From time to time I like to sweep through the photos I’ve taken but not included in recent blogs. Maybe they didn’t fit well into the train of thought of a given entry or I ran out of time when writing. Today’s entry will have photos from all over the past month, so there’s a good chance that some will be out of chronological order.
We’ll start with the activity that’s now going on all over the boat: caulking, painting, and puttying seams. Here, Rob lays out the day’s work to the putty & painting crew.
The caulkers need cotton and oakum to do their job. The cotton is easy enough, it comes in bags pretty much ready to go. The oakum, however, takes a little hand work to be usable. Thick lengths of oakum are pulled to thin them out a bit, and then rolled by hand into thinner cords. This process is called spinning. On a warm day, there’s nothing like spinning outside. Maggie was out as early as late April enjoying the sun.
Lest you think this is just a job for apprentices, here’s Rob to remind us that everyone can put in their time.
It’s a particularly good activity to do in a group. Ali, Maggie, and Evie are taking advantage of a particularly nice May morning here.
Arr, spin me a yarn, ye salty gals…
Once the caulkers have gone through an area,
the caulking gets hawsed (also known as “horsed”) in using mallets and hawsing irons. You’ve seen this before, and soon, it’ll be all finished. Here, Sean and Shelly are working along the turn of the bilge on starboard.
With the caulking driven in tight, the seam is swarmed by folks painting and puttying.
Photo by Evelyn Ansel
Sometimes puttying can get pretty awkward, as Bob demonstrates under the transom.
In this photo you can see the two white half-round trim pieces that go over the area of the transom where the name will soon be painted.
You can also see the seam compound getting hot in a pot of water. Heating the putty makes it so much easier to apply than cold out of the can.
The bottom putty can be applied using an air-powered caulking gun. Here’s Barry working a lower seam on port near the stern.
This is a tremendous time saver, and it’s easier on the hands as well.
Whenever possible, we oil all faces of a plank to slow down moisture transfer. Ali wedged herself in between the transom’s tail feathers to get at the inner faces of the transom planks a while back.
This area will be inaccessible once the aft bulkheads in the captain’s cabin are reassembled.
When you look at the boat from the outside and see the upper bulwarks painted black,
Photo by Evelyn Ansel
you can thank the volunteers for their many hours of hard work.
Some time ago I showed John working on the port lights for the captain’s cabin. Here they are installed.
Also, you may recall that the rudder was lowered down into the river back in March. In early May, we pulled it out.
A lot of crud accumulates in just a few months.
Dean power washed her off, and she cleaned up pretty quickly.
The painters scraped off the loose bits,
and found some worm damage in the very bottom.
Walt did a little exploratory cutting to find out how far the damage went, and fortunately, the worms didn’t penetrate very far into the rudder. You can see how few holes are in the piece on the right, compared to the end piece on the left. The worms didn’t make it all the way through the piece on the right, so this is as much as needed to be removed.
In order to make a strong patch, Walt cut out an L-shaped section of the lower rudder.
This will allow him to patch in a piece that can be drifted into the main rudder as well as riveted crossways into the tab of rudder that’s he’s working on now.
Barry and Trevor removed some of the old degraded copper from the stern post the other day.
This will be replaced with new stock soon.
Matt has been working on the gammon knee lately. This is the big structure below the bowsprit.
Inside the boat, he’s mocked up the location of the bowsprit using this plywood form.
After the lower edge of the gammon knee is established, the structure is filled in with new wood.
Jut to starboard of the gammon knee, Roger has been working on getting the hawsepipe location just right.
The end of the pipe is out from the boat a good distance right now since there will eventually be a thick wooden pad that the pipe goes through on the outside of the hull.
Jon is working on the smaller pipe a little aft of this.
You can see the rod protruding from the hull in the center of the hole, and the outline of the hole traced on the hull. The pipe itself is green and has a red extension cord coiled around it. This is one of the pipes that would be used to feed a line through for tying a whale to the side of the ship.
And speaking of holes in the hull, Walt and Jon have bored the first through-hull holes down below the waterline. These will be used to house the depth sounder and a water intake for the diesel generator. The tool they use for this is a home made boring bar. A boring bar allows one to cut a very precise, straight hole over a long distance. First, you drill a hole using a standard auger bit as close to the location of your final hole as possible. The hole needs to be big enough for your bar to pass through. Second, you fasten guides for your bar to the hull on both sides of the hole. Here you can see the boring bar going through the interior guide down in the hold,
and then exiting the hull through the second guide.
The bar has a small cutter that protrudes from the side, and is held in place with a set screw.
The bar is attached to a slow drill on the inside of the boat, and as the bar rotates, the cutter slices through the surrounding wood, making a very precise hole. Jon has made a little video of the process. Click on the photo to go to this movie.
Over in the metal shop, Mike has been working on the Morgan’s chain plates.
He heats these large metal rods, and then bends them using a very serious bending jig.
The standing rigging will eventually connect to the hull using these chain plates.
A few weeks ago, we said goodbye to one of our caulkers. Frank put in a substantial amount of work caulking the boat, all on his own time.
He’s back home on the Vineyard now, probably working on his very impressive mosaics made from local cut shells. It’s been great having him here.
With planking all done, the steam box is now shut down.
And that’s all for now…