Friday, July 31, 2009

The Week In Review.....

Vessels surveyed this week -

100' ex-Navy Tugboat being converted inyo yacht service

43' Hunter sail boat

42' Beneteau sail boat

42' Catalina sail boat

77' Aluminum catamran

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working Away Late Last Night...

We starting surveying a 77' Cat last night - while on the ways...we mapped out each hull, outboard and inboard...laid out a 24" X 18" grid system...then using 2 audio gauging units - the boys and I shot some 800 individual thickness reading. We will finish up the machinery and internal structure on Friday....


Many mui congratulations to Skip Anderson's class upon completing their OUPV training at Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife....

Charles O. Haughey
Philip J. Johnson
Cynthia L. Phelps
Nathan Beckett

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hi Ho ... off to work I go...

Tomorrow's weather in the greater Seattle area is supposed to be close to 100...two surveys on tap - a Hunter 42 fractional sloop in the am in Port Orchard then catch the Seattle ferry for an 77 foot catamaran.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Fourth Law of Mariginal Maritime Advice....

The Fourth Law of Ballistics states - as it pertains to vessel maneuvering....

Small speed - small crash

Big Speed - big crash

Learn it - love it - live it

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cat 30 Smile...

Here's a Cat 30 smile that went bad - wasted keel bolts allowed the ballast keel to separate from the underbody .... this boat started to take on water. This is one area where a surveyor can't see. You can sound the keel bolts - but there's no magic bullet to determine if they're completely rusted off unless you drop the ballast - no cheap or easy task. bring on the 5200 and pray....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cosco Busan Pilot Jailed

From Maritimes News -

John Joseph Cota, the pilot who caused the Cosco Busan, a 900-ft long container ship, to collide with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and discharge approximately 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay, was sentenced to serve 10 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston for the Northern District of California, the Justice Department announced.Cota, who was a licensed bar pilot at the time of the collision, gave commands that caused the 65,131-ton Hong Kong-registered ship to collide with the bridge on Nov. 7, 2007.Cota was sentenced according to an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to negligently causing discharge of a harmful quantity of oil in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA), as amended by the Oil Spill Act of 1990 - a law passed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster - and to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, by causing the death of protected species of migratory birds.In papers filed in court, prosecutors told the judge that Captain Cota should receive a sentence of incarceration because he was "guilty of far more than a mere slip-up or an otherwise innocuous mistake that yielded unforeseeably grave damage. Rather, he made a series of intentional and negligent acts and omissions, both before and leading up to the incident that produced a disaster that, as widespread as it was, could have had even worse consequences.""Captain Cota abandoned ship by not following required safety procedures which then resulted in an environmental disaster" said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division."The court's sentence of John Cota should serve as a deterrent to shipping companies and mariners who think violating the environmental laws that protect our nation's waterways will go undetected or unpunished," said Joseph P. Russoniello, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. "They will be vigorously prosecuted."Prosecutors provided the court with a list of Cota's errors that included the following:Captain Cota left in extreme fog that was so thick that the bow of the vessel was not visible from the bridge. Captain Cota made the decision to leave in the fog while the pilots of six other large commercial vessels decided not to depart in the heavy fog which was less than 0.5 nautical miles.Having made the decision to leave port in impenetrable fog, Captain Cota took no action to assure the fortification of the bridge or bow watch or review the passage plan with the master and crew of the Cosco Busan. In particular, Cota failed to have a master-pilot exchange to review the transit plan.Captain Cota has subsequently claimed that he found both radar unreliable, but he did not notify the master or the Coast Guard that a required piece of equipment needed to safely navigate the ship had failed. Meanwhile, the captured images of the radar retained on the ship's computer show that the radar was fully operational.The tape recorded conversations from the ship's bridge show that Captain Cota was confused regarding the operation of the electronic chart system upon which he chose to rely including the meaning of two red triangles that marked buoys marking the tower of the bridge that he eventually hit.At no time during the voyage after leaving the berth at 8:07 a.m. and prior to 8:30 a.m. did Captain Cota, or any of the ship's crew, consult the ship's official paper navigational chart or take a single positional fix. Captain Cota did not ask any crew member to take any fixes or verify the ship's position despite the lack of visibility. After the incident, Cota told the Coast Guard he did not request fixes because it is like "driving your car out of a driveway."Prosecutors also filed papers showing that Captain Cota had failed to disclose his medical conditions and prescription drug use on required annual forms submitted to the Coast Guard.The discharge of heavy fuel oil from the Cosco Busan fouled 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,400 birds of about 50 species, temporarily closed a fishery on the bay, and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Monetary damages to the bridge, ship and private parties were in the tens of millions of dollars. Clean-up costs have been estimated to exceed $70 million. The birds killed include Brown Pelicans, Marbled Murrelets and Western Grebes. The Brown Pelican is a federally endangered species and the Marbled Murrelet is a federally threatened species and an endangered species under California law.Cota was licensed by the Coast Guard and California as a Bar Pilot, according to the indictment. He was a member of the San Francisco Bar Pilots and had been employed in the San Francisco Bay since 1981. In California, large ocean-going vessels are required to be piloted when entering or leaving port.The grand jury indictment also charges Fleet Management Limited (Hong Kong), a ship management firm, with the same alleged offenses as well as false statements and obstruction of justice charges. Trial in that case is set for Sept. 14, 2009. An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.The investigation has been conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response.The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stacey Geis and Jonathan Schmidt and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tribolet of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, and Richard A. Udell, Senior Trial Attorney with the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.Under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, crime victims are afforded certain statutory rights including the opportunity to attend all public hearings and provide input to the prosecution. Those adversely impacted by the oil spill are encouraged to visit to learn more about the case and the Crime Victims' Rights Act.

Thru Hull Fittings

Regarding the practice of double clamping hoses raw water hoses found below the water line - the usual drill is that hoses be secured with two (2) all stainless steel hose clamps. ABYC only recommends that exhaust and stern tubes be double clamped to prevent accidental flooding. If the hose barb is of sufficient length to land a second hose clamp – then double clamping raw water hoses is strongly advised. Unfortunately, some hose barbs are too short to accommodate two clamps. If the second clamp lands just past the end of the barb there's a chance that it might pull the attached hose partially off the fitting - so be careful about double clamping.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cat 30 Survey

I was surveying a Cat-30 today….a couple of things about older sail boats. First – water always finds a way through inboard or deck chainplate penetrations – usually taking out the plywood bulkheads in which the shrouds - chainplate fixtures are attached to. The above picture is a plywood hanging knee which takes the load from the shroud into the hull structure – water has made its way into the plywood – you can see that delamination well underway. The fixture is pulling upwards and out through the damaged wood (inner plys are moveing upward with the fasteners). This is not good – but fixable. The point here is always inspect and re-bed those cover plates to reduce water leakage. Another point is to routinely check chainplate fasteners – they’re usually loose – and when the rig moves they move – round fastener holes become egg shaped – which eventually works the bedding under those chain plate deck covers – which invites water into the cabin onto the bulkhaeds. It’s a never ending circle. I usually recommended tightening the chain plate fasteners to the builder’s specs – but never crush the wood beneath the fastenings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marine Engineering Course...

I spent part of the day discussing our new marine engineering courses with Zenith instructor
Chuck Solarek....he's hard at work aboard the Wildrose in Ballard developing power points for his up coming classes at Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife. Contact Chuck at for additional details and information on his classes.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Seattle Boat Builder Norm Blanchard...

One of the best and well known wooden boat builders on the west coast - Norm Blanchard passed away on July 9th. His Lake Union boat yard built over 2,000 vessels.

Wooden Boat Festival....

Our cast and crew of instructors will be dishing out the boaters breakfast (again) this year at Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival...last year Chris, Pat, Ted, Paul, Jack, and I pumped out a bunch of breakfast burritos - stay tuned for this year's menu which debuts on 12 September.

Zenith Maritime helps to sponsor the Wooden Boat Festival - for more info

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seattle OUPV - Master Class

We have a few seats still open for our July 27th OUPV - Master 100 license training class starting July 27th here at Fishermen's Terminal - Seattle, Class will run M - F for 2 weeks. For more info contact

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Marine Engineering Training.....

Zenith Maritime welcomes Mr. Charles “Chuck” Solarek to our faculty of professional instructors. Mr. Solarek brings his 26-years of experience aboard nuclear submarines in the US Navy in the repair and maintenance of marine propulsion machinery - auxiliary systems to the classroom with two new training courses.

Sound Marine Engineering Practices - This is an exciting new course for recreational boaters and marine industry professionals covering all aspects of marine engineering – propulsion, electrical, and auxiliary systems. ABYC, CFR, and NFPA requirements will be discussed. This class will be offered at Skip Anderson's Flagship Maritime Training Center in Fife, Washington beginning September 21, 2009 - please contact Skip at 253.227.2003 for registration information.

Commercial Workboat Engineering Practices – This is a course specifically designed for operators and crew of commercial workboats and fishing vessels. Basic diesel engine theory, operations, and repair are covered along with electrical, refrigeration, air, liquid, control, and hydraulic systems. Emphasis on CFR requirements.

Specialized or Custom Training – Please contact