Restoration Progress

All restoration steps involve patience, lots of planning and calculating.
Progress is slow and steady.
One step can take several weeks.

Click on photos for the story
Our Most Recent Progress In Top Box/es

5/2020 – 6/2020
– Don, Chris, Henry and Tim did a fabulous job following the directions sent to us by our rigger Becca Butler who could not travel up to supervise the work due to the virus shutdowns.
– We now have a beautiful bulkhead that will float with the working of Eleanor under sail, and gorgeous benches and shelving to accommodate her curves and spaces.
– Do we sound excited? Pics of her move to Mikes Riverview Marina and her settling into the water at the end of the Timeline

6/2020 more
– Becca Buckler, our rigger, at the top of our new mast.

From the Beginning

Captain Peter Fenn, a member of Accredited Marine Surveyors, completes a marine survey of Eleanor.

Andersen Boat Transport of Burnt Hills NY moves Eleanor from Clay Pond Farms at 191 Route 23 B Greenport NY to the restoration site at 99 South Third Street (L&B Building) Hudson NY.

HRHB Corps of Restoration Volunteers established to support the execution phase of Eleanor’s restoration.

Winter 2012 – 2013
– Paint is removed from above the water line by sanding and scraping. An environmentally approved paint remover is used to remove the bottom paint. Always more to do.
Eleanor is leveled and beginning lines are taken for developing drawings.
– Surveys are taken to establish lines and shape.

Spring 2013
– Interior seats, bunk and cabinets are photographed, removed and stored.  All deck hardware and fittings are photographed, removed and stored.
– The plywood decking is removed.  The decking was installed in the early 1960s and can be credited with holding the Eleanor’s shape and strength.
– Thousands of stainless steel screws were uncovered and removed.
– Cedar planking is removed from the starboard and port stern.
– The original transom is removed.  The original transom is restored for history and display.

Summer 2013
A steam chamber is built and experiments are conducted to learn about steaming wood.

Summer – Fall 2013
Floor timbers are removed, numbered and preserved for patterns.

January 2014
– The rudder and tiller are removed.
– The keel is removed with the help of pallet jacks and a crew of very smart mathematicians and thinkers. The original keel bolts are studied for design, installation, and strategy.

February 2014
– The keel is moved aside where the deadwood and the keel can be separated. New deadwood will be fabricated from clear white oak.
– The original fastenings are found to be home-made and of different sizes.

March 2014
– Copper rivets holding the keelson in place are found (with difficulty) and plans are made for the best way to remove them.

April 2014
– After four months of removing copper rivets and screws, the port and starboard stern garboard strakes are removed. Each one is fifteen feet in length.
– Patterns for the floor are cut and measured.

A real turnaround. Cutting white oak to rebuild the transom. Yeah! Rebuild!

Louise Bliss, President, informs Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar Company that we are contracting with them to build the spars.

August 2014
Consultant Jim Kricker, of Rondout Woodworking in Saugerties, NY, crouches under Eleanor with Bill Burrows to confer on the plan to repair the keelson. Jim points out the portion of the hull which will be repaired first by scarfing in new white oak on the keelson. The two garboard strakes on either side of the keelson have been removed and will be replaced with Wanna. Wanna is imported from South Africa, is easier to work with than mahogany, but has the same strength and lengevity.


September 2014
– Bill Burrows, lead volunteer and master mind, reinforces the keelson.
– Bill & Guy Hazelton cut a new piece of white oak for the keelson repair.

November 2014
Ricky Aldrich transported the wide Wanna boards for the garboard strakes to the site.

Reconstruction Begins! We’ve moved from taking Eleanor apart to putting her together. The new keelson was installed making way for the installation of the new floor, new ribs, and reconstruction of the transom.

April 2015
– Guy Hazelton and Louise Bliss cut green Elm for mast hoops.
– The first of twelve new floors made of all new white oak was put in place on April 16, 2015.
– Two floors and the keelson.

– Chris O’Reilly, shipwright, gives a lesson on fitting floors for Eleanor.
– Joe Kenneally monitors the temperature of the steam chamber in preparation to bend wood for the mast hoops. Bob Adriance shapes a floor and Guy Hazelton cuts the elm for the mast hoops.


– Transom carving out of white oak by volunteer Jaro.
– Busy night at the site August 6th: fitting the floors, strengthening the stern deck, preparing and clamping in place the stern keelson, mixing epoxy, final shaping of the keelson.

– Last of the floors in the stern have been cut and individually shaped.
– Stern portion of the keelson has been installed by scarffing the bow and stern sections together

– Conferencing on the best idea with the best minds.
– The three dimensional pattern for the transom.
– Careful and precise adjustments are made to the contributed machines that the volunteers use.
– The perfection of the job is in the details.
– The new cross supports known as floors are being installed one by one.
– Creating the part of Eleanor that goes between the hull and the keel.
– A volunteer creates part of the ‘dead wood’ from White Oak.
– A very challenging job is recreating the transom.
– Volunteers bring their own tool bags to the restoration site. Funding is tight and does not allow for purchase of all hand tools needed for specific jobs.

October 2015
Photos from Beetle Boat Shop showing the building of our mast over a period of several weeks.
– Ripping spruce stock
– Glue scarves
– Brushing epoxy on mast staves
– Beetle Boat’s Suzanne Leahy putting epoxy on insert staves
– Before clamping staves
– Mast clamped — This last photo shows the staves in the birds mouth technique of spar building before they are clamped. The mast will be loaded onto a 40′ lathe which will shape the mast into its final round shape.

November 2015
More photos from Beetle Boat Shop
– The 36 foot mast on the 40 foot lathe is on the left, and the 14 foot boom and the 25 foot gaff are on the left. All three are built from clear sitka spruce from Washington State.
– The mast
– David Bliss, member and contributor, demonstrates the lightness of the boom for Eleanor. The boom, the mast and gaff are hollow. It is an easy one handed lift.
– Sanding the gaff

A Sculpture in White Oak. Although hard to understand the complexity of the situation, we see the transom by Rich Finn and interior deck supports by Artie Christie.
End of the Year Effort. Don Hegeman and Mark Weatherup give it the almighty yo men’s try and succeed. Drilling through the garboard strake from down below to up above.
Inside the Stern of Eleanor. Artie Christie works to create and install new supports for the stern deck. It is intricate and delicate work for a big cause.
Team Work. On Thursday nights at the site, it is all about sharing space, contemplating the best route to take and working with a colleague volunteer.

12/18/2015 — Continued
– An Artisan at Work. Bill Burrows has been working as an artist to create from large heavy pieces of white oak a new dead wood. The deadwood goes between the 2000 lb. keel and the bottom of the hull midships. Thought, planning, patterns, cutting and shaping and sanding. Not a job for an impatient person.
A Question of Angles.  Rich Finn studies the angles for the part of the transom that encompasses the stern of Eleanor. It is from White Oak.
Precision. The biggest jobs require the finest work. Bob Adriance cuts out a limber hole from on one of the last floors to be made.

January 2016
The gaff jaws have been installed and Eleanor’s spars are wrapped in plastic and stored in Beetle Boat Shop’s barn awaiting delivery to Hudson in the spring.

– Don Hegeman touches up the keelson.
– Richard Finn works to shape the new transom frame from White Oak.
– Bill Burrows, lead volunteer on the Eleanor
Restoration project stands by his keel project; a work of art as in a sculpture.
– Picking up our straight grain white oak for the Eleanor’s ribs. Each rib will be steamed and fit.

– Bob Adriance lengthens threads on keel bolts.
– Bob Adriance and Don Hegeman stand in the cockpit of Eleanor – 18 new floors all cut, shaped, and installed with bronze silicone bolts. This is a TREMENDOUS accomplishment. It took months. We are so proud of these guys and others who also helped with this part of the project.
– Rich Finn is shaping the new transom with the help of a router.

– Checking for grain. Steam chamber temp has to be 212. One hour of steaming per 1 inch of thickness.
– Making the mold for the new rib.
– A new rib in a mold made by taking the shape from the hull with copper tubing.
– Lots of prepreparation; removing an old rib and preparing for the new one.
– In Bill Burrows right hand – guiding in the new rib – new White Oak.

April 2016
– Taking out the old so we can put in new ribs.
– After hours and hours of work, Rich Finn is almost finished creating this sculpture from White Oak. It is the new transom frame.
– It isn’t all hard work. Don Hegeman seems to be quite at home.

June 2016
– The sculpture of the transom.
– Don Hegeman works on the outside of the hull with a bucking iron.
– Mark Weatherup peening the rivets for the ribs.
– Bob Adriance lays out the old cover boards to recreated the shape of the deck
– The name Eleanor will be carved into the insert of the transom frame. The insert is made from Mahogany imported from Rhode Island.

The new transom sign for Eleanor by Next Generation Signs, Claverack, NY — click on the thumbnail for the full view!

Exact reproductions of Eleanor’s halyard cleats, a beautiful contribution from Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Company, Kingston

Celebrating the Spars

Nick Tipple holds Eleanor’s old and new tillers. The new tiller was crafted by Nick and Mike Boyan, furniture makers, Hudson, New York.

November 2016
– Volunteers give the new PHANTOM rivet gun a try. Thanks to the member who purchased the PHANTOM for the express purpose of peening the copper rivets which hold the new ribs in place. This makes the job a little easier, much faster, and saves wear and tear on the volunteers wrists.
– Peter Exman stands on a ladder above the hull so that he can push the new ribs with all his might into location in the hull. The ribs must be placed within seconds of being taken out of the steamer. Volunteers have to be very fast to act before the new ribs cool. They are steamed at 212 degrees for one hour plus some minutes.
– Don Hegeman works below the hull to prepare the holes for the peening process. The old holes are filled with West System epoxy to stabilize the wood surrounding the hole where the new rivet will be inserted and peened.

Stalled while we move to our new restoration site one bay south. Looking forward to starting work again hopefully in a month or less. We’ll be designing, building and installing the garboard strakes.

Marc 24, 2017
Rib installation complete.

April 6, 2017
Volunteer cuts out the shape for the garboard strakes from Wanna brought from Vineyard Haven, Mass. Wanna is a kind of mahogany. There are four 16 foot pieces that make up the garboard strakes.

May 22, 2017
Port side Garboard Strake installed for trial fitting.

June 8, 2017
The first of four garboards are in. This is so big! What an accomplishment!
– New port side 14.5 foot garboard strake installed. (looking up) It’s not just a board. Flanges were cut on either side and the garboard comes to a very sharp point in the very forward bow. There are three more garboards to go. Each one is different No two things are the same on Eleanor.
– Working under the hull of Eleanor.
– Bill Burrows, once again checks the fit of the garboard which was custom fit for the irregularities. of the wooden boat, Eleanor. Bill is the respected and looked to master mind and genius volunteer for the restoration.

June 22, 1017
– Some of the best of some of the volunteer crew, left to right – Clarke Olsen, Bob Veech, Don Hegeman, and Dennis Pitts.
– Bob fitting the stern planking.
– Admiring the new rudder — built with white oak by Ghent Wood Products, fitted with the original hardware. Thank you Nick Tipple!

October 12, 2017
– Bob Adriance steps up and takes on the job of securing new planking on the stern.
– Clarke Olsen cuts a piece of White Oak for the trim on the cabin roof.

October 26, 2017
– Eleanor’s restoration. A busy but comfortable place for her to rest.
– New white oak rudder with original bronze fittings.
– Fitting the new rudder to the 2,000 lb. keel (back left).
– New cedar above water planking vs.old planking.
– It’s all about precision: not for the impatient and reckless.
– How can anybody rivet and smile at the same time?
– Hand tools are needed for delicate jobs.

December 21, 2017
A very productive night at the reconstruction site. Volunteers worked individually on their projects and collaborated on calculations and critical thinking of what, how and why. Here you can see the work of fine tuning the rudder, working on the 180 degree swing needed for the tiller to move the rudder so she can come about in half her length, the craftsmanship that went into replacing the stern, port and starboard planking with white Atlantic cedar, and the work on the “partner” (where the mast sits). Volunteers put in just short of 500 hours in 2017. You can see them taking a break to celebrate on our Timeline.

Keel Night — That’s a 2000 pound keel!

Keel’s on!

June 2108
David Bliss and Henry Cicconi try their hand at caulking the above the waterline seams on Eleanor.

August 2108
Three very essential wooden cleats for the main sheet – port and starboard – and the stern cleat for a dock line. They were made from White Oak, beautifully selected for its grain and strength, by Amish cabinet maker, Laverne Lambright of Middlebury, Indiana. Cost contributed by Anonymous. Thank you Anonymous!

Shaping the mahogany cover board.

– The Samson Post is secured at the bow. The new deck will be installed over the old deck.
– A beautiful picture of our site on a Thursday evening.
– Studying the next step on the deck work.

After so many years of working in small spaces our “crew” decided to remove the roof of the cabin and rebuild it.

– Louise Bliss works to fill seams with below the waterline compound.
– Volunteers working to get the cabin roof back in shape.

Master Caulker Sylvia Shablovsky, apprentice to Louise Bliss and student at Bard Early College in Hudson, wears the required protective regalia as she paints the seams she has already filled with below-the-waterline seam compound with anti-fouling bottom paint.

Eleanor — The Painted Lady — doesn’t she look great?!

– Becca Butler’s beautiful leather work.
– Measuring the calipers, the stays, and the forestay with a precise eye.

– Working with a proptotype of the mast to assure correct fit
– Making precision cuts on marine plywood
– In the light of the ever present flag

– Volunteer Dennis Pitts leads the “crew” in applying Dynel to the cabin roof.
– Fitting and shaping continues
– New spreaders and the mast band were made at the Port Townsend Foundry.

– Alan Hamilton installing wooden cleats on cabin roof.
– Readying all parts for final install.

– Allen Hamilton designing and building the side benches for Eleanor.
– Deck completed in April 2020. Hardware to be installed before the end of the month.