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Thread: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

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    Default Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Please note - This thread is now 62 pages long. To see the latest entries click on the "Last" on the upper right corner of this site. You may also view each page, one at a time, if you wish.

    This thread (blog) is the result of weekly updates made on my activities at Mystic Seaport. Staring in February of 2010, I entered pictures and dialog of my weekly activities. You can read every word but perhaps a page by page review of just the pictures will give you an idea of what went on. This starts with the restoration of the Morgan. In June and July of 2014, the Morgan was sailed to New England ports including New Bedford where she was built in 1841.



    On November 1, 2008 the Charles W. Morgan was hauled out for extensive restoration. It was predicted to take between 3 to 5 years to complete.






    The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whaling ship from the great days of sail. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan had a successful 80-year whaling career. She made 37 voyages before retiring in 1921.

    When finished the plan is to take the Morgan on her 38th voyage and sail her back to New Bedford.

    http://www.mysticseaport.org/index.c...09445B7A947310

    I joined Mystic Seaport’s volunteer crew in late July of 2009 and was asked if I would like to work on the Morgan. My job is to scrape paint. Certainly not a glamorous job, but it needs to be done.






    During the last six months while I have been scraping paint, I have been taking pictures, and sending them in e-mails to friends who are on my “Victim List.” I sent them to a couple of Mystic staff members and now I have a new job. I will continue to scrape paint and in my new job I will try to show what is going on behind the scenes where visitors can not go.

    These pictures are from the day the Morgan was hauled out in Mystic’s Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard.

    So to start off with, here is the paint scraping we have been doing. We started with heat but quickly found that all the paint contains lead. Now we use Peel Away which is much safer for everyone.







    As time goes on, I will post updates showing the restoration’s progress. For now I am keeping this simple because I am not exactly sure how all this works yet. If no pictures show up when I post this I will need to do a bit more homework.

    More to come.

    http://www.mysticseaport.org/
    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 05-18-2017 at 12:10 PM. Reason: I just had one of those Aha moments and figured out how to get the picture to show---I think.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    I wish the pictures worked.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    They will eventually

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    All I see is red x-es, but that may be because I'm at work. Them that know, ie Throne, et.al., will be along shortly with proper instructions.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    So as to not keep us all in suspense, I took the liberty of posting the pics:






    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    What is "Peel Away". and why/how is it being used???

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Peel Away is a paint stripper that is applied and then covered with a liner that keeps it moist while the chemicals do their magic.

    It's still a lot of hard work, but it is not as toxic as the old lye based products.

    http://www.dumondchemicals.com/

    It has worked well for us. During the warmer weather we can apply in the morning and scrape in the afternoon. When it got cooler in the fall we applied it and waited a few days to scrape. We have moved inside for the winter and are doing doors, stairs, grates, and other removable items.
    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 08-11-2010 at 04:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Question - What kind of paint(s) is/are on the Morgan? I would imagine that there's a considerable amount of lead-based paint on her and I wondered a how Mystic Seaport would deal with the associated environmental issues.
    From the pix above, it looks like no special precautions are being taken.
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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    The paint is lead based paint. The stripper contains the lead so there is no airborne dust. On my first day we used heat guns. Then the paint was tested and it was the end of the heat guns.

    Mystic is a very green place today. The new ship lift has underground storage tanks to contain the runoff when hulls are power washed. The area under the Morgan is first covered with a fabric that permits any water to pass through but traps any fine particles such as paint chips. The fabric is covered with a layer of crushed stone to protect it. When tha Morgan is finished everything will be disposed of properly.
    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 08-11-2010 at 04:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Interesting report on the futtocks replacement in the latest WB.
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Thanks for the update on Morgan. I did volunteer work at the Seaport back in the late 1970's & have a lot of good memories aboard her. Setting sail (for show) was a good time (no safety harnesses then!), used to slide down her backstays, went swimming off her jibpole (after the Seaport was closed in the evening), & spent some good time up in the hoops of her foremast.





    Here is the seaport from Morgan's foremast hoops.




    Notice you are looking DOWN at Joseph Conrad's mast trucks!


    Please keep us posted on her progress!
    Last edited by nedL; 02-09-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Volunteer View Post
    I sent them to a couple of Mystic staff members and now I have a new job. I will continue to scrape paint and in my new job I will try to show what is going on behind the scenes where visitors can not go.
    Congratulations!

    Thanks for the pics and updates.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    I climbed up to the fighting top (I think that's what it's called)on HMS Rose in 1986 while she was tied to the dock.

    Man, I ain't cut out for that sort of thing.
    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 08-11-2010 at 04:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    I live 62 miles from Mystic so the commute is a bit long. For that reason I usually only put in one day a week.

    I would appreciate corrections on glaring errors, but please be kind.

    As I have written before, I am a volunteer scraping paint off the Morgan. Starting in the bow we have been using Smart Strip, Peel Away and other products from Drummond Chemical.

    http://www.dumondchemicals.com/

    This product works well, but its still a lot of work.

    The factory rep came and demonstrated the products he recommended.
    Because the company made a contribution of some of their products I give them a small plug.



    This is my boss in the green jacket.



    As with all projects, quality is in the details.



    Here my partner is hard at work applying the paper over the newly applied Peel and Strip.



    Our work started in the bow.




    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 05-06-2010 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Changed a picture.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    My father was Director of the Mystic Seaport when the Morgan first "accidentally " floated in I think 1969. The museum was removing some ballast... She floated then but there was a lot of nail biting.
    Last summer, a retired museum employee gave me a pamphlet my father wrote in the 70's. He drew the plan for the site where the Morgan is currently hauled out. Amazing how similar what is there to what he drew...
    Nice pics and thanks for the thread.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Aside from scraping paint as a volunteer the entire museum is open to me.



    The bilge is an area where the bulk of the restoration is taking place. The ceiling and frames are being evaluated and replaced as needed. The bilge is an area that has never been available to visitors to Mystic Seaport.



    All of the knees have been removed in the bilge area except those replaced during another restoration back in the 80's. The white I beams overhead are holding up the deck above. They are tied into the main deck with steel rods for support. They are also used as rails for a gantry which is used for hauling heavy timers in and out of the hull.

    This is a picture of knees located one deck up.




    Here you can see the ends of the futtocks are rotted. The ceiling is only partially removed here and it is not in the best condition either. To the best of the seaports knowledge, this is all original to 1841 and no one has seen this part of the ship since then.



    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 08-11-2010 at 04:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Mystic Seaport is a fully operational ship yard.

    Here, the Quinnipiac out of New Haven is hauled for routine maintenance.








    The last picture for this time at bat, the Morgan is shielded from the sun and weather to keep her from drying out to much.


    http://www.mysticseaport.org/


    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 08-11-2010 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Recently there was plenty yammering about Big Boats, here, like Adelaide and Cutty.
    Suggest we take a look at the volunteers here, the clearly visible dedication and interest in their work, and see that if there is truly an interest in keeping the big ole bitches afloat, some sleeves gotta get rolled up.
    I am encouraged and inspired by the work of Museum Volunteers everywhere. In my travels, I have never been to a big outdoor Museum that would not put me to work for even a day, and I have been to 48 of 'em, on three continents.
    Jusayin.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Mystic Seaport is a beautiful place early in the morning.

    This was a few weeks with a light rain, fog, and low hanging clouds. It gave the place a somewhat mystical air.



    This view from the Morgan shows that besides a museum, the seaport is a fully functioning shipyard. The Amistad (Tied at the wharf to the rear) was built from the keel up right here.


    There are numbers all along both sides of the Morgan.

    They are used in conjunction with a laser, I’m not up on this right now but it has something to do with keeping the ship straight and true. As the hog is removed more than just the keel will move so I guess this is part of that project.

    Here, in the pictures below, the old numbers are being replaced because the sun has faded the original numbers. The fellow in the picture told me that each number lines up with a frame inside the hull.





    This is from the day the ship was hauled and shows the hogging.



    While it's hard to see and harder to photograph, the hogging is getting better.

    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 03-29-2010 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Adding a picture

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    There has been some progress on the framing inside the hull.

    Here a shipwright is taking measurements and fabricating a template of the old futtock.



    Several frames have been measured.



    These are the knees that have been removed so far. They will be replaced with new knees made from live oak.

    Knees are used to support 90 degree joints such as where the deck ties into the hull. They are cut from a part of the tree that has the grain growing in the desired shape. Where the root and trunk meet is a good source. Another place is where a large branch forms.



    This is one template made to replace a knee. Every knee and every template are numbered so they go back where they belong.



    The yard cuts all the wood it needs with various saws. Here they are cutting stock for frames and knees.





    http://www.mysticseaport.org/



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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Mystic is about all things nautical. It is more than just the Morgan and the seaport.

    A friend joined up and as I was showing him around we met one of the guys in charge. He asked if we liked engines. An odd question, I thought; of course we like engines.

    Next thing we find our selves in the engine shop where the seaport's marine engines are restored and maintained.

    The current project is a 12 cylinder Hall Scott experimental PT boat engine.

    Since my friend John was a Jaguar mechanic most of his life he had found a home.



    This is not what you would normally expect to see in Mystic. The seaport hosts a weekend every year where a lot of their engines are on display and most of them run.

    http://www.mysticseaport.org/index.c...8BEDDAB342FD5F

    After we were introduced to the Hall Scott we went to the museum's warehouse to see the collection.



    There are hundreds of engines. Outboards too.



    Look at the outboard on the right. Note where the spark plug is and where the steering tiller is! Ouch!



    So my friend John is hooked.

    He is really getting into (or on to) his work.




    There are two Hall Scotts. Only one is being restored. The other is going to be left as it was found.




    Last edited by Morgan Volunteer; 10-27-2016 at 09:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Thankyou very much for this. This is brilliant.
    Keep It Simple: KISS it better.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Great Pictures Thank you!!!! Maybe some day I can get back to volunteering, I'm only 60mi away now too.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    When I was involved with sports cars years ago and was rebuilding an engine there was a special moment when the ratchet wrench lever was switched to tighten bolts rather than loosen them. At that point all the prep work was done and dreams of sunny days with the top down were soon to be realized.

    The Morgan has reached that small milestone. After a long winter of prepping the ship for new frames, the first futtock has been installed.

    Months of carving out the rough shapes from giant logs which will eventually become futtocks continues. The yard is filling with these blanks.






    Some of the original 1841 futtocks have been removed.






    The ratchet lever is switched.



    One down and hundreds more to go.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Another ship in Mystic Seaport is the Joesph Conrad.

    http://www.mysticseaport.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=B3AF703 1-E022-6432-8AE3F674FA3026CA

    Conrad is used at Mystic as a training vessel and as a dormitory for summer youth groups. As with all ships, maintenance must be done.

    She was hauled out this winter for new patches, paint and zincs.








    The hull needs a lot of work but the ship is not going to be sailed. For now patching will do. Someday if there is enough money perhaps she can get the restoration needed to sail.





    An old patch is removed exposing a hole.





    She is now back in the water with new patches, paint, and zincs. The restoration of the rigging is ongoing. More on this later.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    well done! keep it coming! (this is the forum in one of it's shining moments)
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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Wow! Love it. Now on my list of places to visit when I get my boat operational. Thanks very much for this thread.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Is this the same Joseph Conrad that featured in the book I read as a child, "Stormalong"? By Allan Villiers, 1937. A great read.
    Last edited by Candyfloss; 03-16-2010 at 10:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    A youtube on the milling for the Morgan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jEwALzzOkg
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Spring has arrived! The volunteers are out in the gardens at Mystic Seaport.





    But this is Wooden Boat, not House and Garden. Back to the boats, in this case an iron boat.

    The Conrad was relaunched after her hull was patched up and now her masts and rigging are being replaced.

    A crane was hired for the day to do the lifting.



    The rigging crew is getting a yard ready for the lift.







    In the next post, the yard goes up.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Just a few more pics of the Morgan as we saw it in the fall of '09.





    I was amazed at Mystic Seaport. That place certainly is a national treasure. Bravo Zulu to the Mystic Seaport volunteers. I can hardly wait to go back.
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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    The rigging and deck are readied for the lift.









    Hooked up and ready to go.



    At this point, there was small problem. The riggers and crane operator asked me to not take pictures as the lift went on. I was asked if I am superstitious. I said not more that most people. It turns out that all involved said the same thing.

    When cameras come out, that's when the trouble begins. This is a dangerous time as people are on top and below and anything could go wrong.

    So I took a few as the yard got off the ground and then I went to lunch.

    You'll have to imagine the rest.


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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    The Conrad was built in Denmark for use as a training ship. Made entirely of iron, the upkeep presents a unique set of challenges.

    During this past winter her masts were in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard building for work. Some rivets and parts were replaced. The masts were checked for thickness using an ultrasonic tester. The paint is in good shape so only the parts that had been worked on needed a touch up.





    The whole ship is riveted.





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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    I am just now reading Alan Villiers' account of his voyage around the world on the Joseph Conrad for the second time (the first time was decades ago, so it's almost like reading it for the first time). Timely pictures - thanks!
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Charles W Morgan Restoration; A Volunteer's Perspective-1

    Upstairs in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard building is the rigging loft. While all of Mystic Seaport is amazing, as a volunteer I can go into work areas that are not available to visitors. The rigging loft is one of those places.

    Here, the rigging from the Conrad is being wrapped in a variety of materials to preserve the wire rope. Hemp, cotton, linen, pine tar and others are used.




    The wire is wrapped with a heavy cord following the twist of the cable.




    Now for the first coat of pine tar.



    The next application is a cotton wrap applied so the fabric will always shed water. Like shingles on the roof, the upper layer overlays the lower layer. In this case they were working from both ends toward the middle. This cable runs up and over part of the mast and down again so the overlap is reversed on each end
    .



    Then the wrap is tied together with a marline hitch, or a series of half hitches.




    The last covering is hemp cord which is wrapped tightly around on top of the cotton. For now you'll have to imagine what that looks like as I don't have a picture of the finished product. Oh well. Every step is covered in pine tar so the wire should be well protected for many years before it needs to be done again.

    This cable was installed on the fore mast and can be seen below. The ratlines have not been installed yet so the ladder is needed.


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