The Bill of Rights haul out is going very well! Many thanks go out to the people who have supported us. The crew and several awesome volunteers have been hard at work prepping the ship since Friday. We have pressure washed the hull, started sanding above the water line, pulled all the zincs, unbent all the sails, down rigged the whisker shrouds, and many other small maintenance tasks needed for our Coast Guard Inspection.
While inspecting the hull of the Bill we came across rotten wood in the stem and doublings timber of the boat and these must be replaced. This was unexpected, but demonstrates exactly why we do these inspections. While this is a significant repair, it is easily justified by the basic soundness of the rest of the hull.
This estimated cost of the repair is $19,000. We are calling on all Bill supporters to help us raise the money for the repair. The Bill is still incredibly sound, thanks to the fact that she was masterfully built. Repairing this rot will ensure that she will continue to provide life-changing educational experiences for many years to come.
Schooner Bill of Rights Shipwright’s Report
The stem from stem head down a minimum of 12 inches is rotten. The doublings timber to port is also rotted and must be replaced.
The rot is a long-term problem that was caused, in part, by moisture trapped under the Airbol covering of the deck at the stem. Water was trapped under the covering; rot migrated through the deck and into the stem head. It took a number of years for it to progress down the stem and finally reached the surface of the timber.
The repair requires removing the top 4 or 5 hull planks from the sheer strake down. The beak head must also be removed. Removing the planks, which are ship spiked, may require making new planks as the normal strain on the forward planking makes those fasteners difficult to pull. A new stem section will be scarfed into the remaining stem. The basic structure including massive sheer clamps in way of the stem provide great integrity to the hull. While this is a significant repair, it is easily justified by the basic soundness of the hull.
In case you haven’t heard already, the American Tall Ship Institute’s first annual Pirate Gala Fundraiser was a huge success. Through donations, ticket sales and our silent and live auctions, we were able to raise over $19,000. All of the night’s proceeds go directly toward our biennial Coast Guard required haul-out of the Bill of Rights in May, which will cost an estimated $40,000.
As pleased as we are with the success of the gala, we are still a long way from covering all the expenses of the haul-out and still need to raise an additional $20,000.
The haul-out will allow the Bill of Rights to be Coast Guard certified for another two years and to continue inspiring students and guests with her beauty and grace atop the open seas. Contributions will ensure her legacy and restore her to all the beauty she deserves.
Those interested in donating can do so by clicking the “Donate Now” links on the left side of the page and at the bottom of the page. All donations directly support the Bill of Rights by continuing her ability to educate the children of Southern California and allowing her to continue sailing long into the future.
By Anne Kallas Sunday, March 3, 2013
With the occasional “arrrrgh” as well as hors d’oeuvres, drinks and dancing, about 200 people at a pirate gala raised money to fix up the Bill of Rights, a 138-foot topsail schooner used to teach young people about the sea.
The American Tall Ship Institute put on the ball at the Channel Islands Yacht Club. Greg Frank, chairman of the board of the institute, said the boat needs about $78,000 for routine maintenance.