Water Tank Replacement and a Few Other Things – Phase 4

No Comments 20 February 2011

The water tank installation is moving along.  Perhaps slowly, but I’m addressing other items as they show up during the process.  This is a new type of remodel for me,  in a less than ergonomically perfect space.  Did I mention I’m getting much more limber?  I don’t need yoga or stretching classes now.  The pic to the left shows the starboard platform made from 3/4″ plywood with 6 coats of  Pettit Old Salem 2018 sealer.  The notches in the side correspond with the ribs and the holes allow any condensation to drain into the bilge.  The outboard holes are larger so there’s  a chance of retrieving a stray fitting that ends up against the stringer.  At least it’s possible to see into the space. The second image shows the port tanks as they sit on their platform.  They are held in place by a through-bolted oak rail and 2″ seatbelt webbing. The U-bolts are a SeaChoice bow eye from Northeast Marine Parts.  They cinch up the webbing until nothing moves. The oak rail is painted with gray primer so it contrasts with the platform and the tanks. Eventually, all wood gets 3 coats of gray primer and 3 coats of gloss gray. There will be a thin rubber mat between the tanks and the platform. Everything is modular and can be disassembled into individual components rather easily. I want to make future modifications and maintenance as easy as possible.   The design received the approval of Captain Ray, so with a few coats of gray paint we are good to go. 

The original design was stout and secure, and I can see how it went went together quickly, but it certainly did not make the best use of the confined space.  As projects go, working on a boat is OK.  There is social time at the dock, new tools are always a good thing, and there is always a touch of pride working through an idea, twisting it every which way, until it actually works better than the original.

B Dock, Velkommen

Suds ‘n’ Sail boat detailing

2 Comments 08 February 2011

About four years ago I looked for an Anacortes boat detailer.  Of course, I wanted to meet, in person, to discuss what I thought needed to be done, and what I could expect the charges to be.  Some couldn’t remember to keep the appointment…..after several missed appointments, I quit calling.  Some wanted multiple year contracts, that would have totalled many thousands of dollars, just to wash the boat monthly and wax it once or twice a year.  One wanted several thousand just to wash and wax it once a year.  Hey, it’s only 34′ long!  I actually hired one for a few months that wanted to charge me for things that were not done.  I thought that was slightly outrageous.  “Well”, she said indignantly,”I’m ill and I need the money.”  WTF, I became ill when I got the bill. 

My wallet felt like it had been on a diet. Velkommen needed more regular attention than I could give her.   I wanted to do my home work thoroughly; I called around for referrals.  LaConner Yacht Sales recommended Russ Avery. 

Russ Avery — Suds ‘n’ Sail Yacht Service

Russ was on time for our first appointment.  He explained how he would approach keeping Velkommen looking good.  Monthly washing, wax and buff once a year, twice if I wanted to look extra nice for a special rendezvous or event.  Work over the stainless as needed.  Treat the teak with a light sanding and Cetol annually.
The charges are reasonable.  In fact, I can’t make the round trip from Bothell to spend a few hours washing Velkommen for what Russ charges, even if I count the lost work time as zero.  That’s the foundation of a solid business relationship. Good value. 

Russ does more than exteriors:  engine room, interior woodwork, varnish, carpet cleaning.  As much or as little as you want.  He’s also a ‘hands on’ guy.  He may have employees helping, especially during the busy season, but he’s always there to make sure all the details are just right.

Give Russ a call (360) 421- 2878 or blast him an email. You can thank me and buy me a ‘cold one’, later. Ahoy!


Valentine Pecan Pie

No Comments 06 February 2011

Set the hook in the most fearless fisherman by serving a slice of wonderful pecan pie.  This recipe is guaranteed to promote the most humble galley-slave to Master and Commander.  And it’s so easy; any galley with a microwave and an oven can do this miracle in just over an hour.  Besides pecans, the key ingredient is Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.  Don’t leave the dock without it.  Gram for gram is has fewer calories than sugar and it substitutes at about a 3/4 to 1 ratio.  Double win.   Baked goods stay fresh longer and they have a marvelous gentle sweetness very unlike the sharp glucose spike from refined sugar. 


3 eggs

1 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups roasted and lightly chopped pecans

1 tsp molasses

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

9″ pie crust.

First, roast the pecans…..

1.)  Toss 2 generous cups of pecans on a plate and microwave for 1 minute. 

2.)  Mix them all up and microwave for 1 more minute.

3.)  Cut the pecans in half.  OK, you can leave a few of them whole.


4.)  Blend the melted butter and Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.

5.)  Whisk the eggs, molasses, vanilla and salt together and add it to the Fruit Sweet/butter mixture.

6.)  Stir in the pecans.

7.)  Pour the whole works into a 9″ pie shell and bake at 350° for 65 minutes.

Mmmmm, what a treat.  Bet you didn’t know how nutritious pecans are, or that April is National Pecan Month. When was the last time you baked a fresh pecan pie in your galley stove? This recipe is way too easy for the HUGE bonus points that come with it.


Anniversary Pumpkin Pie

No Comments 02 February 2011

Ok the secret is out.  Today, February 1, 2011, Luann and I have been married 30 years.  Now, that’s a lot of green water through the scuppers, matey.  I’m here to tell ya.  So I thought I’d bake Luann a loaf of banana bread, but I was fresh out of Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet, and I just don’t bake without it, anymore.  Their Woodinville location is close, so I cruised over to fetch a half gallon.  While there, they handed me a number of new recipies.  Now pumpkin pie is Luann’s all time favorite.  And there it was, right on top.  The banana bread idea went over the side and I set a course for QFC to garner a few components.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 — 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet
  • 1 -1/4 cup evaporated milk (10 oz)
  • 1 — 9″ pie shell
  • Mix it all together until well blended (I use a stick blender, because it’s so easy.)
  • Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

I could only find a 30 oz can of pumpkin pie mix, so I  doubled everything and made two pies.  Double the bonus points – just makes the case for that new boat toy a whole lot easier. 

So after a wonderful salmon dinner, Anniversary Pumpkin Pie was our dessert……with just a touch of vanilla ice cream.  You should be so lucky……..

This recipe is so easy.  What a delight it would be to have the aroma of fresh baked pumpkin pie fill the cabin after a full day of fishin’.  The only thing better would be the eatin’.  I guarantee it!


Shadow Divers

1 Comment 01 February 2011

Wow!  What a story….but it’s so much bigger than that.  Shadow Divers is the true story of a German WW2 U-boat and it’s crew.  A true story of two divers, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, chasing discovery and adventure.  Although it’s unspoken, both are chasing their future.  The future that brings them face to face with death and forges a bond with an encrusted sub and it’s entombed crew lying 60 miles from the New Jersey coast.  The mysteries and twists could only have been unravelled by Schicksalsgemeinschaft – a community bound by fate – in which each man is dependent on the other.  Only Gandalf could have forseen how this story would unwind over the course of more than 50 years and in two parellel universes:  one below the waves and one above.

Adventurers that dive deep wrecks are preparation freaks.  They have to be or they don’t last long.  The preparation must be so thorough that all the correct choices are habit and no aspect of research is left to chance.  Those characteristics are so dominant that a casual view might only see obsessive/compulsive behavior, but that would be myopic.  The bigger picture is what eye-widening revelations are made of. 

The currents running through the book are contagious.  The author Robert Kurson became caught in the thrill, too.  Lucky for him and the readers.  The book becomes a destiny, revealing the glue that binds humanity, revealing how history works its magic over time.  It is the human experience; to live is to seek…..running for the meta.  But the metaphor is much more total.  We, yes we humans, crew a boat called the Seeker; we are a community bound by fate.

Don’t wait.  Buy this book immediately.  Don’t miss the interactive NOVA site, either.  John Chatterton’s promotional vid is nice, but I can so relate to Richie’s vid.  And I love how he ends it:  “Why do people ski between the trees and go off the rocks……because they feel it’s something they have to do.  That’s why I do it.”  Hey Richie….enough said.  SFD.

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