Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take a Bow....

Got this on your yacht?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Wall of Water...

From today's Maritime News Source...

On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, SAFE Solutions, LLC will be showcasing the latest strategies and techniques in dealing with the ongoing problem of piracy on the high seas. The ship “Horizon Challenger” will be outfitted with the Nemesis 5000: a non-lethal, extremely high pressure water system which will repel and deter pirates. The demonstration will be taking place at the Bayonne Drydock, in Bayonne, New Jersey at 1:45PM. The Nemesis 5000 was designed and invented by a former member of the British Special Boat Service with more than two decades experience in dealing with maritime issues. Hector Delgado, President of SAFE Solutions, stated “If you are a pirate, business is booming: According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB), piracy attacks around the world more than doubled to 240 from 114 during the first six months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. It is something that, ultimately, affects all of us. In fact, Lloyd’s recently stated that the cost of insurance for vessels going through the Gulf of Aden now costs approximately $20,000 per vessel, per voyage. This is staggering considering that just a year ago the same insurance coverage cost just $500. This cost, at least in part, is being passed on the consumer.” The Nemesis 5000 is non-lethal and surrounds the ship with a “wall of water” which prevents pirates from boarding the ship. Further, it does not require specialists for its installation, maintenance, and use. By connecting directly to the ship’s fire suppression system, adequate water pressure is guaranteed. And, if a fire (or even multiple fires) breaks out on board the ship in the midst of a pirate attack, the Nemesis 5000 will not affect the performance of the fire suppression system.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Steering Going Backwards....

Steerage astern? - you need a flanking rudder - here's a nice example on an sweet little tug up at LaConner.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Misplaced Haiku

Bilge Keel

Rolling chock

More Money

At Dry Dock....

Monday, August 3, 2009


From Maritime News - Holland & Knight

On July 15, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Captain and Chief Officer of a foreign vessel pled guilty in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) to charges that included not only the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), False Statements and Obstruction of Justice; but also failure to notify the Coast Guard of hazardous conditions and charges related to presentation of false or incomplete ballast tank reports.The case involved two primary issues: (1) a 24-inch outer-hull crack in the vessel’s rudder stem, which created a condition that adversely affected the safety and operation of the vessel; and (2) fuel oil in a ballast tank due to a leaking “deep” fuel tank in the forward part of the vessel.For the first time, criminal charges were brought against a person for violation of the Non-Indigenous Aquatic Uses and Prevention Control Act 16. U.S.C. § 4711(g). The Chief Officer was charged under the Act because he presented a Ballast Report that did not record efforts by the crew to deal with contamination of a ballast tank by an adjacent leaking fuel tank. The Captain not only failed to report the condition to the Coast Guard, but caused oil-contaminated water to be discharged in an attempt to clean the ballast tank. Prior to arrival at a terminal in New Orleans, the Captain attempted to conceal the condition by ordering that a hose with a stopper at one end and partially filled with water be fitted to the ballast tank’s sounding tube in order to give Coast Guard inspectors the misimpression that the ballast tank was filled with clean water. Those actions led to charges for the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book (i.e., one that recorded the discharge of oil-contaminated water) and Obstruction of Justice.In addition to an APPS violation and Obstruction of Justice – charges frequently seen in vessel pollution cases – the Captain was charged under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) with failing to notify the nearest U.S. Coast Guard Sector or Group Office that hazardous conditions existed aboard the vessel, namely the rudder stem crack and leak between the fuel and ballast tanks.Ports and Waterways Safety ActThe PWSA provides civil and criminal penalties for violating the Act or regulations issued pursuant to the Act. 33 U.S.C. § 1232. Coast Guard regulations require the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge of a vessel to immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector or Group Office whenever there is a hazardous condition aboard or caused by the vessel. 33 C.F.R. § 160.215. A willful and knowing violation is a felony punishable by less than ten but more than five years in prison. While not an issue in this case, it is worth noting that using a weapon or “engag[ing] in conduct that causes … fear of bodily injury” to Coast Guard officials enforcing the regulations is punishable by less than 25 but more than ten years in prison.The charges against the Chief Officer involved his presentation to the Coast Guard of a false Ballast Report, which includes soundings and volumes of water in ballast tanks. The report contained false entries and omissions as to the level of liquid in the ballast tank at issue, the specific gravity of the liquid in the tank, and the hydrocarbon nature of the liquid. The Chief Officer was charged with Making False Statements and with violating the Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act.Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control ActThe Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act provides civil and criminal penalties for violating regulations issued pursuant to the Act. 16 U.S.C. § 4711(g). Coast Guard regulations require the master, owner, operator or person in charge of a vessel to keep written records that include detailed ballast tank and water information, such as the capacity and volume of tanks, the origin of ballast water, and the date, location and volume of water discharged. 33 C.F.R. § 151.2045. A knowing violation is a felony punishable by less than ten but more than five years in prison.The result in this case could have been avoided had the master and chief officer properly reported the unsafe conditions to the Coast Guard, discharged the oil/water mixture in the ballast tank in compliance with MARPOL, not rigged a hose to the ballast tank sounding tube in an effort to trick Coast Guard inspectors, and presented records that completely and accurately reflected onboard efforts to deal with the contaminated ballast tank. Vessel operators must be vigilant in enforcing their environmental compliance plans and requiring crew members to promptly notify authorities of unsafe conditions (such as a cracked rudder stem and contaminated ballast tank). It remains to be seen whether the vessel’s owners or operators will be held criminally liable for the acts of the vessel’s Captain and the Chief Officer – either based on direct knowledge of the events or through a theory of vicarious liability.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Safety Alert...

The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert advising of a potential problem involving certain ANSUL – High Pressure Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishing Systems. There have been several instances where this system has discharged without human intervention. The manufacturer has identified the suspect CO2 cylinder valves as those having a date code between 10-07 and 06- 08. Owners, operators, and masters of ships having such ANSUL systems should immediately check the dates on the CO2 cylinder valves and notify ANSUL if the date code is within the suspect range. Safety Alert 05-09 (7/21/09).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

How Much is She Worth?

Accountant and business consultant Moore Stephens has warned that shipping companies must be able to substantiate any decision to use future cashflow as an alternative to broker valuations.Writing in the latest issue of the firm’s shipping newsletter, Bottom Line, Moore Stephens Technical Partner David Chopping said, “In recent months, many of the world's listed shipping companies have released their financial statements. It has been challenging. Companies have, amongst other things, had to consider whether their assets are impaired. Even a brief review of shipping company accounts highlights the number of impairments made. But many relate to items other than vessels and newbuildings. From a sample of 51 US-listed shipping companies, nearly 30 per cent have recorded impairment losses, but only half of those have recorded any on newbuildings or vessels.” With vessel values falling, many owners will need to consider impairment. Whatever accounting policy is adopted, vessels will always need to be written down if they are worth less than their current carrying value. Market values will always be the starting point for such assessments although, in limited circumstances, it may also be possible to look at future long-term income streams.Under both International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP), the existence of impairment is determined by comparing the book value of an asset with its recoverable amount. The starting point for estimating how much you could get from selling a vessel is a broker's valuation. Such valuations have been called into question by some shipping companies, on three main grounds. Firstly, in a thin market, determining a price will be difficult, so the margin of error increases. Secondly, there are differing opinions about whether a broker valuation really reflects 'fair value'. Thirdly, the market has overreacted. David Chopping explained, “If broker valuations are below book value, a company can still try to demonstrate that its future cashflow exceeds that value. Here IFRS and US GAAP diverge, with the IFRS test based on the present value of future cashflow, and the US test based on nominal amounts. This means that impairments are much less likely under US GAAP.“In both cases, there are two main methods of using future cashflow to support a valuation. The first is to take account of factors not reflected in a broker valuation, such as long-term charters at good rates. Secondly, and more controversially, in those cases where companies have no such factors to take account of, they can use their own estimates.”“Where the result of this exceeds book value they can then at least argue that there is no impairment. However, under IFRS, this does require an assumption that the market is currently mispricing vessels. The assumption will need to be supported, and to survive the sceptical scrutiny of the company's auditor. Only time will tell if such projections were reasonable or unduly optimistic.”

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Week In Review.....

Vessels surveyed this week -

100' ex-Navy Tugboat being converted inyo yacht service

43' Hunter sail boat

42' Beneteau sail boat

42' Catalina sail boat

77' Aluminum catamran

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working Away Late Last Night...

We starting surveying a 77' Cat last night - while on the ways...we mapped out each hull, outboard and inboard...laid out a 24" X 18" grid system...then using 2 audio gauging units - the boys and I shot some 800 individual thickness reading. We will finish up the machinery and internal structure on Friday....


Many mui congratulations to Skip Anderson's class upon completing their OUPV training at Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife....

Charles O. Haughey
Philip J. Johnson
Cynthia L. Phelps
Nathan Beckett

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hi Ho ... off to work I go...

Tomorrow's weather in the greater Seattle area is supposed to be close to 100...two surveys on tap - a Hunter 42 fractional sloop in the am in Port Orchard then catch the Seattle ferry for an 77 foot catamaran.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Fourth Law of Mariginal Maritime Advice....

The Fourth Law of Ballistics states - as it pertains to vessel maneuvering....

Small speed - small crash

Big Speed - big crash

Learn it - love it - live it

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cat 30 Smile...

Here's a Cat 30 smile that went bad - wasted keel bolts allowed the ballast keel to separate from the underbody .... this boat started to take on water. This is one area where a surveyor can't see. You can sound the keel bolts - but there's no magic bullet to determine if they're completely rusted off unless you drop the ballast - no cheap or easy task. bring on the 5200 and pray....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cosco Busan Pilot Jailed

From Maritimes News -

John Joseph Cota, the pilot who caused the Cosco Busan, a 900-ft long container ship, to collide with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and discharge approximately 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay, was sentenced to serve 10 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston for the Northern District of California, the Justice Department announced.Cota, who was a licensed bar pilot at the time of the collision, gave commands that caused the 65,131-ton Hong Kong-registered ship to collide with the bridge on Nov. 7, 2007.Cota was sentenced according to an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to negligently causing discharge of a harmful quantity of oil in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA), as amended by the Oil Spill Act of 1990 - a law passed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster - and to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, by causing the death of protected species of migratory birds.In papers filed in court, prosecutors told the judge that Captain Cota should receive a sentence of incarceration because he was "guilty of far more than a mere slip-up or an otherwise innocuous mistake that yielded unforeseeably grave damage. Rather, he made a series of intentional and negligent acts and omissions, both before and leading up to the incident that produced a disaster that, as widespread as it was, could have had even worse consequences.""Captain Cota abandoned ship by not following required safety procedures which then resulted in an environmental disaster" said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division."The court's sentence of John Cota should serve as a deterrent to shipping companies and mariners who think violating the environmental laws that protect our nation's waterways will go undetected or unpunished," said Joseph P. Russoniello, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. "They will be vigorously prosecuted."Prosecutors provided the court with a list of Cota's errors that included the following:Captain Cota left in extreme fog that was so thick that the bow of the vessel was not visible from the bridge. Captain Cota made the decision to leave in the fog while the pilots of six other large commercial vessels decided not to depart in the heavy fog which was less than 0.5 nautical miles.Having made the decision to leave port in impenetrable fog, Captain Cota took no action to assure the fortification of the bridge or bow watch or review the passage plan with the master and crew of the Cosco Busan. In particular, Cota failed to have a master-pilot exchange to review the transit plan.Captain Cota has subsequently claimed that he found both radar unreliable, but he did not notify the master or the Coast Guard that a required piece of equipment needed to safely navigate the ship had failed. Meanwhile, the captured images of the radar retained on the ship's computer show that the radar was fully operational.The tape recorded conversations from the ship's bridge show that Captain Cota was confused regarding the operation of the electronic chart system upon which he chose to rely including the meaning of two red triangles that marked buoys marking the tower of the bridge that he eventually hit.At no time during the voyage after leaving the berth at 8:07 a.m. and prior to 8:30 a.m. did Captain Cota, or any of the ship's crew, consult the ship's official paper navigational chart or take a single positional fix. Captain Cota did not ask any crew member to take any fixes or verify the ship's position despite the lack of visibility. After the incident, Cota told the Coast Guard he did not request fixes because it is like "driving your car out of a driveway."Prosecutors also filed papers showing that Captain Cota had failed to disclose his medical conditions and prescription drug use on required annual forms submitted to the Coast Guard.The discharge of heavy fuel oil from the Cosco Busan fouled 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,400 birds of about 50 species, temporarily closed a fishery on the bay, and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Monetary damages to the bridge, ship and private parties were in the tens of millions of dollars. Clean-up costs have been estimated to exceed $70 million. The birds killed include Brown Pelicans, Marbled Murrelets and Western Grebes. The Brown Pelican is a federally endangered species and the Marbled Murrelet is a federally threatened species and an endangered species under California law.Cota was licensed by the Coast Guard and California as a Bar Pilot, according to the indictment. He was a member of the San Francisco Bar Pilots and had been employed in the San Francisco Bay since 1981. In California, large ocean-going vessels are required to be piloted when entering or leaving port.The grand jury indictment also charges Fleet Management Limited (Hong Kong), a ship management firm, with the same alleged offenses as well as false statements and obstruction of justice charges. Trial in that case is set for Sept. 14, 2009. An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.The investigation has been conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response.The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stacey Geis and Jonathan Schmidt and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tribolet of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, and Richard A. Udell, Senior Trial Attorney with the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.Under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, crime victims are afforded certain statutory rights including the opportunity to attend all public hearings and provide input to the prosecution. Those adversely impacted by the oil spill are encouraged to visit to learn more about the case and the Crime Victims' Rights Act.

Thru Hull Fittings

Regarding the practice of double clamping hoses raw water hoses found below the water line - the usual drill is that hoses be secured with two (2) all stainless steel hose clamps. ABYC only recommends that exhaust and stern tubes be double clamped to prevent accidental flooding. If the hose barb is of sufficient length to land a second hose clamp – then double clamping raw water hoses is strongly advised. Unfortunately, some hose barbs are too short to accommodate two clamps. If the second clamp lands just past the end of the barb there's a chance that it might pull the attached hose partially off the fitting - so be careful about double clamping.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cat 30 Survey

I was surveying a Cat-30 today….a couple of things about older sail boats. First – water always finds a way through inboard or deck chainplate penetrations – usually taking out the plywood bulkheads in which the shrouds - chainplate fixtures are attached to. The above picture is a plywood hanging knee which takes the load from the shroud into the hull structure – water has made its way into the plywood – you can see that delamination well underway. The fixture is pulling upwards and out through the damaged wood (inner plys are moveing upward with the fasteners). This is not good – but fixable. The point here is always inspect and re-bed those cover plates to reduce water leakage. Another point is to routinely check chainplate fasteners – they’re usually loose – and when the rig moves they move – round fastener holes become egg shaped – which eventually works the bedding under those chain plate deck covers – which invites water into the cabin onto the bulkhaeds. It’s a never ending circle. I usually recommended tightening the chain plate fasteners to the builder’s specs – but never crush the wood beneath the fastenings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marine Engineering Course...

I spent part of the day discussing our new marine engineering courses with Zenith instructor
Chuck Solarek....he's hard at work aboard the Wildrose in Ballard developing power points for his up coming classes at Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife. Contact Chuck at for additional details and information on his classes.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Seattle Boat Builder Norm Blanchard...

One of the best and well known wooden boat builders on the west coast - Norm Blanchard passed away on July 9th. His Lake Union boat yard built over 2,000 vessels.

Wooden Boat Festival....

Our cast and crew of instructors will be dishing out the boaters breakfast (again) this year at Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival...last year Chris, Pat, Ted, Paul, Jack, and I pumped out a bunch of breakfast burritos - stay tuned for this year's menu which debuts on 12 September.

Zenith Maritime helps to sponsor the Wooden Boat Festival - for more info

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seattle OUPV - Master Class

We have a few seats still open for our July 27th OUPV - Master 100 license training class starting July 27th here at Fishermen's Terminal - Seattle, Class will run M - F for 2 weeks. For more info contact

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Marine Engineering Training.....

Zenith Maritime welcomes Mr. Charles “Chuck” Solarek to our faculty of professional instructors. Mr. Solarek brings his 26-years of experience aboard nuclear submarines in the US Navy in the repair and maintenance of marine propulsion machinery - auxiliary systems to the classroom with two new training courses.

Sound Marine Engineering Practices - This is an exciting new course for recreational boaters and marine industry professionals covering all aspects of marine engineering – propulsion, electrical, and auxiliary systems. ABYC, CFR, and NFPA requirements will be discussed. This class will be offered at Skip Anderson's Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife, Washington beginning September 21, 2009 - please contact Skip at 253.227.2003 for registration information.

Commercial Workboat Engineering Practices – This is a course specifically designed for operators and crew of commercial workboats and fishing vessels. Basic diesel engine theory, operations, and repair are covered along with electrical, refrigeration, air, liquid, control, and hydraulic systems. Emphasis on CFR requirements.

Specialized or Custom Training – Please contact

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Time....

I will be away from this computer for the next week or so - it's that vacation - work thing....John

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Job Well Done...

One ahhpy bunch of mariners - Congrats to Gar, Michelle, and Keith - upon passing your 56-hour OUPV Bellevue, Washington training.....kudos to Capt Wendell Brunk for being an excellent instructor....

Audio Gauging - Day One...

Finished the starboard underbody yesterday afternoon - after a good inspection of the hull plating - we determined the plate thickness to be 3/8" with doublers amidships. No significant dents or buckling was observed. We set up a 24" X 24" grid system using caulk lines and long fiberglass tapes starting just above the waterline and down to the garboard weld seam. The vessel is an old shimper with a deep rocker hull - we did about 250 shots yesterday. Today - the portside and transom -

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Steel Hull Plate Inspection..

Naturally - the weather has changed here in Seattle from bright sunny weather to light rain and clouds. Starting a 60' steel vessel today where we will audio gauge the hull plate using a grid system and visual inspection. The guidance is to call out areas where wastage is 25% of original thickness - I will post some pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Washington State Ferries Sold for Scrap...

It was announced that the State of Washington has sold four (4) Steel Electric class ferries for $200,000....they were taken out of service due to wasted hulls.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nice Start to the Week...

This morning I am off to survey a German built S&S Loki-class yawl ... it's supposed to be tight seamed plank on frame construction. I will post some details later in the day.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Pacemakers have a distinct keel cut-a-way which - I suppose - makes the vessel easier to maneuver - but also weakens the keel at the after end of the boat. Here's a Pacemaker I just surveyed that had a fractured or cracked keel just forward where the keel depth is reduced --- I believe that this thinner keel materially reduces the integrity of the entire structure - plus coupled with those bridge frames (sans floor timbers) to increase headroom, plus that bonding strap - all makes for trouble in these fine mid-century yachts. The picture clearly shows the starboard side of the keel split right down to the garboard. Since it's kind of a planing hull - imagine the load on the after end of the keel when at speed and the hinge point caused by the cut-a-way keel.

A Mixed Bag....

Did an underbody and fastener inspection on a 1958 Chris - what a collection of strange things - Chris' are fastened with bronze wood screws - what I found was some alloy breakdown, some missing putty but filled with a blue RV silicon stuff, and what it looks like - the port underbody fastened with brass wood screws -

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Opening Up Boat Nail Fastenings...

Someone asked me the other day how to pull steel boat nails in a more or less non-destructive way...the method I have used is to a have a fire extinguisher handy and a small inverter welder. Open up the fastener - inspect and clean the head off - then tack weld a small carriage bolt onto the head of the fastening and use a slide hammer to extract the nail. A 1/16" rod is usually small enough to slide by the carriage bolt - put the ground on the carriage bolt - touch it to the head of the fastening and work fast. This approach works best with thicker planks - thinner planks and frames I would probably avoid.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rusting Steel Hull Fasteners

Here's a clear -but low profile clue to rusting steel fastenings. You can just make out rust blooms around the bungs - open up and exam thoroughly - since boat nails are hard - but no impossible to remove for inspection - a well known insurance company has recommended punching the fastener head with a drift and watch for plank movement and or rust scale.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I recently surveyed a pinked end schooner. The above drawing shows the lines of a pinky schooner which were well known for their good sea keeping abilities and to take heavy weather. This design started in Europe in the 1600's and became popular here in the US during the mid to late 1770's and was used extensively in New England as fishing vessels.

Monday, June 15, 2009

World's Largest Yacht

The Russian business tycoon Abramovich just received his 557-foot yacht from a German yard - high end appointments include a submarine. I won't be looking for this loaf at the Ballard Yacht Club anythime soon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sometimes It's a Bad Story...

Yesterday was busy - started with a survey on a 57 foot pinky schooner built in 1993 (cedar on oak fastened with boat nails) - then went onto a 1962 Chris Craft which did not make survey due to a bad transom and wasted fasteners (alloy breakdown) - it's pinky schooner day again with seatrial and lift out this morning. Inspecting the fasteners will be a chore....the pics\ is the schooner under sail off of Bainbridge Island.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting Ready for Bottom Paint

Been busy the past few days...the yard is getting ready to splash a 53' Monk trawler today after a refastening job that invloved some 4,300 bronze screws. Been warm since she has been out - will take a day or so for her to take up...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Dutch Person...

Here's a good example where a Dutchman can save the day - a section of near the water line planking was found to be soft...initial probing indicated that the softness was just halfway through the plank. The decision was made to use a Dutchman to repair the pocket of soft wood - most likely caused by a bump or a bruise....nice fix for this situation where the damaged material was carefully carved out then replaced. Nice glue surface - the seam below will need to be recaulked.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Dirigo Compass Pics

For more information on Dirigo compasses - visit the Dirigo Compass page at

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More TWIC Stuff

Good day to you:
Here is a problem that has come to light and that I feel to be very important information for you to pass along to everyone. During the past several weeks I have run up against this problem on multiple occasions and you all need to be aware of delays that it has and is causing.Make sure that you tell your people that when they make their application with TSA to apply for their TWIC card that they identify their occupation as a MERCHANT MARINER. If this is not done then the information gathered at TSA WILL NOT BE SHARED WITH THE COAST GUARD. I believe this is how it is supposed to work.
The mariner contacts TSA to make an application for their TWIC.
If the mariner does NOT state on the application that their occupation is that of a 'MERCHANT MARINER' the information goes nowhere except within the TSA system. The TWIC card will be issued if all is cleared through TSA.
If the information from TSA is not forwarded to the NMC then the mariners application is suspended awaiting additional information, because they (NMC) have no information from TSA. This is causing major problems for the mariner. Even if the mariner sends in a copy of their TWIC, the NMC won't accept it because TSA has not released the information needed to them.
Because NMC does not have this information, the mariners application has been placed into a "suspended" status until this information has been received, will cause the application process to be delayed 10-12 weeks before it goes to an evaluator. This 10-12 weeks, added to an application that has been at the NMC for 4-8 weeks already, awaiting clearance from the Medical Evaluation Branch and then waiting again for assignment to an evaluator is a devastating set back for mariners wanting to renew or to get an original MMC issued.So, I am strongly suggesting that you please tell your people that if they have recently made application for their TWIC to contact TSA either via telephone or the website and change their Occupation to 'MERCHANT MARINER' (if they have not already done so), and then request that TSA forward the information to the CG as quickly as possible. I believe this should be done for anyone who has had a TWIC issued within the past 4 months as well. This is especially necessary if the mariner has made an application to NMC for an original or renewal within this time frame and has not received their new MMC.Here is hoping this information will not be necessary for you to deal with, but it is better to be pro-active than re-active.Thank you,
-- Norleen L. SchumerMaritimeLicensing.com800-562-9758360-447-8328360-616-2730 (fax)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ballard Maritime Academy....

Congratulations to those seniors who finished their OUPV training at Ballard High School's - Ballard Maritime Academy. This is the program's second year - where Zenith Maritime partners with Seattle Schools to deliver a USCG license training course to seniors enrolled in the maritime program. Awards and certificates of training were presented last night at the Academy's annual dinner.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Here are some pics of a refastening project I am currently involved in. The boat was originally lightly fastened with #10 bronze screws - the yard in sister fastening each plank on frame with 2 #14 screws which will make the boat much stronger. At the end of the day - the shipwrights will install about 3,000 screws.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy Day...

At least it's nice weather today - got to survey a 33 foot Carver this morning before she's hauled this afternoon - in between all of this I need to check on a Monk - McQueen being refastened while on the ways on Portage bay here in Seattle.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Good Read...

Let me recommend Nigel Warren's "Metal Corrosion in Boats" - a great read of all types of metal wastage and more importantly - how to slow this process down. I like his explanation on underwater problem areas - especially keels and keel bolts.

Closed Again...

Ballard - both locks will be closed this morning (0630 - 1200) for repairs to the fish ladder.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barge and Lock Go Bang...

In mid May - a barge with 2 million gallons of gasoline hit the lock wall while locking through at The Dallas lock on the Columbia River. The barge had double wall hull construction - so no fuel was split into the river - but traffic was held up until the lock was cleared of the barge.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ballard Locks Closed Monday

FYI - both locks will be closed from 0700 - 1200 tomorrow for work on the fish ladder.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Capr Dory Survey...

Cape Dory 28 survey in Anacortes yesterday - couldn't ask for better weather for sea trials - the nice boat - misaligned stern thruster - plastic prop hitting thruster tube assembly.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hi Tech RIB

eXtreme RIBs introduced the eXtreme 30, entirely constructed of prepreg carbon fiber using state of the art Formula 1 autoclave technology.The hull is manufactured from 4 millimeter solid carbon fiber, in strength the equivalent of 6 millimeters of steel, but at only a fraction of the weight. The hull and other components of the eXtreme RIB are constructed out of prepreg carbon using autoclave technology for the best carbon-epoxy ratio. The prepreg carbon fiber construction pushes the water away from the hull, lifting the boat out of the water. The eXtreme rib, due to its low weight, can be transported much easier than a standard RIB. The boat weighs less than 900 kg.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Day at the Ballard Yacht Club

Another day - another boat trying to's a fine example of a catamaran trying to go the bottom here at the BYC - it's about the 3rd or 4th time this fine vessel has tried to go boating by itself.

Trim Tabs -

I was on a survey the other day - when a first time big boat buyer asked me about trim tabs - so here's the pitch - Pitch or list of a vessel is controlled by trim tabs mounted on the stern of the vessel. The trim tabs are hinged along an axis transverse to the fore-aft direction of the vessel. A electro-hydraulic system changes the plane of the trim tabs in response to the vessel's operator which senses changes in the fore-aft level or list of vessel. Trim tabs should be always raised in following seas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maritime Law Seminar...

Please feel free to forward this invitation on to those whom you know may be interested in attending this vitally important seminar.

All the best!

Captain Skip Anderson
USCG Licensed Master 1171259
(253) 227-2003

Director, Flagship Maritime Training Center
Training Tomorrow’s Professionals Today
3206 20th Street East
Fife, Washington 98424

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rush Hour Weather Forecast....




Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nice Weather...

It can't get much better - looking at Mt Rainier from Anderson Island (south Puget Sound)....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

You Thought This Was A Well Made Boat...

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of the mast step for a popular sail boat - now here's a picture of the hull - deck joint - looks I did it...globs of resin goo plus dry laminate - nice...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Diesel Improvements...

MAN Diesel’s first S40ME-B electronic engine has entered service. Yielding 6,810 kW at 146 rpm and an mep of 21 bar, the new engine was built by STX in Korea and is one of six ordered by Intership Navigation of Cyprus to power a series of vessels. The ME-B engine is the prime mover aboard the Pacific Adventure, a multi-purpose vessel built at HuangHai shipyard in China. The newbuilding recently passed its sea-trials successfully. The market requirement for the lowest possible propeller speed in relation to bore size has led to the new ME-B engine having a stroke/bore ratio of 4.4. In turn, the new engine has an increased maximum cylinder pressure, giving rise to an improved fuel consumption that is 2 g/kWh lower than existing, small-bore engines. Thanks to the electronic control of the engine’s parameters, the ME-B is also well-equipped to meet the new Tier-II emission requirements.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boating Season Troubles...

Just like Seattle drivers who have to "learn again" to drive on rainy roads every time it rains here - mariners during early boating season adventures have a similar issue with capsizing small craft - just remember that term "reserve buoyancy"

Reserve Buoyancy

–noun Nautical.

The difference between the volume of a hull below the designed waterline and the volume of the hull below the lowest opening incapable of being made watertight.

Origin: 1900–05

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We write to enquire from you the availability of your product in large quantity for a contract supply to my government. The Iraqi government is presently embarking on massive development and re-engineering in all the eighteen governorate province making up my country after the devastating war. We are therefore inquiring if you can supply your marine products (patrol boats. fishing boats,.. etc) on a contract basis. We shall be willing to submit your product details to the Joint Contracting Command office here in Baghdad for possible consideration if you deemed fit.
The Chairman of the Joint Contracting Command (the Board that assess and ventilate all contracts) has therefore mandated me to contact you via this medium and demand for your position. The chairman possess the right connections within the political power hierarchy of the present government to influence prompt approval of your application as soon as you indicate your interest.
The Board has also taken into consideration the present unstable security conditions on ground in my country and the differential financial regulations that might create hurdles for you. The appropriate requisite requirements shall be waived in your favour for a hitch-free supply. The Finance Ministry here shall mobilize you fully with 100% of your product cost before commencement of the supply contract. We shall expect a monthly or quarterly supply from your company as the budgetted sum might outstrip your present company production capacity. Please note that CIF Port of Umm Qasr or the Port of Aqaba, Jordan might be consider when shipping.
We shall provide more information in respect of the above inquisition upon your response.
Expecting your prompt response.
Mr. Farooq Hamoudi
Member, Joint Contracting Command, Iraq (JCCI)

Troubles in GPS Land.....

Here's a piece from the Guardian UK you should read -

Monday, May 18, 2009

Final Ruling....

The Coast Guard issued a final rule on April 28, 2009 that requires each crewmember on a foreign flag commercial vessel en route to the U.S., or on a U.S. flag commercial vessel coming from a foreign port or place to the U.S., to carry and present acceptable identification when in the navigable waters of the United States (i.e. internal waters and within 12 miles of the shoreline). The final rule can be found at and is effective May 28, 2009.As a means to alleviate security concerns, Section 102 of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) required that all crewmembers possess acceptable identification when calling at U.S. ports. On May 14, 2008, the Coast Guard issued its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to implement this requirement. The following is a link to our previous advisory that discussed the provisions of the NPRM: receiving comments, the Coast Guard issued this final rule to implement the MTSA requirements relating to crewmember identification documents. The Coast Guard will now require crewmembers to carry and present on demand acceptable identification when the vessel is in U.S. navigable waters. Vessel owners and operators are required to ensure that crewmembers comply with these requirements. Failure to comply with these new requirements will subject a crewmember, owner, or operator to a civil penalty of $25,000 for each day of violation up to $50,000, or action by the Coast Guard to control the vessel.The Coast Guard proposed the following forms of acceptable identification in the NPRM:• Passport• U.S. Permanent Resident Card• U.S. Merchant Mariner’s Document• Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), or• Seafarer’s Identification Document (SID) issued by or under the authority of the government of a country that has ratified the International Labour Organization Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (ILO 185)The Final Rule has made some changes to the NPRM and clarified the list of acceptable forms of identification. The following highlights some of those changes and clarifications.Seamen’s BooksSeamen’s books issued by foreign governments under the Seafarer’s Identity Document Convention, 1958 (ILO 108), are not acceptable forms of crewmember identification under this new rule. The Coast Guard will only accept an SID issued in accordance with ILO 185 or a passport from foreign crewmembers, unless the crewmembers are able to present a U.S. permanent resident card or TWIC.U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) WorkersA location on the OCS is not considered a foreign port or place. Therefore, workers on the OCS do not need to obtain any additional identification documents other than what they are already required to possess to work on the OCS.New Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) ApplicabilityThe Coast Guard has recently consolidated U.S. merchant mariner credentials into a single credential known as the MMC. The Coast Guard has now confirmed that the MMC is added to the list of acceptable crewmember identification.Force Majeure ExceptionThe NPRM stated that requirements of the rule would not be “enforced against crewmembers and operators on a vessel bound for a U.S. port or place of destination under a claim of force majeure.” To clarify its intentions, the Coast Guard has revised the rule to state that the requirements of this rule will not apply to such crewmembers and operators.Vessel owners, operators, and crewmembers should ensure that they are in compliance with this new rule prior to May 28, 2009.


With boating season upon us - let's all take a moment to review aids to navigation -

“The waters of the United States and its territories are marked to assist navigation by the U.S. Aids to Navigation System. This system employs a simple arrangement of color, shapes, numbers, and light characteristics to mark navigable channels, waterways, and obstructions adjacent to these.

Aids to Navigation can provide a boater with the same type of information that (car) drivers get from street signs, stop signs, road barriers, detours, and traffic lights. These aids may be anything from lighthouses to minor lights, day beacons, range lights, and sound signals, to lighted or unlighted buoys. Each has a purpose and helps in determining location, getting from one place to another or staying out of danger. The goal of the U.S. Aids to Navigation System is to promote safe navigation on the waterway.

The U.S. Aids to Navigation System is intended for use with Nautical Charts. Charts are one of the most important tools used by boaters for planning trips and safely navigating waterways. Charts show the nature and shape of the coast, buoys, and beacons, depth of water, land features, directional information, marine hazards, and other pertinent information.

The primary components of the U.S. Aids to Navigation System are beacons and buoys.

Beacons are aids to navigation structures that are permanently fixed to the earth’s surface. The range from lighthouses to small, single-pile structures and may be located on land or in the water. Lighted beacons are called lights; unlighted beacons are called day-beacons. Beacons exhibit a day-mark to make them readily visible and easily identifiable against background conditions. Generally, the day-mark conveys to the boater, during daylight hours, the same significance as does the aid’s light or reflector at night.

Buoys are floating aids that come in many shapes and sizes. They are moored to the seabed by concrete sinkers with chain or synthetic rope moorings of various lengths connected to the buoy’s body. They are intended to convey information to the boater by their color and shape, by the characteristics of visible or audible signal, or a combination of two or more such features” (USCG US Aids to Navigation System, 1/2001).

Need To Know

The United States utilizes the IALA (International Association of Lighthouse Authorities) Region B system running in a clockwise direction around the United States. This means south along the Atlantic (east) coast, west across the Gulf (coast) of Mexico, north on the Mississippi River (Western Rivers), and north along the Pacific (west) coast. This is known as arbitrary assumption.
A lateral aid’s meaning or significance is denoted by its color and shape.
IALA Region B means keeping the red buoys to starboard when returning from sea. Red and Green navigation aids convey lateral significance. Red Right Returning

Returning from sea…………….and returning to sea
Red aids are marked with even numbers and green aids with odd numbers. Both red and green aids grow in numerical value when viewed returning from sea (i.e., red aids 2, 4, 6, 8…etc., green aids 1, 3, 5, 7…etc.)

“Red Right Returning” (Red “even” numbered marks "Red Headed Nuns Get Even"). Unlighted RED buoys are called “NUNS” - unlighted GREEN buoys are called “CANS”

Day-beacons are planted in the dirt. Red triangle shaped marks equal the 3-R’s or “Red Right Returning”.

Preferred channel aids with both red and green horizontal color bands have lateral significance. They indicate the presence and direction of a primary channel by observing the aid’s top most color band as you would with either an all red or all green aid. The lower color band indicates the presence of a secondary channel.

Red or green aids are often fitted with a quick flashing light to indicate a bend or turn in a channel or fairway.

Yellow aids and buoys indicate a special situation and never convey lateral significance. They (yellow aids) indicate the presence of a VTS, the ICW, fish traps, etc. Yellow marks indicate a special situation

Red and White aids are called safe water buoys and have no lateral significance. These sometimes indicate the start-end of something, such as a buoyed channel and can be passed on either side. Sea buoys - Always Morse code (A)

Red and Black buoys indicate an isolated danger immediately below or adjacent to the aid and have no lateral significance. Always approach with due caution and attention. Black Balls of Death

Diamond shaped, checkered aids convey no lateral significance they convey information regarding location.

White aids with an orange boarder with diamond, square, or circle in shapes, have no lateral significance. These convey important information such as shallow water, reduced speed zones, or other regulatory information.

Range markers are used in pairs to indicate the center or safe water of a fairway or channel when vertically aligned.
Light Color - Red, green, yellow, and or white. If the light color is not designated on the chart, the color is white. See Light List.
Light Phase Characteristics – Light sequences or pattern of light shown within one complete cycle of the light. See Light List.
Light Period – The length of time required for the light to progress through one complete cycle of changes. See Light List.
Buoys - Buoys can be lighted or unlighted and are attached to a sinker which keeps it in its charted or reported position. A buoy’s color and shape are significant. Charts will show a buoy with its color, shape and light characteristic. Use the Notice to Mariners to update charts on a regular basis….a chart correction card shows the correction dates per chart.
Lighthouses - These are major structures with distinctive color and light schemes (or sequences). Many lighthouses also have sound signals - very useful in thick fog. You will find the necessary information (sound, light color and characteristic, name, height and nominal range - the distance at which the light is well visible in clear weather. It is very required to have the Coast Guard Light List in your possession - it contains a lot of useful information.
Daybeacons - These are structures similar to beacons, except they are unlighted and are usually single-pile.
Minor Lights and Beacons - These are much smaller than lighthouses, but also give light signals. They are single- or multi-pile structures, although sometimes can be also skeleton or masonry towers. They have dayboards which are plywood boards with significant shapes and colors, numbers or letters, and a reflective tape around them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Over 200 sail boats and 1,100 mariners are participating in the National Offshore One-Design Regatta off of Shilshole this weekend here in Seattle....

At Last - No Rain, More Boats, More Sun Here in Ballard

The Alaska fleet is getting fixed up next door for the next fishing season -

Friday, May 15, 2009

Four for Four...

A job well done - a happy bunch of mariners just finished the big dance for their licenses at Fishermen's Terminal last night. From left - David, Robyn, Bob (who did a 2,025 mile commute for class), John and Bobbie. A job very done. Congratulations!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

License Exams... current Seattle OUPV class started exams last night - everyone made it through chart navigation and nav general - tonite is the big dance with rules and deck.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I was surveying a Stephens 36 last week that had Monel fuel's an alloy which was very popular at one time but now days - no one hardly no what it is...never the less it's a great marine metal but very exoensive...Monel is a nickel-copper alloy, first developed in 1905, containing about 66 percent nickel and 31.5 percent copper, with small amounts of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon. Stronger than pure nickel, Monel alloys are resistant to corrosion by many agents, including rapidly flowing seawater. They can be fabricated readily by hot- and cold-working, machining, and welding. Monel is a registered trademark of the International Nickel Company.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Interview with the USCG Commandant

Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, spoke with MarineNews about the merchant mariner credentialing process, TWIC, the new Centers of Expertise and the modernization of the Coast Guard's internal organization. Visit the Commandant's blog at for more of his perspectives on the workings of the Coast Guard.What's the Coast Guard doing to simplify the merchant mariner credentialing process?Merchant mariner credentialing has been the subject of a lot of concern and reforms going back 10 or 15 years, to when I was a field commander. The goal is to create better standardization, better efficiencies, a central screening and vetting of applicants, and ultimately, reduce the wait to get biometrics, (fingerprints, etc.) from the field. Then align that with the current Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card along with a central review of medical records. I think we're well on our way to making that happen.What's the biggest obstacle to all of this?We're moving from a decentralized process whereby folks came into a Regional Exam Center (REC) and did all their business there and then ultimately the information was transferred to a database. There's a couple of things [that present challenges], number one is physically moving the data, the IT backbone, and the second is redefining functions of what people do in the field versus what the people do at the centralized screening point. [The Coast Guard] is trying to build in the consistency that we lack because individual RECs were managed slightly differently - we're all human beings and have our own way of interpreting the rules. In some cases we had folks shopping around for RECs based on where they thought they might get the most favorable treatment.
So there's a physical relocation portion, there's a data center/ IT backbone portion, there's a staffing portion where we load resources and staff from the RECs in. Then there's the creation of new staff functions, one of which is the medical competency folks who are capable of screening these records (medical exams) in one central location. We've phased the movement of the records from the RECs to the central point in a responsible manner I think, where we tried to move as fast as we could, while being mindful of the impact on our stakeholders in the field. Where is the Coast Guard with TWIC implementation? As you know, we're heading toward an April deadline to have everybody in compliance. We started back before the end of the calendar year. We do find that there are unique issues related to each port. One of my predecessors once said, "if you've seen one port, you've seen one port." So we get to places like Alaska or Hawaii where there are issues with accessibility because people are on islands or at great distances, and we've dealt with those.
There have been some issues with the contractor that was retained with TSA regarding the acquisition of the data and the production of the cards, but in general, I think it's gone very smoothly. Our next challenge of course, is to issue the second regulation regarding the card readers and figure out where we want to go with the biometrics that are captured in relation to our merchant mariner credentialing, so it only has to be done once. What kind of feedback are you getting from the field?Generally, good feedback. It's usually a supply and demand issue where the enrollment centers have been established by the contract. Are they in the right place and can they handle the throughput? We've worked with TSA and the contractor to adjust that, and in some cases, there were more resources needed at one place than another. In other cases it was to our advantage to put a mobile enrollment center on the road and take it to large populations like a maritime school, for example, where you know you have a significant group that can be dealt with in one place.Can you talk about the Centers of Expertise (COEs)?Sure. I'm going back 10 or 15 years ago, when we trained our marine inspectors by sending them to a training port. We would send them to a large port like New York with the knowledge that in a very large port, they would get a great cross section of the different types of inspections that they would have to do. Changes over the years caused us to move away from training ports. Some ports now specialize in certain types of maritime activities that others do not. For example, Houston and Galveston have a high concentration of petroleum and chemical type traffic and LA/Long Beach has a very high amount of containership traffic. So by sending someone to a port to train them in their first tour, they're not necessarily going to get what they need to be an effective inspector.
We decided to break the industry into segments and then go where they're actually conducting those operations in the private sector and co-locate out training nodes so when our inspectors come into that particular area they'd be trained on the specific type of platform. We recently stood up the COE related to inland towing, the brown water fleet, in Paducah, Ky., near the convergence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, where there are a lot of barges. We put the COE right where the businesses are, so if you're going to get into that line of work we're going to send you there to train no matter where you're going to be dealing with towing operations in the country. In a similar manner, for cruise ships it will be Miami, because that is the largest cruise ship port in the United States. For the offshore oil and gas industry it will be down on the Louisiana coast. Morgan City or Houlma are the likely candidates. In Duluth, we will probably set up the Lake Carrier COE because those are different types of vessels up there. There's a lot of steam plants that aren't operated anyplace else. The final COE, probably somewhere on the Gulf coast as well, will be for Liquefied Natural Gas.What were your priorities when you started your tour as Commandant and what progress has been made?The overwhelming priority when I became Commandant was to reposition the Coast Guard in the 21st Century to be a more flexible and agile organization. We're accomplishing that by looking at our command and control structure and our mission control structure. We're also looking at operations where we haven't been as focused on our customers as we need to be. Marine Inspection is a good example of that. We're looking to stand up two organizations inside the Coast Guard, one is a mission execution organization and the other is a mission support organization that will be headed by two deputy Commandants.
Probably the biggest change in the Coast Guard is taking the entire logistics and maintenance system to a standardized business practice, what we call bi-level maintenance. We're pretty much on track. We've most recently stood up logistic centers to focus on our various platforms. The Surface Forces Logistics Center is in Baltimore. The Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center is down in the Tidewater area. The Command and Control Computers, Intelligence and IT (C4IT) Center of Excellence is going to be in Alexandria, Virginia. We already have an Aviation Center of Excellence in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Moving ahead, the two largest challenges that remain are working with the Congress to establish the two senior leadership billets [Deputy Commandants] and, what I probably won't see done on my watch, the transformation of our financial management system. That's somewhat linked with the new financial management system that's coming on-line with the Department [Homeland Security] and that's likely to extend past my tenure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tug Boat Racing...

The world's largest tug boat race was held this weekend during Seattle's Maritime Festival.

Steel Hull Plate Gauging

From a recent survey -

According to available builder’s data the steel hull is welded steel-alloy plating on 5/32" X 1" X 1" – 18" OC frames with the following plate scantlings (nominal thickness):
Keel Shoe – 25/32" (0.78")
Keel Plate – 13/64" (0.203")
Hull Plate – 5/32" (0.197") or 5.0mm
Deck Plate – 9/64" (0.140")
The vessel was carefully lifted out of the water and blocked for inspection. The hull was remarkably clean and unfouled. The exterior of the hull was not pressure washed prior to visual and ultrasonic gauging. The topsides are substantially filled and faired which precluded a visual and mechanical examination. Similarly, weather decks are such that precluded examination as well. Therefore – the vessel was not belt gauged – only the underbody and keel was subject to steel gauging.
No corrosion or damage was observed on the topsides, weather decks and or superstructure. Dissimilar metal corrosion at the mast deck step was observed to be slight, properly controlled and monitored by ownership. No visual evidence of grounding or other damage was observed above or below the waterline. The hull underbody and keel plating is coated with anti-fouling paint generally smooth and uniform in thickness with only minor flaking in localized areas. The keel is rather full – with integral lead ballast down low. Tankage for liquid stores is incorporated into the keel. The water tank was recently renewed as evidenced a replaced (welded) section of plating on the portside. The bronze alloy propeller is well protected in its aperture. The rudder is of steel construction with negligible play in the hinges.
Upon visual examination – the surface of the hull and keel showed no rust blooms, pitting, corrosion, fatigue, structural failure, and or wastage and was fair to the eye with no hard spots or proud plates. Minor inward hull plating buckling was observed below the water line - portside to at the lower underbody and keel at the frame bays. Minor buckling was also observed sporadically starboard side to. Welded plate seams were observed to be in serviceable condition with no visual cracks - fractures or corrosion. Welded in place through-hull penetrations were thoroughly examined – again with no visual evidence of wastage or fatigue. Sacrificial zinc anodes are properly attached to the steel hull plating and to the propeller tail-shaft. The keel shoe was found to be smooth and unabraded. The leading edge of the keel and stem showed no evidence of damage or abrasion.
The steel hull plating was systematically ultrasonically gauged to provide a quantitative basis for evaluating a questionable local and overall condition. In preparation – a TM-8811 portable 5mhz ultrasonic gauging instrument was carefully calibrated just prior to inspection with a known 5mm or 0.197" steel plate (medical grade glycerin was used as an interface agent for all readings).
The underbody of each hull side was prepared for mapping by identifying and referencing a (welded) deck cleat (on each beam) forward of amidships (eventually known as station number 7). An accurately marked fiberglass measuring tape was carefully positioned (slightly down from the bottom of the black boot stripe) longitudinally along each hull side on the unfilled and faired water line section of the hull. The tape was extended forward to near the cut-water aspect of the stem (tape set at the ‘zero’ foot mark) and then aft to the stern (ending at approximately the ‘32’ foot mark). On both beams, the tape’s approximate ten (10) foot mark was visually observed to be vertically aligned with the above mentioned deck cleat and identified as station number 7. Reference stations 1 through 16 were set along the tape at every twenty-four (24) inches fore and aft. From this tape-line - a series of parallel reference lines running down to the so-called garboard seam at the upper most portion of the keel plate were established on approximately twelve (12) inch centers.
All steel plate measurements were taken with a eight (8) millimeter probe on clean, smooth steel plate hull surfaces at the intersection of the above described horizontal and vertical reference lines (12" X 24"). In the event a reading coincided with an interior transverse framing member – the probe was slightly repositioned. All readings were hand recorded then compared with the original scantlings. If wastage - corrosion in the steel plate surface was visually observed outside the pre-determined ultrasonic steel gauging points - it would be considered a justifiable basis for requiring gauging in that affected area. The criteria for such would be deep pitting, holes, fractures, excessively thin edges on structural shapes, bands and or belts of corrosion across hull and keel plating).
Reference to NVIC 8-68 nomograph Table 2-1 "Percentage of Wastage" was made to set the parameters to determine the scantling’s maximum wastage limits and facilitate evaluation of the results based on a recommended standard of no more than 25% wastage of original thickness. The limits of wastage were determined to be as follows:
Hull plating – approximately 0.148"
Keel plating – approximately 0.152"

Saturday, May 9, 2009


At approximately 10:30 local time May 5, Military Sealift Command ship (MSC) USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1) was approached by suspected pirates off the eastern coast of Somalia and took evasive action to prevent a successful attack.While transiting north to provide logistics support for U.S. Navy and coalition ships operating in the area, two pirate skiffs pursued Lewis and Clark for more than an hour, closing to a distance of approximately one nautical mile. Once shipboard lookouts spotted the two suspected pirate skiffs, Lewis and Clark conducted evasive maneuvers and increased speed to elude the pirates. The ship's embarked security team also used a long range acoustical device (LRAD) to issue verbal warnings to the approaching skiffs.Suspected pirates then fired small arms weapons from approximately two nautical miles toward Lewis and Clark, which fell one nautical mile short of the ship's stern. Lewis and Clark continued to increase speed and the skiffs ceased their pursuit of the U.S. ship."The actions taken by Lewis and Clark were exactly what the U.S. Navy has been recommending to prevent piracy attacks – for both commercial and military vessels," said Capt. Steve Kelley, Commander, Task Force 53, to which Lewis and Clark is operationally assigned. "Merchant mariners can and should use Lewis and Clark's actions as an unequivocal example of how to prevent a successful attack from occurring."Despite recent successful pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, merchant mariners have proven successful as first-line defenders against pirates. Along with Lewis and Clark, a number of merchant vessels have conducted evasive maneuvers and other pro-active defensive measures, including embarked security teams, to protect their ships and their cargoes.More than 30,000 vessels transit the Gulf of Aden annually. In 2009, there have been 97 attempted attacks on merchant vessels, 27 of which have been successful.Lewis and Clark, which operates out of Norfolk, Va., is part of MSC and assigned to CTF 53 while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations. CTF 53 is responsible for providing operational logistics support for the entire U.S. 5th Fleet and coalition forces both ashore and afloat. The ship also provided support to the counterpiracy task force, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, as an afloat staging base earlier this year. U.S. merchant mariners have a long and storied history of providing direct support to U.S. military operations ashore. From resupplying Navy ships at-sea to delivering combat cargo to deployed troops in war zones, merchant mariners have played an integral logistics support role in U.S. military operations.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wasted Fastenings...

From a recent wood yacht survey...

Ten (10) hull planking fasteners (#14 X 2" marine-grade bronze wood screws) were opened up at various locations at the vessel’s underbody (garboard, broad planks, at the waterline, chine, butts, transom, and hood ends) and examined and found to be generally serviceable condition. The bronze wood screw fasteners at the forward garboard and broads showed evidence of moderate (visible) alloy breakdown while the fasteners amidships and aft were generally visibly wasted from stray-current corrosion. Ownership indicated that the vessel’s wiring was found to be in a state of disrepair when he acquired the vessel and spent much time tidying-up electrical wiring in the bilge. These fastenings were deemed unserviceable were replaced with new silicon-bronze wood screws provided by ownership. New fasteners hardened-up when installed. Two (2) bronze wood screw fasteners (forward and below the water line on the starboard bow) suffered from alloy breakdown. One fastener on the starboard garboard plank near amidships spun-out. Given the total number of hull fasteners (plank, butt, and garboard) – based on this inspection – that there are still an adequate number of serviceable fasteners for a reasonable period of time. All open fastenings were sealed with glued mahogany bungs or fill with seam compound.

Japan Hydrographic Association

The hydrographic service in Japan was started in 1871. Over a long period of time, shipping circles in Japan have made steady and remarkable progress, however, the need is now arising for more sufficient hydrographic services, that is, further development of techniques in hydrography and supply of a wider variety of nautical charts and publications.
More recently, ocean exploitation and environmental assessment have become the important national projects to be promoted, and these have created afresh a necessity for consolidation and expansion of holdings of basic scientific data concerning the ocean and their more effective utilization by analyses. Meanwhile, the needs for hydrographic surveys and oceanographic observations are increasing year after year, and there is a keen demand for raising the technical levels of private firms which are engaging in these operations.
In the circumstances, it has become fully realized that the hydrographic services by the government alone can no longer cope sufficiently with these various necessities. Indeed, it is an urgent task to make practical applications of basic data to the increasing demand and to take a timely step as the occasion demands for hydrographic services. In view of this situation, the Japan Hydrographic Association was founded in March 1971.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lake Union Dream Boats...

Thanks to Rick Etsell - and BTW - congratulations on passing your M200 exams !

Hi John – Saw your posting about Dreamboats and wanted to comment. (Alas there is no way to comment unless you have a blog somewhere.) Anyway, here’s what I was going to say:

The Classic Yacht Association has a great article on their website about Lake Union Dreamboats, at

Note: The Lake Union Dreamboats were designed by Otis Cutting, not Ted Geary. Not sure how that got started, but you see it written sometimes that they were Geary designed. He did design a couple of similar boats, but not the Lake Union Dreamboats or Blanchard Stock Cruisers.

Our family boat when I was growing up was a Lake Union Dreamboat (Orba – she’s still going strong today. . .), and I can attest that they are a great all-around boats for the Pacific Northwest – simple, comfortable and robust.

Oh a P.S.: Although the boat you have pictured may have been built by Lake Union, it is not a “Dreamboat”. Some owners of Lake Union built boats have come to think of anything built there as a “Lake Union Dreamboat” – a romantic sounding name for sure. But the name was specifically applied to their entry into the Stock Cruiser market, and only applied to the house aft, raised bow style. There are quite a few examples around here: Winifred, Orba, Turning Point, Zella C, Island Runner, Vagabond, Marian C, etc. Again, check out the CYA page for more details.. .



Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings announced new Sher-Release Silicone Fouling Release Coating System, a nontoxic alternative to conventional antifouling coatings. A U.S. Navy patented solution, Sher-Release combines durability, longevity, clean-ability and cost-effectiveness.It is an ideal coating for hull applications to a range of ships, helping to prevent fouling of the underwater hull by barnacles, mussels and other marine organisms. The system’s foulant release technology combines an epoxy anti-corrosive system and a tough, protective silicone surface coat interlocked by a unique elastomeric formula. The Sher-Release system’s surface provides steady long-term performance that is less prone to mechanical damages.Non-toxic Sher-Release contains no heavy metals or biocides. It is effective at speeds as low as 10 knots and offers effective service for a 60 months dry-dock interval. Estimates show that Sher-Release can reduce fuel consumption by six to ten percent thereby reducing CO2 emission significantly Another environmental advantage of Sher-Release is its low level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). It is easily applied by airless spray equipment and significantly reduces the maintenance and downtime of vessels.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lake Union Dream Boats

Designed by famed naval architect Ted Geary - many Lake Union Dream Boat boat were built by the Lake Union Dry Dock and Machine Works of Seattle, WA, during the 1920 - 1930's. They were built by the outstanding Pacific Northwest craftsmen of the period to withstand the rigors of the northern waters and out of woods so fine that they are simply no longer available; in general, these boats tend to be more robust, and of heavier scantlings than most classics.