Gazela is in Baltimore and will be open for tours through this weekend! For more information about Sail Baltimore’s schedule, click here
Gazela departed Philadelphia on May 31 for a 17-day Chesapeake Bay sailing trip, with port stops at Chesapeake City, Baltimore, and Norfolk.
Follow her progress at AIS Vessel Tracking: Gazela Primeiro
Gazela is scheduled to depart Philadelphia on May 31 for a three-week sail to the Chesapeake Bay. The first port stop is Baltimore, where she will be docked at Inner Harbor and open for tours from June 2 to June 5.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone who pitched in to assemble the rig and make crane day on May 15 at the Navy Yard a success. By the end of the day, the masts were re-stepped and the ship was moved back to Penn’s Landing.
The task of attaching and tuning the standing rigging, as well us sending up the spars, prepping and painting, and a myriad of other tasks to get her ship-shape is underway.
For those of you who are new to our little band of sailors and are looking forward to getting underway this season, we are offering sail training classes this spring.
The mandatory Level 1 class – Introduction to Gazela – will be offered four times on Sundays. All dates 10 am to 4 pm, aboard Gazela:
- April 3
- April 17
- May 1
- May 15
Please register for one of the classes at this link.
This class, provided at no cost only to active Guild members, covers a variety of basic topics ranging from knot tying, line handling, learning the ship, emergency stations and watchstanding roles. For new members, you will receive a copy of the Gazela crew manual, a log book, and a complimentary piece of rope for knot tying.
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.
For those looking to subscribe to Marlinspike Magazine, the only magazine focusing on tall ships, one can subscribe here: http://marlinspikemagazine.com/subscribe.html
The Pop Up at the Dry Dock party has been moved inside due to projected thunderstorms; it will still be in the Navy Yard and people will still be able to see Gazela and Poplar in the dry dock.
The address is: Mercer Cafe 4920 S. 15th Street Philadelphia, PA 19112
Tickets are available at: http://brownpapertickets.com/event/2207792
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dry docking update – we had a great turnout of volunteers on Saturday, July 11, to learn more about an important project to assess the condition of Gazela’s framing, and to make repairs to our barge Poplar.
Gazela and Poplar will be going into the dry dock at Rhoads Industries at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on or about the 21st of July, and will remain in dock for about four weeks.
The work on Gazela will include pulling a strake of planking off 5′-6′ below the waterline, which will involve stripping the copper off in that area, taking out planks and their fasteners, inspecting the frames and all visible sections of the vessel, putting new planks in where ones were taken out, caulking, and re-coppering. In addition to this, we will be checking thru-hull fittings, replacing plastic piping on thru-hulls, inspecting the cutlass bearing, and mounting a new depth sounder forward.
This critical project will also help inform our plan for a more comprehensive hull project in the future.
Current PSPG members will be able to help, though we will have a limit of how many can be in the dock at one time and all volunteers will need to sign a waiver, watch a safety briefing, and provide some of their own safety gear, such as steel-toed boots. Please e-mail email@example.com with your interest, expertise, and availability. The volunteers will be working alongside a paid crew of about twelve shipwrights and laborers. If you aren’t able to volunteer your time, donations are also welcome.
This is a huge step forward for the PSPG in fulfilling our mission to preserve our historic vessels and it can’t happen without your support!