After the side pull

It’s been pretty busy around here, and I apologize for the long gap between entries. In the next few days I’ll try to get caught up with a series of entries. Here we go.

Let’s start with moving the boat down to the lift dock. This was a big milestone, and we were busy up until the moment that Scott and Dean began pushing. Jon got the last of the depth numbers attached to the rudder


while Rob touched up the paint on the half-round bordering the name board.

The stair tower has been finished for a while, but we built additional scaffolding on the lift dock itself to allow access to the stair tower.


This will make sense soon.

While the side pull took much of the day, pushing the boat down to the dock took all of two minutes. Here’s a video:

The day after the push, we had a “getting wet” party with just staff. The museum’s administration cooked up burgers and dogs (very well too), we added snacks and desserts to make it a feast. It was a fine way to finish up the day. Around 5:30 we gathered at the boat,

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and Scott lowered her into about 6′ of water to start the swelling process.

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A big cheer went up when she touched, and someone shot off a signal cannon.


A number of us went out to see her from the stern. She looks so different now that she’s partially submerged.


By the way, remember the scaffolding on the left?


That scaffolding was set up on the lift dock, so it went down with the boat. The idea was that museum guests would need to walk over open water to get to the stair tower when the boat was in her swelling up period. The wasn’t enough space between the lift dock winches and the open water for people to safely walk around to get to the stair tower, so a platform was built on top of the scaffolding for people to walk on.

Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication about how deep the boat would be going, and the scaffolding ended up being too low.


Oops. Back to the drawing board. The next day we raised the boat back up, removed the scaffolding, and whipped up a very good alternate walkway system.

2013-IMG_7680We lowered her again, added some scaffolding at the bow to continue work on the gammon and bobstay chain plates, and all was well.


So, back to the jobs at hand. Matt’s been working on the gammon and all the associated parts that go with it. The gammon projects out from the stem and helps to support the bowsprit.


There are a number of parts to the gammon, and here’s how the whole assembly looked back in 2010.


This photo comes from an excellent blog by one of the museum’s long-time volunteers. You can find the rest of his blog here.

Matt has been using the older parts to guide the building of the new ones.


These are long supports that come up from the beaded strakes and connect to the sides of the gammon.

There are a number of other parts that tie into the gammon as well. You can see the lower curved parts laid out on the gammon here.


Matt is making these out of some of the old Charlestown wood. Here, he’s cut into the top of the rough stock to establish the thickness and twist.


The cuts guide him as he uses a broad axe to hog away the top of part. Here’s the old part that he’s duplicating.


Jon is next to him up on the scaffolding, working on a bolster (a big wooden pad) that goes between the anchor chain pipe and the hull. That’s why the pipe projects so far out from the boat.


More soon!