Setting the daggerboards

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Bolt through daggerboard. Aircraft cables run to each side of the bolt effectively hanging the board from the top of the well.

Yesterday we spent most of the day getting the daggerboards into position for the Speed and Innovation in the America’s Cup exhibition. We managed to lift the port foil about three feet using the combination of an engine hoist and a ratchet strap attached to the ceiling (unfortunately the ceiling is preventing us from raising the foil higher). To keep the daggerboard in position Chris devised a way to hang the foil from a hole in the board. With the hole positioned a few inches above the sliding plate at the bottom of the daggerboard well we ran a large bolt through the foil and attached loops of aircraft cable. Those loops are hanging from two two-inch square sections of metal channel that lay across the top of the daggerboard well.

We tried to introduce a little cant to the foil but this caused the daggerboard to press against spots within the well that originally held the systems that moved the board. We weren’t willing to accept that damage that these pressure points were causing so we decided to center the daggerboard in the well. For those of you whose reaction is “awwww… we want to see it canted!” you have to remember the boat is in a Museum now and it’s our job to make sure it lasts forever which means the white glove treatment from now on–we won’t change anything or do anything that might hurt it or cause damage. Centering the board was accomplished by running a ratchet strap through the holes where the hydraulic rams that controlled the cant of the board used to be (which, of course, meant that I had to crawl through the forward crossbeam on my stomach to reach the connection point between the crossbeam and the hull). The addition of the strap helped pull the top of the daggerboard toward the forward crossbeam which centered it in the well and eliminated the pressure points on the board.   Read more

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