Tag Archives: boats for sale

2010 Week 21 In Review

This week, OTM Inc finished changing out the injectors on the Maris Pearl and bled all the air out with a big pry bar under the injection pump. With the fuel rack at full, I manually pumped a bunch of fuel through the lines. Then we very cautiously took it out on a short trip around the bay. It fired on all eight cylinders without even a hiccup.

More work on Washington injectors

We’re also working this weeko n fitting all the parts on the Timber Heritage Association‘s Washington injectors.

Boats and Parts for Sale

The J.S Polhemus is for sale again, if anyone’s interested in a worthy project. It runs and floats – what more do you want?

If it’s extra engine parts you need, that’s okay – theCaptain Reino‘s DMG8 is being parted out. Contact us for more info if you’re interested.

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2010 Week 3 in Review

More work on the Maris Pearl

I’m still working on the Maris Pearl‘s reversing mechanism, trying to track down parts for it. I’ve been working with suppliers and calling collectors and engine owners I know who have spares. The Westinghouse controls rarely need attention, so there’s not a lot of information available on these units. It’s taken some extra time to search it out.

Winter Work on the Thea Foss

The Thea Foss‘s twin Atlas-Imperials are getting some attention this winter. The boat’s engineer worked with Dan to remove all the valves, start valves, and injectors out of both engines, then I spent a lot of time this week disassembling and cleaning everything.

As you remember, this process involves disassembling them each, putting them in a solvent bath, flushing the water jackets, sand blasting and another solvent bath, flapper the guide, and wire-wheel the stems.

2010 M4 Party

The big annual art and music event that OTM helps sponsor now has a not-for-profit fiscal sponsor, so make your donations out to Shunpike, with M4 mentioned as the program.

This year’s show will be the 10th annual, on May 1st. The steering committee is planning furiously, and it’ll be even bigger and better than last year (always our goal).

Working on the bow thruster

We got the new parts and tools to fix my good customer’s bow thruster, but still got caught inadequately prepared. I had to run out in the middle of the job to get more parts.

I also had a problem with my dry suit: the neck seal was too tight. Apparently, this can cause Carotid Sinus Reflex, when your neck seal presses against the carotid artery and makes your brain think your blood pressure is too high and lower your pulse rate to compensate.

The symptoms can include nervousness and a shortness of breath, which at the time I attributed to being out of practice from not diving enough. While it is true I am a little out of practice, the nervousness and shortness of breath were actually due to the neck seal. I’ll replace this before next week, in time to dive next Saturday at the CWB.

Despite all this, we still got the bow thruster fixed right up.

Boats for sale

The Pacific Sunrise is for sale. It’s a sweet boat with an Atlas-Imperial 6HM1125 diesel, and is going for $75,000.

The Island Champion is also for sale. She’s a great boat with a Fairbanks-Morse 35F14 diesel.

Bonus! Mention this ad and get a free OTM Inc T-shirt with your purchase!

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2009 Week 37 in review

Business as Usual

This week, we are back in the shop cleaning, reading the Local Agency Guidelines Manual for the Lightship #83 project, and working on the website some more.

We’re working hard to get pages about all the known remaining Washington Iron Works and Atlas-Imperial diesel engines up on the web. Don’t worry diesel fans – we’ll get to the Fairbanks-Morse and Enterprise sections next.

I didn’t make it to the Tugboat Races in Olympia this year, but I heard the Maris Pearl did very well – it looked like first to me, but we’ll have to review the photo. The Donald R was there in style – we love that Washington.

New tugboat book released

I also got news that Jessica DuLong (owner of the Gowanus Bay) has finished her book and it’s being released this week. She’s been writing it for years and I went out and ordered a copy of it from Elliott Bay Books as soon as I heard. It should be here in a few days – I’ll report back after I read it.

My River Chronicles by Jessica DuLong

Heavy-duties for sale

To all you Tugboat Dreamers: don’t forget that the J S Polhemus, Oswell Foss and Quail are still for sale.

Keep up with what’s for sale and what’s been sold at OTM Inc’s For Sale Listings.

Heavy-duty sounds through the ages

Engine collector Jim Walsh sent us a nice quote about heavy-duties: “I don’t really work on the engine, I just start it up and listen to it like a phonograph.” We at OTM Inc agree: the heavy-duties sure do sound nice – though we may not be getting the authentic symphony.

Dan told me that Dave Updike, his boss in the 1970s and the Godfather of heavy-duties, said the diesels don’t sound like they did way back when. Modern diesel fuel has a higher cetane than the old stuff, and you can’t even get number two diesel anymore. According to Dave, the thicker fuel makes a deeper thump and a lower “chuf chuf chuf” from the stack.

If Dave said it then it must be true, but we think that the heavy-duties sound just great regardless of the fuel.

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2009 Week 14 in Review

We started this week by cleaning the shop really well, since I was headed out of town. I also tied up loose ends on the Arthur Foss and gathered parts for the Maris Pearl.

Tug for sale

The tug Earnest is for sale here in Seattle. It’s a great tug, 91 feet long and built in 1942. It used to have a 600-HP Atlas-Imperial just like the one owned by the Florida Flywheelers. It’s been re-powered with a 1,125 Caterpillar D-399 engine, but it’s still a good boat. Contact me if you or a friend is interested.

Enterprise R-Models for sale

We’ve heard that there’s two 8,000 horsepower Enterprise Model-R diesels for sale in Maryland. They’re part of a genset and that was supposed to power an island, but apparently the deal fell through. We’ve heard that these two were the last off the Enterprise manufacturing line, so we hope someone grabs them. Contact OTM Inc if you’re interested.


I just found out that an old neighbor of mine is a descendant of the guy who invented the Metal Marine Pilot, which was later turned into a Wood Freeman Autopilot. Huh.

Public Trust

We at OTM Inc have recently heard of a tugboat collection getting pushed around by the government.

Steve is a tugboat guy in Waterford, New York. He’s a little reckless, a little eccentric, and very passionate about what he does, which is to collect old tugboats. I can see you rolling your eyes out there, but if the tugboat collection is doing okay and not harming anyone, why bother him?

Well, the New York State Canal Corporation is apparently planning to remove Steve and his vessels from “their” waterways by systematically attacking him with court orders, restraining orders, fines, and the other non-violent weapons available to bureaucracies. The Canal Corporation is a state-owned operation designed to manage the public trust that owns the canal and river systems in New York. According to Steve, they recently changed the state law to say “no living on boats in the canals.” We at OTM Inc have not looked up the law, but find it unlikely that they made it that general; instead, we speculate that they changed the state law to read something like “no living on a barge called Pennsylvania No. 399 within 100 yards of Lock E-2.”

Anyway, Steve continued living on his boat, so the Canal Corporation had him arrested and issued a restraining order to keep him off the boats. Interestingly, the Canal Corporation then assumed care of the boats, until they can safely acquire title to them through the doctrine of adverse possession. I think we all can guess where they’ll end up after the Canal Corporation has title to them.

Steve is planning to strike back by accusing the Canal Corporation of “interfering with the safe operation of a vessel” and “forcefully taking control of a manned vessel.” Both of these are federal offenses and typically taken very seriously.

While researching this article, OTM Inc tried tirelessly to contact an official with the Canal Corporation, but received no response to any of the voicemails or messages left with the secretary. I can only assume that they are uninterested in making a statement at this time.

While I understand the need to put some vessels out of their misery, and that there are some situations in which a boat collector must be saved from himself, setting a bureaucratic precedent like this is disturbing. The idea that the same entity that obtains the restraining order can gain control of the vessel through taking care of it in the owner’s court-ordered absence is pretty scary, and a scenario I don’t want to see played out.

At the same time, there are some boat projects that really are hopeless and should be shut down before they end up costing a lot of taxpayer money to clean up. These projects are the one that linger for decades, with lots of time and energy and love and hope and money all wasted in the end because the project was hopeless from the start.

From my perspective, it comes down to how to define what projects are “hopeless.” Who gets to make the call on that? What’s their training? Who trained them? Are they licensed, and who licensed them?

Even more, are there any objective criteria or scale that this person or persons can use to judge boat projects as a potential success or failure at the beginning? Someday, I will assemble an interdisciplinary panel of experts in a variety of related fields, including psychologists, psychiatrists, economists, curators, drum circle hippies, demographers, maritime attorneys, navel architects, ship captains, surveyors, and boat repair specialists. This team will develop just such a scale to judge boat projects on, so that we can stop wasting years of hope and work only to lose it all to scrappers or government agencies. No old boat project should be judged without such a panel – one that includes both boat people and realists.

Until then, Old Tacoma Marine Inc will offer unbiased mediation services to assist parties with resolving such disputes.

Old Tacoma Marine Inc goes to Mexico

See you next week!

Old Tacoma Marine Inc goes to Mexico

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2009 Week 8 in Review

After dropping off the Catalyst On the way back from Friday Harbor, I took a sea plane back to Seattle. We stopped in Westsound to pick up more passengers, and I got to see the El Capitan:

the El Capitan in Westsound

Then, with finished up, OTM Inc took the opportunity to clean out the shop this week. We also caught up on some office business, and did a lot of work on Skillful:

replacing the engine in the Skillful

Parts from the Ked

On my way to the Skillful after leaving my truck in the yard, I walked by Stabberts, which just broke up the Ked. I saw what’s left of it: just a pile of Fairbanks engine parts, removed in a hurry with a gas axe (cutting torch). They blasted away the bolt heads and even cut the rods in half to get the engine out, but there’re still some big pieces left:

fairbanks-morse diesel engine pulled out of the Ked

The yard guys said that they thought it was just going to the recycle, but I knew from talking with my friend Nobby that they were headed for Brooklyn as as parts for the old oil tanker Mary Whelan. These folks have apparently been trying to get the Ked parts for a while. They have a blog entry from September (here that details how they found out about the Ked, and another one that leading up to getting the parts (here). It sounds like the Mary Whelan folks have been discovering for themselves what OTM Inc has been preaching – that old engines in old boats are a great way to hold interesting museum programming. I hope to get out to see the boat and the programs soon – and call me if you want help setting up a diesel engine restoration workshop.

Tugboat for sale

I heard about an old tug for sale up in Anacortes, Washington. It’s an 86-foot ex-army tug powered by a 650 horsepower Sulser main. The tug was “ST-893” during its working days, and you can purchase it for $190,000. There’s a listing here.

Patrol boat for sale

I took a visit to the Oceanid, a steam patrol boat that the Northwest Schooner Society is trying to sell. It’s a rad steamboat for sale with its reciprocating steam engine still intact:

patrol boat Oceanid, with original steam engine

It’s really awesome, but it needs a lot of work. If you’re interested, contact me, and I’ll pass it along.

OTM Inc joins Biznik

I signed up at Biznik this week. Take a look at my profile and add me to your network.

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2008 Week 40 in review

A reader question about Enterprises

Reader Saúl emailed me for some Enterprise information:

Would you know where I can find an image of the logo placed by Enterprise Engines & Foundry on the armor parts they created during WWII? I am trying to update this list.

I won’t be taking an Enterprise apart until January, so if any of you know the answer, jump right in! Comment here, email Saúl, or contact me. It’s a great project, so I hope that a fellow reader can help Saúl out.

A Big Thank-you to Brian for helping the Arthur Foss program

This week, a reader responded to the wish list I posted for the class I’ll be leading on the Arthur Foss. Brian brought us an 18-to-1 torque multiplier on a long-term loan, and will bring by some lubricating oil soon. This is a huge help to me and to Northwest Seaport – plus, Brian signed up to take the Diesel Engine Theory class.

We still need participants and funding for the class, so please be like Brian and get involved and help where you can!

An update on the Duwamish

I’ve mostly finished re-assembling the air compressor, and now I just have some valve work left. I hope to wrap up this project soon — and maybe post some pictures next week.

An update from the David B

I met with Jeffrey and Christine of the David B (the last boat with a Washington-Estep diesel). I gave them a framed color copy of the “engine card” that Washington Iron Works kept records on for their engine:

David B's manufacturer card from Washington Iron Works

Every Washington engine produced has a card, so we can send you a copy of one that interests you for $25 each. We need the engine number or other identifying information and a few months to make the copy. Comment here or contact us to order your engine card today.

Back to Jeffrey and Christine and the David B. They, like many others, have lugging problems due to the wrong-sized propeller and parasitic load. They’re planning to flatten out their wheel this year, and also have me work on perfecting the power train to get the rated engine RPM and 600 degrees on the pyrometers. That is as fast as you can go (remember my discussion of optimizing running speed from a couple months ago?). I’ll also be helping them with some bearing issues this January.

Gaskets for Big Swan

We sent two annealed copper head gaskets and a complete set of rubber grommets to the Big Swan Drainage in Winchester, Illinois. Engineer Kenny manages the drainage company, which uses two giant engines to pump the water out of corn fields and up in to a river that is higher than the fields. The Atlas-Imperial drives a big pump that moves up to 60,000 gallons of water per minute. The other engine, a Cat, can move about 70,000 gallons.

The Atlas, one of my favorite engines in the world, runs great, but there are some water leaks coming from the heads. A water leak is not a terrible thing, but, if left to leak, more problems develop. Changing the grommets is not too tough a job, so it’s a good idea to take things apart to clean and reseal often. This helps prevent small problems from becoming big problems, and removes some of the mystery that can build up if the engine is just left alone. So, as all the old-timers often remind me, “take it apart and fix it!” It sounds like Kenny is planning to do just that.

Boat for sale: Cape Scott

We found another neat boat for sale on the Internet: the Cape Scott, a WWII Navy transport built by Fulton Shipyard in California, which is now a fish packer in Vancouver BC. It’s powered by an Enterprise DMG-6 (like the Briana Marin) and all the gear for fish packing:

fish packer Cape Scott, powered by an Enterprise DMG-6 diesel engine, for sale in Vancouver, BC

I hope a business-minded person buys the boat, since a boat earning a living keeps an engine in good condition. While the operating budget may get cut down in response to economic pressures, engine maintenance rarely gets cut on a working boat, since the engine is the most important thing on it. If the Cape Scott becomes a pleasure boat, I worry that the engine won’t get as much attention as it would if it kept fishing (unless a heavy-duty enthusiast buys it).

The broker is asking $95,000 and has put some basic information on their website, but I have some questions that brokers usually don’t answer: how does it run? How is the hull? How much fish can it haul? What condition are the tanks in? How well does the RSW system operate? When was its last contract for fish packing? If anyone reading knows anything about the Cape Scott, comment here and let us know!

Heavy-duty “for sale” listings

Speaking of which, we’ve launched a new feature of the Old Tacoma Marine Inc website: a Boats for Sale listing. I have a lot of people interested in buying a boat powered by a heavy-duty diesel who call to ask which ones are for sale, so this will be a comprehensive list that will help us get the information out to help the boats change hands quicker. This will be a free service for now, because unwanted boats are bad for my business.

Up now are the Briana Marin (Enterprise DMG-6), the Cape Scott (Enterprise DMG-6), the Oswell Foss (Enterprise DMG-6), the Portola (Winton), the Quail (Atlas 6HM763), and the Ready (Atlas 6HM2124). If you know of other heavy-duty boats for sale, let me know and I’ll get it up.

Off-topic reminder

To all of Old Tacoma Marine Inc’s American readers, remember to vote this November 4th. This is a crucial time for America, and we need to choose the best team to lead our nation.

OTM Inc Weekly eBay Auction

This week’s prize from the OTM Inc shop is a set of two air-powered engine controls manufactured by Westinghouse:

 set of two air-powered engine controls manufactured by Westinghouse, for a direct-reversing diesel engine

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2008 Week 34 in Review

Here’s this week’s cruising schedule aboard Catalyst, from Juneau to Petersburg:

Sunday, August 17 – Juneau to Limestone Inlet: kayak paddle in river, salmon in river and along shore (rainy)
Monday, August 18 – Limestone Inlet to Ford’s Terror: meet Ranger Tim, Kayak Ford’s Terror, brown bear in creek (foggy)
Tuesday, August 19 – Ford’s Terror to Wood Spit: hike Ford’s Terror highlands, Dawes Glacier, seals, whales (hazy sun)
Wednesday, August 20 Wood Spit to Donkey Bay: great whale show, paddle Donkey Bay, 1000’s of salmon in creek (sunny)
Thursday, August 21 – Donkey Bay to Brothers Islands: forest walk, kayak paddle w/ eagle, sea lions & whales, meet Westward & Fred
Friday, August 22 – Brothers Islands to Scenery Cove: see lighthouse, visit Norio, glacier walk, slide show (windy night and rough water)
Saturday, August 23 – Scenery Cove to Petersburg: last run, pack and prepare to return to what passes for civilization (but isn’t)

Here’s the crew:

And here’re the passengers:

This week, I saw Ranger Tim. I first met him in 2000 while on the Westward. We picked him up on the way to Fords Terror and chatted for a few hours. I love seeing all the Southeast Alaska people I worked with nine years ago, especially since they’ve now taken on a cartoonish personality in my mind.

I paddled up Fords Terror again (the glacier was great), picked up more crabs, and met up with whale researcher Fred Sharpe. I also took some video of the Catalyst, which I’ll post once I figure out how to get it out of my camera. For now, here’s a picture of Bairds Glacier:

Westward Rendezvous

We rafted up with the Westward on Thursday, on its return from a 20,483-mile journey around the Pacific:


We’ve been getting updates on their progress for the past year or two that they’ve been out, so it was great to see them all again. They anchored at the Brothers Islands to rendezvous with us for a potluck dinner. The Westward looks great after all those miles, and owner Hugh was still the life of the party. I’ll write a much more detailed account of the meet-up once I have a few minutes to myself, since it was a highlight of the trip. Stay tuned!

Business as usual
I removed the exhaust valve from cylinders one and two, just to continue cleaning them up. Of course they were bad, so I put in spares. I also noticed the oil psi going down over time, and it’s time for an oil change if we continue changing based on time and not on sample results. The oil smells a little diesel-y and with all the overloading fuel, it could be soaking down past the piston or an external leak, and making its way into the crankpit. I will change it in Petersburg for sure and take a sample for the lab.

A good home for the Ready?

Word is spreading about the neat old tug Ready, which is for sale only to a good owner. The boat needs to be hauled out for some hull repair, and the new owner needs the guts to maintain, insure and operate a tug with a direct reversing Atlas-Imperial diesel.

Problems on the Velero IV?

I’ve heard that the Velero is having some timing problems these days. She’s a fish packer and research boat that’s powered by the biggest Atlas diesel still running. Owner Irv does a great job not only keeping the boat looking good, but also finding jobs to keep her employed full time. As I always say, the best way to maintain and preserve an engine is to give it some real work to do.

The Velero‘s engine was extensively modified in the 1950s with a second camshaft, Bosch fuel pumps, and injectors to increase its horsepower and efficiency. The work was done by the same guy who added the Bosch fuel pump to the Portola down in Seal Beach. The new port-side camshaft has something like a dog clutch with a precise gap, so when going into reverse, the second camshaft’s timing changes. The bolts holding the spring-loaded detent for the “gaped dog clutch” and the timing sprocket both broke. Fatigue, maybe, but the system is a one-of-a-kind. Irv may not be able to do much more than replace them and watch them more closely. I really wish I could do more than troubleshoot over the phone right now, but hopefully I’ll be there during winter maintenance for a closer look.

Lost Heavy-duties

Dirk sent us some pictures from his own collection of the Broughton Straits, a 100-foot tug that he piloted to Port Townsend in 1978:


Dirk recalled that the Broughton Straits was powered by a six- or eight-cylinder Washington diesel that made about 300 horsepower, and he remembered that “it had a large turbo but I was told the turbo had be ‘deactivated’ and wasn’t spinning any more.” He also remembered that it had a Fairbanks-Morse gen set. He sent several pictures that he’d taken in 1978, including this one:

We’ve gone through the Washington Iron Works records that we have, and found the engine card. Engine 7624 was ordered on October 17th, 1947 by the Straits Towing & Salvage Co of Vancouver, BC through the Vancouver Machinery Depot.

According to the card, the engine was a model 6-160 (same as the Donald R) with six cylinders at 12 ¾” by 16″. These models got between 375 and 400 horsepower at 327 to 360 rpm. The Broughton Straits‘ record shows it rated at 375 horsepower, with direct reverse and no clutch.

The card also shows the tug’s original name as Stan Point, but as with many of the records, that name was crossed out and the new name written beside. The folks at Washington Iron Works made a lot of notes on this record card as they did maintenance and repairs through the years. We’ve uploaded a copy of it here, and the reverse side with some testing notations here. Dan also marked an “O” for “operational” on his master list of Washington engines, so he’s clearly familiar with the tug and I’ll ask him about it when I get back to Seattle.

Dirk heard that the Broughton Straits was later taken down to San Francisco a few years after he brought it to Port Townsend. He visited the Bay Area in 1994 and saw a mostly-sunken derelict that folks told him was the same tug. Another great old boat with a great old engine lost.

California readers, has anyone seen this derelict tug? We’ll send an Old Tacoma Marine Inc t-shirt to anyone who sends us good photos.

Dirk also sent us an interesting picture of an old Atlas-Imperial diesel:

This was taken in 1978 at the north end of Lake Union, probably in one of those lots off Northlake facing the I-5 bridge, just after it was “bulldozed off to the side of the property.” Dirk says he still has its control station.

OTM Inc Weekly eBay Auction

This week’s prize from the OTM Inc shop are six (6) DRG-AR Series Field Configurable Limit Alarm Modules:

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