A Thanksgiving Feast for the Eyes

To honor the holiday upon us, we in the RELIANCE Project would like to thank all who have helped us on this long, arduous journey, as well as all the fans who have pushed us on with your words of encouragement! To give back to the community, here’s a look at the RELIANCE model, sleek and suave from its final priming!


We’re going to be dabbing on a “blue-ing” film and sanding off the “orange peel” with 400-grit sandpaper very soon.

Finally: The Painting Has Begun!

Early last week, Keith, Herb, Steve, and Sandy erected a tent frame to put the RELIANCE model under. Buck from the world-renowned Itchiban Yacht Painters stopped by to form the actual tent.




On Thursday, Buck returned and put the first five coats of primer on the boat. Buck says he’ll come back on Monday with another person to block down the shear and keel, though he thinks it is “good enough.” I sense he’s really bought into our boat and it is now his boat! On Monday, the plan is that he’ll “block” long board the hull with 150 grit and then put another 3 coats of primer on. We will then sand to 400 grit and he’ll return for finishing coats.




New Feats and Footies

We’ve started assembling the jib halyard. Burr made all the links, while Bruce threaded he shackle pins. Bern tapped said shackles to receive the pins.



Meanwhile, the endless toil of filling and fairing both the rudder and the boat continues. Bruce, Bern , Zach spend plenty of their time working on this; just look how much dust we can make!




Chris Broman visited the museum this past weekend, flush from victory with his “footie” yacht at the World Marine Trade Conference in Providence. He’d also attended a breakfast presentation Sandy gave there on the wonderfully modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.

We have our own “footie” champion, Mike, so the challenge has been issued!! Note, Chris has a split mainsail and boom; an airfoil shape but also goes wing and wing downwind! Just a little G2…



Prepping for Paint and Sails

The crew has been working diligently so that the RELIANCE model can be finished for the museum’s opening this coming spring.

We have put hanks onto the rigging for both the jib top sail and the stay sail; these pieces will be used to sew the sails directly into the rigging.




Meanwhile, Laura is working hard to finalize the overall rigging within the mast system.




While this has been going on, the struggle to perfectly fair the hull and keel has continued. Sandy spent a good portion of time on this duty, while Zach sanded the rudder down so that it would form well into place. He managed to take a short enough break to get a quick photoshoot!



The Rudder Saga Continues

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been working towards finalizing the rudder addition. In the last blog post, you all saw Keith’s work at setting up the the set of pintles to the keel. Since then, the crew has added metal borders to each side of this pintle set. These borders were meant to keep the RELIANCE hydrodynamic when using the rudder.


Afterwards, Bern got to work drilling and filing a hole into the bottom of the hull for the rudder’s stock to fit into.




While this was being set up, Sandy and Zach spent time sanding the rudder’s stock in order for it to fit perfectly.



The result and almost finished product:


Topmast, Spreader, and Rudder Updates

We’ve now got the topmast lodged onto the rest of the mast’s body, with Herb working on some rigging details. While slaving away in his lonely corner of Building 28, Herb noticed an error on the spreader’s rigging: one of the wires was too short. Fortunately, he was swift to correct the wiring, and has since progressed on the spreader/mast system.

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Keith is beginning the process of attaching the rudder to the model. He’s screwed a long metal piece–a set of gudgeons–to the back of the keel; the rudder will be pinned to this piece by a series of pintles.

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An interesting fact we discovered is that the RELIANCE’s rudder was actually held up by a bearing attached to the lower part of the ship’s hull. Still figuring out how we’re going to work that into the design.

Meanwhile, Steve is working on setting up turnbuckles to be plugged and added to the overall structure.



Prepping for the Paint Job

As we near (what we hope to be) the beginning of the end of this project, the job of painting the RELIANCE model becomes ever-present.

Bern–with a little help from Sandy–added several coats of Marine Premium Filler to the upper hull in order to fill any indentations and spot any errors we’ve made along the way. The filler hardened extremely fast, so Bern really had to utilize his youthful energy for this task.

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The crew then transitioned to the fairing phase, taking shifts sanding down the coats in preparation for priming, which should be happening within the next couple weeks.



We’re leaving the actual painting of the RELIANCE to the pro’s. By the end of October, our dear readers should expect a beautifully painted model–and maybe, if Keith gets his way, some flame magnets!