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Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
Dedicated to Saving our Shipwrecks "From Prevention to Preservation"
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March 3 - 4, 2018

Friday 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM
(Including Awards Banquet)

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Double Tree by Hilton in Bloomington

 
For more information on the 2017 UMSAT show, please visit www.umsatshow.org

If you are interested in joining the UMSAT Show Planning Committee, please email us at info@umsatshow.org or contact Ken Merryman or Phil Kerber.

We are always looking for speakers that would like to present a great topic about their scuba diving or adventure travel experiences.

Please let us know if you, or anyone you know, would like to be a star and speak at a future UMSAT Show!


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GLSPS Project Sponsors



Air Down There Scuba offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. Thank you, Scott and Tracy!



Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. They have also loaned us a GoPro HD video camera for a few projects. Thank you, Steve and Jolene!

Videos produced by Steve at Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center filmed in Lake Michigan on a Milwaukee charter trip. Click on their above logo for information to join them on a charter to visit these shipwrecks.
Prins Willem
The Dredge 906
Lumberman



Jay Hanson from Superior Scuba Charters and North Shore Scenic Cruises has helped the GLSPS on many projects. Jay has many years of experience as a Captain, dive shop owner, dive instructor and commercial diver.

Jay has taken a different path for the past few years and his scuba charters are no longer available. However, in 2012, Jay purchased the Wenonah which was previously used to transport people from Grand Portage, MN to Isle Royale, MI. He now offers day cruises on the North Shore of Lake Superior and is docked at the Silver Bay, MN Marina.

If you are interested in booking a day charter cruise on the North Shore of Lake Superior, please click on the logo above for information on joining a north shore day cruise.

HomeAmerica 2007

2007 SS America Project

Project Announcement

Project Leader: Ken Merryman
Description: The NPS has finally approved our proposal. The GLSPS is planning to continue the repairs to some major damage on the SS America that occurred over the last several years. The project is planned for September 7-9, a Friday through Monday, but could be shortened to three days if the workload justifies it. The work will be done using two boats, the Heyboy, and Black Dog. We have room for 10-12 participants depending on whether we can get a shelter to sleep the extra people.
Activities: The plan is based on damage noted last year.
  • The starboard upper engine room divider wall is buckling. We would install a 2”x4” header in the wall to straighten and hold it where it was. This is a light weight non-load bearing wall.
  • The nuts on the threaded rod came off and the rod pulled through the deck beam on the reinforcement plate we installed on the steel beam arch that supports the pole we added to keep the boat deck from sliding to port. I would like to fix this by replacing the plate and using bolts and locks.
  • Two of the four posts on the open after deck fell down again. We fixed these last project, but apparently didn’t do a good enough job. We set them into the original base fittings but with the deck slope being what it is, I think they just pulled out of the bases. We would add angle brackets to them this time which is a more flexible and stronger approach to doing this.
  • The rounded corner tongue and groove woodwork on the pursers cabin is peeling off and should be re-fastened before is falls off and gets lost in the debris on the deck.
  • The bottom of the divider wall in the crews’ quarters is loose from the base plate. We would add a narrow strip of wood along the base to sandwich the tongue and groove bottoms to the wall base plate.
Dive Depths: 10' - 60'
Departure location & date/time: Tentatively Bob Olson's House Thursday Evening Sept 6.
Ending location & date/time: Tentatively Bob Olson's Late Sunday Night Sept 9.
Overnight plans: Sleep on the boat - Any overflow would sleep in shelters at a campsite
Food plans: Provided by GLSPS
Estimated cost: Split Gas for travel to and from Grand Portage $40
Number people needed: 10 -12
Current participants: Ken M, Bob O, Ken K.
Boat / Captain: Heyboy / Ken M & Black Dog / Brian Anderson
For more info: contact Ken Merryman, 763.785.9516

I apologize for the late listing but the NPS just approved our plan. The work will be done using two boats, the Heyboy and Black Dog. We have room for 12 participants.

In an attempt to use the web to do the project sign-ups, I am posting the list of positions and personnel signed up. Members who have work experience will be given preference for the main tasks. Members who have taken the training classes will be given preference for the apprentice positions. Members who applied last year but were turned down for space reasons are on the top of the list. We always try to have 25% new workers. Current First Aid and CPR certification is a strong plus. To sign up email me at kmerryman@glsps.org and let me know what position you would like to be considered for and what your background and training is. Include in your email your current diving certification level, an estimate of the number of cold water shipwreck dives you have done in the last two years, any GLSPS training classes you have taken, and whether you have a current First Aid and CPR certification. Also let me know if you have any "job skills" in the areas on the job list. Just because there is already a name in the slot does not mean you will not be considered for the position. Many participants can and do fill multiple positions and I will re-arrange people's tasks to fill the needs.

America Project Position Descriptions

Updated 09-06-07
  • Project Manager – The project manager is in charge of the project. He leads the project planning, makes sure needed equipment and manpower is available, directs the operation, may schedule dives, and is the final decision maker except all decisions are subject to approval by the Safety Officer and Boat Captains.
  • Task Manager – On larger projects the project management may be broken up to allow multiple teams to work on different parts of the project. In this case, the task manager directs the operation of the team and schedules dives and makes decisions pertaining to his team.
  • Safety Officer – In charge of making sure safety protocol is followed. He has the final say in what can be done in the water on site.
  • Boat Captains – In charge of safe operation of the boat and operations on the boat. Has the final say on all actions that affect the safety of the boat or passengers.
  • Tender for Surface Supplied Divers – In charge of surface communications and hose maintenance with the working diver. There will always be a tender on station when a diver is down. (Not needed for this project)
  • Tender for Scuba Divers – In charge of surface communications if communication sets are used, logs in and out times, and is at the platform to relay requests for additional equipment and information, or in case of a problem. He is responsible to help keep the work area orderly.
  • Scuba Diver – Does the underwater work using scuba in environments approved for use of scuba to do work.
  • Surface Supplied Diver – The underwater worker which uses breathing air supplied from a hose from the surface. He is used in overhead environments. (Not needed for this project)
  • Cook – In charge of planning meals, buying, transporting, and preparing food for the crew.
  • Machinery Operator – In charge of securing, setting-up, running and maintaining equipment for the project. He must make sure that equipment is in running order before the project begins. Equipment will often include compressors and pumps.
  • Craftsman – does the carpentry or metal work on the surface to fashion the pieces needed to do the task underwater.
  • Quarter Master – Is in charge of assembling equipment for the project.
  • Photographer/Documenter - Is in charge of creating the photographic or video record of the project and the before and after documentation of the changes for the historic record.
  • Deck Hand/Gopher – Is the worker who shuttles tanks, equipment, materials etc between the work platform and storage or the machinery area.This position is not necessarily a full time position and is generally a task shared by everyone in his or her off-gassing time.

Tentative Position # Needed - Names # Needed - Apprentices
Project Manager 1 - Ken Merryman 1
Task Manager / Team Leader 2 - Steve Daniel
    Ken Merryman
2
Safety Officer 1 - Phil Kerber 1 -
Boat Captains 2 - Ken Merryman
    Brian Anderson
N/A
Scuba Dive Team #1 (Tentative) 4 - Ken Merryman
    Rick Schmidt
    Paul Imsland
    Bill Wallace
    John Ortiz
 
Tenders – Scuba Team #1 3-4-Same 1-2
Scuba Dive Team #2 (Tentative) 4 - Steve Daniel
    John Connoly
    Phil Kerber
    Brian Anderson
    Kristy Anderson
2 -
Tenders – Scuba Team #2 4 -Same 1-2
Cook 1 - Kristy Anderson 1 -
Machinery Operator 1 - Ken Knutson 1-
Craftsman 2 - Ken Knutson  
Quarter Master 1 - Tom Brueshaber N/A
Deck Hand/Gopher Everyone at a time N/A
Photographer / Documenter Kristy Anderson, Steve Daniel 1

2007 Repair Tasks

This year's project will be a short focused set of tasks. We only had a couple of weeks to plan it so keeping it simple was important. Basically, we will have one full work day and a setup and teardown day. This year's tasks will be the following:
  1. The starboard upper engine room divider wall is buckling. I don’t think this one is being caused by the stress of the cabin deck sliding since the area above this wall is basically open, but it broke above a door where it was weak. I would like to install a 2”x4” header in the wall to straighten and hold it where it was. This is a light weight non-load bearing wall.
  2. The nuts on the threaded rod came off and the rod pulled through the deck beam on the reinforcement plate we installed on the steel beam arch that supports the pole we added to keep the boat deck from sliding to port. I would like to fix this by replacing the plate and using bolts and locks.
  3. Two of the four posts on the open after deck fell down again. We fixed these last project, but apparently didn’t do a good enough job. We set them into the original base fittings but with the deck slope being what it is, I think they just pulled out of the bases. We would add angle brackets to them this time which is a more flexible and stronger approach to doing this.
  4. The rounded corner tongue and groove woodwork on the pursers cabin is peeling off and should be re-fastened before is falls off and gets lost in the debris on the deck.
  5. The bottom of the divider wall in the crews’ quarters is loose from the base plate. I would like to add a narrow strip of wood along the base to sandwich the tongue and groove bottoms to the wall base plate.

Project Results


Written 09-19-07

This year's America Project was again shorter than we like on planning and preparation due to being approved one week before the project, although we have been doing this long enough that we can put together an America Project very quickly now.  The two big tasks were to fix the upper engine room starboard side wall and securely install the large spindled support posts on the open after deck.  The wall collapsed over the winter of 2005-2006 and the spindled posts fell down again shortly after the quick fix we did on them in the 2004 project.   We also buttoned down a loose corner on the purser's office, replaced the steel plate that connects one side of the steel arch near the social salon, and installed a tacking strip on the base of the crew quarters divider wall.  Although seeing the America fall apart is very disappointing and fixes are never as good as new, we had another successful repair project and helped to maintain more of the America structure for many years to come.  If it were not for these projects the SS America would be a drastically different looking wreck than it currently is.

The work was done using two boats the Black Dog and the Heyboy and eleven participants (front L to R)  Paul Imsland, John Connoly, Bill Wallace, Rick Schmidt, (rear L to R) John Ortiz, Phil Kerber, Ken Merryman, Christy Anderson, Brian Anderson, Ken Knutson, and Steve Daniel. Our thanks to all of the participants and a special thanks Brian Anderson for making the Black Dog available, to Kristy Anderson for buying food and doing the cooking, and to Tom Brueshaber for rounding-up and preparing the project materials.

(See project photos at bottom of this page.)

2007 Repair Tasks

This year's project was a short focused set of tasks.  We only had a couple of weeks to plan it so keeping it simple was important.  Basically we had one full work day and a setup and teardown day.  Our first day was cut short by bad weather.  The Heyboy was stuck at the Hat Point Marina dock for a couple of hours when some unexpected and short-lived 35 knot winds pasted her to the dock in a corner slip with very little maneuvering room due to the low water level this year.  Black Dog managed to cross to the island, but it was too windy and rough to work until the evening.  Once we were on site the weather improved, but we had to moor both boats pointed into the wind to sit well in the northwest rollers.  All tasks were completed to some extent.  This year's tasks were the following:
  1. The starboard upper engine room divider wall was pulled back into place and a new header with some sister boards were added to give some structural integrity to the wall.
  2. The bottom of the steel arch on the starboard side of the ship opposite the social salon was loose because the threaded rod fasteners we added on the last project had come loose.  We added a new stronger plate and replaced all bolts with bolts and locks to keep it from happening again.
  3. Three of the four posts on the open after deck had fallen down again.  We fixed these last project, but apparently didn’t do a good enough job.  We were unable to find one of the posts.  This time we moved the base of the posts so the posts were perpendicular to the deck as they would have been originally, then shimmed them into place so they actually can bear some of the load of the collapsing boat deck.  We also added battens to the beams they supported to insure the beams don't move out of position and the posts don't slip off the beams.  Now the posts not only look like they once did, they also give the boat deck three more legs to stand on.
  4. The rounded corner tongue and groove woodwork on the pursers cabin is peeling off and was re-fastened using angle brackets to hold it in place to the deck.  The wood of the cabin is getting so mushy there isn't much to fasten it to anymore.
  5. The bottom tongue and groove paneling of the longitudinal divider wall in the crews’ quarters is loose from the base plate.  We added a four inch base board to sandwhich it in place to the 2"x4" base plate.  The bottom of the paneling is getting to soft to fasten each board individually.

Heyboy pasted on the dock wall in 35 knot winds.

All new wood has to be weighted to make it neutrally buoyant underwater.  Phil Kerber checks the buoyancy before sending down the new wall header.

Ken Knutson shows off the cleats added to the afterdeck posts to fasten them to the supporting beams.

We added a block to the base of the posts to shim them to the proper length.

Divers measure support post base location on open afterdeck.

GLSPS diver fastens support post base to open afterdeck.

Rick Schmidt positions beam to support engine room wall in preparation to pull it into place.

Bill Wallace made an amazing find in the wreckage of the assistant engineers quarters--an intact globe from a wall sconce.  The artifact was recovered and given to the park.  GLSPS will work with the park to conserve the artifact for the Windigo Visitor Center shipwreck display.


 The intact artifact gives us a better idea of what the furnishings of the America were  really like.



Ken Knutson and Bill Wallace on clean-up duty on the back deck of the Heyboy as we cruise back to Grand Portage after a successful project.