Thank you Hasbro!

Had a great session this week. Burr has been making four of the large capstans – three on deck and one for the boom. These are similar to the one on display in the museum store – which is of slightly later vintage, (photo 1).  The winch barrels are jewel-like (photo 2) and we can’t wait to see the completed winches.

Bill has been looking at the mast plans to see how the shroud eyes are kept in place. On wooden masts there would be cheeks – bulges in the mast on which the eye of the wire rope shroud (properly wormed, parceled and served) would rest. With a steel mast there’d be angle iron instead of cheeks. We’ve been wondering about the shape of these and along comes another RELIANCE serendipity moment as one of our guests, a retired Newport News employee, came to us wanting to understand how rivets in RAINBOW’S metal mast were bucked. We quickly showed him our RELIANCE mast construction and engaged him in a discussion of mast construction including our angle iron dilemma. He’s going to check RAINBOW drawings and Newport News archives… How cool is that!

Our 1903 pre-commissioning crew arrived today and were waiting on deck for their allotment of RELIANCE uniforms. The deck of RELIANCE will soon be a busy place! (Photo 3) 

I mentioned in an earlier blog that we’d received 35 G.I. Joes from Hasbro and I want to heartedly thank them for their donation. As you can see and imagine when they are in proper uniform that they’ll be an awesome addition to the display. THANK YOU!! (photo 4)

1. Display winch 2. 1.5 inch tall model winch barrels 3. 1903 crew 4. Thank you Hasbro

Configuration Management

There is a lot of effort going on behind the scenes to make sure our RELIANCE is accurate. Boats, especially race boats, change during the season. We chose late August as our configuration date, when RELIANCE was measured and raced for the Cup, since this timeframe is when we had the best pictures. Ours has been a constant battle for configuration management. 

For example, NGH’s approved drawing 86-126 (from MIT Hart Collection) shows the original placement of three topmast backstay staples and a trysail staple as shown in picture #1 and as placed on our model as in picture #2.  Our visit to the NYYC in NYC last Spring to see their model showed a discrepancy which was confirmed in picture #3 as blown up in #4. 

Our metal casting expert, Mike Mirman, then used this picture to created a new fitting, shown in #5.

1. 86-126 Stern Details 2. As designed configuration 3. afterguard on fantail 4. As raced configuration 5. As raced configuration

Post-Summer-Vacation Blog Post

Well, we’ve been on vacation and things slowed down — but interest remains high! The lads are charged up…

Just was given a new book “Legendary Locals of Bristol.” Lo and behold RELIANCE and RELIANCE DEDUX – our model are featured!! Holy Cow, can you believe it…

Our Muse Maggie returned for a brief visit (photo 1). Unfortunately she is having too much fun in Boston to stay longer. We also had a visit from Adam of Nat Wilson’s shop who showed us how to make miniature fids for wire splicing (photos 2 and 3) and as you can see the first shipment of scale wire arrived from R&W Rope, New Bedford(photo 4). We’ve installed the martingale (dolphin striker) (photo 5) and nine bollards and a lot of other bling. RELIANCE is looking well indeed.

Many other notables and very interesting people visited us this past week, and while I cannot comment on all their visits (except to say that Barbie Bristol is a big hit) I do want to say how much we’ve enjoyed each and everyone.

We also received a large shipment of GI Joes from HASBRO while I was on vacation, so we now have 60 crew members ready to sail (FYI 12 of the full crew would be below deck manning winches). Another visitor, a sculptor, said she’d help us recreate crew faces so we’re looking toward a full complement from Iselin to NGH to Barr and mates and crew. A few more sculptor volunteers and we can have a party… But the GI Joes and rigging shipments really deserve a blog to themselves, along with a huge THANK YOU! We’ll get to that shortly…

1. Muse Maggie 2. Adam makes a fid 3. And it works 4. First shipment of wire 5. Martingale-Dolphin striker

We’ve been fitting the bowsprit collars to the bowsprit and on deck. Interestingly on the Original RELIANCE, the forward collar was cast while the after one was fabricated. Why we don’t know, seems to contradict NGH’s rule of simplicity and manufacturability??? Why didn’t he just cast  or fabricate both from the same drawing? Also, the forward standard cast part must be cut at the sides to match the taper of the deck edges. In the first picture you see Keith and “the guy upstairs” fitting our bowsprit into the collars to ensure tight fit and proper alignment, and in the second the collars have been drilled, fitted to deck, and the forward collar trimmed to the deck edge railing.

Mike Mirman and Harrison Casting sent us the five large bollards which we have buffed and polished and will now permanently fix in place. Four small bollards to go…

Many female visitors have been wondrous that 1892 fin keel boat Wee Winn was owned by Miss W. Sutton won 21 of 22 races in her first season at Cowes.  We recently had a visit from a British boat builder who built a turn-of-the-century fin keel boat on the Wee Winn design, and now understand that a replica of Wee Winn sails at Cowes. Coincidently with his visit, we had a note from a Dutchman with a picture of Wee Winn (or a knockoff, not sure) sailing in northern Holland. 

Wee Winn had a bulb on the bottom of her fin keel and any pictures of the bulb from replicas or knock offs or lines taken from her are appreciated. On an important side note, Wee Winn is a very important boat in the museum’s collection and needs to be restored ASAP as soon as funds for a museum historical boat survey are raised.

But back to Reliance, these same women then wonder about women on board Reliance; so much so Miss Barbie Bristol suddenly appeared on deck. Now the testosterone crowd is complaining that women on board are bad luck….

1. Keith working with the Guy Upstairs

1. Keith working with the Guy Upstairs

2. Collars fitted to deck and painted

2. Collars fitted to deck and painted

3. large bollards

3. large bollards

4. Barbie Bristol

4. Barbie Bristol

5. Wee Winn

5. Wee Winn

6. Wee Winn

6. Wee Winn

5 Large Hatch

Here are some photos of the rest of the work for the week.
Herb and Steve worked on the spare topsail yard and club to be stowed on deck. Tim H. worked on finishing the starboard toe rails, and Keith worked to bed down the mast partner plate and deck fittings and hoist Iselin’s private signal flag. Joe delivered the large hatch for a fitting but soon meandered over to ogle the bowsprit collars – Iselin’s flag overhead. Mike has been working to finish the two main sheet sheave holders and their brake mechanism. He also delivered several more large bollards.

Once again, friends of Reliance come through in a spectacular way!

Andrew and Paula Wright of AMA Engineering, Westport MA, machined Reliance’s bowsprit collars from our prints and them donated them to our project.
Wow! Awesome!!! Thank you so much…. When they arrived late in the day, we’d just about completed an arduous day where there was a lot of activity but not much to show you. Paula gave us a box  in which we found these. It stopped everyone in their tracks. All wanted to take pictures and make sure the bowsprit would fit. (It does!) So I culled through such a number of photos to give you a small sample.
Thank you Andrew and Paula from the whole Reliance team

Sometimes there seems to be a lot of change, but other times there is a lot of work but not much apparent change. This was one of the latter session, but with much progress. The toe rails at the stern have been fabricated and stained and pinned in place. The starboard handrail made and stained and also pinned in place along with accompanying toe rails. Steve has been working on the starboard pin rail and making sure the belaying pins are properly seated. The outboard belaying pins and center eye are actually part of the stanchions and have been tapped, threaded and glued into the deck. Chocks for the spare #2 yard and club stowed on deck were made and the #2 topsail club placed in its resting place. Herb has been gluing up the #2 yard. Meanwhile Mike has been finishing up three large bollards; two of which are seen in photo 4 in front of the hatch and one amidships portside in photo 1. More deck fittings should be arriving over the next weeks.

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1. final toe rails in place at stern

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2. starboard handrail, pin rail and belaying pins

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3. spare yard and club chocks

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4. #2 club in its chock

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5. #2 yard being glued up