Installing the new apron
With the help of a large crane the new apron was slid into place on the bow of the Charles W. Morgan this morning. The apron is a key structural element in the bow to which much of the new planking needs to be fastened, and its successful installation is a major step in moving along the structural restoration in the bow.
The new apron is made of live oak and is approximately 18-feet long and weighs about 2,000 pounds. Shipwright Doug Park was tasked with the exacting job to shape the timber just right. Since much of the framing around the apron was in place, fitting it in place required sliding it in from above much like a key fits in a keyhole. No small feat – especially since the previous timber did not come out without a lot of force. “This one went in a lot more easily than the old one came out,” said senior shipwright Walter Ansel.
Once the apron was in, the crew then began installing a metal crane in the foremast step. The crane will allow the shipwrights to lift heavy loads such as knees and the cutwater up into place on the hull.
You can view a photo album of today’s work on our Facebook page.