Saturday, December 25, 2010

Just lookin’ at boats

I could spend days walking the docks looking at boats.  Tonight I took my camera and captured some of my favorites on B-dock, our current home.

NeatBoats-12 Right at the end of B-dock is a genuine motorsailer.  I can’t tell who built it but I love the salty lines.  It might actually be a trawler conversion although if it is it has been well executed.  If you look close you can see the flopper stoppers or passive stabilizer gear.  The “fish” are stowed on the foredeck on this one.  If you zoom in close you can see triangular shiny things on the deck.  The upright frames on the side of the boat lower toward the water and the fish hang from the end of them.  As the boat rolls the fish resist being ripped through the water thereby providing stabilization.  I’d love to have them on Gray Hawk.  If you have ever watched “The Perfect Storm” it was a stabilizer fish that was flying around while George Cluney was out on the boom cutting the cable.

We have active fin stabilizers but passive stabilizers work at anchor and they don’t require hydraulics or gyros or anything other than physics.  I’ve read that if you have active fins (like we do) then there is still a good reason to add passive stabilizers but if you have passive stabilizers then there really is no reason to add the actives.  The advantage of ours of course is that we flip a switch and they start working.  As long as that continues to be the case we won’t likely consider adding anything.

NeatBoats-14 There’s a lot of boats tied up here and some of them aren’t very well looked after.  The green fuzz and brightwork that isn’t so bright anymore is a dead giveaway on this one.  The senior broker at Elliott Bay told us while we were buying Gray Hawk that when the recession hit some of the boat owners who got hurt just ignored their boats for the first year.  When the moorage bill came due for the second year and they hadn’t used the boat for the whole prior year then most of them got serious about selling their boat.  In this case evidently they ignored it for another year.

NeatBoats-11 This Hinckley is listed with the same guys that sold us our Defever.  It could be yours for slightly less than half a million dollars.  I love the lines – it reminds me of a sailing hull with the mast taken off – but it must have a very different underwater profile because the listing information says it cruises at 30 knots.


This is about a 46 foot Nordhavn.  Nordy owners are pretty well guaranteed bragging rights on the dock.  They are more or less universally acknowledged as the ultimate bluewater cruisers.  If you look closely you can see the passive stabilizers on this one but it will no doubt also have active stabilizers.  Several of these boats have done circumnavigations.  If you have about a million and a half lying around I’m sure they would be happy to build you one, in fact I’ve heard that they are pretty negotiable right now.  There are several Nordys tied up here, another one about 53 feet on our dock and a couple of longer ones over closer to the harbourmaster.

NeatBoats-16 NeatBoats-17

On the left is a neat little Nordic Tug – gotta love their lines but we were onboard one last winter and weren’t at all impressed with the interior layout.  Not that they are anywhere within shouting distance of our price point anyway.  (on edit: OK, I’m wrong and I’m willing to admit it when I am.  Reader Conrad from snowy Calgary says this is in fact a Lord Nelson Victory tug – thank you for setting me straight and I still like it’s salty lines). Right next to it there’s a good example of a tupperware bulgeboat.  I have no idea who built this particular monstrosity but there’s plenty more like it where it came from.  There’s one across the fairway behind us that is damn near taller than it is long.  I can’t imagine what it would be like in bad weather but I doubt it ever gets more than an hour away from the dock anyway.  Cocktail cruisers.

NeatBoats-08 I think the bilge pumps run non-stop on this one.  Absolutely ever time I’ve walked by it there has been water running out of it.  And there’s another stream the same size running out of the bow on the other side.  If those pumps ever stop working all we’ll see is the top of its stupid flybridge.  With a little oil slick surrounding it likely.  When we were buying insurance the broker said that the biggest risk we are insuring against is the environmental cleanup cost if our boat contaminates the marina.  I hope these guys have good insurance.

NeatBoats-06 This boat – Maximo – won the best in show award for the marina’s Christmas lighting contest.  It was custom built by Leclerq here in Seattle. Its moored at the end of B-dock and its owned by Steve and Kim Oberto, one of the current generation owners of Oberto Sausage Company.  You’ve probably seen (or eaten) their beef jerky.  Shortly after we arrived this time Marilyn wandered down to the end of the dock to admire their lights.  One thing led to another.  First they lent us a travel book about voyaging to Alaska and then they invited us to their family Christmas party.  

Its hard to get a sense of how big this boat is.  Its registered as 65 feet but when I paced it off I thought it was longer than that.  Maybe without the swim grid it would be close to 65 feet but there’s no way it would fit in a 65 foot slip.  To get a sense of scale note the two standard poodles barking down at me from the foredeck.  It is a serious bluewater cruiser with a single screw roughly 5 feet in diameter.

Steve and Kim spend each summer in Alaska and they bring home enough frozen cryopacked seafood to put on one hell of a Christmas spread for their family.  We weren’t the only strays at the party but there weren’t many other non-family members so we felt pretty special to have been invited.  I told Steve afterward that it was depressing eating his food because I used to think I was a pretty good cook myself.  He had prepared all the seafood on Maximo.  It was easily the best I have ever tasted and I’ve eaten a lot of seafood over the years.  In addition to the seafood they had 10 oz filet mignon for everyone so we all came home literally stuffed.

NeatBoats-19 CQR

The project for this afternoon was to install our very shiny new stainless steel CQR and I must say it looks pretty sharp.  We had a major struggle to get all the chain out of the locker because I don’t think it had been out for a long time.  The chain just piles up in a storage locker directly under the windlass.  Of course as it comes in it makes a high pile which subsequently tips over but that isn’t the worst of it.  Over time if it isn’t used the pile tends to turn over from the pitching action of the boat.  The bow gets alternately buried and tossed by big waves and the locker is in the extreme front of the bow.  To top it off our windlass hadn’t been used for so long that it was more or less frozen up but we got it going.  We got all the chain strung out along the dock, checked all the shackles and then bent the new anchor on.   I also checked carefully to make sure that the end of the chain is well secured in anticipation of a visit from Doug.

I haven’t decided where we will stow the old Bruce but I’m really happy to have this heavier CQR.  From what I can tell there’s not a whole lot of technology in anchoring.  You put a big weight on the end of a lot of chain and it will tend to hold you.  There is however a new generation of anchors that are just starting to appear.  There’s a Manson on the Jeanneau tied up beside us and a Rocna on the 53 Nordhavn. 

Both of those anchors are new generation technology and they certainly appear to be an improvement over the CQRs, Deltas, Danforths and Bruces/Claws that have been around for years but time will tell how well they perform.  For now I think I’ll look for either a heavier Bruce or maybe a Danforth for our third anchor.  We’ve got about 400 feet of combined chain and rope for a spare anchor rode already.  I’d like to have a second anchor mounted in the bow ready to deploy immediately.  And we’ll probably add another 100 feet or so of chain to our primary rode (so that when it turns over in the locker we have even more of a muddle to sort out).


Conrad said...

Hi there....enjoying your site while sitting out the cold Calgary weather. Your recent post on "just looking at boats" is right up my alley! You have a nice selection of shots, even if we excuse your inclusion of the "tupperware", although your comments on it are bang on. (The boat you have beside it though, is a Lord Nelson Victory Tug, not a Nordic Tug.)
Conrad Nay (Ennos Sapphire in Maple Bay)

Jorgito's dad said...

Thank you for that Conrad. I made the corrections in the post (with attribution). And I went a step further and checked the registry for the motorsailer at the end of B-dock. Sure enough it did start life as a working trawler built by the Little Hoquiam shipyard in Washington. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow and if that's Maple Bay just up the island from Cow Bay then we need to organize a get together. Unless of course you don't like single malt in which case there isn't much point.

Conrad said...

Hi there Jd... Yes, Maple Bay is just around the the corner from Cow Bay, so a get together is definitely a good idea! And single malts are very nice, wonderful in fact, even though my purist friend bemoans the fact that I put ice in it. The only caveat of course, is that I live in Calgary, and when I get out to Maple Bay, I like to leave the dock as quickly as possible!
Am enjoying your blogs , which are shaming me into adding to my own...