Amaryllis, a catamaran built by Herreshoff, is being taken down from the rafters to be cleaned and re-hung for better viewing pleasure. Upon bringing it down for inspection, we were surprised to see a speedometer and underwater speed measurement device in the hull!
Here’s an old photo of the Amaryllis, for perspective.
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.
Mike and Sandy took a trip to the Museum’s sail loft and curatorial space to check out special thimble, span hook, and hank designs. Span hooks were used for gaff and boom spans, and we’ve got 65 hanks to make along with 75 rings. The hanks were not clipped to the forestay and topmast stay, but instead to rings on these wires:
This past week also brought news that German yachting magazine Goose had published a three-page article on our model. We’ve also received inquiries from other yachting and travel magazines, so our RELIANCE seems to be showing well!
We’ve had snowstorm after snowstorm up here in New England, which has cancelled a number of volunteer days; luckily, we did manage to sneak in a Saturday and Tuesday along with some home work. Burr delivered 27 sail hoops that will be nickel-plated along with a number of the fittings and castings we’ve recently received.
He also delivered the capstan winch located on the boom near the gooseneck. Interestingly, it is the same size as the deck capstans, but with a slightly different base to fit the circumference of the boom. We then tasked Burr to make a scale bowsprit retaining bar; it has to be made just like is was by the HM Co blacksmiths.
A few hours later, Burr returned with a model to check fit the piece. Now he’s off making the whole thing, which we’re excited to see!
Zach, our Roger Williams University intern, has helped out in preparing Mike’s bronze castings for plating. Zach’s also working on some exhibits for our opening day.
Lastly, the boom and gaff have received final painting and are awaiting their fittings.
Sometimes there seems to be a lot of change, but other times there is a lot of work but not much apparent change. This was one of the latter session, but with much progress. The toe rails at the stern have been fabricated and stained and pinned in place. The starboard handrail made and stained and also pinned in place along with accompanying toe rails. Steve has been working on the starboard pin rail and making sure the belaying pins are properly seated. The outboard belaying pins and center eye are actually part of the stanchions and have been tapped, threaded and glued into the deck. Chocks for the spare #2 yard and club stowed on deck were made and the #2 topsail club placed in its resting place. Herb has been gluing up the #2 yard. Meanwhile Mike has been finishing up three large bollards; two of which are seen in photo 4 in front of the hatch and one amidships portside in photo 1. More deck fittings should be arriving over the next weeks.
1. final toe rails in place at stern
2. starboard handrail, pin rail and belaying pins
3. spare yard and club chocks
4. #2 club in its chock
5. #2 yard being glued up
Another productive time last week with the crew. We completed two of the three starboard toe rails, finished the second of three forward hatches, and progressed on the fantail toe rail.
We had another good day on Tuesday! A lot of work and good times. Our Washington State Douglas Fir log arrived. It is huge and really gives us a firm idea of how massive RELIANCE’s 41′ bowsprit really was. Freshly cut, it is still dripping wet and will need to dry out to our ambient humidity levels before we shape it into a 14″ cylinder. (Photos 1, 2 and 3) We’ve also been making display stands, to dress up accompanying exhibits in our shop and give you additional reasons to visit us – we tell about the big metal-hulled schooners and all the America’s Cup boats built by HMCo, HMCo and the other boats in our barn . (Photo 4) Mike Mirman brought the Anchor Windlass from the foundry. (Photo 5) The mold had been made by a team from the Met School in Newport using CAD/ 3-D Printing. We’ll do the final polishing and fitting in our shop. Sven has already found a new resting spot out of sight of Capt. Barr. (Photo 6) Mike also brought news that we can expect the bollards, main sheet sheave holders, topmast backstay pad eyes and other key castings in the near future!! Bill, Keith and Steve laid the after center strip of canvas (Photos 7, 8, 9, and 10) Later this week, we’ll finish painting this strip and then cut out the next courses of canvas to either side of the center strips. After these middle strips are laid, we’ll lay the outer strips in place and be done with laying canvas! While waiting the glue to dry on the canvas, we cut out 220′ of 11/32″ x 3/16″ toe rail strips and 24′ of 1/2″ x 5/32″ hand rail strips (Photo 11). By the end of the day, the glue on the canvas had dried and the canvas decking was then primed. (Photo 12). We placed some of the toe rails and hand rail on deck so we could imagine what it’ll look like. (photo 13) Meanwhile we cut and glued in place the wooden sides of our first hatch cover (Photo 14) and built a nest of cleats for the sheets and halyards that on the real Reliance would be lead to below-deck winches. (Photo 15)