SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
Update from Cramer Yard 2017
It’s been nearly two weeks since the Corwith Cramer arrived at Front Street Shipyard, and the SEA crew and local shipyard workers have been keeping busy. Long hours have been put into hauling the ship out of the water, removing the masts, and preparing her for the long maintenance period ahead.
The first week of work was all about moving - moving batteries out of dry stores, moving science equipment out of the lab, and most of all, moving the ship out of the water. First, the yards were removed from the masts, and then Cramer was steered into a travel lift, and lifted from the water by large straps under her hull. As she sat cradled in the lift, the next operation was removing the masts. Two full days of work were spent untethering everything from the two masts, and they were lifted free from the boat using an enormous crane. Once the masts were free, Cramer could finally be moved into the shed, where the crew will work on her for the remainder of the yard period. Now that she is in the shed, the deck department has attacked all the surfaces of the ship with various forms of plastic and tape to protect them from damage and dust.
The SEA crew for this maintenance period includes a veritable army of engineers, and it’s easy to see why. The engineering department has become a whirlwind of activity, as they clean out sewage tanks, maintain the watermakers, which provide freshwater to the ship during its time at sea, clean fuel tanks, and prepare to remove the main engine from the ship. A couple of brave engineers have donned disposable protective suits and rubber gloves before descending into the ship’s sewage tank to clean and maintain it. In the fresh air up above, SEA has recruited workers from Front Street to cut out anything above the engine so that it can be lifted out by a crane.
Along with engineering, the science department has had their work cut out from them. For the past two weeks, scientists have been working hard to deconstruct the lab, removing all the scientific instruments and computers. Each instrument has been carefully packaged, and sent off to their manufacturers to be recalibrated. Ship computers were removed and set up in the yard office to finally connect to internet, and receive hundreds upon hundreds of Windows Updates. Scientists also worked to check the ship’s local computer network, and make sure all the connections were intact. These connections ensure that all of the ship’s computers can communicate with each other and can receive data from the scientific instruments while the ship is at sea.
The SEA crew has found a comfortable home at the Crosby School, owned by the wonderful Kiril Lozanov. The crew has received a warm welcome from Kiril and his family, local Belfast residents, and the neighborhood cat. While not at yard, the SEA crew has enjoyed exploring the local farmer’s market, rowing with the community rowing team, and swimming in the frigid Maine waters. All in all, it looks like a great start to the summer!
For more photos, please click here.