lamination was discovered in her cold molded hull in at least one location.  Bruce will examine her carefully for other hidden problems and the repair work will begin.
A view of the inside of the Marsh Cat -- a roomy and solid boat.
A de-laminated section of the hull near the stem.
To facilitate examination of the hull, we turned the boat over.  The task was made somewhat more difficult because WoW's boat flipping wizard, Jeff, was off delivering the completed Lightening, Flying Jib II to her owner.  Nevertheless, with some head scratching, a review of old blog photos, and a "What's the worst thing that could happen?" philosophy, we managed to flip her without incident.
Safely flipped, and secure on saw horses, her bottom can be carefully examined
First, the centerboard is pulled
 A bit of bad luck for John N's Comet -- when she had her first splash in October, a bad leak was discovered along the centerboard case.  While the bottom was not part of the original scope of the restoration, she is back in the shop and once again bottoms up as the WoW team works on fixing the leak.  Bruce removed and rebuilt the case, using splines to join the boards in the case sides.  He also repaired two splits in the keel adjacent to the case prior to refastening the case to the keel.
The wood alongside the slot on the Comet has been repaired and sanded.

Bruce ends the day by showing how to hold a push broom

Friday, November 2, 2012

After the storm

WoW weathered non-hurricane, non-tropical storm Sandy very nicely, as did the rest of ISM, including the ships.  During the night on Tuesday, the water rose as high as it ever has, stopping about a foot short of the shop floor level.    There are some sobering pictures of the ramp and queue at high tide (3:00 AM) on the ISM Facebook page.  WoW preparations for the storm included bringing the entire small boat fleet into the shop, and out of harm's way.  A few still remain, making things even more cozy than usual.
Boats moved indoors for the storm plus those being worked on make things tight.
Gradually, the fleet is being moved to the warehouse for the winter.  We'll see them again in a few months for spring maintenance.
Steve, Joe, and Carl prepare a Sharpie for its trip to winter quarters.
Meanwhile, work continued on the two main projects, the Beetle replica whaleboat and the Lightning.  On the Lightning, the job of fastening bronze brackets to the centerboard case logs and the floors to strengthen that connection has been completed, and this makes the entire boat much more solid and seaworthy.  
Two of the new bronze brackets holding floors to centerboard case.  
Problem spots in the chines, where rot has gained a foothold are being addressed as well, with the two Jeffs removing bad wood and replacing it with the good stuff.
A rotten frame and chine section removed, soon to be replaced.
On the whaleboat, the neverending story of the ceiling is coming closer to its conclusion.  Newt leads his army of volunteers (volunteer army?) in milling, spiling, and installing ceiling boards.   We are down to the last two planks on each side, finally.
Steve adjusts a frame to accept a centerline section of ceiling.
Patterns for the various whaleboat oars await.  The oars are many and massive.
A few odds and ends projects are also getting done.  Bruce worked on some very sharp looking cleats, and Steve installed a new handle on an old bilge pump, which has done yeoman service of late.
A wooden cleat takes shape.
Steve repairs one of the ISM fleet's bilge pumps.