MEMBERS and FRIENDS
All Hands on Deck!!
This year's Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project Work Weekend will again need to be Limited to the Amount of Volunteers.
Because of the Pandemic Restrictions Still in Place,
Masks, Respirators and Social Distancing
Will Be Required!
Please Register for the 2021 S.S. Meteor Project
Work Weekends ASAP!
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 "Seventeenth" Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project, Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, 2021.
This year the S.S. Meteor is also Celebrating 125 years since it was first launched as the Rockefeller.
Happy 125th Birthday!!
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.
This project is the 17th Annual. The last sixteen years we put this Project together, we had a great turn out. Except for the year of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020. We broke a record of 100 volunteers in 2014. We have an average of 50 plus volunteers for this event every year! The folks from the Superior's Public Museum's Board of Directors and the City of Superior WI are very appreciative with the efforts of all the organizations that helped make this project successful! Let’s try making this event another successful year!
Please Note: The below Task List will be much smaller this year because of the number of volunteers we are allowed by the state. Although the list could be 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.
- Clean staff office.
- Clean exhibit case glass inside and out.
Cabin Deck (In this order):
- Touch up paint in Crew’s quarters, galley and mess halls. –
- 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)!!
- Wash portholes
- Wipe down walls and furniture as needed
- Vacuum all rooms
- Clean up paint drippings
- Make beds and put out props.
Pilot House/Chart Room:
- Polish all brass as needed – (Marty Karpa).
- Wash windows- clean equipment-vacuum.
- The water leak was checked. It’s coming from inside the wall, threshold and door of the chart room / pilot house. Mainly the chart room. Inner Walls in the chart room may need to be removed? Please Note: Ham mat respirator, Haz mat suit, secured plastic bags and haz mat vacuum will need to be used. In Progress by Tim P, Ken M and Plumber Guy
- Floor just below the chart room entrance door was removed and temporary floor placed on top. The old floor needs to be completely cut out and replaced with treated word or plywood and SPM would like to install older looking tile squares back on it to look authentic. This cannot be started and completed until the water leaks are found and repaired.
- Clean Boiler Room. Sweep out debris that came in from flooding. (Neil Zoss).
- Polish Brass as needed – (Marty Karpata).
- Apply another coat of white paint to areas that still need it in the lower engine room. (Ceiling and wall on the port side).
- Spray protection Lube on all tools (wrenches) in Engine room – Use Chain Lube and or Fogging oil.
- Engine room - Scrape and touch up paint,
- Prepare and re-paint floor tile red. (future task – after all is done, including the electrical).
- 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!
- 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.
- Recheck mesh that was installed in 2019 to see if it’s working and repair any damaged sections. Mechanical Cloth (Chicken wire) was installed by Rick Schmidt.
- Identify areas on the hull that need touch up and 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.
- 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:
- Clean rust lines on outside of ship from water draining down - Port side turret and stairways. (Please use Terry Cloth)! (Recheck – It may need to be prepared and painted again)?
- Add another coat of paint (or treat with CWF) all four lifeboat cradles – (installed within the last three years).
- Re-Paint aft deck after washing and preparation. May need to be done other than the work weekend? Paint with sand in it is highly recommended!!
- Paint aft stairway backside cover on main deck – (paint was peeling off in large sheets). Scraped cleaned and primer was applied. Add a coat or two of paint.
- Prepare and Paint floor of Captains balcony.
- Prepare and Paint down-pipes on starboard side "Butterscotch Yellow" (Like the pipes on the Port Side)!
- Paint walkways on both port and starboard sides. Tile red Complete painting for both sides of the walkway from the pilot house on back.
- 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).
- Paint Elmer’s Room (with radar equipment and array)
- Port side was painted with white primer two or more years ago – it now needs a coat of white paint
- Starboard side was scraped in 2017 and needs to have the primer applied on first then a coat of white paint.
- Move radar equipment under radar array. (After the painting is complete)
- 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)!
- 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”).
- Paint floor in Mess Hall and certain parts of the walkway that are peeling?
14. 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) (Wish-list)!!
15. Paint Floor in 2nd Mate room – (Paint color will be tile red).
16. Paint Ceilings in the crew’s quarters. By Dumb waiter on starboard side.
Mechanical Repairs- High Priority:
- 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). Being sub-contracted by a Contractor hired by the City of Superior.
- Create Manual to indicate lubrication points of the main engine along with photos. - Tim Pranke – Leader.
- Mark main fuse panel circuit breakers Each circuit run, and feed was determined last year. Done? We need a schematic from Tony Musial.
- Wire in Cat 5 network cable for internet, phone and security services. Planning in Progress. This will be completed by a contractor hired by the City of Superior.
- Inspect all sump pumps (4) and identify areas in which they were installed. A document of instructions was created by Tim P. The document indicates 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 used for future reference). See document.
- 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 remove the pumps before winter and stored in a warm place.
Mechanical Repairs-lower priority:
- Clean more brass fittings in lower engine room including brass valves that were accidentally painted.
- Repair / replace steam site glass tubes in engine room?? After they are found or ordered online. (Jeff Lee).
- Clean Machinery in main engine room – Do Not use stiff brushes! Just clean by wiping with a cloth and vacuum any debris created.
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:
- Prepare and finishing welding roof of Bow Turret where it is rusted through and railing.
- Weld walkway outside Pilot House Starboard side. Weld railings also.
- Plug hole in forward port tank by welding it shut.
- Weld starboard vent in engine room (by work bench).
- Weld two holes shut in forward cargo hold on floor.
- Weld pipe on sides of ship to extend water drainage from ship,
- Start welding the floor deck of the Cabin area on the aft starboard side where the rust is coming through.
- Remove plugged and rusted drainage piping and replace with new piping – Needs to look authentic
- 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?
- Count and measure any broken portholes and give information to Phil Kerber to pass onto the person making the glass. This was completed by Dara Fillmore. She will have a list for Megan. Phil will pass it along to a glass guy he knows and if he is still working as a glass guy?
- 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.
- Clean up paint chips and greasy floor in the lower engine room. (After electrical rewiring and jacking gears are finished)!
- 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.
- Possibly water leaking through smokestack. Recheck for 2020.
- 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.
- Clean rust from valving on the engine. Treat with engine fogging oil to prevent further rusting. (Spring and Fall)
- Cement repair in 2nd Cook & Porter Room in crew’s quarter's area. (Joe & Tony Musial)
- Cement repair in 3rd Mate room in crew’s quarter's area.
- Finish repairs on the port window frame. (Rusted out badly)! Was started in 2018.
General Repairs, Fabrication, welding, and other odd Jobs- lower priority:
- Paint floor tile red in the crew’s quarters 2nd mate room.
- 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.
- 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)! Dara Fillmore completed this in 2019 and a list was prepared for Megan. Recheck the lists and portholes.
- Look into installing new bulletin board cork on boards in mess hall/crew’s quarters. (Available through Amazon, order as needed)!
- 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.
- Paint top panel, sides and door of diver’s display case, (Gray). – (See Dale Koziol)
- Find access to shaft alley to see why moisture is pushing up concrete in floor.????? (See Tim P and Dara F that are working on it)
- See if we can find where water is entering through the engine room (or prop shaft). (Tim P working on it).
- Roof of Pilothouse leaks lots of water – Should we weld the large hole on bottom of Radar Mast? Or, 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).
- Repair ceiling Sheetrock above restrooms. (was replaced two years ago and is cracking again).
- Remove base board in community restroom.
- Redo Ceiling in freezer
- Lifeboats – Cover – Canvas or any other ideas??
Water /Control - Problems:
- Check all scuppers on boat deck
- Replace all O-rings in portholes.Make sure the O-ring seal seam is on top of porthole!!
- Count portholes with broken glass, measure and order more from Tom Weiland in Wisconsin.
- Dumb waiter shaft – leaking water – check to see where it’s coming from (refit door that swelled.
- Created Dam outside front door to redirect the water coming in.
- Plug hole in forward port tank by welding it shut.(See welding and fabricating tasks above)
- Investigate and formulate a plan to stop aft peak water leak on starboard side
- We stopped water leak through the smokestack.Recheck during the scouting trip.Enter stack room in crews’ quarters to access where the welding and re-sealing was done last year.
- 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).
- Pilot house and chart room water leaks from roof and walls – find and recommend repair for leaks.(Counter was removed in front of wall on port side to reveal where water is coming in). The wall show signs of leakage but is not where the bulk of the leak is.
- Find access to shaft alley upper area to see why moisture is pushing up concrete in floor.
- Repair/reseal open porthole in Pump personnel’s Room.Lots of water is getting in and causing damage to the concrete floor below.
- 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?
- Concrete inside the ship has raised up.The concrete needs to be busted up and hauled out.Then repaired and new concrete laid again?
- 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)
- Clean up Exhibitors area
- Cover visual oil with more sand.(It’s been a hazard for kids)!
- Remove oil-soaked absorbents from engine bilge.They should be saturated enough to have collected all the oil they can.
- Clean any debris out of the water in the engine bilge
- Remove canvas covers in focsle, etc.
- Find a way to use wind scoops for air flow, industrial fan(s) in manholes, ETC.
- Make opening forward turret door bar easier to remove to open.Also, the pilothouse doors.
- Remove rotten, rusty, moldy wood boards and metal from forward cargo hold sump area.
- Clean up focsle, windlass turret.
- Set traps and kill mice in staff area, gift shop, bar room, galley, clean up their messes.
Please Note: Any cargo holds and other areas that need cleanup, will not take place without SPM Personnel Present!!
*If you are a leader of a task during the project work weekend and, you were assigned to bring supplies and equipment, please let Phil K or Megan Meyer know who you are and where to find the list where you were assigned.
The large list of tasks continues to grow as the project draws near.
More will be added, please check back later.
Masks will be Required - Although you will be wearing a safety respirator during the work in the meteor anyway.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, 2021
(Ship will be open at 8:00 AM for early riser's and set up)
Time: 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!! (The briefing will be Outside).
Where: S.S. Meteor Whale-Back Museum in Superior Wisconsin on Barkers Island.
Lunch: Will Box Lunches will be provided . (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 most likely an outside BBQ and Bon Fire at the Fairlawn Mansion (BYOB)
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 25, 2020). 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
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 Get-Together will only be an Outside BBQ. This will be held at the Fairlawn Mansion (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.
President - Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
S.S. Meteor Project Chairman
Superior Public Museums