Boom! History + volunteer day

Time to lower the boom, replace the cables, check, service and maybe replace blocks and paint the boom itself. We finally have a sweet spot to do this. The weather is FINALLY going to give us a long run without rain so it should be possible to get this all done without too many days of disruption.  We get some crane help to lower the boom as the boom winches walked a long time ago.
Project before the start.  Where boom was 11/4/11 Friday morning at 0900.

This project, as so often happens if you are dealing with preserving a historic boat, raised all sorts of questions about what was. So, mixed with the grunt work was all sorts of hypothesizing and checking old photos and plans.

Saturday's s volunteer day had an A team of Mike Abegg, Nelson Chin, Linda Von Voss-Beal (all South Street Seaport people), Carolina Salguero, and supervisor Chiclet. 

While the Seaport has their ship volunteer program on hold, Seaport folks have been stepping up to help over here. Thanks to you all for helping out while you couldn't get on your usual boats!!  

While we have your attention, I thought I'd mention that the Seaport looks very much on the mend after the take-over by the Museum of the City of New York with Susan Henshaw Jones at the helm.  You can follow the progress of the resuscitation of the Seaport on the blog of the group Save Our Seaport, heavy lifters in the cause, here

Where it was Saturday morning 0900 after new volies Jeffrey Jernstrom and Enrico Bazzoni chipped and scraped during Friday
Once the boom is on deck, you start to wonder what all the fittings attached to it were doing, why a bulge here, why a flat bar there. Mike figures out that a run of long shank shackles is a series of fair leads... and they went to the hose winch. But what were the mystery tubular fairleads along the forward edge of the boom?  Carolina and Mike make several trips to the ship plans in the fidley, a photo in the galley, and a photo in the fidley.  
Bob Mattson photo from 1979
Carolina comments that on a visit a while back Charlie Deroko pointed out that the mast and boom in the plans were not what's here now... that they are much shorter and look as if they're wood.  

Mike then points out that in the plans the mast isn't even where it is now - something no one had remarked upon until now. As drawn, the boom was on a pad eye on the ullage trunk, not forward of it; but then again, the drawings don't show the mast on the aft end of the wheelhouse that appear in ST Kiddoo photos...

Carolina hypothesizes that the new longer boom reflects how Mary Whalen's work evolved from delivering to terminals (short boom) to fueling ever bigger ships, necessitating a long boom for reach.

Bingo! Within a day, Carolina has a phone conversation with a Mary Whalen Mate from the 1980s who said that Eklof was very proud of their elongated  "superbooms" used to fuel ships. They found all sorts of ways to add stiffeners, he says, just what Carolina and Mike had been guessing. What a difference thirty years makes. The "superboom" seems mighty unimpressive in comparison to today's hydraulic, telescoping booms.

Mike I-Love-Rigging Abegg prepares to lift the boom with a shackle so we can rotate it to better get at the underside. We'll also clean and grease the pin.

Carolina  & Linda stretch the old boom cable on the dock to measure it.   The boom is not the original one in the ship plan; so until we lowered the whole affair to measure it, we didn't know how much new cable to get.  Amounts to 242' of wire rope.

Ship cat Chiclet assists in the cable measuring process.

Team Abegg & Chin priming the boom. The primer is milk chocolate brown which leads to many jokes about repainting the whole ship brown. Anyone ever seen a brown boat?  Tugster, can you help us here?

The cable measuring team comes up to heckle the boys on the boom. Classic boatwork slogan on the back of that old Wavertree t-shirt there, Mike!

Mike Cohen shows up, a fuel barge goes by, the sun is setting and it's time to get the tools back down below.

Kicking back in the galley after a day's work.

Next thought... might as well lower the mast, while we're at it, and paint that bedraggled thing and redo the mast stays.