Richmond to Bodega Bay
Workparty #8 - The final preparation

07/06/04 At Port Ludlow, Dan and Royal packed the Suburban and U-haul trailer with generator, life rafts, survival suits and every other conceivable gadget that anyone we knew had laying around that might make the trip more fun and safe. Roxane Withers and Sue Journey will leave Friday morning for Richmond with the Suburban and trailer.

 07/07/04 Dan Withers and Royal Journey flew to Oakland, CA and rented a vehicle. This will give us 5 more days to get prepared for departure.
07/08/04 Started attacking the list of projects. Went to Home Depot and purchased hardware, plywood and etc. Started replacing plywood decks in the aft two compartments for ease of movement and clean storage of "stuff."
07/09/04 Continued on the list. Called in David Perez, Bay City Diesel, to look over state of the engines. He recommended a list of improvements. We agreed and he started some pipe and injector replacements.
07/10/04 Wink Weber, President of the 83 Footer Association arrived at Oakland. Dan picked him up at the airport.
Continued working on the list. Royal started a windshield structure. We started stowing equipment received when Roxane and Sue (Journey) arrived with the Suburban and trailer from Seattle.
07/11/04 Sunday Continued on preparation. Royal working on windshield. Dan on electrical and Wink on rigging and berthing.
07/12/04 Monday - Continued preparation. Painting and installed the oily water filter.

07/13/04 Tuesday - Continued preparation. Dan got Navigation products ready to go.

07/14/04 Wednesday - We got more things cleaned up and ready for getting fuel and a test run. We moved across from the marina to Channel Marina and put on 502 gallons of diesel. That took about 3 hours. Then we went out for a 3 hour sea trial. Upon return the winds were calm and the tie up was easy. We had dinner and to bed early for a 6am departure.

Departing Richmond

07/15/04 Thursday - Departed Richmond, Sugar Dock about 6am. Crossed under the Golden Gate about 7:10 and followed the fishing fleet out. The waters were calm and great.
After rounding Pt. Reyes we started riding the trough and it was a different story. The old round bottom girl really rolled. There went lunch over the side.

Later I noticed the starboard stuffing box was overheating (steaming) so we slowed down and I tried to cycle the transmission from reverse to forward to get some cooling water circulating. Unfortunately this resulted in locking the port transmission and killing the engine. After considerable fiddling around we decided to continue on one engine into Bodega Bay and evaluate our condition. As we entered the bay the Starboard engine started to act fuel starved. It would only run at high RPM if the manual fuel pump was pumped.
Once we arrived at the entrance to Bodega Bay we idled in on one engine to the "B" dock at Spud Point Marina. Unfortunately the wind started blowing very wildly and now we were all crossed up in the channel without enough power to hold a position.
The harbor master at Spud Point Marina advised that we request assistance from the Coast Guard Station at Bodega Bay. Within 10 minutes from the request the 47footer crew was on scene and they immediately had us tied to their port side and were in control of the "out of control."
They did a fantastic job of securing the 83 footer to their boat and with the control and power they had available, they stuffed her right up next to the "B" dock and we had her tied down even with the wind to our side. The CG boys were chuckling that they had rescued a Coast Guard boat. We gabbed for awhile and did the paperwork.

We finally had dinner across the street from the Marina at a salmon feed place. We were in bed by 9pm and I crashed until 8am. We were whipped after that day.

Bodega Bay

7/16/04 Friday - Lay in port at Spud Point Marina. Spent day calling around for assistance. Most people gone over the weekend. Two good prospects gone all next week on vacation. Roxane took Wink Weber to the Santa Rosa Airport to get a rental car. He was going to drive to Oakland and fly back to Portland to meet his Monday morning commitments.

07/17/04 Saturday - Since it was obvious that we were to be here for awhile, Roxane and Sue will drive back to Seattle with the Suburban starting this morning. They left about 10am.
Met with George Burton (Dan's high school and Navy buddy) from Willits, CA and got ham radio working and misc small projects out of the way. George dropped us off at the Santa Rosa Airport and we got a rental car and drove back to Bodega Bay (via Home Depot). Dan is feeling almost normal again.

07/18/04 Sunday - 0900 met with Richard Porterfield from Mobile Repair Service (Santa Rosa) and put together the plan on the transmission. His plan was simple. You guys get it out, I'll come back and work on it on Monday afternoon. We went to Santa Rosa Home Depot (again) and Harbor Freight Tools and loaded up on lumber and chain hoist and chains. In the afternoon and evening we built the hoisting frame.

07/19/04 Monday - Chaining up to start lifting this morning. Successfully removed the transmission by mid afternoon. Thanks to warboats fan Greg Brazil (Berkeley, CA) who has been carrying his manual around for days now on our behalf. The "replaceable" clutch plate and the end bearing were wasted. The bearing has never seen any grease, mostly because there wasn't a fitting to grease it. Richard (Mobile Repair) will be here at 8:am Tuesday to start disassembly and parts determination. Back to more mundane projects. Its too damp and foggy to paint. Royal is working on the canvas for the flying bridge
07/20/04 Tuesday - Breakfast for the crew.


Started out on the phone trying to sort through the parts sources. We were referred to Bay Diesel who could get new parts in quickly. Unfortunately it turned out that their supplier couldn't ship after 1:30pm from LA. That complicates our situation because Richard at MRS must be completed by Thursday evening (more vacations).

I decided to meet a guy at 3pm in Vallejo who claimed he had a good used complete transmission. We met the "un-named source" at the "designated location" and after pulling off the top cover and endplate discovered that other than being ugly it was in very good shape. So here we set with a Chevrolet Cavalier rental car and a 600# (at least) transmission. Fortunately Avis had a lot in Vallejo to dump the Cavalier and we picked up a Mazda mini-van at Hertz. Rushing back to the used equipment lot we found them ready with the transmission on a pallet on the fork lift ready to stuff in the back of the (undercapacity) minivan. With some nudging and protective cardboard (and cash changing hands) we were off for Santa Rosa hoping that we could get Richard at MRS to be there at 7:30pm to unload it at his shop so we didn't have to drive over the mountains to Bodega Bay and then back in the morning. He was there and we agreed that it would probably work as a "parts dog" for the repair.
07/21/04 Wednesday -  Foggy as usual this morning. We have hot coffee and the "Big Bands of the 40's-and 50's" CD playing (Sentimental Journey right now) this morning. "Live and direct from the decks of the 83527."  "Sing it  Peggy Lee."
This morning we got a call from Captain Jim Nolan from the USS Red Oak Victory, a WWII Victory Ship down in Richmond. He is a participant in that restoration. He brought three 25 man life rafts to carry back. We got them hand carted down the dock and "block and tackled" on board.
We then "block and tackled" out the bad transmission sub assemblies and got them to the van. We then delivered them to MRS for assembly with the transmission from yesterday. From the blueing on the shaft you can see how hot things got in there.
This has inspired some conversation about pulling the other transmission from the engine to at least know what the front bearings look like. Since we have the A-frame in place we could easily move it and only loose a half day looking. Were still pondering that one.
I guess we will take showers tonight and go into Bodega Bay for a real dinner instead of the normal baloney sandwiches.

07/22/04 Thursday - Today was supposed to be the day to receive the transmission parts and get it assembled. Now we are told it will be first thing tomorrow morning. Royal finished the flying bridge windscreen top cover canvas instead. Also the piping for the forward head was built up. We need one more pipe fitting to finish. We will get that tomorrow. Since the sun came out for awhile Dan completed the "white washing" of the starboard side. She looks pretty "fresh" now. We decided to take a look at the port engine "fuel starvation" symptom we noticed when coming in the bay. Closer inspection showed the fuel pump was leaking. We bypassed the "new" Racor filter setup and determined that the starvation was external to that. The engine will run OK at 1000 rpm if you are supplementing the fuel pressure with the bulkhead mounted hand pump. I placed a call to Bay City Diesel for advice.

07/23/04 Friday - This morning about 9am Ron from MRS arrived with what he thought was the parts for a quick re-assembly. After a few questions like, "where are the clutch plates" and where is the "bla,bla,bla". Well he was the victim of "boss hurrying out of town." So we started assembling the main shafts and I headed for their shop to get the "missing" stuff and a new fuel pump for the port engine about noon. Plus I needed to get some oil for the transmission and some pipe fittings and "stuff" from the hardware store. So I arrived back about 5pm and things were waiting for the parts I returned with. Royal and I will finish the assembly tomorrow and get it back on line. The fuel pump should solve the fuel starvation on the port engine. Itís a big Friday night in Bodega Bay tonight. We are taking our every 3 day showers and doing the laundry at the marina facility. We will probably migrate out to the Sandpiper for dinner later since weíre cleaned up.

07/24/04 Saturday - Our first project was to install the new fuel pump on the port engine. That seemed to solve the "surging" or fuel starvation problem. Then we tackled the reassembly of the transmission clutch. Although it was very time consuming, it was easy to do. Unfortunately there appears to be something we canít identify wrong because we can't get it to shift into "forward." I'm guessing that something is binding or not properly assembled on the main shaft. Later in the afternoon we got a call from a friend from Richmond who suggested that he and another truck transmission mechanic would come up and look at it with us. After a couple of hours of fussing with it he agreed that something must be assembled wrong on the main shaft. So goes another day.
07/25/04 Sunday - We decided that we wouldn't get greasy today. Royal finished hooking up the forward head and got that cleaned up for use. No more 5 gallon bucket.
Today is paint the balance of the deck day. It took about 2 hours to vacuum, blow, wash down, scrub and blow any water away that was pooling. Dan cut in around the edges and Royal rolled on everywhere else, except for a pathway to the ladder. We put our shower kits and clean clothes on the dock, then painted ourselves off the boat.

After we got cleaned up we went to Petaluma, actually Penngrove, and went to the Pengrove Power and Implement Museum. They have the other Sterling Viking engine from the 83527. Although I was hoping it was operational, it is just setting waiting for some TLC.


On the way home we stopped at Safeway and got some more food, cleaning supplies, water and pancake mix. At Home Depot we got some cheapo carpet to make runners between hatches to keep the newly painted deck "grease free" from dirty shoes coming out of  the engine room.

This bumper sticker about sums up the state of mind in Bodega Bay.

07/26/04 Monday - I called the mechanic this morning at 7am and left a message about our non-progress. He called back about 8 and indicated that he was going to be leaving Lake Tahoe about noon and would make it by in the afternoon. That never happened. I got a call about 6pm indicating that he would be there at 9am Tuesday.

We spent the day on little cleanup tasks that were needed. Such as caulking and painting. I mounted the new VHF radio and antenna, cleaned up some of the AC cords we had strung around for lighting and relocated all of the stuff that was moved for the mid-ship painting. Royal got the flying bridge "canvas" tied down with screweyes that were added. Since the "quarterdeck" is so nicely painted we cut some cheapo carpet strips and laid them on the deck for greasy shoes to walk on in hopes that it will stay clean for awhile.

07/27/04 Tuesday - Hurray, she's back together. We got the kinks worked out and the transmission reassembled and bolted up to the engine. We will run test it on Thursday. Tomorrow we will pull off the port transmission and turn it 90 degrees on the chain hoist. Then we will pull the front cover to look at the forward bearings to see if they are getting grease. If they are, then back together she goes and we are done. That will take about 5 hours to do.

Tonight three Coasties from the Bodega Bay Station stopped by in their RIB to take a tour of the boat. They were amazed at the "conditions" that their "forefathers" put up with compared to the boats of today that they were familiar with. We were invited to call the station and see if anyone was available to crew with us on the test run.

We wrapped up the day with a big slab of salmon provided by the guys across the dock from us. Royal dug out the "George Foreman" and "grilled" it up for us. That was chased with chocolate pudding.

I got a phone call and an invitation to stop at Coast Guard Port Angeles on the way down the Straits on the home leg.

07/28/04 Wednesday - Ratz . . . We got the port transmission off and inspected the front bearing. Wasted! Yes, no grease, but the shafts don't seem to be damaged. We disassembled it down to the basics and drove the assemblies to MRS in Santa Rosa. Richard will attack it first thing in the morning. Hopefully we can find the two replacement bearings locally. Then we can have it back to the boat for re-assembly.
patented dual come along coupler splitter wasted pilot bearing end of transmission yarding the assembly
down to the dock cart.

07/29/04 Thursday - The bearings for the transmission had to be ordered, so today was filled with more "fixit" projects. Since every night has been foggy and heavy with dew, we chased down little leaks in the deck and pilot house. We also cleaned up the dock where it looked like a "crashbox" junkyard. The bearings should arrive at the "parts place" at 9am, so maybe by days end we will have it re installed for a Saturday test run.

07/30/04 Friday - The bearings did not arrive as promised. There was some story about FEDEX loosing the shipment. The tracking number did show that they were near by. About 4pm they appeared and Richard from MRS did pick them up and got the shaft ready to bring out tomorrow. We worked on more caulking and canvas cover projects today.

07/31/04 Saturday - Richard arrived about 11 with the parts and we started re-assembling the transmission. At 7 pm we were completed and had been running it without a load for about 1/2 hour. Off to the showers, but it was too late for any of the local restaurants to be open, so we celebrated with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We're beat. Early to bed. Hopefully the wind will die down tonight and we can get in a test run tomorrow. Unfortunately we don't have a 3rd crewman for a Monday departure.

08/01/04 Sunday - Success! We got the "trashed" engine room cleaned up and about 1pm left the dock for the test run. We drafted Juan, from our neighbor boat for helmsman, plus he knew the entry and exit procedures from the harbor. We ran her up to 14mph (on gps) at full throttle, but generally loafed around at 11mph at 1100rpm. There was no wind and therefore an uneventful landing at the dock. I took some good video footage that I will try to get working to stream from this site. Since the schedule is so delayed I don't have anyone absolutely committed to leave with us, so until then we will have to set. I should hear from a guy tomorrow morning that "says" he is in for the whole trip. That would have us leaving on Wednesday morning though.

08/02/04 Monday - Here we are all cleaned up and canít leave. We are scrounging the phone book for at least one more person to help us get underway. The clock is ticking away for our hard deadline of Port Townsend by August 14th. That is the day of the "83 Footer Sailors" Annual Reunion. This afternoon the sun came out for the first time in 3 weeks. I got a few shots of the boat in the sun. She looks like a band of gypsies live aboard.

Tonight was another "heart healthy" dinner. Maybe we will find that missing volunteer tomorrow.

08/03/04 Tuesday - Last night after the page was updated things came together. I will make a "West Marine" run to Richmond tomorrow morning and pick up two guys that will go on the Fort Bragg leg, then work their way back to Richmond on their own. Then from Fort Bragg, Selby Drew, a former 83 Footer will go with us to Newport, then we will figure out how to get him back to Ft Bragg. From Newport we have a couple of possibilities for "crew" the rest of the way. That part is jelling right now. Today was spent getting things secure for the trip. I worked on the main generator to see if I could see a simple problem (no schematic) with the voltage adjustment circuit. It should adjust down to 220vac, but runs at 300. That makes the light bulbs burn real bright (for awhile)! We will continue to use the Honda powered generator lashed to the deck as primary power while underway. We made the rounds to NAPA, Ace Hardware and Safeway this afternoon getting "stuff" for the trip.

08/04/04 Wednesday - I drove back to Richmond and did some parts shopping and picked up Jim Hauso (lived at the Sugar Dock) and Don Venneri (Jims friend) and returned the rental car. That took care of one day. We are ready to get underway first thing in the morning. At last! The wind is really howling tonight. I hope it gives it up before morning, or we don't leave. Off to bed.

[ Home ] [ Top ] [Next Page]