ON THE WATERFRONT: Check transponder status when storing boats

PLATYPUS MARINE, THE full-service shipyard, yacht repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles launched Mystic Moon on Thursday.

She is a Selene 62 that had been at their facility for the past couple of months receiving a fresh coat of paint.

Platypus has the F/V Jamie Marie, a 90-foot Steel Dragger on the hard.

The commercial fishing vessel hails from Westport and will be a guest at their facility for about 3 weeks having paint touched up.

Recently a concrete behemoth moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3. The vessel is a 389-foot Graving Dock that for many years had been moored next to the Alaska Ferry terminal in Bellingham.

The vessel will soon be underway for Hawaii.

However, before that can happen her hull must be cleaned — a task that will be undertaken by All-Sea, an international ships husbandry company with innovative underwater solutions to keep ships in service.

Mark Horness, assistant operations manager in the Port Angeles office of All-Sea on Marine Drive, said their company has a proprietary system that will clean the bottom of the dock of all aquatic species, which they will take out of the water and dispose of properly.

Transponder status

This is the time of the year that many boater’s haul their vessel out of the water.

For those with Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders on their boats it is important to remember to accurately report the status of your boat.

AIS is an automatic tracking system that is used on commercial vessels, yachts and an increasing number of recreational boats to identify themselves and monitor vessel activity by electronically exchanging data with AIS base stations and other vessels that are similarly equipped.

The information provided by the AIS includes a unique identifier for each vessel and its position, course and speed.

This time of the year recreational boaters tend to drift no further than the confines of their home.

In so doing it appears that a fair number of them have neglected to properly delineate their vessel’s navigational status by switching the setting on their AIS transponder from underway to either anchored or moored.

Failing to do so clutters the system with extraneous information and affects a boater’s ability to accurately navigate and detect approaching vessels.

This is because an anchored or moored vessel with an AIS system reports the vessel’s status every three minutes.

However, an underway navigational status can report as frequently as every couple of seconds.

For the safety of all boaters, double-check to make certain the transponder is on the correct setting thus insuring the system’s availability in a time of true need.

Sailor says

I enjoy words and words that we use in our daily life that came out of the maritime world.

• Painter — One just recently perked up my home along the waterfront. A painter is a short piece of line attached to the bow of a boat making it fast to a pier or piling.

• Fast — Secure or securely. In the days of whaling ships, a “fast boat” was a boat that was secured to a whale by a harpoon.


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

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

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

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