Progress updates on the restoration of the 1841 whaleship CHARLES W. MORGAN.
Planning for the 38th Voyage is well underway. Watercraft area personnel are focused on sailing the Morgan. This activity ranges from selection of safety equipment to meet Coast Guard requirements, to determining the stability of the ship and designing an appropriate ballasting scheme. The itinerary of the voyage is taking form.
A second plank of white oak was installed in the stern last week. White oak bends easily after being steamed and for that reason it will be used in areas of the bottom which have a more curved and twisting shape.
The restoration of the Morgan reached another significant milestone February 21 as Museum shipwrights installed the first of the new exterior planking on the whaleship. The longleaf pine plank weighed more than 500 pounds, measured 34 feet long, 8 inches wide and 4 inches thick.
Due to a change of plans, the shipwrights have postponed the installation of the first new plank until the week of February 13, 2012. This has permitted us to undertake a new round of laser scanning, particularly where the old framing material abuts the new futtocks, and of the transom.
The shipwrights have completed the enclosure for the Morgan which will permit winter work. The focus now is on the planking. As previously reported much of the planking from the broad strake up to the seventh strake has been removed especially at the ends of the vessel. However, we have been able to save a substantial portion of the original planking amidships.
Work on the scaffolding and cover is progressing well. Because of unexpected restoration work in the stern, we are erecting more scaffolding for that area.
Enough ceiling has been removed to permit the replacement of futtocks running from the between decks down to the turn of the bilge.
With much of the ceiling removed, the shipwrights are pausing to assess and document progress made so far. Work has moved from carpentry to archeology, as we go through the debris which has accumulated in the bilge.
With the announcement of the Museum’s intention to sail the Morgan after her restoration, the scope and timeline of the project has changed.
Fabrication of the overhead crane in the lower hold should be completed next week. This assembly is highly engineered. It consists of four tracks on the underside of the lower deck, two on either side of the amidships stanchions, which support the deck beams