Highlights from the Edna Lockwood Restoration Symposium

On March 10-11, 2016, we hosted a symposium of historic vessel preservation experts, allowing a detailed examination of proposed procedures and recommendations for the restoration of Edna E Lockwood. Symposium experts were:

·      John Brady, President, Independence Seaport Museum

·      Todd Croteau, Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service

·      Richard Dodds, Curator of Maritime History, Calvert Marine Museum

·      John England, Head Shipwright, Deltaville Maritime Museum

·      Quentin Snediker, Shipyard Director, Mystic Seaport Museum

·      George Surgent, Head Shipwright, Calvert Marine Museum

Our principal take-aways from the forum were:

1.     Fundamentally, our approach of assembling new logs separately, cutting the bottom off the existing boat, and marrying new with existing, is sound. This approach has a number of advantages: it maintains the historic continuity of the boat, as recognized in historic preservation best practice, so that even with 100% material replacement, we still have the historic vessel (as identified by Snediker). By assembling the new logs separately (as opposed to a piece-by-piece replacement), original fastening techniques can be replicated (as pointed out by Michael Gorman and vetted by others). And this approach also allows us to save a significant part of the historic material in an intact and recognizable form--something that is rarely accomplished in historic vessel preservation projects, unless the old vessel is mothballed to an interior space and replicated afloat.

2.     We were encouraged to make use of traditional sealants—raw linseed oil, turpentine, red lead—and to avoid epoxies and plastics.

3.     We heard an extensive discussion on fasteners, which steered us away from steel and toward a combination of bronze and locust or Osage treenails.

4.     We have unanimous support for attempting to remove the hog (drooping of the ends), but it comes with a number of cautions about how to adequately plan for this, which will mean a bit more with adjusting the HAER drawings and problem-solving with how the old is married to the new.

5.     The interior of the vessel provides little opportunity for interpretation, so the guiding principle should be to maximize air circulation below decks, an important factor in long-term preservation.

6.     We seemed to arrive at a consensus to select a mid-20th century date for the restoration period; that is, when the project is completed, Edna should appear much as she did at the end of her oyster dredging days, and that date should guide decisions about what to include when there are possible options.

Our plans for Edna through September—before we start work on the logs—have taken an interesting turn. She was to be put back in the water, to clear the railway for Winnie Estelle to be prepped for her Coast Guard inspection. Unfortunately, one of Edna’s logs has rotted out and she’ll need to stay dry. We have a 100 ton crane arriving this week to remove her masts and to lift her parallel to the waterfront container that is acting as her workshop. We’ll make this work on our behalf, as we plan to build access steps up to Edna’s deck, and from the deck guests will be able to see the logs being worked on.

-Kristen Greenaway, CBMM President