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S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 19th - Level 1

Saturday, April 29, 2023 to Sunday, April 30, 2023
S.S. Meteor Whaleback Museum Ship on Barkers Island
300 Marine Dr
Superior , WI  54880

Event Contact(s):
Megan Meyer
715-394-5712 (p)
Phil Kerber
612-720-2825 (p)
612-720-2825 (c)
GLSPS Events
Registration is recommended
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Please bring full respirators, (not face masks) safety glasses, hats, gloves old shoes, an optional hard hat or older bicycle helmet, and warm clothes you can get dirty and throw away after the weekend. Please read, understand, sign, and submit the Liability Release and Waiver Form to a GLSPS or SPM Representative before you start working. Forms and other information sheets are on the entrance table just inside the Meteor Museum Ship.
Activities/Items    (Click the down-arrow to the left of the activity/item to view the details)
All Weekend
Saturday Only
Sunday Only



of the

S.S. Meteor!

All Hands on Deck!!
Please Register for the 19th Annual 2023 S.S. Meteor Project
Work Weekends ASAP!


Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society (GLSPS)
Superior Public Museums (SPM)

Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association (WUAA)

  There is not any requirement to be a member of the organizations listed above to join us for this project.
However, we certainly encourage you to become a member of your favorite organization, or all of them.


We will be Sponsoring the "Nineteenth" Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project, Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2023.   There are others that arrive Thursday and Friday April 27 & 28, 2023. 

Everyone is welcome to join us earlier if they so desire.  Please Note:  The special price at the Barkers Inn for lodging is only secured for Friday and Saturday nights.  Any other days are your responsibility.

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



2022 - SS Meteor Project Photos



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 the suggested 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 that they are in good shape to provide adequate safety.  We highly recommend and most often require a full respirator mask with separate filters.  Please purchase your own for sanitary reasons.  Who would want to use a mask that someone else used?

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



This project is the 19th Annual.  The last eighteen years we put this Project together, we had a great turn out.  Except for the year of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020, which we still had but had to reduce the size to no more than ten volunteers.  We broke a record of 100 volunteers in 2014.  We have an average of 50 plus volunteers for this event every year!   The Superior 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!

The below list is the 2023 task list and will be updated two weeks before the project.  A scouting trip/walk-through is scheduled for April 1, 2023.  Please check back after this date to see the most current task list for 2023.

S.S. Meteor Preservation Project Work Weekend  

Task List  

Updated 4/11/2023. 

Red = safety issue 
Names in Bold Letters are Crew Chiefs


For trial reasons only,
 we are going to implement an experiment with a new way to sign up for a task (s) of your choice, based on your skill level.  This is not required this year but, if you have the time, please take a moment to fill it out and submit the signup Worksheet/form.  This will only be for research for next year.  Here is the link to the Task Signup and Skills Worksheet. 

SS Meteor 2023 Tasks Signup Worksheet

Water Leak Stoppage 

1. Pilothouse roof 
a. Radar hoop base needs caulk fully removed and new caulk applied. Apply special waterproof caulking – NP1. Ken Lillemo and Crew Chief Dean Soderbeck. 

b. Holes need to be drilled on the port and starboard side lips of the pilot house to allow for drainage. Add water to the roof first to determine the lowest spots. Ken Lillemo and Crew Chief Dean Soderbeck.

2. Shaft Alley lubrication tube water leak – seal, possibly with epoxy putty. (ID about 1.5” and OD about 2” – see Dara’s additional photos.) Crew Chief = Dale Koziol. Dara may be the crawler helper.

3. Starboard side pilot house door had a padlock ripped off – doors need repairs. 
4. Pilot House port side entry door not closing tight – water leaks indoors need to be tightened by repositioning (using a large come-along?) and/or installation of a thicker seal (these have not been replaced – there is gasket material available). 

5. Crews deck – Captains Quarters – tighten port holes to keep water out. 

6. Steering Room - determine where water is coming in and weld. (Same issue as the leak in the ship’s stores room 40.) (See Dara) 

7. 2022 Tim/Randy Leak List – locate and weld or seal the smaller water leaks (see the list and associated photos). These were identified on the inside, but not the topside yet. Could use a team to do leak-finding (3-person ideal – water handler, note-taker, person inside).
8. Craig David’s leak list – determine what is left to do.  

9. City water pipe leak – There is water flowing in from the city water pipes inside the ship – assess and address. Dale Koziol 

10. Rear turret – find leaks and weld.  


11. Peak Tank by prop shaft in lower engine room leaking into the bilge (assess areas other than the lubrication tube) – assess and report 

12. Aft Turret Door – The door is very warped. See how we can tighten or reseal with thicker weather stripping.  

13. Mechanical/hydraulic vent in front of two largest vents by benches on the aft deck – check to see if water can be getting in here:

Welding Repairs (Craig David) 

14. The walkway railing rusted off on the Starboard side, and the decks both have rusted through (pilot house level and captain’s room level). Big safety issue. 

15. Crew quarter deck under starboard aft exterior – very rusted. A large plate will need to be welded in. Design and plan what we need for materials and locate them for next year. Or if Craig has the material already, start the process of welding in new steel plates. Ask the shipyards if they want to donate any steel plating (Megan will ask). 

16. Check for a possible hole in the starboard hull under “Exit Doors” (See Dara). Assess this year. 

(Crew Chief = Russel Leitz) 

17. Room 11 (Second Mate) – small spot on the wall below the porthole that is peeling
18. Room 17 (Officer’s Mess) – ceiling and floor 

19. Room 19 (Galley) – aft end of the port wall, and possibly ceiling 

20. Room 21 (Crew’s Mess) – ceiling and floor 

21. Room 23 (hallway) – ceiling  

22. Room 25 (4-8 Room) – ceiling 

23. Room 26 (8-12 Room) – ceiling 

24. Room 27 (crew room) – ceiling 

25. Room 28 (12-4 Room) – ceiling 

26. Room 30 (2nd Cook & Porter) – ceiling 

27. Room 31 (rear turret) – mold removal, then paint walls, ceiling, line (rope) locker 28. Room 40 (pantry) – walls, ceiling, possibly shelving. 

29. Room 42 (hallway in front of steering gear room) – section of port wall 

30. Deck Cowl Vents (whichever needs work) – interiors (red) – repair caulk if necessary first
31. Railings (last priority) – if there is time, scrape and sand to prep for student volunteers. 

(Painting map at end)


32. Wire hanging down on starboard side – cut off flush (The wiring sticking out is raising some concern with folks taking the tour). Russ Leitz 

33. Pigeon nests on Foam Deck – remove. Rick Schmidt  

34. Dumbwaiter – adjust where it is sitting so you cannot see under it during tours, and clean under it if possible (dead pigeons, broken dishes, etc.)  

35. Jagged metal under dumbwaiter on the floor – it is sharp and needs grinding off – safety issue. (See Dara) 

36. Crews mess hall – Remove corkboard (check with Megan – throw away or store?)
37. Engine room vents – knock off loose rust from the damper and clean up residue on the floors under the vents.
This is an odd job that can be assigned to someone who needs something to do. 

38. Concrete in hallway 40 by steering room – fix. (Tripping hazard). Dean Soderbeck 

39. New motor – Mount motor to jacking gear of steam engine into the lower engine room. Dale Koziol (Crew Chief) 

40. Lifeboat covers – they have ripped at pressure points – strengthen them in the areas that rub.  Dale Koziol will get Bernard (of BE Design) to look at them. 

41. Fencing around the smokestack on the aft deck – check to make sure it is keeping pigeons out. Dale Koziol 

42. Engine Room Oil Pan – Assess water drain holes drilled last year for plugging or size adjustments needed. Dale did that last year – the hole may not be big enough – he’ll check this. 

43. Steering Gear Room clean up – this room has old debris/trash, oil, and water. Dispose of trash, wipe off the areas that are most easily seen by tours, and further assess for more thorough cleaning later (make a recommended cleaning and oil disposal plan). 

44. Cupboards forward of the main engine room – Assess what’s in there, and see if anything is collecting moisture, leaking, causing other problems, etc. (See Dara) Ken Lillemo
45. Tool Room / Workshop – clean up and add toolboxes and tools. Aaron Kivisto
46. Wood molds (casting patterns) – move to dump area and cleanup dump area. (Could they be donated to other locations? Determine this later.) (See Dara) Jim and Tyler Christian?
47. Scotch Cap Display Case – remove. Megan will talk to Clayton – they are working on moving it.
48. Madeira Display – dismantle. (See Megan)

Annual Tasks
(many of these were taken from an old list – remove if SPM staff do, or if not needed) 

49. Replace burnt-out lightbulbs – Aaron 

50. Scupper plugs – tighten before pressure washing. Replace any worn-out ones. (There are 7 or 8 new ones available). 

51. Pressure wash ship. Rick Schmidt? (and possibly Jimmy C?) 

52. Water in the bilge – Plug in all water pumps 

53. Prop set-up (including making beds) – Margie 

54. Polish all brass in the engine room, pilot house, and chart room 

55. Clean staff office and area 

56. Clean exhibit areas – sweep, dust, vacuum 

57. Clean exhibit glass inside and out 

58. Clean glass on all port holes and other windows 

59. Vacuum all areas that need it (especially on tour routes) 

60. Clean restrooms 

61. Steam engine – lubricate moving parts 

62. Whistle air compressor – service as needed

Painting Areas Map


Leaks Located in 2022
(there are photos that go with these leaks – use the QR code or the link.)






L 1

FWD Hatch over wooden stairs

26 Paces FWD of Main Entrance


L 2

FWD Hatch in Maint. Workshop

18 Paces FWD of Main Entrance


L 3

AFT Hatch in Maint. Workshop

15 Paces FWD of Main Entrance


L 4

Hatch over Men's Bathroom

10 Paces FWD of Main Entrance


L 5

STBD Vent Tube- Display Room

Abean Main Entrance


L 6

PORT Vent Tube Display Room

5 Paces AFT Main Entrance


L 7

Both Center Vent Stacks

24 Paces AFT of Main Entrance


L 8

AFT Model/Display Room PORT Vent Tube

31 Paces AFT of Main Entrance


L 9

AFT Model/Display Room STBD Vent Tube over Model Display case

31 Paces AFT of Main Entrance


L 10

PORT Vent Tube in Bar Room

Small Leak


L 11

Model Display Room Suction Tube STBD of Centerline



L 12

Pump Room Doors Leaking from Deck (Both Sides)

Oil Bunker


L 13

PORT Side Boiler Room Ventilator Large Snow/Water Leak Rusted Vent



L 14

PORT & STBD Engine Room Vent Plug

Small Leak


L 15

AFT Wall Top of Pantry Storage Shelves

Large Leak from Deck


L 16


Major water damage, may be associated with leak # 15


L 17

Rudder Room STBD Vent Leak



L 18

3rd Cook & Porter Cabin FWD Porthole

Gasket, Seal?


L 19

3rd Cook & Porter Cabin Ventilator

Deck Weld?


L 20

Boat Deck Door

Needs Weather Stripping


L 21

13 to 4 Buck Room AFT Porthole

Seal/Gasket or caulk


L 22

Smokestack FWD & FWD PORT Edge



L 23

Stewards Bathroom Ventilator Seal

On deck outside of Tube (see Tim Pranke)


L 24

Captain's Bunk Leak

Possibly Deck/Cabin Interface


L 25

Pilot House Stair Leak

Origin Unk. (Severe)


L 26

Chart Room AFT Door

Re-Caulking Needed


L 27

Whistle Cable Conduit

Repair-Reseal, water entering cabin wall


L 28

Captain's Bunk Porthole and Captain's Office Porthole Gaskets

Need Replace


L 29

Port side aft stern hull plate rusted out at ground level

Leaks a lot of water into ship and needs to be welded or epoxy treatment (see Tim Pranke)



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 what you were assigned to. 

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

More will be added, please check back later.

Masks/respirators are highly recommended - Although most of the the time you will need to be wearing a safety respirator during the work weekend inside the Meteor while working because of the dust and painting.  Please be aware of your environment and if you need to step out for a breath of fresh air, please do so as many times as you need.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2023
(Ship will be open at 8:00 AM for early riser's and set up).  Some folks will be at the Meteor as early as Thursday morning.  You are welcome to join us earlier if you like.  

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

(Saturday: 9:15 AM for the Project Briefing)!! Please be present
for the briefing!! (The briefing will take place inside the ship).

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


Breakfast:   You will be on your own.  Everyone is welcome to join us at the Perkins Restaurant (Near the Meteor) both mornings for Breakfast at 7:00 AM.  

 Lunch will be provided by Bellisio's at 12 Noon.  We will also be taking a group photo at this time.  Please be a lunch on time.

Buffet Dinner:  Will be located at the Barkers Island Inn Restaurant (near the Meteor) provided by the City of Superior.  Starting at 6:00 PM Social 1/2 hour and then Dinner by 6:30 PM  (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 $89.00 per night room special only for the S.S. Meteor project participants.  (Rooms available after April 10, 2023 and until April 26, 2023).  Please reserve your room ASAP for they only blocked out a certain amount of roomsat this point.  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.  Please bring your own soap and towel.

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 and Buffet Dinner will be held at the Barkers Island Restaurant  (Not far from the Meteor).  Please bring your own beverages. (BYOB).


You can also ask the SPM staff of the Museum for a custom tour of both the Fairlawn Mansion Saturday evening and 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 register ASAP, this will help us determine the headcount for the food and provide email communications for any additional information attendees need to know 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 Chairperson

Megan Meyer
S.S. Meteor Project Co-Chairperson
Director - Superior Public Museums