Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Check out the Video that includes an Essex Side Launch

Harold works on a deck beam

Chuck works on bolt holes for the gammon knee

Great stern shot by Dan Tobyne

Bruce Slifer, James Green and Harold work in the shop

We have a video that includes a famous Essex side launch and will try and provide more information about this unique event in future blogs. Above are some great shots just posted by photographer Dan Tobyne and we also found a great video of the Isabella from 2006.  It is derived from the time-lapse photos taken by Steve Hastings ending with the launch of the Isabella. The same will be done for the Ardelle when she is ready to make her big splash..in just a few short weeks. Check out this video here http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1148149/the_essex_built_schooner_isabella/ and today's time lapse photo of the Ardelle

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Deck is Being Cut and Fit!

The day started with Steve Willard showing up and rounding over the bottom of the deck beams  followed by another Marbleheader Davis Griffith who arrived early and spent the whole day here. He chopped off the stern post and along with Jeff Lane, and Zack Teal; they started laying the deck! Meanwhile, cleaning and painting continued of the interior with much of today's work done by the whole Redman clan including Sarah, Frankie, and Julia along with their dad Chuck who has been building the schooner Ardelle with us since early August - through thick and thin - including a somewhat bad collision last night with his car (not his fault). So, he had a few aches and pains today, but worked an entire day and a lot got done. Thank you Chuck!

The deck is being cut and fit!

Chuck Redman and Davis Griffith

Harold poses with his mother, Maria Burnham

Bruce Slifer also came by and helped with some more bolting and planing the covering boards and also helped with the painting. Henry Szostek also came by and helped fix a lot of our power planes and cords in addition to dropping off the gudgeons for the rudder which were , patterned by Eric Borden, cast at the Edsen company and machined by Henry. All seem to agree that they are beautiful and will take whatever comes for as long as the boat lasts.

The boat is looking great and everyone is walking on the deck now as it is put in place. Also, thanks to Capt. Tom Hastings for coming by and painting, as well as Perry and Cole and Jackson who helped paint the engine room. Great job and thanks to everyone who worked through a national holiday when the beach and other summer things beckoned. Also, today is Memorial Day so we also remember all of our veterans.

Charles Burnham and Eunice Dock - Eunice grew up in Essex but lives in Alaska. She visits every summer...welcome back Eunice!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cape Ann Beacon Feature Today

The Cape Ann Beacon has a front page story about us today and I have posted it below...but also we urge you to check out their site http://www.wickedlocal.com/essex/ardelle as they have been documenting the schooner's progress all along. They have sent over their team of Kirk Williamson, Nicole Boyd and Ian Hurley to document, photograph and film the Ardelle's progress. They have been incredibly devoted especially considering their major staffing restraints and the tight way newspapers are now run. They have clearly gone well beyond their regular hours to do this --- so thanks you guys! 

Excerpt From the Beacon - In keeping with the 400-year-old traditions in Essex shipbuilding, shipwrights at the Burnham Boatyard working on the Schooner Ardelle want to see the new vessel in the water before the hot summer months dry out the boat. But, with the wet weather this spring, dryness has not been a worry for master shipwright Harold Burnham and the crew, at least not yet. With the deck beams now bolted down on the Schooner Ardelle, Burnham is hoping for a few dry days next week so he can finally begin to put down the deck which is a key turning boat in the vessel’s progress. Once the deck is down, then the focus will turn towards preparing the boat for water and a unique Essex side launch of the schooner Ardelle will soon follow so stay tuned!

“The rain we have had has been good in that it has kept the boat from drying out but it is sometimes harder to work on certain parts of the boat in the rain than it is in with the snow and ice,” Burnham said. “It seems every spring when we have built a boat, it has been a rainy one - as is this one - but we do our best to work around it. Things are coming together and we hope to be launching the Ardelle in mid-June.”

Burnham and the many volunteer shipwrights are busy these days finishing up the deck’s structure in anticipation of putting down the mahogany plywood and fiberglass deck and the anticipation to “walk the deck” is growing.

“Currently we are making the bowsprit and a new main gaffe and other odds and ends but what we are really trying to do is stay focused as much as we can on the deck structure in preparation for decking in the very near future,” Burnham added. “And, if we are lucky by the time we are ready the rain will clear out for a few days and allow us to put the deck down in one shot. ”

The schooner Ardelle’s progress would never be this far along without the devoted volunteers who have been working on the vessel all fall, winter and spring - up to seven days a week. Chuck Redman, who lives in Rockport, has been working with Burnham since early September. “I am really excited about the deck going down because it means we are one step closer to being ready to go sailing,” he said. Bruce Slifer of Gloucester has also been working with Harold since the fall. “I really can’t wait to have the deck down. I am going to strut around on it with my boots on – like Johnny Depp.”

In other news, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce has named Harold Burnham the local businessman of the year in Essex. The award recognizes the contribution of Cape Ann’s small business community to the area’s economy and quality of life. There will be a reception on Thursday, June 9 for Harold Burnham at Periwinkles Restaurant starting at 5 p.m.

“It is a great honor to get the small business award from the Cape Ann Chamber and although boatbuilding for us has never been really lucrative one of the things we are most proud of is that at least two of our boats have proven well for those who have used them for commercial purposes’ the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon and the Fame of Salem as they have successful charter boats and helped keep our maritime traditions alive for their owners, crew and all those who sail aboard them. We hope that the Ardelle will be as successful for us.
- Laurie Fullerton

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Great Weekend Forecast Means Deck May Go Down Soon

Eric Borden's "Sawdust" - rebult last year in the barn, taken this a.m. by Laurie F.

Bernie Power in the barn - Congrats as his daughter gets married this weekend!

Bruce Silfer sitting with James Green...Bruce's daugher is also getting married very soon!

James Green just joined the crew - en route from Japan. He just got married but is taking a week or so to work with us..thanks, James!

The Turnabout has to get a mast on and get in the water

Harold's truck across the marsh and an old Essex style house

Today, May 23, was the first really warm, summer-day in over 300 days, the weathermen say..it has been a long winter, cold spring and rainy May...so everyone is happy to be outside and the long weekend is just ahead. It is a good time to come to the boatyard and have a look at what is going on but it is also a good time to say thanks to all of the great people who have been helping make this happen through the long, cold months.

Deck Structure Top Priority this Week

Bernie Noon and the crew have done a great job cleaning the blocks

Chuck and Harold work on the gammon knee

A nice view of the deck beams and deck structure

Chuck works on the gammon knee

Insert mast here!

Harold and Chuck work on the bow

Blocks and tools 

Bernie Noon varnished all the blocks..and hung them to dry. They look great.
The crew is making great headway with the deck structure this week as well as the spars...so there is a lot of interesting and intricate work going on at the Burnham yard. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the work should be ongoing so stop by. Harold thinks it is possible, but not definite, that he can start putting the deck down this coming weekend. Here's hoping.  Please also come by the store or check out our trunnels and plank certificates on the Schooner Ardelle.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Great Photos of the Deck Beams

Dan Tobyne shot this on Saturday

The View from Here Looks Good

Deck Beams are All Bolted Down Now
Low Tide and a forlorn view of the Pinky Maine..stripped of her masts and soon her cabin tops

Daisy is in the hunt
Today we had a visitor named James who until about four days ago was living in Japan and he has returned now to the states. He was reading the website and blog while in Japan and he just wanted to come here, and sort of make his re-entry into the USA with a few days in Essex and Gloucester...so he will be around for the next few days and he has been a huge help already. He seems to like it here, too!

Dan Tobyne came by on a rainy morning ...and he said he likes to shoot when the skies are grey...and he took some great photos. There is a lot going on..all good..and we think the sun will come out this week some. The midwest of the country has had the worst weather of all..devastating tornadoes destroying entire towns so we cannot complain anymore about some rain.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Deck Beams are Finished - On to Laying the Deck

Yesterday (Sat.) the last deck beam was bolted on so the crew took a moment to relax.

Yesterday the last deck beam was bolted down paving the way for carlins, stud beams and mast partners which will support the hatches and the masts respectively. Today, Chuck Redman has been working on the gammon knee so the bow is starting to look really good. This is going to be a productive time and once the deck is ready than the crew will begin putting the deck down. That goes fairly quickly and it should be interesting to see the shipwrights actually walking around on the deck.  Photos (below) were taken last week  by Dan Tobyne.

Justin is bringing up a clamp
Clamp is coming up the staging

Clamp coming through

The Bow
Zack,16, went to his prom on Friday night but a week or so before he borrowed Harold's top hat and tails. Looking good Zack, on the Ardelle and in the end, he was the best dressed guy at the prom!

Daisy and her favorite. Chuck

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Deck Beams Are Being Bolted Down

Schooner Ardelle hourly update

Deck beams are being bolted down and this picture shows Harold gingerly walking along the deck beams. You will see more of that once they are all bolted down...it is one of the more acrobatic things that these shipwrights do! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Low Pressure System Means Lots of Rain but Spirits are High

From the Maine to the Ardelle ; the new, used mast

Perry Ardelle Burnham and her Dad, Harold

Master craftsman Henry Szolstak - did I spell the last name correctly yet?
 We have an extended low pressure system that is giving us lots of cold, hard rain and wind and it is meant to last all week. However, work has not slowed here as Harold is already working on the floor of the Ardelle and the bowsprit and when I marveled that he was at that point in the project, he said "well we are launching in less than six weeks!" He is going for it no matter ...and I think he is far more ready to launch than the rest of us. It is somewhat a kin to final exams and the end of the school year, it is looming and the season is changing..and I think he is ready. and It is going to be an adjustment and a ton more work will need to get done before we can start the charter business, but ..gulp...less than six weeks til the big splash? Wow, that is soon!! Stand by for an actual date..it is going to be on a weekend and will most likely be mid to late June. So, hopefully no one is going to a wedding, graduation, or birthday party in June? Good thing it is generally a slow month...with very little to do. Ha,ha.  Hopefully, you can squeeze a schooner launch into the schedule!
Chuck Redman has been focusing on the sheer line - and now the stanchions have been cut

Sanding is fun but there is a lot of other, more interesting things to do. We'll get back to it!

Perry Ardelle stands by while Harold places an order. He is expecting his pintels and gudgeons, soon.

Also, check out our plank owners here!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It Feels Like We Are on the Homestretch...Will We Launch in June? We Think So ...

Laurie Fullerton, and Daisy, who writes the blog..er, Laurie does, not Daisy.

Well, for whatever reason I feel it is time to come clean and include the person who writes this blog in a picture. I have been posting the Boatbuilding with Burnham story for a long time now and what is hard to believe is that we are definitely hitting the final stretch...or so it feels. The project has been amazing to watch and be part of, I have helped carry hot planks from the steam box to the vessel, I have used one of the great wooden beetles to drive trunnels, I have varnished the deck beams and bulkheads, made a lot of coffee, made a lot of runs to the store to get cream for the coffee, and reset the table a lot of times so we can feed the shipwright's lunch. It has been a definite behind the scenes job but I have certainly come to appreciate, enjoy and look forward to seeing the shipwrights come to the yard each day. Many of the regular folks who have been volunteering since September had not worked together before, nor with Harold and many had never built a 50-foot schooner before. Watching all of the people - men for the most part - arrive not fully knowing if they had the skills etc. to build a 50 foot schooner and watching their skills grow and become fine tuned while they work hard, long hours, and with great patience has been an honor. We have all mastered something here and done some amazing things..building masts, cutting planks to fit just right, adjusting the sheer line with a batten, making sails, making beetles, masthoops, etc., coming in with new calculations. Along with the regular shipwrights like Steve Willard, Chuck Redman, Zack Teal, Justin Ingersoll, Bruce Silfer, Bernie Power, and Chuckie Burnham, Harold's Dad, over the winter and spring we have seen a lot of John Miles, Bernie Noon, Geoffrey Richon, Henry Szolstak, Dan Tobyne, Jeff Lane, Tim Walsh, Chad Gadbois, Frances Cleary, Aaron Snyder, Davis Griffith, Erik Borden, Michael Rutstein, Jim Chambers, and so many others who have
come to work and help and have a good time.

With the deck beams going in it is looking like the schooner will launch in June although the date is not yet official, start thinking about it and check your tide charts.  Although Harold hopes this won't be his last vessel or the last Essex vessel it should not be forgotten that the reason he is building ARDELLE is that no one else wanted him to build them a schooner nor had they for the past five years. And regardless of whether or not this launch will symbolise the end of an era for shipbuilding it certainly symbolises the beginning of a new era for us in our pursuit of a more sustainable way of life doing sailing charters and educational trips out of the Gloucester maritime heritage center and beyond.

In the mean time we definitely urge any and all of you to come down to the yard this month and into June as we will not be building her forever...With luck the Ardelle will last a long time as will the bonds of friendship formed in her gestation but we are all looking forward to looking back at these times and the coffee and meals and our accomplishments and so if you are interested in what we are doing come and see it  before it is done. Also, come support us with by buying a plank or trunnel. Bring your camera!

Celebrating the whiskey plank (last plank) going on (about a month ago).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Essex River Race and Festivities at Museum on Saturday, May 14

Schooner Ardelle hourly update

If you look at this photo today or tomorrow you will see the deck beams going in - they are being measured and lined up but the pace is quickening. We are also varnishing...a sure sign that the project has turned a corner towards the finish..no pun intended.  Tomorrow morning is the Essex River Race and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum is offering up food and drink for sale so if you are in Essex tomorrow come on by the boatyard, too. Our gift shop is open and we have t-shirts, trunnels and planks for sale. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clamps Are Done Today

Justin Ingersoll drives a clamp

Chuck Redman

The Clamp is moving along after coming out of the steam box

The clamps meet here
Harold holds the clamps as Justin hammers it 
Claimps coming together
Justin Ingersoll, Churck Redman and Harold worked all day on the clamps. They will finish up today

The clamps are nearly done today and today the material arrived for building the deck. The clamps look great and it is a big step in the vessel's progress. We hear that this weekend there are lots of events going on in Essex so think about coming by to see the ongoing work.