Spring maintenance underway on Gazela

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The winter cover on Gazela will soon be coming down and our volunteer crew has lots of work to do as the weather continues to improve, including painting, rigging, and minor repairs. One of the major projects we accomplished this winter was sealing the deck forward of the break. Earlier this year the Guild hired a team of professional caulkers, and our volunteer crew was kept busy reefing the deck seams for the caulkers. Want to join our crew and help us prepare Gazela for the summer season? Please send us an email at volunteer@gazela.or

Seven Deadly Seas presents The Greater of Two Evils aboard Gazela on September 1 – 4

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Seven Deadly Seas, the amazing Pirate, Comedy, and Burlesque shows on the Tall Ship Gazela are back!

Seven Deadly Seas is a theater-in-the-round-and-under-the-stars experience that was listed in TimeOut New York’s newsletter as “Best of the Week”. Combining live music,elaborate props, original comedy, and stunning burlesque, Seven Deadly Seas is known for creating shows call back to old vaudeville times, while taking a fresh look at comedy, politics and “entertainment for grown-ups.”

As in previous shows in the series, The Greater of Two Evils explores current political events through the highly warped lens of real-life pirates Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonney, and Mary Reed. This time, our heroes awaken from one hell of a bender to discover they have made some questionable choices while under the influence. This much-too-merry band must now fight, sing, and strip their way out of the mess they’ve gotten themselves into. The show will be performed in the round aboard Gazela and will feature live music, dancing girls, sword fights, and a variety of classic vaudeville-style entertainment.

Proceeds will help support the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild’s efforts to restore and maintain the historic Tall Ship Gazela and Tug Jupiter.

Tickets can be purchased either online or at the door (cash only at door.) Thursday, September 1st will be a discounted preview night. VIP tickets will be available Friday through Sunday.

Purchase your tickets at brown paper tickets

Seven Deadly Seas - The Greater of Two Evils

Awards presented at annual dinner

The Annual Dinner in February was a great success, with a healthy turn out and a good bit of money made for the Guild with the auction items. We got a recap of last year’s work and successes and got a glimpse of the year (and work…lots of work) ahead. In addition to that, we awarded our volunteer of the year awards:

Gazela Volunteer of the Year went to Debbie Greenspan for organizing the cooks and making sure that there is always lunch for the crew, even if that means dropping something off the night before or cooking multiple weekends in a row; she certainly has made a huge difference in crew morale by ensuring that the volunteers are always fed on weekends.

Jupiter Volunteer of the Year went to Hank Mahlmann for taking a keen interest in Jupiter and coming down multiple times per week to work on projects from cleaning and organizing the fo’c’s’le to assisting with the #2 generator work. Hank brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to Jupiter and the other vessels, and we are thrilled that he happened to find us by chance one day (and has decided to stick around!)

The William W. Smith Award was presented to Rhoads Industries for their extreme cooperation and understanding during this past summer’s dry docking. From allowing us to have our volunteers working alongside their and our employees, to their willingness to help us out in any way possible, they certainly helped make a lasting contribution to the Guild.

The vessels are back in the water!

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Gazela and Poplar went back in the water on October 8 after two months in dry dock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  Gazela is currently at Pier No. 2 at the Navy Yard, where volunteers have been busy bringing down blocks and lines, sending down spars, and removing the masts in preparation for moving her to Penn’s Landing for the winter.

Gazela leaving dry dock
Gazela leaving dry dock at 8:30am

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Gazela featured in Marlinspike Magazine

We were featured in the new edition of Marlinspike Magazine! They did a great job focusing not only on the work we were doing but also on those doing the work on Gazela and Poplar. While this is only a sampling of those working in the dry dock, all those who worked and volunteered in the dry dock put in long hours in sweltering heat to get the job done.

opening up gazela thumbnail

For those looking to subscribe to Marlinspike Magazine, the only magazine focusing on tall ships, one can subscribe here: http://marlinspikemagazine.com/subscribe.html

Pop Up at the Dry Dock on September 10th – tickets on sale!

posted in: Events, Features, Gazela, News, Repairs | 0

Please join us on September 10 at 5 p.m. at Dry Dock No. 2, operated by Rhoads Industries at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, to celebrate the completion of a project to repair and inspect Philadelphia’s official Tall Ship, Gazela Primeiro. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a 114-year-old wooden ship in a 105-year old dry dock! There will be wine, beer, and light fare.

Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets for $35 for Ship Guild members, $50 for non-members, plus service fee. Proceeds benefit the continuing preservation efforts for Gazela.

The primary purpose of the recent dry docking project was to inspect selected framing of Gazela‘s hull below the waterline, which will help determine the extent of future rebuild work. The ship is scheduled to be relaunched later in September. The project is funded entirely by individual donations and a generous matching grant from the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust.

Check out our Facebook page at Barkentine Gazela for photos and video of the project.

Dry dock project update – August 16

Gazela enters dry dock no. 1
Gazela enters the dry dock

On Wednesday, 29 July, Gazela entered Dry Dock No. 2 at Rhoads Industries in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She crossed the sill at 0805, followed by the barge Poplar, and the water was pumped out beginning at 0955; at about 1230 she touched the blocks.

This is the first time the ship has been hauled out in ten years and the first time the barge has been hauled out in probably twice that time. Once the dry dock was pumped out, the scaffolding was built around Gazela.

During the week of 3 August, workers and volunteers began taking off the copper and inspecting Gazela‘s framing and wood under the copper. After the copper was off, we began removing selected planks, which was accomplished with chainsaws, chisels, pry bars, clamps, big wooden levers, and plenty of teamwork.

The condition of the framing under these planks is better than we had expected, which is quite promising. We also started work on the thru-hull fittings, which will include replacing plastic fittings with copper or other material, and on removing the zincs (sacrificial anodes) that will soon be replaced with new ones.

removing planks
Removing planks from Gazela’s hull

With the planks removed, work started on prepping the ship for new planking (cleaning up seams, reefing seams, cleaning between the hull planking and the ceiling planking, etc.); in addition to this, the shipwrights began the process of roughly shaping the planking stock so that when the patterns are made they will be easier to cut.

During week three, we worked simultaneously on documentation, inspection, minor repairs to plank edges, and plank prep. There was spiling (using the space that the plank will go in to work up a pattern to make a new plank), cutting, steaming, and fastening, and by the end of the week we got the first plank of the project in and got another ready to steam.

Prepping the new plans
Prepping the new plank
installing the plank
The first plank is put in place

With about fourteen more planks to make, we have a planer to get them to the proper thickness, after which the shipwrights will cut them to shape based on the patterns that they have made for each plank.

Getting the shape and size of each plank is critical, as they all have very specific places in the ship where they have to precisely fit. After the planks are put into the ship in the coming weeks, we will be putting copper back on.

Work on the barge Poplar

During the first week, we started with chipping rust and power washing the hull, and we also removed the sole boards on the port and starboard side in order to clean up those spaces and inspect them.

In week two, we continued the rust chipping and moved all of the combustibles off the barge in preparation for hot work. We also began needle-gunning in order to further eliminate rust (and to try to make more holes in the hull, since this is our chance to fix them) and continued removing things that need to be removed/moved.

We continued the prepping of the barge for hot work during week three, and with all of the concrete and rust removed from the bow and stern rakes, we began the removal of bad steel in those areas and cleaning up the hull in preparation for welding and painting.

Week Two Poplar in dry dock
Poplar on blocking in dry dock