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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

High School Sailing Kick Off

The winter weather seems to keep hanging around this year, more vigilant than ever it seems. No matter, our High School Sailors are up to the task and determined to face the cold weather challenges and begin their season! This was our first week of practices and the kids have been as enthusiastic as ever. Our wide range of skill levels gives everyone a chance to be a teacher. Our 420's and coaches are raring to get the season off to a fast start and we can't wait to get plugged into the regatta circuit. It is going to be a great season!

Check out a video from today's practice - the basics of tacking from the crew's perspective and getting into safety position.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Framed Pictures

We haven't given you pictures in a while, and felt a little guilty. Below you will find pictures of the most recent progress of cutting and fitting the new and previously existing frames. The process of fitting nearly 100 frames is moving along right on schedule. No more surprises (cross your fingers) are expected at this point and the end is nearly in sight as the tunnel begins to get a bit brighter each day. The nice weather, well until this week, has given us the chance to open the doors to Building J to let some fresh spring air flow in. If you are ever around the Western Waterfront stop in and check out the action, and, if you have any questions someone will be around to fill you in if for only a brief moment.

As the season nears the anticipation of Christeen going back in the water to put smiles on thousands of people's faces is mounting. We cannot wait until the first splash of when she goes back in the water. Until then however, we are just taking in how great this project has been and continues to be from the actual scope of the project to the complexity and to all the people who have been a part of it. Many people from the community and surrounding areas have pitched in to make the project possible and easier to accomplish. The many tasks we have taken on as the project and repairs have progressed would not have been possible without the help of many.

Got Wood?
Need Frames?
Let's make some Frames!
Nothing like some fresh cut timber

Gaps in the original frames
That's a nice fit!
More Gaps, need to get rid of these
New Frames, that'll fix the issues!
Frames, getting fit, looks good from here!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Everything was going along just swimmingly on the Christeen this winter, besides a few delays. In reality and taking a step back from the project, the delays experienced in this project of this size are to be expected.  We have reported previously on delays for the mast and keel delivery but when you are dealing with rare, odd, and custom or special parts such as 80 foot tall trees the size of Cadillacs – it’s best to expect the unexpected.

We received the new keel and went right to work taking additional measurements to make sure everything was going to be exactly how the original keel was. Unfortunately not everything goes to plan, and thus far we had been extremely fortunate in how well the project was going and how few problems and issues we had run into during the repairs. It was going so well we were able to take on additional jobs as resources allowed, taking care of issues that would have needed attention in five years. When the keel was finally fit last week and the frames taken out of the boat began to be put back into place a pattern began to emerge.  Frames weren’t fitting, Houston we have a problem, there were large gaps between the joints, gaps that could not be ignored. 

The gap between the joints in the sections of sawn frames was too large for Josh to close up the boat, and because Christeen is double framed it makes the task a large and time consuming problem to fix.

There were three options:
1.       To make a large shim to butt against the keel and push all the frames outward removing the gaps
2.       To replace only the short frames and leave the long sawn frames
3.       To replace all necessary frames with new lumber, using the longer frames as the shorter frames whenever possible and shimming the gaps 1/8 inch or smaller

The decision was made to move forward with option #3. As stewards of Christeen the WFC is responsible to maintain her in the best possible way we are able with the information and resources on hand. Taking shortcuts today for possible problems tomorrow is not something we are willing to consider. Fortunately we budgeted for the unexpected.

Due to the unexpected we had to move the launch date from April 9th to Saturday, April 30th. High tide on the 30th is at 10:30am and we plan to launch when the water is highest, with a small ceremony preceding the splash. Please join us for a great moment in Oyster Bay History as Christeen is once again re-launched!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Newsday, Special Report

TC McCarthy from Newsday stopped by on Wednesday (3/9/11) to visit the Christeen and check on the progress of the new keel. He was able to meet the shipwrights, some of the volunteers, and get a better handle on the scope of the actual project. As an outsider and reporter TC was thoroughly impressed with the complexity of the project what it all involved, and how much has happened in so little time. A credit to the people working on the job both the shipwrights and volunteers, without their incredible efforts the project would not have been possible. It is always good to have a new face around the shop to mix of the day and it puts things in perspective. When you are around a project of this size every day you can forget how truly amazing the entire thing is and the fact that it is even happening at all. He was able to catch the beginnings of fitting the frames and the keel to the boat and capture some of the atmosphere in the video below. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Keel Me

Christeen's keel has been cut, shaped, fine tuned, sanded, and put into place. The frames are ready to go and the Christeen is beginning to come back together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

All the frames lined up on top of the new centerboard
joint between the new keel and the bow
Christeen's keel in place
joint between new keel and the boat at the stern

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cut to Shape

Christeen's keel is looking more and more like the final product every day, by the end of next week we may have the keel in its final position.

Here are more pictures and videos, just in time for the weekend.

And a video of hand sawing, you can't beat this! In order to get the perfect fit between the boat and the new keel the shipwrights had to hand saw the length of the boat where the keel came in direct contact with the existing frame structure. If you are really excited about hand sawing there is another video here:Christeen Videos along with some others already posted on this blog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winter Speaker Series - Dr. James Cervino

The WaterFront Center had the outstanding opportunity to play host last night to an extremely accomplished marine scientist, Dr. James Cervino. Dr. Cervino who received his undergraduates degree at NYU, masters at Boston University, and then his Ph.D. at University of South Carolina is currently the visiting professor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass. 

Dr. Cervino's passion for marine science and the simple building blocks of life are enough to get anyone excited and fired up about what has been taking place on this living, breathing organism we call earth over the past 100+ years. His arguments for the destruction of simple food chains, all beginning with the basic building block of life plankton, are based on years of in depth research and hands on experiences. His conclusions are both surprising and alarming, the rate of change of the earth's climate, giving organisms little or no change to adapt, the increase in CO2 gases, and the destruction of trees. These occurrences have created gaps and holes in the basic building blocks of life all over the word, all of which have produced problems that we may not be able to recover from.

We can't wait until next year! Dr. Cervino wrapped up our WSS talks with a bang; we are already planning our talks for next year, so get ready for some great speakers once again! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Taking Shape

Videos and pictures are much more fun than words, and away we go!

Video of the first cuts being made below, along with pictures

Video of secondary cuts being made along with photos

Watch all of the videos here

 Christeen's Keel, older than the boat, WOW! The centerboard slot being cut with a nifty tool.

Christeen's new keel, first fit. Looking good.

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