Here is the mast jig that Keith built. When we’re ready with the mast and standing rigging, we’ll put the mast into it and then measure all the standing rigging at deck level to make sure we have the correct lengths.
This way, all the main shrouds will be at similar levels when attached to turnbuckles, and the forestay at measured length will ensure the correct 1.5 degree rake aft.
In the meantime, we’ve been practicing our attachment process and with our high-test strain meter calculating how much strain the fittings will hold. Not quite the destructive testing NGH did, but we hope it’ll do! Rigging hanging from the stump mast is ready to go: all seized in eyes to place at the top of the mast.
We need some insight into rigging the RELIANCE model. She has a metal mast, boom, and gaff, so we suppose her rigging differs from wooden-sparred large cutter/schooner rigged boats. You can see this in the mast drawing (86-111), where there are angle iron cheeks.
Here are some questions we have:
1. How exactly is the main sail lashed to the gaff? What material is used?
2. What line is the mate holding onto below?
3. What line are the sailors hauling below?
4. What is the attachment half-way along the gaff which has a loose pennant hanging down? Is that the attachment for the Club Topsail Club? How was that rigged?
5. How are Gaff Span wires attached to the boom? RELIANCE rigging plan (86-101) indicates that these are attached to “collars” which we’d presume are angle irons like the ones on the mast. (P.S.: on the Museum’s large model of COLONIA, it has thumb cleats mounted on the underside of the gaff, but then she had a wooden gaff.)
Some insight would be greatly appreciated!
Plan drawings courtesy of the Curator, Hart Collection, MIT Museum
Photo courtesy of Mystic Seaport
Mike and Sandy have been working on the angle iron “cheeks” on our mast. The forestay, preventer stays, throat halyard, and upper main shrouds will hang from these mechanisms. We’ve also got angle irons for mounting the spreader to the mast. Mike will make wax molds of these complex, compound curve angles.
In the meantime, our worm, parcel, and serve crew has been focusing on the bowsprit area and standing rigging. Our splicing and rigging crew have yet to catch up.
Burr delivered the bowsprit retaining bar and took a drawing with him to make chain links that fasten the topmast forestay to the bar; he did some final fitting in our shop. What a joy to watch him work, even gently bending the brass between his fingers, over a mandrel or with mallet! A true master craftsman…
We’ve had our heads down into the details recently, working hard on the small (but all the more important) parts of the ship. As a result, it’s hard to show interesting details and tell you just how much progress we’re making.
Martin Combs from North Carolina sent us the last half of our “manila” cordage, so now we have our full allotment of scale 7/32″ and 1-1/2″ through 4″ manila. Except for the extra small stuff, manila was measured in circumference, unlike wire rope, which is measured in diameter. The big spool on the end is overwhelming, so we went back and checked. Research concluded: RELIANCE carried 3,000′ of 4″ manila line!
We’ve also been worming, parceling, and serving wire rope; in this case, the bowsprit shrouds.
“Worm and parcel with the lay; serve the other way!”
We’ve had snowstorm after snowstorm up here in New England, which has cancelled a number of volunteer days; luckily, we did manage to sneak in a Saturday and Tuesday along with some home work. Burr delivered 27 sail hoops that will be nickel-plated along with a number of the fittings and castings we’ve recently received.
He also delivered the capstan winch located on the boom near the gooseneck. Interestingly, it is the same size as the deck capstans, but with a slightly different base to fit the circumference of the boom. We then tasked Burr to make a scale bowsprit retaining bar; it has to be made just like is was by the HM Co blacksmiths.
A few hours later, Burr returned with a model to check fit the piece. Now he’s off making the whole thing, which we’re excited to see!
Zach, our Roger Williams University intern, has helped out in preparing Mike’s bronze castings for plating. Zach’s also working on some exhibits for our opening day.
Lastly, the boom and gaff have received final painting and are awaiting their fittings.