Dennis Brookie is reaching out to CAMM members in an effort to learn how other historic sailing vessels “provide accessible experiences on board.” He is working with the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park to improve access to Alma, an 1891 wooden-hulled scow schooner and National Historic Landmark. The National Park Service maintains and operates this ship to provide sailing experiences to visitors.
The challenge is providing access from a floating dock to the deck of the ship.
Do any of you have “current solutions for similar experiences that exist?”
We have great news! WAVERTREE, a cargo ship built in 1885 and crown jewel of the Museum’s fleet, will leave for shipyard Thursday, May 21st at 12:30pm to undergo a massive New York City-funded stabilization and restoration project — the largest project of its kind undertaken in recent U.S. history. The 130-year-old ship, built of riveted wrought iron, is archetypal of the sailing cargo ships of the latter half of the 19th century that would line South Street by the dozens at a time, giving it the moniker the “Street of Ships.”
This $9 million-plus stabilization and restoration project, to be undertaken at Caddell Drydock and Repair in Staten Island, will address critical long-term preservation of the ship, and will lay the groundwork for the re-rigging of WAVERTREE back at South Street upon her return in 2016. The WAVERTREE stabilization and restoration project is a key part of South Street Seaport Museum’s plan to revitalize the Lower Manhattan waterfront and highlight the meaningful historic connections of this important part of New York.
I hope that you will join me, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, and other City officials, in a celebratory send-off on May 21, 2015 at 12:30pm on Pier 15.
Submitted by Jonathan Boulware, Executive Director of South Street Seaport Museum
The U.S. Brig Niagara, owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, operated by the Flagship Niagara League as sailing school vessel on the Great Lakes, and homeported at the Erie Maritime Museum, is slated to receive a mid-life refit commencing in fall of 2016, with completion by spring of 2018. Design and Procurement work will begin this summer. This is a very ambitious project to renew decks, bulwarks, some planking, and all machinery, as well as make improvements in ballast and stability. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services is seeking bids for a design-build contract.
Submitted by Walter Rybka, Senior Captain, who “would like to obtain as wide a range of bidders as possible [from] the kind of craftspeople who generally work on wooden ships around our coasts [who] are not as likely to be scanning the commerce and business daily or PA government notices . . .”
S.S. Lane Victory, built in Los Angeles in 1945, is open to the public on the San Pedro waterfront. Photo by Candace Clifford
CAMM President Dave Pearson welcomes Gregory Williams, Executive Director of S.S. Lane Victory at CAMM’s business meeting on battleship Iowa during the recent conference.
Owned and operated by the U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II, the S.S. Lane Victory is CAMM’s newest member.
According to their website: “S.S. Lane Victory served with distinction during World War II, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War as well as in times of peace as part of the merchant fleet. After years of deterioration in mothballs, it took countless hours of restoration to put her back into her original condition by volunteers of the United States Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II. A nationally recognized historic landmark, the S.S. Lane Victory now serves as a living museum and memorial to the service and sacrifices of all Merchant Marine sailors and Navy Armed Guardsmen. Several times each summer she sails into the past on one of her ‘Victory At Sea’ cruises where ‘old salts’ can reminisce about adventures past, and younger generations can catch a glimpse of bygone times.”
Preliminary Drawing of PORCUPINE courtesy of Bayfront Maritime Center
March 2, 2015
From Captain Jamie Trost, Bayfront Maritime Center:
Today I officially join the BMC staff as Project Manager for Porcupine. In the six months since I first heard of and asked to be a part of this great new initiative, we’ve gotten the hull and engine into the shop, started discussions with the Coast Guard, solidified partnerships with local school districts, hashed out some preliminary drawings with our naval architect, officially launched Porcupine’s Campaign at the 3rd Annual “Ales for Sails” event, and received the first $25,000 anchor grant from Erie Insurance! With each step, the unknowns have been filed away and we’ve now honed our plans for the finished vessel.
With a year and six weeks until Porcupine‘s launch on April 15th, 2016, we’re picking up the pace and about to start truly shaping the raw hull into the evocative tops’l schooner we envision. Dust is going to fly, outlines for programs will mature into full-fledged curriculum, a forest of documents and forms will mark our path toward the finished ship. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people will make this dream a reality. Team Porcupine is ecstatic, and the excitement is amplified by innovative ideas and possibilities. Inside of a year, we’ll will be creating something entirely new, shaping a future by uncovering clues from the past. We know what Porcupine was—a gunboat schooner created 202 years ago right here in Erie that for 60 years would serve in just about every manner a Great Lakes vessel could. And we know what this new Porcupine will be—a sustainable, high-profile regional asset that will enhance BMC’s existing programming and expand into new waters with a “School Ship” program for Presque Isle Bay. But right now, Porcupine is in an ephemeral state between history and future, between concept and concrete. The intense and sometimes frantic energy of creating the schooner and her programming carries the colorful wonder of a dawning day—the fresh promise, the incredible potential…we’re making a “new” Gunboat Schooner out of a donated hull and it’s going to awesome, every step of the way.
Nantucket Lightship is home-ported in Boston. Photo courtesy of U.S. Lightship Museum
The U.S. Lightship Museum recently reported receiving “a $250,000 grant from American Express to rebuild its navigational light beacon, radio beacon structures, foghorn and on-board electrical systems.”
“Nearly 80 years after it began safeguarding the trans-Atlantic shipping lanes with its powerful guiding light, radio beacon and foghorn, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 will once again be illuminated in its homeport of Boston. The ‘Statue of Liberty of the Sea,’ as it’s affectionately known, is a symbol of America’s development. Anchored 100 miles off the U.S. mainland near the dangerous Nantucket Shoals from 1936-75, it was the last landmark seen by vessels departing the United States and the first beacon seen by many immigrants entering U.S. waters. Restoration is underway on this former U.S. Coast Guard floating lighthouse to make it accessible for future generations to better understand the vital lightship era of our nation’s maritime history and to function as a floating learning center.”
Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 was designated a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2012. To learn more about the National Treasures program and their partnership with American Express goto that program’s website. To learn more about the lightship’s restoration download the complete newsletter or visit their website.
Submitted by Sandy Bryson at the Michigan Maritime Museum
CAMM members who attended the annual meeting in Toledo last April will remember the presentation on the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail and the Evelyn S exhibited at the Michigan Maritime Museum. The 1939 wooden fish tug is under extensive restoration and has been moved to a new location on the Museum’s campus in South Haven. This video documents the mid-stage of the restoration of her “turtle back” house and the excitement of seeing her in the slings as she is transported to her new location. Ship’s carpentry work on the Evelyn S is being done by apprentices from the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan. The project is funded by local in-kind contributions and a grant to the City of South Haven from the Coastal Zone Management Program, Office of the Great Lakes, Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.
Restoration of Iconic Ship Essential for Historic 2020 Commemoration
Plymouth, MA—December 4, 2014—Plimoth Plantation and Mystic Seaport, both acclaimed New England history museums, are pleased to announce a collaborative project to restore and repair Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction ship owned by Plimoth Plantation. Work on the historic ship will take place at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport, adhering to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Vessel Preservation Projects. A cohesive restoration plan will be established in conjunction with Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Artisans Program, led by the museum’s newly-hired Associate Director for Maritime Preservation and Operations, Whit Perry. Mayflower II is scheduled to depart the Plymouth waterfront for Mystic Seaport sometime over the next several days depending on weather conditions.
Work will begin in December on a multi-year phased restoration plan, honoring the ship’s original construction and using traditional methods with the goal of restoring the ship to her original state when she first arrived to Plymouth in 1957. Inspections in 2013 revealed that Mayflower II is in need of a major refit, which is normal for a nearly 60-year-old wooden ship. Recently, Plimoth Plantation completed some major repairs to secure a safe condition for the ship to continue operations on the Plymouth waterfront. These efforts were the initial steps toward addressing the long-term restoration plan.
Upon the ship’s arrival at Mystic Seaport, the restoration plan will begin following three phases: survey, document, and restore. A comprehensive marine survey will be completed by Paul Haley of Capt. G.W. Full & Associates, the same firm that surveyed several vintage vessels including the Mystic Seaport flagship Charles W. Morgan, the USS Constitution, the USS Constellation, and many additional projects within the tall ship community. Stone and iron ballast will be completely removed for the first time since the ship’s construction nearly 60 years ago, to allow proper inspection of the bilge area. The scope and plan for this winter’s restoration work will largely be determined by the needs identified once the ship is out of the water and the ballast is removed.
“Part of our mission at Mystic Seaport is to pass on the skills and techniques of traditional shipbuilding and historic preservation to the next generation, and projects such as this enable us to fulfill that goal while at the same time supporting an important member of the history museum community,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to help restore Mayflower II, so she can continue to tell the story of the Pilgrims and their brave journey to America.”
Mayflower II’s future vitality depends on continual preservation. The significant restoration of the 57-year-old wooden ship is scheduled for completion prior to 2020–the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival. The celebrated ship is a major exhibit of Plimoth Plantation and a leading tourism attraction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, drawing millions of people from around the world to Plymouth’s historic waterfront to learn about the United States’ early Colonial history.
“Mystic Seaport is the clear choice for restoring Mayflower II. She will be in good hands with the Museum’s skilled craftspeople and shipwrights. The staff and boards of both museums share pride in this collaboration and profound respect for this treasured ship,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth Plantation’s executive director. “We greatly appreciate the enormous support for Mayflower II, especially from the Massachusetts State leadership for ensuring a major part of the funding for her restoration.”
Mayflower II will be available for visitors to view in the shipyard at Mystic Seaport, allowing Mayflower II to continue to educate and inspire the public throughout the restoration process. The shipyard is open to visitors during the Museum’s operating hours. (Please check the Mystic Seaport website for seasonal changes.) If repairs go as planned, Mayflower II is expected to return to Plymouth in late May, 2015. Sourcing rare, large-dimensioned white oak, which is needed in wooden-ship construction, is not expected to be an issue during this round of repairs. Plimoth Plantation acquired approximately 2,500 board feet from Berea College in Kentucky, and an additional 2,500 board feet from another restoration project in Rhode Island.
About Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and a living museum dedicated to telling the history of Plymouth Colony from the perspective of both the Pilgrims and the Native Wampanoag people. Located less than an hour’s drive south of Boston in Plymouth, Massachusetts, (Exit 4, Route 3 south) and 15 minutes north of Cape Cod, the Museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week, from the third Saturday in March through the end of November 2014. Plimoth Plantation is a private, not-for-profit educational institution supported by admission fees, contributions, memberships, function sales and revenue from a variety of dining programs/services/special events and Museum Shops. Plimoth Plantation is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. For more information, visit http://www.plimoth.org.
About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The state-of-the-art Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world with access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Architectural rendering of blacksmith exhibit at Maine Maritime Museum
Opening Day – August 15, 2014. Photo by Candace Clifford
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.
Opening day – August 15, 2014. Photo by Candace Clifford
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.