Keith works on the rudder between all the other tasks we give him. He likes engineering problems and more often than not come up with simple, innovative solutions. He has a Notre Dame engineering degree and Michigan advanced degree, so he’s a conflicted soul. Here it looks like he is invoking a higher spirit into a solution.
Steve is our amateur Astronomer, so we give him work on our mast so he can get closer to the stars.
Tim is a psychologist so we gave him 450 screws to set the boom sail track in place; it’s finicky work that requires precision. We try to play with his mind every once in awhile because we’re worried that in the background he’s writing a “tell all” book about the RELIANCE inmates. In this picture, he has about 150 screws in place – only 300 more, Tim! In the background, Herb is proving his wire to manila splicing technique.
Meanwhile, Laura works on bowsprit rigging. The bobstays are tensioned by tightening the bowsprit retaining bar; there are no turnbuckles on the bobstays.
Ken from Hall Spars dropped by on his evening constitutional and we talked about how boats today tension their shrouds with hydraulic mast rams since the turnbuckles are too short to perform this function. He also noted that on large racers rigging eyes are replacing tangs.
Martin Combs from North Carolina sent us the last half of our “manila” cordage, so now we have our full allotment of scale 7/32″ and 1-1/2″ through 4″ manila. Except for the extra small stuff, manila was measured in circumference, unlike wire rope, which is measured in diameter. The big spool on the end is overwhelming, so we went back and checked. Research concluded: RELIANCE carried 3,000′ of 4″ manila line!
We’ve also been worming, parceling, and serving wire rope; in this case, the bowsprit shrouds.
“Worm and parcel with the lay; serve the other way!”
Bob Dollar of R&W Rope, New Bedford, Mass. has again contributed to the RELIANCE Project; this time, with various sizes of faux manila line (manila fibers do not scale down by 1/6th and thus would not look appropriate). Now all we have to figure out is how to translate 12, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 size line (as shown) into real world manila line dimensions. The size of manila line is measured in circumference, while wire rope and new synthetic fiber lines are measured in diameter.
We also just received our first lot of nickel-plated chain plates, staples, and turnbuckles from Tom Perkins of R.E. Sturdy Company in Providence. A number of RELIANCE fittings were nickel steel, but we are limited to casting and shaping brass or bronze. Our “Guy Upstairs” Dave Stewart of Systematics Inc. has been our intermediary for this project, so we do not know who to thank… it was all very hush, hush, so we’ll just thank them both!
Burr has also given the RELIANCE Project an early Christmas present! Burr brought over four capstans, three of which go on deck and the fourth onto the boom. Our next step will be to fabricate the teak pads and then fix it in place. The barrels turn, so we’re a little weary of showing these to Mike–our caster–who are is a miniaturist and clock maker. He’ll probably want to make the internal gears and ratchets!
Meanwhile, rigging continues to go well. We’ve been worming, parceling, and serving the galvanized wire every day; hopefully that will be all finished soon.