Fairing and Caulking
These photos were taken in July, 2018. Thank you, Bristol Marine!
Thank You, New Bedford
The City of New Bedford showed it’s commitment to Ernestina-Morrissey by authorizing $100,000 in Community Preservation funds recently.
Soon the Ernestina will no longer be just a “dockside attraction” but a SAILING ambassador for the Commonwealth and for her home port New Bedford!
H.F. Gerry Lenfest; philanthropist and longtime supporter of Ernestina-Morrissey dies at 88
We are very sad to pass along the news that H.F.”Gerry” Lenfest, a great benefactor of the Ernestina-Morrissey, passed away on August 5th. A naval officer, lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Gerry at age 12 in 1942 was supposed to sail on the Effie M. Morrissey as a “Bartlett Boy”, but the war intervened and the vessel was transferred to government service.
Gerry never forgot his dream of sailing on the Morrissey and followed the schooner’s story through the years. In 2014 he donated $1.8 million dollars to the current $6.3 million-dollar rehabilitation underway in Maine, a significant catalyst to securing the additional private and state funds the project requires. He actively followed the project’s progress and he and his wife Marguerite visited the shipyard in 2016 and saw first-hand what their support was helping to accomplish.
We regret he will not be able to see and enjoy the beautiful strong renewed vessel be launched, but are pleased he was able to see how far Ernestina-Morrissey has come and know what a difference his support and leadership had made.
This short video by talented film maker Richardo Lopes chronicles his remarkable life and philanthropy.
Thank you, Gerry, and fair winds from SEMA and the schooner you loved.
Preparing Planks for the Transom
Ernestina-Morrisssey’s new transom is being fitted to the frames.
The transom has an extreme curve and some of the planks must be steamed and bent to a form to set the needed curve of the planks. Some members of the crew are in the workshed working on the plank for the next day.
Fair Winds and Congratulations, Melissa DeValles
Melissa DeValles has resigned from the Board Of Directors of SEMA and has been sworn in as a member of the Schooner Ernestina Commission.
Melissa brings great experience to the Commission. In addition to her time on the SEMA board, she has served as deckhand and engineer on Ernestina and is a Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) grad. She is well prepared to help as Ernestina-Morrissey transitions to her exciting future.
Join the Ernestina-Morrissey Whiskey Plank Club!!!
The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association cordially invites one and all to become a part of the schooner’s history when your name is added to the whiskey plank, which will be laid in late July! A whiskey plank is the last plank to be put in place to finish construction of a vessel’s framing and planking. For us, this is a significant milestone in Ernestina-Morrissey’s hull restoration. For a minimum donation of $100, a Whiskey Plank Club Member will have their name (or a name of their choice) inscribed on the Ernestina-Morrissey’s whiskey plank and will also receive a commemorative photo! Make your donation of $100 (or more!) online through the SEMA PayPal account* or you can mail us a check to SEMA, P.O. Box 2995, New Bedford, MA, 02741. Let us know what name you want inscribed. Funds must be received by July 25.
SORRY! Some people are having trouble with the PayPal account. If you are having trouble, let us know if you are using a PayPal account or if you are trying to pay with a credit card. We are working with PayPal to resolve the problem. You can send a message with your name for the Whiskey Plank Club and let us know you are sending a check.
Traditionally the laying of the whiskey plank is marked by a celebration at the shipyard. To highlight the vessel’s unique history; Cape Ann rum, Canadian whiskey, Cape Verdean grogue and Buzzards Bay beer will all be used to celebrate her whiskey plank! SEMA will publish photos of the ceremony, as well as a complete thank you list of all Ernestina-Morrissey Whiskey Plank Club Members! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to have a lasting impact on the completion of schooner’s hull, and literally be inscribed in her history! Please make your contribution today and join the Ernestina-Morrissey Whiskey Plank Club! *Be sure to let us know, in the “Add special instructions to the seller” box, what name you want inscribed!
Thank You to our Sponsors!
Celebrating all the stories of Ernestina-Morrissey‘s Amazing History!
The Bisca Tournament Club in New Bedford
Sails Over Ice and Seas
Rick Lopes has been collecting images and interviews of Ernestina-Morrissey‘s history for over thirty years. His plan to produce a documentary called “Sails Over Ice and Seas: The Life and Times of Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey” is falling into place with “the generous support from several institutions and individuals, particularly Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest” is described in the latest issue of Sea History magazine. (page 14). A teaser can be viewed HERE.
Rick has been joined by his sons, Alessandro and Christian, as the recording is completed and editing begins.
“The documentary is still a work in progress and Rick encourages anyone who has photographs, archival film, or a personal connection to the schooner to contact either NMHS or Voyage Digital Media. ” (Voyage Digital Media , National Maritime History Society)
Deck Beams Going In!
The crew at the Bristol Marine Shipyard in Boothby Harbor has made great progress since our last post in April! The planking continues, up from the keel and down from the sheer. The last plank of the (shutter) strake, called the whiskey plank, will finish the planking and be cause for celebration!
The cap on the transom is coming together well.
The deck beams run athwartships, from port side to starboard.
The beams and framing must allow for the hatches, deck “furniture” and cabin trunks.
The crew is not ready to start laying the deck, but in the work shop the crew continue to prepare the covering boards, the outermost deck plank on each side, which fit over the stanchions and assure, when well caulked, that water washing off the deck cannot leak into the hull.
By late June some of the covering boards are in place,
You can easily access all our posts about this project HERE.
If you would like to help just click the yellow DONATE button at the right.
Planking Has Started
The hull of a ship like Ernestina-Morrissey is curved from stem to stern and from keel to bulwarks. As a result every plank has to be shaped to fit with its mates to form those curves. The process starts with 3 inch oak timbers.
These photos were taken on March 26, 2018.
The planks are then brought to the railway and readied to be steamed.
40 foot sheer plank going in (to railway)
The thickness of planks next to the keel is 5 inches midships and is tapered to the stem and stern as you can see in the next sequence of photos. Also notice the fastenings and check our post on fastenings.
Preparations for Aft Deck
Ernestina-Morrissey’s fore deck was renewed in 2008-’09. The aft deck is a step up from the fore deck as the curve of the schooner’s sheer continues to the transom. A beam forms the step at the break in the deck.