Mariners’ Museum receives key components from Oracle’s America’s Cup winner

 

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The Mariners’ Museum recently received a donation from Oracle Team USA of parts from its 2013 America’s Cup-winning catamaran. The donation included one of the revolutionary “J”-foil daggerboards, which lifted the 72-foot catamaran from the water at high speeds, as well as a replacement bow section.

Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum has received a donation of key components from the 2013 America’s Cup-winning Oracle Team USA catamaran. The donation included one of the revolutionary “J”-foil daggerboards, which lifted the 72-foot catamaran from the water at high speeds.

The gift is the culmination of a conversation that began in February between Mariners’ Museum Chief Curator Lyles Forbes and Oracle Team USA. Forbes initially set his sights on one of the smaller AC45 catamarans used in the America’s Cup World Series.

Oracle Team responded that it couldn’t accommodate Forbes’ request – because the AC45 was still an active class. But Oracle surprised him by offering a much bigger prize – pieces from the Cup-winning AC72.

“I was hugely ecstatic,” said Forbes, a longtime fan of competitive sailing who attended the 2013 America’s Cup regatta in San Francisco. “I didn’t even consider that in the realm of possibility.”

Oracle Team USA’s successful defense of the America’s Cup last year is considered one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The team came from an 8-1 deficit to beat Emirates Team New Zealand.

The boat’s “J”-shaped foiling daggerboards work like airplane wings, lifting the massive catamaran from the water as it reaches high speeds. The winning 72-foot catamaran sailed at more than 50 miles per hour during the 2013 America’s Cup regatta. . The 35th defense of the Cup will be in 2017.

“The J-foils made the difference,” Forbes said. “They literally raised America’s Cup to a whole new level.”

In addition to donating one of the large “J” foils, Oracle Team USA also provided a replacement bow section, and a “T” foil rudder from the smaller AC45 class as well as some crew gear.

A new display is being planned for the International Small Craft Center, alongside one of the earliest sailing hydrofoils – Monitor, which was a project between the U.S. Navy and Baker Manufacturing in the late 1950s.

Maine Maritime Museum’s New Blacksmith Exhibit

Architectural rendering of blacksmith exhibit at Maine Maritime Museum

Architectural rendering of blacksmith exhibit at Maine Maritime Museum

BATH, Maine, July 22…When the ribbon is cut for the Kenneth D. Kramer Blacksmith Shop Exhibit during a member’s reception on Friday, August 15, it will mark the latest transformative addition to Maine Maritime Museum’s campus and will complete the curated story of the historic Percy & Small Shipyard, part of the museum’s campus and a remarkable story in Maine’s maritime heritage.

From 1894 to 1920, the Percy & Small Shipyard built an astonishing 41 four- five- and six-mast schooners.  Of only 11 six-mast wooden schooners ever built in the Americas, 7 were constructed at the P&S yard including Wyoming, largest of them all. When the P&S site was donated to the museum in 1975, it was remarkably intact, the only U.S. shipyard that built large wooden sailing vessels that still had original buildings. The only one missing was the blacksmith shop.

“While it may seem surprising that a blacksmith shop would be an important part of a wooden vessel shipyard,Wyoming was built with more than 300 tons of iron and steel,” says Amy Lent, the museum’s executive director.  “In addition to the anchor and usual metal fastenings and fittings present in all ships, the huge wooden ship’s hull could not have borne the incredible pressures created by the 6,000 long tons of coal in her holds without the iron strapping that kept her timbers in place.”

During the 26 years that the P&S shipyard was in business, there were two different buildings that served as the blacksmith shop. The first, which outfitted all of the six-mast schooners, was destroyed by fire in 1913 – not an unusual occurrence for wooden buildings housing open forges in an environment filled with wood shavings and sawdust. Very little information is available about the interior of that building and few clear exterior photos exist. The shop contained at least one forge and also a boiler for the yard’s steam box for making heavy planking pliable. The second blacksmith shop building was torn down in 1939, long after P&S had ceased operation.

The exhibit approximates the original building’s dimensions of 84 x 26 feet and location due east of the Paint & Treenail Shop. To preserve the integrity of the shipyard’s original historic buildings, the new structure is not an attempt at a historical recreation of the original building. Instead, the proportions, dimensions and materials used evoke the original building and its purpose while clearly being a contemporary structure.

While the open design permits expansive views of the P&S shipyard and the Kennebec River, an innovative combination of corrugated weathering steel (which oxidizes to a rust-colored finish) and rough-cut wood framing was selected to reference shipbuilding materials.

The structure houses exhibits related to the blacksmith activities that took place there while also providing a gathering place for functions and visitors.  On occasion, blacksmithing demonstrations will be conducted in the building.

Replacing the blacksmith ship was a vision of former MMM Trustee Kenneth D. Kramer, who passed away in 2009 leaving a generous bequest that included funds to construct a Blacksmith Shop building. Thanks entirely to Ken the complete shipbuilding story of the great schooners can now be told, and so the new exhibit building bears his name.

Maritime Heritage Grants Available

Tim Runyan, chair of the National Maritime Alliance, announced that monies are now available for the second round of maritime heritage grants. The National Park Service will make the formal announcement on Monday but meanwhile you can access more information at http://www.nps.gov/maritime/grants/intro.htm

Approximately $1,700,000 is available for 2014. Note the deadline for applications is September 23rd.

Navy Artifacts Getting New Home

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From Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division RICHMOND, Va. (NNS) — The Navy announced the planned consolidation of its historic artifacts from multiple locations into a tailored facility located
in Richmond, Va. 

Naval artifacts are currently housed in separate facilities in Washington
D.C., Springfield, Va., Cheatham Annex, Va. and Memphis, Tenn. The entire process of consolidation, which includes a partial refurbishment of the Richmond facility to adequately meet storage condition standards, is projected to take approximately 18 months.

“This move represents a generational leap forward for the conservation, preservation, management and ultimately care of our most prized Navy holdings,” said Captain Henry Hendrix, Ph.D., the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). “We’ve been both amazed by and grateful for our partners at DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) for their alacrity, enthusiasm and determination.” 

NHHC currently holds more than 300,000 artifacts in its collection dating back to the founding of the Republic.

“We’re glad to help safeguard these invaluable possessions by finding  a single facility. It removes the inherent inefficiencies of having them scattered in various locations – and the best part is with the necessary storage modifications it’ll mean significant improvements for the artifacts,” said Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, who was central in arranging for the consolidation. 

“We’ve been working hard for a few years now to more efficiently manage the vast and in some cases fragile holdings, and having them scattered around the country was both expensive and problematic. Truthfully, the existing storage conditions weren’t anything to write home about either. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but this is a quantum leap forward,” said Dr. Jay Thomas, the assistant director for NHHC for the collections management division. 

The consolidation now allows the Navy to centrally locate all of the artifacts, which will translate to improved care, management, accountability and oversight of the collection. The building in Richmond will ensure improved environmental controls for high risk artifacts, proper shelving and storage, an area for conserving and preserving the artifacts. The facility will provide the infrastructure for staff to continue and complete the on-going 100% artifact inventory effort currently underway.

This vast undertaking will demand the entire collection team to focus its time and energy on the move.  In the near term, the Navy’s Curator Branch will continue to service existing artifact loans, currently numbering in excess of 1,500. The curators will suspend processing requests for new artifact loans as they tackle the project, which will require significant travel in support of preparing and managing the shipment of the vast holdings. Their ability to accept new donations and respond to inquiries will also be slowed. 

We have literally tons of material, some of which is priceless, and nearly all of it irreplaceable. But the work is well worth it if it means in the long run our Sailors and our citizens can better appreciate what the Navy has meant to our country since its inception,” said head curator, Karen France. 

The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy’s unique and enduring contributions through our nation’s history, and supports the Fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. 

NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

Story Number: NNS140612-18; Release Date: 6/12/2014 9:31:00 PM