Shipwrights at Mystic Seaport in southeastern Connecticut installed the final plank on the hull of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan on Friday. Known as the shutter plank because it “shuts in” and completes the hull, the achievement is traditionally a moment of celebration in the shipbuilding process.
The 20-foot long plank of yellow pine was placed on the port side quarter of the hull near the waterline. It was steamed for several hours prior to installation to make it flexible, lifted into position, and spiked in place. Each member of the Shipyard crew working on the restoration signed the plank.
“This moment is a milestone in the continuing voyage of the Charles W. Morgan. The shutter plank is just one small part of the ship’s fabric, but it is emblematic of all the parts, and of all the people, that are coming together to take the ship back to sea for her 38th Voyage in 2014,” said Mystic Seaport president Steve White.
The ship is scheduled to be launched on July 21 at 2 p.m. in a public ceremony in the Shipyard.