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Boothbay - Ernestina Visit

mate's picture

On Wednesday, we got up to Boothbay Harbor Shipyard to take a look at some of the work that is being done on the restoration. They are doing a lot of work on the forward half of the boat, and it looks like the funding may come in to go back to the break in the deck.

Ernestina Bow

Harold, the owners representrative, is there about 3 days a week and he took the time to answer our questions. The crew working on the boat was very friendly and knew what they were doing. It looks like all of the deck beams will be replaced because they need it. The funding is the only limitation.

Ernestina deck

The men are lining up for the installation of the breasthook, the green strips are long battens. You can see that the tops of the deck beams have some rot and need to be replaced - the deck including the covering boards have to be off for that.
The samson post still looks good, solid African Mahogany installed in Cape Verde.

They were installing some planking on the forward port side. It was old growth Longleaf Southern Yellow Pine recycled from an old mill building. The pieces were milled down (!) to 3" thick and some were 30' long. The grain is real tight, much better that the new stuff where the rings are much further apart due to the faster growth.

Ernestina Planking

The planks are clamped to the futtocks (notice the big homemade clamps) and then they are drilled and trunnels are pounded in. Trunnels are locust pegs around an inch in diameter. They are cut close to the surface and the guy is starting a slit in the head with a chisel. He will then put a hardwood wedge to hold it in place. They will be cut off flush after that.
Trunnels have been used for a long time. Some boats alternate trunnels with big spikes. When trunnels are properly installed, they are an excellent fastening and there is no reaction between the wood and the fastening.