Planking on the Morgan continues

Planking on the Morgan continues in earnest. In a typical week three to four planks can be placed. The last of what the shipwrights call the “hockey stick” planks have been installed in the upper transom area. These planks not only have a curve and a twist but the aft most end has a dramatic jog thus the name “hockey stick.” The last of the knees will be placed after the new year with the installation of a new deck beam fashioned from yellow pine salvaged from a Connecticut mill. The other knees have been fully riveted. Once the last knee is in place, the scaffolding in the hold will be removed to permit installation of the various systems to be used on the 38th Voyage. Design for the systems is well underway and will consist of a generator, pumps, emergency and navigational lighting, heads and safety equipment necessary to conform to Coast Guard regulations. The storeroom in the hurricane house will be turned into a navigation station and utility room.

Two inner transom planks have been placed and in the bow fairing for planking continues. The forward inner bulwark planking is complete and is being caulked. The shipwrights will shortly start on the worm shoe. This is sacrificial material fastened to the bottom of the false keel. To accomplish this the hull will be suspended, while several pieces of white oak are placed along the length of the keel. Even in the Mystic River worm damage is an ongoing issue. Tests on the rudder’s gudgeons and pintails were successful. The rudder, which was fabricated in the 1970s using what is believed to be are original or nearly original hardware, is on the floor of the main shed covered in burlap to keep it wet.

The new spars are being delivered mid-January. At the end of November we received a load of longleaf pine from Georgia. Another arrived mid-December. Milling of materials for the Morgan‘s whaleboats has commenced. In all, nine whaleboats are being built (or are committed to be built) by third parties including the Lowell Boat Shop and the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum.