Ballasting Nearly Complete

During this past week an all-hands crew of Mystic Seaport employees placed an additional 30 tons of ballast into the Morgan‘s lower hold, bringing the total to 75 tons. During her final fitting out in New London next May, she will receive some final ballast to adjust her trim. Later this week the lower mainmast and mizzen mast will be placed in the ship. The mainmast lower dates from 1997. Her mizzen lower is of the same vintage but was not stepped previously.

With the ballasting nearly complete and the lowers in place, the shipwrights will position large pieces of equipment for the voyage including the generator and an emergency diesel pump in the lower hold. These will be removed after the 38th Voyage. An initial incline experiment to determine the stability of the Morgan will then be undertaken in early December. The riggers are still on target to place the uppers in late January or early February.

There is a remarkable amount of ironwork involved with the spars and rigging. The Museum’s shipsmith is fabricating a series of deadeyes, “chains,” bands and other fittings, utilizing wrought iron from the Memphis Zoo’s tiger cages and other salvaged material. The “chains” are extended round bar links which encircle the lower deadeyes and are attached to the hull. The upper deadeyes link up with the wire shrouds which support the masts. The upper and lower deadeyes are joined together with hemp lanyards. Bands are placed on the spars to provide both strength and a means to attach rigging lines.