Built at Blennerville
Fitted at Fenit Pier
Jeanie's Sea Trials
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The Jeanie Johnston Chronicle
Jeanie's progress,16th December, 2000
| The Kerry coast has been battered by storms and gale force winds these past few months, whilst the Jeanie Johnston lies at her moorings at Fenit pier, continuing to be fitted out. During the 3 months Sept-Nov, we have experienced 33 inches of rainfall, over half the annual average. |
The team of expert carpenters, fitters and designers ply their trade in Jeanie's interior and deck houses with minute attention to detail, every step bringing a new design challenge, because there has never been a ship like the Jeanie Johnston built here in Ireland. We are assured however, that the end of the work is in sight, and that in the Spring of 2001 Jeanie will finally head out across the Atlantic to make land-fall in the US. The ship's mechanical systems are due to be tested and commissioned this week. The continuing over-run in time has meant continuing over-run in costs, and the final total of building the Jeanie is now estimated at almost IR£10 million.
There have been changes in the project management team recently, some of which will see John Griffin heading for the US to promote the American and Canadian tour, and Jim Finucane, local Councillor, being given overall responsibility for public relations.
The lower deck has a number of uses. It holds the ballast which stabilises the ship, in this case a series of lead blocks. These were used instead of the traditional stone in order to save space for the engines and other essential equipment. The two Caterpillar engines, as industry standard, each have 300 horsepower, while two generators each supply 500 horsepower. The engines will be connected to the propellor shafts and will power the ship up to a top speed of 10 knots. The lower deck also houses the sewerage plant, a desalination plant to provide fresh water, and the diesel tanks to power the engines. The ceiling is fitted with a series of removeable sections to allow repairs or replacements to be installed.
Senior members of the shipbuilding team (l to r): Foreman Fitter Peter O'Regan, Shipbuilding Superintendent Michael O'Boyle, Foreman Shipwright Ciaran O'Regan and Foreman Carpenter Martin O'Sullivan.
By the way, did I mention he'll be 80 by the time Jeanie sails?
Tom Kindre on the bowsprit of the Jeanie Johnston
We have received many e-mails and some messages to this website's guestbook from people who empathise with the spirit of the Jeanie Johnston voyage, its roots and its ideals. Remembering and rejoining with one's roots from past generations, and a sense of building on one's heritage to forge a stronger future, this is what the Jeanie Johnston embodies. I think that, whatever the delays and trepidations which have beset the project, the spirit of Jeanie will survive and triumph, that she will be met with much affection and generosity in the US and Canada, and in hard financial terms will meet her building costs and surpass them from sponsorship, revenue from visitors and corporate events.I also hope that people who visit and support Jeanie will take a little time to stand aside from their daily busy lives to honour their heritage and remember their ancestors whose courage brought them to the shores of the New World. When you touch the Jeanie Johnston, the beauty of the wood and the excellence of the craftsmanship transports you to a byegone age, one that many will feel is worth remembering.
Schedule for Jeanie's Irish visits and trans-Atlantic voyage
will be posted as soon as it is released.
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