Monday, April 18, 2011


By: Korie Griffith

And I thought that the winter of 2009-2010 was a big one! This winter’s completed project list, including Phases 2 & 3 of the Centennial Restoration Project, is most likely unparalleled in the life of the Adventuress. And, coupled with Phase 1 of the CRP and maintenance list from last winter, this schooner is probably in the best shape since her early years. The CRP is an extensive list of restoration work over 4 winters leading up the 100th birthday of Adventuress. But, just as we are dusting off from this winter, planning for future phases is already underway.

Who Made it all Possible?

On November 3, 2010, we returned to the shipyard at Haven Boatworks in Port Townsend, Washington. The expertise, professionalism and passion that the shipwrights, machinists and management brought to the restoration work fueled each day’s work whether it was pulling old stuff out or putting new stuff in. Many thanks go to Blaise, Brad, Arthur, Andy, Leland, Kit, Joe, Stephen & Julia. True to their nature as shipwrights, they not only repaired and restored Adventuress, they rebuilt her stronger and better without compromising her original lines.

At the heart of the winter’s work was our amazing winter crew. Led by Captain Joshua Berger and Mate Ryan Short, our team of dedicated volunteer crew led the way in logging over 4700 volunteer hours this winter! This crew lived aboard the ship when she was stripped down from both ends during southerly gales and snowstorms. They showed up every day, worked late when needed and formed a big part of the leadership during the volunteer work weekends. While there were many volunteers and experts that lent many hands throughout the winter (you know who you are and thank you!), our most hearty thanks go to Jen Grod, Levi Johnston, Jane Burleigh, Andrew Pape, Kacie Guthrie, Nate Seward and Aleythea Dolstad. Thanks also to our two winter engineers Jessup Coffin and Crystal Goodner who continued tackling the ship’s systems during all the turmoil.

So, what did we do?

Phase 2: Starboard Bow Reframing

Like a mirror image from last winter’s port bow reframing (Phase 1), we added all new frame futtocks from the new purple heart stem (Phase 1) to midships which had been reframed in 2005-2006. We removed and replaced the top 15 rows of planks from the sheer strake (topmost plank) down below the turn of the bilge. Once exposed, we replaced the fore chain plate and diagonal straping. In the end we replaced 66 futtocks and over 700 feet of lineal planking. The new futtocks were made from purple heart and the new planking was sapele. With the completion of this phase, all topsides futtocks have either been replaced or deemed worthy of another 50 years of sea service!

In order to through-bolt the futtocks into the ship’s ceiling, we had to remove the starboard focsle bunks and all the shelves and paneling from the three heads. Our dedicated crew reassembled all the bunks just in time to move out of the main cabin when the horn timber was going in. Matthew Hirsch, a local volunteer carpenter, then came in to build us some beautiful new counters, paneling and shelves in the forward heads.

Phase 3: Counter Stern Rebuild

The backbone of the project from which all other components stemmed was the replacement of the horn timber, the key structural extension of the keel that runs to the transom. Aside from the forward 8 feet, the horn timber was completely replaced with a piece of white oak. In order to hoist the timber into place we had to remove and replace 12 futtocks (purple heart again) and over 400 lineal feet of planking (sapele).

As if that was not remarkable enough, we also replaced the ship’s transom and rim timber, starboard quarter fashion piece, the rudder and its associated steering gear housing, decking and covering boards. On the interior you’ll notice a new main cabin look as local volunteer Phil Rome rebuilt the steps and storage areas leading up to the aftmost bunks.

Mainmast Rigging

With the aid of riggers Brion Toss, John Koon and Wayne and Nahja Chimenti, we cataloged the entire rigging system and pulled the mainmast this year. We replaced the mast bands aloft as well as the throat crane and triatic bails on the mainmast and foremast. We replaced the triatic stay, the bobstay and both whiskers stays in our effort to rejuvenate the standing rigging prior to her 100th birthday.

New Suite of Electronic Navigation

Partnering with Emerald Harbor Marine (Seattle) and Furuno and with generous support from donors, we spruced up our navigation components to include electronic charting, a new depth, speed and temperature sensor, a weather station transducer and a Class B AIS system (Automatic Identification System used by Vessel Traffic Services to monitor commercial traffic). We also replaced our radar and GPS units. But don’t worry, you’ll still see the crew using paper charts too!

In Summary

I only outlined the big stuff here. The list of routine winter projects completed is just too long to include. Not to diminish the quality or quantity of the projects, but let’s just say it involved a lot of varnishing, painting and plumbing! Just like at the end of every Adventuress winter, I am left feeling humbled by the outpouring of support (physical and financial), inspired by what a small organization like ours can do for this ship and, yes, tired. Though, even before the last coat of bottom paint went on this winter, we were already getting excited for what is still left to do! HAPPY 98TH BIRTHDAY ADVENTURESS!

What’s Next?

Look forward to a new suit of sails, bottom futtock and plank replacement, new foremast mast bands, new blocks and more!

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