Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Time....

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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Job Well Done...

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

Audio Gauging - Day One...

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Steel Hull Plate Inspection..

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Washington State Ferries Sold for Scrap...

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

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nice Start to the Week...

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

Friday, June 19, 2009


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

A Mixed Bag....

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Opening Up Boat Nail Fastenings...

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rusting Steel Hull Fasteners

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

World's Largest Yacht

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

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sometimes It's a Bad Story...

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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting Ready for Bottom Paint

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Dutch Person...

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

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Dirigo Compass Pics

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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More TWIC Stuff

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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ballard Maritime Academy....

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

Friday, June 5, 2009


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

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy Day...

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Good Read...

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

Closed Again...

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

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barge and Lock Go Bang...

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