Header photo (detail) courtesy Michael Eudenbach

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Lakes Boatbuilding School joins the project

CW Morgan at Mystic with a whaleboat in the foreground.

 A raised lofting table was constructed in the school's loft for the whaleboat.

Lofting details

Deciding if the lines are fair

Freshly steamed stem being inserted into the bending jig and bent to shape using a compression strap.

Stem secured in bending jig. Note the custom fabricated compression strap attached to the jig at one end and the handle at the other end.

Chopping the rabbet into the stem

Construction of the backbone begins

Building jig is erected, backbone assembled, and molds are secured in place.

Garboard plank hung along with a lapped-straked plank above it on the starboard side. The following planks will be done with carvel batten-seams. 

Bottom two planks on the port side completed. Note the notches in the molds for the batten seams that were laid out during the lining off process.

The whaleboat seen amongst all the other developing projects in the shop.

First lapstrake plank below the sheer being hung.

Students slowly bend the a frame over the jig using a compression strap.

Steamed frames are drying in bending jig as planking work continues.

With the completion of planking, work shifts to installation of the pre-bent frames.

 Clamping the frames in place.

All images courtesy Great Lakes Boatbuilding School

"The Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) is proud, honored, and excited to have a role in the Mystic Seaport museum’s restoration of the Charles W. Morgan."
So begins the glbbs short dissertation on the project, with a history of the Morgan, a nicely done description of the whaleboat in general and the Beetle craft in particular and  a statement of their expectations and the merit of taking on such a project. As with most of the participants in the project, Great Lakes is using the build as a learning experience for their students. Indeed, their website outlines in great detail what the students will be learning. Here is a taste of that:

"First and foremost, in the building of this whaleboat students will learn team work. It has been said, “To work with someone is to know him; to build a boat with him is to know him well.“ And so it goes at GLBBS.
The process begins with the preliminary work being done by second-year students, while the first-year students are being introduced to classic woodworking skills, which involves building their toolboxes and being introduced to the fundamentals of lofting. Second-year students, having learned the required lofting skills in their first year, will loft the whaleboat to establish its full-size lines, which then will be used to form the necessary references and patterns required for accurately building this boat to the Beetle design.
Second-year students will continue on with the next step, which is using the lofting lines to make the molds representing the hull shape, then setting the molds up in a building jig. The building jig is designed for building the whale boat right-side up, and also to allow plenty of height underneath for working on the bottom of the whaleboat.
Once the second-year students have completed the building jig, the actual boat construction begins with the building of the backbone. They will build a keel, stem, and sternpost. In this process, they will gain more experience in constructing a bending jig, as well as the steam bending process involved in bending the stem and sternpost. When the stem and stern post have been bent to shape, students will learn how to layout and carve the rabbet into the stem and sternpost and assemble them together on the building jig to form the backbone of the whaleboat."

Suffice it to say, there's a lot more.

My sincere thanks to Kevin Pagliuca at Great Lakes for his assistance.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Apprenticeshop builds a whaleboat

Lofting complete, beginning station molds.

Setting stem and stern molds

Fairing planking lines

Loggerhead carved from trunk

Planking completed

Gunwales installed

Installing frames

Installing centerboard trunk

Bronze roller for Harpooner's line, between the chocks

Hull faired, caulked and filled

Exterior primer coat

Interior primed

Primed and ready for interior fittings

All images and captions courtesy The Apprenticeshop

Miscommunication is a real bugger. John Brady recently put me in touch with Tim Jacobus at the Apprenticeshop in Rockland, ME, they've been building since August but we've just now connected! My lapse, no doubt. Tim is an apprentice and the project leader for their whaleboat. I'm posting Tim's missive to me as it pretty much says it all...

Hello Thomas,

I would like to confirm the building of the New Bedford "Leonard" Whaleboat for the Charles W. Morgan here in The Apprenticeshop, Rockland Maine.  Seems the info from our end isn't reaching the main Whaleboat/Morgan info stream. I have slowly been contacting other teams while we have been building our whaleboat and hope to open a line of communication as well as skill share and swap construction suggestions. Anyway my name is Timothy (Tim) Jacobus and I am a second year apprentice and the project leader. I with another second (Simon Jack) and three first year apprentices have steadily been constructing our Leonard boat. Lofting began on August 7, stem stern and keel set on September 19, planking completed on November 13, frames December 4, and now (December 14) her centerboard trunk installed, hull is faired, caulked, and primed. We will begin outfitting her interior once The Ashop is back from holiday break. I was informed of your forum/blog, Whaleboats for the CW Morgan and reading that you have received no info from the Apprenticeshop, I had to send this introduction and a few pictures. I've been in contact with the Great Lakes Boat Building school and have yet to email Lowell's. I am also trying to get the contact info for Matthew Stackpole to share our progress. He recently paid us a visit here in Rockland and we the build team would like to continue our relationship with him throughout the project.  We would love to hear from you and any of your team, to begin "breaking the ice" so to speak, and looking forward to the day we all meet in Mystic. Hope you like, and will share, the pics. Feel free to add them to your forum if you wish.

Proost, Tim Jacobus

The Apprenticeshop was founded by Lance Lee in 1972. More on Lance and the Apprenticeshop here.