During the week leading up to the RELIANCE volunteer appreciation day, the team built out some accompanying exhibits highlighting the metal hull large yachts built by HM Co. The exhibit area is taking shape, and over the next several years we’ll build content to make a comprehensive exhibit. No rest for the weary!
Meanwhile, the last major rigging was added to RELIANCE. We’re hoping to display two new elements. Steve Thurston delivered a stunning #1 Jib Topsail. It is HUGE– long and lean. But, it is too large to haul up. We need that extra 14′ of clearance that isn’t in the Hall of Boats. Sometimes we just wish we could take a can opener and cut a hole in the roof!
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!
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!
Did we mention that the average age of these guys exceeds 80?!
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.
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).
Bern routed out grooves for the straps and the strippers in the base of the block.
Finally, here’s RELIANCE fully painted after Buck and Don’s hard work!
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thanks to everyone who has supported us thus far!!
We’ve started assembling the jib halyard. Burr made all the links, while Bruce threaded he shackle pins. Bern tapped said shackles to receive the pins.
Meanwhile, the endless toil of filling and fairing both the rudder and the boat continues. Bruce, Bern , Zach spend plenty of their time working on this; just look how much dust we can make!
Chris Broman visited the museum this past weekend, flush from victory with his “footie” yacht at the World Marine Trade Conference in Providence. He’d also attended a breakfast presentation Sandy gave there on the wonderfully modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.
We have our own “footie” champion, Mike, so the challenge has been issued!! Note, Chris has a split mainsail and boom; an airfoil shape but also goes wing and wing downwind! Just a little G2…
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.
Meanwhile, Laura is working hard to finalize the overall rigging within the mast system.
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!