Mystic, Conn. (WTNH) - Shipbuilders in Mystic are working hard to revive a piece of the past.
On Monday, steam could not only be seen, but also felt, coming from a box containing planks for a ship. The planks are placed in the box so they become flexible before they are installed on the ship.
After being steamed for three hours the long leaf yellow pine plank is maneuvered into place. It is 32 feet long, 3.5 inches thick, and weighs nearly 500 pounds.
"There were quite a number of craftsman all lined up because the piece is quite heavy," said Quentin Snediker, Mystic Seaport. "Lifted it into place."
It is the first plank, starting a new phase in the five year restoration project of the Charles W. Morgan. Stephen White, President of the Mystic Seaport did the honors, pounding the first bronze ship spike which will hold the plank in place. In all 100 planks will be replaced water line to waterline.
"Planking the ship is probably the single largest task," Snediker said, "in that it uses the most material and uses the most labor."
During restoration visitors can climb on board and watch the work.
"I think it's really great," said Margaret Yannopoulos, New York. "It's really nice to see how everything is made especially now cause they're redoing everything, and it's really interesting and I can not wait until she's back in the water."
And neither can the shipbuilders who are trying to replicate work which dates back to 1841.
"To see that side by side with new work that we've done now that will ensure the life of the ship for maybe another 170 years hopefully," said Snediker. "It's pretty rewarding."
Another major milestone will be when the transom beam will be placed supporting the stern of the boat. That beam is 24 feet long and weighs 2,000 pounds, meaning there is still a lot of work to be done here.
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