This page features restoration projects of the past. There were many more projects than just those featured on this page and we plan to include more in the future. Each project will have a “before” picture, some text explaining what was done, some pictures showing restoration crews working and the finished result. The Moyie’s lifespan was 1898 to 1957. Although much of the restoration and intepretation concentrates on the turn of the century, some includes later periods (such as 1920s and 1930s) in an effort to cover all of the Moyie’s history. Click below to read more about these fascinating projects.
Before restorative efforts were made, the foredeck of the historical SS Moyie was in a pitiful condition. All the planks were badly rotted, and the steel frames that supported them were rusting. The first step for the restoration crew was to completely document the damage with photographs.
Then, they proceeded to remove the rotted members that made up the foredeck. Then they could address the problem of the rust. First, the rust had to be removed. The next step was to apply rust stabilizer, and then coat the steel with primer. The SS Moyie’s composite design utilized an angle iron for connecting the fir 1 1/4″ 1×4 tongue and groove subdeck. This subdeck was the covered with a rubberized pitumenous base to facilitate foredeck drainage. Water was captured in inset scuppers and channeled outboard. Then, that was covered over with a 1 1/4″ fir wear deck. The steam engine below the deck that powers the capstan was also preserved.
Another matter that required attention was an access opening on the foredeck that was a possible safety hazard to the thousands of people that visit the ship each year. The hole was covered over, and a new access hole was cut through the watertight bulkhead at frame station 15.
The main jack staff was then attached to the stem by means of a hinged saddle, and the Jack staff was relocated. The stem interestingly was found to have concrete supporting it. Apparently it had been reinforced so it could break ice. Finally, the towing bits and fair leads were mounted, along with bollards, sponsons and rubbing strike.
When the restoration of the Ladies’ Saloon began in the early 1990s, it appeared to be a rather plain, attractive and spacious area, but one featuring few exciting decorative features. It was painted white and pale green with some gold trim. No original furniture remained except for a bench-like setee on each side of the stern end of the saloon.
The seats were covered in brown plastic, and the backs in 1950s style tapestry. Flooring was a heavy and functional “battleship” linoleum in an unattractive greenish brown. Curtains were a 1950s blue material. Restoration began with detective work, for the restoration crew faced many challenges. Before anything could be done, it was critical to know what was once there, what changes had been made over the years and what
important features or information could be lost or damaged by the work being considered. Photographs, normally an excellent source of information in restoration projects, could not be used, as no pictures of the Moyie’s interior from its early days had been discovered. Thosewho had traveled on the Moyie assisted, but their recollections were sketchy at best. The best source of evidence and information turned out to be the Moyie herself.
This evidence was found in several ways. By very careful sanding and hand scraping, it was possible to work backwards in time through layers of paint down to the bare wood that the shipwrights had worked with in 1898 when the cabins were constructed. To capture the original colours, photographs were taken and colour chips compared to the uncovered early layers of paint. Careful records were always made and small samples of paint were collected to be preserved for future analysis.
The slow work eventually yielded an overall picture of the colours and how they were applied when the Moyie was new. At the same time, hints of her past decorations were uncovered, including gold pin striping, stenciling and cast plaster features that had been applied in many areas.
Stencils and patterns were made to re-apply the long lost features. Gold leaf designs were re-created with silk screening. On the aft bulkhead, an elaborate raised interlocking “CPR” design with flags was crafted, based on a Christmas card from 1902 in which the decorations showed faintly. On both sides of the decoration, there were faint outlines of a floral and rope design. Once again using the Christmas card, and the help of th J.P. Weaver Company of California, they were able to produce a very close match to the plaster designs removed many years ago. Another challenge lay ahead—finding fabrics for the Moyie. Colours and decorations can be determined from early layers of paint, but how would they find out what the curtains were like so many years ago?