|Lots going on, so here goes!
We have begun installing the boat's inner bottom. First we tack 1/4"
mahogany plywood down to the frames. Then we coat all of it with
never-hardening Dolfinite sealer/bedding compound. Then we apply a layer
of cotton duck. Then more Dolfinite...and finally we start planking!
By the time you read this, we will be installing the garboard planks.
These are the planks that run fore and aft on each side of the keel.
The garboard planks are complicated, and will require some rabbeting...the
rest of the planks are just butted up. To the untrained eye, the PA33-21
has been at the same stage of construction for several months now. The
reality is that we have been seeing to myriad framing details, prepping for
the "skin". The project will begin to move very quickly now!
The plywood came in from Greece!!!! As it turned out, it arrived at
the height of our "open house". We were very glad to see that stuff.
At this writing, the wood has been delivered to Dave Sintes. Dave has
a new super saw, which cut a 6" step-cut "scarf" along each 8' plywood edge.
After cutting, the wood will be brought back to the build site, where
it will be epoxied together to form the sides of the boat. We have
just enough wood to pull this off. Everybody keep Bruce Harris in their prayers
that his saw cuts straight and true...I don't want to ask the Greeks again.
Thanks to Sheriff Foti and his guests for assisting us in transporting
the sideshell plywood to and from Dave Sintes' place!
Foster Awnings came through at the last minute with more cotton duck
for the bottom inner waterproof membrane.
Donovan's provided some badly needed ring shank nails for fastening
down the mahogany plywood inner bottom.
Ridgeway's did a great job helping us with more copies of some additional
plans we discovered. Thanks Mr. Zulli!
Hebert Steel continues to help us with steel fabrication. They
are now working on the steel "lifting" frames.
Erston and Karen Reisch did a bunch of bead blasting for us on some of the
pieces parts that came in from Virginia.
Master Chief Livingstone of CG D8HQ helped coordinate the retrieval of some
of the parts that we left at the San Francisco wreck site. The "bones"
are now picked clean!
We had a great "open house". Thanks to all who showed interest and
A special thank you to the 8th USCG District Commander, RADM Josiah,
for taking time in an incredibly busy schedule to pay a visit. Speaking
for all of the Higgins volunteers, we appreciate your visit. BTW, RADM
Josiah is in line for a third star and will shortly be on his way to DC to
become the Coast Guard's Chief of Staff. Fair winds and following seas,
Gueydan Lumber came through again with more treated lumber for the
longitudinal stringers (front-to-back wood pieces, for you Army types..).
USCG ISC New Orleans will be hosting the christening of the boat. The
committee is forming, and will probably have their first meeting in a month
or so. I hear Mr. Higgins liked bourbon. Maybe we should use his brand
to christen the boat...somehow seems to fit better than champagne. What
Many, many thanks to the Leo Watermyer family for giving us a table at his
Greater New Orleans Military Show! Thanks, Leo and Mary!!!
BRAVO ZULU to Marvin Perrett, Fletcher Isacks and Charlie Rome for the job
they did at the Greater New Orleans Military Show. They sold about
$300.00 worth of T-Shirts and raffle tickets. Charlie Rome could sell a raffle
ticket to a dead man! By the way, the rifle raffle is going to
held 06 June. Better get those tickets if you want a "shot" at my M1!!!
Many thanks to the Murphy family for the generous gift! Your presence
at the open house was special. The volunteers appreciated your speaking to
us, Mrs. Murphy. (To those who don't know, Mrs. Dawn Higgins Murphy
is Andrew Higgins' daughter).
The engine test ran last week! Stewart and Stevenson is definitely
happy with it. The dyno test went well....something like 193HP at 2100
RPMS....Earl Fredricks and Jimmy Dubuisson are smiling. It gets a coat
of Navy Gray paint and then Stewart and Stevenson will store it for us until
we need it. I hope all of you realize what a heck of a gift Stewart
has given us with this. Diesel engine work is very costly...and I can tell
you that this company did not cut a corner. We've got the best possible engine
we could ever have, and it is absolutely correct! Thanks Mr. Ralston
Cole and Stewart and Stevenson!
Thanks Orleans Levee Board for changing out those noisy overhead lights.
We appreciate it greatly!!! By the way, the Levee Board went
out of their way to allow us to have the open house on Good Friday. It
was a state holiday, but they still provided a support staff for our use.
Thanks Lucky Dogs for providing the great eats at the open house!
We really appreciated the chow and drinks!!!
Thanks Home Depot for providing the lumber we will use to construct
the sideshell assembly jig!
Did you know that we have a "weekday" crew? Brad Booth is in charge,
and hats off to Brad and his weekday crew. These folks are setting
the table for Bruce and the gang to clear it on Saturday. We really
see the difference in construction progress with Brad, Harold Buchler Sr.,
Bill Cassady, Ron Maranto and Spencer McIlvaine doing the extra duty!
Marvin Perrett continues to work like a Trojan. Marvin is my right-hand
man folks, no kidding. You have no idea how many last-minute "gotta haves"
pop up. Marvin never says "can't do". Thanks Marvin...Semper Paratus,
I sent out a letter to a bunch of you about our impending boat cradle
needs. I will call a design committee meeting soon. I'll need
a civil and/or mechanical engineer or two on this team. The design
will be simple, but we have to cover all of the bases. No need for
those who got my letter to call me, but if you didn't get it and want to
get on board, call me.