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.
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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.
Thank You, Licy!
Licy DoCanto‘s time as a member and chairperson of the Schooner Ernestina Commission has been marked with immense positive changes for Ernestina-Morrissey. We are sorry to receive news that he is leaving the Commission. In a letter emailed to the Commission, announcing his stepping down as Commission chairperson and Commission member, Licy wrote: ”It has been an honor and privilege as well as an incredible experience both personally and professionally to serve these last five years on the Commission on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. I am very proud of the work of the Commission and the important partnership it enjoys today with the governor and the administration, the legislature, as well as with the private sector and community at large, in support of the Schooner. I am especially proud of the steps we have taken over the last year to strengthen awareness of and engagement with her at the highest levels of government in Massachusetts, in Boston and in Cabo Verde.
I am particularly proud also of the steps we have taken to help increase awareness of her in the media and press, and by default, within communities across the Commonwealth. In addition, I especially pleased by the creation of the Commission fellowship opportunity and the work of the Commission fellows, as well as with the important site visits to Mass Maritime Academy and Boothbay Harbor Maine, achieving full Commission membership for the first time in over ten years, and the important efforts to bring us closer to a draft MOU/MOA among DCR, SEC, and MMA.
This unique state asset and official state ship represents the very best of what Massachusetts stands for…diversity, inclusiveness and increased opportunity for all. And I wish you all well and Godspeed in your continued efforts in support of her successful future.
In 1894 Effie M. Morrissey was fastened with trunnels and iron. Iron and wood served again when Ernestina was prepared for her return to Massachusetts in 1982.
The current rehabilitation of Ernestina-Morrissey is using the traditional locust trunnels and corrosion resistant silicon-bronze fastenings. In previous posts we have described the use of trunnels as the frame came together.
Now that the sheer-strake and bullwarks are in place and the tops of the double-sawn frames have been cut to level, some cuts have exposed the trunnels used to fasten the futtocks together.
The hull frame is nearly done and drilling holes and bolting the sheer-shelf to the frame is one of the last steps.
It is important that the hole be straight to accept the silicon-bronze rod and to be centered to the end through the frame and sheer-strake so that the bolt holding the structure together will be secure. This short video shows how long the bit is and how the jig is adjusted.
As Julius said this summer, “We are getting a superior ship” thanks to the shipwrights at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.
Old Tech-New Tech
I was struck, on a recent trip to the shipyard, by the juxtaposition of “the old way” and the modern tools both in use by the shipwrights working on Ernestina-Morrissey. One example is the techniques used for holding the planks tight while they are fit and fastened to the frames. Although there are no news reels from 1894, The Shipbuilders of Essex, a film probably produced in the 1930′s, can give you a flavor of the “old way”
David Short shares his thoughts about the Ernestina-Morrissey project in this teaser from Rick Lopes’ Documentary Series: “Sails Over Ice and Seas – The Life and Times of the Ernestina-Morrissey”. Rick has amassed some amazing footage over the years. We are excited to see the final project!
Once this garboard strake was in the shear strake was next.
Bristol Marine posted videos of this process on their Facebook page.
Meanwhile in the workshop:
The Flags of Ernestina-Morrissey
We celebrated Ernestina-Morrissey‘s 124th birthday in February at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. “One Ship – Many Lives!”
Why so many flags? The United States has added six states since Ernestina-Morrissey was launched.
Launched in 1894, Effie M. Morrissey started her fishing career.
In 1914 The Morrissey was bought by Newfoundlander Harold Bartlett.
By 1926 Captain Bob Bartlett had bought the Morrissey from his cousin and was sailing her as an Arctic exploration vessel from New York. She carried the flags of many scientific institutions.
After Bartlett’s death she was bought by Captain Henrique Mendes and sailed as her as Cape Verde (then a Portuguese colony) packet, renamed Ernestina.
In 1982 the Ernestina was returned to Massachusetts as a gift to the people of the United States from the people of Cape Verde with a home port of New Bedford..
From 1982-2014 Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey served as an educator and ambassador. In 2014, renamed Ernestina-Morrissey, and supported by a public-private partnership, the vessel was delivered to Boothbay Harbor Shipyard to be rehabilitated to prepare her for her future service to the Commonwealth and the world.
First Plank Is In!
The first new plank is in place on Ernestina-Morrissey’s frame. The planks closest to the keel make up the garboard strake. When the the keel was put in place the top was beveled, as you can see below, to receive the garboard. The garboard strake will be 5 inches thick at the mid-ship frames and tapered to 3 inches thick toward the stern post. The first broad strake (the next planks above the garboard strake) will be tapered until the planks are all 3 inches thick and the rest of the planking will be 3 inches thick. The Danish oak. purchased in 2015 is being used for the planks.
New Year in the Shipyard
There is more than the work on Ernestina-Morrissey that is new in Boothbay Harbor as 2018 begins. Andy Tyska, president of Rhode Island-based Bristol Marine, has announced the acquisition of Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, now called “The Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor”. Tyska said “… I know that Eric (Graves, vice-president) together with the yard’s talented shipwrights and skilled workers, will build on … past success and effect improvements ….”
Bristol Marine has posted a great video on their Facebook Page taken about a month after the photos below. You can see many more stanchions are in.
SEMA director Captain Willi Bank visited the yard in early January and sent along these photos that show the sheer restored and other details and progress of the Phase 1 work.
You can see the condition of her stern when they started work in 2015 here.
On the far right of the first photo above you can see some of the transom framing. The next photo is from the starboard side of the transom looking forward.
The foredeck provides a different view of the sheer clamps looking aft.
A look from midships gives another perspective.
Tom is working on the starboard side forward.
Follow this link to This photo from 2016 showing the “hockey stick” ends of the two overlapping futtocks.
Forward, under the foredeck, these large timbers bolted on either side of the keelson are bolsters for the foremast step.
People ask “Is there any old wood left?” The photo below shows the African hardwood stem, installed in Cape Verde, expertly scarfed with new oak by BHS shipwrights. I think it’s beautiful and represents the ongoing evolution of Ernestina-Morrissey, “The Phoenix of the Seas”
And finally, here is her original registration number assigned in 1894 when Ernestina-Morrissey was launched from Essex, Massachusetts to fish for the J.F. Wonson and Co.
Although the vessel was under different registries during her many lives, Julius Britto worked with Representative Gerry Studds to authenticate her Essex Massachusetts heritage and with an Act of Congress the original registration number was restored to the then Ernestina in 1982.
You can review all the posts about the Rehabilitation Project HERE.
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