Tag Archives: RELIANCE Project team

Captain Nat and Wee Winn Updates

Volunteer Tom Tsuchiya recently finished up the miniature sculpture of Captain Nat Herreshoff. It’s now officially on display on the RELIANCE model; looks real!

Meanwhile, our restoration of WEE WINN has been coming along nicely.

Craig finished sanding the bottom and then painted Kirby’s primer, while Bern and Sandy spent the day replacing bungs and making shallow countersinks for many screws on deck so they can be covered with caulk.
Earlier in the week, Herb continued to make the mast, Steve started making the display cradle, Eric steamed warped tiller arms straight, and Keith worked on the stern.

We’ve had great crowds of visitors this Columbus Day weekend, despite the first cold and rainy spell of fall. Time to break out the winter gear for our shop!

Burr delivered the first of four finished deck capstans (photos 1 and 2); fine jewelry-like quality as always from him! One down and three to go! We are lucky to have him! He’s grumbling a little – the first one is always a fun challenge, but his creative, problem solving genius wanes a little with the subsequent carbon copies. No Burr Juniors to hand off to on this project! Wish we had an apprentice program to go along with this…

Did I really say “carbon copies” ??? Wonder what the age cut-off is to know what carbon copies are? Ah, mimeographs and the smell of mimeograph ink? Or white-out? Just another geezer criterion…

A visitor took these pictures of Reliance which I thought I’d pass along–thank you Mary F. (The real boom crotch looks much better than previous support). I’m in the background talking to a young Naval Academy Prep School student and his family. Had several NAPS families come through over the weekend. Great “kids!!”  Also had several students and families with Webb Institute connections. Fun to talk boat anatomy with all.

1. New Capstan 2. Capstan 3. Foredeck View 4. Aft view 5. Aft View with new boomcrotch

Configuration Management

There is a lot of effort going on behind the scenes to make sure our RELIANCE is accurate. Boats, especially race boats, change during the season. We chose late August as our configuration date, when RELIANCE was measured and raced for the Cup, since this timeframe is when we had the best pictures. Ours has been a constant battle for configuration management. 

For example, NGH’s approved drawing 86-126 (from MIT Hart Collection) shows the original placement of three topmast backstay staples and a trysail staple as shown in picture #1 and as placed on our model as in picture #2.  Our visit to the NYYC in NYC last Spring to see their model showed a discrepancy which was confirmed in picture #3 as blown up in #4. 

Our metal casting expert, Mike Mirman, then used this picture to created a new fitting, shown in #5.

1. 86-126 Stern Details 2. As designed configuration 3. afterguard on fantail 4. As raced configuration 5. As raced configuration

Back to Work!

It is good to be back to work! Here’s a picture of the Saturday crew. Left to right:
Mike Mirman, Steve Siosk, Tim Horton, Sandy Lee, Keith Bradley, Joe Uzzo, Herb Luther and Bill Lawton.

We had a great work session – after catching up on all the holiday happenings and telling sea stories.


If you look on the fore-deck, you’ll see the incredible dolphin striker assembly, bowsprit spreader sockets and hawse pipe lips that Mike Mirman just delivered. We’ll be getting these in place over the next month.

You may also have noted that six mahogany stained hatches and the companionway are on deck. RELIANCE’s furniture was butternut and from the pictures stained a mahogany color and then varnished.  Joe Uzzo delivered the stained structures, and we worked with him to perfect our technique to attach the canvas tops.  The companionway has a sliding top and glass portholes.  Joe is working to add the barometer, clock and race card which rest on a ledge in the companionway. Still to go are the monitor and large two piece hatch cover.


Above: Joe and his work.

Below: Steve admiring Joe’s work.



Keith has been working inside RELIANCE to adjust the mast step to her rake. He’s also been making a metal display stand for our 2′ long 14″ diameter solid bowsprit replica while Herb Luther finishes shaping it and preparing it for varnish.


Above: Capt. Trivia emerging from below


We’re also preparing plans for laying cork on the deck, attaching the fittings and painting.  We’ll talk about that soon.