On Friday December 9, 2011 Ernestina’s masts were removed from the ship and secured on State Pier for inspection, maintenance and repairs. Shipwright Leon Poindexter is supervising the work and estimation process. Tom Lopes produced a video of the process available on YouTube. and here is a video of Adventure of Gloucester, one of Ernestina’s Essex sisters, having her masts removed on Leap Day, 2012.
Marty Casey releases the back stay.
while Steve Kirk prepares the rig and attaches the strap to the main mast.
and secures the crane's cable to the straps
Once Steve is on the deck, he and Fred Sterner loosen the starboard shroud lanyards while Leon Poindexter works on the port.
Below deck, Willi Bank sledge hammers the mast wedges up so Steve can remove them.
While the mast wedges are being removed, Marty and Leon lash the shrouds and back stay to the main mast.
Dennis Hudon from N.C. Hudon makes a last check.
N.C. Hudon, Inc. Crane company has raised Ernestina’s masts in the past too.
When all is set, the mast is lifted from the ship.
and swung over the floating dock to State Pier.
Until it is suspended near the blocking it will rest on.
Straps on the bottom of the mast are used by the forklift to maneuver the butt of the mast into position
and the mast is lowered onto the blocks.
The crew made sure the rigging was clear of the mast as it was lowered.
and the cross trees and trestle trees were lined up to clear the supports.
the coins or impressions are visible on the heel of the mast.
These coins were placed under the masts when they were stepped April 29, 2003 Follow the link and scroll down for photos of the coins.
The coins were placed there on April 29, 2003 when the masts were last stepped.
The main mast cross trees and trestle trees will need replacing.
Once the main mast was set the crew started on the foremast. Here Willi loosens the jib stay shackle pin.
While Steve secured the strap and cable.
Steve and Willi managed to free the jib stay
Leon, Fred and Marty began to loosen the shroud lanyards.
A reminder to always secure your tools.
But the fore stay was even more stubborn than the jib stay.
but with Willi on the 24" wrench and Steve on the sledge hammer ...
the shackle pin finally released and Steve could release the come along.
Once the fore stay was free ...
the fore shrouds and stays were lashed to the mast.
The mast started up, but there was a problem ...
The bands on the foremast
were too big for opening in the mast partners left in the new deck
and the bands had to be removed
before the mast could be lifted free.
and the mast was swung to the pier.
Once again straps were secured to the mast so the forklift could maneuver
and the foremast was brought to the blocks
Videographer Tom Lopes documented the process
It was a tight fit but soon the mast was set in place.
and the crane was on it's way before lunch.
As suspected the foremast is seriously rotted.
This white pine mast was shaped and raised in 1994.
As is the forward cross tree of the main mast
Some of the coins did not stick to the masts and were found in the base of the mast step.
The foremast had coins too.
Now that the masts are out work has begun on raising the winter cover. As you can see from this photo from December 20 DCR Carpenter Manny Silva has the rails ready.