The Morgan Launch

Boaters filled the Mystic River to watch the launch of the Charles W. Morgan. July 21, 2013

The Morgan was launched successfully on Sunday, July 21. A crowd numbering in the thousands watched on land and water as she was lowered into the Mystic River. As expected, the Morgan initially took on some three to four inches of water daily, well within the range of tolerance. This rate will decrease as the hull swells up. The temporary crane stepped in the foremast’s location has been removed and the hull will be reballasted to compensate for the loss of weight. When viewed from the water, the observer will note that the painted waterline is not parallel to the water. This is because the Morgan was launched on an even keel. She normally rides deeper in the stern. Additional ballast is being added aft to bring the waterline into parallel.

This past week the shipwrights started checking off a laundry list of items to be finished on the hull. New canvas covering is being applied to the hurricane house aft and the skid house just aft of the mainmast location. New head rails are being fashioned for the forward bulwark and the final steps of the hawse pipe installation are being completed. The forward bulwark is being recaulked. The davits will be placed soon. Down in the hold bases for the 38th Voyage generator and emergency diesel pumps are being assembled. These will be located amidships on the starboard side.

Work on fashioning the bowsprit is well underway. This is a tricky piece to fabricate. Its shape varies, being square and round and slightly tapered. The round portion is more oval than a circle. A new cap piece to hold the bowsprit and jib boom together is taking shape. The “lowers,” or lower section of the three masts will be stepped in October with the two topmasts (middle section of three on the foremast and main) and mizzen topmast are due for installation in the January-February 2014 timeframe. Two topgallants (fore and main) will be stepped soon after. Twelve whaleboats have been or will be constructed by various groups around the country and contributed to┬áMystic Seaport. In September some of these boats will participate in a circumnavigation of the Manhattan race in New York. Later that month another group will be in a New Bedford, Massachusetts, race and regatta.