Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project

13 October 2000

(Comment from Fish Doctor:   If you're wondering exactly when the old weekly update ends and the new begins, it's a very mysterious process that involves cutting open a mullet and examining the internal organs to determine an auspicious date.)   This has been a week of peeling back the layers of Cherokee to reveal some interesting glimpses of her past. First, the headliner of the salon has been removed, uncovering canvas strips. These hold up fibrous insulation that predates the pink stuff used nowadays.

Old Insulation

Jeanette Points Out Old Insulation

Also, the exterior roof of the pilot house, soon to hold a new flying bridge, has been removed. Apparently the original roof contained a gridwork of wood, including davits that cradled a dinghy. This predates the current lip overhang that was added around the top front. The overhang is also in the process of getting removed to make way for a modern pilot house arrangement.

Old Dinghy Davits

Old Roof with Dinghy Davits

Removal of Lip Overhang

Removal of Lip Overhang

If Cherokee were a person, she'd be embarrassed at how stripped down she's become. All the vents have been removed, as well as one hundred percent of the hardware and fittings. This makes way for prepping the hull for a new paint job. Robin and Jeanette are stripping down the engine room, preparing for steam cleaning that should remove 52 years worth of old motor oil. Hopefully the steam ginny should clean the wood enough for gluing engine beds, mounting blocks, and various other things that need to be affixed to the hull planking. The engine room will be fiberglassed to provide strength and to contain future engine oil leaks.

fittings and hardware

Removed Fittings and Hardware

Local Duke scientist Dick Barber, who turns out to be a Huckins afficienado, dropped off a book about the Huckins Company and owner, Frank Pembroke Huckins. Just a glance through this book tells the reader that Mr. Huckins was a fun-loving, hard-working man who had a good sense of humor. The Huckins boats are known for having a laminated stem and keel. The Cherokee is no exception.

The Stem

The Stem

Bryan and the crew are brainstorming placements of stove, sink, washer, etc. Painters are lining up to be interviewed for upcoming work. Yours truly the Fish Doc is pulling all her strings to get the local fish factory to rent their steam ginny to the Huckins project. The fish factory uses it when "hairy backs", particularly oily menhaden, are harvested. They said they might let us use it during the weekend when nobody was fishing. Stay tuned - this will get interesting. 


Signing off for now,

 Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake