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 Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society

Dedicated to Preserving our Shipwrecks and Maritime History
"From Prevention to Preservation"

News Stories

2022 - Meteor - Closing Report

Phil Kerber | Published on 5/1/2022
Closing Report:

The S.S Meteor Preservation Work Weekend is over and it was another successful project.

Because of the rain, we were not able to do any painting or updating outside the ship on Saturday.  Although the one thing great about the pouring rain is that we were able to successfully find over 32 water leaks into the ship thanks to the team of Randy Beebe and Tim Pranke.  

The project seemed to give me the sense of daja vu' where we finished the painting in a room from last year and when we arrived at the room again this year, the paint had fallen off and had to be repainted again.  I had it written on the large formatted lists we hang up it the ship that we painted that room last year!  Or did we?  The evidence shows on the sheet of paper but it wasn't painted.  The team that painted it said they absolutely painted it last year.     

Further research indicated that we in fact painted it.  That means that we probably did not paint it properly or didn't go through the proper procedure of preparation before painting.  The temperature is also a very critical condition I was told.  Being someone that doesn't know a lot about painting I would not know the total procedure but I do at least know that there is more preparation than the actual painting.

That all said we need to stop and back up the truck!  We had to revisit our procedures in the preparation before we paint procedures.  So, the team of Russel Leitz and his Daughter Beth came up with a few super ideas to make sure we are a bit more organized especially when it comes to painting the inside metal walls of the ship.  We needed to actually write a procedure for the volunteers that were painting.  Plus we needed to experiment with different products that would work better to make the paint stick to the metal walls.  The other very important factor is the fact that we need to heat up the walls to a temperature above 50 degrees to have the paint dry properly.  So, they grabbed an extra heater to heat up the room before any primer or paint was added.

Now it seems as if the paint was drying better and would have half of a change to dry and stay on the metal walls for a long time.  However, Russel and his Daughter Beth came up with another idea to use a produce they found to help seal the walls before the primer and paint was applied. They purchased a smaller quart can of it to try it this year and see how it weathers next year when we come back to the project.

Forty two (42) tasks out of the eighty five (85) tasks listed were completed.  GREAT JOB volunteers for making the time sacrifice to join us for the project this year. Because of the rain, many of the outside projects were put on hold.  Therefore the number of tasks completed was only about 1/2 of what we normally complete.

Other projects that were completed was several holes were welded shut by the Welder Craig David, followed by his Wife with cleaner primer and paint to make sure it got painted and no further rust will form.

The list of tasks completed is large and I will post the results soon.

Thank you all so much for joining us for the S.S. Meteor Preservation Project to help preserve the ole whaleback ship Museum.  This ship museum is a very valuable piece of history to preserve and all you volunteers have made a difference in preserving maritime history!  The Superior Public Museums Executive Director, her staff and the City of Superior really appreciate our volunteer  efforts to help prepare the S.S. Meteor each year for the upcoming season of tourism and all that a historical one of a kind whaleback ship has to offer.  

Please check back to this closing report for additional information, photos to view and the final report on the list of tasks we completed along with any tasks that we are asking to help finish during the summer of 2022.

If you are still interested in joining this project every year or have time during the summer months to get involved with any of the painting or other maintenance associated with the S.S. Meteor, please contact Megan Meyer, or Phil Kerber.  Our contact information is above and below or throughout this closing report.

If you have any comment or question please feel free to give us a call or email. 

Have a great summer and hope to see all of you again on the S.S. Meteor Preservation Project in 2023.