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What's Happening with the Tugantine

Captain Steve Briggs Takes the Helm

When Lane passed away in 2005 the Norfolk Rebel was left to his sons Jesse and Steve.   Steve moved back to Norfolk from Hawaii where he'd lived and worked for ten years, and settled aboard the Norfolk Rebel.  Steve immediately started tackling the many maintenance projects aboard the Norfolk Rebel that Lane had been unable to do towards the end of his life.  Meanwhile, Jesse and his wife Meghan Wren, who live on Delaware Bay in New Jersey, found all their time taken up with Bivalve's Bayshore Discovery Project which Meghan founded, the schooner A. J. Meerwald, and their young and active son Delbay.  Jesse realized he needed to sell his share of the Norfolk Rebel to his brother Steve.
picture of Capt. LaneBriggs & Capt. Steve Briggs
Captain Lane Briggs at the helm of the Norfolk Rebel with his son Captain Steven Briggs.
Captain Steve Briggs is a natural fit for the Tugantine.  Steve spent years aboard the Norfolk Rebel working as mate for his father.  Steve also captained the sail training schooners Harvey Gamage, Ernestina, and Tole More.  Steve, like his father, has a strong commitment to sail training and maritime history.  Steve will hold the Norfolk Rebel's helm steady until one of Lane's grandchildren is ready to take his or her turn.

2009 - 2010: Interior Project

The Norfolk Rebel's interior was completely stripped out for the bottom project.  Captain Steve decided since the interior had to be removed, he might as well reconfigure the interior.  Since the boat has not fished for years, and Steve has no plans to take her commercial fishing again, he has decided to turn the fish hold into living quarters.  A companionway has been cut through the bulkheads to now make it possible for crew members to pass from the foc'sle to the galley without going on deck.  Because of the attention needed on the bottom project not much else has been done with the interior, so stay tuned! Builder Dale Stiles (also a long time mate on the boat) will be working with Captain Steve on the interior project.  And anyone who knows Dale's work knows the final results will be perfect.  But until then the crew will just have to rough it, but be happy in the knowledge that the Norfolk Rebel's hull is sound!
Click on the Support page to see how you can help with this project.
photo collage of Norfolk Rebel's stripped interior
The Norfolk Rebel's interior as a result of the bottom restoration project.

2008 - 2009: Bottom Restoration Project

The Norfolk Rebel was hauled out at Cobb's Marina in Ocean View for seven months for a complete bottom restoration.  When Captain Steve hauled the boat before the 2009 Schooner Race, he was dismayed at what he saw.  Over time corrosion and electrolysis had done quite a job on the old girl's bottom.  Captain Steve and friends made quick repairs to make the boat safe for the race.  But Captain Steve knew he could not put off a vessel overhaul any longer.  Over the winter of 2009 - 2010, the Norfolk Rebel's bottom problems were heroically and successfully dealt with. Her hull was sandblasted, steel thickness checked with ultrasound, and master builder Howdy Bailey replaced quite a bit of bad steel.  All the thru hulls were replaced, the rudder and shaft pulled, and the steering repaired.  Because of the tremendous cost of the project the "Friends of the Norfolk Rebel" also held its first successful fund raiser for the boat on Valentine's Day.  Check out the "Support" page for more information, and see how you can help the Norfolk Rebel in her continued restoration.  On June 5, 2009, the Norfolk Rebel was relaunched with a shiny new bottom.  She was rechristened with a bottle of Ron Virgin Rum, and is currently back at her berth at Rebel Marine Service.  Stop by for a visit!
photo collage of Norfolk Rebel's bottom restoration project
The Norfolk Rebel hauled out at Cobb's Marina, and images of her bottom restoration project.

2007 - 2008: New Pilot House and Bridge Deck Repairs

In the  winter of 2007 - 2008 Steve took on the monumental project of replacing the Norfolk Rebel's pilothouse and repairing the bridge deck.  The original plywood and fiberglass pilothouse was rotting, and the bridge deck was beginning to rust through.  Steve constructed a PVC pipe framework over the boat and shrink wrapped it so he'd be able to work on deck in any weather.  He removed the old pilothouse and began serious work repairing the bridge deck.  Howdy Bailey was enlisted to build the new pilothouse, this time out of aluminum.  Howdy suggested a doubler plate be used on the bridge deck to make it sturdier.  The new pilothouse went on the Norfolk Rebel on April 25, 2008.  The crews' favorite feature of this beautiful new house are all the handrails welded onto it (those who have sailed on the boat fondly call her "the Norfolk Roller").  Thanks Captain Steve and Howdy!   
photo collage of bridge deck repairs and new pilot house
Bridge Deck Repairs, Doubler, and Installing New Aluminum Pilothouse

2006 - 2007: New Sails and Standing Rigging

The first thing that needed attention on the Norfolk Rebel was the rig.  The galvanized standing rigging and sails were 12 years old and showing signs of wear.  The racing crew in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race had to sail the boat gently so as not to blow out sails or break gear.  In the winter of 2006 - 2007 Steve took down the rig, had the boat's master builder Howdy Bailey inspect all the spars, and replaced all the standing rigging.  The mast steps were inspected, the spars repainted, and the gaff jaws were replaced.  The boat was measured for new sails, but the new sails came purely through donations; from friends, supporters, and lovers of the boat.  MANY SINCERE THANKS TO ALL WHO GAVE TO THE TUGANTINE!  MAY HER SAILS LONG CONTINUE TO BE SEEN ON THE CHESAPEAKE BAY!
photo collage of new sails and bending them on
Chessy Briggs and Dylan Bailey Bending on the New Sails

Friends of the Norfolk Rebel 

1553 Bayville St., Norfolk, VA 23503