A Busy April in the Shipyard
The previous posts have described the process of cutting the futtocks. Here you see the futtocks fastened together to form a frame. The curves in the frames cannot be cut from a single piece of lumber so futtocks are sawn and fastened in pairs to form the frames. For a ship like Ernestina-Morrissey with a beautifully curved hull the curves of the futtocks are very complex. Notice that for Ernestina-Morrissey the futtocks are being fastened together with trunnels and the butts of the futtocks are spaced well apart from each other.
The leftmost vertical structure in the photo below is the stern post that the cant frame will be attached to.
The stern post, rudder post and horn timber have been fastened to the keel. A recent post showed all these parts being dry fit in the workshop. Now they are part of the Ernestina-Morrissey.
Cutting Futtocks from Live Oak
Ross Branch, one of the shipwrights working on the Ernestina-Morrissey project at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard has developed an ingenious way (Patent Pending) to use a special chain saw to cut the live oak futtocks for the ship. Notice the guide attached to the chain saw blade.
A piece of live oak is chosen that can accommodate the curve of the futtock to be cut. The wood is lifted onto saw horses and the pattern is traced onto the wood with the notes for the angle of the cut. Wedges with the correct angle hold the track in place. It is worth noting that live oak has a density of 90 pounds/cubic foot when it is green (63 pounds/cubic foot dry). Fork lifts are used to move the timbers.
Futtocks and Frames Beginning to Take Shape
The framing of a ship the size of Ernestina-Morrissey cannot be cut from a single piece of wood so futtocks are cut and paired to form the frames as shown in this schematic. Care is taken to make sure that where the butts of the individual futtocks meet there is a sufficient separation from the joint in the sister futtock in the same frame.
The process starts at the lofting table and patterns are made for each futtock.
Some of the pieces have very complex shapes especially in the bow and stern where the curve of the hull changes quickly over a short distance.
Live oak has been purchased from Georgia. This wood makes good curved structures because of branching growth pattern and complex grain. It is very hard and heavy and difficult to work with.
Lining Up the Keel
The pieces of keel have been rolled into place and the top is being fit into place. The four 15,000 pound lead pieces will be jacked up to be joined with the wood along with the scarfed wood keel end timbers. Finally a worm shoe will be added along the length of the new keel.
Here’s another look at the plans.
Stern Structure Taking Shape
Ernestina-Morrissey‘s stern needed to be entirely rebuilt, as you could tell from the photos posted previously. While the new keel is being moved into place the shipwrights are working on the timbers that will provide the frame for the stern. Here is a photo to use as a frame of reference for the new structures that are being shaped.
Here are the new timbers of Danish oak to compare.
You can see how massive the timbers are.
All the pieces were dry fit in the workshop. Below is the transom structure. The “outboard” side of the transom is up in this photo, the curved pieces frame the bottom of the transom. The aft horn timber extends from the bottom of the transom toward the doorway. The cheeks make it look like a clothespin. The open part will be fit to the rudder and stern posts.
The stern structure will be erected as soon as the keel is ready.
Getting the New Keel Ready
In the latest set of photos from the shipyard you can see how the lead ballast will fit into the new keel.
The Rebirth of the Ernestina-Morrissey
Ernestina-Morrissey will be featured in the April 7 lecture of the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s 2016 Sailors’ Series “A Century of Design & Invention”.
Chester Brigham, author of ”Phoenix of the Seas” will recount the journeys and travails of the Ernestina-Morrissey, State Ship of Massachusetts. The schooner, repeatedly written off as doomed, is now undergoing a hull rehabilitation at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine, phase 1 of a complete restoration.
Master Shipwright David Short, Project Manager for Boothbay Harbor Shipyard and Captain Harold Burnham, DCR’s Owner’s Representative, will provide insights into the restoration project ongoing in Maine.
Copies of “Phoenix of the Seas” will be available for purchase.
This is a ticketed event.
Lecture Registration: Single Lecture: Whaling Museum Members $15 / Non-Members $20
For tickets: Order Online or call 508-997-0046 ext. 100.
Each lecture starts at 7:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater with a pre-lecture reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery.
If you cannot attend you can order your copy of “Phoenix of the Seas” online.
What’s Old is New Again
The lead ballast removed from Ernestina-Morrissey last summer has returned to Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.
As the lead was removed from the bilges it was stacked on pallets.
The plans for the present rehabilitation include a keel with external ballast.
The wood keel on the ship is being removed. Judging from the type of wood, identified as pine from Portugal, the keel was replaced during the reconstruction in Cape Verde. The wooden parts of the new keel will be made of the Danish oak now curing in the sheds of the shipyard.
The pallets of lead were delivered to the foundry where the lead was recast. The external ballast sections were delivered to the shipyard recently.
It is exciting to know that the dismantling of the ship is well underway and the restoration is beginning! Check back often for the latest news!
New Year in Boothbay Harbor
As the New Year begins, the dismantling of Ernestina-Morrissey continues but in the sheds the new construction begins!
Here is a photo from November to compare. The “ceiling” is the planking that covers the frames on the inside of the ship. The ceiling is still in place in the photo below. You can see the exhaust pipe overhead and the bulkhead that is nearly gone in the more recent photo. You can also see the hull aft to the transom encompassing the stern post, aft cabin and lazerette, also gone in the photo above.
As 2016 begins it is exciting to see work on the new structures for a SAILING Ernestina-Morrissey. Many thanks to the Schooner Ernestina Commission, Massachusetts’ Department of Conservation and Recreation, DCR representative Capt. Harold Burnham and Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.
DOCK-U-MENTARIES presents Captains Courageous
Join us Friday, January 15 for the screening of this award winning movie!
Jan 15 2016 | 07:00 pm
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitors’ Center
Corson Maritime Learning Center 33 William St.
New Bedford, MA
Don’t miss this opportunity to see fishing schooners like Ernestina-Morrissey, then Effie M. Morrrissey, in sailing footage filmed of the Gloucester fleet in 1937. You will see some of her Essex sisters but not Ernestina-Morrissey. (In 1937 the Morrissey was in the Arctic on the “Bartlett Northwest Greenland Expedition” under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Zoological Society.) The deck scenes and those below in the aft cabin and fo’c’s’le will look very familiar if you have sailed aboard the Ernestina-Morrissey. The hard life of the dorymen of Gloucester is portrayed as you would expect in this 1937 Hollywood movie. Join us Friday, January 15 for the screening of this award winning movie!
Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling, this classic film from 1937 chronicles the friendship that develops between a rich and spoiled young boy and the hardworking Portuguese fisherman who saves him from a watery grave when he falls off an ocean liner and is picked up by a Gloucester fishing vessel off the Grand Banks. Directed by Victor Fleming, the film was nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Film Editing – Elmo Veron, and Best Screenplay – Marc Connolly, John Lee Mahin, Dale Van Every) with Spencer Tracy taking home his very first Best Actor Oscar. This screening is co-sponsored by: New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, and the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.
DOCK-U-MENTARIES is a co-production of New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, Inc. and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park