(In the small thumbnail photo I uploaded while preparing this post, the boats looked ready for launching. (Yet another indication of aging eyes). When I just checked the published post I could see the red primer spots that had not been painted over black yet. Rest assured we did put a finish coat of black on the hull before the boats went in the water…
If you have read this blog before you might have seen a very similar picture in years past. These are the museum’s reproduction shallop – the bigger one in the back – and the ships boat – the smaller one in the front. Both boats were designed by William Baker, designer of Mayflower II.
The shallop was built in the winter of 1956-57 at what was once known as Plymouth Marine Railway, on the site of what is Brewer’s marine today. I was contracted by Plimoth Plantation to build the shipsboat in 1991. We built the boat in the then, newly renovated Craft Center.
We launched the boats for the new season this past Friday. Both boats need to swell a bit as they have been out of the water all winter and we haven’t had much rain to pre-swell them. The electric pumps in each boat are tended by our staff during the day and by our security staff at night. When they first went in the water, Friday at noon time, we were pumping once an hour. Today we are down to every four hours or so. By next week the pumps should no longer be necessary, until it rains again that is.