We’re Back and At Full Throttle!

We’re back from the holidays and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dimly. Keith cut our mast to length: 17’8″ plus 14″ for the “bury” to our mast step. Keith put the newly cut mast upright to gauge whether we could also step the topmast in place. Alas, another 8′ 4″ is required and it won’t fit unless we move the whole rig under the cupola in the middle of the high bay, so there it’ll go! As a point of reference, the topmast and #1 topsail yard add another 13′ 8″ to the height of the mast, shown here; that’s almost another 75% of the length shown!

1 Cutting our mast to length2 Measuring fit inside bldg 28

While Keith worries about the design of the new jig, Bill has been working on the spreader. You can see that the “I-beam” construction has been routed out and drain holes have been drilled in the “I’s.” He’s now fitting it to the mast before varnishing, adding all the fittings and cladding the section around the mast in metal.

3 Fitting spreader to mast

Mike brought more wax mold master mast fittings to the shop. These were fitted to the mast and taken to our local metal casting company—Harrison Casting in Johnston, RI—to be made; we’ll be attaching these in place soon. All of this leaves us with actual wire splicing and wire rope standing rigging. The photos below show Herb and Larry plying their newly acquired specialty with help from Toss’s book, educational visits to thesquarerigger.com, and some instruction from Bob Dollar of R&W Rope.

We’ve also been noodling with how to do the actual rigging of our model and have concluded that unlike the original RELIANCE—which was rigged after launching—we’ll construct a special rigging jig so we can cut and splice all the standing rigging to actual length. This jig will be separate from our model, so work can continue on her without interruption, and the butt of the mast would rest on the floor. You’ll see construction of our jig over the next few months.

Lastly, we at the RELIANCE Project and Herreshoff Museum would like to formally recognize the loss of a great friend. New Year’s Day brought the passing on of Stanley Livingston, 96, an active supporter and family member in our cause. Fair winds and a following sea on the other side of the bar, Stanley; RIP

Livingston's visit Stan on deck, Marty and Sandy Lee

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