P.O. Box 91
Gloucester, North Carolina
Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project
September 14, 2002
Sub-tropical storm Gustav blew through and if the tide had been a few inches
higher the Cherokee would have launched herself. But the crew was snug inside working on
the interior. Chris Hunt is shown below installing quarter inch spanish cedar beadboard in the V-berth.
On the hull sides, he's placing the tongue and groove slats backside out to give a smoother look to the
walls. This eliminates the bead. To the right, the ceiling overhead is turned with the bead out. All the
T&G boards were primed with four coats, sanding between each one, to come up with a smooth base for
top coating. Once they're all installed they will get a light sanding, one more light prime coat, and then
the final top coat. Every wall on the interior of the boat will be painted in this way before the boat is launched.
Gustav's Rising Tide
Bead Board Installation in the V-Berth
What shines like gold, lets in the sunlight, and frames the ocean blue? Portholes! Jeff and Norm are polishing,
prepping, and installing all the port lights. The port lights
are held in place by through-bolts that are threaded into the finishing ring on the outside of the
boat. The bolts are threaded through holes on the interior frame of the port light where nuts are located
and the port light is pulled securely into place. It takes about a tube and a half of urethane caulk per port light
to ensure an absolute water-tight seal. The bolts inside will be finished off with brass acorn nuts.
Installed Port Light
Doors and Drawers
Work on the interior doors and drawers is finishing up. Above left, cabin doors dry in the paint room,
and to the right is a hung door with drawers in the V-berth. The fire suppression sprinkler system is being
installed - below is a sprinkler head fed off the one-inch trunk line. The sprinkler system can be fed water
in three different ways. The two Headhunter pumps that operate the domestic water system aboard Cherokee will
feed the grid with as much as sixty pounds of pressure from a 250 gallon water tank. Next, the system can be
fed from shore water at about 30 pounds of pressure. Third is an inch and a half FDC (fire department connection)
which will allow a fire truck to connect directly to the sprinkler system just as you see in large public
Shown below is the location of the console. The hole will allow many wires to pass
through, making all the connections to the helm. The two copper tubes are manually-operated "dip sticks"
to check the fuel in the main tanks. These will serve as back-up to the Headhunter tank monitors.
Kerry and Joe finished priming and painting the framework that fits over the engines to create the cockpit
floor system. The framework is now permanently installed in the boat.
Engine Room Framework
The hard top was flipped over, an endeavor that took the strength of the whole crew.
Work has started on the topside, such as placing the half inch copper tubing that will feed the sprinkler head
in the pilothouse. Kerry and Jeremy have spread a coat of microballoons to fill the weave of the cloth.
The sleepiest villages can have the deepest histories, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum
is discovering, as they compile Down East stories and photos for an upcoming website based on the
acclaimed "Hatteras On My Mind" site. "I can remember a tragic accident in Gloucester," said
Eloise Pigott. "In the 1940s a carload of folks from Raleigh were touring Cedar Island, and on the
return trip they missed the turn at Smyrna to Beaufort, and kept on to the turn in Marshallberg. There
weren't very many road signs then. So that took them to Gloucester, and they got on ferry dock road."
Ferry dock road led, of course, to the old ferry that transported cars from the Gloucester/Straits area
to Harkers Island, once the only public transportation to and from the island. "It was dark, and they
drove right on to the old wooden ferry dock. They thought they were on North River bridge to Beaufort,
because that used to be an old wooden bridge! They drove right off the end into the water and five of
them drowned. Daddy was especially upset because they found a little girl the next day washed ashore who had blonde
hair like me." The calm, shallow waters off ferry dock road today disguise any dramas of the past, and it's
hard to imagine that the placid end of the road was once a busy hub. Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
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