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Because of our involvement with the sailing oyster sloop

Christeen , McCurdy & Rhodes Naval Architects were asked by the Waterfront Center to guide the restoration of Ida May . At this time in late 2007, she had been placed on the hard for over a year and was no longer fishing. Great gaps bore witness to her dried timbers and her massive keel sagged under the insufficiently supported hull. An immense split

along her gunnel was ominous, and closer inspection showed the deck and topsides were going their separate ways.

I watched as the sages shook their heads and came to the conclusion: “She can’t be saved.” I thought I would not hear anything more about Ida May . My assumption was she would be cut up and fade away as so many marine aspira-tions do. So you can imagine my surprise when Ian McCurdy called one day and asked me if I would like to build a new

Ida May .

The plan was hatched to build a working oyster dredger in type but not in function. Just like the Christeen , she would be primarily a passenger vessel and her mission would be to allow school-age students and adults to experience the life of an oysterman for short trips on her home waters. The new

Ida May was to look as close to the original as was possible

while complying with the regulations to take passengers, used as a lecture platform, and earn her keep as occasio charter vessel.

A requirement for some funding from New York State wa the provision of full working documentation drawings for original vessel as built. This involved an odd, semi-

destructive survey of the original boat, while measuring t scantlings and noting construction methods as well as m rials used. The final part of the survey was to generate a set of offsets from which a lines plan could be drawn.

Back at the office I set about producing the lines and con struction drawings as well as the detail drawings for som the more unusual joinery. When I had the first set of line drawn, I could see some very unfair curves which went somewhat against the grain. So I went back to Ida and to another set of offsets from the starboard side. I average the offsets and redrew the lines plan. This time they turn out a bit better, but still showed some ugly curves. It was decided that the keel sag was responsible for some of th shape distortion and so her lines we amended once mor give a better reflection of how she looked when new. We arrived at the correct changes by interpolating the keel s to the sheer for all points in between.

New Ida May Arrangement & Inboard Profile

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