Necessity of a Crane (10/15/2022)

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We learn as we go. The length of the PHOENICIA is 66 feet and from keel to deck it is as high as 40 feet. There are thousands of board feet of timbers and about 40 tons of total weight. Each panel and each timber must be handled dozens of times. As the pieces come together the tolerances of the joints are measured within one 1/16″ of an inch. The pieces must be gently controlled when the timber and the planks are aligned to the tenons and the dowels. The weight of one section can be from one hundred to five hundred pounds.

The exact control of the movement of timbers is a serious challenge even for a team of five strong men. You can see from the attached photos how workers struggled with the pieces as they went higher and higher on the sides of the hull. The handling of the ship’s timbers at these heights creates greater risks for the workers as well as increased likelihood of damage to the integrity of the ship.

Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, today we found what we think is a good solution for the higher places where we have to place more timbers and align more joints. Our volunteers have located a used Stevedore 4000 Grove Hydraulic Crane that is well suited for the assembly of the PHOENICIA. The price is right and after refurbishing the equipment will be able to do the job of handling the timbers.

Today we made a down payment and have asked for a qualified mechanic to go over the crane and bring it to good working condition. We expect to take delivery of the crane in April 2023. The crane will have a clear safety benefit for our workers. The crane will help us bring together the parts of the world’s oldest ship replica that has crossed the Atlantic.

Once again we acknowledge the Hand of God as we move forward with this important project. We appreciate the hundreds of people who are supporting the ship’s restoration.

On Friday we honor Captain Philip Beale as the hero of the PHOENICIA at a dinner at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

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Workers struggling to put piece in palce.

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Workers on Setting in Place Timbers

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Five workers handling one piece by hand … very dangerous.

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Pieces of the PHOENICIA in Montrose, Iowa

Aug 24

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