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I provide services from research and design to the finished hull and rigging. Services include: preliminary research and design, construction drawings/specifications, estimates, site development, procurement, hull construction, rigging and fitting out.
All Seaport Vessels projects are period vessels and involve all aspects of large heavy timbered traditional wooden ship construction from logging trees, sawing lumber, fashioning frames, planks and timbers to bending on sails.
We use traditional materials and building techniques. I am knowledgeable in the historic periods of the ships I work on and our restoration and vessel construction is carried out to museum standards.
Vessels on the National Register of Historic Places are restored to meet the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects.
I assemble highly experienced ship building and rigging crews specifically for each job. Crews are specialists in every aspect of shipbuilding from traditional sawn frame, heavy displacement ship construction to finish work. I also have at my disposal historians, naval architects, shipwrights, blacksmiths,figurehead carvers, engineers, marine surveyors, captains and crew. Our shipwrights are often licensed captains and seasoned crew.
LEON POINDEXTER is owner of SEAPORT VESSELS INC. A master shipwright, consultant and technical advisor to several historic vessels, replicas and maritime museums, Mr. Poindexter’s business is to research, design, build, retrofit, or restore primarily large historic, traditionally built wooden sailing vessels and their rigs. Many of Seaport Vessels’ clients’ ships are on the National Register of Historic Places. For over 35 years Mr. Poindexter has been doing shipwright and traditional rigging work for historic heavy displacement sailing vessels. For many years he worked in shipyards on the East coast as an independent contractor doing hull repairs, refitting, restoration, rebuilding and rigging work for several large schooners including the ERNESTINA, the WESTERN UNION, the ADVENTURE, the SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS, the ROSEWAY, the HARVEY GAMAGE, the LETTIE G. HOWARD, the PILOT, the A.J. MEERWALD and the square-rigged “tall ships” KALMAR NYCKEL, and H.M.S. ROSE. Also Mr. Poindexter participated in restoration work on the gun deck of the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION.SEAPORT VESSELS provides a range of services for restoration and new vessel construction from research and design to the finished hull and rigging. Services include: construction drawings, specifications, estimates, site development, materials procurement, hull construction, spar making, masting, rigging and fitting out. SEAPORT VESSELS projects are period vessels and involve all aspects of large heavy timbered traditional wooden ship construction from logging trees, sawing lumber, fashioning frames, planks and timbers to traditional rigging and bending on sails. Mr. Poindexter is very knowledgeable in the historic periods of the ships on which he works and assures that restoration and vessel construction is carried out to museum standards. Vessels listed on the National Register of Historic Places are restored to meet the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects. SEAPORT VESSELS assembles highly experienced shipbuilding and rigging crews specifically for each job. Our crews are experts in every aspect of traditional sawn frame, heavy displacement ship construction. We also have at our disposal historians, naval architects, shipwrights, riggers, blacksmiths, figurehead carvers, engineers, marine surveyors, captains and crews.For more detail please see: http://atlantic-cable.com/CableCos/WesternUnion/
Leon Poindexter served as master shipwright and historic advisor to Twentieth Century Fox for the Academy Award winning film MASTER AND COMMANDER
MASTER AND COMMANDER
20th Century Fox for the redesign and transformation of the tall ship ROSE to be the frigate H.M.S. SURPRISE for the Academy Award winning motion picture
MASTER AND COMMANDER.
Mr. Poindexter did the preliminary drawings for designing the SURPRISE and was the technical advisor to the art department providing the sketches, drawings and historical research used for designing the sets used in the filming. After the design phase he headed a marine construction department of 25 shipwrights to transform the sail training ship H.M.S ROSE to the H.M.S. SURPRISE. From the first time that director Peter Weir and the producers checked out the ROSE, he made it clear that he was looking for a very high degree of historic accuracy and detail. The SURPRISE of Patrick O’Brian’s fiction was in fact a real frigate. In his preliminary drawings Mr. Poindexter compared her line drawings with the lines of the ROSE and it was a close match, but there needed to be some significant changes. During the filming Mr. Poindexter served as on-set technical advisor to the director and also appeared as a background actor in several scenes. MASTER AND COMMANDER received 3 academy awards and 10 nominations. One nomination was for the set design.
For more detail please see:
The hull of the BEAVER replica is over 100 years old. Originally built in Denmark as a Baltic cargo schooner in 1908 to be used for freighting and fishing the vessel was purchased in 1973 to be the centerpiece of the first event of the US Bicentennial, she was re-rigged as a brig and sailed to the U.S. to represent the Beaver in the first event of the Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration.Having never been rebuilt, in 2004 the vessel was badly in need of a major overhaul. Mr. Poindexter took the opportunity to radically alter the look of the BEAVER to more closely resemble cargo vessels of the 1770’s. Hauled on the nation’s oldest marine railway in Gloucester, Massachusetts, this vessel has undergone extensive re-timbering and re-planking of the topsides and bow, replacement of the stem, deck, bulwarks, bowsprit, masts, yards and rigging. The bow was changed to include a full-headed rig with head rails and carved billethead. 📷Brig BEAVER on the ways at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center.BEAVER’s bottom was refastened and the topsides and bulwarks were rebuilt as well as the decks, masts and rigging. The color scheme was changed from black to yellow ochre with a black whale, as was the custom of vessels of her time.
The Ship ELEANOR is a re-creation of a second Tea Party ship. The original Eleanor, owned by a leading Boston merchant and commanded by a Tory sympathizer arrived in Boston on December 2, 1773.
No lines drawings existed of the original ELEANOR. Mr. Poindexter learned from the shipping papers that she was ship rigged and a “constant trader” therefore the design of the ELEANOR replica is based on colonial merchant vessels of the period.
The hull of the ELEANOR replica, was originally a 90-foot fishing vessel built in Thomaston, Maine in 1936 and fished out of Gloucester until she was retired in 2000 and donated to the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. She was later sold to The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and was hauled out to be rebuilt as the tea ship Eleanor. The original hull was stripped down to a few frames and planks in the aft quarter and down to the floor timbers and keelson in the bow. The vessel is now about 85% new construction. Some very substantial changes were made to transform this 20th century fishing vessel into an 18th century trading vessel. Reconstruction work included new sides, deck, stern and quarter galleries, bow and all rigging. (Even the shape of the hull was changed.)
The deck timbering with beams, carlins, and lodging knees is authentic to the period.
The original hull was stripped down to a few frames and planks in the aft quarter
and down to the floor timbers and keelson in the bow.
Ships knees were installed on every deck beam to stiffen the vessel as was done in the day.
Main hold looking forward shows the ceiling (inside planking) and large hanging
knees. Ballast was granite paving stones and gravel.
Bow section of the ELEANOR includes ornate head rails and a finely carved figurehead.
Fore deck of the Beaver features an anchor windlass and belfry.
ELEANOR’s quarter deck features the ship’s wheel, mizzenmast and pinrails.
Based on extensive research, SEAPORT VESSELS provides construction drawings and specifications
as needed for all projects. Mr. Poindexter has more than 45 years experience in drafting and design.
Fo’c’le of the BEAVER with its rough bunks, where the ship’s crew lived, would be similar to the holds where the Irish emigrants lived in steerage of the famine ships.
The captain’s cabin of the ship ELEANOR was designed and set decorated with furniture and artifacts purchased by Mr. Poindexter. A letter found among the research described the captain’s quarters as opulent whereas the crew’s quarters were squalid.
Captain’s cabin of the BEAVER. Being a whale oil transport ship owned by a Quaker family of Nantucket Island, the space and furnishings are modest reflecting the Quaker society.
Captain’s cabin of the BEAVER. A period writing desk and all furnishings and artifacts were researched and purchased by Mr. Poindexter.