Fill 'er Up! That's not exactly the kind of battle cry you would have expected to hear aboard a Liberty Ship during World War II. But now, almost fifty-four years after the end of that terrible conflict, preserving your Liberty Ship is done not by defending her from enemy aircraft, but by providing her the fuel she needs to make an important voyage in the spring of 2000.
The purpose of this letter is to ask for your support for this voyage, a more than 5200 mile round trip from Baltimore to the Great Lakes, by making a donation to help us purchase the fuel for the trip.
The reason for the trip is simple. We have been offered the opportunity to drydock the JOHN W. BROWN in Toledo, Ohio at a lower cost than we would pay elsewhere and, even more importantly, for a length of time sufficient to allow us to replace all of the bad rivets in her hull. If you know anything about the BROWN you know that replacement of rivets is the last major job left to us, and one of the most costly. In order to replace the remaining bad rivets ~ 14,000 of them ~ it will take at least five more drydockings over the next fifteen or more years if we do the work locally. The reason for this is that the shipyard here has never been able to give us more than 10 days worth of drydock space at a time, limiting us to about 2500 rivets at the most, per drydocking. The rivet crew must also come from Toledo, since there are no working rivet gangs anywhere on the east coast. By taking the ship to Toledo, however, we can get six or more uninterrupted weeks on the drydock and we can also get up to three rivet gangs (as opposed to only one they would send to Baltimore). This will enable us to complete the entire riveting job at one time.
Not only can we do all of the work, we can get it done at a very favorable price ~ about a third of the cost per rivet we have paid in the past in Baltimore.
It's a great deal, but the catch is, of course, that to get to Toledo we must steam almost 2,500 miles (each way). Previous steaming experience has shown us that we burn just about one barrel of fuel oil (42 gallons) for each mile we steam. This includes fuel burned in the boilers and in the diesel generator which provides our electric power. We estimate that the total fuel consumption for the trip will be 5,833 barrels, including visits to the various ports and fuel consumption in port. At a cost of $25 per barrel this comes to $145,821. Fuel is selling at a bit less than $25 per barrel right now, but by the time lube oil and other engine room supplies are factored in, $25 per barrel is just about right. Twenty-Five Dollars per Barrel. Twenty-Five Dollars per Mile. For every mile we steam it will cost us $25 in fuel consumption. This lends itself to a very interesting fund raising concept. Buy a Barrel ~ Buy a Mile. We are asking you, and the thousands of our other supporters all across the country to each contribute $25 to provide one mile's worth of fuel for the JOHN W. BROWN!
For your donation we will send you a certificate thanking you for your generosity and telling you which mile you have purchased. The certificate will include a small chart marked with a dot to show you graphically how far the BROWN will have progressed on her voyage by the time your barrel of fuel is burned. You will also receive a "Brownie" poster, with our pin-up mascot in a new pose relating to this campaign. Your donation will be posted aboard the BROWN and announced in our magazine, The Ugly Duckling.
We would certainly encourage you to purchase more than one barrel, and those who do will also receive a special "Brownie" decal. While the object of this voyage is the all- important drydocking, we will also take the opportunity to make some port calls and at least two of our exciting Living History day cruises. In addition to Toledo, we plan to visit Detroit on July 20th (Day Cruise on the 22nd), Erie on July 25th, Cleveland on July 28th (Day Cruise on the 29th), Buffalo on Aug. 1st, Toronto on Aug. 4th, Montreal on Aug. 10th and Halifax on Aug. 18th.
This voyage will be the longest, most difficult and most important undertaken by the JOHN W. BROWN and her all-volunteer crew since we raised steam for the first time in 1991. It is our "Millennium Voyage" and its success will ensure that this wonderful old Liberty Ship survives as a reminder of the hardwork, sacrifice and patriotism that built our great nation and carried us to Victory in World War II.
Please join our campaign and help us make this great voyage!
Yes! Sign me on to help "Fill 'er up" for
the John W. Brown's voyage to the Great Lakes.
I would like to contribute _____barrel(s) of oil at $25 per barrel.
I understand that, as a contributor of at least one barrel, I
will receive a reproduction of artist Tim Scheirer's latest painting of
"Brownie" signed and personalized by Brownie herself.
I would like my "Brownie" print dedicated to _____________________________________
Single barrel purchasers will also receive a certificate of appreciation with their barrel number and a chart of the route, with the location of their mile indicated on the chart. Purchasers of additional barrels of oil will also receive a special "Brownie" decal available only to participants in the "Barrels for Brownie" program.
Payment enclosed in the amount of __________
Charge to my: Visa ________ Master Card ________
Card number ______________________________
Expiration date ________
By phone (410) 661-1550.
Please make checks payable to: PROJECT LIBERTY SHIP.
Project Liberty Ship
P.O. Box 25846
Highlandtown Station, Baltimore, MD. 21224
Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping