Fan Artwork of RELIANCE

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.

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“Reliance” by Aaron S. (Age 10)

Celebrating Success

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.

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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.

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New Exhibits & Last of the Rigging

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.
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On the starboard side, the outer sheet leads through the reef block and then forward along the boom to tackle and a cleat.
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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.
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This starboard side arrangement is shown on a picture of RELIANCE.
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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.
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Moving On to New Projects

As we complete RELIANCE, several of our team are moving on to their next Museum projects.
Shown here, we’ve been stripping WEE WINN, a lovely “half rater” from 1892. It is a bulb fin keel boat built for Englishwoman Miss Winifred Sutton. She raced WEE WINN in Cowes that year, winning 20 of 21 races.
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Our RELIANCE, WEE WINN, and steam launch #199 projects have attracted a new group of volunteers, and it’s exciting to feel their fresh enthusiasm and energy. Several are machinist artisans whose skills will be important to make a rudder and tiller for WEE WINN and to complete steam launch plumbing; you may remember that last year, volunteer Don Berrett restored a triple expansion steam engine which fits #199.

Kicking Off the Summer

The museum held an event recently that focused on our RELIANCE Project, allowing us to fully celebrate the sum of all our work here. Speeches were given by museum director Bill Lynn, longtime family and friend Halsey Herreshoff, and–our guest of honor–Senator Jack Reed!

11. Speaches E.D. Bill Lynn13. Halsey Herreshoff14. Sen. Jack Reed

Sandy gave the closing speech, where he spoke about building the model through the hard work of our dedicated and amazing team. He also detailed the important exhibit messages RELIANCE has for us all.

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Also in attendance was Barbara Bartram, widow of Joe Bartram, Jr. The Bartram family donated great deals to the RELIANCE Project in honor the former NYYC Commodore, who was instrumental in re-igniting the America’s Cup post-WWII.

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Overall, it was a very memorable night; it’s been nice to reap in some celebration after all the dedication!

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Museum Opening Day

The build up and preparation for Herreshoff’s opening day has been a bumpy road, but when we finally made it, we couldn’t have asked for a more successful and rewarding weekend.

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Thanks to the crew who had been working diligently to make this day a reality! Available for some photos (from left to right) were: Don Berret, Sandy Lee, Tim Horton, Joe Uzzo, Herb Luther, Bern Altman, and Laura Thompson.20160501_114217

Making Our Manila Authentic

For the past year, we’ve been making eye splices and wire-manila splices in our “manila”, which was made for us by Martin Coombs. Since manila fiber does not scale down in size, our manila line wouldn’t look correct if made from the real thing, so we opted for cotton.
To add a touch of manila color we steep our lines in Lipton tea. The irony of using Lipton Tea bags has not been lost on us! So I ask, who really won? Who is best remembered from the 1903 series?
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Lines have been hanging to dry and going slack. These had been pulled taut and all kinks and twists taken out when hung to dry.
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Our process also highlights old school seamanship items. From the Marlinspike seamanship chapter in “The Bluejacket’s Manual 1944,” given to us by Chris Bade:
1. “Line shrinks in length when wet and , unless allowed to shrink freely, subjects itself to a strain as great or greater than it would carry under a load. For this reason, lines which are belayed should be slacked when wet…”
2. “The size of fiber line, except small stuff, is specified by the number of inches in its circumference…the length of fiber line is given in fathoms.”