Since my historical rantings aren't slated to start until Monday, I should take a few minutes and outline the progress made so far, where we stand, and what is to come.
But first, a word to our volunteers: keep calm and carry on. Many are starting to get excited, anxious and moving too quickly. This goes especially for the folks working on rigging yesterday - I know its exciting but you need to calm down. I've never seen anyone go ass over teakettle out of the boat head first, before yesterday. We are on schedule, we are under budget (barely) and the point is don't get excited and screw up at the last minute. Enough said.
The Monomoy Pulling Boat is in the final stages of overhaul. Structural repairs patching hull gouges, mounting new lifting rings, chain plates and irons, reinforcement of the keel cross sections amidships and neutralizing the gunwale rot that had started. The inside of the hull recieved a chemical strip and power washing, and now boasts a new coat of epoxy-based paint. Each thwart, riser, bilge board and the bow and stern platforms were stripped and polyurethaned. The mast step and partners were made up based on the pieces of the original, measurement of fasteners and consultation of the original drawings. Based on original spars, a new set was made and tested, the single dipping lug sail was reproduced entirely by hand, and new rigging is going on now. The oars are in the final stages of finishing, being entirely stripped, then coated with epoxy and then polyuerthane.
So in my spare time this weekend, I intend to work toward completing the preservation of the oars and proceed to start leathering, and polyurethane the mast and yard.
First launch of the season and "gruelling test sail" sea trials are coming up April 11. The select crew for that has been notified, but all interested should feel free to stop by the Greenway Park Boat Ramps in Norfolk around 10 am and see the relaunching. Best views to watch the test sail can probably be had from the Lafayette River vistas off Hampton Blvd.
In case I don't get around to writing tomorrow, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Easter, or at least a good weekend!