“All Ships are Built in the Last Month”

Captain Harry Jackson US Navy, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair at Electric Boat and a longtime volunteer in the Museum’s shipyard, once remarked: “All ships are built in the last month.” This comment would hold true for the Charles W. Morgan. For much of her restoration the shipwrights focused on one aspect such as planking. Today, eight or nine tasks are demanding equal attention.

Preparation of the spars continues apace. The lowers are in place, as are the fore and main mid-sections and the bowsprit. The jibboom is ready for painting and most of the yards are ready for placement, although some still require ironwork. In the hold the generator and diesel motor are installed. Tanks for the storage of fresh water, fuel and waste are being fabricated off-site. The electrical system for the voyage has been designed and portions of it are aboard. The switchboards will arrive in about three weeks.

The Morgan‘s incline experiment to determine the vessel’s stability has been completed and the results are expected shortly. In anticipation of the outcome 22 tons of new ballast have been ordered for delivery to New London where it will be placed in the ship. A search is on for fire retardant mattresses; and new gangways, one on and one off, are being designed. Caulking continues on the ‘tween decks. Some details are aesthetic. Modern mooring lines are often white or another color. A search is underway to find new lines which would have a vintage appearance.

Just this past week the interior of the Morgan was measured to determine her “measurement tonnage” for vessel certification purposes. The shipyard is hoping for a displacement of under 300 tons which will reduce manning requirements. Previously she had “displaced” 313 tons. Efforts are underway to have the Morgan‘s 38th Voyage designated as a “Maritime Event of National Significance.”