Posted by: nwseaport | December 4, 2012

Learn to Reef and Cork a Ship’s Deck

Volunteers Marnie Leist and Ginger Duncan learning to cork the hull of the salmon seiner Thelma C at an Ocean Bay Marine class at the Kodiak Maritime Museum. Photo courtesy of Brian Johnson & the Kodiak Maritime Museum.

Volunteers Marnie Leist and Ginger Duncan learning to cork the hull of the salmon seiner Thelma C at an Ocean Bay Marine class at the Kodiak Maritime Museum. Photo courtesy of Brian Johnson & the Kodiak Maritime Museum.

This weekend a professional shipwright will be teaching interested volunteers the age-old art of reefing and corking (“caulking,” as they say back east). The lessons are free to anyone and will be taught from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays, December 8th and 15th aboard the 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss, docked at Lake Union Park.

Roll up your sleeves and work with an experienced shipwright who has been working in boatyards from Washington to Alaska. On December 8th, instruction will be from shipwrights Ryan and Trevor Farsovitch of Eagle Rock Boat Repair and Brian Johnson of Ocean Bay Marine. Each of them has decades of experience as commercial wooden shipwrights working on the vessels of the Washington and Alaska fishing fleets. Brian Johnson will be on hand both Saturdays so you can learn to reef and cork a deck as well!

Interested?  Contact Northwest Seaport  Just showing up at the Historic Ships Wharf counts, but early registrations get to warm up the mallets.

See repair work on the big NW scows by Eagle Rock Boat Repair

MORE INFORMATION:

The shipwrights—Brian Johnson from Ocean Bay Marine and two brothers, Trevor and Ryan Farsovitch from Eagle Rock Boat Repair in Anacortes—will bring their years of experience repairing and rebuilding fishing boats in Kodiak and Puget Sound and teach interested volunteers the ancient art of corking (caulking, as they say on the East Coast). Visitors will have the opportunity to pick up a corking mallet and learn to hammer cotton and oakum into the seams and seal them with pitch in the traditional fashion.

Corking Workshop Group Dec 2012Corking instruction will be done on Arthur Foss’s main deck, part of which has just been rebuilt. In learning to cork a seam, volunteers will be a part of the Stop the Leaks Project (rainwater leaks, that is). Northwest Seaport received a $25,000 Landmark Challenge Grant from King County 4Culture for the Stop the Leaks Project that paid for materials and shipwright Brian Johnson who has made major repairs to the deck and wheelhouse to stop rainwater intrusion. Rainwater is the biggest killer of wooden boats in the Northwest, feeding rot spores.

Teaching is central to preservation. Northwest Seaport is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of maritime heritage in this region and strives to preserve both its historic vessels as well as the knowledge and skills to maintain them. Most restoration work at Northwest Seaport is done as a class or workshop, teaching the traditional skills of woodworking, rigging, engine repair and other maritime trades. Students young and old, in vocational training or just curious about working on boats regularly attend Northwest Seaport programs aboard its vessels.

Corking Workshop Volunteers Locking MalletsSome of the current vocational training is done through the Boatwright in Residence Program. Christine Jacobson, arriving from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, is the current hire under this program run jointly between Northwest Seaport and The Center for Wooden Boats. The program provides young professional boatwrights a 10-week position working on small craft at the Center for Wooden Boats and on Northwest Seaport’s big 120ft tugboat, Arthur Foss.  Aboard Arthur Foss, Jacobson works alongside veteran shipwright Brian Johnson of Ocean Bay Marine. His 40 years as a west coast shipwright enables him to give her training and work experience not available elsewhere. For someone just starting out in the field, it is a precious opportunity to learn from an extremely experienced shipwright and to work on a vessel of unusually heavy construction.

Boatwright Christine Jacobson reefing out seams on Northwest Seaport’s 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss. Photo by Northwest Seaport.

Boatwright Christine Jacobson reefing out seams on Northwest Seaport’s 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss. Photo by Northwest Seaport.

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