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Old 09-05-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
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Vessel delivery run from Seattle to Portland

Quite a week!

My wife and I took an Alaskan cruise on Holland America with a group of friends and enjoyed every minute of being "off grid".

Got off the cruise ship Saturday morning, and at noon jumped onto a 34' Mainship 34T as delivery skipper for a run to Portland from Elliott Bay. My crew had never been offshore, so he was a mix of excitement and a bit of fear.

We left under clear skies and calm Puget Sound waters. Rounding Port Townsend, the Pacific swell became predictably noticeable, but not uncomfortable. The Mainship simply chugged on without incident.

First stop- Seiku for fuel- only they are out! So plans for running overnight are out (full tank = happy skipper!)...so, overnight at Seiku.

Next morning, clear skies, and the Straits are 2-3 with long intervals. Headed to Neah for fuel, then around Cape Flattery and south. The forecast of 4 foot seas at 11 seconds out of the Northwest proved to be true, and the little Mainship took the quartering seas like a trooper, and the Yanmar purred. Yes, I was becoming impressed with this little boat!

Lots of life in the ocean- must have seen 30+ whales, plus a pod of dolphin aggressively feeding on the surface.

We continued down the coast, and between Forks and Ocean Shores, the wind picked up and the gentle following quarter sea became steep and full of whitecaps. The trip became a game of riding the trough, then turning SE to regain track. Thankfully, the owner had secured the vessel well of gear adrift, and the only casualties were a turnbuckle that backed off the cable securing the tender, and dinner- the spaghetti container in the cooler took a tumble and made a huge mess!

Approaching the Columbia Bar, my deckhand stated he had a "strong pucker factor", and went down to get his life vest. While of the flybridge, he decided to clean the cooler, and went to work....just as we crossed the bar 1.5 hours past the slack on the ebb tide. Zero drama.

Moored up at the Port of Astoria overnight; in the AM, fueled up, and headed upriver to Portland under beautiful blue skies and light winds. The run upriver was scenic and beautiful. Moored up at the destination, secured the boat, and headed home to Seattle.

Some takeaways:
  • The Mainship is a very capable pocket trawler that I would take down the full length of the West Coast without hesitation.
  • Yanmar makes a solid engine. I wasn't a real fan of high speed diesels, but the single 6LY ran without incident and decent fuel economy.
  • Vessel prep and crew complement are critical. The owner took the time to ensure that the vessel was well secured and equipped with spares and safety equipment. My crew is a trusted friend that always has a calm demeanor and zero ego with regards to safety.

Great trip, and I look forward to the next delivery job (yes, that is an ad if anyone needs a vessel moved )
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:50 AM   #2
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Peter,
Sounds like fun. I'd love to crew with you sometime.

Steven
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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Peter,
Sounds like fun. I'd love to crew with you sometime.

Steven
Roger that! Dick Jansen crewed for me, and did a great job.

If you're at the meeting Thursday, we'll chat.

Pete
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:58 AM   #4
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We can't make Thursday (I'm working in CA) but I'm sure we'll connect.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:00 PM   #5
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Good job Peter. Nice to hear a Nordhavn isn't needed for offshore work.

I met at least a dozen boats this year who routinely do the Columbia River to WA/BC/AK run. The North Pacific high this year, and resultant calm weather, has been amazing, one for the books maybe.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:18 PM   #6
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It was a good run, especially on a non stabilized boat. I believe most any boat can make the coastal run (within 50 miles of shore) as long as the weather is watched and time is not the driving factor. Beyond 50, fuel becomes a more significant factor.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:58 PM   #7
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Nice, Peter! What was your typical cruising speed on this trip with the single Yanmar?
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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Somewhere in the 13 knot range once we headed south, as we got a push from the swells.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
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Thanks, Peter! Although I have no experience out there in the big pond, I always assumed a planing or near planing speed vessel would compensate somewhat for a lack of stabilization.

I figured my 7.5 kt unstabilized boat would roll around like a toy boat in a rough bathtub. Therefore, I'll stick to the inside!
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:36 PM   #10
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Peter, sounds like a good run on a nice boat. You said in your post that you refueled at Seiku. Was that the limit as to distance the boat would run? Did you start with full tanks?
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:46 PM   #11
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It was a good run, especially on a non stabilized boat.....
It occurs to me that there could be situations where an actively stabilized boat would ride worse in rough seas because the stabilization would be fighting against the boat riding as the hull wants to in the waves. For instance, if a boat is facing a front quartering sea, the stabilizer might prevent the bow from rising and rolling away from the wave front causing the wave to break over the bow vs. letting the boat go up and over.

I haven't been on a stabilized boat, so I don't know if that's actually the way it would work. Just thinking out loud.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:48 PM   #12
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Thanks, Peter! Although I have no experience out there in the big pond, I always assumed a planing or near planing speed vessel would compensate somewhat for a lack of stabilization.

I figured my 7.5 kt unstabilized boat would roll around like a toy boat in a rough bathtub. Therefore, I'll stick to the inside!
Al, your boat would be fine on the outside. You'd roll a bit, but I believe you'd be just fine.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:52 PM   #13
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Peter, sounds like a good run on a nice boat. You said in your post that you refueled at Seiku. Was that the limit as to distance the boat would run? Did you start with full tanks?
Yessir- the tank (250 total, around 225/230 usable) was topped of by the owner prior to departure. We had over a 1/2 tank when we reached Seiku. We refueled in Neah.

We had the range to make it to Westport with the onboard fuel, but the margin of error was too thin- topping off in Seiku was the right call, especially given the conditions we ran into.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quite a week!

My wife and I took an Alaskan cruise on Holland America with a group of friends and enjoyed every minute of being "off grid".

)
Explains why I havenít seen you on the dock lately.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:03 AM   #15
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What are your rates Captain?
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