spartan is a 72' herreshoff “new york fifty” sloop, built in 1913.
ed and ben began her restoration in 1981. on a part-time basis, they replaced all of her steam-bent frames, floor timbers, the diagonal hull straps (with bronze - it was originally steel), and all of her planking. all of the work was done to the original specifications. andy giblin joined them in 1987 after a stint as captain of neith. in 1988, with the hull rebuilt and deck beams in place, then-owner allen pease suspended the project.
the uncompleted spartan was in storage until 2005,
when ngh restoration llc purchased her and engaged mp&g to complete the restoration. spartan’s hull came into the mp&g shop in mystic in the fall of ‘06, left late in ‘09, and the restoration was completed for the summer sailing season of 2010, with an mp&g shop crew of twelve and a large cast of talented subcontractors. restored to her original gaff topsail sloop rig, spartan returned to mystic the following winter for finishing touches and system upgrades, including lithium-ion batteries. she is based in nantucket.
phase 1 (1981-89)
- replaced all frames (steam-bent white oak)
- developed mathematical techniques for predicting the springback of bent timbers (used in spartan’s reframing)
- replaced all floor timbers (white oak)
- replaced all hull diagonal and belly straps (silicon bronze)
- reintroduced herreshoff-style fin-neck bolts of silicon bronze (then out of production for many years)
- complete replanking - single longleaf pine bottom and longleaf pine/douglas-fir over cypress double-planking in the topsides, with teak sheer strakes.
- laminated white oak deck beams (fabricated by taylor & snediker - their first job as a team).
phase 2 (2006-2011)
- replacement of the entire white oak backbone - stem, forefoot, keel, and steam-bent horn timber (the stem replaced in 1984 was damaged during the 17-year storage period).
- new teak transom.
- sawn solid white oak deck beams (varnished) in the midship accommodation spaces. the laminated beams from 1988 were refinished and retained in the ends.
- new laid teak deck of 1-3/4" square planks.
- a new raised-panel interior closely reproducing the original, from plans, patterns, and templates by mp&g; panel construction by r.c. long woodworking; installed and finished by mp&g.
- new engine installation designed and executed by mp&g; engine systems installed by mp&g.
- new electrical and plumbing systems designed and installed by mp&g.
- new deck and rig hardware redesigned by mp&g for fabrication with copper alloys (much of the original hardware was steel), with the assistance of nat wilson.
- nearly 100 new wood-shell blocks designed by mp&g assisted by nat wilson, based on original hmco. designs, built by lowe hardware and french & webb.
- new spars. fir mast built by french & webb, all other spars of sitka spruce by stonington boat works.
- new mahogany deck furniture to hmco. designs, built by taylor & snediker.
- 12' varnished lapstrake herreshoff dinghy by stonington boat works from lines and full-sized templates by mp&g.
- new spliced standing rigging and all running rigging by nat wilson sails.
- new steering gear based on original, including new quadrant and pinion, but incorporating tapered bearings and cv joint coupling. machinist george nicholas designed the new bearing system and did much of the machining. spartan can now be switched easily and quickly from wheel to tiller steering. (she originally had tiller steering but was converted to a wheel early on).