Monthly Archives: April 2014

RELIANCE: Deck Progress

We continue to make progress.
Spare topsail club being constructed which we’ll place on deck
Deck structures delivered by Joe Uzzo.
Companionway and its ladder, monitor, and hatches. Monitor has hinges inside the windows!
Balance of lower main shroud chainplates, spreader chainplates for upper main shrouds, and chainplate for truss stay.


RELIANCE: Opening Day Display

We just completed building a display base for our three wooden spars- topmast, topsail yard, and topsail club.
This just sort of evolved like any committee action. “What about making a canvas covered base just like the real one?” Ok, let’s add some bare steel, oh and bare aluminum, and oh add flush rivets. Just found a real 15″ cleat. And a deck winch. Add a scale 15″ cleat.” So, here’s what we got – near perfection!!
Bill makes winch base
Two pictures of display
Bowsprit section

Spinnaker boom
Bench from topsail yard


RELIANCE: Another Good Day In Building 28

Another good session. We continue to fix in place all the fittings on the waterway –  there are so many and it gives us pause to think about the rigging task that lies in front of us!
In addition we are building #2 club topsail yard and club to be placed on deck. (#1’s will be aloft.) Herb is finishing off shaping the matched set of sides and Steve is calculating the height of the “keel blocks” required to get the correct taper when we lay the top and bottom against a side in the glue phase. Our tolerances are quite tight – about the thickness of a piece of paper – to ensure good fit and even tapers.  The eye readily picks up even the slightest deviation! (See blogs from a year-ago last fall for construction details, when we constructed our first sets of spars.)
In addition, the eighth grade mentorship program graduation ceremonies were held in the space adjoining ours. Pictures tell the story so well. Bet you can tell the personalities of the three lads from the second picture! Peace and quiet returns to building 28 today…ImageImageImageImage

RELIANCE: The “WOW!” Moments

Every once in awhile (actually quite often) our team does something that just stops you in your tracks and all you can say is “WOW!”
So, I present Burr Sebring’s shroud chain plate. He brought this in so we could discuss the rivet hole pattern needed to attach this to our mast. Can’t wait to see this one completed and its mate on the other side…
Ooops, all we’ve seen so far are the port side fittings…. There is so much creativity and hard labor into making one of these that we need to work on his motivation to do the starboard side ones….


TEAM RELIANCE: The Tale of Two Sticks

Ken Madeiro of Hall Spars stopped by the shop last week for a brief peek, and an hour later we were still talking! Now he’s got the Reliance bug, too.

Last Saturday he called to say they were just getting a 154 foot long mast ready for shipment and he wondered if we’d like to see a “big stick.” Since they are a local Bristol firm, Bill Lawton and I hightailed it over. This mast is for a new Baltic 108′ and all up with rigging , paint,  hardware and spreaders weighs about 3900 lbs. — mast tube with paint and some hardware  about 2100 lbs.   It’s 21″ fore and aft and  10 3/4 ” side to side .  If you look closely in the first picture taken from the foot of the mast you can see Ken standing at the mast head. That’s tall! In the second picture we’re standing at masthead and Ken is talking with Bill. The third and fourth pictures were taken from the second floor looking down. The mast is carbon fiber. Even the shrouds are carbon fiber tapered wing-like from the bottom spreader.

Not to be outdone, we casually mentioned RELIANCE’s mast was 112′, telescoping topmast 58′ and yard 68′ for an overall height of about 194′. But we were one-upped! Never brag around the Hall Spar shop…  The fifth photo shows a base section from their 218′ tall mast for a Wally 164′. It is 28 1/2″ x  14 1/2″ in cross-section. The full structure weighed about 13,500 lbs., all up with PBO rigging about 16,250 lbs.

I wish you could see Hall Spars. Amazing!! We were like kids in a candy store. Have to believe Capt. Nat would have been all over this. Imagine an autoclave large and long enough to “cook” these structures! The mandrels, mast tape laying machines for laying carbon fiber tape, and shroud machines! And there was more, they make other stuff too, from UAVs to rocket fairings.

I’m hopeful that they’ll take a look at our RELIANCE mast drawings and offer their insights. Maybe they can even estimate how much it weighed. But I’ll save that for another blog.