Tag Archives: restoration

Northwest Seaport wins Historic Vessel Preservation Award

Historic Seattle Vessel Preservation Award 2014 Swiftsure

Northwest Seaport was honored to received the 2014 Historic Vessel Preservation Award and wish to thank Lake Union Drydock Co. for their support.

The Historic Vessel Preservation Award (presented by Historic Seattle) goes to Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center and its supporting partner for blending maritime history, education and public outreach through the restoration of the heritage vessel and museum, Lightship No. 83.

Historic Vessel Preservation Award (PDF)
Lightship No. 83, “The Swiftsure”
South Lake Union Pier
Supporting Partners: Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center (owner);  Lake Union Drydock Co. (restoration support).
Award was presented May 13, 2014.

(text from program) Lightship No. 83 was one of four original lightships to serve along the Pacific Coast with primary assignments at Blunts Reef, San Francisco and Coast Guard District 13. The vessel relies on a two-boiler steam engine with an indicated horsepower of 325 for propulsion. Originally, the vessel had a centralized stack between two masts with a concentration of oil lamps in each head to serve as lanterns.

Historic Seattle Preservation Award Ceremony Program 2014Lightship No. 83 was constructed in 1904 by the New York Shipbuilding Company in Camden, NJ and delivered to Cape Mendocino, CA, to serve as the first floating lighthouse at the Blunts Reef lightship station, the ship’s namesake from 1905-1930. The primary function of the vessel was to occupy a station a few miles from a point of access to a port center and serve as a floating beacon to incoming and outgoing ships. In 1930 Lightship No. 83 was transferred to and renamed “San Francisco.” It occupied a lightship station beyond the Golden Gate Bridge until 1942 when it was withdrawn and reclassified as a WWII examination vessel after the installation of a coastal defense gun. Following WWII, Lightship No. 83 returned to the San Francisco lightship station. From 1951-1960 Lightship No. 83 was stationed in Coast Guard District 13 and renamed “Relief.” The ship served Umatilla Reef, Swiftsure Banks and Columbia River lightship stations.

Lightship No. 83 was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1961. In 1968, it was purchased by Northwest Seaport (then known as Save Our Ships). It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 and in 1996, the vessel was given the name of the most proximate lightship station, “Swiftsure.”

After three months of extensive restoration in drydock, the Swiftsure was re-launched in August of 2013 in South Lake Union, where it currently serves as a floating museum showcasing the oldest surviving lightship on the West Coast. Restoration efforts included replacing the wooden deck; restoring the electrical system; rigging; removal of hazardous materials; and removal of the deteriorated wheelhouse, radio house and wood weather deck.

The hull was cleaned, reinforced, and painted with the distinctive Coast Guard Red color. The restoration provided a unique opportunity for distinguished shipwrights, Nautical Archaeologists and volunteers to work hand-in-hand to maintain the ship in a manner that preserves its historic functionality while ensuring its preservation for future generations. Volunteers are afforded the opportunity to learn and continue the practice of the maritime trade that is so pertinent to coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. The restoration of the Swiftsure is a valuable model for linking the past, present and future in a manner that is both active and educational.

NOTE:  Northwest Seaport was honored to received the 2014 Historic Vessel Preservation Award and wish to thank Lake Union Drydock Co. for their support.  For a full list of awards, visit Historic Seattle.

Tugboat Work Party on Arthur Foss

Paint Arthur Foss mast November ‎2000 webJoin Northwest Seaport staff to clean, paint, grease, wash, and anything else needed to help “shipshape” Arthur Foss.  Foss Maritime Co. is celebrating 125 years on June 5th, and we plan to sharpen up the beloved Arthur Foss for the party.  Volunteer participants tackle necessary projects and repairs on Arthur Foss.  Wear clothes that can get dirty.  This opportunity is perfect for new volunteers to become familiar with tugboat and to converse with others.  Often, a dedicated docent will provide intro tours to new volunteers.

Bring a dish/salad/dessert to support communal lunch for this first-Saturday work party.

Work Parties get you into maritime heritage and sometime grease or sawdust at the Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park. Join other volunteers aboard the Arthur Foss, Lightship #83, and other vessels for hard work (at times), excellent company (most often) and good will (always).

BMA Engineer for a Day Dec 13 2013 Students aboar tug

Use CONTACT FORM to “register.” Complete the volunteer application form for first-time NWS volunteers.

Light on the Lake: A Benefit for Swiftsure

Lightship No. 83 "Swiftsure" at her relaunching in Lake Union 2013. Deckhouses are removed.

Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure” at her relaunching in Lake Union 2013. Deckhouses are removed.

Light on the Lake:  A Benefit for Lightship No. 83, Swiftsure (PDF poster)

Join us aboard Lightship No. 83 for an exclusive, behind the scenes glimpse of the ongoing restoration of this National Historic Landmark, the oldest floating lighthouse in the United States. Enjoy cocktails, live music, and hors d’oeuvres as you explore the cabins, officers’ quarters and engine room while the patina of the ship’s rich history is still visible in the faded paint, elegant woodwork, and steam era machinery.

Northwest Seaport, now celebrating 50 years of service to the community, is a non-profit
organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime heritage of the
Puget Sound and Northwest Coast, as well as development of maritime-based educational
programs and opportunities for the public.

The Light on the Lake benefit will be Northwest Seaport’s first fundraiser onboard the Lightship. This premier event will be the last chance to experience this storied ship before the restoration of her historic interior begins. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing restoration, including the installation of a new wooden deck.

Built in 1904 (8 years before Titanic), Lightship No. 83 served on all five west coast lightship
stations during her 55 years of operation. She rescued shipwreck victims, narrowly survived a
collision, served as an armed patrol vessel in WWII and guided thousands of ships safely in and
out of west coast harbors including San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound. Retired from Coast
Guard service in 1960, Lightship No. 83 was purchased by Northwest Seaport (then Save Our
Ships) in 1966 to become a museum ship.

Keep the light on the lake burning brightly! Tickets are available for $100 (includes Northwest
Seaport membership).  Attire: “Shipyard Chic”

Location: The Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park, Seattle

Tickets $100 at www.brownpapertickets.com

Lightship Overfalls is Reborn: From a Rust Bucket to a Landmark

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

In 1999 the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118) lay rusting to pieces in a muddy hole in Lewes, Delaware. The community seemingly had lost hope of restoration and attempts to give her away were unsuccessful. Then, a small group of local citizens took ownership of the ailing vessel to save her from the ship breakers. The group put together a comprehensive plan to bring her back from the brink of oblivion. The plan, even with the extensive use of volunteer labor, had a capital budget of $1.2 million and the group had scant resources and no credibility.

The presentation discusses the project’s 13-year history including how the funds were raised and how the group stayed right on budget. Today, the museum ship is an award winning, National Historic Landmark, designated in 2011, and is featured in a park setting worthy of the vessel and the crews who served aboard.

The Center for Wooden Boat is co-hosting event and graciously provides their boathouse as the evening’s venue.  Directions

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Park Lewes, Del

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Park Lewes, Del

David Bernheisel, Honorary Board member of the Overfalls Foundation, is a retired Federal employee and a self-proclaimed “life-long river rat.” He has been actively involved in the Overfalls Foundation since 2000, serving on the Board of Directors and in the roles of President, Vice President, and Out-reach Chair. For three years he served as a crew member of Delaware’s tall ship, Kalmar Nyckle, and completed the America’s Great Loop cruise in his own boat. He has also had international assignments with the USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer program and as an election observer.

Lightship Overfalls is Reborn: From a Rust Bucket to a Landmark

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

In 1999 the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118) lay rusting to pieces in a muddy hole in Lewes, Delaware. The community seemingly had lost hope of restoration and attempts to give her away were unsuccessful. Then, a small group of local citizens took ownership of the ailing vessel to save her from the ship breakers. The group put together a comprehensive plan to bring her back from the brink of oblivion. The plan, even with the extensive use of volunteer labor, had a capital budget of $1.2 million and the group had scant resources and no credibility.

The presentation discusses the project’s 13-year history including how the funds were raised and how the group stayed right on budget. Today, the museum ship is an award winning, National Historic Landmark, designated in 2011, and is featured in a park setting worthy of the vessel and the crews who served aboard.

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Park Lewes, Del

David Bernheisel, Honorary Board member of the Overfalls Foundation, is a retired Federal employee and a self-proclaimed “life-long river rat.” He has been actively involved in the Overfalls Foundation since 2000, serving on the Board of Directors and in the roles of President, Vice President, and Out-reach Chair. For three years he served as a crew member of Delaware’s tall ship, Kalmar Nyckle, and completed the America’s Great Loop cruise in his own boat. He has also had international assignments with the USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer program and as an election observer.

The Center for Wooden Boat is co-hosting event and graciously provides their boathouse as the evening’s venue.  Directions

— Lightship Work Party in the afternoon before talk. —

“WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN?” Project

Shipwright Brian Johnson driving a new beam section under the wheelhouse.

Shipwright Brian Johnson driving a new beam section under the wheelhouse.

Keeping any wooden boat watertight against the rain is an essential and ongoing task. This is particularly true for the historic tugboat Arthur Foss. “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” is a multi-year Northwest Seaport preservation project of the vessel’s decks funded by 4Culture, the cultural services agency for King County.

Brian Johnson working on tug deck June 2013

Laying up a batten to fair up the curve along the edge of the boatdeck.

Even when Arthur Foss was new, it took maintenance by the whole crew to keep the decks and deckhouse watertight. At 124 years old, rot damage from rainwater leaks has made it necessary to replace planks and timbers. Seattle’s wet climate is harsh on the Douglas fir decks and house. While the cold freshwater of Lake Union is beneficial for the boat’s lower hull, rainwater and air on the upperworks feeds rot fungi. It is very important to stop rainwater leaks before rot spreads. Rot damage to important structural timbers and high-traffic areas requires extensive repair. This was the case with the starboard edge of the boat deck.

 

Brian Johnson Jeanette Hayman and Saxon Bisbee working on tug

Brian Johnson, volunteer nautical archaeologist Jeanette Hayman and nautical archaeologist-in-residence participant Saxon Bisbee tacking down the last piece of canvas on the boat deck.

Beginning in late May 2013, two nautical archaeologists and a professional shipwright began removing the badly deteriorated wood from the edge of the boat deck on Arthur Foss. This involved removing the rails, coverboards, canvas, plywood, and tar paper layers for access to the actual deck planks. Several planks along the edge had to be replaced. Then the new planks are fitted and fastened. New plywood and canvas are then put on and the railing re-fitted. This repaired area will last at least another 100 years if properly maintained.

All work performed on the Arthur Foss has direct public benefit to all visitors at Lake Union Park. The tug occupies a prominent position on the Historic Ships Wharf, with her bow facing towards a row of shaded benches often occupied by visitors. During restoration, staff, volunteers, shipwrights and nautical archaeologists engage the public and address their questions. Often, a visitor will find themselves with a tool in their hand to help in the restoration project.

New boat deck cover boards are down June 24, 2013

New boat deck cover boards are down June 24, 2013

If you are interested in contributing to the restoration, or for more information, please use contact form to express your interest.

 

Notice to Consultants

Lightship No. 83 SwiftsureRFQ for Lightship No. 83 Project Management

Northwest Seaport is soliciting individuals or firms with experience in project management on marine repair projects to submit their qualifications in support of Phase 2 construction on the Lightship No. 83 Rehabilitation Project. Submittal deadline is October 26, 2012.

The full RFQ may be downloaded here or obtained at info@nwseaport.org

RFP Posted for Rehabilitation of the Lightship No. 83

Northwest Seaport is now requesting proposals for Phase II of the the Lightship No. 83 Rehabilitation Project, an exciting effort funded by federal, state, and local grants and designed to re-open the vessel to the public for events and programs. Phase II will replace the original wooden deck and repaint the iconic hull.  More information, available here. RFP as .pdf

Addenda to Lightship RFP

Attention marine contractors and bidders: we’ve just released the first addenda for the Lightship No. 83 Rehabilitation Project, clarifying some elements. You can download Addendum 1 here, or visit our project page for an updated copy of the RFP.  Download Full RFP

Read the complete RFP announcement here, and check back soon for more updates on this exciting project!