Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monomoy Musical Chairs

This weekend, the Dockyard crew turned out to do a little shuffling of Monomoys 2 and 3.  Both boats are moving into winter quarters of sorts - so they'll be protected without constant attention (as last year, when we had to brush snow off of tents regularly).

Monomoy No. 3 is now in the Framing Bay - a move of some 88 feet over soft and uneven ground, four turns and a slide sideways - all while stabilized (the keel is carefully aligned and the hull shape preserved in a cradle).  Overall the whole assembly weighs about two tons, and we moved it the only way possible - slowly.  Now, I know what you're thinking - don't hurt yourself.  Yes, yes.  All possible safety measures were adopted - such as "the scamper" - a means of semi-rolling and crawling quickly away from a boat that is about to fall on you, or "the worry" - where you chant "no, no, no, no" with increasing quickness in a verbal effort to stop the boat from moving.  But I digest.

All in all, the techniques for moving something this heavy yet so fragile are relatively simple.  Just take the whole thing like a box of chocolates - and assume you never know what you're going to get until you get there.  Adopt, adapt and improve, sort of thing.  Or maybe we should just name No. 3 "Jenny".

First, though I'd love to be able to throw out "just do it" or any other such philosphy that would mesh with the principle of adapting to the unexpected, there is some planning required.  To that end, crack a book:

SO WHAT if it's a kids book?  It's not written for your ten year old, it's written for THIS ten year old!  And the best part of the whole thing?  The figures illustrated throughout are all wearing smashing red suspenders - and have names like Wallace and Basil.  Trully awesome.

In all seriousness, the book illustrates the use of greased blocks, tree-trunk rollers and heavy timbers.  As it happens, we have all three at the Dockyard, and we used them to best advantage with a simple come-along and a $15 scissors jack (I love that dinky little thing!).  Slowly, inch-by-inch, we made progress.  Saturday, we managed to get her cradle and skids all fast and ready to move, then turned her in place and moved forward the first boatlength or so.  Sunday, we took her the remaining three boat lengths all the way into the shop and began blocking out her skids.  Of course, the specifics of each little section of the move are so much more complicated, but the stories of the use of "the scamper" and "the worry" are more or less reserved to sea stories told by those who were there.  What can I say? you missed out!

Monomoy No. 2 will be an even bigger job for next weekend.  There's simply no space for her indoors, so she'll be flipped over and covered with a tarp.  Flipping her over is the hard part. First, we have to create a framework to balance her weight while upside down - she can't simply rest on her stem and sternposts and lean on a gunwale.  To that end we're fitting her with a set of inverted gallows that will focus her weight on her keelson and keel, relieving strain on her gunwales.  We'll be working on that this Wednesday evening as we prepare for the flip on Saturday.

Fun times ahead, stand by for more details as we progress.


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