A great Shutter Day Bash and more great stuff in store.

A beautiful day was the setting for our shutter day celebration. We were joined by friends and newcomers to watch the final two planks go in! Over 150 people came down to Lynch’s Marina in Saugerties with enthusiasm, praise and lots of questions.

The crowd getting a close up of the hull

Kids and parents alike were able to get “hands-on” with the tools and materials we used for the restoration like the white oak planking, the shipsaw used to cut it and the cotton and oakum that goes in between the planks.

Captain Nick training up a new shipwright

They were standing by when the steam rushed from the steambox as the crew and shipwrights pulled the planks out and fitted them into place on the hull.

The plank coming out of the steambox

In 15 short minutes, they watched a crew, now quite adept and efficient at this task, drill over forty holes and drive in over forty 1/4” thick galvanized nails to securely fasten the last planks.

Drilling holes

Shutter day is the day that the VERY LAST PLANK (the “Shutter Plank” – because it “shuts” the hole in the hull) goes in and gets fastened to the new hull. It is a tradition for the shipwrights to share this momentous event with the community and signals the near completion of an enormous project. Check back for a new Photo Gallery with lots of photos from this wonderful day!

There are many finishing details that will quickly follow now in the upcoming days. The caulker will hammer cotton and oakum into the seams, those seams will get filled with putty, the new planks will get faired – sanded down smooth – and primed and painted. The Coast Guard will come and inspect the work – most of it more extensive than what was asked of us. And within the next two weeks, the tug will come alongside the barge, hoist the spuds – the vertical I-beams that now secure the barge in place – and tow us back up to Albany where we will launch the boat for the 2010 sailing season.

Shortly thereafter our crew will get the rig back on and we will be sailing again in no time. Our first official day with passengers will be May first for the “Ship to Shore Shad Bake” festival with our partners at the Palisades Interstate Park at Alpine Boat Basin.

After a great winter of public interaction, we can’t wait to take everyone out sailing. See you on the water!

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