Friday, January 30, 2009

Squid Fishing...

Here's a pic from my son James who's fishing off California -

(from James) - this is a picture of a light boat at Rhodes reef in the channel island off Santa Rosa island. Just thought it was a cool picture of the moon it was taken a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It's mid-week at the Seattle Boat Show - the crowds are smaller - the exhibitors are fewer - but interest in non-big ticket items (repairs, services, and accessories) is better than in past years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Galvanic Action ....

A while back - I posted a series on the effects of galvanic current in wooden vessels - last Saturday I attended a SAMS - NAMS meeting where Dick Thorberg discussed this subject - here again is what this is all about -

Galvanic corrosion(also called ' dissimilar metal corrosion' or wrongly 'electrolysis') refers to corrosion damage induced when two dissimilar materials are coupled in a corrosive electrolyte.
When a galvanic couple forms, one of the metals in the couple becomes the anode and corrodes faster than it would all by itself, while the other becomes the cathode and corrodes slower than it would alone. For galvanic corrosion to occur, three conditions must be present:

Electrochemically dissimilar metals must be present
These metals must be in electrical contact, and
The metals must be exposed to an electrolyte

The relative nobility of a material can be predicted by measuring its corrosion potential. The well known galvanic series lists the relative nobility of certain materials in sea water. A small anode/cathode area ratio is highly undesirable. In this case, the galvanic current is concentrated onto a small anodic area. Rapid thickness loss of the dissolving anode tends to occur under these conditions. Galvanic corrosion problems should be solved by designing to avoid these problems in the first place.

The relative nobility of a material can be predicted by measuring its corrosion potential. The well known galvanic series lists the relative nobility of certain materials in sea water. A small anode/cathode area ratio is highly undesirable. In this case, the galvanic current is concentrated onto a small anodic area. Rapid thickness loss of the dissolving anode tends to occur under these conditions. Galvanic corrosion problems should be solved by designing to avoid these problems in the first place. Galvanic corrosion cells can be set up on the macroscopic level or on the microscopic level. On the microstructural level, different phases or other microstructural features can be subject to galvanic currents.


The Coast Guard's Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars are available online at the following link. NVICs, as they're used as internal guidance on a variety of subjects including inspection and repair of wood and steel hulls - life saving equipment, towing hawsers, etc, etc - and other neat stuff.

Monday, January 26, 2009


With 2009 here - there are some major changes underway here at Zenith Maritime.

First of all - our catalog of USCG approved courses has increased to include Able Seaman, Rules of the Road, and Master 200 ton Near Coastal training - in addition we have expanded our instructor base to include New York, Colorado, Florida and Wyoming. Within the next few weeks we will be announcing our new marine survey courses - so watch our website at <> .

On the marine survey and consulting arena - I have re-upped my affiliation with the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and continue to offer yacht and small craft survey services which include underwater video inspection, non-destructive ultra-sonic thickness measuring, and recording capabilities, corrosion surveys, propeller slip analysis, and wooden vessel fastener inspections - refastening schedules.

If you require yacht delivery and or re-positioning services - don't forget about <> .

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Report - Seattle Show

Struggling boat retailers hope event helps them stay afloat

Read the rest of the story here

Friday, January 23, 2009

Seattle Boat Show - Day 1 - Engaged Crowd - Find Us at Booth 905E

Hotel California

Another post in the From Down Under's Hotel California time in NZ....

Hi John,
I thought you might be interested in the developments regarding the Certificate of Stability issue. I have not be able to track down the owner of a similar vessel (A Denis Ganley ACE 3 named Black Adder) as of yet. While I calculated the Point of Vanishing Stability of 136.35, the CYCA didn't even want to know about it. They made a Board decision that they needed a Certificate of Stability for the vessel in their files before approving our entrance into the "Cruise". In the meantime, I have been pursuing the other vessel (which had been built from the same hull design expressly for charter and as a result got a certificate of stability). There is a web account of Black Adder's taking a knock down and surviving and it was through that narrative that I found a gentleman by the name of Paul who is trying to assist in finding that owner. BUT, the interesting part is the notion that if we go into NZ we might not be able to leave without this certificate! An interesting development.
Fair Winds _/), Suzan

To: "'Suzan
RE: Looking for the owner of Black Adder

Ok good to know Suzan,

Yes I am fairly up on the CYCA requirements. Unfortunately to be the bearer of potentially bad news unless things have changed in NZ I expect you will receive the same requirements from the NZ MSA (NZ Marine Safety Authority). There was a general move in both countries about the same time – 4-5 years ago (perhaps more) to toughen requirements for foreign yachts travelling through. There was quite explicit warnings issued in Aus and NZ (not limited to CYCA) that foreign yachts arriving in Aus or NZ would have to meet local offshore requirements before they were permitted to leave – Headline news type stuff. There was quite extensive discussion but the local strength of opinion on the subject was strong. I am not exactly sure how they enforce this. Racing yachts have the CAT1-5 sailing requirements and in general CAT1 is held up as the standard for cruising yachts also. I don’t think there is huge distinction drawn between racing yachts and cruising yachts. This is because the rescue statistics are balanced evenly between cruising and racing. For example in 1996 the pacific cruising fleet got caught in a bad storm north of NZ and there was loss of life equivalent to the 98/99 Sydney Hobart race. These were all cruising boats not racing boats.

None the less these Hotel California (able to arrive but never to leave) situations are pretty unpleasant as they prey on the innocent as a result of a small few.

Ok so reading the CAT 1 requirement a stability certificate from the original designer, although it is recommended, is not your only option. It may be the cheapest if we can find John. I will see what I can do to help here. In the mean here is the requirement you have meet if you don’t already have this. Send me any thoughts that come to mind on the viability of these options.


This is the CAT 1 requirement you must meet. I skipped the sections not related to you E.g. movable ballast, Canting keel, multihull.

“6.4 (K) (a) – By measurement and calculation it shall be shown that the subject yacht has a minimum IMS Stability Index as shown in the table below.” Which for CAT 1 is 115.
“Measurements and calculations shall be accompanied either by an official IMS rating certificate or a declaration from a Naval Architect/Yacht Designer.


[6.4 (K)] (b) By calculation it can be shown that the subject yacht complies with the ISO 12217-2 ‘Small craft – Stability and Buoyancy Assessment and Categorization. Part 2: Sailing boats of hull length greater than of equal to 6m’.”
The calculated STIX value shall achieve the minimum values shown in the table below.” For Cat1 the value is 32.
“It is recommended that, where possible this calculation be carried out by the yacht’s original Designer. The calculations must be accompanied by a declaration from a Naval Architect/Yacht Designer.”

[6.4 (K)] (c)
“The owner shall provide a Designers Data and/or GZ Curve accompanied by a Designers declaration that illustrates that the subject yacht achieves a minimum limit of Positive Stability as shown in the table below.” For Cat1 the value is 115 degrees.


[6.4 (K)] (d)

There are several options under (d). The first is for CAT 4/5 eligible yachts which is not relevant to you.


An incline test conducted by an approved measurer or Naval Architect.


Can be calculated from like design


An ORC Club Handicap can provide the information”

END (of 6.4)

Hi Paul,
Sorry to hear that you have had the flu... and being summer even a worse time to not be enjoying the weather. Actually this e-mail address is our "land" e-mail so you can send whatever attachments. The SSB mail is the sailmail and winlink accounts (we are currently migrating from winlink to sailmail as winlink does too much screening of incoming so I don't get a lot of messages). As for time line.... well, we have just given up on getting CYCA approval and decided to head out of Sydney to Tasmania. This club is so focused on racing they can't get a grip on the concept of cruising. If you were to see the racing boats being produced now you understand their sensitivity to getting "Certificates of Stability"... the newer boats are just a thin thin hull with the most minimal of stuff to hold them together... everything is carbon fiber and the owners are fanatical about any weight going onto the boat. Consequently these light boats have a difficult time in rough seas. Because of the 1998 Hobart disaster and the subsequent finger pointing, their Board is very gun shy and informed us that they would need a certificate specific to our boat. Now, that isn't to say that we are not interested in contacting John, because it is likely that this situation will come up again but likely in a less rigorous form. So, if you are still interested, we would appreciate the help, but the immediacy of the situation has changed. I have copied this message to Denise, the architect's daughter who had been talking with NZ MOT so that she too would know that we threw up our hands. We complied with every other requirement for race category 1 with the exception of the Certificate and obtaining morphine... which could have been done, but Customs official love to take it away, so why bother if you can't get the race certificate.

I hope you are feeling better and thank you for all of your help.

Fair Winds _/), Suzan

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seattle Boat Show

Tomorrow is the start of the Seattle Show - with the economy being what it is - who knows what will go happen. We were setting up our booth yesterday and the feeling I got from the exhibitors was guarded. Reports from the recent Portland show were mixed - but generally good for larger craft with the PWC crowd taking it in the shorts. The NY show in November was down 30% or so in number of exhibitors and 40% in folks through the door - but large boat sales were okay - I guess when you got it - you got it.

So - here's some pics from set up day. Thanks Chris for the help - gee wasn't the elevator rides a kick?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nice Day in Anaco...

Far from a foggy Seattle - the sun broke out on Cap Sante and Anacortes yesterday - Capt Rundlett and I were steaming to Anacortes for a meeting with Capt Rodriguez when the fog lifted - nice change....this is a flick of the refinery pier outside of Anacortes with the Cascades and Mt Baker in the background.

Hello World....

I received this email from a former student Steve Tosath ...along with his wife are now a full time crusiers....must be tough.

Heading south for Isla Isabela, San Blas, Chacala, La Cruz, Puerto Vallarta. I know you heard this before, honest we are leaving for sure this time. This is what happens when you don't know what day it is, no place that you have to be, and visiting beautiful, fun, and great places to explore.
Anyway took this picture and thought you might see why we have trouble moving on. It was taken in the old part of Mazatlan these buildings were built around 1860.

Wishing you fair winds and following seas

Monday, January 19, 2009

A January High....

It's that time if the year when high pressure in the Pacific sets up pushing storms to the's the upper air and satellite image which clearly shows the storm path. Makes for nice - but rather cool boating weather.

Speed Length Ratio

Somebody sent me this explanation of speed length ratio - since we are on stability stuff - it's a good fit....

Speed length ratio - is a handy rule whereby boat speed in knots (V) is compared to hull waterline length in feet (L) where V divided by the square root of L = the speed/length ratio or S/LR.

By way of example a boat 30 feet on the waterline at 6 knots has a S/LR of: 6 / 5.48 = 1.095. At 10 knots her S/LR (10/5.48) = 1.82. Whereas, a 400 foot ferry at 15 knots has a S/LR (15 / 20) = .75.

This rule allows us to categorise hull lengths which will suit a particular speed for a displacement vessel. For our purposes there are 3 categories to consider:

LOW SPEED - up to a S/LR of around 1.5
MEDIUM SPEED - with a S/LR between 1.5 to 3.0
HIGH SPEED - having a S/LR above 3.0

It can be seen that a 30 foot motor boat on the waterline at 20 knots has a S/LR of 3.6 (high speed) but that a 300 footer at the same 20 knot speed with a S/LR of 1.15 is classed as a low speed vessel. For the 300 footer to be considered high speed she would have to be traveling (work formula backwards) V = 3 x 17.3 = 52 knots or more.


Why does the above S/LR work? Well, as a boat moves through the sea it pushes water aside - in doing so making waves - that much is obvious. If we investigate further and look at the pattern a hull generates as it moves through calm water you might identify 3 distinct wave patterns. The first set of pressure waves runs diagonally out from the bow. A fine angle of entry reduces the bow wave considerably. The second wave runs out less visibly from the stern. However a third more important set, runs along the vessel's side which, depending on the speed of travel, produces a crest of water at the bow lifting the boat, followed by a trough into and then another crest, etc. The faster a boat moves, the bigger the crest lifting the bow out of the water.

On a big boat there may be several crests at the bow ending at the stern. It takes power to move so much water to produce a wave. The heavier a craft, the more water will have to be moved to pass through, in terms of simple drag: the wetted area or pipe resistance (as in water in a hose pipe). The distance between wave crests is governed by boat speed. Any type of boat from canoe to supertanker makes the same length of wave at the same speed. Only the wave size alters in line with the vessels weight and form. On high speed vessels that rise out of the water, or plane, the above may to some extent be overcome.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Seattle Able Seaman Training - February 9th

Zenith Maritime is offerring an USCG approved 56-hour AB training (written and knots exams) for mariners. The training will be conducted by Capt David Yell (Unlimited Master) and will cover navigation rules, compass work, ATONS, deck hardware, cargo and safety. The training is good for a MMD up to AB Unlimited. The 8-day class starts Monday Feb 9th at 0800 - and will conclude on the 15th (no weekend sessions) For more information call 360.471.6148 or

Saturday, January 17, 2009

From Down Under Part II

More developments from the Captain....

Still on the trail... it seems that the CYCA is just about to say OK, but they have asked for the "Angle of Vanishing Stability". Do you know what this formula might be or is this something that must have some empirical testing for?

As for the Fair winds _/) ... just a salutation, but your is a lovely vessel. I do notice that with your wonderful salon/deck house that you have presents more weight higher up which certainly would impact your righting moment. It seems that so many of the mathematical formulas don't take into account the location of the weight and that seems to be the critical element in the tenderness or stability of a vessel. We have tried very hard to keep all new weight added to the boat to be close to the waterline (either just above or just below... most of it is below). Other than the original structure, the only weight high up are the anchors on the bow, the liferaft on the deck behind the wheel and the whole dinghy davit, solar panel arrangement off the stern. I know that you aren't suppose to do an eyeball test, but golly, by sight this vessel certainly looks stable.

On a similar vane, there is a great book, Halsey's Typhoon about the WWII cruisers and destroyers who had there metacentric point drastically changed with all the equipment (radar, etc) that was retrofitted to the top of the boats during the war which changed the dynamics of the vessel... it is a gripping read about their sinking. In the meantime, if you have any other thoughts, they would be appreciated. This process may have been a bit over the top, but the Bass Straits can be quite treacherous. After going through this process we now think back on the cruising back in the US and the lack of safety checks.... yes, as Captain we are responsible but it has been amazing how many little items go bad (we took our lifejackets in for a certified safety check and 1 had a bad valve and 1 a leak). The Aussies really like to see that everything is certified or check every year or two.

This club has 1 full time employee for doing the checks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ballard Yacht Club for Real....

I would like to announce the formation of the Ballard Yacht Club - we are in the early stages of this process - but our goal is to have mariners and armchair mariners come together for fun, fellowship, and community benefit...don't ask me what that means - we are still trying to sort of the meaning of that statement...please contact for more marginal details.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Place to Sell a Boat - eBay

Here's the Q&A string from a current tour boat listing on eBay - again, you can't write this stuff......

What is the height from water to top of anything sticking up? We have some low bridges here.
She is Pretty low I would guess 9 ft or so There are some things you take off the roof
Please send the survey to: -----
I have alot of people asking to have a survey emailed to them I will do so when get in the office on Monday
What shape are the fasteners in and what is the wood construction method? Could you email me the recent survey? Is there a reserve? Thanks. Capt. Mark
Fastners are in good shape and have checked by Coastgaurd 2 years ago the wood construction I believe is dubble planked Doulas fur not sure what the stringers are made of the bottom is also in good shape.
can you tell me the draft on this boat? we are on a shallow natural lake. thanks
should not be a problem I checked the documentation it says 2.4 ft
Please send survey to ------------- Thank You
Survey has been sent Thank's

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Can't Write This Stuff....

From a egripe board regarding another license training school - (names, location, and dates changed)....

In June, the Yacht Club was approached by this organization to ask if they could rent our facilities to offer a Coast Guard approved Captain's course. The Board of the Club met in a special meeting and concluded they could rent the hall for 10 days for the price of $- so the instructor made the reservation for the class and plans were underway. I (the club's commodore) was there to let the instructor into the Club to start the class. The commodore even made the class coffee on each morning! The commodore even repaired a flat tire (on his car) for the instructor at no charge during the course of the week!!!!! Much to our dismay after invoicing this company several times along with repeated phone calls about the outstanding bill, the school has told a Board member of our Club that he has NO intentions of paying the bill. He claims our facilities were lacking, cold damp and dim to quote him exactly.

We have one of the finest yacht clubs on the lake and have been in existence since ____!! We will be sending a version of our experiences with this school to upcoming courses they have listed on their webiste to warn others about these scammers. The Coast Guard should also take note of their actions and look into a reputable company on par with federal standards to teach these classes.

Respectfully and truthfully sumitted

Commodore Yacht Club

The school's response -

Rebuttal to the Yacht Club's Commodore's libelous Rantings

The events conveyed by the commodore of the Yacht Club are innacurate and frought with lies and omissions. The School is among the most prestigious of schools and NEVER has there been a dispute or any claims made by any organization who have hosted the school in the past. The school currently operates in many states and we have been and continue to be invited back each time. The commodore's histerical rantings omit the fact that the space was not provided as agreed. Not only was the space poorly lighted requiring the instructor to delay the class due to having to drive to BUY LIGHTBULBS so that the students could see their charts but the commodore also conveniently leaves out that on at least 2 evenings the class was moved by him - as we had no choice - to a cold garage some miles away. (Cold is not an understatement as students had to wear coats during the class whiile sitting on folding chairs). We understand he owns the car garage station that the class was forced to move into. We subsequently received compliants from virtually every student. We informed his 'other board member' of the issue however our complaints landed on deaf ears and they simply decided to unilateraly invoice the school. The school enjoys an excellent reputation and has NEVER had a complaint before. We also have never had the misfortune of having to subject any student to the conditions orchestrated at the Yacht Club. None whatsoever! The Commodore has to realize that he can't just spew unjust defamatory statements and has given the school legal cause to file a lawsuit for his libelous statements. Unfortunately, as he is touting his musings as commodore of the YC, we have no choice than to pursue action against them both.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Useful Phrases for Delivery Work

If ever stranded up in a foreign country - remember the phrase - will pillage for moorage...we have translated this useful phrase into several languages...there's no charge for this fine service.

If ashore in Italy - saccheggierà per il moorage

If ashore in Japan -moorageのために略奪する

If ashore in Holland - voor moorage zal plunderen

If ashore in Greece - θα λεηλατήσει για το moorage

If ashore in Mexico - pillará para el moorage

Over Board.....

This is the dramatic moment a ransom of $3million was paid to Somali pirates to end the world's biggest ship hijacking.
The canister full of cash was parachuted onto the Sirius Star - observed by the U.S. Navy who provided these images - and the two-month ordeal of the 25 crew, including two Britons, was finally over.
However things went badly wrong for the pirates soon after the drop - they squabbled over how to split the money and then a wave washed off their getaway boat and drowned five of them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keel Up...Bad

Thanks to Amy for this interesting article....

From the Vendee Global .... an UK Guardian story -

Jean Le Cam, the Frenchman who was rescued yesterday after his boat, VM Matériaux, capsized 200 miles west of Cape Horn during the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race, has today revealed the trauma of being trapped in an upturned boat in big seas for 16 hours.
"I always had in my head, 'Do not leave the boat' – then I didn't know how long I could live inside," Le Cam said by radio to the race headquarters after his rescue by a fellow competitor in the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race, Vincent Riou on PRB.

Read the rest of the story....

Stepped Keels....

When surveying sail boats - the keel step and keel bolts require close inspection. First - you want to determine if there's any movement at the keep step (perhaps an indication of grounding or fastener problems) - then for sure - you need to examine the keel bolts for serviceability (wastage). Usually, the step is easy to see - but a fair amount of time - the keel bolts are frequently un-accessible - hidden under tankage - gear - or fixtures. Getting a good clear view of these bolts is sometimes a real problem - but you got to try. Here' some great pics on what the keel stub and bolt thing is all about. Usually - stainless steel keel bolts are placed in the casting - can you say hidden alloy breakdown - corrosion?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

From Down Under....

FYI - a most excellent email exchange between a former student, one of our instructors, and myself - concerning a knock-down test way down under....a good read on stability can be found in David Gerr's - The Nature of Boats

Re: Need a little bit of help - stability and 'knock down test'.

Hi John,

Happy New Year from Down Under. We are currently in Sydney Australia and managed to get here just prior to the start of the Sydney Hobart race which was a hoot to see. We are currently docked at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which are the sponsors of the race. We have signed up to join the club on a cruise to Hobart, but given the club's experience of the 1998 race ( there are all sorts of regulations that boats must meet in order to just sail with them. Sigh.

Anyway, they want each boat to have a Certificate of Stability. Given that our boat was a custom boat built in New Zealand we do not have this certificate and will have to meet with the audit committee in the next couple of days. We have reviewed the Australian rules as promulgated by the government ( and specifically Appendix D to part 1).

I am trying to figure out if there is a way to come up with Righting Moment Index without having to do the "test" which includes pulling the mast in a horizontal athwartship position with a large mass suspended from the top of the mast. I really don't need to try and wreck our home.... there has got to be another way (we understand the club's issues as I bet there were a number of lawsuits after the 1998 disaster, but come on... ). Anyway can you think of any other way of coming up with the Right Moment Index? I remember in class dealing with this a little, but....
Anyway, Happy New Year again and all the best.

Hi -

My last email got away before I finished my thoughts - is there's a provision in their rules which could allow the builder and or designer to provide this information - do you know who designed your boat? If so - can you contact that person or the yard to see if they have any information.

I can help you calculate your metacentric height (GM = (Beam X .44/Roll Period in seconds) Squared) which requires knowledge of your roll period (which we can establish) - to determine roll period measure the beam (in inches) and divide by 8. Take this number in inches and measure down from the sheer amidships - using this number - place a piece of black tape at this distance on the topsides - do the same on the other beam. At docksides (make sure you have the tanks pressed full to reduce free surface effect and stow and secure all gear to stabilize G) - have a bunch of folks jump on and off until you get you boat to roll back and forth until these marks just break the water plane. Keep her rolling and measure time (in seconds) for the vessel to do 6 complete roll cycles - ie., from the starboard mark back to the starboard mark again. Determine this time in seconds and divide by 24 - this should give you the vessel's roll period.

I have cc'd our stability guru, is there someway we can use this data to determine RMI or does the vessel need to be pulled down?


John (who I work with on maritime education) cc'd me on your issue about 'knock down test' and what could be done to avoid the test.There is a formula that is used to screen vessels for off-shore racing, or for any other extensive cruising work. The formula is based on some vessel dimensions and imperical testing and is often, but not always, accepted by race organizers.You could do the calculations yourself PROVIDED you know your displacement accurately. That may require your vessel to behoisted out of the water by a Travel Lift that has 'calibrated' strain gauges in its lift mechanism; many TL do, but they must be accurate and shown to have been verified by some independent weight testing agency.The formula will produce a number. This number should be less than 2 for offshore vessels. The lower the number below two the betteryour position with the race organizers to avoid a 'knock down test'.

The formula:

The calculation is - Beam dimension in feet divided by the cube root of Displacement expressed in cubic feet of sea water (64 pounds per cubic foot).

Capsize Ratio = Beam / (Displacement / 64)0.333

Having said that I would encourage you to subject your vessel to the 'knock down test' - it is not as bad as it sounds - and will reveal strengths and weakness in your vessel that will increase your confidence in the vessel and its ability to successfully accomplish the voyages you wish to complete. The test can be stopped at any time if an unsafe or vessel damage situation arises. Stowing all loose gear inside, ballast, and movable stuff is something prudent mariners take as a common task. What is particularly revealing with the test is where the 'DECK EDGE' and hatch combings are in relation to the water surface. I have seen vessels fail the test because the cockpit filled over the combing and the water would have found its way into the interior of the vessel. Some boats ride high on their side, others don't - and it is not that intuitive to tell just by looking at the vessel floating normally. I wish you 'bon voyage' and contact me or John if there is anything else we can help you with.


Thank you for your help. Just want to make sure I was doing the calculation correctly. My values are:
Beam 14'-5".... so the Beam is 14.41667
Displacement (weight of the boat last time we hauled out - fully tanked, oil, water, food, etc) 52,700 lbs..... so 53,500 (to be ultra conservative) divided by 64 = 835.93. The cube root of this is approximately 9.4155 (I don't have a calculator that can calculate a cube root, but I am within 1 I think I am close enough)... so
Capsize ratio = 14.41667/9.4155
Capsize ratio = 1.541
BUT... in some respects this seems a little odd.... the heavier the boat is the "better" the value. If we are 60,000 lbs, the capsize ratio would be 1.448 and therefore lower than the 1.5 and supposedly better...
Before we loaded on some new equipment and a complete load of fuel and water and provisions for 3 years (I did over do just a little bit, what with a heating system and new batteries, etc), the boat weighed 48,000 pounds... and the capsize ratio value would be 1.59.... but the boat would ride higher and most of the weight is below the waterline. Our lead ballast is 11,800 pounds and is located in the keel from 5 feet below to 8 feet below. It would seem that this is an important number (location and amount).... as well as the placement of the rest of the heavy equipment which is primarily at the water line.

HOWEVER I am thrilled to have a value that I can take to the audit committee but I sure want to make sure that it is a good number. Thank you again for your assistance and any other suggestions that you may have. Would it be helpful if I sent any photo's? Maybe of the dining salon set with the ship's china and crystal (which I would want to take off if we did the 118 degree horizontal loading as I am sure that there little holders would keep everything in place beyond more than a 75 degree roll)... We have an enormous respect for the sea and quite frankly never want to be in any condition greater than 40 knots... well, maybe not more than 30 knots but there are times that can't be helped. Our worse wind (70 knots) has been at the dock and that was hard enough, just dealing with mooring lines.
All the best.

Hello Captain:

Your calculations are OK.Your observation is also good, that the heavier the boat the lower the capsizing screening number.The reason this is so is because when the vessel is laid on its side the fulcrum is some place by the deck edge. Hence the importance, in this case, of knowing the angle of heel at which the deck edge immerses.When the vessel is at an extreme angel of heel the total weight of the vessel is on one side of the deck edge and the external capsizing wight is on the mast side.At very large angles of heel, as in a knock down, the center of buoyancy has also moved considerably. The immersed shape of the vessel, which determines the location of B, has changed considerably from that of a vessel floating and rolling in a normal manner. The center of gravity has remained, we hope, where it was when the vessel was upright. The meta center has also moved under the influence of the shift of B (center of buoyancy) and that of the new under water shape of the heeled vessel.Attached is a spreadsheet that compares characteristic values between several types of cruising yachts. The capsizing screening value is shown. You might have fun plugging in your own vessels values if you or a college have a PC with Excel.

Bon Voyage

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Tour of Ballard Yacht Club's Stunning New Campus

After several decades of being a housed in a back street near-slum facility - the Ballard Yacht Club proudly announces its new virtual facility here in Ballard (not to be confused with ZM's corporate HQ).

The upper most picture is of the "members only" where boats go to die docks here on the Lake Washington Ship Canal - the six trumpeters line the hollowed Founder's Walkway which represent a tribute to the various Laws of Marginal Maritime Advice - the entrance hall is large enough to encourage large club activities, pre-owned yacht auctions, unauthorized bon-fires, Nickelsville encampments, wood boat refastening work, and unsalted snowy streets - the large stone mural (hand carved in China) depicts the role the Club played in the great mid-century yacht broker wars fought here on Salmon Bay during the pre-green city era (during the reign of The Most Honorable Capt William) - and the bottom picture is of Commodore's Duncan's office and massage parlor.

BYC wishes to thank all of our tree in lobby

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Katmandu and the First Law....

From the Seattle Times -


An overcrowded boat carrying mostly women and children capsized in a river in eastern Nepal on Sunday, killing two people and leaving dozens missing. More than 50 people were believed on board the boat and only 14 were rescued from the Saptakosi river, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of the capital Katmandu, government official Durga Bhandari said.

Read the entire story -

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The World's Largest.....

The Nock Nevis, formally known as the ' Jahre Viking ', is the worlds largest ship at 1504 feet long (over 1/4 of a mile) and 226 feet wide. The Nock Nevis, a ship so huge that when fully laden she can not pass through the 32 mile wide English channel because it cannot maneuver, as traveling in a straight line is its best forte. Also when fully laden, she sits 24.5 meters deep, a depth great enough to stop her from accessing most of the world’s major ports.

When fully laden with the capacity of 4,240,865 barrels of oil the Nock Nevis has a displacement of 825,614 GLW (Gross Laden Weight) metric tons. It has an unladen weight is 564,763 tons. The holds could swallow St Pauls cathedral four times over. It has a crew of 35 to 40, which means it only needs two lifeboats. Taking 5.5 miles to stop with a turning circle of over 2 miles. When this ship docks into its port it is done so very very slowly as mistakes cannot easily be rectified when there is so much weight on the move.

North Pacific Wind and 48-Hour Wave Chart

An interesting chart - note the ice shelf near Alaska and north of Japan

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ferry Food Fight....

From the Seattle Times....

(Washington) State sued for $525,000 over terminating food contract on Vashon ferry
The former owners of a Vashon Island restaurant, who provided food service on the Vashon Island ferry, have filed a lawsuit against the state for terminating their contract.

read the rest of the story -

Thursday, January 1, 2009

VSO Update -

From my friend Norleen Schumer at

To All;

I received a number of emails and phone calls from industry members seeking clarification on the application of the VSO training and certification requirements to towing vessels less than 200 GRT, in 46 CFR 15.103(e) and (f). After reviewing all of the regulations and discussing it with the various offices I offer the following interpretations to the three possible scenarios that the Coast Guard will be considering with regard to implementation of the VSO requirements: 1. Persons serving as VSO on vessels of less than 200 GRT (other than passenger vessels subject to subchapter H of title 46 CFR) engaged in domestic voyages between ports in the contiguous United States (does not include Alaska or Hawaii) that operate inside the boundary line are not required to carry a VSO certificate.

2. Persons serving as VSO on vessels of less than 200 GRT (other than passenger vessels subject to subchapter H of title 46 CFR) engaged in domestic voyages between ports in the contiguous United States (does not include Alaska or Hawaii) that operate beyond the boundary line, but within near coastal waters (as defined in 46 CFR 10.103 -- within 200 miles of the coast of the United States), will be required to meet the certification requirements for VSO. These persons will be issued an STCW VSO endorsement with a near coastal limitation, but will not be required to undergo any additional training in order to receive the endorsement. Affected mariners may request the endorsement from the National Maritime Center and need not show proof of having completed a Coast Guard-accepted training course in order to receive it.

3. Persons serving as VSO on vessels of less than 200 GRT (other than passenger vessels subject to subchapter H of title 46 CFR) engaged in domestic voyages (between US ports) that go beyond the boundary line and either 1) travel outside U.S. near coastal waters as defined in 46 CFR 10.103 (i.e., beyond 200 miles offshore) or 2) enter the waters of another Administration will be required to meet the training and certification requirements for VSO. These persons will be issued an STCW VSO endorsement with no limitations. Affected mariners may request the endorsement from the National Maritime Center and need to show proof of having completed a Coast Guard-accepted training course in order to receive it.


I received this email from Rich Crettol regarding getting TWIC'd in thenCdA and Spokane area - please contact me at for Rich's contact information.


As we all know the new law states that all captains will need a TWIC card by February 28TH. 2009 I have made arrangements for a mobile unit to come into Coeur d' Alene in January 2009.

I know Chris has had his classes and if he could get me a list of his students from the last couple of years I would send them a notice of the mobile unit in Coeur d' Alene. Otherwise they will need to travel to Portland, Seattle or Pasco twice to get their cards. Thanks for your help
Rich Crettol

Past Division Commander