Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ballard Locks Closed Monday

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Capr Dory Survey...

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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hi Tech RIB

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Day at the Ballard Yacht Club

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

Trim Tabs -

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maritime Law Seminar...

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

All the best!

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

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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rush Hour Weather Forecast....




Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nice Weather...

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

You Thought This Was A Well Made Boat...

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

Friday, May 22, 2009

Diesel Improvements...

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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boating Season Troubles...

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

Reserve Buoyancy

–noun Nautical.

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

Origin: 1900–05

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


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

Troubles in GPS Land.....

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

Monday, May 18, 2009

Final Ruling....

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need To Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009


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

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

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

Friday, May 15, 2009

Four for Four...

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Interview with the USCG Commandant

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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tug Boat Racing...

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

Steel Hull Plate Gauging

From a recent survey -

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

Saturday, May 9, 2009


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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wasted Fastenings...

From a recent wood yacht survey...

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

Japan Hydrographic Association

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

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lake Union Dream Boats...

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lake Union Dream Boats

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

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Opening Day History...

From SYC website...

Opening Day, the official opening of Seattle's boating season sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club, includes a celebration of many kinds of water activities. This year's festivities will include a morning of crew races, a sailboat race, and, of course, the grand Opening Day boat parade on Saturday, May 2, 2009.
From its earliest days Seattle has celebrated important occasions with water festivities.
One particularly notable early celebration was scheduled for the Fourth of July, 1895. The papers reported that the Elliott Bay Yacht Club, the forerunner of the Seattle Yacht Club, held a regatta including several classes of boats in Elliott Bay. The grand climax was to be an illuminated naval parade at 9:00 p.m. on the bay followed by a naval sham battle. The Post Intelligencer described the scheduled events: " . . .a monitor is to be bombarded and then blown up. . . The parade will consist of two lines of yachts, brilliantly illuminated with Japanese lanterns and armed with Roman candles instead of cannons. The monitor will run the gauntlet, spitting red and blue balls at the fleet, which in return will bombard the monitor until her magazine catches fire and she blows up, throwing out myriads of stars, balls and rockets." Alas, the wind was too great for the event, extinguishing the candles, and the yachtsman and spectators went home disappointed.
In May 1908, the battleship brigade, later known as the Great White Fleet, stopped in Seattle on its round the world tour. Seattle organizers festooned the city, held land and water parades, dances and receptions to honor the fleet. Area yachtsman organized a welcoming committee to sail out and meet the visiting armada as it sailed into Elliott Bay.
The following year Seattle hosted the Alaskan-Yukon Exposition on the University of Washington campus. The Seattle Yacht Club acted as the official host to visiting boatmen. As part of the festivities, the Commodore and his club members arranged a public "Potlatch Parade" which took place at the Seattle Yacht Club clubhouse, which was still located in West Seattle.
According to the 1964 reminiscences of a Seattle Yacht Club member, the first Opening Day took place in early May 1913. He recalled a parade and a regatta in Elliott Bay.
The first Opening Day parade through the Montlake Cut was in 1920 after the Seattle Yacht Club moved to its new (and present) facilities in Portage Bay. Spectators lined both sides of the Cut to view the 25 or 30 boats as they paraded by, flying their dress flags. The boats finished the celebration with a regatta in Lake Washington sponsored by the Queen City Yacht Club.
The Opening Day Parade and Regatta became a spring tradition, which survived the war years. Opening Day 1946, was the biggest and most festive ever. It included members of every yacht club in Puget Sound and the Royal Vancouver and the Royal Victoria Yacht Clubs from British Columbia, Canada.
A theme was first used for the 1959 Opening Day, "Hell's a Poppin", and, since then, participants have decorated their boats around a theme. Prizes are awarded to the best-decorated and best-dressed boats in several categories.
Over the years, Opening Day activities have changed. Events such as the University of Washington crew races have become a part of the day's traditional festivities. Many spectators watch these popular races through the Montlake Cut from the shore, boats or TV. Opening Day 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Windermere Cup.
The commissioning ceremony on the Seattle Yacht Club lawn is attended by the Commodores of participating yacht clubs and starts off the Opening Day festivities. The clubs' burgees are hoisted, dignitaries are recognized, the Chaplin says a prayer, and the band plays!
As always, the Opening Day Parade starts at noon the first Saturday in May with the blast of a cannon and the raising of the Montlake Bridge. Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day has become the nation's largest regional celebration of water, spring and the opening of boating season.
Participating yachts will be decorated to illustrate this year's theme for Opening Day, "Wild Wild West."
And, if tradition is honored, there will be sunshine, breezes and, maybe, a few showers.
Opening Day in Seattle is a family affair; families decorate their boats for the festivities and parades; families spread blankets on the shoreline and spend hours watching and picnicking. Families dream of the boats they someday will own.
The boating season officially never ends in the Seattle area. It tapers off during the blustery, wet days of winter, but the faithful keep sailing and cruising. Opening Day, however, kicks off a busy spring and summer of boating for many avid boaters in the Seattle area.
Opening Day offers some outstanding photo and story opportunities. You'll not find anything like it in the U.S. or, to our knowledge, in the world. The only thing comparable is an annual parade of commercial vessels in Venice, Italy.

Things That They Don't Want You to See...

Deep inside a best selling little sail boat is this mess of a keel step arrangement. From upper left is the mast mast which lands on a wad of resin soaked fiberglass stuff at the bottom of the hull. The hull sides are cored - with a fair amount of dry laminate. Gee - they sure look good at the boat shows.