October, 2007

The season winds down

October 31st, 2007 by Plimoth Plantation

The excitement of launching the new workboat has worn down. The hustle and bustle of preparing for and sailing Mayflower II has past. After the celebratory and congratulatory parties are over there remains clutter of a very busy year. It is not he only thing we are doing now but some of our time is spent in sifting through the debris of several years of continual work. When we tire of wading through the cast off bits of many projects what could be better than spending a little time on the water.

Jack took this picture with his phone. He and I were guests aboard the Herreshoff designed, and Booth Bay Harbor shipyard restored, New York Thirty, hull number one.

The day, late in October, was quintessential fall in New England. There was a slight chill to the air, the sun beat down warm on the sparkling clear water, and the trees, just past prime foliage colors, provide depth and beauty to the landscape. A rare treat indeed, but the New Englander in me can’t help but think of the cold winter to come and the work that will only add to our growing scrap pile back at the shop.

Launch Day, Plus six

October 23rd, 2007 by Plimoth Plantation

I know the launch of our new boat happened nearly a week ago a lot has happened in between that has prevented me from posting something about it. It is hard to stay up late watching the Red Sox clinch the American League Pennant and care about other stuff going on in the world. How about those guys…Go Sox….

Anyway, Last Thursday we launched our new workboat. We started the day fussing over the boat, taking pictures of everyone next to the boat in the field near the shop then transporting the boat to the waterfront for launching. As I have mentioned, we have a brand new trailer, courtesy of Northeast Marine Industries, of Oxford, MA, so the boat couldn’t have a nicer ride but the trip to the waterfront reminded me of the day we brought our newborn baby home from the hospital. She was strapped into the hospital loaned infant car seat and I drove about 10 miles an hour all the way, nearly coming to a complete stop as I oh-so-slowly rolled over some train tracks. Who knew what kind of damage I would cause our new child by willy- nilly driving along at the speed limit. And didn’t those people behind us honking their horn realize My New Child was in the car?

Anyway, again, we made it to the boat ramp. The boat seemed unfazed. Many lovely things were said by many people at the launching. One of our volunteers, Lenny Cook, brought the champagne. He did his best to spray the boat, while not smashing the bottle on the hull.

When it was time to start the motor, there were a few quick glances over to Andy Bancroft, the “boat Guy” from Cataumet, who installed the motor to assure me the motor would start. Of course it started first time, and purred so quietly, many people were unsure the motor was running. The boat rolled off the trailer sweet as you please and all of a sudden all our hard work was afloat, right on her waterline and pretty as a picture, if I do say so my self.

two representatives from Honda Motor corp. came up for the launching. I am happy to report they liked our boat and we love the new motor. I don’t know how we got along with our old skiff and outboard for as long as we did.

We had a pot luck party in our shop after the launching. One side benefit of the building and launching was the need to clean house in the shop for the party. I workspace has never looked so clean. We spent four full days, cleaning and vacuuming everything from the florescent light fixtures to the walls and every nook and cranny of the building. It is so nice now we are afraid to run the power equipment for fear of making dust. Now would be the perfect time for a dust collection and ventilation system in our old shop.

Details

October 8th, 2007 by Plimoth Plantation

The devil is in the details, they always say. Here is a nice little detail and Jack is looking kind of devilish. Jack turned the little knobs for the console on our lathe. He used ash and wanna. Wanna, as you may know is a south American hard wood, ideal for boat work. We have used it replanking parts of Mayflower II. The ash knob has a flat spot on one side of the shoulder. The knob must be turned to the flat spot for the door to open. Otherwise the round shoulder fits into a slot in the small piece of wanna and keeps the locker door shut. Clever? You bet.

Now we come to some mighty nice pictures to see. First the brand new trailer that was so very generously sold to us at cost by Northeast Marine Industries, inc. of Oxford. Mass. The trailer is sized to fit our boat, has multiple, self adjusting rollers and a functioning wheel on the tongue which will help hold the weight of the boat when we hook the trailer up to the truck. Great for our backs, great for the boat and a lot less hassle launching and hauling the boat.

The boat is on the trailer ready to go to Bourne, Ma where, “the boat guy” Andy Bancroft will rig our new Honda fifty horse outboard, complete with center console steering, power tilt and just enough gauges for us to keep an eye on how well the motor is running. We can’t wait for launch day.

By the way this is the color scheme after much debate, imput from others and a lot of scrutinizing small color samples. the thing about painting a boat is you can always change your mind next year. I kind of like the colors. We all think they are soothing some how.

Here is a picture of our old boat. It is sad to see. It has provided us with able service for many years, has suffered some abuse and misuse and still hung in there as a general utility boat for a very long time. We are trying to decide what should become of this tired old boat. Tired old boat, this old boat ah-ha I think I need to call pbs about a new series.

Nuts & Bolts

October 4th, 2007 by Plimoth Plantation

We are getting right down to the finish line now. Most of all the bits and pieces have been made and we are attaching things were they belong on the hull and prepping all the parts for painting. Tomorrow will probably be the last day for our Friday volunteeer work. Sad to think so but we are just about done. We have made many new friends among the volunteer group and have renewed old friendships as well. I hope all the volunteers understand the tremendous achievement of which they are a part. Thans to their efforts we have a wonderful new boat to help us take care of Mayflower II and our other boats. this new workboat will be around for many years to come as a testiment to what can be accomplished with a dedicated group of people committed to seeing a project through. I am profoundly greatful to you all for your help. Lets enjoy reaching the finsih line together and look forward to celebrating our efforts soon.

A bit of info: Over 600 hours of volunteer time have been recorded in the course of this project. At any hourly rate that’s a lot of freely given time.

This picture shows some bronze bolts that Jack made to fasten the cleats that don Severy made. 5/16′ Bronze rod, threaded on each end withe nuts and washers. The picture also reminds me of the strength of the conections in the boat and made by the boat project.

I got a new camera recently and went into the shop to take a picture of the boat. I was quite suprised to see the vacuum cleaning standing in the boat pretending to steer. Who knows what goes on in the shop when we’re not around.

Painting Begins

October 2nd, 2007 by Plimoth Plantation

You know you are getting close to finishing when the bottom is going on. John put on the first coat of bottom paint on Friday. The painting itself was not as difficult as choosing the colors for the boat. (I guess I shouldn’t say it wasn’t so hard to paint since I wasn’t under the boat all covered up with a respirator on… but anyway).

When Ronnie Rooney painted the original concept drawing for the Garvey about a year a go I had her use some basic colors that are traditionally seen on wooden boats. As time went on and countless people asked what color the boat was going to be we decided to refine those original colors somewhat.

The criteria for choosing colors and painting the boat are as follows:

1) The boat must be easy to maintain. Ultimately maintaining the workboat is a small part of the work that we do year to year so we can’t afford to spend a lot of time fussing over a yacht like finish.

2) The boat must look good. This is more than a conceit on our part. Yes, we want to be proud of the way the boat looks but more importantly we want it to remain looking that way. If the boat looks good we will be more inclined to take care of it and keep it in shape.

3) We must use readily available paints and colors.

We have chosen Kirby’s paint because it is very durable, readily available and we already use it on Mayflower II. We know the guys at the store in New Bedford and can call them up to get paint on very short notice.

The color choices themselves are a result of input from many people. Ultimately the colors all look good together and will, I think, make the Garvey a fine addition to the watercraft on the waterfront.

Paula is prepping the topsides prior to the first coat of paint. The white on the hull in this picture is a primer.

Here the interior work continues with theconsole being fit and readied for fastening.

In reading over the blog I noticed I did not identify Ronnie Rooney. She is a children’s book illustrator who does a lot of work for the Plantation as well as having done the illustrations for my book Felix and His Mayflower II Adventures (Still available and for sale through our website, by the way)

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