Shutter Plank Installed and Caulking Complete

Final Spike

Shipyard staff member Sean Patrick Kelly drives the final golden spike on the shutter plank.

The Morgan restoration achieved two major milestones in May. On Friday, May 10, the final or “shutter” plank was installed. Some 200 spectators, including visitors, Mystic Seaport staff, and the media, looked on as a team of junior shipwrights under the approving supervision of the senior shipwrights placed the plank in the port quarter near the waterline. The plank had been autographed by the shipyard staff as a time capsule to commemorate the event. This past week the last of the caulking was driven home. Painting and puttying the seams will continue, but the bulk of the work is done.

Lots of big and small projects are progressing. The roof of the shed has been removed, as has most of the shrink-wrap along the sides of the vessel. Once again the visitor can admire her lines. The Morgan‘s name boards for the bow have been repainted and will be installed next week. Work on the hawse pipes is wrapping up, while the gammon knee, which is under the bowsprit, is taking form. This knee, which is largely decorative, forms the fine shape of the upper bow. Similarly, in the transom, two so-called “fashion pieces” of black locust are being prepared. These vertical members serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose to frame the transom and to seal off the end grain of the side and transom planking.

The hold is being cleared of temporary scaffolding as are two of the four overhead rails placed there to facilitate the handling of new framing, knees, and ceiling. The two remaining rails will be utilized to place ballast which will consist of 40 pound concrete blocks and lead ingots and water bladders. Further progress has been made on her temporary systems design. One Cummins generator will be installed. It will charge batteries to provide power for general lighting, navigation aids and navigation equipment and the fire and bilge pumps. A diesel fire and bilge pump will be available in the event of the failure of the generator. Repairs to the rudder are nearly complete to eliminate gribble damage and checking at the top of the rudder. Metals bands will be fitted to reinforce both repairs. Holes are being drilled through the hull to provide for the placement of depth measurement transducers and piping for generator cooling water.