Newsletter Masthead - 34KB

[March 1998]


[May 1998]

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 "showed up".

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, Sir!

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 brand???

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!!!

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, buddy!

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.

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