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Old 01-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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Big-ass Travelift

Came across these photos today while cleaning up my office at home. They were taken several years ago with a cheap film camera with digital scans put on a CD by the processing company.

The full-service boatyard in our marina, Seaview North, started out with a 35 ton Travelift, which they still have and use for boats like ours.

But a year or so after the yard opened they acquired this monster. It was a good investment as Bellingham has a small but active commercial fishing fleet including a number of 58' Alaska limit seiners like the one pictured.

Consequently Seaview North does a fairly lively business hauling and working on commercial fishing boats, large yachts, and things like whale watch boats and such. They are also one of the few boatyards in the Puget Sound area today that has experienced wooden boat shipwrights on its staff.

The surplus 60' LCM-6 was owned by good friends of Carey's and ours. The owner, Gary, bought the barge (as landing craft are called in the San Juans) to start a hauling service. He, his wife, and their two young daughters built the rooftop pilothouse for better visibility over the ramp.

They operated the LCM-- named Scruff when they bought it but renamed Mud Puppy by their daughters-- for a number of years in the islands. IIRC mud puppy is the local name for a little fish that lives in the tidal zone in Puget Sound.

Gary's specialty was hauling heavy construction equipment to tiny private islands where the owners were building large homes. He and his wife would load and unload the concrete trucks, dump trucks, bulldozers, flatbeds with building materials, backhoes, etc. while one or the other of the daughters, who when they started the business were something like 13 and 15, operated the LCM to hold it on the beach in the currents that swirl around these little islands.

I took the first three shots of the LCM when it was being put back into the water after Gary did some prop and keel cooler work on it. Power for this particular boat is two 6-71s. It was a very windy day so my wife and I helped Gary and his wife take the LCM from the Travelift around to the commercial basin in the harbor for fuel.

The last photo shows the Mud Puppy in the configuration it was in when Gary bought it. At the time they lived on Sucia Island so they named their barge company for the little drying bay in front of their house, Mud Bay. The LCM is entering Mud Bay in the photo.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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That's a nice lift. We have a 75T here at Everett, but that is much larger. Must be a 100T? maybe 120T?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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Nice but that's just a baby brother to this one.

This is the 300 te lift at Platypus. I can't remember the name of the yard next door but they have a 350 te lift. Note that there's one complete set of slings not even hooked up in the picture.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Thanks. Interesting boats pictured.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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That's a nice lift. We have a 75T here at Everett, but that is much larger. Must be a 100T? maybe 120T?
It's a 150 ton Travelift. There is a 330 ton Travelift in Port Townsend that can carry vessels up to 150' long and 30' wide. But Seaview's is the largest (I believe) in the San Juan Island--North Puget Sound area.

When they got it the manager of the yard told me they had initially considered a larger one but after taking measurements they realized that vessels any longer than the 150 ton lift can accommodate would be extremely difficult to maneuver and store in their yard, so the 150 ton model was the largest that made sense for them.

The operator of their 35 ton lift drives it from the lift itself but the 150 ton is operated by wireless remote control.

Until Seaview got their larger lift our friends with the LCM had to take it clear down to La Conner where there is a rail/slipway that can accommodate vessels the size of the Mud Puppy.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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We have been pulled out at Seaview North twice now. These folks have really been great in helping me with repairs I was not sure about tackling . This year the boat pulled just before us was a large catamaran owned by Hobie Alter, the founder of Hobie Cats. Just after we went back in, they pulled a 40 foot boathouse and set it in the yard to be dismantled. I have always wondered what happens to old boathouses.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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Just after we went back in, they pulled a 40 foot boathouse and set it in the yard to be dismantled. I have always wondered what happens to old boathouses.
Hopefully it was recycled and not taken to a landfill.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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Thanks. Interesting boats pictured.
Seaview is not a huge yard as these things go but they always have an interesting parade of boats-- fiberglass, aluminum, steel, and wood-- going through it. It occupies the site of a former ironworks and so has some quite large heated sheds that can accommodate good-sized wood boats so they can be worked on out of the weather.

Since we go up to our boat almost every weekend of the year we see quite a variety of things in the yard. Here are a few more.

Spicy Lady is a modern combination boat--- seiner, crabber, and I believe longliner. The aluminum structure just behind the pilothouse is-- I think--- part of the longline setup. These modules can be craned on and off these boats so they can be changed over to a different type of fishery very quickly.

The David B. was built in 1929 as a cannery tender for the Bristol Bay salmon fishery in Alaska. As such it towed long strings of sail-powered gillnet skiffs to the fishing grounds (powered gillnetters were illegal) and returned their fish to the cannery. She is still powered with her original 100hp Washington Ironworks three-cylinder diesel. I've been on the boat in the yard when they were running the engine and it's a wonderful thing to watch. Six feet high, twelve feet long, with exposed rockers, pushrods, and flyball governor. The engine has a reversing gear. Today the boat is operated in charter cruise service. Yacht Charters, Cruises & Instruction in Alaska and the Inside Passage

The big boat on the left of the shot of two yachts is the 60' Willard I have mentioned in other posts on other threads. The boat next to it is a Nordhavn.

The wood boat in the slings is, I think, an ex-Forestry or Fisheries boat that underwent a major rebuild in one of the sheds. I may be connecting the wrong photo with the boat I looked at on several occasions in the shed during its rebuild, but in any event, it's the sort of work Seaview North can carry out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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The David B is really a neat story. They spent several years rebuilding the boat and wrote a book about it. If you go to You Tube you will find several videos taken by their clients while on a charter in BC and Alaska. They cruised into two different bays I was staying in this summer and you will never forget the sound of that diesel. Very cool !!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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They cruised into two different bays I was staying in this summer and you will never forget the sound of that diesel. Very cool !!
People liken it to the African Queen.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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It looks like I caught Spicy Lady at the floats in Petersburg in 2011. Look at the extremely steep aft buttock line on Spicy Lady. Also for those that think hard chines are for planing hulls see that the Lady has very hard chines and is about as much of a full displacement hull as one can get.

I worked at Washington Iron Works when they were still making parts for the Washington engines. They were made in just about every possible configuration except an inline 9 cyl.

The last time I was in Ketchikan I saw a boat almost exactly like the one in the bottom photo but in very poor condition. Even had a Forfjord anchor hung the same way.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:00 AM   #12
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Seeing one's boat hoisted is inspirational.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:23 AM   #13
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
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Proa?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #15
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It had a canting keel , just getting ready to put it on. The wings were water ballast tanks
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