SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
August 21, 2015
Removing the Bowsprit
We were able to check off one major item from our maintenance list today: removing the 500kg+ bowsprit from the Corwith Cramer! This was a major challenge that tested the minds of all aboard. Why did the bowsprit even need to come out of the ship?
Like many seagoing organizations, SEA Semester has a vigilant preventive maintenance program with respect to the ship, hardware, and rigging. During an annual test of metal thickness in the bowsprit, we found that there was some corrosion which necessitated repair. This type of corrosion is fairly normal on steel in a maritime environment, but when it begins to reduce the thickness of the steel in a critical piece of the rig, we have to do something about it.
The bowsprit is more important than many people realize. It can almost be considered a third “mast” on the ship, and it plays a critical role in balancing the sail plan and keeping everything in order and playing nicely way up aloft.
So today, after a week of hard labor from many crew members, especially Shlee and Sara, we craned the bowsprit off the ship and into a shop for some repair. In a couple weeks, we’ll get to think about the challenge of putting it back in!