Tag Archives: Wooden Boat

The Work Continues.

Just returned from ten day trip to Santa Fe, Taos and the Canyons of NM, AZ, and UT. Must say that our RELIANCE is certainly the equal of the great art of Santa Fe and Taos (no bias all all!) but it is very hard to compete with the grandeur, scale, and beauty of nature. No contest, it is nature every time….  We flew home from Las Vegas: I am still struggling to wrap my head around the mirage of Las Vegas appearing out of the desert after visiting Grand, Glen, Bryce and Zion Canyons and Monument Valley…..

In my absence, work continued on RELIANCE with multiple efforts underway.

We are starting to splice wire. In the first photo Herb and Bill are developing splicing jigs. In the second photo, hands of our new “expert” are worming, parceling and serving – complete with miniature serving mallet – (see 1938 instruction manual in background) 
Bill is also working on the spreaders (photo 3). 
Keith is placing miniature rivets in pad eyes (photo 4). (These latest fittings bring RELIANCE into conformity with our “Configuration Date” (First AC race). From pictures we can see that fittings and components were added, moved and changed during the racing campaign. 
Steve is working on the boom crotch (photo 5). Although our RELIANCE will ultimately be posed underway with sails, we anticipate that for a short interim period until the atrium is built, she’ll be displayed at a mooring with topmast housed, and gaff, boom and mainsail resting on the boom crotch.
Meanwhile Mike and Harrison Casting Co are making our gooseneck assembly, and Burr is completing the capstan assemblies.

1. Discussing splicing jigs 2. Hands of the splicing expert 3. Rosey the Riveter 4. Roughing out the Spreader 5. Working on the boom crotch

Thank you Hasbro!

Had a great session this week. Burr has been making four of the large capstans – three on deck and one for the boom. These are similar to the one on display in the museum store – which is of slightly later vintage, (photo 1).  The winch barrels are jewel-like (photo 2) and we can’t wait to see the completed winches.

Bill has been looking at the mast plans to see how the shroud eyes are kept in place. On wooden masts there would be cheeks – bulges in the mast on which the eye of the wire rope shroud (properly wormed, parceled and served) would rest. With a steel mast there’d be angle iron instead of cheeks. We’ve been wondering about the shape of these and along comes another RELIANCE serendipity moment as one of our guests, a retired Newport News employee, came to us wanting to understand how rivets in RAINBOW’S metal mast were bucked. We quickly showed him our RELIANCE mast construction and engaged him in a discussion of mast construction including our angle iron dilemma. He’s going to check RAINBOW drawings and Newport News archives… How cool is that!

Our 1903 pre-commissioning crew arrived today and were waiting on deck for their allotment of RELIANCE uniforms. The deck of RELIANCE will soon be a busy place! (Photo 3) 

I mentioned in an earlier blog that we’d received 35 G.I. Joes from Hasbro and I want to heartedly thank them for their donation. As you can see and imagine when they are in proper uniform that they’ll be an awesome addition to the display. THANK YOU!! (photo 4)

1. Display winch 2. 1.5 inch tall model winch barrels 3. 1903 crew 4. Thank you Hasbro

Post-Summer-Vacation Blog Post

Well, we’ve been on vacation and things slowed down — but interest remains high! The lads are charged up…

Just was given a new book “Legendary Locals of Bristol.” Lo and behold RELIANCE and RELIANCE DEDUX – our model are featured!! Holy Cow, can you believe it…

Our Muse Maggie returned for a brief visit (photo 1). Unfortunately she is having too much fun in Boston to stay longer. We also had a visit from Adam of Nat Wilson’s shop who showed us how to make miniature fids for wire splicing (photos 2 and 3) and as you can see the first shipment of scale wire arrived from R&W Rope, New Bedford(photo 4). We’ve installed the martingale (dolphin striker) (photo 5) and nine bollards and a lot of other bling. RELIANCE is looking well indeed.

Many other notables and very interesting people visited us this past week, and while I cannot comment on all their visits (except to say that Barbie Bristol is a big hit) I do want to say how much we’ve enjoyed each and everyone.

We also received a large shipment of GI Joes from HASBRO while I was on vacation, so we now have 60 crew members ready to sail (FYI 12 of the full crew would be below deck manning winches). Another visitor, a sculptor, said she’d help us recreate crew faces so we’re looking toward a full complement from Iselin to NGH to Barr and mates and crew. A few more sculptor volunteers and we can have a party… But the GI Joes and rigging shipments really deserve a blog to themselves, along with a huge THANK YOU! We’ll get to that shortly…

1. Muse Maggie 2. Adam makes a fid 3. And it works 4. First shipment of wire 5. Martingale-Dolphin striker

Just sent a picture from our “guy upstairs” of Joe Bartram’s nephews Ford and Gris helping us lay canvas. As you can see we are not bashful about asking for help!
On Tuesday we began putting eight toerails and two handrails in place. By close of session we laid the two outer toerails down. On wednesday the port handrail went down.

Worked on toe and handrails on Saturday. The portside has been laid down. Will need some cleanup but it looks great!
Joe also brought his large hatch to work on.

Last week, we worked late for a visit from the USS Constitution Model Shipwrights Guild. We “dressed ship”, as you can see. With all her bling (most of the deck fittings are now in place) RELIANCE really shines and we can really imagine her now with her rigging!
Next we’re onto completing the toe rails, hand rails and spare #2 topsail yard and club to be stowed on deck. Meanwhile Mike has been working on completing the mainsheet traveler, remaining eight bollards, and capstans.