Katahdin South

 

Time to haul the Katahdin out for the fifth time here in Petersburg.  I’m taking her south for perhaps the last time on my watch after 16 years of Alaska cruising.

There is always the expected bouillabaisse to be found so we pressure wash her underbelly to streamline her hull.  With all this kelp, the keel coolers overheat the generators and main engine which is not good.

Here is her starboard quarter cleaned up.  I won’t paint or zinc the hull at this time as I will do all this next month in Port Townsend.  This haul is to make sure she’s seaworthy.

This includes bleeding down all the control systems which are quite sophisticated on this 1944 Washington 6-R-13 engine.  The engine is air start due to the mass that needs to turn over.  I disassemble and rebuild several of the air valves and she’s ready to go!  (To see this engine run, visit an earlier blog here:  http://www.dougleen.com/ontheroad/2011/08/30/katahdin-part-iii-the-engine/

The Katahdin didn’t run on her engine to and from the lift because of the overheating issues, so I towed her over with my new skiff (below).  Returning to the berth here, I enlisted a couple of eager and very young seine skiff operators and they towed me back (stern first) at about 10 knots, weaving through all the yachts and finally spinning me around stern end to the dock!   I was on board riding along at their whim; what a ride!  Here, I’m safely back at the dock, ready for the final launch to Seattle.  Notice the rear mast/boom has been chainsawed off after rot compromised the stability.  This mast was not historically accurate.

I also finally attend to my batteries and replaced four that had failed with new Hangchong ones that took five years to arrive!  The NiFe (Nickel Iron) battery was invented by Thomas Edison and some his batteries are still working after over 100 years.  The patent was sold in 1980 to the Chinese……If you think our trade arrangements with China are good now, just wait!

Zounds!–another big project was replacing a corner piling to the new warehouse; the original was undersized and tipped precariously vertical.  This project was not without engineering issues.  My dental school mate flew up to assist me in this replacement and all went well.  But only after cabling the building to a massive spruce tree, building a crib to stabilize this corner and finally removing the tipped corner piling.

These pilings weigh perhaps half a ton and are not easily wrestled into place, but Dennis and I enlist mechanical advantage and succeed.

Finally in place, the angle is correct and this new building is stable.  We gained 1/8″ in the process of installing this piling and lost 1/8″ after all settling occurred–a pretty good result!

Love my new skiff.   I’ll tow this south behind the Katahdin this month to allow more mobility up and down the fjords of Alaska and the BC Coast.  Isn’t life great?

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