Shutter Plank to be Installed in Early May

Planking of the hull is nearly finished. Seven planks plus the shutter plank remain to be placed. The shutter plank should be installed during the first week of May. The plastic shelter covering the hull will be removed in late May and the Morgan moved onto to the lift dock in early June. All is on track for launching July 21. Meanwhile a check list of tasks is being undertaken in preparation for launch. The keel blocks, which were shifted to permit installation of copper sheathing, are being renewed. New oak blocks are being positioned under the keel at proper spacing. Each oak block assembly is capped with a soft wood crush pad to allow the keel to settle appropriately. As the caulking is being finished, the first coats of bottom paint will be applied. Work on caulking and paint requires constant reshuffling of the stanchions which support the hull. Work on assembling the gammon knee has commenced. The gammon knee, unlike the other knees which are one piece, is made up of several pieces and forms the foremost part of the bow above the stem and below the bowsprit.

System design on the generators, pumps, heads, and navigation equipments continues. These systems will be placed in the Morgan while in the water tied up alongside the lift dock. The rig will be installed over the winter of 2014. When built, this was a relatively short and straightforward process. But because the Morgan now has a mix of old and new materials and has been out of the water drying out for four and a half years, the installation of the spars will be quite methodical. The lower masts will be placed and this will settle the vessel deeper into the water. Shipwrights will check for leaks and additional ballast will be placed in the hold to compensate for the weight of the spars. This process will be repeated as new parts of the masts and yards are added. As the individual spars are installed, the shape of Morgan‘s hull will shift necessitating a constant retuning of her rigging. In the spring of 2014 an incline experiment will be conducted on the Morgan to determine her center of gravity and righting arm. She is due to depart for New London’s City Pier on Saturday, May 17, 2014.