Thank You

For your interest with the re-building of the "Tamarack" .
The Great Lakes Division Sea Cadet program provides real life experience in maritime and underwater exploration and training.

If you would like to help with restoration efforts, please send tax deductible donations to:

Noble Odyssy Foundation
9000 Gale Rd.
White Lake, Mi. 48386

Please tag your donation " Tamarack Project"
visit us at

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thomas Colvin design saved from the scrap yard

The real work began in January 2009 when the Sea cadets suited up in their hasmat suites, respirators, and goggles. The enormous job of striping the layers of paint down to bare metal began.

After the entire boat above the water line has been sanded and ground down to bare metal, the sand blasting began on the hull. Through 2009, the progress was slow and sparse as the diving season began aboard the "Pride of Michigan"

An examination of the hull discovered that the metal along the bilge was badly rusted. Conducting a scientific steel strength test with a hammer confirmed it as the hammer went through the steel with ease.

The project went from a fairly simple repaint job to a possible rebuilding of the hull. The morale among the Cadets and Dads dwindled as this project started to become over whelming at the surface with welding new steel in the most crucial area of the boat. With no budget and lack of experience to make the Tamarack sea worthy, the only option was to sell the hull as is or sell the steel for scrap.

After an attempt to sell it on Craig's List without any reasonable offers, It was decided by a few of us visionaries who had great imagination to take on the project as time and money would permit. The Tamarack's classic Thomas Colvin design deserves to set sail once again.

Glen Rowe who has a daughter in the Great lakes division stepped forward with two employees from his business with diverse mechanical backgrounds and an experienced welder.

The first task was to pull the engine, exhaust, drive shaft and water tank to get a clear view of any bad hidden spots that need attention. Jesus and Marco started on 2/4/2010 disconnecting the engine. By the end of the day, they had removed the engine, exhaust and drive shaft. The metal was in bad shape with flaking and thinning as thought.

The next step is to sand blast the entire cabin to expose all of the bad steel. To eliminate the sand covering the entire shop we decided to build a floor to ceiling dust curtain. Using old pallets, steel rods and a roll of fabric we had, Jesus and Marco used their ingenuity and began construction.

With our tight budget I had them collect the used sand from the floor, run it through a screen to separate large Derbies from the good sand and re-use it. The clouds of dust through out the shop grew thicker and it became apparent that we were blasting not only sand, but fine paint, metal and any other dust mixed in with the sand. By the second day, I broke down and bought another 800 pounds of sand.
Jesus and Marco after a long dirty day of sandblasting

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I wish the Cadets all the best in completing the restoration. It will be nice to see the ship in full sail on the Great Lakes.