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The Log

The Student News Site of Tabor Academy

The Log

The Log

Work aboard TABOR BOY continues through winter months

Despite being out of the water, the work has not stopped.
Captain Jay Amster
Tabor Boy sits in a slip at J. Goodison Company, Inc. in Rhode Island awaiting haul out for winter maintenence.

Coming off of a strong Fall season that featured multiple overnights, sailing, and skill-building, the crew of the SSV Tabor Boy is still hard at work despite their other co-curricular pursuits, taking care of maintenance that ensures the 110-year-old schooner can still operate safely and presentably through the coming Spring, Summer, and Fall.

The first step in the process was called down rigging, basically removing every spar, sail, line, pinrail, and block from on deck and up aloft to either the Schooner Shop located at facilities or the Fo’c’sle. After two weeks, the schooner was left bare on deck after hours of work from all hands.

They were able to use countless examples of mechanical advantage, which was new for many and added to the awe factor – using pieces of line strung aloft to control an object that weighs seven hundred pounds in mid-air.

After moving around all the rigging and spars, the next task would be to transit Tabor Boy to her winter home, J. Goodison Company, Inc., in North Kingston, Rhode Island. The crew mustered at 0615 on December 13, 2023, to commence the approximately eighty-mile transit that spanned across 10 hours, culminating with a tight docking in a Travelift slip at J. Goodison. She would be hauled out the following day, with preparations for maintenance taking place concurrently. Now, she sits “on the hard” while crews from J. Goodison and their contractors accomplish tasks such as preparing, priming, and painting all fuel and water tanks down below, pressure washing and painting the hull itself.

While full-time professionals take care of that work, students at Tabor are still heavily involved in her maintenance. The crew is hard at work both at the shipyard assisting with those large-scale projects and here on campus working on the rigging that was brought ashore before the transit. This includes sanding pinrails and spars to prepare for numerous coats of varnish, sanding, priming, and painting the blocks, and splicing the new lines that will replace those worn down over the years when rig up commences.

However, this can be very challenging because the crew is committed to winter co-curriculars (for instance, I work on the school newspaper). Therefore, the work is sprinkled in before school and after co-curriculars, not to mention countless hours during common time and free blocks.

Despite these challenges, crew morale remains high, and work is well underway. The Log will continue to provide updates on their activities, and highlight their important role in allowing Tabor Boy programs to run.

A collection of photos depicting the transit / courtesy of Tabor Boy crew


Aloft – hanging in the air, up either of the masts

Spar – a milled piece of wood that holds the sails in place when set and when furled on deck.

Sail – a piece of fabric that catches the wind, therefore helping propel the boat.

Line – a line is a rope with a purpose that allows the crew to set, strike, and control various functions and allows the boat to be sailed efficiently, along with countless other uses.

Block – a block redirects the lines and creates a mechanical advantage in a block and tackle system, often rigged 4:1, 3:1, etc. Similar to a pulley system.

Pinrail – Holds pins on deck, which are what lines are made off to, allowing them to stay taught and in place while either sailing or not in use.

Marine Travelift – a brand of self-propelled mobile boat hoists used to lift vessels of all sizes out of the water.


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About the Contributor
Cam Martin
Cam Martin, Staff Writer
Cam Martin is a senior boarding student at TA hailing from Concord, MA. His interests and service as XO on Tabor Boy compel him towards everything Waterfront.
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