Tag Archives: keel blocks

Prepping for Paint and Sails

The crew has been working diligently so that the RELIANCE model can be finished for the museum’s opening this coming spring.

We have put hanks onto the rigging for both the jib top sail and the stay sail; these pieces will be used to sew the sails directly into the rigging.

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Meanwhile, Laura is working hard to finalize the overall rigging within the mast system.

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While this has been going on, the struggle to perfectly fair the hull and keel has continued. Sandy spent a good portion of time on this duty, while Zach sanded the rudder down so that it would form well into place. He managed to take a short enough break to get a quick photoshoot!

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At last, the Big Day!

After more than a decade, RELIANCE moves off her shipping cradle and on to the display stand. Can you believe it?!!!

We moved RELIANCE to the back of the shed under the chain falls; we hoisted her out of the shipping cradle and said goodbye to that cradle. Our head rigger Laura holds RELIANCE aloft with one hand.

1 Laura holds boat up

As you can tell from their work, our female team mates are very talented, great team members, and very strong! Laura holds the bow up so Steve can position Bill’s display stand under the keel blocks.

2 Bow up!

3 Boat Hoisted, Steve moves cradle in place

Bill carefully lowers RELIANCE onto the 1,500 lb. steel plate while Keith inserts drift pins to assure alignment of bolt holes (since Keith measured and drilled the holes in the steel plate, he is actually out of the picture saying a couple of “Hail, Mary’s”: the secret of Notre Dame engineering, I’m told).

4 Bill lowers away

5 Alignment drift pins in - placing bolts in

Steve and Laura tighten the bolts in place, noting how perfect the fit is – no shims or alignment tricks needed!

6 Bolts tightened with precision

Here are the bolted blocks up close. Note the wooden wedges which keep the boat aligned fore and aft, and away from the blocks which were welded at a 15 degree angle. The engineers assured Sandy these wedges were unnecessary, but he’s a belt and suspenders guy and has been around engineers too long. (P.S. they were necessary!!.)

7 Wood wedges in place - No gaposis!

RELIANCE’s profile is revealed; beautiful, amazing form!

8 Wow!

9 knife bulb keel reveals itself

10 Maneuver complete. Now back to work area

RELIANCE is moved back to our work space and “The Guy Upstairs” Dave miraculously appears to inspect and approve our work.

11 THE GUY UPSTAIRS gives final  inspection and blessing

12 Aft view

Then Keith and Sandy replaced all the parts that had been stripped off RELIANCE for the full evolution.

13 back in its work area

14 Stuff goes back on deck

15 All back together

Bill has started building the grand stand to top it off.

16 Bill builds the grandstand

As part of the celebration, we have a Tuesday crew photo opportunity moment; unfortunately, camera shy Laura has gone to another job.

17 Formal Portrait. Herb, Keith, Steve, Sandy, Bill. Missing Laura

This respite is short, however; soon, everyone is back to work. Except, apparently, for Sandy, whom we’re sure needs some relaxation time!

19 Now, Everyone back to work on details

20 While the boss goes sailing

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