|I found the "remains" of a Higgins LCVP in a guy's backyard in San Francisco.
I'm not kidding. We sent our own Seabee crew, Earl Fredricks
and Jimmy Duckworth Sr., on this mission and they really brought home the
bacon! Would you believe 950 Lbs of marine bronze and steel? They
got all kinds of great fittings from the wreck - including a Higgins first
design strut and rudder.
Folks, pat these two guys on the back because they dropped everything on
a moment's notice, grabbed a bunch of tools, and boarded a plane for San
Francisco. They worked all day in mud, muck and horse manure to strip
the old boat, then they got the parts over to a freight line for shipment
to New Orleans. Great job, guys!
The San Francisco LCVP was owned by Mr. Rob Stevens of Apex Sheet Metal Works.
Rob has donated all of these valuable parts to us! Additionally,
he pitched in and helped Earl and my dad remove the parts we needed. We've
got a new friend in San Francisco...we've got to invite Rob to the christening.
If you are keeping count, this is the third old LCVP we've taken parts from
to build our boat. Two of them have been Higgins.
We've found the cross grain plywood that we need to assemble the sideshell.
The Shelman Plywood Company has agreed to provide this special 5/8"
wood for our use. It will, of course, be constructed using solid mahogany
veneers. Just like EurekaWood, of course!
I owe an apology to Ed Daroca's company, as I left their name out of the
last newsletter. Thank you Hebert Steel Co. of Baton Rouge for all
of your help. We appreciate it!!!
Jimmy Dubuisson has agreed to head up our electrical and wiring crew. U.S.
Marine and L.F. Gaubert have already signed on as supply points for us.
Mr. Dubuisson served on LCVP's in the Pacific, and he also has extensive
shipyard experience. We are in great hands here folks.
Joey Madere is still steaming hard on producing the wooden pattern we need
for the two piece design strut assembly we have decided to use on our boat.
You have no idea how painstaking a process this is. You see,
since we cannot find the correct strut for the boat, we are going
to have to get one cast. The first requirement is a pattern. This
is where Joey stepped in and volunteered to help. Please realize that
all dimensions of this wooden pattern have to be precisely 1/16" oversize
to allow for shrinkage of the casting material (manganese bronze) as it cools!!!
If you see Joey poring over our plans and drawings, be sure to thank
him for all of the "behind the scenes" work he is doing. Anybody know
what a shrink ruler is?
IMPORTANT CONSTRUCTION INFO
We have been challenged to finish this project by June 6th, 1999.
This date coincides with the grand opening date of the National D-Day
Museum. It would be great to have our christening / launching in concert
with the opening of the museum.
I called a project supervisor's meeting on 04 FEB 1998, and discussed the
June '99 date. All were in favor of "going for it."