Monthly Archives: November 2013

Drilling Complete and RELIANCE is Righted

Well, on Tuesday we completed our drilling operation and RELIANCE was turned upright and returned to her cradle in front of our workbench. We didn’t take too many pictures because we were busy making sure the rods and blocks were properly aligned and then the up-righting was quite a delicate hoist.

We locked and aligned the rods and blocks in place, both at the top and bottom. At the bottom, we ensured the blocks were parallel to the waterline and to each other. Wedges kept the right distance from the keel and then a 2″ x 6″ plank was fastened to the block bottoms. At the top of the keel, we wrapped the rods with tough rubber wrapping which was clamped with radiator hoses to keep the assembly from slipping down.  All this is temporary until we are ready to put RELIANCE on her display cradle – when everything is completed on deck.

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1. Rods inserted aligned and braced

 

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2. Ooops, a little adjustment

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3. Rods locked in place

 

Then easy-as-can-be, RELIANCE was righted and placed in her working cradle.

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4. Lifting straps in place. Keel on dolly to swing underneath

 

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5. Hoisting away

 

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6. Settling her on an even keel

 

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7. What is Capt. Trivia doing up there

 

So, now RELIANCE is back at our workbench. Our next steps are to build thwartship braces with donuts to brace the tops of the rods. After that we’ll install the mast step assembly shown a few days ago. We’ll also install blocks and cleats below deck to handle below-deck halyards and sheets. We’ll access these through a hatch when all is done. Finally, we have to sort through all the on-deck fittings and determine our fastening strategies for each. When all this is done, we’ll button her up and proceed with deck activities. 

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8. back home

 

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9. Bill and Sandy looking her over

 

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10. Reliance and friends Jilt and Trivia

 

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11. View from the guy upstairs

 

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12. Goodnight Reliance, until tomorrow

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A Virtual Tour of Building 28 – So Much to See!

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Visitors enjoyed FREE Day at the Museum – touring The RELIANCE Project.  Photo credit – Lindsay Green.

Just recovering from a wonderful, hectic open house on Saturday at the Museum. We had over 600 people come visit us in building 28!!

In the morning we had a work session and a few people meandered in and did self guided tours. But, in the afternoon, came the deluge. I acted as tour guide for about six hours: everyone seemed genuinely interested and inquisitive. We had great fun, though I admit to losing my train of thought sometimes as one tour blended into another.

There’s a lot more than the Reliance Project in building 28 and the Reliance Project is much more than just building the model, so we tried to have an all-inclusive tour and set of educational displays. Keith Brown the Museum’s boat wright and mentoring instructor joined us to talk about his projects.

There are precious few days left this fall to come visit us, so if you can’t  get here, I hope you’ll enjoy this slide show tour and that it will whet your interest for a visit next spring!! I’ll cover some high points but there is much more to see and learn.  Enjoy!

When you walk into building 28, you are greeted by WEE WINN and JILT, the museum’s two fin keel boats from early and late in the decade when Herreshoff experimented with fin keels.  Early fin keel WASP, 1892, was a direct descendent of GLORIANA (photo 1). In fact GLORIANA’s descendants include the America’s Cup boats as well, so it is important for us to pay homage to GLORIANA in Building 28.  We describe the decade of the fin keel boats (photo 2) noting that many owners and captains of these boats appear later as owners and skippers of the big racing schooners and America’s Cup boats. WEE WINN, 1892, (photo 3) was built for Winifred Sutton and she took it to England where it won 21 of 22 races in the first season. JILT, 1898, (photo 4) also was a proven race winner with Gibson of “Gibson Girl” fame being an owner.

(Note: we’re starting restoration of WEE WINN, then JILT and COLUMBIA’s 1899 topmast (behind Jilt in the photo) and are looking for volunteers (speak to Maggie Church in the Museum office m.church@herreshoff.org)

We can’t have an exhibit and discussion of RELIANCE without an accompanying exhibit of the America’s Cup boats built at Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. from 1893 to 1934. All the winners during that timeframe were built here in Bristol so our exhibit (photo 5) describes the evolution, owners and skippers of these boats. We’ve included profile drawings of the boats so you can see the evolution and impact of rule changes

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GLORIANA 1891

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2. Decade of the fin keel boats 1892-1898

 

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3. Wee Winn 1892

 

 

 

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4. Jilt 1898 in front of Columbia Topmast 1899

 

 

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5. America’s Cup Boats 1893-1934

Since we’re about big racing yachts–really big yachts– and it seems about 35% of the visitors to building 28 this past summer were Europeans we need to discuss the big racing schooners of first 30 years of the century (photo 6) – those that Americans took to Europe to race. This also gives us an opportunity to discuss the differences in construction between the America Cup boats such as RELIANCE and those sailed to Europe and insured by Lloyds. 

Going to the Reliance section of Building 28 we first stop to see pictures of RELIANCE (Photo 7) which enables to tell more of her background. BY this time we need to show the immense size of RELIANCE, passing by a bench made from a replica topsail yard section (Photo 8, 9), and an outline on the floor of the bowsprit and replica cross section (Photo 10).

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6. The Big Racing SChooners

 

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7. Reliance Pictures

 

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8. Topsail Yard Bench

 

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9. Nameplate on Bench

 

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10. Bowsprit section

We also pass by an exhibit of our model spars so we can draw one-sixth scale comparisons to these spars and the ones they are about to see. We then go around a corner to a replica section of the 83′ spinnaker pole (photo 11) which sits in front of outlines of the 115′ long boom and 112′ long mast and view a diorama of the wooden topsail spars. The base of the diorama will show the aluminum deck plating and cork covering.  (Photo 12).

We next come to our spar work bench on which we’ve placed many of the RELIANCE stuff; first coming to a display of helm, binnacle, lifeboat and sailors – in front of a plaque thanking the Bartram family for their generous funding of the project (photo 13). Next there is a display of fittings around the mast partner area and various cleats (Photo 14) which lead to a placard comparing RELIANCE to FLYING CLOUD and the SPACE SHUTTLE (Photo 15)

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11. Spinnaker Boom display

 

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12. Diorama of Deck and Topsail spars

 

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13. Display of helm, binnacle, lifeboat and sailors in front of plaque thanking Bartram Family for their gift

 

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14. Display of Mast partner area fittings and cleat in front of description of the Reliance Project

 

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15. Comparisons of size of Reliance

The Mast step assembly will soon be placed inside the hull and chain plates cut into the hull and deck (Photo 16). Numerous boxes of cast fittings seemed to overwhelm visitor with their number and quality (Photos 17 to 20) and we have many more to go!

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16. Display of mast step and chainplates

 

 

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17. Some of the fittings on display

 

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18. Fittings

 

 

 

 

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19. More Fittings

 

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20. Even More Fittings

We concluded our display of RELIANCE bits and pieces with the first of our wooden deck structures-work in progress- (Photo 21).

No discussion of Building 28 activity can be complete without a discussion of educational opportunities arising from RELIANCE and other work going on (Photo 22) and we included a discussion of SCALE as an example, which seemed to take visitors by surprise.  We also discussed other school collaboration to include a CAD/ 3-D project with the MET School, a high school in Newport (Photo 23) and an oral history project with Roger Williams University to capture stories of Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and Bristol Boat Building.

We cannot work on RELIANCE without learning about Herreshoff as a Manufacturing Engineer and as a Materials and Weight Engineer (photo 25).

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21. First of our wooden deck structures underway

 

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22. Discussion of Educational Opportunities

 

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23. 3-D Printing and Oral History Collaborations

 

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24. Book of Reliance CAD drawings by Karsten Busch

 

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25. Our Observations on Herreshoff as the Manufacturing Engineering and Materials and Weights Engineer

This lead us to another collaborative project with Roger Williams University to explore “Why Henry Ford visited HM Co. before Building his Dearborn Auto Plant” (Photo 26) and research which uncovered 1918 HM Co. facilities with floor-by-floor and building by building descriptions and a 1924 auctioneers inventory of all equipment and stock inventory floor-by-floor, building by building. This has been supplemented by ongoing research through our archives of pictures of facilities and workers (photo 27).

Last but not least we come to RELIANCE, temporarily on her side, but soon to be upright (Photos 28 to 30)

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26. RWU project Why Henry Ford visited HM Co before building his Dearborn plant

 

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27. HM Co facility 1918

 

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28. Core samples drilled from keel

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29. Reliance on her side to complete drilling operations

 

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30. Keel supports in place

Drilling Continues

 

 

 

We continued with our drilling of three holes through the keel these last few days. Through these holes we’ll insert three rods which form the internal cradle support. The rods will be braced in “donuts” attached to new thwart-ship beams just below the deck.

We started on Tuesday last week by ensuring everything was aligned and ready to go. By the end of the day we had drilled the forward hole and had started the middle hole. By end of work session on Saturday we’d completed the middle hole and were 6″ into the aft hole. Last Tuesday we completed drilling and cut out the deck and cleared internal structures so the rods could be inserted to their full length.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll construct the deck-level thwart-ship beams and donuts and lock the rods in place. Once that is accomplished, RELIANCE will go back into her builder’s cradle and we’ll complete all the under-deck tasks such as:
 – Installing the mast step
 – Installing sheaves and cleats for through-deck halyards and sheets
 – Fastening key deck fittings and chain plates as required

 

 Hopefully, she’ll be back in her working cradle before Thanksgiving!

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Engineer Steve works on new technique

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Keith takes over on Tuesday

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Cushy job.  Engineer Keith takes Steve’s technique to a new level

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Drilled!

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Drilled!

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Deck is marked in prep for cutting access hole

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Clearing away plywood impediments to mounting rods

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Work continues late into the afternoon

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View from inside –  all lined up!

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First rod goes in

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All three rods are dry-fitted to be equidistant from waterline

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Core samples from cutting operation

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Core samples showing thickness of the fiberglass

Keith and Joe have been busy! The Hatches, Mast Step and Chain Plates

Team members Keith Bradley and Joe Uzzo have been busy.  Here we show 6 pictures of their progress below.

Photo #1 shows one of the seven deck structures coming together – Joe’s handiwork Photos

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#2-6 show Keith’s handiwork Photo

#2 & 3 show the mast step which will be bolted into an internal fiberglass mast step. It is adjustable so we can get the mast aligned fore and aft and side to side to the waterline. RELIANCE had about 2 degree mast rake aft Photos

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#4 & 5 show the main chain plates and backstay chain plates. The hull has been cut to receive these plates and they will be screwed and glued in place and then we’ll back-fill with fiberglass material. They cant inward and are differing angles fore and aft.

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Photo #6 shows the bobstay chain plate already installed.

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Thank you Keith and Joe for all of your hard work!

Come Visit us today, FREE DAY 11/16

Our annual Fall Free Day is currently underway today (11/16). Come join us for a fun day full of activities including: guided tours, kids activities, hot cider, and so much more! And FREE ADMISSION! We hope to see you here.

 

Much progress has been made this week as you’ll soon see in the next few blog postings, coming soon.

We’ve assembled a diorama, several RELIANCE benches, augmented the RELIANCE PROJECT with ten other exhibits, and have cleared our spar bench to display other parts of RELIANCE. Come meet Capt. Barr and one of his crew. See the Education programs as well.

This week we assembled a diorama of RELIANCE’s wooden Spars – 4 foot sections of real-sized topmast and topsail spars.

Picture no. 1 shows (l. to r.) the no. 1 club topsail club, no. 1 club topsail yard, and topmast. In the background are the spinnaker boom and bowsprit which will have their own display. The diorama base will have aluminum plate covered in cork as on the real RELIANCE’S deck

The second picture show a bench we’re building, the seat of which is a 4′ section of the club topsail yard

Photo 3 shows the metal base that when sand-blasted and painted will become the base for the bowsprit section. We’ll drill holes in the bowsprit to receive the rods, so she’ll stand about two feet off the floor

Hopefully, we’ll have the spinnaker boom on its own stand and ready to go by Saturday

In real life, the topmast was 58′ 3″ long, the no. 1club topsail yard 68′ long, and the no. 1 club topsail club 57’6″ long. These would have held a no. 1 club topsail which luff was 105′ long! The spinnaker Boom was more than 83′ in length.

 

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Drilling Begins!

We’re finally doing it!  Drilling the holes in the solid keel for cradle support rods.

It took us days to get the alignment as accurate as we could. We’ve used laser leveling and good old geometry with string and tape measure in a modern and old school “belt and suspenders” approach. We hopefully have measured twice and drilled once to get this accurate.

We are drilling three 2-1/8″ diameter holes up through the keel, spaced 12″ apart. We’ll insert three 2″ diameter steel rods up through these holes. Gaps will be filled with epoxy.

Our first hole took 2 1/2 hours to drill using a diamond tipped drill. The second hole seems to be going faster.

We are constrained where we can drill by the thickness of the keel. The keel must be at least 2-3/4″ so we’ll have 3/8″ wall thickness. So, all we could get was a length of 24″ to support RELIANCE.

Enjoy the pictures which show progress to date. Hopefully sessions Saturday and next Tuesday will conclude drilling operations!

1-3. Steve Siok measures keel thickness with our high-tech measuring device – home-made wooden caliper with arms 2 3/4″ apart. (validated by drilling small holes and measuring thickness and keel material composition. These holes also confirm that the keel is indeed solid). We also confirmed that the fore and aft balance point” BP” will be “between the pipes.”

4-7. Our drill bit assembly – note the card showing the comparison of size of RELIANCE to the Space Shuttle – done by our RWU intern Aaron Towers 8. Picture of the three 2″ o.d. rods with attachment plates that will inserted into the three holes we are about to drill. The attachment plates will be bolted to a 6′ x 6′ a 1″ steel road plate weighing about 1,500 lbs. Before assembly, we’ll put oak “keel blocks” on top of the attachment plates. These will be conformal to keel shape and angle of heel, and the keel will rest on these rather than on steel.

9-10. Keith Bradley, Sandy Lee, Steve and Bill Lawton measure face and butt height alignment of the drill from base of drill rails to height of level laser line. This culminated many measurement activities.  First, fore and aft RELIANCE hull levelness as well as her sideways levelness were checked by laser. Then the drill assembly was aligned to be perpendicular to the waterline which had been marked on the upper part of the keel and the drill bit was centered to the hole to be drilled. Finally, we then ensured that the drill bit and drill assembly were level. These last steps will be repeated as we go to the second and third holes.

11-17. Various pictures of crew drilling. Note the road plate mentioned above gives a steady base for the drill

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Steve lays out keel thickness

 

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Fitting into small places

 

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Balance point and thickness laid out

 

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Drill bit

 

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Bit and extension

 

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Steel bars

 

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Laser leveling

 

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Checking alignment

 

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Drilling first hole, Bill, Steve and Keith

 

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First hole, Keith getting tired!

 

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First hole – about 1 hour in

 

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About 1.5 hours in

 

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First hole – Herk takes picture

 

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Now with extension on bit

 

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Steve takes over

 

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Tim Horton takes over for the second hole

 

 

 

 

Tour The RELIANCE Project at Museum Free Day – Nov 16th

Hi everyone,

We’re working on an event that we’re very excited about.  On Saturday, November 16th the Museum is having its biannual FREE Day from 10am to 5pm.  FREE Day has become one of my favorite events to plan.   We will welcome many visitors to the Museum for activities, tours, hot cider, and children’s activities.  Over the years the event has grown and it has been a pleasure to welcome both our regular community as well as people who have never been to the Museum before.  The Day is a celebration of what we do – sharing our history, exhibits and special projects with the community.  

On the 16th – at 1 pm and 3 pm – Project Manager, Sandy Lee will be leading special guided tours of The RELIANCE Project.  Sandy is a fascinating man and the perfect person to be leading our team of volunteers.  The project is hugely important to the Museum and it is ever evolving, so, if you have been before you should come back and if you’ve never been, here is your chance.  

Come visit us and give extra thanks to Sandy and his volunteers while you’re here.  They are an amazing team and we are all energized by the work they put in week after week.  

See you on the 16th!

-Maggie

See a full schedule of events here

 

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