On the Hard – for a few days

2 Comments 25 January 2011

Right before Thanksgiving, I asked Jim Gardner at Bottom Time Diving to check the status of Velkommen’s zincs and bottom paint.   He wasn’t feeling well so he asked one of his dive buddies to take a look.  The report was not good.  Bottom paint in great shape but the props and rudders looked very weird.  It didn’t really look like electrolysis, but he had no other explanation.  That really left no choice but to put Velkommen on the hard the sooner the better.  The problem was that between work and holidays I just couldn’t find the time to get it done promply.  I called Jeff Harman at OceanAire Yachts for his input since he had applied the epoxy barrier coat along with new Sherwin Williams bottom paint and a Petit 6006 Prop Coat on the props and rudders last spring.  He said he was not happy with Petit Prop Coat 6006 and no longer used it. On January 14th she came out of the water at Cap Sante Marine for a good examination.  I’ve heard that pictures say a thousand words, so to avoid being overly verbose:

Bottom paint: wonderful!
Bottom paint over the new chine mods: double wonderful!!
Props and rudders: Too strange?!?!

The Petit Propcoat 6006 coating had failed. Less than a year ago, when it was applied it was clear and rubbery, about 1/4″ thick. What was left was thin, splotchy and adhesive-like. Rather like the residue that is left if you tear the flap off a sealed envelope. The good news is that the residue came off easily with a little elbow grease and sandpaper. As a precaution, however, we removed the trim tabs and rebedded them with plenty of 3M 5200 and new stainless steel screws plus new stainless steel bolts for bonding wire attachment. The transom zinc was removed and new 3/8″ stainless steel studs installed and locked down to the bonding wires. Even though no evidence of electrolysis was found, we attacked the problem as though it had. After all, it’s a boat…..better to be safe than sorry. We even installed a ProMariner Galvanic Isolator. the final step was to apply Petit Zinc Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792.  January 18th Velkommen is back in the water.  There was an eagle perched on a nearby sailboat mast all morning.  As Velkommen rode the travel-lift toward the water he finally took flight.  It must be a good omen for a high-flyin’ boating season right around the corner.

Guess what I discovered when I stopped at the Petit Paint booth at the Great 2011 Seattle Boat Show? Petit has discontinued Prop Coat 6006 and recommends Zinc Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792, instead. Right on!  BIG Thanks to Mark Hanger of Mark’s Marine Repair and Ray Robinson of Robinson Woodworking for ensuring that all the details got done expediently and perfectly.  Attention to detail is such a blessing in the salt water environment.

Cap Sante Marine did the heavy lifting and found space in their yard while the projects were completed.  The service manager, John James, runs a tight ship.


Fish and Ships – this was fishing from the Columbia to Bristol Bay

No Comments 21 January 2011

If you love Northwest history and have a taste for fishing, here’s your book.  Most of the  stories are from grandpa’s, great-grandpa’s and great-great grandpa’s day, roughly 1850 to 1930.  What a fantastic and adventurous time to be part of the fishing industry in the great northwest.

Fish and Ships is a picture history with a cornacopia of short stories told in a refreshing matter of fact manner.  The past days of fishing are not cheapened by romantic reminiscing.  Long days, brutally hard work and all too many lives lost, but it was also a time of discovery and innovation.  More than just canneries and salmon.  It’s sailing, it’s steam, it’s early gasoline engines and primitive outboards.  Reef nets, seiners, gillneters,  longliners.  It’s the Columbia river, Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, inside outside and it’s Alaska.  It’s halibut, cod, sable, red snapper and even sealing and whaling.  No hand wringing,  no vegan morality or Greenpeace hauteur.  This book is life as a past generation saw and lived it.  I don’t doubt that future generations will look back on our enlightened times and see them much the same way.
I’ll bet you are envious of Hjalmar Wilson’s 83 pound King. The old pictures are worth 10 times the price of admission.  Don’t run to your local bookseller, unless it’s Powell’s or  alibris.  Most copies are under $20.

Does the gray wintery weather have you in a funk? I’ll bet the crew of the Zapora was glad to see Ketchikan.

The old fishermen now rely on myth and legend to fill the nets.  Boats decayed and gone, memories right behind. It’s a blessing that a morsel remains of this rich history, if only to remind us of the strength that lies in our genes.  Hmmm……a  road trip might be in order to see the restored lumber schooner-turned codfisher C. A. Thayer at the San Francisco Maritime Park.

Don’t wait…..treat yourself. Buy the book and enjoy it.  Give it as a gift, read it to your grandkids.  Best of all…….read it on your boat.  And expect to see the salty smiling faces of old fishermen when you taste the mist through an open hatch or peer through a fogged porthole.

Big thanks to Ray Robinson for loaning me his copy.


The Wave Watcher’s Companion

No Comments 02 January 2011

Wave WatcherI’m always a bit sceptical of those who choose to have two last names separated by a hyphen.  It looks and sounds awkward at best, and at worst……ah, no sense being negative.  At the very least Gavin could combine them:  Prepin, perhaps, or Torney.  As it stands, it refuses to roll off the tongue smoothly as you might imagine a wave rolling up a sandy sun drenched beach.  Instead it piles up in the narrow channel of the trachea, like a tidal bore atop the even flow of a stream.  It’s like a confused sea with waves of energy passing through each other at odd angles and the wind, with its treble clef, spitting mouthfulls of spume at the veinous green trough. 

Perhaps Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s first book “The Cloudspotters Guide”  gave some momentum to “The Wave Watcher’s Companion.”  Something did.

So it’s a tough subject, a monumental undertaking to enclose the concept of waves, from itty-bitty microwaves to shock waves to giant tidal waves in one volume and make it coherent to the layman.  And don’t forget to toss in the stadium wave for levity.  Gavin writes well and is at his best describing ocean waves, but the book is a bit tedious.  He needs to generate a Richard Feynman type of excitement for his subject. My guess: 97% put the book down at the halfway point and never finish.  When the last chapter, entitled ‘The Ninth Wave’, finally arrives….I wish there had been only four. It ends with Gavin on a ‘research trip’ to Hawaii, hanging with the surfers and enjoying the big winter waves. Recuperating.  On a positive note: my everyday awareness of waves has increased. Waves are travelling patterns of vibration.  It’s not just a bright spot on my desk; it’s light waves, vibrating like crazy and going faster than my bifocals can take in. It’s not just that spine tingling soprano vibrato filling the concert hall (as if that isn’t enough); it’s overlapping pressure waves matching each other,  increasing in amplitude then reaching my ears. They are more than just waves running up the beach: they give us a visual representation of energy movement and transfer. With that I say, “Aloha and Mahlo”, and wave bye-bye.

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