Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flagship Maritime...


Flagship Maritime Training announces the opening of their new office and training facility next to West Marine in Fife. A former naval officer with over 24 years service, Captain Skip Anderson presents USCG-approved OUPV (Six-Pack) and Master 100 Ton license training in Tacoma, Olympia, Westport and Neah Bay. The Center also has a robust schedule of other courses available, including FCC Marine Radio Operator, Safe Boater Exam Prep, International Maritime Law, Assistance Towing, First Aid/CPR, and more. Skip says, “Our new 1,700 square foot facility represents a strong match with the quality of instruction we deliver, and its location, close to the Port of Tacoma, West Marine and I-5, makes it an ideal classroom. The move simply made sense.” Visit for details.

Opening Day in Seattle...

The Opening Day of Boating Season is happening this weekend here in Seattle. The Seattle celebration is one of the largest in the world. A good article on Opening Day and Lake Union Dream Boats is in today's Seattle Times - read the story here -

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

STARPATH - Fischer Barometers.....


Fischer Precision Aneroid Barometer

Accuracy: ± 0.7 mb (± 0.02 inHg) Graduation: 0.5 mb and 0.01 inHg Dial: dull white finish; diameter 5.1" Units on dial: mb and inches of mercury Housing Diameter: 6.5" Weight: 1.6 pounds Measuring Range: 890 to 1050 mb = 26.30" to 31.00" For use at elevations of 0 to 2,600 ft.

Precision aneroid barometers are used for measuring the absolute atmospheric pressure. Because of the excellent instrument properties an aneroid barometer is indispensable particularly for meteorology, ocean shipping, industry and research.

The self-stable set of five aneroid capsules, used in our precision aneroid barometers, is made of a corrosion proof copper-beryllium-alloy. This alloy has been well established for measuring the atmospheric pressure for many years because of its remarkable elastic properties. The aneroid capsules are nearly free of age-hardening, hysteresis and elastic after-effects.

The influence of temperature on the set of aneroid capsules and the transmission system is compensated by a bimetal arm over the whole measuring range and for temperatures between -30 to +40 °C (-22 to 104 °F). The motion of the aneroid capsule is transmitted to the axle of the pointer by driving a segment and wheel with an excellent fine finish gearing. All bearings also have an excellent fine finish. The Instruments have only a bare minimum of idle friction because of the advantageous shape of the levers and bearings.

To most experts, this is the best aneroid barometer in the world for less than $5,000. It has been tested at sea for over 70 years. Includes a unique double needle to remove parallax error in reading.

The new dial showing both mb and inches of mercury has been custom made for Starpath.
A certificate of accuracy (view sample) is provided with each instrument. Each has a unique serial number on a metal plate on the top of the instrument.

Unique new barometer calibration resource at Go to that page, enter your latitude and longitude and elevation, and it will tell you the 10 closest sources of accurate pressure with a link to each one. There is also an instructions sheet with work forms.

For more information - contact Starpath at

Dirigo Compasses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Zenith Maritime - Seattle is proud to announce its affiliation with Dirigo Compass of Bellevue, Washington. Dirigo has been manufacturing world class flat-top marine compasses since 1907. Every compass is created by hand with spun copper bowls and cast bronze fittings. Compass cards are available in 4", 5", and 6" diameters – all with sapphire jeweled pivots and optional internal lighting. No better compass anywhere and at any price. All compasses carry a three year limited guarantee. For more information – visit and click on ‘DIRIGO COMPASS’ or call 360.471.6148.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fire Bad...

Pleasure boat burns on the Columbia River - read the story in today's Seattle Times -

Live Aboards....

According to an April 22 report from The Vancouver Sun, more than 5,000 Olympic security workers will live on three cruise ships at Ballantyne Pier in Vancouver during the 2010 Games as part of a contract announced Tuesday by the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Post Falls, Idaho...

I just finished up with my Upgrade to M100 class over at North Idaho College located in Post Falls, Idaho - which has no salt water - but has a rich history of building fine wooden boats - Stan-Craft has been producing boats since 1933 - click here for the story -

Friday, April 24, 2009

Post Falls, Idaho Upgrade Class

Two days down - one to go here at North Idaho College's Workforce Training Center - my thanks to Marie and her staff for the first rate job - and my biggest thanks to the mariners in class - from left to right the (soon to be) Revered (almost Captain to be) Dale of the Floating Church of What's Happening Now at Bayview, Corry, Shane, and Nels (all working on voyage planning) - this is one great class.

Big Bucks for Local Port Security...

April 8, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that Washington state ports will receive $30.3m for port security efforts across the state this year. The funds, which will now begin to be distributed to state ports, will go toward infrastructure security improvements including chemical detectors, cameras, security gates, access controls, and training and exercises.

“As we work to stabilize our economy and spur investment in Washington state, it is critically important that our ports remain secure and open for business,” Senator Murray said. "With millions of containers passing through our region each year, and with thousands of good paying jobs tied to our ports, these grants are critical to ensuring that our state's ports employ the right technology and training methods to help prevent possible attacks.”

The funding for these grants was included in the Fiscal Year 2009 Port Security Grant Program. Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and a national leader on port security, fought for strong national funding of the Port Security Grant Program.

Senator Murray was a principal author of the SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347), which President Bush signed into law in October 2006.

The Port Security funding will be distributed to the following ports in Washington state:
Puget Sound- $26,888,749
Columbia-Snake River System- $3,238,369
Port of Grays Harbor- $208,424

In addition to the Port Security Grant Funding, the Department of Homeland Security announced the following FY 2009 grants directed toward Washington state:
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program- $43,141 to Discovery Tours LLC
Freight Rail Security Grant Program- $75,000 to Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad
Transit Security Grant Program- $2,130,790 to King County Dep. Of Transportation
$829,280 to Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority

Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program- $1,185,623
Buffer Zone Protection Program- $600,000
Drivers License Security Grant Program- $1,169,839
Emergency Operations Center Grant Program- $1,000,000 for Snohomish County
$1,000,000 for Thurston County

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Off to Post Falls, Idaho

I am off to North Idaho College (Post Falls, ID just east of Spokane) for a three day Upgrade OUPV to M100 training - over the past six years - over 175 mariners have been trained in this part of the world...always a good time to be had in the land of the Inland Empire.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Anacortes M100 Master 100 Class...

My congratulations to the mariners in Capt Rodriguez's Anacortes class who successfully completed their Master 100 ton license exams this week....deck general is never a pretty thing.

Jones Act...

A campaign pledge of support for the Jones Act has earned President Barack Obama the cover spot on the 2008 Annual Report of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition promoting the domestic U.S.- Flag fleet.In August 2008, then candidate Obama declared “America needs a strong and vibrant U.S.-flag Merchant Marine … That is why you … can continue to count on me to support the Jones Act….”Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF) also drove the development and passage of a new statutory requirement that the Maritime Administration (MarAd) be consulted before any decision to waive the Jones Act. MarAd now must make an affirmative determination that U.S.-flag vessels are not available to address the situation prior to the issuance of a waiver. No Jones Act waivers were issued after Hurricanes Gustav or Ike.During 2008, MCTF was also active in addressing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed rulemaking on country of origin rules that could have had potentially adverse impacts on important prior Jones Act rulings.MCTF also supported a proposed Interpretive Rule from CBP to prevent circumvention of the Passenger Vessel Services Act. Foreign-flag cruise ships do not pay U.S. taxes and operate largely outside of U.S. laws, and gain significant competitive advantages over U.S.-flag cruise ships. A Final Rule remains pending. Another highlight for MCTF in 2008 was joining the Navy League of the United States.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Open House...

You are invited!

Greetings, everyone! I must tell you how thrilled we are to have moved into our new facility. With more room than ever before, with its location next to West Marine in Fife, and with terrific parking just off I-5, enrollment has grown well beyond what we could have ever hosted in our old facility. So ... now that the moving in “dust has settled”, I believe it’s time to throw a little thank you gathering, to thank those of you that made it all possible, to acknowledge our partners in success, to recognize the current “fleet” of students as they press toward exams, and to welcome prospective students aboard as they consider joining the growing ranks of Flagship graduates.

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

3206 20th Street East (in the same building as West Marine)
Fife, Washington 98424

No RSVP required ... simply bring your friends and family and schmooze with your shipmates for a bit.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Catamaran Survey

Vessel’s hull, keel, underbody and underwater hardware were inspected. Hull top-sides, foredeck, and interior appear to be in fair to good – serviceable condition with no visual evidence of collision or allision related damage not withstanding the following exceptions and observations made herein:
The vessel described herein is a manufactured model therefore the undersigned has made no opinion herein as to the design, scantlings, and or material selection except as to finish – fit work, modifications and or repairs.
There are some scuff marks on both topsides from normal usage.
The underbody was observed to be fair to the eye. No gel coat blisters or hard spots were observed. On the portside hull underbody, near the stern, a blister-like area (about 1-1/2" in diameter) was observed – it was determined that this area was not either a paint or gel coat blister – but an area of possible delamination. The undersigned recommends that no action to be taken at this time – but should be re-inspected at the vessel’s next scheduled haulout.
The hull – deck joint was inspected were accessible and found to be stable and secure. The joint is secured by stainless steel fastenings 5" OC and chemical bond (fiberglass overlay).
The vessel is equipped with twin (one in each hull) lifting centerboards which are operated from within the cabin. It was reported that new center boards were fitted. At the time of survey – the starboard lifting mechanism was fouled was cleared by the vessel’s owner during haulout.
The dual kick-up rudders (fiberglass covered plywood) were free with very slight play in the hinge. Hammer sounding of the rudders provided a good report.
Regarding the starboard rudder assembly – it was discovered that an area of fiberglass sheathing had been torn – abraded at it lower – trailing edge exposing the plywood interior. This should be repaired as required to protect rudder integrity. In addition – a deep and extended crack in the fiberglass laminate was observed in the upper-forward rudder structure adjacent to the rudder stock which requires repair to ensure safe operation - See Recommendation made herein.
At the port bow in a forward deck locker - cracking was observed in the bulkhead tabbing. It was not determined if this situation was a factory defect or created by an unknown cause(s). The bulkhead and related hull structures appear to be stable and unaffected. The undersigned recommends that no action to be taken at this time – but should be monitored.
The cabin roof seems to flex under moderate weight. Observations of the underlying structure indicate light scantlings (end-grain balsa wood coring) which has a tendency to pant or flex thus causing cracking and crazing in the gelcoat. This structure should be monitored for excessive weakness, water ingress, and repaired if and when as required using marine-grade materials in a workmanship like manner. There are several loose snap fittings for the canvas hatch covers which should be re-bedded with a suitable marine-grade compound to prevent water ingress into the wood coring.
Over a period of time – water ingress at the (shroud) chainplate fittings (in the cabin top) has caused excessive damage to the interior plywood bulkhead structure which the chainplates attach. On the starboard side (within the cabin) – the plywood has been damaged to the extent that the plywood has become wasted and delaminated allowing the outboard chainplate fittings to pull up about ¾" to 1". This bulkhead structure must be repaired and or replaced to ensure safe and proper operation of the vessel - see Recommendation made herein. In addition – attention must be given to ensure that the replacement bulkhead or any repairs made to the same – retains the proper strength required for this structure to act as the compression post for the deck stepped mast which is landed directly above. It is opinion of the undersigned that the vessel should not be placed under sail until such repairs have been affected. Measures should be taken to make the chainplate covering fittings water and weather tight as possible to reduce future damage once repairs to the bulkhead is made.
The gelcoat finish topsides was observed to be oxidized and should coated with a marine grade wax to protect the finish and enhance cosmetic appearance. Minor scuff marks and gel coat cracks appear on the vessel’s topsides, weather decks, and house. On the after end of the house top – starboard to – a damaged area of the gel coat was observed and should be filled and faired with a marine-grade gel coat compound to prevent water ingress into the underlying structure and restore proper cosmetic appearance.
Weather decks, house, bridgedeck, and framing structure was visually inspected and hammer sounded (were accessible) and found to be in serviceable condition with no damage or softness observed than otherwise noted herein.
The house and deck are fitted with portlights, searails, lifelines, scuppers, and cleats.
In the cabin interior - evidence of water leakage was observed (water stained and delaminated teak and holly plywood sole coverings). The portlight seals and chainplates covering fittings should be inspected and replaced as required to prevent excessive water ingress into the cabin.
The vinyl covering on the overhead and hull sides has become loose and or missing and should be repaired – replaced to provide proper cosmetic appearance.
The vessel’s sailing standing and running rig was visually inspected from vessel’s deck at eye-level only. A limited inspection of the mast head, spreaders, and sails was made. The standing rig is reported to be original and appears to be in good - serviceable condition. The running rig is comprised of blocks and braided-color flecked braided Dacron line. All lines should be inspected for wear and replaced as required. All blocks and clutches should be regularly inspected for proper operation and wear. All fastenings should be checked frequently. Onboard sail inventory is comprised on a main and 150% Genoa. The sails were reported to be original – and had been maintained and repaired as required.
The vessel is a mast head sloop rigged sail plan with an estimated main sail area of 270 square feet and estimated 220 head sail (estimation based on builder’s specifications).
A complete rig inspection should be performed by a competent rig surveyor prior to commencing any and all racing activities, off shore, protracted cruising, and or heavy weather voyages. The following comments are made:
The boom and goose-neck, travelers, and related structural components visually appeared to be in good, serviceable condition with the exception of the keeping ring on the gooseneck clevis which is in contact with the fitting and should be repaired to reduce abrasion wear and possible breakage.
No significant corrosion was observed on either the mast or the boom – but small areas of corrosion-related pitting was found on the mast and should be monitored.
Deck and mast winches should be serviced (cleaned and lubed as required) in order to provide dependable and safe operation. The deck winches are two-speed Barlow and single speed Barlow were found on the mast.
The roller furling should be inspected, cleaned, lubricated (if required by the manufacturer), and repaired (if required) to provide proper operation.
Wire rope shrouds and checkstays (stainless steel 1/4" 1X19), checkstay rods, fittings, and turnbuckles were visually inspected and found to be in serviceable condition. The open turnbuckles and shackles appeared to be generally properly seized.
No comment is made as to the overall tune of the rig due to the defect found at the starboard chainplate fitting.
The mast and deck socket was visually inspected and found to be in serviceable condition. The compression structure was observed where accessible. And found to be stable.
The forestay and backstays (stainless steel 7/32" 1X19), were visually inspected and found to be serviceable.
All fittings should be properly seized or pinned as required to prevent failure. It was observed that these were missing on open barrel turnbuckles and other fastenings which should be attended to ensure safe and proper operation.
All fasteners should be examined and tightened to required specifications.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Aid Training in Fife...

Greetings, everyone! I am pleased to announce that the Flagship Maritime Training Center now offers bi-monthly First Aid / CPR training in-house at our new training facility in Fife, next to West Marine. This is a requirement for licensed mariners to keep current every twelve months, and for mariners applying for licensure, an essential document for your submittal package. For everyone else, isn’t it simply a good idea to know these skills, whether ashore or afloat?

The instructor is George Schoettle, a firefighter for decades and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) trainer. The course he teaches is certified by OSHA, WISHA and the American Heart Association.

The first course we’re offering starts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25th – that’s weekend after next! George is otherwise committed that morning, hence the afternoon start time. We expect to go into the evening hours a bit. If you can’t make this go round with such short notice, we’re going to schedule another session for a Saturday in June, most likely the 13th.

One bit of good news is that the tuition is only $30 – you’ll find that’s quite a deal if you try to shop around for less! We already have six people signed up for the 25th; please let me know ASAP if you are planning to attend. We have plenty of room available for large classes here at the Center.

Spread the word to your shipmates, too ... this is great training for everyone!

Keep in touch!

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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Email from the MV Alabama...

Thanks to Dave Wilson for this email which appeared on the SAMS Boatpoker website...

This came off a Marine Engineer's blog site sent as a lessons learned advisory and gives more detail to why the fourth pirate survived and also shows the crew were somewhat prepared.

This is an email from one of the Engineers on the Maersk Alabama shortlyafter everything went down. The person referred to as Mike is the ChiefEngineer.
Pretty interesting.

Everyone on here is okay. We're on our way to Mombasa with Navy> protection on board.Captain Phillips is still hostage in the lifeboat> with the 4 pirates.I hear they're flying out reliefs for everyone,> but I'm not sure what all's going to happen once we get to > Mombasa. Supposedly the FBI is coming out to investigate the > crime.Maybe we'll> be on the next CSI Somalia.> > I wanted to let you know some of the lessons we learned so you guys can> better prepare yourselves for something similar. The only guys actually> captured by the pirates were on the bridge: Capt, 3/M, and 2 AB's.> > I don't really know why they stayed on the bridge until the pirates got> up there. Then they had keys to everything and were able to unlock> everyone's rooms. The pirates got up to the bridge very quickly once> they were onboard. We had a locked cage door over the ladder well from> main deck, but it only took a second for them to shoot it off.They then> got to the bridge up the outside ladders. By that time we had taken> control of the engine and steering down below. Mike stayed in the ECR> and the C/M was out on deck tracking the pirates' movement. We > kept swinging the rudder side to side.The pirates' boat capsized, > though I'm> not sure exactly when or what caused it.After about 20 minutes the > engine was killed,I don't know by whom.At that point I shut off the > air bottles> and Mike killed power. He was also able to get outside and trip the fuel> shutoff for the EDG.> > I think this was critical.The pirates were very reluctant to go into the> dark.We will be looking at a way to shut off the EDG from the ECR in the> future. All the crew had been mustered and secured in the steering gear.> Our pirates didn't have any grenades, so they would have never been able> to break in there. The previous day we had welded a padeye on the inside> of the hatch to the fantail so it was secured from the inside. The only> problem with the steering gear was the heat and the shortage of water.In> the future we will store food and water in various spots for emergency> usage.> > I think we will also run a fresh water line into the steering gear. We> were able to make a run from the steering gear to the E/R water fountain> and fill up some empty oil sample bottles we had back there. The C/ M was> also able to get some fruit and sodas from the galley and drop them down> the line standpipe. The pirates sent the 3/M unescorted to go look for> crewmembers, so he was able to get away. One of the pirates then went> with an AB down to the E/R to look for people.Mike was able to jump him> in the dark and we took him prisoner in the steering gear. No one else> came down into the E/R. As the day went on the pirates became desperate> to get out of there.There boat was sunk, and they couldn't get our ship> moving.> > The Captain talked them into taking the MOB boat. The three remaining> pirates went down in the MOB boat with Phillips. We were then able to> negotiate with them over the radio. We dropped some food, water and> diesel to them. We started getting the plant back on line.> Unfortunately, the MOB boat wouldn't start. A couple of guys got in the> lifeboat and dropped it. They motored over and traded the lifeboat for> the MOB boat.We were supposed to exchange their guy for the Captain, but> they ended up keeping him.They motored off in the lifeboat. They had no> way of getting back aboard, so we followed them. The Navy showed up a> few hours later. We stayed close by for some time, but then the Navy> asked us to head out. I heard that several other pirate vessels were> heading our way and the Navy wanted us out of the way. That's about it.> I'll give you all the details some other time.> > Just to reiterate the most important points:> Have a well fortified location with food and water supply.> Kill all the lights.> Leave the alarms going, the noise helped cover our movements through> the house. Flashlights and radios are very handy, as well as the> sound-powered phone.> > Anyway,it was a pretty stressful situation.I have to say I am impressed> with how the entire crew responded. We didn't have anybody who wanted to> give up. I'm pretty confident that Phillips will end up ok.They have to> know that if they kill him they'll be done. I assume the company will be> forced into taking some kind of action to assure our security from now on

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Schooner Survey...

These are my observations from a recent survey of a Canadian built wood schooner...

The following Observations and or Non-Standard Conditions were noted at the time of survey:
The vessel was found to be in generally good condition and presentable for her age with the observations and recommendations noted herein. It should be noted that the vessel was found to be cluttered and inaccessible (below deck spaces – generally, forward and aft) which prevent a thorough inspection. The undersigned will inspect all spaces and compartments once reasonable accessibility is provided. It was observed that the vessel described herein is presently being used as a live aboard.
Vessel’s topside, cabins, and deck(s) were found to be in generally fair to good condition. The vessel’s topsides are coated with marine grade paint with the following observations.

The vessel was not hauled and only inspected at docksides. No hull fastenings were opened up and or inspected – the exterior hull underbody, rudder, and underwater hardware was not inspected or observed. It was reported that the vessel was last surveyed in 2004 (Mr XXXX attending surveyor) and at which time fasteners were inspected with no deficiencies noted in 24 June 2004. Vessel has been fresh water moored. The undersigned will conduct an underwater video camera inspection of the vessel’s underbody on a time and expense basis if required or requested.
The vessel was damaged in a 2004 collision with a City of XXXX fire boat MV XXXX. The undersigned reviewed the findings of the subsequent inspection and written report issued on 26 March 2004 by XXXXX Marine, Ms XXXXX attending surveyor.
The vessel’s exterior weather decks, house, and topsides were sounded with a hammer and visually inspected. Exposed portions of the hull and the sheer appeared fair-to-the-eye with no proud planks, seams and or butts. Visual inspection of (limited) accessible areas of the hull’s interior and exterior areas found the structure to be stable, with little or no apparently softness and or cracking in the wood. No fungi rot was found in the hull structure where accessible. The top side planking seams are small, tight, and dry.
Deck beams, shelves, clamps, coaming, and carlins were visually inspected (where accessible) and found to be stable and in serviceable condition.
Several areas (plywood) of the house structure were found to be suffering from fungi rot decay especially forward on the main cabin (on both beams) around and between the most forward port lights, aft on the starboard, and on the port side of the after bulkhead of the main cabin immediately adjacent to the companionway hatch. Wood decay – softness was also observed on the starboard side of the aft cabin. These areas should be restored using marine grade materials and accepted shipwright practices to ensure structure integrity and restore proper cosmetic appearance.
Several small penetrations were observed on the top of the aft cabin which should be filled with a marine-grade compound to prevent water ingress into the underlying wood structure and to restore proper cosmetic appearance.
On the forward weather deck, just aft of the king post on the starboard side – a small area of crushed wood was observed and should be repaired.
Forward of the main cabin and escape hatch – starboard to – the hammer soundings indicated (perhaps) an area of weakened structure. No softness or decayed wood was observed – just a slight change in the hammer report. This area should be frequently monitored from topsides and below deck for any visual or material change in condition.
The keel bolts (where accessible) were inspected by filing and hammer punch and found to be in serviceable condition. A material amount of water was found in the bilge and fixed flooring precluded a thorough examination of mast steps and several keel bolts - as with all hull and structural fastenings – regular inspections must be made to ensure proper seaworthiness of the vessel.
The vessel was found to be carrying water in the bilge. An attempt should be made to keep the bilges dry as possible.
Several safety rail stanchions and life lines were found to be slightly loose and in need of attention.
At the starboard side, just after the bow, some minor, localized abrasion damage was found.
The deck and areas of the house have weathered from sun and weather exposure and should be restored to provide proper protection from the marine environment and cosmetic appearance.
It was observed by the undersigned that the weather deck seam compound was generally serviceable condition.
Although it’s recognized that unfinished wood surfaces are skid-proof and should remain non-varnished, there are several areas of exposed wood on the deck, trunk cabin, and the belaying pin rack at the masts which could benefit from being varnished to prevent damage to the wood and improve appearance.
The vessel’s standing and running rig was visually inspected deck level only. The undersigned did not go aloft. Upon inspection, the standing rig appears to be fairly sound and in generally fair condition for its age with the exception of the main mast boot at the deck which was split which could allow water ingress into the underlying structure and mast partners. This boot should be made weather tight to protect mast, deck, and partners from water damage and rot fungi. A complete rig inspection, including all masts and booms, should be performed by a competent rig surveyor prior to placing the vessel under sail. The following comments are made:
The undersigned visually inspected all accessible (on-board) sails for general condition only – no sails were pulled or hoisted.
Chainplate and backstay fasteners should be checked and re-tightened to required specifications. In addition, several turnbuckles and shackles were found not be seized or moused.
Wire rope, fittings, and turnbuckles were visually inspected and found to be in serviceable condition. It should be noted that the 3/8" 6X19 wire rope shrouds are not galvanized and some rusting – wastage was observed and the overall condition of the standing rig should be regularly inspected and repaired as found necessary to ensure for proper and safe operation.
The tune of the standing rig (both masts) appears to be proper but should be examined by a competent rigger before getting underway.
Running rigging appears to be in serviceable condition. Winches should be serviced as to provide proper service and function.
Line clutches, blocks, belaying pins, cleats, goose-necks, travelers, and related structural and operational components appear to be in serviceable condition.
Both masts are constructed of spruce (solid) are of the keel-stepped type. The undersigned visually inspected the related deck fittings – mast partners on deck and in the cabin. No deficiencies observed.
Vessel is equipped with a marine battery 12 volt DC and shorepowred 120 volt AC electrical systems with over-current protection. The 12-volt DC system is currently being repaired and refitted. The 120-volt AC system has proper double-ganged 20 amp circuit breakers with GFCI protection for the outlets. Vessel has been generally wired with marine-grade materials. At the time of survey, the vessel’s dewatering device was tested for proper operation.
Machinery space and galley through-hull fittings - seacocks were inspected for proper operation, external condition, leakage, and wastage with deficiencies noted in the Recommendations made herein. Due to inaccessibility in forward and aft cabins – additional hull fittings were not inspected. The undersigned will inspect affected fittings at such time when accessible. The undersigned did not perform a mechanical survey. The auxiliary engine (Yanmar diesel reduction) and related independent tankage were visually inspected and found to be free of oil, fuel, and or water leakage. Machinery, steering, and engine controls were inspected but NOT tested for proper operation.
Vessel has one (1) 12-volt DC operated dewatering device with an estimated capacity of 1500 gallon per hour (GPH) and one (1) diaphragm hand-operated bilge pump.
Flares found aboard were currently out of date as required in 33 CFR 175.110. Recommendations made herein.
The vessel was equipped with two (2) Type III and one (1) Type IV USCG approved personal floatation devices (46 CFR 28.135). All lifesaving equipment and appliances should be USCG approved, serviceable condition, and readily accessible as per 33 CFR Subchapter S.
The subject vessel is equipped with two (2) portable USCG approved BC: Type I dry chemical fire extinguishers. Devices not currently inspected. Recommendations made herein.
Navigation equipment include a binnacle mounted magnetic steering compass and one (1) compressed gas horn.
Vessel is equipped with one (1) 35 pound (estimated) anchor and 150-feet 3/8" chain and 150-feet 5/8" nylon rode.
The vessel’s Canadian issued official number was affixed on a wood structural component forward in the main cabin, viz ., ON 347XXX RT 9.48.


As reported in yesterday's Everett Herald....

Tulalip police officers who patrol the water off the coast of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and other areas where tribal members fish are now able to maneuver their vessels with expertise more common to the Coast Guard than that of a tribal government.

read the entire story -

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.
The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China's fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China's.
The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned away. The pirates could only lament their littleness befor the vast number of dolphins. The spectacular scene continued for a while.
China initiated its three-ship escort task force on Dec. 26 last year after the United Nations Security Council called on countries to patrol gulf and waters off Somalia, one of the world's busiest marine routes, where surging piracy endangered intercontinental shipping.
China's first fleet has escorted 206 vessels, including 29 foreign merchant vessels, and successfully rescued three foreign merchant ships from pirate attacks.
About 20 percent of Chinese merchant ships passing through the waters off Somalia were attacked by pirates from January to November in 2008, before the task force was deployed.
A total of seven ships, either owned by China or carrying Chinese cargo and crew, were hijacked.
Tianyu No. 8, a Chinese fishing vessel with 16 Chinese and eight foreign sailors aboard, was captured by Somali pirates on Nov. 14 and released in early February.
The second fleet of Chinese escort ships arrived at the Gulf of Aden on Monday to replace the first fleet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It Wasn't Supposed Turn Out This Way....

Thanks to Dave Wilson for this clip...

Flagship Maritime......

Skip Anderson has just opened his new training center in Fife (next door to Tacoma)'s a teaser on what's to come...great work Skip!

The Flagship Maritime Training Center has opened for business just two doors away from West Marine in Fife (in the same building). We’re going to host an opening party of some sort in the weeks ahead, but while we’re still setting up shop, putting up signs, et cetera, you are all still welcome to stop by for a visit.

We signed the new lease on the Friday the 3rd, and started our first USCG-approved license training course for twelve students there on Monday evening the 6th. That course goes Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings for six weeks, so if you stop by on one of those nights, there’s a good bet you’ll see me there! (The instructor can’t play hooky)

Then yesterday (Saturday), we had 21 students onboard for a one-day WA State Safe Boater Exam Prep course – quite a lively group!

If you or your group would like some specialized training, or would simply like to use a centrally-located classroom for your own training (like Fred, from CYCT?), give me a holler. We’re just a minute off I-5 at Exit 136 – couldn’t be simpler. If you’ve visited West Marine in Fife, you’ve been by the space!

Best regards,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Seattle OUPV Class.....

Caught in the act....Robyn and Bob working on cross bearing chart problems last night in my current Seattle OUPV week - DR plots....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Capt Kelly Sweeney on Dave Ross Show - Kiro

Capt Sweeney was on with Dave Ross this am discussing the US crew which reportedly takes over US flagged ship from pirates - click on the link below to listen to his interview....

High Tech Weather Information...

Vizada, provider of global satellite communications, has launched SkyFile Weather, a software package for the shipping and fishing industry, which enables users to receive up-to-date and customized meteorological information regardless of the vessel’s location.The forecasts provided with SkyFile Weather are sourced directly from Météo France, an internationally-recognized meteorological centre, rather than the internet, providing access to reliable, accurate and timely information. In addition, SkyFile Weather integrates the security zones denoted by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), an internationally recognized set of procedures, equipment types, and communication protocols designed to increase safety. In doing so, SkyFile Weather is the only software to enable users to visualize all zones and check the meteorological conditions forecast at the vessel’s destination before departure.SkyFile Weather can be downloaded for use on any mobile satellite system on board ship (all Inmarsat systems including Inmarsat C, as well as Iridium and Thuraya) and provides access in a few clicks to forecasts in digital map format including high-resolution images.Forecasts can be customized to contain only the meteorological parameters most relevant to the vessel’s activity (including sea level pressure, wind speed & direction, swell) and information is based on the vessel’s speed and direction to provide accurate and up-to-date forecasts in any location worldwide. In addition, an automatic feature enables users to receive daily forecasts for the same area without renewing the request.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Skip's New Digs...

I want to congratulate Zenith instructor Capt Skip Anderson on his move to his new digs in Fife, Washington - just next door to West Marine. Skip just started his first OUPV class last night in a much larger classroom. All the best Skip !

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pirates on the Run....

The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) apprehended six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on March 20 after responding to a distress call from two nearby merchant vessels.At approximately 4:30 a.m., the Philippines-flagged Motor Vessel Bison Express sent a distress call to all ships in the area reporting they were being pursued by a small skiff containing six heavily-armed suspected pirates. Gettysburg closed immediately on the motor vessel's location and intercepted a skiff matching the description given by the crew of the motor vessel. An SH-60B helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 embarked aboard Gettysburg, flew overhead the skiff and reported seeing objects being thrown overboard. A Gettysburg visit, board, search and seizure team (VBSS) subsequently conducted a consensual boarding along with members of U.S. Coast Guard Legal Detachment (LEDET) 409 and apprehended the six suspected pirates. They were transferred onto the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the flagship and afloat staging base (AFSB) for Combined Task Force (CTF) 151. After evaluating the situation, CTF 151 determined there was not sufficient evidence to hold the suspects for prosecution and released them back to their small boat.The attack on Bison Express was the second attack by yesterday on commercial shipping vessels in the Gulf of Aden. Earlier this morning, suspected pirates attacked Motor Vessel Sea Green. The motor vessel fired several warning flares at the suspected pirates as they approached, and successfully warded off the attack.CTF 151 is a multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New REC News....

From Norleen Schumer at

March 26, 2009
Mailing Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) Applications to Regional Exam Centers
Under the provisions of the new Merchant Mariner Credential regulations, which will become effective April 15, 2009, mariners will be able to submit credential applications by mail to one of the 17 Regional Examination Centers (REC) located throughout the nation and will no longer need to appear at an REC. This will save mariners time and money. This bulletin provides information on how to mail MMC applications to an REC.
One of the many benefits of the new regulation is the ability for mariners to mail an application to an REC. After April 15, 2009, mariners will no longer be required to appear in-person at a Regional Examination Center (REC) to be fingerprinted, provide proof of identity and submit an application for a credential, so long as they have either applied for a Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) at one of 149 TWIC Enrollment Centers or have already been issued a TWIC. As part of the (TWIC) enrollment process, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will have already verified a mariner’s identity and taken fingerprints and photograph, which will be sent to the Coast Guard electronically for use in processing the MMC application.
Mailing applications to an REC. To assist you in better preparing an application package for submission to an REC, please follow the instructions below.
Step 1 – Meet the professional requirements. Prior to submitting an application, you should ensure you meet the professional requirements for the credential you are seeking. These requirements include service experience and training, among others.
Step 2 - Obtain a TWIC. Ensure you have either applied for a TWIC at an enrollment center or that you already hold a TWIC issued by TSA. Please see our information bulletin on the requirements for a TWIC, which we published on February 12, 2009.
Step 3 – Assemble your application package. Use the Application Acceptance Checklist to assemble your application package. Using this checklist will help ensure that your application package is ‘Ready to be Evaluated’ in accordance with the new MMC regulations and will speed up processing time.
Step 4 – Pay user fees. To further streamline the application process, mariners are encouraged to pay user fees on-line using The Coast Guard is currently working with the U. S. Department of the Treasury to update this system to reflect the new MMC fee schedule. A copy of your payment receipt should be included with your application. The MMC Final Rule changed the user fees, providing savings for some mariners.
Step 5 – Mail your application package to an REC. After April 15, 2009, you can mail your application to one of the 17 RECs. The mailing address for the RECs, can be found on our website at, along with other information. Please do not mail your application to the National Maritime Center (NMC) directly as this will cause significant delays in the processing of your application.
Appointments can be made at an REC should you wish to submit your application to an REC in person. Original applicants, please see additional important information on the next page.
Additional important information for original applicants:
o Oaths for original applicants: The MMC rule allows for two options for the Oath to be administered depending on how you choose to submit your application.
1) If you submit your original application to an REC in person, Coast Guard personnel at the REC will administer the oath.
2) If you mail your original application to an REC, any person legally permitted to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where you reside may administer the oath. In this case, simply have a notary administer the oath and sign section VI of the application (CG Form 719B) in lieu of a designated Coast Guard official before you mail it to an REC. The Oath is only required for issuance of an Original MMC.
Original MMCs are only those issued to mariners who have not previously held a mariner credential. We will also post a sample form on the website that may be used in lieu of section VI of the 719B.
The provisions in the new Merchant Mariner Credential regulations will provide many benefits to the mariner. Mariners will no longer have to appear at an REC to submit provide fingerprints and proof of identity. Mariners can also be able to pay user fees on line. Original applicants will now have an alternative means for administering the oath.
David C. Stalfort
Captain, U. S. Coast Guard

Saturday, April 4, 2009

No $$$ - No Boat

From Seattle's King 5 News - The Down Economy is Sinking Old Boats

SEATTLE – Across America, the bad economy is causing boat owners to lift anchor and walk away from their boats.

In Washington state, the total stands at around 180. That's 180 boats, barges, old yachts and fishing vessels considered derelict and abandoned in Washington Waters. And with the downturn in the economy it's only expected to get worse.

Read the rest of the story here....

Yacht Insurance Speak

Q. Let's start at the beginning. What is marine insurance?

Generally speaking, marine insurance combines first-party and third-party liability coverage for any commercial activity related to water. Claims that arise under marine insurance policies can include the obvious things like vessel collisions, injuries to sailors, longshoremen and passengers or may include things like injuries that occur on off shore oil platforms.

Q. What does yacht and boat insurance cover?

It covers personal, non-commercial watercraft. Yacht and boat insurance is similar to auto insurance in that it may cover property losses, individual protection and watercraft liability for bodily injury to occupants or others involved in an accident.In addition, yacht and boat insurance may provide medical coverage, uninsured boater coverage damage incurred from hit-and-run accidents, uninsured vessels, towing, salvage, engine failure, and mechanical breakdown.For these policies, boats are defined as 26' or smaller while a yacht is 27' or larger. This distinction is important only to the extent that yachts have a greater cruising range, creating unique exposures that a policy may have to address.

Q. What is protection and indemnity insurance (P&I), and is it essential for vessel owners?

P&I insurance is coverage for third-party liability claims. The types of risks covered by P&I insurance will include things such as personal injury or death of crew members, stevedores and passengers; damage to or loss of cargo; collision liabilities excluded by hull insurance; pollution; wreck removal; certain salvage expenses; fines and penalties. A separate cover can also be obtained for legal expenses; this is known as FD&D coverage.Most often, P&I insurance is obtained through a protection and indemnity "club," which has traditionally been made up of a group of shipowners who mutually agree to insure their common liabilities. The modern version of the traditional P&I club will actually be run by a management company; however, the shipowner members of the club still exert a great deal of control over the management. For the most part, yachts are excluded from P&I clubs. The liability insurance coverage provided by P&I insurance is included in most yacht policies.

Q. Do yacht insurance policies contain warranties?

Yes. Any insurance policy will contain express warranties, which are contractual terms, which must be complied with for policy coverage to be effective. There are also implied warranties which are assumed to be included in insurance policies, common sense things that "the law" and tradition have concluded should be part of every insurance contract. Most states have codified the rules relating to warranties in traditional "land-based" insurance contracts. The rules are completely different for marine insurance contracts. Warranties play a far greater role in the evaluation and application of marine insurance policies. The breach of a particular warranty under a land-based policy, which may not lead to the policy being void, may be treated as voiding a marine policy.

Q. What are some of the differences between having a case tried in federal or state court?

Cases tried in federal court, under the court's admiralty jurisdiction are normally tried by a judge, without a jury. Non-marine cases require that at least US $75,000.00 is involved. There is no jurisdictional minimum amount in admiralty cases. To a great extent, admiralty cases will be resolved faster than non-admiralty cases. In addition, federal court has exclusive jurisdiction over prize cases, suits against vessels in rem, maritime attachment cases, salvage cases, suits involving U.S. government vessels, limitations of liability, and preferred vessel mortgages. State cases are tried to a jury and therefore, at least in personal injury cases, have the potential for greater damage awards because juries tend to be more sympathetic to injured individuals.In maritime cases, there are two types of jurisdiction - tort and contract. Admiralty tort jurisdiction requires both a maritime situs and a nexus or connection to traditional maritime activities or commerce. Maritime contract jurisdiction is determined strictly by the subject matter of the contract.

Q. Do injured crew members have the right to sue a vessel owner for negligence? McNult

Yes, they do. The Jones Act provides crew members a cause of action against the owner in the event of injury. Under the Jones Act, workers must prove that a shipowner's breach of duty in providing a safe working environment contributed to the injury in some way. Contributory negligence, and even the assumption of risk, will not bar recovery and a statutory violation can be used to prove negligence. The statute of limitations on these personal injury claims is three years.

Q. What type of protection do shore-based workers have under federal law?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act provides a workers' compensation scheme for longshoremen and shore-based workers. Coverage under this statute depends on a two-part test, situs or location of the injury and status of the injured person, if that person engaged in a maritime activity. In regard to location, it requires that the injury occur on or adjacent to the navigable waters of the U.S. As for status, coverage is limited to those engaged in maritime employment, excluding the master and crew of the vessel. Compensation under the Act is based upon a schedule established by Federal regulation. The Longshore Act has recently been amended to exclude workers in a shipyard which is engaged in building or repairing pleasure craft or yachts. As the compensation paid by the Longshore Act is significantly higher than traditional, shore-based, state compensation schemes, there is a large incentive to be covered under the Act, in the event of injury.