Main and Mizzen Masts
On November 14 Shipyard staff moved the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan back into the shiplift in preparation for the stepping of the vessel’s lower main and mizzen masts. The ship had to be moved to give the crane access to the middle and stern portions of the deck.
Staff members were able to get a head start on the stepping process late that afternoon and had installed the main mast by day’s end. The next morning, on November 15, Shipyard staff continued the stepping process and had the Morgan‘s mizzen mast in by 9:30 a.m.
The stepping process, which began October 17 with the installation of the Morgan‘s foremast, is a significant occasion during a ship’s construction. Tradition holds that a coin is set under the base of a mast to provide good luck. An 1841 silver dollar representing the original launch of the Morgan and a 2013 silver dollar symbolizing her current restoration were placed under the main and mizzen masts, respectively.
As the stepping of the lowers went fairly quickly, Shipyard staff had time to also set the main topmast on November 15. By the end of the day the Morgan, with all of her lowers and one of her upper masts in, was back to her current spot alongside the shiplift, bow in and facing land. The fore topmast is scheduled to be stepped in a few weeks and the other topmast and topgallants will go in next spring.