I was approached by a good friend of mine that had told me he had a35ft timber Cray boat that he wanted to dispose of as he didnt have the time nor the money to do the work required to fix her and was sick of paying club fees to have it dry stacked in their yard. He said it would cost $500 to gets omeone in to chop it up and get rid of her and asked if I wanted her before hec ontracted someone in to take to her with a chainsaw. I went and had a look at it and to say she needed "some work" was an understatement. She was on this rusted old truck chassis, I couldnt walk in her as the floor was rotted out, the ply was falling off and well she was a mess. I spoke to the Minister of finance (aka my wife) and bought her down to see what she thought. Luckily for me my wife is a one of a kind woman and saw my vision and said...Yep lets do it. My mate and I agreed that if I took it out of the hardstand at the boat club that she is in so he doesnt have to pay for club fees any longer then I can have her for free. Well after that we shook hands on it and the boat became mine.
∑ Her History
The internet is a wonderful thing!. I was looking around trying to find the history on my vessel and came across this website that offered to find information on boats histories. I emailed the person and asked what the go was and he said that his hobby is being a marine historian. I was a bit skeptical at first because who does this as a hobby? Seriously?, let alone do it for free! So I spoke to him on the phone and sussed out his work and it all checked out so I emailed him what information I had on my boat.
I gave him the rego, size, what I knew about her etc etc etc. He did a bit of digging around and came back to me a couple of days later and said that he had contacted his colleague that works for the Department of Maritime and maritime museum here in WA and that they had the original survey card of my boat. I was so excited and pleased!.
He typed out some information of her for me that his colleague had sent him. They said she was built in 1958 and carried the name ACE HIGH. She was purchased in 1960 for Ross fisheries and was commissioned as a Working Cray boat carrying the numberLFLF430.
This coincidently marries up with the scribed markings I found in her hull showing ACE HIGH and F.430 that I had discovered when I removed sections of paint to see ifthe hull sides were any good or not.
I was shocked with the information he gave me as I hadnt told him about the name or numbers at that stage as I hadnt begun removing the paint so was unaware of these scribings under the years and years of layers of paint .
He said he cant detail her complete history but I can make an application through the Department of Transport under the Freedom of Information act to get her activities list, when she was decommissioned and basically her life story. Its great to find out information like this. It makes the boat building project all that much worthwhile
Finding a Home
keeping to my word of moving her, I was straight on to finding her a newhome close to my home. In Perth, we dont have very big blocks of land in the residential built up parts of the city so having a 35ft Cray boat on my verge was out of the question. We have a newspaper called "The Gumtree" in Perth and this is a place where people can list things for sale, free stuff and you can find pretty much anything from nails and screws to a horse or a house.
I advertised in there looking for a place to store my new toy. I listed that this place will need to have power, water and have the ability to store this boat whilst I rebuilt her. Well it wasnt long till a nice lady rang and said that she had a place to suit me and invited me to have a look. Well my wife and I toddled out there and inspected the place on offer. It had everything going for it. The ground was flat, it was cheap, it had power and water and it was close to home! Well we agreed on a monthly price to rent the yard, we drew up a contract so we knew what the expectations of each other were and the deal was done! I now had a home for my project boat.
∑ The Move
Well Time had come to move the vessel to her new home. After some painstaking inquires,several non-returned phone calls, several unanswered emails and some outrageous prices, i found someone that was not only willing to move the boat, but do it at a reasonable price!
I was so excited about the move, on the day of her leaving the yard i was two hours early and sat around talking to the boat (c'mon stop laughing, we have all done it)
I got a phone call from the driver to say that he was 15 minutes away and I walked out the front of the yard to meet him. Well true to his word, this massive 22 wheeler Scania truck and trailer came coasting over the horizon and pulled up. So with a loud airbrake pressure release and a massive cloud of dust the truck had arrived.
The driver and I did the introductory thing and I walked him down to see the boat and work out a plan of attack. He measured the boat and said mate shes close. I asked what he meant and he said she is 30mm under the maximum allowable width to travel on the road without pilot vehicles and 50mm under the maximum allowable height for travelling without having a permit from the power company to move her under the power lines in the street. "Well", he said as he stood there rolling a cigarette, "its gonna be a sh*t fight but lets give it a crack ay" and with that he walked back up to the truck and bought it into the yard. Now this truck was massive,like really long and high 'Massive' he rolled into the yard and before I knew it he had this thing turned around and was backing down the lane way to the back of the fishing club yard. In the two hrs. I was there, I saw many guys trying to reverse their boats and trailers that were under 1/4 of the size and struggle and run out of room. To say I was impressed with the truckers skills is an understatement. Either that or the boaties were really really crap lol
The trucker positioned the trailer next to the boat and shored it up for the boats weight. After unloading the trailer, the trucker positioned the prime mover behind the boat so he could get full maneuverability of the Hiab crane arm. After a bit of fluffing about and with some assistance by yours truly, we had the boat slung and ready for lifting on to the trailer. So with bit of creaking and groaningshe was lifted high into the air and lowered into position on the trailer. Fromthe moment he started lifting her till the time she was loaded on to the trailer, took a grand total of 5 minutes.
We spent an houror so getting her strapped down and braced and shored up and making sure she was safe for the two hour trip to her new home.
Once this wasdone, the trucker loaded the trailer on to the prime mover and we were off.
Now normally it would take one hour to get to the destination but as we were oversize, we werent allowed to use any freeways so we had to go the back roads. Great news for the trucking company at $180 p/hr. but sad news for me.
I am pleased toreport that the move went very well and without any incidents. We arrived ather new home and was unloaded safely and the trucker left.
∑ Day 1
My wife, my stepson and I all went down the following day which happened to be a Saturday(luckily or else I could have felt a work sickie coming on hehe)
Straight away Iwent to her with a reciprocating saw and took off the cabin and began stripping the starboard topside of the hull. We removed the batteries and did a little clean up. We only spent 2.5 hrs there as we had other commitments to attend to.
∑ Day 2
On Sunday morning I was up and out of the house very early. My wife and Step son went out to the shops and met me at the boat afterwards.
I had done afair bit in the 3 hrs I was there. (Probably because I wasnt answering all of the why is that like that and what does this do and Im bored, Im hungry,can we do something else questions from the boy lol
I had removed the remaining parts of the cab, I removed the transom and marlin board, I had removed the floor and was cleaning up when my lovely wife had arrived with lunch.
We sat down fora feed, talked about the plan of the boat and then packed up and went home to watch the Rugby League Grand Final. My team was playing and yes they won!
Gooo The Melbourne Storm!!! Woohoo!
∑ Day 3
This was a productive day. My wife dropped the boy off at his friends birthday party andwe both went down to the boat. We completely removed the starboard side ribs, stacked the timber for use in other areas of the boat (only in nonstructural applications. Its more of a sentimental valuethan a requirement. It will be nice to have some of her former self on board) we braced the engine as nothing was there supporting one side of it and did a bit of tidying up. I got a call from a bloke that I had rung earlier that day selling a workshop manual for the engine I have so as we had finished what we could, we went over and picked up the manual and that was pretty much it forDay 3.
∑ Day 4
This was just a 20minute stop over as there were forecasted rains for the area and as the motor was out in the open I deemed it best practice to cover her up. I took some inox out with me and gave the motor a drenching in the stuff. It will just help when I turn my attention to cleaning it up and getting her ready. I covered her up and as soon as I closed the door on my Ute down came the rain. Perfect timing!
***ANCHORRIGHT - Australia***
*** Boating Hardware - Perth***
*** JPW Marine - Perth***