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Phase II

Phase I of the Sea Bird restoration was completed in the shop at the Hull High School. It involved stripping the boat of both components and paint. Hull High School Principal, Mike Devine, hoped that the project would showcase the school's well appointed shop and convince the School Committee to hire a full time shop teacher. It worked. The Sea Bird has found a new home for Phase II of its restoration in a spectacular barn in Hull.

This phase of the restoration involves removing damaged or deteriorated oaken ribs. In order to access the top of the ribs the outboard two deckplanks were removed, port and starboard. This also created a hole through which to slide the new rib down and in. The old ribs were replaced with fresh cut, quartersawn oak. All of the old screws that fastened the cedar planks to the oak ribs are then removed. The paint is heated, scraped and sanded from the inside of the planks. The screw holes are then filled with epoxy and then re-piloted. The fresh ribs receive a coat of red lead paint on the surface that mates with the plank. The ribs are then put into a steam box until pliable. They then get carefully fitted in to the boat. To date 10 new ribs have been installed on the port side and 6 new ribs on starboard. Four more ribs will be installed on starboard on 2/20/2014.

The installation of these 19 ribs will make the boat strong and stable enough to remove her deck and centerboard trunk. The deck planks will then have their nail holes epoxied prior to reinstallation. The deck joists will be cut and steam bent out of new oak. A quarter inch plywood veneer will cover the deck planks and canvas will create the top layer of the deck. Forward ribs will be examined and replaced as necessary once the deck is removed. The centerboard trunk will be taken apart, cleaned and sanded, put back together, installed and varnished. The boat will then be ready for the installation of the benches as well as the mahogany trims and combing. Finally, all hardware will be reattached.

Phase II

Phase II

The ribs were labeled A, B & C so they could be replaced in groups of 3.

Phase II

Red lead paint is applied to the rib surface that will mate with the planks

Phase II

The inner edge is rounded over to let water pass between the bays

Phase II

Phase 2

The hard edges were routed over

Phase II

Doug checks the steam volume in the homemade steam box

Phase II

The first rib is hammered down and bent around the chine. The piece of sheet metal prevents
the rib from getting caught on the edge of a plank

Phase II

Phase II

The first rib is screwed in place and dries to the perfect shape

Phase II

Phase II

Every third rib was replaced to keep what little structural integrity the boat had.

Phase II

The screws that held the ribs into place were removed and their holes are filled with epoxy

Phase II

Phase II

We are on a roll!

Phase II

The last few ribs in the centerboard area are cut up and removed

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II

The final product

Phase II

 

Phase II

The Crew

Phase II

With new ribs in the entire centerboard trunk area, the deck can be removed

Phase II

The mast partner was a little weak

Phase II

More ribs to replace but they get straighter moving forward

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II

Vince takes a great shot

and Kate likes her artistic shots below

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II

 

 


Phase I

The restoration of the Sea Bird has begun!

The restoration of the Sea Bird has begun and is still open to all interested members of the participating groups as well a members of the community at large. Participants are asked to donate their time to the project and also make a financial contribution to Sail Nantasket. It is intended for both beginners and those with boat building experience, and will teach the participants how to read plans and draw the shape of the boat at full size on the floor, an important construction/restoration practice called "lofting." Participants will also learn to make patterns for the pieces of the construction, as well as other boat building.


Chris Nelson is leading the restoration. Since graduating from the Landing School in June of 1998, Chris has really developed a passion for worked on wooden boats. He began his professional career as an apprentice shipwright at the Mystic Seaport Shipyard, working there from 1998 until 2002. He then started his own business as a shipwright, boat carpenter, and caulker. He has worked on a number of historic ship replicas including the Schooner Virginia and the Spirit of South Carolina and has served as boatswain on the Harvey Gamage. In January of 2009, Chris returned to Mystic to work as a lead shipwright on the Seaport's ambitious restoration of the Charles W. Morgan. He lives in New London, CT with his wife.

The project uses both traditional hand tools and modern power tools. Participants learn and practice lofting, steam bending, edge-tool sharpening, cutting a stem rabbet, rib replacement, planking, fastening methods, caulking, finishing materials and techniques, and rig evaluation, repair, and tuning. Sail construction materials and methods will also be covered.

Discussion topics include different wood types, applications, and sources, books and periodicals, and necessary tools. This project will prepare the participants for any boat building project. All tools and materials will be provided.

The Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Collection Library at Mystic Seaport has donated Goeller's original plans for the yacht. These original drawings will be an invaluable resource in the restoration effort and a wonderful piece of memorabilia for the club.

 





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"This program is supported in part by a grant from the Hull Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."