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Old 01-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

Planned to take the boat last weekend to a bay we'd not visited before.* Got the boat ready, warmed it up, got halfway out of the slip and could go no farther.* There was a bit over 1/4" of ice on the surface of much of the marina.* No problem for a boat going forward through it but it stopped our boat dead trying to back through it.* It's amazing how strong ice can be.* Plus the crunching of the ice against the hull made a horrible sound and, as it turned out, took some of the bottom paint off the transom (we're having the bottom repainted in a month or so anyway so that didn't matter).* But we've been told and have seen in the past the evidence of what even very thin ice can do to gelcoat as a boat cuts through it so we decided to forget it and pulled the boat back into its slip.* We'll visit the bay next time out.

In the first shot the north wind had cleared the ice out of the inner harbor but it never go the ice out of our section.

I realize the sight of a gull eating a starfish while standing on top of the water is no big deal to people in New England and the Maritimes but it's something we almost never see out here.

The third shot is looking out into the San Juan Islands with the Olympics in the distant background.*

Our marina has a good size stream that empties into it so the surface water is very often almost completely fresh which encourages the formation of ice if it stays below freezing for several days in a row.* In the twelve years we've had the boat this is only the second or third time this has happened.* The frustrating thing was the weather this past weekend was perfect--- virtuallly no wind.* So it would have been beautiful out in the islands.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

I wondered what would have happened if you had*applied maximum forward power while still tied to the dock to first try to break up the ice behind.* Still, you didn't have a steel-tipped bow for use after*possible success and*backed out of the berth.* Plastic boats have their limits.*

Carquinez Coot's steel-plated "ice" bow.* No ice-water here.* It's for "errant" docks.



-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 4th of January 2011 11:05:05 PM
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

After putting the boat back in its slip we ran each engine in turn in gear for about 30 minutes to get them up to temperature under load. RPM was about 1200. The propwash broke up and cleared the ice out from behind the boat, eventually all the way across the fairway to the next dock over. So we could have backed out after that and turned to head out of the marina. Problem was that between us and the entrance was about 200-300 yards of unbroken ice, some of it appearing thicker than what had been behind us. As I said, I've seen what punching through even fairly thin with the bow can do to the gelcoat on a boat so we elected to stay put until another day.

That afternoon a commercial crabber came in for fuel, about a 40' boat, and the racket it made coming into the marina through the ice was impressive. He couldn't even get the boat up against the fuel dock when the broken ice piled up between the hull and the floating dock--- they tossed the fuel hose out to him.

As to "errant docks," yes, you'd have to run that heavy prow piece down farther to make it effective against ice and all the crap floating in the water up here.* While the boat pictured was built in the early 1900s to tow Bristol Bay salmon boats to and from the fishing grounds, the placement of replaceable hull protection planking (ironwood) for deadheads, logs, and ice shows up nicely in this photo.* You can see how it runs down aways below the waterline and then aft to protect the outward curve of the hull.* This is the typical placement for hull reinforcement for the waters in the PNW and northwards.

This particular boat is powered by its original engine.* I believe it is a Washington engine, four or six cylinders.* I've been in the engine room when it was running--- all exposed rocker arms and pushrods and spinning governors.* At max throttle it sounds like it's doing about 100 rpm.* Judging by the sound when the are putting it into its slip, I think they have to stop the engine and then restart it when they want to reverse direction. but I could be wrong.* It's in charter service today, very nicely restored.

By the way, there is a boat that appears to be identical to yours in our marina right now.* Has a dark blue hull, white topsides.* It's on a dock that's assigned to one of the yacht clubs.* I've seen it here in years past but know nothing of its ownership.* It has window covers on it and I've not seen anyone on it so I'm guessing the owner made arrangements to keep it here for the winter.



-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 4th of January 2011 11:36:44 PM
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:24 PM   #4
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RE: Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

Quote:
Marin wrote:But we've been told and have seen in the past the evidence of what even very thin ice can do to gelcoat as a boat cuts through it so we decided to forget it and pulled the boat back into its slip.
I have spent hundreds of hours on different boats pushing through ice with just the normal gel coat protecting the glass.* It's actually shocking how little damage is done to most boats.* After a full season of daily runs through the ice, certainly there is wear, but it's been pretty minimal.* Additionally, a couple years ago when Began was in Ketchikan after having transited the North West Passage, including being trapped in an ice flow for quite a while, I went to have a look at the hull.* If I didn't already know where they had come from I would have never had known they had even been in the ice.* There was almost no damage at all.* Certainly different boats might react differently, but I think you might do just fine pushing through a thin layer of ice............Arctic Traveller


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Old 01-05-2011, 01:54 AM   #5
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Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

Depending on the consistency and hardness of the ice, the damage will apparently vary. The boat's I've been shown with ice damage were damaged in our marina, which has ice from very fresh, or completely fresh, water. It's hard and it's sharp. The damage was the same as if you dragged the corner of a chisel over the gelcoat with some pressure, and the scratches went down the whole length of the boat at the waterline. Some scratches were more like gouges and went all the way through the gelcoat down to the glass itself. This may be rare, I don't know, but after seeing what can happen we have elected not to chance it with our boat.

We have gone through ice one time, far out in Bellingham Bay.* This was thin salt water ice, perhaps a quarter-inch thick, although it was hard to tell because as the bow went through it (we had slowed to idle speed) it more or less crumbled apart on contact.* This is why we first thought we'd have no problem backing out of our slip and leaving the marina.

The ice in our marina, however, broke like plate glass, with big, jagged sheets of it that rotated and came up vertically through the surface of the water when they broke off.* And it was strong enough to prevent the boat from moving altogether after we'd backed about half a boat length out of the slip.* So perhaps sea ice is less dense or not as hard as fresh water ice and so is less likely to scratch and gouge gelcoat.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 5th of January 2011 03:08:12 AM
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:44 AM   #6
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RE: Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

In the early 1970's after a very cold spell, an Ed Monk Sr wood boat owned by a business acquaintance was enroute from Seattle to Anacortes, and came across some sheet ice in the vicinity of Strawberry Pt.* There is considerable fresh water in this area, and patches of sheet ice are not uncommon.*

The owner drove his boat through the ice at 12 knots, not realizing the consequences.**After some few minutes, the bilge alarms went off, and he was lucky to get the boat to the beach before she filled.

The*forward part of the yellow cedar hull was knifed clear through to the*frames.

Although declared a total constructive loss, he chose to rebuild.*
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #7
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RE: Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

Jay N,
Yes I've heard it's bad bad for wood boats. AND it's quite possible to sink or otherwise do damage to a wood boat in a harbor tied to it's slip using propwash or pushing ice w one's metal or plastic hull. I'm quite sure the offending boat is legally responsible just as they are for wake damage.
The guys here don't put antifouling on their skiff bottoms and love to get back to a clean bottom by running over the ice at speed. 98% of the skiffs are aluminum. It sounds a bit like an airplane crashing and you would probably notice that Marin.
So far it's been a mild winter here and we've had almost no ice in the bay.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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RE: Shortest cruise we've ever taken.

Quote:
Marin wrote:


So perhaps sea ice is less dense or not as hard as fresh water ice and so is less likely to scratch and gouge gelcoat.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 5th of January 2011 03:08:12 AM
Almost all my ice time has been spent pushing through glacial ice calved off of the South and North Sawyer glacier.* Often times we had to break trail for several miles to get to the face of the glacier. It was easiest if you could follow another boat about five feet off their transom, but that was pretty exciting too if they stopped.* Often times I would look for a burg with a V shaped notch. I'd put the bow in the notch and use it like a snow plow.* That worked quite well until one day with a new boat and a flat bottom, I instead rode up on the burg, getting stuck for a while.* Rule number one in ice is never reverse, but I ended up with a bent prop anyway.*

It was not unusual to be completely iced in for a half mile in all directions. The only way in or out was to simply push through as slow as possible.* One big difference though might have been the fact that all the icebergs and bergey bits were floating free.* If we ever got to solid ice, attached to the shore, it was pretty much game over for going forward, although this rarely happened except very early in the season.* ..Arctic Traveller

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