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Condition assessment of historic wood vessels

Author: Wacker, James P.; Wang, Xiping; Ross, Robert J.; Brashaw, Brian K.;

Date: 2008

Source: Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium on Nondestructive Testing of Wood, Sept. 10-12, 2007. Madison, WI : Forest Products Society, c2008: pages 223-226.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication


This paper summarizes the field condition assessment of three historically significant wood vessels. The vessel WAPAMA, built in 1915, is the last surviving example of the wood steam-powered schooners designed for the 19th and 20th century Pacific Coast lumber trade and coastal service. The U.S. Brig NIAGARA is a wood war­ship of the U.S. Navy that played a pivotal role in the War of 1812 in the Battle of Lake Erie. The HIGHLANDER SEA is Grand Bank Topsail Schooner built in 1924 for use on the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard. A variety of state-of-the-art nondestructive testing technologies were used to complement visual techniques in evaluating physical and biological conditions of each historic wood-framed vessel. The findings provided key informa­tion about internal integrity of the primary structural members to enhance structural analyses or to support repair/replacement decisions.

Keywords: Timber, nondestructive testing, grading, wood grading, engineering inspection, structural analysis, deterioration, sailing ships, inspection, schooners, wooden ships, boats, boating, historic ships, warships, wood quality, structural timbers, visual grading

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Wacker, James P.; Wang, Xiping; Ross, Robert J.; Brashaw, Brian K. 2008. Condition assessment of historic wood vessels. Proceedings of the 15th international symposium on nondestructive testing of wood. 2007 September 10-12: Duluth, MN: 223-226.


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