Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Whale Yacht

Whaleboat number one is right side up again, and is pretty much complete.  The key word is pretty, we think.  She has the beautiful lines of her ancestors, and the meticulous fit and finish done by WoW craftsmen as accustomed to building sailing yachts as rough and ready workboats.  With her white hull, ISM blue sheer strake, and dark grey gunwales, she looks simply fantastic.

From the bow . . .

Amidships . . .

Or the stern, she looks every bit as fine as we had hoped she would.
With a tight splash deadline looming for both boats, there is not a lot of time to admire our work.  There is still a lot to do on the second boat, although the team is moving along at warp speed.  Floors have been fitted in both the bow and the stern where soles will be installed, and work has begun on the ceiling, which runs nearly the length of the boat, from keel to thwart rails.  That is a LOT of spiling, cutting, planing, fitting, screwing, and perhaps just a bit of swearing along the way.

The aft sole sits on floors, ready to be fastened.  A similar structure is going up forward.
Bruce cuts out a section of ceiling.  It's double thick so it can be resawn for a port and starboard section.
After the saw the next step is always the hand plane.
The first of many ceiling sections is clamped in place.  Note scarph on aft end.
Lee finishes up sanding the five oarlock pads needed for the whaleboat.

Suzy, the L.F.Herreshoff Meadow Lark, continues her makeover at the far end of the shop.  Jeff has completed his structural repairs on her keel, and is putting her back together.  The chines have been fastened in place and the edges carefully beveled to accept the adjacent plank.  Prior to re-planking, all the old screw and nail holes in the keel, frames, and stem needed to be filled with wood dowels.  John S. was the man with the pen knife taking care of this task.
Jeff checks the fit of the chine on the port side.
Measuring the angle for the plank bevel.
John whittles dowels to fill old screw holes.
A bit of repair work needed to be done on the replica sailmaker's bench.  The pine surface of the bench, which has been on display in the museum as an interactive exhibit, suffered a bit too much interaction from a young would-be sailmaker.  Since it will be part of the upcoming Tides of Freedom exhibit, a re-surfacing job was in order.  Fortunately, the repairs can be made, and the bench will be ready for visitors to experience the craft again.

Fixing damage to the sailmaker's bench.  A coat of paint, and no one will ever know.

Friday, April 5, 2013

True blue

The first Beetle replica whaleboat is now sporting her color scheme.  She has a bright blue shiny sheer strake, and bright white topsides.  The color scheme matches the Independence Seaport Museum's logo colors, which is wholly appropriate.
No question where this boat was built!
One more coat of topside paint, and she will be ready to flip.  Launch day is coming quickly.

Her sister is coming along nicely as well.  As promised, frame installation is complete, and the team moved on to the multitude of interior construction tasks that will need to be completed by our committed launch date in June.  The centerboard trunk was constructed outside the boat, and Jeff fitted it and fastened it in place.
Jeff works from below fastening the centerboard trunk.
The trunk is in place among all those frames.
At the bow, Charles began fitting and shaping the bow chocks.  When whaling, the harpoon line, once it was "connected" to a whale, payed out through the space between these chocks, so they had to be both massive and well attached.

Oak timbers squared and ready to be shaped into bow chocks.
Port bow chock shaped and sanded.  Ready for installation
Starboard chock has been rough cut.  Shaping is a multi-step process.
With frames in place, attention is turning to the installation of thwarts.  Before thwarts can be fitted, the thwart risers must be installed, and Bruce, Steve, and Jeff worked on that task.  

Steve oils newly installed port thwart riser.
Starboard thwart riser is clamped in place, ready to be fastened.
Once the risers have been done, the boat builders can turn their attention to measuring and installing the thwarts.  Aside from providing the crew with places to sit, the thwarts are essential to the structural stability of the boat.  They provide stiffness, and to enhance that function, they are fitted with knees that connect the thwarts to the sides of the hull up to the gunwales.   The knees are steam bent on a jig designed for that purpose.  Bruce, Newt, and Carl experimented with the jig to refine the steam bending process for thwart knees.

Bruce and Newt bend a knee on the knee shaping jig.
Work continued on the hull of the L. F. Herreshoff Meadow Lark, Suzy.  Jeff has fitted his new keel sections, and fastened them in place.  He also fabricated a new chine section to replace a rotted one, and that too was fastened in place.

Jeff beds the keel chine with Sikaflex.
Suzy's hull is due for a new paint job, and to get ready for that, thorough hand sanding is necessary.  The two Johns worked on that tedious, dusty, but essential task.

John sands the hull.
Meanwhile, Bob was engaged in galley repairs.  The galley will get a new top to replace the existing one, which is failing.  The old one will be used as a pattern.

Bob cleans up the old galley top.