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Old 01-09-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
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50' ex Canadian Rum Runner Chaser

These old wooden conversions are both priceless and worthless. We've had fun cruising this relic of prohibition for a few summers and would like to get one more vacation on her. Then she's ready for a hand off. I've attached a few pics but more can be found at www.attheworkshop.com under "A Trawler Deal." There are several videos under way as well. Price is not important and could be zero. Ease of transition to new ownership is the lynchpin - August-September. Currently berthed in Ganges Harbor in the Gulf Islands. Can be cruised to the US for a handoff in the PNW.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:21 PM   #2
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Can't wait till "ManyBoats" Eric has a gander at this beam length example. Love workup on fuel burn, cruising RPM, type of power, things like that which begins the drooling by those of us who cheer interesting craft. Thoughts Eric?

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Old 01-10-2014, 01:23 AM   #3
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This boat has been for sale for a long time. Someone should buy this boat already...
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:31 AM   #4
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POTOMAC - F.D.R.'s "Floating White House"
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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Markpiece- That old cutter is an example of the saying, "If it looks good, it is Good". It is a joy to imagine that craft cutting through heavy water. It appears some soul or organization holds similar thoughts, well appearing maintenance from this distance. Any history that you could parlay?

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Old 01-10-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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... Any history that you could parlay?
POTOMAC - F.D.R.'s "Floating White House"
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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Al my thoughts are that that is not the original house. Not a professional design and probably not professionally built. She seems low in the bow and high in the stern but that may not be so. The first picture shows me that she seems slack of beam too close to midships. She's too much like a wedge. Boats like that are great taking seas dead ahead but roll terribly while quartering. Not enough stability in the fwd end of the hull. When a boat like this is perched on the top of the face of a wave it wants to roll to leeward and there's not much boat fwd in the water well outboard to counteract the roll. They are like a kid's tricycle or a three wheeled "quad". They need the fourth wheel. Boats w broad beams at the chine 25 to 35% of the way aft from the bow have much better stability especially in the nasty.

To some degree the older Mainship 34 shares this "feature". Very slack and slender in the bow and especially the forefoot make boats that ride beautifully in head seas but give little sense of security quartering. But at certain speeds the wedge like boat is very efficient. So being easily driven at speeds above hull speed but not really fast and w their smooth ride many boats w the wedge like hull have been designed and built.

I wouldn't recommend this boat. But I'm not a professional and all of the above may not be true. Seeing some pics of her hull may change everything .. but not likely.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
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Thanks Markpiece- A bit of history. Thank you for the follow up.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard Mr. RTOG. Fascinating blog and story...Begs MANY questions.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:06 PM   #10
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Dispatcher an old neighbor on the middle arm. Was wondering what the story was seeing her running after all these years.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:06 PM   #11
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Weren't rum runners and commuter yachts designed for speed as planning boats?

If so at speed their stability goes way up and just looking at a picture would take a flippin' soothsayer to determine their stability.

They were built by some of the finest yards and NAs out there all along the East coast...and there were plenty made by old craftsman that could look at one and replicate it even with improvements.

After actually reading the links unless I goofed and read the wrong stuff...this boat was definitely professionally designed and built.

80 YEAR OLD RCMP HERITAGE 50 foot RUMRUNNER CHASER Under the cover of darkness, she slid quietly into the cold briny waters of Coal Harbour. Secretly she had been waiting for this moment, for almost two years. She was a stunning sight, but not in a pretty way, this girl was majestic and not to be trifled with. Her time had finally come, and she was about to embark on a journey that would span over eight decades. They spared no expense building her, using only the best mahogany, oak, and technology of the time. The futuristic high-speed designs of Hoffman were finally ready to be put to the test. The date was April 12th 1928 and it had been nearly 2 years since they had started building her. Now, with Captain M.F. Macdonald at the helm, she was finally about to begin her noble duties protecting seafarers and landlubbers alike from her new home in the coastal waters of British Columbia. She was originally built on Esplanade Rd. in North Vancouver BC, by The S. R. Wallace Shipyards. This was not the famous Wallace brother’s shipyard on the water, but rather across the road in a small yard where no unscrupulous eyes would find her. She was built in secrecy for the Canadian Protective Services Department, their secret weapon against the rumrunners and opium smugglers of the late 1920's. M.P.V. DESPATCHER was soon to become the most feared vessel in the Canadian Pacific. Despatcher was 13.98 net tonnes, 48' long and 10'8 in beam, but with her twin 290 hp Sterling gas engines she could run at over 30 knots. She was painted an unspectacular medium olive green that camouflaged her easily against the green wooded shores of her time. She had a low silhouette in the water, which made her almost impossible to see at night. A huge machine gun was mounted on her fore deck. This plus a highly trained four man crew and her remarkable high speed made her more than a match for all but a few of the fastest rumrunners. Despatcher caught more than her fair share of criminals on land and sea, but at the end of the U.S. prohibition on alcohol, her services were no longer needed by The Protective Services branch of the government. She was transferred to the RCMP, where she remained in service until 1933. This is when she was retired from official government service and was transferred to the public. DESPATCHER was re-christened, and 64% of her ownership was sold to Mr. Herman Thorsen, of Vancouver on the 26th day of January in 1934. The other 36% as with all registered vessels, remain a part of Her Majesties fleet in case of war. Her name was changed, and she has since been known simply as “SPRING”. Mr. Thorsen kept “Spring” in the family for more than 20 years, and sold her in 1955. “Spring” had many owners, or rather stewards, living a much varied existence over her 80 years, She was a work boat to some a pleasure yacht to others and even a live-aboard for a spell. In April of this year, She was once again re-christened in an elaborate ceremony. With members of the RCMP, Customs Canada, friends and family, as well as 3 generations of the original Captain MacDonald’s family in attendance throughout the day, Spring as she had been known for over 70 years was once again bestowed with the noble name DESPATCHER. Blessings were given to all the gods of the sea and air. French Champagne was poured over her bow to insure favourable winds and seas for all time. Her original name in gold once again adorns her bow and mahogany transom for all to enjoy. We, the current stewards, have enjoyed her for years, but can no longer tend to her needs. We are looking for special people to care for DESPATCHER and give her the attention and dignity that this eighty year old vessel deserve. Along with DESPATCHER goes an extensive collection of articles, photos, and personal log entries from a time long forgotten. We believe this is the oldest floating RCMP vessel still in the water, and the only rumrunner chase vessel in Canada, making her worthy of special attention.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 PM   #12
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Interesting boat with provenance.

After reading the blog it sounds like a unique opportunity for what amounts to a one year lease. Could provide that economical "round trip" Fast Fred is always mentioning for someone from another area that has "Cruising the PNW" on their bucket list.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:49 PM   #13
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Gee Eric!

Identify which boat or ship you were commenting on! Here I thought you were nibbling at the POTOMAC with your critical comments. I think now unless I mistake, you are dealing with the 'Dispatcher'. I would tend to agree, the whole house appears more modern than that of 1928. This being the case, historically it has been bastardized to the point of being just an old hulk. Don't intend that to be offensive, there are too many boats of the same era that have been maintained in their original form and worthy of comment.
Colorful history though and interesting reading. Wonder if there actually remains original photos. Could be as it is a registered Canadian Government property records are seldom destroyed.

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Old 01-11-2014, 07:37 AM   #14
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... just looking at a picture would take a flippin' soothsayer to determine their stability.
Many sooths are said herein ...
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #15
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Sorry to disappoint you Al and I still do like fairly long and narrow .. like the old Atkins boats. In good weather the "Rum Runner" would be fine and a rather nice feature is that it would qualify as a "slicer". The only thing that would make much of a wake on RR would be a big barn door transom deep in the water. Not likely but it could even be FD.

Actually I like the basic design of the house as shown in the last pic. The broken lines on the hull sides don't help but the smallish FB is a plus both aesthetically and functionally. The slanted cabin ends would never fly on a production boat but on this old girl they look great. And of course the lack of a bow pulpit is a visual blessing but I see they get by w a somewhat trusty old Danforth resting not so proudly on the very fwd end of the foredeck. Re stability she may be better than I thought. She's not top heavy like most modern boats. Seeing her hull would clear up a lot .. most likely.

The first tip-off to the non commercial build came from the front windows. The windows didn't fit the front of the house and for no apparent reason. While trying to think of a reason I noticed all the other stuff. Perhaps they had a window handy and it almost fit ....... .

Find me a nice old boat Al and I'll drool all over it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #16
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Unbelievable...non-commercial build...but rather across the road in a small yard where no unscrupulous eyes would find her. She was built in secrecy for the Canadian Protective Services Department


....see what you miss when you put people on your ignore list!

Yep ...not likely but maybe a FD boat..."but with her twin 290 hp Sterling gas engines she could run at over 30 knots"
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 PM   #17
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Many sooths are said herein ...
LOL. New avatar for you maybe?
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #18
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Have to agree and guilty as charged!!!
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