Here is a quick log to get everyone up to speed on how things are going up at the boat. This time of year is always hectic, and with the wrap-up of our bow restoration, this year has proven no different. A week and a half ago we welcomed friends and strangers to celebrate the installation of the final plank with us – a watershed moment. But for us it was only the beginning of the end – a million little tasks were lined up and are in the process of getting knocked down to go from bare new hull to floating and sailing with students.
This past week has been a whirlwind of activity: The carpenters with their power planers and heavy-duty sanders completed the final shaping and smoothing of each plank to it’s neighbor;
caulker Chris Nelson finished driving in the flexible and compressible cotton and oakum that goes between the seams of the planks to create a full watertight barrier, while the crew gave some attention to the old seams; thousands of feet of seam compound – a substance closely resembling silly putty or window glazing – went in over top of that oakum to protect it;
and all the bare spots (like the entire bow, for example) got a primer coat of paint.
Many folks have been giddily enjoying their first views of the tulips coming up and the buds on the trees, but here on Clearwater, we have our own special signs of spring. The entire shed – our big, white cocoon – was dismantled and neatly stowed in the loft of the warehouse at Lynch’s. The rest of the oak stock (for use in future projects) – three piles 9ft. tall by 30 ft. long – was transported and stowed with our friends at the Cantine’s Island co-housing property. Our crew moved into their bunks and the cook moved into the galley – hurrah!
Our bobstay and bobchain and other rigging was secured in place ready to bear the load of our enormous sail area.
Fuel and water was taken on for the upcoming trip north to Albany and Matt and his tugboat Cornell tied up alongside and started disconnecting the barge from it’s moorings. Soon we would be on our way back upriver to Scarano’s boatyard so that, with the use of a 150-ton travelift, the hull of Clearwater, old and new, could be reunited with the waters of the Hudson River after a long 5 months apart. Stay tuned for a photo gallery of the myriad finishing touches and another log coming soon, with photos of our northbound trip and launch.