Tag Archives: Keith Bradley

Moving On to New Projects

As we complete RELIANCE, several of our team are moving on to their next Museum projects.
Shown here, we’ve been stripping WEE WINN, a lovely “half rater” from 1892. It is a bulb fin keel boat built for Englishwoman Miss Winifred Sutton. She raced WEE WINN in Cowes that year, winning 20 of 21 races.
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Our RELIANCE, WEE WINN, and steam launch #199 projects have attracted a new group of volunteers, and it’s exciting to feel their fresh enthusiasm and energy. Several are machinist artisans whose skills will be important to make a rudder and tiller for WEE WINN and to complete steam launch plumbing; you may remember that last year, volunteer Don Berrett restored a triple expansion steam engine which fits #199.

The Big Move, Pt. 2

Finally, after an arduous and careful trip down Burnside Street, the RELIANCE entered the museum’s large doors to find a new home within the Hall of Boats.

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Then, it was on to rigging and mini-exhibits. RELIANCE will remain in this spot until opening day, when it is moved to its new temporary exhibit area in the back of the Hall of Boats and rigged with mast. Full rig will have to wait until the new atrium is built; it’s too tall by a dozen feet for this hall!

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The Big Move, Pt. 1

Before we show you our move to the main museum building, we thought it would be fun to remember the first move. We’d been working on wooden spars for about 8 months and wondering whether we’d be building our own hull, when from heaven and Halsey’s 2nd-floor shop there emerged a pristine white hull.

March 2013.

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You may remember that old, gray working cradle in which RELIANCE sat for all those years. Now, almost three years later, we’re taking the completed hull down Burnside St., past Halsey’s shop and to the Museum…

Fast Forward:

Early in the A.M., before the crew arrived, Sandy was completing last minute details to the fantail.

Soon, Capt. Trivia waved that he was ready and the crew slowly moved RELIANCE to the street where it was turned and positioned for the journey downhill under Keith’s direction. Note Sandy and Bill looking on their cellphones for the latest on weather, spiritual guidance, and whether Ford would show up for a promotion video: “F-150 prevents 169-ton boat from careening out of control.”

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Great luck on weather and spiritual support, but alas, no Ford promo.

 

Join Us at the Frostbite Bash!

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Please come and join the Herreshoff Museum and RELIANCE crew at the Frostbite Bash on February 6th!! There will be dancing, food, and the RELIANCE model set up in the museum in anticipation of opening day. It will be a wonderfully fun, two-for-one opportunity you can’t miss!

Working Towards the Bash

Great work session this past week; Keith and Sandy hung the rudder, Steve completed a dozen shackles, Herb completed several more splices, and Bill started the viewing stand. We’re on schedule to move RELIANCE to the Hall of Boats for the Frostbite Bash!

Please come and see our boat at the Bash! A sneak peek before we rig her.
PS: Enclosed is a picture of our new Executive Washroom; better late than never!

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Winter Progress

Work has been progressing over this early winter on all the details of the rigging; the blocks, splicing, and making up the shackles are all getting done. We recently dry-fitted the main sheet system. You can see Herb in the background making a micro-splice. Poor guy!

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The Saturday crew has been working with extra gusto!
Laura completed all splices for the two topmast backstay runners and started the wire-manila peak halyard tail splice. Joe has been repainting the deck which, over the past two years in the shed, has become shop worn; Bern has been helping with making blocks.

Meanwhile, Burr delivered his latest masterpiece: the topmast cone assembly. You may remember that last fall, Bill fashioned the lignum vitae truck, and several years ago, Mike cast a topmast cone. Well, Burr took those pieces, machined the cone, then made the topsail halyard sheave and metal housing, and assembled everything together. We couldn’t even find the housing solder joint. So awesome!

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Did we mention that the average age of these guys exceeds 80?!

Merry Christmas From Our Crew to Yours!

Laura made boom lift pennants and a peak halyard pennant. These doubled-over wires are made similarly to grommets: an endless loop of wire seized together at the thimbles  at each end. Thimbles at the mast are directly attached to the mast eyes with no shackles, so Laura makes up the wire on the mast.

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Sandy has been fabricating blocks; shown here are the eight 14″ blocks on RELIANCE, six including a double block for the main sheet (the other two are for the peak and throat jigs at the base of the mast).

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Bern routed out grooves for the straps and the strippers in the base of the block.

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Finally, here’s RELIANCE fully painted after Buck and Don’s hard work!

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Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thanks to everyone who has supported us thus far!!

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Finally Past the Priming

Well, we can finally say that sanding, fairing, and priming the hull are finished!

We laid out the waterline with a laser transit. All reference marks are within 1/32nd-inch true! Thank you to Buck of Itchiban and Vinnie of Goetz Composites who brought a laser and great knowledge of getting RELIANCE on her fore and aft to lay out the laser lines.

Tracer lamp black solution has been applied to the hull. Sandy and Herb then sanded away the “orange peel” and tracer.

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Keith took down the tent and deck covering to clean up the boat using air, water, and sponge; for a finishing touch, a wash of denatured alcohol.

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So far, there was an initial priming of four coats and then sanding fair with 150 grit. This effort brought patches of bare hull and Bondo to light, so another five coats of primer were applied and another round of 150-grit “blocking”/ long boarding. Then, seven coats of white primer and 400-grit sanding to bring to near perfection.

RELIANCE is now ready for masking the waterline and painting the topsides. Only three more coats of paint on each of the topsides, bottom, and lead keel and an application of clear!

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While all this effort was going on, Bill has been working on the truck, Tim on the boom, and Yoda (Steve), shown here, on the shackle pins.

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An Interesting Side Story

Perry Ercolino and his wife visited about two years ago. Not only is he a sailor, but he also makes custom shoes in New York City on Madison Ave/53rd St.
Several days after their wonderful visit, we received a UPS package with a gift of leather from them to use on the gaff saddle! We’ve just recently attached it.
He also enclosed an off-cut of 18th-century reindeer leather which came off a Russian trading ship that sank in the Plymouth, England estuary late in that century. The leather was found in the remains of the ship when the harbor was dredged. By some odd circumstances, Perry managed to get his hands on it while on the road one day! How cool is that?
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A Thanksgiving Feast for the Eyes

To honor the holiday upon us, we in the RELIANCE Project would like to thank all who have helped us on this long, arduous journey, as well as all the fans who have pushed us on with your words of encouragement! To give back to the community, here’s a look at the RELIANCE model, sleek and suave from its final priming!

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We’re going to be dabbing on a “blue-ing” film and sanding off the “orange peel” with 400-grit sandpaper very soon.