ON THE WATERFRONT: Change, snow in the air at Port Angeles harbor

THIS WEEK WHEN I stopped in at Tesoro Petroleum’s office, I was told they did not bunker any ships during the week because their barge, HMS 2000, was still in dry dock in Vancouver, B.C.

HMS 2000 and the tug Brian S are owned by Olympic Tug and Barge and have been used to bunker ships in Port Angeles harbor since 2001.

Change is in the air.

Tesoro Petroleum refining and marketing is now under the Marathon Oil umbrella.

As a consequence Vane Brothers Towing, a maritime service company that heretofore has operated on the East Coast and the Gulf Coast, will be taking over the bunkering duties in the harbor.

Presumably, Olympic Tug and Barge will assign Brian S and HMS 2000 alternate tasks in Puget Sound.

I understand Vane Brothers will be bringing three barges and tugs to the Puget Sound to cover their new responsibilities.

All the snow across the region reminded me of recommendations made by the Marine Insurance Division of Boat U.S. for properly winterizing watercraft which they based on a review of damage claims.

• Follow engine manufacturer’s recommendations for winterizing. Typically, inboard engines should have the fresh water flushed out of the manifolds and replaced with anti-freeze. Outboard motors should be flushed-out with clean fresh water and then allowed to completely drain.

Boats left in a slip are less susceptible to freezing because the surrounding water retains heat longer than air.

• If your winterizing plan calls for draining the engine, the seawater strainer must be winterized or residual water could freeze and rupture the watertight seal. Owners often don’t know it’s damaged until spring launching when water begins to trickle in.

• For boats left in the water, leaving seacocks open over the winter is like going on extended vacation without locking the house. If a thru-hull cannot be closed, the vessel must be stored ashore — the sole exception is cockpit drains.

Snow loads can also force your boat under, allowing water to enter thru-hulls that are normally well above the water line.

• Engine cooling system petcocks clogged by rust or other debris will prevent water from adequately draining. If one is plugged, try using a coat hanger to clear the blockage or use the engine’s intake hose to flush anti-freeze through the system.

• Boats with large open cockpits or low freeboard can easily be pushed underwater by the weight of accumulated ice and snow. Always store them ashore.

Platypus Marine, the Port Angeles-based, full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive, has Lady Alderbrook, a 60-foot Deronden, in the Commander building. She is a charter boat that is available for private cruises along the Hood Canal.

Personnel are repairing the windows; the decks and bottom will receive a fresh coat of paint.

Platypus hauled out Pastime, a 100 foot Jones-Goodell; personnel will rehab the hydraulic hoses and paint the deck.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats andstrolling the area’s waterfronts and boat yards.

Items and questions involving boating, marina and industrial activities and the North Olympic Peninsulawaterfronts are always welcome. News announcements about boating groups, including yacht clubs andsquadrons, are welcome as well.

Email [email protected] or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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