Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big Dance -

Last night was the first night of exams for my Seattle M100. Everybody made it through chart navigation and nav general - even Gerald!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hold On - Here's an Update....

Good day to you,In my note to you yesterday, I said that the REC's would be processing Original and Renewal MMD's if there were no problems with the physicals or drug tests.I fear I must retract that bit of good news and revise it somewhat. Only some of the REC's will be doing the processing of these documents, HOWEVER (dot-dot-dot), and here is the BIG caveat, the REC's will ONLY be doing it on a VOLUNTARY basis. Explanation as I understand it from several REC's. It seems that the REC's are still extremely busy, add that to the staffing reductions that they have had to deal with over the past year, and by adding additional work would not be beneficial to either the customers or themselves.So, here is the deal, tell your folks who are going to apply for an Original or Renewal of an Entry Level MMD, to check with their local REC and ask IF they do the processing locally or will they be sent back to NMC for processing.Either way, the MMD's will still be processed.Norleen

Back to the REC....

From my friend Norleen Schumer at -

As of last week, the NMC has given the responsibility of processing an Original or Renewal of an Entry Level MMD's back to the local Regional Exam Centers. NMC will still be the "Issuing Port" but, the local REC will process the paperwork by making sure that the mariner does not have any "Physical issues", "Drug issues" or "Background issues". If none of these issues are present then the REC will notify the NMC that the document is ready for issue and NMC will proceed.This will undoubtedly save time for the mariner as well as the company's waiting to hire them.All REC's are now open 5 days a week, some offices are on an "appointment only basis" and others are on a "walk-in" basis. Be sure to check with the local REC to determine which is which for you or your mariners convenience.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bareboat Charters Regs....

a. Bareboat charter agreements have traditionally been used in the marine industry as a mechanism to allow long-term charterers the ability to assume operational control of a vessel. In these agreements the charterer assumes the rights and liabilities of ownership for the vessel. The charterer is usually responsible for conducting a precharter and postcharter vessel survey, providing a crew, and assuming complete operational control of the vessel. Individuals soon began using bareboat charter agreements for short-term charters (as short as 4 hours in duration) to carry large numbers of people for events such as wedding receptions, graduation parties, or business meetings. Although these vessels were similar to comparable inspected vessels, under previous statutes these vessels were neither subject to, nor inspected as, passenger vessels. Previous statutes did not limit the number of individuals that could qualify for the owner (charterer) exception to the definition of passenger and also contained an exception for guests carried on vessels being operated only for pleasure. The Act limits the exception for owner (charterer) to one individual and eliminated the guest exception.
Additionally, many charter agreements allowed the owner of the vessel to either be a member of the crew or to provide the crew. The Act clearly delineates between charters that allow the owner to provide or specify the crew and those that do not. With the exception of those vessels subject to special regulation in paragraph 3.c below, vessels chartered with the crew provided or specified by the owner are subject to inspection as either small passenger vessels (under 100 gross tons and carrying more than six passengers) or passenger vessels (100 gross tons or more and carrying more than 12 passengers). It is important to note that the extension provision for charter vessels discussed in paragraph 3.b below is not afforded when the crew is provided or specified by the owner.
b. The Act provides for Coast Guard inspection and certification of vessels that are chartered without a crew provided or specified by the owner and carrying more than 12 passengers. These vessels were afforded a grace period until June 21, 1994, before they become subject to the provisions of the Act. Additionally, these vessels are eligible, upon meeting certain conditions, to receive a maximum 30 month extension period to come into compliance with the inspected vessel regulations. To be eligible for this extension, owners were required to make application for inspection before June 21, 1994. Applications received after this date cannot be considered for an extension.
c. Several existing vessels that are chartered and over 100 gross tons are constructed from materials that preclude them from meeting the structural fire protection requirements of Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations Subchapter H. With the change in the definition of a passenger vessel, these chartered vessels will now fall into the passenger vessel category. As their construction does not comply with the existing regulations, the Act authorizes the Coast Guard to develop special regulations. Special regulations will include structural fire protection, manning, operating and equipment requirements. Detailed guidance is provided in enclosure (1).
d. Under previous statutes, the U.S. inspection threshold (the minimum number of passengers that determines when a vessel must be inspected by the Coast Guard) for passenger vessels was significantly different than international criteria. The Act brings our domestic statutes regarding passenger vessel inspection more into line with the international standards by adopting the 12 passenger criteria for vessels over 100 gross tons. Vessels of 100 gross tons or more carrying 12 or less passengers, including at least one passenger for hire, or that are chartered with the crew provided or specified by the owner are now uninspected passenger vessels. Interim guidance is provided in enclosure (1) for this new class of uninspected vessels.
NOTE: Vessels of less than 100 gross tons carrying more than six passengers one of which is for hire or are chartered with a crew provided are still subject to inspection. The 12 passenger threshold applies when such vessels are chartered without the crew provided or specified by the owner.
e. The Act amends and adds several definitions in Title 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 2101. The Act provides a single consolidated definition of "passenger" for all passenger vessels. It also defines the terms "passenger for hire" and "consideration," and amends the definition of a "passenger vessel," "small passenger vessel," "sailing school vessel," "submersible vessel," "offshore supply vessel" and "uninspected passenger vessel."
f. Many existing vessels that are chartered are of foreign build. Under 46 U.S.C. 883 (Jones Act) these vessels are not allowed to engage in coastwise trade. Under 46 U.S.C. 289 et seq., these vessels are generally prohibited from transporting passengers between ports or places in the U.S., either directly or by way of a foreign port. Carriage of passengers for hire on a domestic voyage is considered coastwise trade. However, under existing U.S. Customs determinations, it is not coastwise trade when foreign vessels carry passengers for hire on foreign voyages or in bareboat charter operations where the charterer receives consideration from the passengers (becoming for hire) on domestic voyages. Additional information on foreign vessels is contained in enclosure (1).
g. The Act amends the definition of Offshore Supply Vessel to include vessels carrying "individuals in addition to the crew." Thus, crewboats carrying individuals employed in the exploration, exploitation, or production of offshore mineral or energy resources are now within the definition of Offshore Supply Vessel. This allows crewboats that do not carry persons other than oil industry personnel to be certificated as offshore supply vessels rather than small passenger vessels. These vessels will be subject to the safety standards of Title 46 CFR Subchapter T or the final version of Title 46 CFR Subchapter L at the owners option.
h. The Act expands the Coast Guard's excursion permit authority to allow the issuance of special permits to vessels that are not certificated. This authority still has limitations and must be implemented by regulation.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ferry Tahoma...

Did the tourist thing yesterday when we visited the Johnson Farm on Anderson Island (south Puget Sound - Washington)...the Johnson Farm details the history of Anderson Island and has the Pilot House from the ferry Tahoma which served the island from 1939 to 1977.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) provides detailed guidance about the enforcement or compliance with a certain Federal marine safety regulations and Coast Guard marine safety programs. While NVIC's are non-directive, meaning that they do not have the force of law, they are important "tools" for complying with the law. Non-compliance with a NVIC is not a violation of the law in and of itself, however non-compliance with a NVIC may be an indication that there is non-compliance with a law, a regulation or a policy.
NVIC's are used internally by the Coast Guard to ensure that inspections and other regulatory actions conducted by our field personnel are adequate, complete and consistent. Likewise, mariners, the marine industry and the general public use NVIC's as means of determining how the Coast Guard will be enforcing certain regulations or conducting various marine safety programs. NVIC's are issued by the Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection and address any of a wide variety of subjects, including vessel construction features; mariner training and licensing requirements; inspection methods and testing techniques; safety and security procedures; requirements for certain Coast Guard regulatory processes; manning requirements; equipment approval methods; and special hazards.
NVIC's are numbered consecutively by year, e.g., NVIC 7-02 would be the seventh NVIC issued in 2002. The "zero" NVIC, numbered 00, is always the index of NVIC's in force or still current at the beginning of the calendar year. Thus, NVIC 00-99 would be a list of all NVIC's that have not been cancelled before January 1, 1999.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More News From Downunder....

Capt Suzan sent me this....she's currently crusing downunder....Suzan attended my M100 class about a hundred years ago...

"News coverage in Australia has been great... getting news from all over the world... of course, a large focus is on Asia as this area of the world profoundly impacts Australia and its economy, but the news from that region is generally business oriented or about tourism, but this article caught our eye.

Over the Telegraph Newswire:
Headline: "Beauty contest cliffhanger"
Dateline: Beijing

A CHINESE man hit by the credit crisis held a beauty contest to decide which of his five mistresses to keep.
Named only as Mr. Fan from Qingdao, he invited the women, who had all been told of the each others' existence, to dinner according to local newspaper the Peninsula Metropolitan News. Aided by a friend, who worked for a model agency, and inspired by reality television, he then laid on a competition for them.
One was eliminated during a "looks round" and two more during a "speech round". The final round was reportedly a drinking competition.
The story came to light after the first eliminated mistress took the others and the businessman out for a drive - and drove over a cliff. She was the only one who died."

Capt Suzan -

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Squiding Off of California

from the son unit....
Here is that pic it was about 55 tons of squid caught in December off Santa Cruz Island. Also a pic of the Pacific Raider - about a mile from Ventura Harbor.

Seattle's Fishermen's Memorial

We were watching an onboard emergency video the other night in my current Seattle M100 class - the fact is that a fishing vessel is lost every 60 hours. Here at Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal - a memorial pays tribute to those fishermen lost at sea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Panama City, Florida OUPV - M100 Training ~ License and a Vacation

FYI - there's just a few seats lefts in Capt Larry Bosworth 6-pak and Master 100 training which starts on 23 February. Larry has rented a beach house for out of town mariners right on the beach in Panama City - for more information - please contact

Monday, February 16, 2009

NDT Thickness Measurements...

I picked up this little dude last's a NDT 5mHz thickness measurement gizmo...over the past few weeks I have been measuring everything from glass to brass - surprisingly it's within a few thousands of an inch. Tomorrow - I use it on a steel hull. I will post what I find out.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nav Rules Mnemonic Devices

Towing astern / yellow over white – my hawser is tight – towing astern at night
Towing astern > 200 meters / three whites – long tow at night
Towing astern < 200 meters / short tow in sight
Pushing ahead (inland) / yellow over yellow pushy inland fellow
Non-displacement craft / slow flash – slow tow
Barge inland / fast flash – fast boat
Not under command / Red over red – engine's dead
Restricted in Ability to maneuver / Red white red – I can't turn my head dayshape “a diamond between two ballons” can't move too much or you pop 'em” (ZM ditty)
Constrained by draft / 3 three reds – drafty bed – dayshape 'can of draft beer'
Pilot boat – white over red pilot ahead
Aground / red – red – white aground at night – three rounds I am aground (ZM ditty)
Sail – red over green sailing machine
Trawling - Green over white - trawling at night - masthead light
Fishing - red of white - fishing at night - no masthead light
Minesweep – green tree of death (ZM ditty)
Fog signals – (ZM original) ' here I come sounding 1 – here I wait sounding 2 – all others, prolonged and too short – just sound that” (ZM – Sea School ditty)
Anchor sounds in fog (>100 meters) “At the bow standing under the anchor light I ring the bell for 5 seconds – running aft I don't trip since the deck lights are on just in time to bang the gong for 5 seconds – but wait I have 1 minute to walk forward to start the thing over again'

Saturday, February 14, 2009


While I was waiting for the Southworth (West Seattle) ferry - I heard on the radio that some funding from the huge Porkulus bail out package might be directed to our ferries - specifically to terminal upgrades. Don't we need new ferries before we build new terminals?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Seattle M100 Class

We are making good headway through Deck General - here's a light moment before we leap into a discussion on stablility....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SS Beaver...

A couple of days ago I posted a ditty on the roots of the Steamer Virginia V's steam's a shot on the first steamer to ply the waters of the Pacific Northwest...

On June 18, 1836, the Hudson's Bay Company ship Beaver, the first steamship to travel on Puget Sound, departs Fort Vancouver for her first journey in the Pacific Northwest. The vessel carries two 35-horsepower wood-fueled steam engines, and consumes 40 cords of wood per day to travel an average of 30 miles.

The Beaver was 100.75 feet long and 20 feet wide. It was built at the Thames River in Blackwall, London, and launched on May 2, 1835. It was rigged with sails. The vessel set sail from London on August 29, 1835, with a crew of 13 men for a 225-day voyage to Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, the main Hudson's Bay Company outpost in Western North America.
At Fort Vancouver, company employees attached two sidewheels (paddles 13 feet in diameter) to the ship and installed two 35-horsepower steam engines. On June 18, the Beaver steamed away from Fort Vancouver on her first voyage north along the coast to various Hudson's Bay Company outposts and to Tongass in Russian America (the future Alaska). The steamship now carried a crew of 31 men including 13 woodcutters and four stokers.

On the southbound journey, the Beaver entered Puget Sound. The ship’s destination was Fort Nisqually, a Hudson's Bay Company outpost located between the future sites of Tacoma and Olympia.

Much Detained by Fogs

The Journal kept at Nisqually, which usually did no more than note in a perfunctory way the weather, jobs performed, and furs collected, describes the arrival of the Beaver as follows:
"November 12th, 1836This morning we were greatly surprised with the arrival of the Steamer Beaver, Capt. Horne on board of her .... This vessel is from Mill Bank Sound [Alaska], and has been much detained by the fogs in coming hither" (Journal of Occurrences...).

The 13 or so woodcutters immediately got to work chopping wood to fuel the steam engines. It usually took the woodcutters about two days to get enough wood, about 40 cords, to keep the engines running for one day. (A cord of wood is a stack four feet high by eight feet long by two feet wide.) The ship was able to travel about 90 miles on 40 cords, so its daily average would have been 30 miles a day.

The Beaver continued to steam up and down the coast under various owners until in 1888 it shipwrecked on rocks near Vancouver, British Columbia.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Heffernan Engine Works - Seattle

Greg - you might find this piece interesting as I did -

Historical Sites

Summary for 110 Alaskan WAY / Parcel ID 5247800015 / Inv #
Historic Name:
Heffernan Engine Works
Common Name:
Old Firehouse Market
Other - Industrial
Pioneer Square
Built By:

Year Built:
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This 50’ x 200’ warehouse and manufacturing building is almost rectangular in plan. It has a main west façade, oriented toward Alaskan Way. The north part of the building is a two story structure, while the south portion is three stories high. This is reflected in the western façade (the north bay is two stories, the south bay steps up to three stories). The west facade is clad in brick veneer in a common bond pattern and in a variety of colors, mainly red and ocher. The parapet cap of the north bay is emphasized by a dentil course. A similar brick parapet at the south bay was removed, probably as a result of the 1949 earthquake, around 1950. Currently, the southern bay is covered by a shed roof that is lower at the north. Both bays of the west elevation have extensive trabeated openings, filled with multi-pane wood frame windows and doors. The east elevation is poured concrete and is undistinguished. Structurally, the building, although from 1918, is typical of buildings in Pioneer Square Historic District erected right after the Fire of 1889: side walls are brick bearing walls. The main façade is also of brick. The interior is dominated by a heavy timber post and beam system. It also includes deeps girders, posts with brackets and exposed roof and mezzanine floor joists. The foundation is a poured concrete pier type. There is a partial basement with a slab floor.
This industrial warehouse building was erected on the original tidal flats, which began to be reclaimed in the mid-1890s, and near the site of many nearby industrial buildings. Prior to the Fire of 1889, a wood frame warehouse sat on the site. That building as well as wharves, sawmills, print shops and other businesses were destroyed by the fire. By 1904, another wood frame building which housed the Heffernan Engine Works’ engine shed and machine shop had apparently replaced the wood structure, although a permit had also been granted to build a masonry building, which was not built. The Hull Building Company applied for a permit for the Heffernan Engine Works Building in May 1918.The Heffernan Engine Works, which specialized in ship machinery was established by John T. Heffernan in 1899. In 1907, John Heffernan also founded the Heffernan Dry Dock Company ; (by 1915, John Heffernan’s Dry Dock Company was so successful that he was able to commission Kirtland Cutter to design a Tudor Revival home). By 1916, Heffernan Engine Works had equipped over seventeen steam vessels used for coastal trade purposes. It also had large ship repair contracts with the United States Government. The Heffernan machine and pattern shops offices and storage continued to be housed in the building until the late 1920s. In 1931, L. L. Buchanan purchased the building and by the late 1930s, Draper Engine Works and Buchanan Auto Freight shared the building. Draper Engine Works continued to occupy the building until 1979. From 1980 until 1998, the building housed the Old Firehouse Antique Market, a retail antique mall. Around the late 1990s, the owner at the time considered a renovation of the building. This building is a vestige of the expansion of the original “burnt district” after the Fire of 1889. The area expanded significantly in the 1900s both as a result of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898 and the prosperity brought by the railroads. The building is also representative of a type of utilitarian building, erected on the reclaimed tide flats, as both railroads and shipping became increasingly important and Railroad Avenue, (now Alaskan Way), was gradually transformed. The building is also associated with economic and industrial growth along the waterfront as a result of World War I. It occupied by a business involved in shipbuilding, which was founded not very long after the Great Fire of 1889, as were several other warehouses along First Avenue South, for instance. The building continued to serve industrial uses well into the 1970s, a rarity this late and this close to the original heart of the Pioneer Square Historic District. Overall, despite some changes, the main Alaskan Way façade retains a significant part of its original design features. Most of the window and door openings of the main facade are original. On the south bay, three original X braced doors with twelve panel upper lights remain at the street level. Other multi-pane windows and doors on the lower half of the south façade are replacements, but very similar to the originals. The historical multi-pane window and door sashes have been replaced over time (most original windows were top hinge operated), but are similar to the originals. At the lower portion of the north bay, multi-pane glazing replaced an original storefront with panel doors and sidelights, while the mezzanine level had multi-pane windows as it does now. Also on the north bay, the current multi-pane sash at the upper level replaced separated window units. Interestingly, the original 1970 National Register Nomination for the Pioneer Square District appears to make no mention of this building at all, not even as an intrusion.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ballard Locks Update -

From the Seattle Times - the large lock with be out of action for several days...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Inspected Wooden Passenger Vessels...

Interetsing exchange regarding the USCG approving a COI for a wood passenger vessel

Shame on you. You've gone and put the local Coast Guard inspectors in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. You are forcing them to inspect and hopefully approve your 60's era wood boats for the transportation of passengers. That makes them very nervous. Very few if any of them know what they are looking at when it comes to wood boat construction. They are not anxious to put their name on the line so-to-speak. So, they are taking the first fall back position by requiring you to prove that the vessels were built to an approved standard. They of course are hoping (with fingers crossed) that you can't satisfy this requirement. So, in advance of the next set of hoops and hurdles that they will place in front of you consider doing the following prior to inspection/review:1. Have repair/maintemance records at the ready.2. Renew any suspect hull penetrations and related fasteners. Including anything to do with your rudder and steering.3. Have all the necessary PFD's passable and stored in easy access lockers or benches (labeled), with a certain percentage for children (I forget the ratio).4. Have plenty of signage directing passengers in the event of an emergency.5. Have a fire plan of sorts and plenty of current fire extinguishers. They may require you to have a fire suppression system installed in your engine compartment that can be actuated from more than one location.6. Have a suitable means of retrieving a "man over board" and proof that you have practice drills. 7. Make sure that you have all the necessary venting of spaces and tanks. Probably Stainless Steel mesh over the bell fittings on your fuel tank vent(s). They may want to see some type of berm or coaming around your fuel fill(s). The list goes on and perhaps you already have these items already working for you. Non-the- less, remember that they don't want to see your wooden boats carrying passengers on their waterway and they will most likely make it very difficult for you. Good luck.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Busy Week in the Survey Biz....

So far - this week I have surveyed....on

Monday - 43' wood passenger vessel - Newport Beach, CA
Tuesday - 42' wood passenger vessel - Port Orchard, WA
Wednesday - 40' wood yacht - Seattle, WA
Thursday - 32' uninspected glass passenger vessel - Port Orchard, WA
Friday - 41' glass sloop - Port Orchard, WA

I will certainly have some blog fodder from this week...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sailing Lilly Update II

Hello world -
It is true all roads do lead to La Cruz, we are always running into people and boats that we have meet along the way. They come and go and they all have stories to tell. Banderas Bahia is a strange place, you come around the corner at Punta Mita to high rise hotels and condos as far as the eye can see, you think you are back in Cabo. We moored at Marina Rivera Nayarit, a walk to the village, La Cruz, dispelled most of our worries. A great cobble stone street, old village, friendly people, great little restaurants and palapas, fun shops and tiendas mostly in front of peoples homes. The gringos haven't completely taken over, yet. There are still pockets of resistance.
The trip from Mazatlan was full of surprises. We left Mazatlan at 4 AM to dolphins jetting around and under the boat there wakes lit up like glow sticks. Sunrise produced tortugas, probably saw 10 to15, some with birds riding on their shells, just bumbling along. All the time, WHALES, everywhere whales, humpbacks, slapping the water to clean their fins and tales and then a breach. Every direction, some far, some near. This is kind of hard to write....we are starting to get used to them, we will never take them for granted but they are becoming common place. We will always be in aw.
We arrived at Isla Isabela, a national bird sanctuary, the nesting place of 100s if not 1000s of Frigate Birds and smaller numbers of Blue Footed Boobies (they only nest in the Galapagos, here, and one other place that I don't remember), and Brown Yellow Footed Boobies. They have no fear of humans and we were walking along with nests at eye level less than 2 feet away, the Boobies nested on the ground, the path being their place of choice. They look you in the eye and watch you step over them, and they don't flinch. Fabulous, unbelievable experience, between the 2 of us Gringos with dirt covered sandal feet we took 250 pictures.
We invited everyone in the anchorage to the boat for a social, way fun, 13 people (old salts on a junk rigged steel boat, old farts like ourselves on plastic fantastic, newly weds, wood boat nuts). A good time was had by all and they all got home, the wind had piped up with some waves and we almost had a few swimmers as a result of swabbies loading in to their dingy for home.
Left for Banderas Bay with stops in Matenchen Bay (just anchored out didn't go ashore as we plan to stop and do the bay and San Blas on our way north in the spring) and Chacala. Chacala is a great little one street village. Very colorful, beautiful beach, lots of palapas on the beach, palm trees everywhere, mango farms, pangas coming and going all day and night. Pangas are the work boats of Mexico, 20' or so long, open fiberglass row boat types with big outboard engines, they are fishing boats, tour boats, ferry boats, freight boat, and you see them everywhere, in all kinds of conditions (sometimes when we are getting bounced around we will see a Panga bouncing along its occupants wave and smile, we in turn wave and change our frowns to smiles and enjoy the moment).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Katmai Sinking - Rafts

Okay - I will tell stories about my LA survey soon enough - but in the meantime - here's a breaking story on the Katmai sinking and it survival rafts - from the Seattle Times -

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Right Date - Wrong Airport

I was supposed to "fly-into" to Burbank to do a survey - but the survey was in Newport Beach...not Burbank I knew something was wrong when our plane was going inland away from the salt water. Oh well...more on my big adventure tomorrow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Long - Fast - Wood - Expensive

As seen at the Seattle Show....

Off to LA on Monday...

I have a survey in LA on an old wood T-Boat----will have a report on this adventure Tuesday....

You could have shot a cannon ball....

The last day of the Seattle Show was slim - it was generally good for those engaged in repair and maintenance - but new boat sales was a mixed bag - one dealer reported that on a bad year he would have sold between 10 - 12 boats...this year - just one was sold.....