Winter 2005 Projects and Progress                             [ Home ]

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83527 Ships Log for 2005


January 2005

01/01/05 - Where did the year go? Today Royal, Roxane and Dan took down the Christmas lights. Roxane continued removing the linoleum on the pilot house deck.
Dan got the screws out of the AC panel that were being a bear to remove. Two light fixtures were removed for later repair. More sorting of the cabinets and hardware for the crew areas was done

5 - Puget Sound Maritime Heritage Society - As guest speaker I presented a PowerPoint presentation of the history and the trip up the coast of the 83527.

Winter Scenes      
Harbor Guardian Olympic Mountains Tied at "a" dock Coast Guard working on light at harbor entrance

8-9 Scraped more linoleum. Dean Lachaw, a retired 6-71 engine volunteer visited to see what was going on with the smoking engine. After a valve adjustment we were still smokey. Closer analysis showed that the oil was completely contaminated with water. We started draining the pan.


15-16 -  Pacific NW Maritime Heritage Council Meeting - Presented the status of the project.


22-23 -  We got to the boat about 8:45 and the wind was really howling. We had to re-tie the boat because it was pushed about 4' from the dock. One cleat was almost ripped out on the aft quarter. It took 4 of us about 1.5 hours to get the lines changed and re-secured.

Roxane and Carol Craig spent most of the day scraping linoleum glue in the crew quarters. Slowly we are winning that battle.

Ed Young, former 83527 sailor stopped by with a great photo from his days aboard.

Dean Robins 6-71 buddy and his friend from Hadlock, WA arrived about noon. He adjusted all of the valves with the engine cold per the spec. After starting it still blew white smoke. Oh, no look at the silver brown oil streaming out of the valve cover. Water in the oil! Yes, there is a fresh water leak somewhere. It could be the oil cooler, heat exchanger or engine head. So that creates another project. Tike is going to talk to a Manson 6-71 engine guy and see what usually goes wrong. Dick is going to contact an engine guy he knows and get some more opinions and we will invent a game plan with more info.

Aaron (ham radio friend and AVR fan) came to work on the generator voltage regulator circuit and discovered that there were 2 more bad resistors. It appears that corrosion is killing them. I donít know if it was a problem from when the saltwater spray was everywhere when the waterpump was bad, before we got the boat. Anyway, Aaron will continue attempt to resolve that. He at least had time to draw up a schematic of the circuit.

We adjourned about 4pm and had a great dinner with Tike and Margaret, Dick and Carol, Royal and Sue and Rox and I. We had never been with Margaret, and she was fun and interested in helping out in the future. Carol and Sue had grown up in a nearby neighbor hood and gone to the same school at the same time. I'm not sure if they remembered each other from then though. They had fun


27 - Pulled an oil sample to take to Caterpillar for analysis. We learned that there was no salt water in the oil.


28 - I received the follow letter and photo story today from Joseph A Wright, Jr. CDR, USCGR (Ret)


29 - Scanned Sea Classic Magazine Article on 83 Footers article


3-1  Earlier in the month I noticed an ad in Western Maritime newspaper selling two Detroit Diesel engine hulks with "crashbox" transmissions as spares. The deal included two 200 gallon water tanks and two 400 gallon fuel tanks that were pulled out of a 63 foot crashboat owned by Scott Bennedict in Bethel Island, CA.

On Tuesday I scouted out the location of the equipment. Wednesday met my buddy, George Burton in Vallejo, CA with his Chevrolet Duramax Diesel pickup and a borrowed trailer.

Thursday we finalized the loading and in the late afternoon we headed for out for Seattle. At a "snack" stop in Red Bluff we noticed a stream of diesel underneath the pickup and trailer hitch. The exhaust pipe was dripping with diesel.  When he pulled the dipstick we saw that the pan was also full of diesel. George found a yellow pages in the payphone book and we saw that a Chevrolet/GMC dealership was 20 miles back south in Orland, CA. So back we went, but by then the dealership was closed. We then took refuge in the "Amber Light" motel on the Westside of town waiting for morning.

At 8 am we were on their doorstep hoping for a "GM warranty" miracle. Apparently this was a common problem for the early Duramax engines. There was plenty of "factory warranty" remaining, so there was little worry about getting the work done, but the concern was "when" would it be done.  If we had to scrub the journey George would just take me to the Sacramento airport in a rental car and I would return home.  The dealership really went to bat for us and by 11am we were on the road with a rental Duramax pickup. Plus, GM was picking up the rental charge. Although it was not a 4wd we were not expecting any weather that would require the extra traction.

George and I had a great time gabbing and telling sea stories and just drove straight through to Seattle, actually Port Ludlow and my home at 1:30am.

Two or Three days later we started offloading the engines from the trailer. Unfortunately the John Deere tractor with loader that I had arranged for could not pick up the engine/transmission combination. So, we had to drag them off of the trailer onto 4X4 boards to then skid them into place where I was storing them.

Off loading engines at Port Ludlow  

6-11 - During this week George volunteered his time to assist with the identification and modification to the AC electrical circuits. We got some circuits marked for removal and some split or relocated and documented. Although there is a long way to go it was a HUGE start to get the elementary drawings completed.


12 - This work party was low key. It was mostly electrical system wrapup and lower deck linoleum cleanup. Tike Hillman and Mike Mallet put some time into defining the extent of damage to the bottom of the spray shield. The major goal is to reduce or eliminate water from seeping down from the overhead into the crew compartments. George got the bilge/fire pump rewired and tested.

Tike and Mike inspecting the base of the spray shield. Testing the replaced and rewired bilge/fire pump. Here we are pumping raw water from the thru-hull at the keel over the side.
13 - George left for home on Sunday.
17 - I received this email from David Bouker today:
Dear Sir:

Larry Eastman (ENC, ret.) a former shipmate on the USCGC Bittersweet (WAGL 389)
sent me a copy of the July 2004 Retiree Newsletter in which I was pleasantly surpris-
ed to see an article about the 83 footer that I served on for a short time in Tacoma,
Washington in 1951. At that time, it was tied up at a dock just north of the 11th St.
bridge and only a short distance from downtown.

Members of the crew included the following incomplete list:
Barton BMC
Kroll ENC
Laqua, Jewel EN2
Davenport SN
Reichart, Pete SN
Bouker, David SN

There was a cook and another engineman whose names I do not recall on board her. I do recall that it had two 700HP Sterling Viking gas engines. It was  absolutely necessary for the engineman on watch to run the blowers first for a  specified length of time before starting the main engines.

My time aboard was from January, 1951 to approximately June of 1951. I took the month of March off to attend a couple of service schools and was subsequently transferred to COTP, Portland, Oregon. I was discharged as BM3 in July of 1952.

Hope this all helps. - David                     David Bouker []


19-20 - Started the engine oil change, adding kerosene to flush. Changed the drain plug to a ball valve for ease of draining. Thompson fixed aft vents to spin open easily and added fans for air circulation. We had a walkup guest, Franz Gruber, from Port Ludlow. He served on the 83527 in the early 60's.


22 - Craig and Withers decided the starboard starter was not up to the task and took it to Townsend Electric for a rebuild. visited BM2 Whitney Crookham at Coast Guard Station Port Townsend and got the real color info on the CG Buff paint color. It is officially "Jarvie Spar Buff" 24635, Color Code 10371. (Sample below)


24 - finished scanning the Twin Disc Installation and Maintenance Manual and Detroit Diesel Manuals placed online here.


26-27 - We removed deck plates in the Chiefs, galley and crew berthing compartment and took them home to strip off the hardware and linoleum. See the photos here.

Brass edges need stripped of 50 years of crap and polished. Most of the screws broke off and were "punched" through the backside.
28 - Chuck Fowler on behalf of the Tacoma Working Waterfront Museum (WWFM) discovered that the USS Wabash, AOG-5, a WWII Gasoline Tanker was due to be scrapped out. It has been tied up at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet (SBRF) in Benecia, CA for 50 years. SBRF is the west coast storage location for MARAD the US-DOT group that manages the reserve fleet.  The actual facility can be seen from this GoogleMaps view. The actual boat is no longer here. It has been demolished in Texas.

The Wabash was built in Tacoma in 1942 at the Todd Seatac  facility and several volunteers and friends of the WWFM actually worked at the shipyard on the ship.

Our mission was to visit with Earl Johnson, the Fleet Operations & Maintenance Officer to gain access to the boat and find some artifacts for the WWFM to commemorate that boatbuilding effort. We arrived at the office about 13:00 for the initial briefing about how the process works to go aboard one of the boats.

This letter from Luke Curtis, the 3rd amigo, will sum up the adventure.

This  slideshow of the trip is composed from many photos taken by Dan and Luke.

Part of the afternoon of the first day was spent at Mare Island visiting Mike Stone and the USCGC Alert. Mike is part of a group that is planning to restore the Alert and bring her up the coast to an Oregon or Washington shipyard for some work.

Luke and Dan were leaving on Tuesday afternoon. On the way to the Oakland Airport we swang through the Berkeley Marina to find an 85' Crash Rescue boat moored there.

The advantage for the 83527 was that a pair of 12" signaling search lights were located and a request for additional items was made to MARAD. A second road trip is being organized to get the items for the WWFM and CCOA/83527.


March 2 -  Port Ludlow Chamber of Commerce PowerPoint presentation held at the Harbormaster Restaurant. A short tour of the boat followed after the presentation.
5 - Workparty - Dick Craig rebuilt the stbd 12vdc box to get the missing 1vdc lost in the connections. Roxane and Carole were preparing the  spray shield for painting. Dwayne Thompson continued to rewire the aft lighting circuit. Later the electrical panels were sandblasted at Vern Perryman's garage. We added a temporary plywood aft hatch that would be waterproof to keep the lazarette dry since the white canvas was removed.
7 - I  attended the Tall Ships "Maritime Traffic" planning meeting at the Foss Waterway Office, Tacoma with Dick Craig. The agenda is here.
5-9 - We have been working off and on repairing the scuppers under the spray shield. For years the rainwater has been running through the scupper holes and leaking down into the compartments. This was repaired by digging out all of t he soft rotten wood possible, then allowing the areas to dry out and apply a heavy mixture of fiberglass resin sold by the Rot Doctor. Their documentation is very complete and helpful for just our kind of project. After 3-4 applications of resin to the troubled areas a short PVC pipe was cut to length to route the future water through, instead of a wooden path.
We then foamed in the voids with spray can closed cell foam. The excess was cut away with a knife and "sculptured" with a Dremel grinder. The outer foam surfaces were fiberglass resined several times. finally the entire lower two inches was waterproofed  with liberally applied black pickup "bedliner."

All hangers and hardware removed and the rusty areas were sanded and a coat of NAPA rust converter was applied. The seam where the angle iron plate that attaches to the pilot house and the spray shield was chipped and sanded and all caulking, bad wood and general crap was removed. The rusty edges of both sides were painted with the rust converter. More work is required to finish this part. The final fix will be completed another day.

Pilot house seam     Aft end of sprayshield
Ventilator sheet metal awaiting replacement.
9 - Bill Eldridge from Port Ludlow and former CG EN2, came by and helped tear down the engine to remove the head for inspection.
Tearing her down Bill removing the head "nuts". Early observations  
15 - I went to the dock to figure out a way to get the head out of the boat with limited help. Across the dock from the 83527 was the USCGC Orcas from Coos Bay, OR, in for a little R & R on the Port Ludlow golf course.
Orcas across the dock. Thanks to Greg Edney, MK2 and Jeff Siron, MKC for the assistance.  
16 - Took the engine head to Courtwright Diesel Machine, [Bill, service manager, 253-383-4888] in Tacoma for inspection. Chuck and I presented the 20mm cannon mockup build idea to Andy Barr at WWFM for study and possible construction from wood.
18 - Dick Craig picked up the head from  Courtwright Diesel for the Saturday work party.
19 - At this workparty we got the engine head into the engine room, discuss moving with PL Marina. sanding done on the sprayshield. The most fun was getting to paint the stern numbers.
Layout and painting the stern numbers
Lowering the engine head. The ammo lockers before paint chipping and scraping.

26-27 - The weather was raining all weekend. Nothing significant happened on board.


29 - Dick Craig and Dan started re-assembly of the engine. We got the head "yarded" over the engine with a chain hoist and a big c-clamp attached to an overhead beam. It is now torqued down to spec ready for the injectors to be installed.


30 - Hurray, the Port Ludlow Marina has cut us a break and we can stay one more month, but at a different slip. That move will probably take place tomorrow with the help of Mike Mallet and the Vessel Assist boat.


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