Tag Archives: A Team

The Rudder Saga Continues

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been working towards finalizing the rudder addition. In the last blog post, you all saw Keith’s work at setting up the the set of pintles to the keel. Since then, the crew has added metal borders to each side of this pintle set. These borders were meant to keep the RELIANCE hydrodynamic when using the rudder.

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Afterwards, Bern got to work drilling and filing a hole into the bottom of the hull for the rudder’s stock to fit into.

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While this was being set up, Sandy and Zach spent time sanding the rudder’s stock in order for it to fit perfectly.

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The result and almost finished product:

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Back on Track

We’ve missed a couple of blog posts because we’ve been deep into detail work, which doesn’t seem to lend itself to blog creativity!

We’ve made a miniature exhibit of our winter lecture series presentation: “Wonderfully Modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Company”, which you can see in our shop if you come by for a visit.

Steve has been finishing the metal angle iron cheeks on the mast; these hold four upper main shrouds, forestay, two preventer stays (main running back stays), and the throat halyard strap.

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Meanwhile. Keith has been working on the spreader, and you can see the start of Bill’s jig to make the deck-edge toe rails in the background; Sandy has also been filing, grinding, and polishing more than 150 shackles. You see these in rough form (dark bronze), polished state (bright brass), and finished nickel-plated product in the bins. Hooks are next, and then the dreaded 140 ash blocks from scratch.

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Steve is also starting to work on the final tap and die work for all the turnbuckles.

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Laura has been making grommets which turn into balloon jib straps, jib tack straps, jib pennants, spinnaker straps, and a throat halyard strap.

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Lastly, Herb has become Bosun Splicer. Here’s his stock hanging on the rack awaiting finishing.

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Getting Ready for Opening Day

Burr just delivered the RELIANCE bell, complete with a clapper, with engraving done by a South Carolina engraver. You can see its size compared to a U.S. Quarter! We can’t wait to see the reaction of our riggers when we tell them one of them will need to braid the cotton lanyard…

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Joe brought back our wood hatches, companionway, and monitor with final finishing. They look great and bring the deck to life.

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We’ve also finally received the uniforms for our 52 crew members! They look exquisite; thank you very much, Denise.

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Laura rigged the topmast shrouds and backstay eyes, and even brought her sister and parents to see her handiwork. Great to see pride for all involved!

Lining up the “A Team” for the 1903 America’s Cup

Curator Log October 2012

This is the seventh in a series about Nathanael G. Herreshoff and the America’s Cup

Lining up the “A Team” for the 1903 America’s Cup

Preparing to face a new challenge from Sir Thomas Lipton to “lift” the Cup from America the New York Yacht Club faced significant financial issues. Lipton, with a seemingly bottomless purse, was challenging every other year. Defending the Cup had become an expensive proposition. Each new challenge required the NYYC to form a syndicate to build a new defender, as well as additional syndicates to recommission prior year Herreshoff-built Cup winners to campaign against the new boat for the right to defend. This time NYYC Commodore Cass Ledyard had one overriding objective, to beat Sir Thomas so badly that he would go away for a long time.

To make that happen they needed the “A Team”. The skillful C. Oliver Iselin to manage the new boat syndicate, Capt. Nat Herreshoff to design and participate in leading the campaign, and the redoubtable Charlie Barr to skipper the boat.

Iselin had committed to the task very early in 1902. Capt. Nat and Barr were the problem. In the spring, when Iselin corresponded with Capt. Nat about the forthcoming challenge he received a disturbing response. Nat declined, writing that while he had the greatest respect for Iselin and had enjoyed their previous campaigns, he was no longer up to the rigors of a Cup defense because “my best days are behind me”. The Cup defender would be very demanding of his time on top of an already full order book, his wife was seriously ill and he was suffering from rheumatism.

It took Iselin’s best powers of persuasion to change Nat’s’ mind. He also enlisted Commodore Ledyard who assured Nat that the well-funded syndicate had Barr locked up. Nat came onboard, fully committed (as he was to any task that he undertook), creating the magnificent RELIANCE.

But Ledyard had written prematurely because Barr had already signed with August Belmont. To break that commitment would be expensive. At a time when the going pay for a Cup skipper was $4,000, Barr was demanding $10,000. Barr was the last to join.

The “A Team” was in place. It was well worth the effort to assemble. RELIANCE beat SHAMROCK III in three straight races. Lipton did not challenge again until 1913.

John Palmieri