Scrapped

Miss Cuddy I, her hull damaged beyond repair, is sent to the scrap yard in Everett.

Not everything at Graves Light is happy and fun. Our trusty Miss Cuddy I went to the scrap yard. The former Coast Guard Defender-class boat ferried us all back and forth from the lighthouse until bad seas dragged her on her moorings to a terrible beating on Graves Ledge.

We removed Miss Cuddy‘s pilot house and turned her into a service barge. She spent all of 2019 doing the drudge work for the Oil House and footbridge.

This week we took her to a scrap yard in Everett. We gave the pilot house to a local tugboat operator and one of the engines to our roofer, and salvaged a bunch of small parts for her replacement, Miss Cuddy II. We had to strip the two big orange flotation collars off her hull.

At the scrap yard, she weighed in at 5,200 pounds of aluminum hull and other metal parts, including the old Coast Guard gun mounts.

It was a sad sight indeed to see her crunched up and tossed onto the scrap heap like an old toy. Afterward we saw Toy Story 4.

Miss Cuddy I sure did give us years of great service. Using her hull as a barge worked out great for ferrying the stone, copper, and steel parts for the reconstructed Oil House and footbridge.

“Twilight and evening bell,      
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place      
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face      
When I have crost the bar.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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Miss Cuddy I: Unsung hero of Graves Light

Miss Cuddy I, so vital to Graves Light’s renovation, was wrecked in 2018. But that didn’t stop her from finishing the job on Graves Ledge.

One of the unsung heroes of the entire Graves Light revival has been our trusty Miss Cuddy I.

Miss Cuddy is a surplus 25-foot US Coast Guard Defender-class boat named after our beloved Monica Cuddy, who taught fourth grade for 40 years in Lynn.

Last fall Miss Cuddy was wrecked when she pulled her mooring block in a gale and smashed up on the dangerous Graves Ledge. 

But she didn’t sink!

Nelson Metal Fabrication, which was building our footbridge from the lighthouse to the oil house, cut off the cabin and transformed Miss Cuddy into an open decked barge.

Since then, she’s hauled about 19 tons of steel, stone, and timber to supply us with materials for summer projects.

These five pictures show the process.

Using a big two ton-crane at the Winthrop Town Pier, Harbormaster Larry and his crew gently lower the supplies into her hold. We secure the load and begin the hour long haul to Graves, where we fasten Miss Cuddy tight to the rocks at high tide and pull the supplies using a hoist and cable trolley system designed by Nelson Metals in Maine with Nelson Wire Rope near Philadelphia.

Why such a crazy scheme? Well, due to the topography of Graves Ledge, a traditional crane and barge rig can’t get close enough to set the pilings for the new footbridge, or set the granite blocks for the Oil House.

So we devised a low-impact, greener (much!) method of transport.

At the end of the season, we’ll haul away the scaffolding, tidy up the worksite, and (sniff!) cut up Miss Cuddy for scrap.

Good ol’ Miss Cuddy I!

(Yes, we now have Miss Cuddy II, another Defender-class boat.)

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