Monday, September 20, 2010

15-17 September 2010 The trip home

The SNYDER was made up in a tow from South Point rigged on the hip of a crane barge with two tugs pushing the crane barge. The flotilla got underway about 2300 on the 15th. Aboard were Fred Smith from OHS, Bill Reynolds, John Cochrane and my self. The first night was uneventful.

Thursday morning, the 16th, was spent cleaning the accomodation area and the pilothouse. Bill and John prepared the engines for free wheeling of the paddlewheel upon arriving in Parkersburg prior to the trip up the Muskingum to the Museum.

 That afternoon, one of the deck hands from the tugs came aboard and said that there was something funny about the paddlewheel. Examination showed that a 6 inch diameter pipe which ran from a socket on the sponson aft of the paddlewheel bearing to a socket at the top of the house tied into the hogging chain post, had come out of the lower socket. The lower shoe was resting on the crank of the paddlewheel.  The shoe at the upper was wedged in a clevis at the top of the house. Had it not wedged, it would have gone into the river. The tugs were stopped and the crew lashed the pipe to everything available. The upper shoe was not welded to the post but held the post on by rust.

A call went out to Dwain Harper, the repair supervisor to advised him of our situation. Dwain advised that he would be there as soon as possible. This did not come at a good time for Dwain as he had to coordinate the crew for the turning of the railroad bridge as well as prepare for the mooring of the SNYDER at the Museum. The tugs tied up next to a partially sunken barge at a gravel pit in Ravenswood, West Virginia. Dwain arrived about 2230 and after dragging about 200 feet of welding ground and hot wire from a portable welder in the back of his truck, welded an eye on the pipe and attached a come-along to hold the pipe in place. Unfortunately, because of the pipe resting on the crank, the paddlewheel could not be free wheeled on the trip up the Muskingum.

Prior to his arrival, we observed a severe thunderstorm passing by us.

We got back under way and made a rendezvous with Kathy Wyatt and her entourage of donors who were going to ride the boat up the Muskingum. We learned that the storm we had observed had caused considerable damage in Bellvilleby particularly high winds.. Had we not stopped, we would have been in that area when the storm hit. Because of then high superstructure of the SNYDER, it is doubtful that the two small tugs would have been able to control the SNYDER due to the sail effect of the superstructure.

The trip up the Muskingum was uneventful and the SNYDER was moored at the Museum by early afternnon.

After the mooring, the crane barge with the welding machine on it was tied along side the SNYDER. Using two come-alongs, the pipe was put back into position. A bolt that went through the lower shoe and tied into the socket had deterirated after 92 years and this allowed the pipe to come out of the socket. A new bolt was put into place and a keeper welded on the side of the socket. There is a second pipe of 4 inch diameter that performs the same function which had slightly buckled. It was decided that it would be replaced at a later date.

I do not know (shame on me) what the technical name for these posts are. However, their function is to stiffen the sponson. The paddlewheel when the vesel is being propelled or if the paddlewheel is locked and is being towed, exert an upward force on the sponson. These pipes resist this force. The 4 inch pipe apparently buckled after the 6 inch pipe came loose and it had to withstand the load by itself. The situation was not a result of anything that was done by the shipyard. It was most probably the result of 92 years of service.
In any regard, The SNYDER is back home, safe and a lot sounder than when she left.

For you who have followed my blog, this obviously will be the last blog. I thank you for your interest. It has been a great experience for me. God Bless. Jack Deck

30 August-15 Sept Finishing the work

The hull during this period got a light sandblast. A first coat of DevTar5A was applied. More weld scabs were ground off and other areas touched up. The boat was shifted and a second coat applied. Painting in the interior spaces was started with DevRan224A. The interior color is that of red lead as determined by the Paint Preservationist. More brown that red. Aside from the few odds and ends, most activity was priming and painting.

Odds and ends accomplished were the raised coamings, installation of rubber seals and a dogging clamp on compartment 1 hatches. Dams were installed around the main deck penetrations of the hogging chain posts which were then filled with Black Jack tar sealant. Four paddlewheel locks which allow the paddlewheel to be shifted for maintenance were installed A set of retractable diagonals from the paddlewheel sponson to a horizontal beam at the end of the sponson were installed. This stiffens the sponson to avoid transverse movement and thus avoid racking the paddlewheel. Retracting the diagonals allows the paddlewheel to be shifted. Bare metal on the main deck and deck house was primed and painted. Work continued right up to departure at 2200 on Wednesday the 15th

Monday, August 30, 2010

Odds and Ends, Part II 23-27 August 2010

Two milestones this period. The tow knees and the paddle wheel were completed on Wednesday. They both look very good. Work is ongoing with the punch list. Work was started Friday on the gangway stage.

Dwain advises that they will start painting on Monday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Odds and Ends 16-20 August 2010

The major component welding is completed. Work this week was attacking the Punch List and crawling the compartments for odds and ends. Removing an eye here and there. Grinding weld scabs etc.Welding up pinholes in different areas. Putting on cover passes on the bilge knuckles and facing of the false bow.

The interior color of the compartmernts can be matched to the paint preservationist color chip and the paint so orderd.

The tow knee reconstruction is still progressing slowly but should be accomplsihed by the middle of next week.

Scot Lepi and his crew had 50 per cent of the paddle wheel completely done and all the spokes and buckets on the other half  installed by the time they left Thursday. Scot took the two brass sea chests back to his shop to sand blast the primer off of them. They will then go to Marietta to the museum.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Starting a Count Down 2-6, 9-13 August 2010

As of the end of this period, the internal welding in all compartments is completed. The bottom bracing on the tow knees is yet to be finished. It has been a long struggle utilizing the original faceplate and lower bracing pieces. They are getting there. An informal internal survey completed Friday, the 13th, revealed few additional punch list items. The vessel was floated on Friday afternoon and three minor leaks were found. Considering the several thousand feet of weld, that is pretty good for the first test. Activity on the punch list will now accelerate.

Scott Lepi and crew have completed restoring half of the paddle wheel. The wheel was successfully turned a third of a revolution on Thursday, the 12th afternoon. Some video was taken for Cheri Russso at WOUB.

A decision on the color of the internal structure will be forthcoming on Monday, the 17th.

The tow knees and punch list items should be completed by the 20th and the coating and painting started the following Monday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hot Work is slowly coming to an end 26-30 July 2010

Internal welding on compartments 2 and 3 was completed. A punch list of small items was developed and work is on-going for these. The starboard outboard tow knee was hung on Friday afternoon. There is a considerable amount of fitting including freeing up the vertical support gussets on the bow as the old tow knee structures were severely bent after 37 years of service. The vertical knee portion is bolted to the gusset as well as to an angular strong arm above. The holes for the bolts are dictated by the holes in the original facing that was retained. It was a quite a job getting the bolt holes aligned properly but we are getting there.

The remaining wood for the paddle wheel will be delivered on Tuesday, 4 August and work will resume.

Mike James from the Ashland Daily Independent did a very nice article on the SNYDER which was published on Wednesday. He is also planning a follow-up article upon completion.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Its moving!" 12 -23 July 2010

With those words from Nick, the leadman, the paddlewheel started to rotate last week with three chain falls attached. The wheel moved very easily with little strain relieveing my concern about its first move in years. Lepi Enterprises has the contract for restoration and at this point has the lower half of the wheel wood removed. The hub and circumferential rings have been coated with one coat and a second will be applied. The difference in appearance that the one coat made is striking.

All of the hull shell plating has been hung and the finishing welding is ongoing. The overlay on the false bow is about half complete. The wood for the tow knees has been selected but work has not started on assembly. This will be a tedious job as the knees are a bolted assembly on to the fashion plates on the bow.

The hot work completion date of 9-10 August is beginning to look pretty realistic. There is a lot of clean-up to accomplish  as well as small items on the punch list. The biggest clean up is the grinding flush of the weld scabs on the outer hull shell so as to not present a site for coating failure at a later date.

It is with a very sad heart that we note the passing of one of the very good benefactors of the SNYDER and the Museum in general, Nelson Jones. Nelson made many contributions to the SNYDER in the way of cash donations but in other ways as well. When I was doing the Condition Assessment for the SNYDER, Nelson had moored a barge between the bank and the SNYDER which was a God Send with the high water, we experienced during that period. Nelson was also a mentor to me in a number of instances through the years. To say, he will be missed, is a vast understatement. Rest in Peace, Nelson.