DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Big blue tanker moored for rudder repair

POLAR ENDEAVOUR MOORED to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 North last Monday for rudder repair.

She was the first of five Endeavour Class tankers and put into service in 2001.

During the succeeding five years, the big blue Polar Resolution, Polar Discovery, Polar Adventure, and Polar Enterprise were brought on line by Polar Tankers Inc. to haul Conoco ­Phillips products.

The double-hull ships have a projected 30-year life span.

Each has two independent engine rooms providing redundant propulsion systems which are separated by a fireproof, water-tight bulkhead.

They also have twin steering systems, a separate bow thruster and an array of electronic systems that are so sensitive they are able to alert the bridge watch of even the slightest course deviation.

The first four Endeavour Class tankers were named in honor of the ships sailed by the legendary 18th century explorer, Capt. James Cook.

The fifth, Enterprise, launched in 2006, is named to honor the eight Enterprises that have served the United States during America’s two-century history.

Not an easy task

Straits Marine and Industrial is repairing a crack in the starboard rudder on Polar Endeavour.

At first blush it would seem a simple task to weld the cracked rudder and send the ship on her way. But such is not the case.

In this instance, the high strength steel used for the rudder must first be heated prior to welding to guard against sympathetic cracks developing in the area of the weld.

This is accomplished by applying a heating pad to the rudder that appears to be about three feet square. The pad will heat the work area of the rudder to a temperature exceeding 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit).

During the welding process, this temperature must be maintained.

Once the job is completed the rudder must be slowly cooled down to prevent any cracks developing or the rudder steel from becoming distorted.

Tug repaired

On the south side of the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 is Corpus Christi, a 144-foot tug that is also having welding repairs done to a rudder.

Frank Helm of Com Dive and James Luna of Power Tech have combined their collective talents and resources with All Sea Enterprises of Vancouver, British Columbia, to do repairs to the crippled tug.

The welding was done under water by a diver in a dry suit. Luna and Helm were topside in a trailer overseeing and providing support for the work via closed-circuit television.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) was onsite supervising the long, slow process. Once ABS approves the repair, the tug will pick up her barge, Petrochemical Supplier, which is anchored in the harbor and be on their merry way.

Fish processor

American Dynasty, a 272 foot catcher-processor, briefly moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3 last week to offload a balky net reel, which Hermann Brothers of Port Angeles transported to Seattle for repairs.

The catcher-processor — also known in the industry as a factory trawler — catches, processes and freezes pollock in the Bering Sea.

Their products include pollock roe (fish eggs), surimi (used for various products such as imitation crab meat, also known as crab sticks), fillet blocks, headed and gutted fish and fish meal.

Armstrong’s newest

Armstrong Marine, the aluminum boat fabricator on U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim, launched a 37-foot catamaran last week.

The boat, which was five months in the making, is now on a low-boy trailer bound for Miami.

Joe Beck of Armstrong said the vessel, which is named La Buga, was built as a pilot boat for the Guatemalan government and her ultimate destination is Empresa Portuaria Nacional Santo Tomas de Castilla in Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean Sea.

La Buga is due in Miami on Nov. 2.

After a two day layover to clear customs, a crew from Guatemala will go aboard and spend the next four to five days learning the intricacies of the vessel with Armstrong Marine’s CEO, Josh Armstrong, as she makes the 800-mile journey to her home port.

Out of the water

On Friday morning, Platypus Marine hauled out the new Miss Lisa, a steel expedition-style yacht.

Citadel Yachts by Aleutian in Tacoma build Miss Lisa, and she was brought to Port Angeles for some minor work in the engine room and the application of another coat of varnish on selected areas of the interior.

Judson Linabary, president of Platypus Marine, headed up a large contingent of craftsmen from his company who have spent the past year in Tacoma working on the yacht.

During December, Miss Lisa will be put aboard a YachtPath ship and transported through the Panama Canal to Florida, where she will be on display at the Miami Boat Show in February and the Palm Beach Boat Show in March.

Filling SSRqem up

Tuesday, Tesoro Petroleum refueled Overseas Long Beach, a 600-foot petroleum products tanker that then got under way to California.

On Friday, Tesoro bunkered Sea Bulk Pride, a 575-foot tanker that is under contract to Tesoro Petroleum.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who lives in Port Angeles.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome.

E-mail [email protected] or phone him at 360-417-3736.

His column,On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

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