Tag Archives: RELIANCE Project

Making Our Manila Authentic

For the past year, we’ve been making eye splices and wire-manila splices in our “manila”, which was made for us by Martin Coombs. Since manila fiber does not scale down in size, our manila line wouldn’t look correct if made from the real thing, so we opted for cotton.
To add a touch of manila color we steep our lines in Lipton tea. The irony of using Lipton Tea bags has not been lost on us! So I ask, who really won? Who is best remembered from the 1903 series?
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Lines have been hanging to dry and going slack. These had been pulled taut and all kinks and twists taken out when hung to dry.
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Our process also highlights old school seamanship items. From the Marlinspike seamanship chapter in “The Bluejacket’s Manual 1944,” given to us by Chris Bade:
1. “Line shrinks in length when wet and , unless allowed to shrink freely, subjects itself to a strain as great or greater than it would carry under a load. For this reason, lines which are belayed should be slacked when wet…”
2. “The size of fiber line, except small stuff, is specified by the number of inches in its circumference…the length of fiber line is given in fathoms.”

Opening Day, May 1st!

SpringOpening Poster - Rel - FINAL

Come down to visit Herreshoff Museum on Sunday, May 1st for our opening day! Our RELIANCE model will be ready and present for all eyes to see; witness the finished product of our crew’s limitless toil!

A Visit From the Senator!

Recently, Senator Jack Reed of our beautiful state of Rhode Island stopped by the museum to look around and observe our progress with the RELIANCE Project.

He seemed thrilled with what we’ve accomplished! Here are a few pictures from the visit.

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A Long Line of Blocks

We have 146 blocks to make of all sizes- 14″ to 4″ original sizes, from single to quadruple blocks, beckets to fiddles, and those with shackles, open hooks, and Coleman hooks.
Here’s the latest handmade batch of 37 blocks being varnished. Only 16 more to start and then we’ll have a full set to rig!
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Quarter Tradition / Frostbite Bash Pics

As we get ready to step our mast, we are observing an old maritime tradition of putting coins on the mast step. Here we have a 1903 U.S. silver dollar, a Rhode Island quarter as part of the “State Quarter” collection with our RELIANCE on the back face, and a U.S. Naval Academy graduation coin. Bill’s grandson, Liam, graduated last May.
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In addition, here are some more pictures of the RELIANCE model at the Frostbite Bash last month!

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Thank You, RE Sturdy

Over the past several years, you have seen on our blog site the wonderful nickel plated parts we’ve received from RE Sturdy Company. This week we received our last shipment of plated parts from RE Sturdy Company along with a note that this 158-year-old family-owned business was closing.

We are humbled and honored to think that as they were struggling with NAFTA and free trade competition, and burdensome, inequitable regulations, taxes, fees, permits, and licenses, they would support our project.  We thank the Perkins family for their generous support, and wish them well in their new endeavors.

A New Bowsprit

Several years ago, we made 4′ displays of mid-sections of the topmast, topsail yard, and club. Missing was a section of the 40’7″-long bowsprit. A visitor, Paul Batzle from the Pacific Northwest, noted this absence and sent us a 300 lb. freshly cut Douglas fir log. Until now, it has been aging for almost three years. Pictures show Bern shaping the log on Saturday to 14 3/8″ diameter. It now weighs 170 lbs.!  Much of the weight loss is water, but as you can see chips were flying, too. Now for a little shellac and varnish.

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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.

 

Post-Frostbite Push

Denise has been working diligently on the uniforms for our toy crew, while John has been sculpting the faces of the crew to accurately represent their respective real-life personas.

4. Oliver Iselin

Oliver Iselin

2. Barlie Barr by John Forest

Charlie Barr

3. 1st and 2nd Mate

First and Second Mates

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Captain Nat

Meanwhile, Steve Thurston of Thurston/Quantum Sails–whose grandfather was a sail maker at Herreshoff–has been making period sails. Steve consulted his grandfather’s 1950’s notebook to make sure he got everything right; Steve was also able to consult Hathaway’s sail maker note book for construction details of this particular #1 stay-sail (Hathaway was head sail maker at the time). Observe the stay-sail construction. Missing are the last steps where the outlines of the panels and battens were added, but you can see the effect when it was hoisted for the Bash.
Stunning!