We have completed our restoration of Wee Winn to be prominently displayed in the Sidney Herreshoff room behind the reception area. We’ve a small punch list of items to complete including mast, gaff and rigging so she can be displayed “full up!” Come see Wee Winn and help celebrate her 125th birthday. Now in process of completing an exciting series of exhibits to accompany her.
Her owner Miss Winifred Sutton was a pioneer among women owning and racing their boats. In her first season, Wee Winn won 21 of 22 races out of Bembridge Sailing Club in the Solent against boats raced by men and women, winning the English half-rater class hands down!
We’ve also made a half hull and plaque to “celebrate women leaders in yachting.”
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Work on Wee Winn has accelerated and we’re looking forward to moving her down into the main museum building for public display in the next few weeks!
A team lead by Steve Siok has been making the keel and lead bulb. Wayne engineered the fasteners for the angle iron to keel. Rick has bored out all the holes and attached angle iron to keel, and now drilled holes in the angle iron for attaching the keel assembly to the boat. Steve has lofted everything, created the master plan and now Sandy is creating the mold for the lead bulb. These photos show the keel and bulb.
Meanwhile, Art has returned from NH winter tundra to caulk the deck. Steve, Bill, Keith, and Rick have almost completed work on an incredibly creative display cradle. Wayne has finished fashioning the rudder and tiller assembly, and it should arrive next week. Herb, Eric and new hand Jim are hard at work completing all the spars. Bill and Keith are working on replacement floor boards and seats. Very soon Laura will be back to create the wire and manila rigging- in period fashion. And of course, Mike has been in the background making all the missing bronze fittings.
Meanwhile, We’ve been making commemorative half hull models for sale in the Museum store to pay for our work and some accompanying exhibit materials
Amaryllis, a catamaran built by Herreshoff, is being taken down from the rafters to be cleaned and re-hung for better viewing pleasure. Upon bringing it down for inspection, we were surprised to see a speedometer and underwater speed measurement device in the hull!
Here’s an old photo of the Amaryllis, for perspective.
Volunteer Tom Tsuchiya recently finished up the miniature sculpture of Captain Nat Herreshoff. It’s now officially on display on the RELIANCE model; looks real!
Meanwhile, our restoration of WEE WINN has been coming along nicely.
Craig finished sanding the bottom and then painted Kirby’s primer, while Bern and Sandy spent the day replacing bungs and making shallow countersinks for many screws on deck so they can be covered with caulk.
Earlier in the week, Herb continued to make the mast, Steve started making the display cradle, Eric steamed warped tiller arms straight, and Keith worked on the stern.
We love this artwork sent to us by Aaron, age 10. This drawing was sent to us this summer. Did you know that we do school field-trips to the Museum? Visiting HMM and The RELIANCE Model teaches students the fascinating history of HMCo., the influence of engineering and innovation, and the reputation of the America’s Cup Race: the pinnacle of seamanship and athletes from around the world.
On the 21st of June, Executive Director Bill Lynn and the Board of Directors hosted a party to thank the volunteers and local businesses who made the RELIANCE Project possible. It was a very special moment since Gov. Gina Raimondo was the guest of honor. As she walked around speaking to each volunteer and local business contributor, everyone was anxious to tell her of their efforts and pride in RELIANCE.
It was very evident from her remarks that she was overwhelmed by their pride, the beauty of the model, and its importance to the museum and to Rhode Island tourism as a whole.
During the week leading up to the RELIANCE volunteer appreciation day, the team built out some accompanying exhibits highlighting the metal hull large yachts built by HM Co. The exhibit area is taking shape, and over the next several years we’ll build content to make a comprehensive exhibit. No rest for the weary!
Meanwhile, the last major rigging was added to RELIANCE. We’re hoping to display two new elements. Steve Thurston delivered a stunning #1 Jib Topsail. It is HUGE– long and lean. But, it is too large to haul up. We need that extra 14′ of clearance that isn’t in the Hall of Boats. Sometimes we just wish we could take a can opener and cut a hole in the roof!
We did, however, add the “club topsail club”, even though the topsail can’t be raised either. It enabled us to try out the rigging to sheet the club home. Very complex! Below shows the wooden club which serves as an extension of the gaff.
On the starboard side, the outer sheet leads through the reef block and then forward along the boom to tackle and a cleat.
Also on the starboard side, the sheet leads from a becket block on the gaff tip to a block on the club and back. From there, it goes forward to a block hanging from a pennant which is attached to the starboard side of the gaff jaws. This sheet leads down to the boom capstan and cleat.
This starboard side arrangement is shown on a picture of RELIANCE.
On the port side, a sheet leads from a becket at gaff tip up to the club and back down again, where it leads to a pennant hanging from the portside of the gaff jaws. This pennant does not have a block, but rather a thimble through which the sheet travels. It leads to a block and tackle at the boom where it is tied off. The inner sheet is hitched to the inner end of the club and lead through a block on the gaff; a second thimble on this same pennant and then is tied off at the boom.