By David G. Sellars
PDN Maritime Columnist
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I stopped in at Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive, and visited with Charlie Crane, director of sales and marketing.
We toured the Commander Building, Platypus’ large, turquoise-blue heated shop building that is currently home to more than a half-dozen commercial boats and yachts in varying degrees of repair.
One of them, the Puget Sound Pilots boat Strait of Juan de Fuca, was hauled out of the water early last week and will remain in the Commander Building until later this week.
Capt. Charlie said the 74-foot boat is undergoing its semiannual out-of-service period to allow for maintenance of the boat’s critical systems, including her twin 900-horsepower marine diesel engines and Hamilton water jet drives.
Also, the boat’s crew will give the composite hull and superstructure a new coat of wax.
The Strait of Juan de Fuca and her sister vessel, Puget Sound, were built in 1999 by the Nordlund Boat Co. and are the only two pilot boats the Tacoma yacht-maker has built.
Northern Song, a 15-year-old Metalcraft, is another project ensconced in the comfort of the temperature-controlled environment of the Commander Building.
According to Capt. Charlie, the ventilation system that services the six cabins below the main deck is being replaced on the 84-foot Alaskan charter boat.
Personnel fabricated and installed new stainless-steel railings and removed and shipped the anchor and anchor chain to a vendor for a new galvanized coating.
Charlie added that in addition to the captain’s punch list of odds and ends that needed attending to, personnel designed and installed custom seating on the fly bridge and placed an additional monitor in the captain’s quarters to allow him to keep tabs on the vessel’s navigational systems.
Pacific Baron is sitting forward of Northern Song on the building’s west side.
She is a commercial fishing vessel that hails from Nanaimo, B.C.
Capt. Charlie said personnel replaced the transducer for the fish finder, sandblasted the 54-foot fiberglass boat and made a couple of minor hull repairs prior to applying fresh coats of primer and paint.
Charlie added that she should be back in the water by Friday.
Allstar is wedged in between Northern Star and Pacific Baron. She is a 60-foot commercial fishing vessel from Seattle.
She, too, had a transducer replaced and had her hull sandblasted.
On Thursday, soundings were being taken of her bottom to determine if she needs any plating repair prior to a fresh coat of paint.
Platypus Marine also has a U.S. Navy paint barge sitting on the hard that was towed to Port Angeles by Western Towboat of Seattle.
Capt. Charlie said personnel sandblasted the barge and the scaffolding that is attached to it. Necessary plating repairs were then made to the 26-foot-by-26-foot barge, and in accordance with strict Navy guidelines, the vessel received new paint.
Western Towboat will return to Port Angeles in the middle of the week to tow the barge back to her home port.
New life in old boat
Over in the Port Angeles Boat Yard on Marine Drive west of Platypus, Julie Marie was hauled out earlier in the week and sits on the hard.
She is a 54-foot commercial fishing boat that hails from Neah Bay, though I suspect she hasn’t been a working boat for every bit of 10 years.
At first blush, she appears to be at the end of a useful commercial life, but her current owner sees through the layers of neglect borne of an idle existence and is beginning to breathe new life into her.
On Thursday, Certified Inspection Services of Federal Way did ultrasound testing of the boat’s bottom to test the thickness of the steel plate.
Although I am unaware of those results, they apparently were satisfactory because I understand the owner is going forward with the renovations he envisions and convert the vessel to a crabber.
Back in the water
Thursday afternoon, Dan Schmid — also known as “Commander” along the waterfront — put Pacific Quest back in the water using the boat yard’s 70-ton TraveLift.
She is a brand-new crabber that was built by Millennium Marine in Escuminac, New Brunswick, Canada.
The vessel was trucked to Canal Boat Yard in Seattle a little over three weeks ago to have a host of journeymen finish the boat.
Doug Lambert of Pacific Fiberglass did the finish glasswork and installed the fish boxes and keel cooler as well as the final painting.
Puget Sound Hydraulics designed and installed the complete hydraulic system, and Elmore Electrical installed all of the electrical components.
Jeremy Cornelson of Port Angeles, who operates Blue Water Boatworks and can often be found in far-flung locales working on any manner of marine craft, installed the vessel’s plumbing, mast and attendant hardware.
Jeremy said he checked his AIS vessel-tracking system at 8 a.m. Friday morning and saw that Pacific Quest was off Westport and heading south to her home of Fortuna, Calif., and would arrive in time for the opening of crab season.
No. 10 is launched
Westport Shipyard launched Annastar, a 50-meter tri-deck superyacht, on Nov. 10.
She is the 10th 164-foot yacht that Westport has built in Port Angeles since opening its manufacturing plant at 637 Marine Drive in November 2003.
The typical 50-meter Westport yacht has a beam of 30 feet 10 inches and draws a little over 7 feet.
She can sleep a dozen folks in six staterooms and has a crew of 13.
The yacht cruises at 20 knots with a top speed of 24 knots and has a range of between 3,000 and 5,000 nautical miles, depending upon how quickly the owner wants to get from here to there.
Annastar, which has an undisclosed East Coast owner, stopped at the Port Angeles Boat Haven last week for a load of diesel as she made her way south.
I understand the captain was asked how far south he was going.
His reply: “Until I find 76-degree weather.”
A new Westport 112 that was built in Hoquiam has taken up temporary residence in the Port Angeles Boat Haven.
According to Katie Wakefield, administrative assistant at Westport Shipyard, the company will be shipping the yacht to Florida by Yacht Path from either Victoria or Nanaimo, B.C., and she is scheduled to arrive in time for the Miami Boat Show on Feb. 14-18.
Load of logs
POS Jade is moored to Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3.
The 577-foot-long cargo ship with a 98-foot beam is being loaded with approximately 5 million board feet of debarked logs that are destined for China.
She is the 13th and final log ship to be loaded with cargo in Port Angeles this year.
When the final load numbers are in for POS Jade, the yearly total of logs loaded aboard ships in Port Angeles should exceed by a hairbreadth the 65 million board feet that was projected for all of 2012 — which is also the projected volume for 2013.
Tesoro Petroleum did not bunker any vessels last week because Matrix Systems of Bellingham was replacing some piping and valves at Tesoro’s tank farm on Ediz Hook.
The petroleum company site should be up and running again this week.
David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfronts.
Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him at 360-808-3202. His column appears Sundays.