100 Days until Launch

Planking is moving along nicely, having reached above the waterline. As the planking rises above the waterline, the thickness changes from 3 1/2 inches to 4 inches. These are the so-called wale strakes. Above the main deck level in the bulwark the planking changes yet again to 1 1/2 inches. Aft the transom planking both on the inside and the outside above the main deck is finished and caulked. Forward the shipwrights are working on the cap rail, which sits on top of the bulwark. The wormshoe is complete. The wormshoe is affixed to the false keel, which, in turn, is affixed to the keel. When she was at Chubb’s Wharf, the Morgan sported a six-foot band of copper around her waterline. While in commercial service, her hull was fully sheathed with copper. The sheathing protects against gribble and shipworm damage, but it also hides whatever damage has occurred particularly to the caulking. As a preservation practice, therefore, the sheathing other than a band around the waterline was not installed. However, because the keel is original to the vessel and it is not caulked (thus less need for inspection), the copper sheathing will be affixed to the keel this time around.

The spars with the exception of the bowsprit and lower forward have been delivered. Sanding and painting of them will start soon and the ironwork installed. With the advent of some warmer weather, caulking continues on the hull and the spray system to swell up the hull has been turned back on. Visitors often ask what is done with the material removed from the vessel. Most of it is catalogued and stored away. However, one of the replaced live oak knees is going to the New Bedford Whaling Museum to be on permanent display in the Morgan exhibit. As the planking moves up the hull, the scaffolding has been reconfigured and the scaffolding in the hold is being removed. The design of the mechanicals for the 38th Voyage is proceeding. Placement of the butt rivets on the planking below the waterline is over 50% completed and caulked. As originally built, the butt ends of the planking each had two metal fasteners. When the Morgan moved to San Francisco the insurance companies required a third rivet be placed one frame away from the butt ends.

Friday, March 1 marks 100 working days until launch. All is on track to meet our schedule for launch this July and sailing the 38th Voyage in 2014.