Monthly Archives: March 2014

RELIANCE: Making Progress and Uncovering Facts

We continue to make progress. As you can see we put our first coat of color onto the waterway and have been sanding the deck smooth to take canvas. The work will progress slowly since we want to make it right.
In the meantime Burr has delivered another metal work assembly – mast truss chainplate
I also thought you’d enjoy the 1903 pictures showing the manpower required to raise RELIANCE’s mainsail and topsail. No wonder she needed a crew of 64! Also a picture of RELIANCE and CONSTITUTION at the start of a trials race.
We always look at pictures for clues to what was really on RELIANCE. We’ve often wondered about RELIANCE’s lifeboat which in our drawings is shown as a 14′ lifeboat of very particular design. About a dozen years ago the museum commissioned a 12′ version. The picture showing the mainsail being raised clearly shows the 14′ version. So, we now have a 12′ version for sale!ImageImageImageImageImage

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RELIANCE: All the Bits and Pieces

We continue to work on the deck preparing it for paint and canvas, but in the meantime we are receiving more and more of our bits and pieces. These are really small jewel-like masterpieces from Mike Mirman which we’ll finish up with buffing and polishing.
The first picture is the mainsail clue outhaul slide. In real life it fits onto a 6 foot long heavy duty sail track at the tip of the boom. Inserted in the top is a fitting sewn into the clue of the sail and then pinned to the slide. You can see its size compared to a penny in our scale. The second picture shows the mainsail outhaul sheave holder which is to be attached at the very tip of the boom.
The third picture is of our the belaying pins – about two inches long. The longer ones will be threaded and be used for the forward and aft legs of the pinrail which fellow RELIANCE teammate Steve Siok is making.
MIke has also made a port and starboard mainsheet sheave holder, the fourth picture. It also is about 2 inches long. It sits amidships. The mainsheet comes from aft to here, through the bellow and around an internal sheave to drums and winches below deck. He’s taken them back to his shop to attach brake levers and add the internal sheaves. We also received two mainsheet span shackle assemblies from Mike. The whole assembly is about the size of a silver dollar! Upon close inspection you a see that the shackles are actually twisted.

Meanwhile Joe Uzzo continues to work on his hatches and companionway. Here you see the barometer, race card and clock sitting on a ledge in the companionway. If you really look, you’ll see actual barometer and clock faces complete in all detail. The second picture shows the companionway and its ladder.
We also have a new RELIANCE team member Burr Sebring who brings a wealth of metalworking skill, having retired from Gorham – the silverware company . In this last photo you can see his work-in-progress on the metal strut that forms the back edge of the douglas fir mainmast spreader. The little insert that will carry two shrouds to the top of the mast has been completed. Same piece count in 1/6th scale as the original!

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Team RELIANCE: Bill Update

We’ve been waiting for Bill’s return from complicated cataract surgery. He’s still on the binnacle list for a few more days but you can see he’s wearing his safety glasses! Tim Horton (l) and Joe Uzzo (r) are getting the full description of the surgery, but it seems as if it is more than Tim can take! Bill says he can see us better than ever!unnamed-7

RELIANCE: Deck Work Continues

We’re in the planning stage, a gestation stage, as we plan to lay canvas on deck rather than the previously decided cork deck. Further research has concluded that cork deck first laid on CONSTITUTION was removed and replaced by canvas, and though reportedly used on RELIANCE was in fact not used. Canvas was laid instead. But work does go on as shown in the pictures:
1. Our astronaut “Herb from Falmouth” suits up to scuff up our deck, preparatory to painting and laying canvas. (The steel waterway was painted, and the aluminum deck was canvas covered)
2. Tim Horton carves out the scuppers – two on each side
3. The monitor was been delivered and fitted in-place (a little dusty from scuppering operation)
4. Joe Uzzo continues with the deck furniture, making companionway ladder and racing gauges

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RELIANCE: Visitors Welcome

Though we’re closed for the season, we do have visitors who stop by and brighten our day. Here one youngster wanted to see what it was like to truly be on deck of RELIANCE. His curiosity extended to below deck as well. Hmm, maybe he can fit into those tight spaces at each end to hold the nuts and washers in-place while we tighten down all the fittings in place on deck. All we need to do is attach a lanyard to his ankle to haul him out…
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A Special Thank You

We seem to get around to posting a blog about the support we get from the museum staff and interns about the time they depart – got to change that!
For many of you Maggie has been the “face” of the Museum. For us she has been our happy face and our most helpful face – the “can do” woman. Still don’t know how we’ll ever replace her in our hearts. But she’s gone off to a big city Boston to pursue her dreams and we wish her well. At least she didn’t desert us for the evil empire… In a small corner of our heart we hope she’ll soon find out that bigger isn’t better and that we’ll see her again…Image