Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yes, That is a Cactus

Geoffrey Richon of the Heritage Center and a great shipwright who has been helping build the Ardelle must be visting a nice warm climate as it appears he has hung up his Pinky Ardelle shirt to dry in a particularly arid place. He sent us a friendly email the other day and simply said Yes, it is a cactus! We hope you are having a great time Geoffrey, wherever you are! Thanks for thinking of us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Showers Means Mast, Rig, Spars Get Attention

Harold is cutting a deck beam
The Man! Dan Tobyne aloft looking down ..

...from atop the scaffolding

Bernie Noon has been making these beautiful mast hoops

Caulking is almost done

The interior frames have been oiled and polished by Steve Willard while others place the stanchions.

The rainy weather today meant that the shipwrights focused some attention on the spars and today Bruce Slifer and Bernie Power were sanding a beautiful piece of the rig. Steve Willard has also been varnishing and painting the spars while Henry S. is looking at some nice wood for some possible deadeyes. Bernie Noon is building masthoops. It is great to see some of this work going on in the barn, and it gives visitors a chance to see a different kind of skill set. The deck beams have been varnished and Harold thinks he will have all of the stanchions in by the weekend which means he can start laying down the deck beams...which will be a very interesting process.

It is great to have the mast laying out in the yard, the former mast of the Pinky Maine, and plans are taking shape to make the second mast which should also be interesting to see.

With good weather this week, it should be an interesting time. Also, it is a good time to check out the time lapse photo on the website and also come by and buy a tshirt or trunnel, or plank, as the store is open!

Spring tides are pretty high but work goes on! Just wear boots.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Moving on to the Next Phase

This Sign is Worth a Read..!

Great shot by Dan Tobyne!

Chuck Redman has now nearly finished two sets of sails for two schooners. Well done, Chuck!

The Ardelle is also nearly completely caulked by Chuck Burnham. Nice job, Chuck!  Will Chuck R. finish before Chuck B? The race is on.

Justin Ingersoll has been working on the stanchions

Steve Willard has sanded and oiled all the interior looks so nice!
Harold is cutting wood, shipwrights are cutting, sanding and varnishing deck beams, stanchions are going in and the two masts of the Pinky Maine and the bowsprit came off yesterday. There will be a lot of restoration work on some of the Maine's main parts and Harold is anxious to get the stanchions done in order to start putting down the deck beams. There are no real races here but we have learned there is a standing competition between Chuck Redman - who is building a set of schooner sails and Chuck Burnham - who is caulking the Ardelle. Every day, when the two greet each other they say; finished yet?  Well, we think Chuck Redman may have won this one as he claims he is finished with the sails or will be tomorrow!  For now, we are still waiting to see who finishes first.

Scary Clown fell off the scaffolding and its head almost floated away with a spring tide. Harold was able to put him back together...sort of. At press time, he is lying flat on his face on a deck beam.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Harold - A Fashion Icon?

Harold and his daughter, Perry Ardelle Burnham
Harold has never been a fashion icon but he has been consistent and everyone knows him best by his red shirt and Carhartts. Well, his 14-year old daughter Perry, has helped out with the construction of the schooner Ardelle but the work cannot be done with school clothes. So when it came time to get Perry some work clothes...the choice was simple. Perry calls it her "mini-me" outfit and actually she looks very good in a red shirt and Carhartts...but she always looks great!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cape Ann Beacon Publishes a Great Story on the Whiskey Plank

This past Saturday, a group of friends and well wishers gathered together to help Harold Burnham of Essex hang the final plank — known to some as the whiskey plank — and celebrate this monumental stage in the construction of the new pinky schooner Ardelle. Amongst the crowd were former employees and owners of other Burnham-built vessels — including Gloucester’s own Tom Ellis, owner of the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, and Mike Rutstien who owns the Schooner Fame of Salem.

“When I started this project, I knew that if I could get the hull planked then I would have something real before me,” said Harold Burnham, 43, who is the designer and builder of the schooner Ardelle. “Getting the hull planked is an important step in getting the job finished. There is an amazing amount of effort that goes into a project like this. I am deeply grateful to the many folks who helped me get here in numerous ways.”

Read more: ://

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mug Up! This Saturday at Essex Shipbuilding Museum; Stanchions, Deck Beams Are Getting Done

Bungs are in, too.

Bernie Noon has been making these beautiful mast hoops

Chad and Henry get a taste of freshly dug Essex clams. The best!

This is actually THE whiskey plank - the last plank

Dan Tobyne decided to give Scary Clown a chance to get his head together (or get his head back on) after it was dug out of the bilge. At the moment, Scary Clown is once again missing but like a bad penny, he will be back!
After two inches of rain fell yesterday, today the sun is out and it is a beautiful mid-April day. Steve, Justin and Harold are working on the stanchions and Chuck is finishing his sailmaking duties. The deck beams are being varnished and prepared...three done, about 20 to go...but the tasks are starting to multiply. Fortunately, we have a highly skilled crew who are keeping the momentum going!

Be sure and stop by the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they are hosting a Saturday Mug Up event - which includes coffee, talks, and a visit to the yard here. See you then!

Monday, April 11, 2011

No Rest for the Weary - Work Goes on at the Boatyard

Planking is done and the shape seems great

Zach and Chad worked a long day

Hopefully it won't spontaneously launch itself!

On the ever higher staging finishing the final plank

Last plank

Bernie Noon is making some beautiful mast hoops

Bernie making the mast hoop

Chuck Redman, making sails in the loft, watches the last plank go on.

Steve Willard who has worked tirelessly all winter puts on the last plank
The work is moving on today (Monday) but Dan Tobyne was here on Saturday photographing the final day of planking and he took some great shots as always. There is a full crew here today so I guess there is no rest for the weary and this boat will get done yet!  Thanks again to all of those great folks who have been lending us so much help and support!

Here is Aaron burning the Christmas Tree!

Mike Rutstein, owner of the pinky schooner Fame of Salem, helps scary clown hold onto a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey just after the last plank went on. Scary clown is anathema to photographer Dan Tobyne. Whenever he tries to set up a clean shot, scary clown is in the photography.  In his frustration, he has been known to hide scary clown. Recently,  he decided to throw Scary Clowns head in the bilge and body to the mud...but somehow the clown was once again resurrected for the last plank. When school groups come to visit, they can't get over the clown, wherever he is...and they couldn't quite believe it when they saw its head floating in the bilge. We could hear their excited shouts of "we found its head! we found its head!"
Thanks Nancy Dudley for this photo!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whiskey Plank Party Celebrates Planking of the Entire Vessel

The Whiskey Plank was hung around 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and the party started even before we could get the clamps off. Attending were many of the folks who have helped us with this vessel as well as some the crew and owners scanning back as far as we can remember.

Bruce Silfer and Harold Glad to see the last plank on the vessel

The shipwrights worked furiously yesterday and got the job done!

The steamers were great and the outdoor fire burned late

One of the highlights of the evening - after the whiskey bottle was open and the steamers were in the pot - was when Mike Rutstien pulled the Christmas Tree off the stern post and he and Aaron Snyder set it ablaze as he did on the schooner Fame 8 years ago. It seems like this has become a new tradition at least as long as Mike is around.

Inside the songs were great - Barry O'brien on guitar, Dusty Clampitt on fiddle and mandolin

Jeff Lane, Mr. Cleary, Davis Griffith and Justin Ingersoll

That got the party really going and the musicians pulled out their instruments, the clams - dug by the famous clammer Richie Tofuri - were ready. The party went on til the wee hours and needless to say a good time was had by all! Thank you to all of the amazing shipwrights and friends who have been so great! Thank you Lenny for the great photos

Aaron Snyder and Brian Chapsky (Mike Rutstien is behind Aaron)
Davis Griffith talks to Graham McKay, Justin Ingersoll and Harold

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Last Plank Going on Around 4 p.m. Today

Justin is preparing to cut one of the last planks
The good old Steam Jenny!

Harold is working hard today!

The bow is fully planked now - just four more to go

Bernie loads more wood into the steam Jenny
It looks like the last plank is going up at around 4 p.m. today so folks should come by anytime then or thereafter to celebrate the whiskey plank!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Close...Four More to Go...Whiskey Plank Tomorrow!

Schooner Ardelle hourly update

Harold and the crew got 7 planks on yesterday and today they put on four. Tomorrow, they have four left so it won't be long now and we will finish tomorrow for sure. E. Harold has gone through nearly all of his planking wood and mentioned that 80 percent of it was cut on his sawmill using local trees from around here. The other 20 percent was cut by our good friend Jim Aaron in New Salem, Mass, from exceptionally long trees he procured in Connecticut. The barn and sheds and property seem to be emptied out of wood some of which has been stored, for nearly three years. So, it is great to be able to walk around the boatyard and see all that wood that once lay all over the place now transformed into a beautiful vessel. Great work everyone! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Almost There! Whiskey/Rum Plank Goes on This Saturday!

Justin Ingersoll has cut many of the planks now on the Schooner Ardelle

Just coming out of the steam box!

Harold cuts a plank

The planking stage of the project is finally coming to an end. All of the inch and three quarter lower strakes are on and trunneled, and all that remains are the two inch whales around the top before we can celebrate the end of this important stage in finishing the vessel. In the old days, this is the time the crew would finally get their first pay and a celebration would often ensue. Sometimes the last plank is referred to as the whiskey plank but our good friend Bernie Power informed us during a recent Mug Up chat that where he comes from it is called the rum plank. We happen to have some rum from our friend Bruce an enticement to finish.

So...if everything goes well, that bottle will be uncorked this weekend...we are shooting for Saturday afternoon/evening...with 18 planks left. We think we can do it!! So make plans to come on by on Saturday night to celebrate.

Justin Ingersoll cutting planks

Almost done!  Planking will wrap up this Saturday!