Dull or glossy?

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Wet surface on the left. You can see the dry surface on the right has very distinct horizontal abrasion marks.

Today I’m sporting four stitches in my right index finger and a very sore left arm thanks to a Tetanus shot, all courtesy of the bowsprit hanging project. We still hope to hang the bowsprit on Friday, but I am obviously working at a disadvantage.   Speaking of working at a disadvantage (at least with regard to knowing and understanding all of the technological aspects of Oracle’s boatbuilding program) I think its conspiracy theory time!

I’ve already discussed that OTUSA 17 was really dirty when it arrived and cleaning the platform was the first thing I tackled.  As I cleaned I was repeatedly asked whether we were going to leave the hulls with their current dull-looking surface or whether we were going to try and bring back the glossy finish.  At first there was a distinct difference in opinions; visitors viewing the boat wanted to see it nice and glossy while Lyles, and I think the Oracle people we were working with, felt that the boat should reflect its history of use—bumps and bruises included.   Read more

Donation to Roanoke Island Maritime Museum

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Today, Mariners’ formally transferred the ownership of the Albemarle Sound shad boat Ella View to Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. Ella View was built by George Washington Creef, the original designer of the boat type, on Roanoke Island in 1883.

The vessel was owned and used by the family of Josephus Berry from the date of its construction until 1964 when it was acquired for the small craft collection at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. In 1972 Mystic began to consider transferring the vessel to an institution more closely associated with Ella View’s region of use. Originally they considered the newly formed Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as a possible home, but in 1974 a trade was organized with Mariners’—Ella View for a New Haven oyster sharpie.   Read more

Mounting the Foils of OTUSA 17

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Because of ceiling height limitations in the America’s Cup gallery we knew the first step in the assembly process of the AC72 needed to be the mounting of the J-shaped daggerboards (foils). We couldn’t lift the hulls high enough nor stand the foils up (each weighs about 800 lbs) and unfortunately, both of the daggerboard compartments had been completely emptied of the cages and systems that held the daggerboards in place so we decided to take a slightly different approach.

Using our 2- and 3-ton gantry lifts and a system of ratchet straps we would raise each hull and roll them over on their sides approximately 45 or 50 degrees which would give us the ability to fish each foil through the bottom of the daggerboard compartment.  We started with the port foil and quickly discovered that it was going to be difficult to control the movement of the foil as we fed it through the hull. The foil would cant and rake however and whenever it pleased which meant we had to continually fight against its desire to slip back out of the hull. We solved the problem initially with a few ratchet straps attached to strategic points on the foil but knew we needed to come up with a better way of mounting the second foil.   Read more

Yeah! We got the AC72 in the building! Now what?

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Lyles is tickled by the feather-light wheels

The day we loaded the hulls into the Great Hall I noticed water leaking from the packing materials so I decided to immediately unwrap the hulls to get the wet blankets and plastic out of the Museum. If you look at the video below, you can see the dirty black water seeping out of the packing materials and the moisture covering the surface of the port hull.

As we unpacked, we discovered large plastic bins of hardware and other boat parts (wheels, bowsprit, bobstay, dolphin striker, and lots of other things) packed inside the hulls. There was also quite a bit of standing water in the lower decks and other “debris” in the hulls (apparently a cat was living in the cat!) so I knew I had a major cleaning job ahead of me.   Read more

Getting the AC72 inside the Museum building

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Our blank slate! The Great Hall empty.

In my April 21st post I discussed the gallery moves that had to take place before we could install the AC72 in the Great Hall. The final stage of the process involved removing several large carvings that were mounted near the ceiling and the steeple-type engine from the tug William Stewartwhich had to be turned on its side to get it out of the building.  These moves happened on January 23rd  giving us a nice blank slate to work with!

On the morning of January 30th the crew from Hampton Roads Crane and Rigging arrived and began the process of unloading the two trucks that had arrived on the 28th.  Besides craning the objects off the trucks they also oversaw the process of getting everything into the building.  If you’ve watched the videos you’ll notice we are all bundled up like Eskimos—it was bitterly cold all day and we had to deal with snow flurries most of the morning.   Read more