Philadelphia II

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The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum began construction of a replica of the Philadelphia in May 1989. To save time, LCMM boatbuilders used modern power tools in conjunction with traditional hand tools, but a period-correct blacksmith shop was built to forge the ironwork, including nearly 9,000 nails. Both natural and synthetic fibers for the rigging and sails were used. Whereas natural line is period correct, in some instances synthetic line was chosen both for safety, durability, and availability of sizes.

Ash rigging blocks with lignum vitae sheaves were made as per the original (lignum vitae is a tropical wood), along with a dozen ash oars, each 21 feet long. Several weeks were spent caulking the hull planks and with cotton and oakum. Boatbuilder John Gritter remarked, “Over and over again we were impressed by the extraordinary accomplishment of the men who had gone before us.”