Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter/Spring Class on Rigging and Gig Building

Happy Holidays From Maine's First Ship
We will build a working rig for the Shallop Jane Stevens this winter/spring at Morse High School.

The students will build the spars, a mast and a yard, we will also loft out the standing rigging that will then be spliced, parceled and served. We will build the dead eyes as well as the running blocks. In addition we will also build and rig, port and starboard lee boards, and rudder.

Our objectives in this course are team building skills, tool and shop safety, a working understanding of rigging. splicing and traditional rope work, improve wood working skills, and to further their understanding of the historical importance of the Popham Colony. Intertwined with the woodworking and rigging will again be the documentation of the project, marketing and video skills.

We requested approval from the RSU#1 board for this project, as a course, to be able to move the hands on learning to another level. Last summer was a pilot project for the kids, volunteers and staff. This winter and spring, we want to build on our pilot project, continuing to teach kids to work as a group, to take pride in their work, to work with tools and to document their work. We have the opportunity to attract more kids to the project as we will be based in the Bath Regional Career & Technical Center right next to Morse High School.

We want to give high school students, from our pilot project of last summer and new students, the opportunity for hands on learning, to become apprentices to a master shipwright and to a professional media expert.These students will then be ready to be the apprentices to the shipwright and the media expert when the 51 foot Virginia is built. With the opportunities offered in this winter-spring program, with the students learning how to build a gig, how to do the rigging to take the shallop from a rudderless rowboat into a boat that sails and rows, how to make dead eyes and bolts, we will have students ready to mentor younger students in the 2011 summer program and when the work on Virginia begins in another phase of the Maine’s First Ship program. As part of our winter-spring plan, our shipwright will be available to visit area classrooms to engage students in learning how skills learned in the classroom transfer to the building of a traditional wooden boat.
images thanks to Jim Moulton and George Waldman