Memphis Zoo’s tiger cages contribute iron

Installation of futtocks to correct the so-called “zipper” line has been completed and the new pieces faired in preparation for planking. Before the planking can continue the shipwrights will relocate the construction scaffolding higher up alongside the hull. Six of the ten replacement knees have been positioned, but they are not yet completely riveted. Using iron bar fasteners salvaged from the Memphis Zoo’s tiger cages, the shipwrights will attach the knees by driving the fastener through the knee and then through the adjoining frames. A ring will be placed at each end of the fastener and the ends pounded home to form the rivet. On the exterior side of the frame planking will cover the outer end of the rivet.

Covering boards are being installed in the transom in preparation for planking that part of the vessel. The starboard side interior bulwark planking is complete. The port side is about 60% finished. Caulking of the main deck is nearly done. To undertake this we have hired an independent contractor who specializes in caulking. His routine of two weeks at Mystic and then one week elsewhere is not unlike that of the caulking gangs who would rotate from job to job among the many shipyards on the Mystic River. The rudder’s hinge-like gudgeons, pintails and bronze castings, which attach the rudder to the ship, are being readied for testing.

We had hoped to have the order of spars delivered by now. Unfortunately it has been delayed and will arrive in late December. When the Morgan sails on her 38th Voyage, it is planned for her to carry a full complement of seven whaleboats. These are being assembled by boat building teams in a widely dispersed geographic area from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to the Great Lakes, to Alexandria, Virginia. Whaling either directly or indirectly touched these locales. For instance, the vast network of lighthouses on the Great Lakes was lit with whale oil at one time.