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    Author(s): Xiping WangJames WackerRobert Ross; Brian Brashaw
    Date: 2008
    Source: General Technical Report FPL-GTR-177. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.79 MB)


    The historic American ship WAPAMA is the last surviving example of the wooden steam-powered schooners designed for the 19th- and 20th-century Pacific Coast lumber trade and coastal service. Since its launching in 1915, the WAPAMA has had a long and productive life in plying cargo and passengers along the stormy West Coast from Mexico to Alaska. As the sole survivor of the once numerous class, the WAPAMA was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1984. The wood structure of the WAPAMA has significantly deteriorated over the years and currently resides on a barge with internal and external structural supports. Portions of the vessel are unsafe for public access. Assisting in an effort to stabilize and rehabilitate this historic vessel, we conducted a field investigation on the current physical condition of the wooden structural members in January 2006. A variety of nondestructive testing (NDT) methods were employed to locate problem areas and define the severity of deterioration on key structural members such as keelsons, keel, ceiling planking, hull frames, clamps, and main deck beams. This report presents the main findings from this field investigation and demonstrates the use of state-of-the-art NDT technologies in evaluating physical and biological conditions of historic wood structures.

    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.


    Wang, Xiping; Wacker, James P.; Ross, Robert J.; Brashaw, Brian K. 2008. Condition assessment of main structural members of steam schooner WAPAMA. General Technical Report FPL-GTR-177. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 29 p.


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    Inspection, ships, nondestructive testing, schooners, wooden hull, steam powered, rehabilitation, California, design, construction, wooden ships, cultural property, protection, WAPAMA (ship)

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