Monday, June 28, 2010

Mystic WoodenBoat Show 2010 : Episode 2

One of the great reasons to hold a show like the WoodenBoat Show at a place like Mystic Seaport is the fact that there are many things to see besides the show itself. I know that I've heard from several people who took others who were not "Wooden Boat People" who still had a wonderful time enjoying the museum while they took in the show.

For me, one of the more interesting draws is the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard. It is neat to watch traditional boat building as it happens. (FYI, another museum with this "plus" is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, MD - just not on the same scale. The past two years, the museum has had the Charles W. Morgan hauled for some well-deserved restoration and maintenance. The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving American wooden whaling ship and was built in New Bedford, MA in 1841. A unique treasure.

She is a really large ship.

Over the past 69 years, the Morgan has been at Mystic as a display piece for the museum. Because of the way she was rigged and loaded as well the fact her underwater timbers were in poor condition, she began to "hog". (develop a hollow in the keel) a Here is a shot of her keel from last year not long after being hauled:

A project was begun to restore the Morgan including the improvements to the shipyard's marine railway and other equipment used in the restoration including the ship's saw. Live Oaks that were lost to Hurricane Katrina were brought up for timbers. Lots of work has gone on in the bilge area of the ship and this year, her keel looks nearly straight.

She remains a wonderful exhibit - even as she is being restored. Here's a view from the stern lights:

And a deck prism:

There is still a ways to go before the Morgan is ready to be in the water again, but she should be in great shape when she does!

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