Tag Archives: the reliance project

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

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

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)



Photo 1. Bowsprit log #1


Photo 2. Bowsprit log #2


Photo 3. Bowsprit log #3


Photo 4. Anchor Windlass


Photo 5. Anchor Windlass


Photo 6. Display Stand


Photo 7. Laying Canvas


Photo 8. Laying canvas #1


Photo 9. Laying canvas #2


Photo 10. Laying canvas #3


Photo 11. Primer on canvas


Photo 12. bundle of toe rails and hand rails


Photo 13. some toe rails place on deck


Photo 14. Hatch cover with trim


Photo 15. Inside #2 hatch

Drilling Continues




We continued with our drilling of three holes through the keel these last few days. Through these holes we’ll insert three rods which form the internal cradle support. The rods will be braced in “donuts” attached to new thwart-ship beams just below the deck.

We started on Tuesday last week by ensuring everything was aligned and ready to go. By the end of the day we had drilled the forward hole and had started the middle hole. By end of work session on Saturday we’d completed the middle hole and were 6″ into the aft hole. Last Tuesday we completed drilling and cut out the deck and cleared internal structures so the rods could be inserted to their full length.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll construct the deck-level thwart-ship beams and donuts and lock the rods in place. Once that is accomplished, RELIANCE will go back into her builder’s cradle and we’ll complete all the under-deck tasks such as:
 – Installing the mast step
 – Installing sheaves and cleats for through-deck halyards and sheets
 – Fastening key deck fittings and chain plates as required


 Hopefully, she’ll be back in her working cradle before Thanksgiving!



Engineer Steve works on new technique


Keith takes over on Tuesday


Cushy job.  Engineer Keith takes Steve’s technique to a new level







Deck is marked in prep for cutting access hole


Clearing away plywood impediments to mounting rods


Work continues late into the afternoon


View from inside –  all lined up!



First rod goes in



All three rods are dry-fitted to be equidistant from waterline



Core samples from cutting operation


Core samples showing thickness of the fiberglass

Keith and Joe have been busy! The Hatches, Mast Step and Chain Plates

Team members Keith Bradley and Joe Uzzo have been busy.  Here we show 6 pictures of their progress below.

Photo #1 shows one of the seven deck structures coming together – Joe’s handiwork Photos



#2-6 show Keith’s handiwork Photo

#2 & 3 show the mast step which will be bolted into an internal fiberglass mast step. It is adjustable so we can get the mast aligned fore and aft and side to side to the waterline. RELIANCE had about 2 degree mast rake aft Photos





#4 & 5 show the main chain plates and backstay chain plates. The hull has been cut to receive these plates and they will be screwed and glued in place and then we’ll back-fill with fiberglass material. They cant inward and are differing angles fore and aft.





Photo #6 shows the bobstay chain plate already installed.



Thank you Keith and Joe for all of your hard work!