Mark's Installation of the Pirate Ship Project

July 21-23, 2007

Finally the day came to move the pirate ship to its display location in the Omni Hotel. On July 21 Mark, with the help of Jeff Gibbs, Brian Smith and Carl began the move of the ship. Mark had done the ship construction in his shop on Metropolitan Avenue and Jeff and family had gotten to visit the process in late May.

Their destination was the fourth floor ballroom of the Omni Hotel shown on the right above across from the CNN Center. Pretty high rent district!

Before Mark built the ship, he went over and measured the freight elevators of the Omni Hotel to know what maximum dimensions he could get on them. He had to build the ship in four sections because of that size limitation.

The assembly of the pirate ship nears completion in the ornate ballroom of the Omni Hotel as shown in this rear view.

This was my last view of the ship before Mark's crew went back on Monday July 23 to install the rope rigging and finalize the setting.

This is the ship in its setting in the ballroom. This is from Robby Heisner's website. The stage and other props are in place for the meeting.

This shows the rope rigging, lighting and stage which were added after the last time I saw it during the installation process.

This gives a little more detail about the ship's rigging and the props used.

The ship remains in view for the large meeting. The crowd view above shows the scope of the gathering, but does not reveal the drama of the presentation of the ship. As told to me, the gathering began with a calm south Pacific type presentation, with a south-sea backdrop that completely hid the ship.

Hula dancers taught the crowd to hula, all relaxed and casual.

But then Redcoats marched into the room!

They were grabbing members of the group, accusing them of being pirates and dragging them off.
As the pitch of this assault reached its peak, wires were pulled to smoothly drop the scenic curtain that hid the ship, suddenly revealing the 45 foot pirate ship with three sails and four cannons. The four cannons fired and the pirates swarmed off the ship to overcome the Redcoats and take over the meeting.

The pirate Captain was Matt McCoy, who also did the detailed design of the ship. He did freehand designs of all the scrollwork and decoration on the ship and actually cut it out of 3/4 MDF in Mark's shop.

Mark was inside the ship, firing the CO2 powered cannons in synch with a countdown for the cannon sounds programmed on a laptop inside the ship. He couldn't see the action, but could hear the shock of the crowd. All indications were that it was pulled off as a complete surprise to the crowd.

Robbie credited Mark for the ship construction on his website as shown below.

Ga Tech BSU Gathering at Hiwassee

  Nave Album Go Back