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HomeEvents15th S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 2019

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15th S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 2019

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9:00 AM until Sunday, April 28, 2019, 5:00 PM
S.S. Meteor Museum Ship on Barkers Island
300 Marine Dr
Superior , WI  54880

Event Contact(s):
Phil Kerber
2019 Projects
Registration is recommended
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Please bring respirators, safety glasses, hats, gloves old shoes and warm clothes you can get dirty and throw away after the weekend.
Available Slots:
No Fee



Of The

S.S. Meteor!

All Hands on Deck!!

Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society (GLSPS)
Superior Public Museums (SPM)
Lake Superior Marine Museum Association (LSMMA)

Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association (WUAA)



We will be Sponsoring the "Fifteenth" Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project, Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019.

This is a very worthy cause and if we don't continue to preserve this one-of-a-kind Whale-back ship, it could be lost forever!

Please join us in
preserving one of the only "Whale-back Ships" remaining in the world!

We are looking for a few good men and women to help stabilize and preserve the

Please Click on Above Pictures to Enlarge


S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 2019

Requirements / Recommendations:

1. You must be 16 years of age or older. (Unless other arrangements are made)

2. Have your own Medical Insurance.

3. This is a project that requires the ability to do both light and heavy physical work.

4. Please bring any of your own safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, masks, knee guards, gloves, coveralls, shoes, boots, hats, and warm clothes. Optional: Hardhat.

5. A liability release form from SPM will need to signed and handed into the staff before anyone can start working on their assigned tasks.

6. Please Note:  Some tools will be provided.  Such as, paint scrapers, brushes, wiping rags, cleaners, and some respirator masks (Limited Quantity).  Please bring your own if you prefer a certain brand and are in good shape.

To speed up the process, please click on the link button to print, read, agree, sign and bring with you to hand into the SPM Staff.

S.S. Meteor Liability Release and Waiver

2019 S.S. Meteor Project Work Weekend Schedule


This project is the 14th Annual.  The last thirteen years we put this Project together, we had a great turn out. We broke a record of 100 volunteers in 2014.  We have an average of 50 plus people volunteering for this event every year! The folks from the Superior's Public Museum's Board of Directors and the City of Superior WI were very appreciative with the efforts of the organizations that helped make this project successful!  Let’s try making this event another successful year!

Please Note: The below Task List is Updated right up to the day before the Project!

Please Check Back Later for Any Updates to the Task List as We Draw Closer to the Project.

S. S. Meteor Project 2019 Work Weekend Tasks List

(The Task List Can Change at any time and up to the Day of the Project)

April 27 -28, 2019

 (More than 80 Tasks to Complete)

(Updated 04-24-19)

Tasks-Every Year

Exhibit Area:

  1. Clean staff office.
  2. Clean exhibit case glass inside and out.

Cabin Deck (In this order):

  1. Touch up paint in Crew’s quarters, galley and mess halls. –
  2. Please Note: Some areas may only need to be cleaned and waxed to clean very small areas of rust.  Mainly around the bolt and screw holes. (Please use Terry Cloth)!!
  3. Wash portholes
  4. Wipe down walls and furniture as needed
  5. Vacuum all rooms
  6. Clean up paint drippings
  7. Make beds and put out props

Pilot House/Chart Room:

  1. Polish all brass as needed – (Marty Karpa)
  2. Wash windows- clean equipment-vacuum
  3. Check to see where water is coming in both the pilot house and mainly the chart room.  Walls in the chart room may need to be removed.  Please Note:  Haz mat respirator, Haz mat suit, secured plastic bags and haz mat vacuum will need to be used.
  4. Floor just below the chart room entrance door is falling in.  The old floor needs to be cut out and replaced.  SPM would like to have tile put back in after repaired/replaced.  This cannot be started until the water leaks are found and repaired.





Engine Room:

  1. Polish Brass as needed – (Jeff Lee)
  2. Apply another coat of white paint to areas that still need it in the lower engine room. (Ceiling and wall on the port side).
  3. Paint upper engine room 2nd coat - A safe platform was constructed by Joe and Tony Musial 2017 to access the ceiling.  Complete the 2nd or even third coat, then remove platform and store in dry place (not in the Meteor) such as the Fire Museum Storage area.
  4. Spray protection Lube on all tools (wrenches) in Engine room – Use Chain Lube and or Fogging oil.
  5. Engine room - Scrape and touch up paint, Polish Brass as needed
  6. Prepare and re-paint floor tile red.


  1. Pressure wash the entire outside of the ship with a pressure washer (Especially where bird droppings occurred on the Aft Starboard side of the ship). Warm water or car wash soap-DO NOT USE DAWN!
  2. Remove cover over square air vent/shaft on aft deck clean sealing surface and apply weather stripping or thick silicone to reseal and reattach square cover with the necessary hardware/bolts.
  3. Please Note:  The bird spikes are no longer working.  We have researched other ways to discourage the birds from roosting under the starboard turret areas. We are going to try attaching Mechanical Cloth (Chicken wire) to the area.  (See Rick Schmidt).
  4. Identify areas on the hull that need touch up that need the special black paint. If there are enough areas to paint to accommodate one gallon of black paint, it will only be purchased at that time.  If the paint is applied, the surface must be prepared again by sanding the area.



  1. Change oil in air compressor.  (Check condition of oil first)  (Use Amsoil SAE W40 Compressor Oil). Check the Air filter.  Check and change if Necessary.  (If air filter needs to be changed, a new air filter system will need to be installed).




This Year’s Tasks


Scraping and Painting:

  1. Clean rust lines on outside of ship from water draining down - Port side turret and stairways. (Please use Terry Cloth)!  (May need to be prepared and painted again)?
  2. Prepare and Paint (or treat with CWF) all four lifeboat cradles – (installed within the last three years)
  3. Prepare and Paint Pipe coming out of black kerosene tank on aft deck before deck is washed or painted.
  4. Re-Paint aft deck after washing and preparation.  May need to be done other then the work weekend?  Paint with sand in it is highly recommended!!
  5. Paint aft stairway backside cover on main deck – (paint is peeling off in large sheets).
  6. Prepare and Paint floor of Captains balcony
  7. Prepare and Paint downpipes on starboard side "Butterscotch Yellow" (Like the pipes on the Port Side)!
  8. Paint walkways on both port and starboard sides.  Tile red (Start with port side first).
  9. Paint ceiling in the display area on the starboard side and other areas in the display area.  (Need Scaffolding or scissors lift to complete this task).
  10. Repaint poles that hold netting around life boats.
  11. Paint Elmer’s Room (with radar equipment and array) 
    1. Port side was painted with white primer two or more years ago – it now needs a coat of white paint
    2. Starboard side was scraped in 2017 and needs to have the primer applied on first then a coat of white paint.
  12. Move radar equipment under radar array.  (After the painting is complete)
  13. Paint ceiling in upper engine room 2nd coat – (See above “Engine Room” section for details).
  14. Touch up / paint red railings on stairs in boiler room going up to engine room (Need to be painted red (or Yellow for caution and for safety reasons). (This is a summer job by one person)!
  15. Paint rails in the Boiler room (Silver color). This will need to be done Sunday at the end of the project (two hours before)?  (Please hang signs saying “Wet Paint”).
  16. Paint floor in Mess Hall and certain parts of the walkway that are peeling?
  17. Paint floor of the lower engine room. (This will only take place after all other painting and cleaning projects are completed)! (Paint color will be tile red) (Wishlist)!!
  18. Paint Ramp Posts (Use black external latex paint).
  19. Paint Floor in 2nd Mate room – (Paint color will be tile red).
  20. Paint Ceilings in the crew’s quarters.  By Dumb waiter on starboard side.


Mechanical Repairs- High Priority:

  1. A plan was established last year about the replacement of the On-Off Switch, the old fuse box in the main and lower engine room and possibly the electric motor.  The city has taken on this project and will be hiring an outside source.  (See Dale Koziol for more details)
  2. Create Manual to indicate lubrication points of the main engine along with photos. - Tim Pranke – Leader.
  3. Mark main fuse panel circuit breakers Each circuit run and feed was determined last year. 
  4. Wire in Cat 5 network cable for internet, phone and security services.  (See Mac Mc Clure for Details)???  Planning in Progress.
  5. Inspect all sump pumps (4) and identify areas in which they were installed.  A document of instructions will need to be created.  Such as, where the pumps need to be placed in the bilge, where they discharge the water to the outside of the ship and where the power is located.   (This will need to be created for future reference).  (Maintenance person and Tim P).
  6. Pump out any water in bilge below the engine.    (Soak up any oil in the water below engine before pumping with absorbent pads).    Discussion with Management and maintenance personnel to make sure they are removed the pumps before winter and stored in a warm place.

Mechanical Repairs-lower priority:

  1. Clean more brass fittings in lower engine room including brass valves that were accidentally painted. 
  1. Repair / replace steam site glass tubes in engine room??  After they are found or ordered online. (Jeff Lee).
  1. Clean Machinery in main engine room – Do Not use stiff brushes!  Just clean by wiping with a cloth and vacuum any debris created.
  2. Remove, Clean, organize and place black pipe fittings on shelves under the stairway in Boiler Room. – (See Ken Lillemo) 



General Repairs, Fabrication, welding, and other odd Jobs- high priority:

  1. Prepare and finishing welding roof of Bow Turret where it is rusted through and railing.
  2. Weld walkway outside Pilot House Starboard side.  Weld railings also.
  3. Plug hole in forward port tank by welding it shut.
  4. Weld the smoke stack holes shut where water is leaking in.  (Will need to access through the stack room in the crew’s quarters). Please Note: Smoke Stack room will need to be cleaned before any welding tasks are performed.
  5. Weld starboard vent in engine room (by work bench).
  6. Weld two holes shut in forward cargo hold on floor.
  7. Weld pipe on sides of ship to extend water drainage from ship,
  8. Remove plugged and rusted drainage piping and replace with new piping – Needs to look authentic
  9. Install black plastic corrugated drainage hoses on drainage pipes that don’t stick out far enough to keep the water off the hull and stain it. Plan and estimate have been created for a later project?
  10. Count and measure any broken portholes and give information to Phil Kerber to pass onto the person making the glass.
  11. Reseal leaking port in Captains Office.   Find leak in Chart Room / Pilot House. Remove to seal?  Or, reseal with exterior caulking from the outside.  Check radio direction finder water leak.
  12. Clean up paint chips and greasy floor in the lower engine room. (After electrical rewiring and jacking gears are finished)!
  13. Re-Grease jacking gears and shaft. - (To prevent rusting).  (Fall and Spring)!  (We have 8 tubes of Amsoil molly grease in boxes in lower engine room).  May need to obtain more?  Possibly a 5-gallon pale of molly grease.
  14. Possibly water leaking through stack.
  15. Whistle Cover found or needs to be made?  (For winter storage).  It can fill with water then turn to ice over the winter.  Find a person to look at it and draw out a plan.
  16. Clean rust from valving on the engine. Treat with engine fogging oil to prevent further rusting. (Spring and Fall)
  17. Cement repair in 2nd Cook & Porter Room in crew’s quarter's area. (Joe & Tony Musial)
  18. Cement repair in 3rd Mate room in crew’s quarter's area.
  19. Finish repairs on the port window frame.  (Rusted out badly)!  Was started in 2018.


General Repairs, Fabrication, welding, and other odd Jobs- lower priority:

  1. Paint floor tile red in the crew’s quarters 2nd mate room.
  2. Reproduce and Rehang all recreated signs that were removed in 2015. A trip to Office Max /Depot to scan and print may still need to be completed.
  3. Identify and record all portholes that are broken and need to be replaced. Measurements will also need to be done such as the diameter and thickness of the glass. (A document needs to be created and passed onto Phil K)!
  4. Look into installing new bulletin board cork on boards in mess hall/crew’s quarters. (Available through Amazon, order as needed)!
  5. Work in Progress - Clean and paint GLSPS Display area – form committee to help put together a display area for the work the Society has done to Preserve maritime history – mostly the S.S. Meteor including taking the panels from the port side and painting them battleship gray (like the other display cases) and re-purpose them. Please remove all photos on panels and record them for storage until they are needed again.
  6. Paint top panel, sides and door of diver’s display case, (Gray). – (See Dale Koziol)
  7. Find access to shaft alley to see why moisture is pushing up concrete in floor.?????  (See Tim P)
  8. See if we can find where water is entering through the engine room (or prop shaft).
  9. Roof of Pilothouse leaks lots of water – Weld large hole on bottom of Radar Mast, clean off all caulking with wire brush, clean with paint thinner or solvent (brake parts cleaner) and as a final step, re-caulk all areas that were cleaned and have a plate or gasket area that could leak water into pilothouse for roof.  (See water control problems outline below).
  10. Repair ceiling sheetrock above restrooms.  (was replaced two years ago and is cracking again).
  11. Remove base board in community restroom.
  12. Redo Ceiling in freezer
  13. Life Boats – Cover – Canvas or any other ideas??

Water /Control - Problems:

  1. Check all scuppers on boat deck
  2. Replace all O-rings in portholes.Make sure the O-ring seal seam is on top of porthole!!
  3. Count portholes with broken glass, measure and order more from Tom Weiland in Wisconsin.
  4. Dumb waiter shaft – leaking water – check to see where it’s coming from (refit door that swelled.
  5. Created Dam outside front door to redirect the water coming in.
  6. Plug hole in forward port tank by welding it shut.(See welding and fabricating tasks above)
  7. Investigate and formulate a plan to stop aft peak water leak on starboard side
  8. Stop water leaks through the smoke stack.Found where the water was leaking on scouting trip. Enter stack room in crews’ quarters to access the holes that need welding shut or use caulking??(See welding tasks above).
  9. Recheck water coming in through the starboard vent in engine room.Find and re-seal with caulking/silicone or welding.(See welding section above if welding is decided for the repairs).
  10. Pilot house and chart room water leaks from roof – find and recommend repair for leaks.(may need to remove wall on port side to reveal where water is coming in).
  11. Find access to shaft alley upper area to see why moisture is pushing up concrete in floor.
  12. Repair/reseal open porthole in Pump personnel’s Room.Lots of water is getting in and causing damage to the concrete floor below.
  13. We have water literally flowing into ship from outside the port side by forward cargo hold into the ship where the water supply comes into the ship.Is there any way we can cut a ditch along the port side to flow down the bow, around it to the starboard side and then into the lake?
  14. Concrete inside the ship has raised up.The concrete needs to be busted up and hauled out.Then repaired and new concrete laid again?
  15. Water pipe supplies into the ship have busted from winter freeze and need to be replaced.Formulate a plan for volunteers to repair that have plumbing experience or the City of Superior may need to hire a contractor to come in and repair it??


Air Quality/Cleaning: (Dumpster will be provided)

  1. Remove all fiber – ropes, rotting wood, paper
  2. Clean out dump behind Antique Bar – throw in dumpster provided for the weekend.
  3. Clean up Exhibitors area
  4. Cover visual oil with more sand.(It’s been a hazard for kids)!
  5. Remove oil-soaked absorbents from engine bilge.They should be saturated enough to have collected all the oil they can.
  6. Clean any debris out of the water in the engine bilge
  7. Remove canvas covers in focsle, etc.
  8. Clean out smoke stack room before and welding is performed!!
  9. Find a way to use wind scoops for air flow, industrial fan(s) in manholes, ETC.
  10. Make opening forward turret door bar easier to remove to open.Also, the pilothouse doors.
  11. Remove rotten, rusty, moldy wood boards and metal from forward cargo hold sump area.
  12. Clean up focsle, windlass turret.
  13. Set traps and kill mice in staff area, gift shop, bar room, galley, clean up their messes.

Please Note:  The forward cargo holds and other areas that need cleanup will not take place without SPM Personnel Present!!  Probably will take place on Sunday??

*If you are a leader of a task during the project work weekend and, you were assigned to bring supplies and equipment, please click on this link to see what you were assigned to bring to the project.  (Link not provided yet)!

The large list of tasks continues to grow as the project draws near.

More will be added, please check back later.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019
(Ship will be open at 8:00 AM for early riser's and set up)

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Sunday or until …….

(Saturday: 9:15 AM Project Briefing)!! Please be present for the briefing!!

S.S. Meteor Whale-Back Museum in Superior Wisconsin on Barkers Island.

Lunch: Will be provided by "Grandma's Sports Garden". (Breakfast you will be on your own).

We will be meeting at Barker's Island Inn Restaurant (Barkers Island near Meteor) both mornings for Breakfast at 7:00 AM.

Dinner:  Will be provided by the SPM/City of Superior at the Fairlawn Mansion at 6:30 PM - Food starts at 7:00 PM

Lodging:  Free lodging is available but limited.  We can provide space for some people in various campers, boats, and houses around the area free of charge, based on a first come first served bases.  Please let us know if you need free lodging ASAP!  Barkers Island Inn / Hotel is offering a $60.00 per night room special only for the S.S. Meteor project participants.  (Rooms available after Feb 5, 2019).  Please reserve your room ASAP for they only blocked out a certain amount of rooms.  Please mention "The Whale-back Clean up" to receive your special room discount.  Their phone number is, 715-392-7152 or Toll-Free - 800-

Please Note: If you are staying in any of the campers or boats, please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, and other sleeping accommodations. If you are staying at a marina, the showers are most likely open for use.

If you prefer to stay in another Hotel, there are a few smaller and inexpensive Hotels in the local area. Please Google “Hotels Superior Wisconsin” Mention you are there for the Whale-back Project. Some hotels will give you a discount.

This year’s Saturday night program, we will once again have the “free” Buffet Dinner.  It will be at the Fair-Lawn Mansion at 6:00 PM in Superior WI (Not far from the Meteor).  We will be offering free tours of the Mansion after dinner. 

You can also ask the SPM staff of the Museum for a custom tour of the Whale-back Ship you normally don't see on a regular summer tour!

If you are interested in volunteering, please register for the project by clicking on the "Register Now" button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.  Follow the step by step directions.  Or, by contacting the Chairman of the event, Phil Kerber or, the Director of SPM Megan Meyer.   Contact information for both Phil and Megan are below.
Please don't delay in registering ASAP, this will help us determine the headcount for the food and provide email communications for any additional information about the project.

Please confirm your attendance ASAP!

Thank you very much for your time.

Hope to see you there.

Phil Kerber

President - Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
S.S. Meteor Project Chairman

Megan Meyer
Superior Public Museums