Conservation Research Laboratory Reports

Conserving the hull of the Belle

La Salle Shipwreck Project
Texas Historical Commission


Reinforcing steel rods

With the successful pouring of the bottom slab, workers begin adding the reinforcing steel rods up to the full 12 ft. height of the wall. 

Reinforcing steel rods

The reinforcing steel rods are interlocked to form a secure mesh inside the walls of the vat.

Wood forms

Once the reinforcing steel is in place, the forms for the wall are put in place and secured with braces in preparation for pouring the concrete.

Forms being installed

Forms being installed inside the vat.

Pouring concrete

September 9, 1998.  Pouring the concrete to form the walls of the vat. 

Packing and vibrating concrete

Packing and vibrating the wall to make sure the concrete fills the forms properly. 

Completed walls

September 11, 1998.  The walls are poured just in time for the tropical depression Frances to arrive on the scene and start several days of rain. Still to be constructed are the four projecting pads coming off of the four pillars. The pads will support the four motorized gear boxes, which will lift the frame that will support the hull during assembly and conservation. 


C.F. JORDAN, INC. of College Station, Texas, is responsible for teh design and construction of the vat.

Citation Information:

Donny L. Hamilton
1998, Conservation of the Hull of the Belle, Conservation Research Laboratory Research Report #7, Photo Gallery 3, World Wide Web, URL,, Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University; La Salle Shipwreck Project, Texas
Historical Commission, Austin, Texas.
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