Progress updates on the restoration of the 1841 whaleship CHARLES W. MORGAN.
Captain Harry Jackson US Navy, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair at Electric Boat and a longtime volunteer in the Museum’s shipyard, once remarked: “All ships are built in the last month.” This comment would hold true for the Charles W. Morgan. For much of her restoration the shipwrights focused on one aspect such as planking. Today, eight or nine tasks are demanding equal attention.
Platforms for the machinery, including a generator and emergency diesel for pumps, are nearly finished. The machinery and fore-top will be placed using a crane in the next two weeks.
During this past week an all-hands crew of Mystic Seaport employees placed an additional 30 tons of ballast into the Morgan’s lower hold, bringing the total to 75 tons.
The restoration of the Morgan took two important steps this past week: on Wednesday the bowsprit was installed and on Thursday the lower foremast was stepped.
Over the next few weeks, the focus of the Morgan’s restoration will be rigging and ballasting. Weather permitting, the bowsprit and lower foremast will be stepped on October 17.
The next step before installing the lower masts in the third week of October is to get the ship to ride lower in the water and allow seams higher up in the hull to swell.
The Morgan was launched successfully on July 21. A crowd numbering in the thousands watched on land and water as she was lowered into the Mystic River.
With only a few days to go before launch the shipwrights and naval engineer have developed a ballasting plan which will ensure the safe launch of the vessel.
On Monday, June 24, the shipwrights will start the process of moving the Morgan sideways onto the main pad tracks leading to the shiplift.
The Morgan restoration achieved two major milestones in May.