Tag Archives: pacific fishermen inc

2010 Week 10 in Review

We spent this week working on the Lightship project in the office, putting together the Specifications and Requirements documents for the Request for Proposals. We have plenty of specifications and requirements, but the hard part was fitting it into the Department of Transportation’s format. Since the project is funded by a federal grant, we have to use really long templates and try to figure out where all our information goes. I feel like we’re making good progress, but we are two weeks into it and a month behind.

Work continues on the yarder injector

I also spent some time this week on cleaning fitting all the parts of the Washington injectors for the Pacific Yarder in California. Once I got all the parts to fit interchangeably and the packing sized, I lapped the stems to the tips, which were really beat up. I hope they work. I sent examples of the tips I need to a great machinist in Colorado to give an estimate on making some new tips, because I think they’ll need them soon.

Painting on the Maris Pearl

We got the word this week to paint the Enterprise in the Maris Pearl. It’s been a cartoony light green forever, but the owner made a request for a “heavy-duty green” that led us to try out Rustoleum’s dark hunter green. I think it will look nice.

It’ll also let me get a good close look at the engine while I’m prepping.

Pacific Fishermen Shareholders

The annual Pacific Fishermen Shipyard shareholders’ meeting was this week. It went well and as always the sea food was amazing and plentiful. It sounds like the yard is doing well and everyone’s hopeful for a grant to help build new competitive equipment.


Insurance is a big concern for maritime businesses, and it is very expensive and misleading. I have heard insurance requirements misquoted all over the place and to meet my needs, I’ve misrepresented my position, too.

There are so many insurance requirements that they will sometimes overlap or conflict with each other to the point that businesses who can’t afford the effort to sort the laws out just say “It’s not applicable to us” and move on, underinsured or in some cases overinsured.

OTM Inc recently completed an annual audit with the underwriter for our USL&H policy and learned that workers on "pleasure vessels" of any size can be insured by Labor and Industries at a much lower rate (unless it’s in a shipyard). This new law saved many businesses a lot of money but here’s the rub: OTM Inc is required to have USL&H insurance for only a few jobs a year, so we only pay the minimum premium of about $3,000 a year. Now I also have to pay Labor &amp Industries premiums for the time spent on pleasure vessels and museum vessels. I can’t pay any less to USL&H because I am at the minimum so the new law actually costs OTM Inc more.

Well, you can’t please all the people all of the time… all you can do is under-report, argue , read the fine print, and file a claim.

Enterprise Engines for sale!

Russ at American Pipe sent me an email this week; he has six model DSM-6 Enterprise diesels for sale. They’re all identical and according to the mechanic on site, could be run today.

If you want one (and you know you do), contact Russ at (661) 987-5868 or russ@americanpipe.net. Then send OTM Inc an email to let us know what you’re doing with your brand new old engine.

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2009 Week 52 in Review

A little work on the Maris Pearl

I did a little bit of clean-up on the Maris Pearl this week and got it all wrapped up for the year. We’re done for now and the boat will be in use for the next little while. The next project is the control head, yeah!

More parties, oh my God

First up this week was the Shop Party. Past shop parties have been passing a bottle of scotch around after the workday on Christmas in a defiant, Bah-Humbug way that I have always been partial to, because as much as I like to go to all the holiday parties, I like to work on Christmas Day.

Not this year, though – Brian the shipwright decided to throw a real holiday party. It was a cute gathering of our people and their friends and drinks. The highlight was the player piano. Many of you may be surprised to know that two of the four pianos in our shop are player pianos, where the pianist pumps pedals to make it play. I learned about ten years ago how much fun pumping the player piano while drinking can be, so I led the charge on that front (even if the scroll had to be taped onto the reel).

A piano shop?!? I thought it was a boat and engine repair shop…

Next up was Pacific Fisherman Shipyard, of which I am a share holder. Their holiday party true to form had more king crab than we could eat, but we tried. Thanks for the crown, Doug!

And next, the Maris Pearl‘s wonderful owners hosted a holiday party in Portage Bay, via the locks and Lake Union. It was a great trip, featuring Christmas carols from the Argosy boats, but those still couldn’t compare to the rhythm and melody from the big DMQ-8.

New research partner!

We meet with Neal from Ederer Llc, a crane manufacturing company that bought the Washington Iron Works crane division. It turns out that Neal has a few filing cabinets full of Washington Iron Works stuff he’s held onto for years, and he wanted to compare notes. This is really exciting for us at OTM Inc, because Washington Iron Works of course manufactured our favorite diesel engine line.

It turns out that not only does Neal have a lot of microfilm with blueprints of engine parts, but he has deciphered the pattern of the reference numbers that makes the collection useful. This is really exciting, because the engineers at WIW labeled everything, from photographs to technical drawings, but it’s like a secret code unless you know the key.

Our first trip to Ederer was short and sweet so we didn’t have time to find out how many diesel engine drawings are on the microfilms, but we plan on getting together again soon.

Annual Board Meeting

OTM Inc’s annual board of directors meeting was held Christmas Day, as it has been since incorporation.

Annual OTM Inc Shareholder Meeting

Highlights this year included: a switch to sapphire gin (no JD), a decision to not produce a year-in-review publication (it’s too much work), and a slight increase in health coverage for officers. Other items of business included affirming that employee salaries remain the same, other insurance policies will be renewed, the shop lease will be renewed, beer backs ordered, and the advertising department will be pressing more size-small girly tank tops.

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2008 Week 50 in review

Work continues on the Catalyst

This was the third week that I spend filing and sanding the Catalyst‘s crank journals. It takes me about a day to get each journal cleaned up enough that I like them, so I’ve been spending a lot of time down in the crank pit.

We got the main bearings back from St. Louis Bearing, and they look good. We’ll install them next week. The new piston rings I ordered from Safety Seal also arrived, but I haven’t had time to inspect them yet.

I got the wrist pin bushings back from Asco (which, you’ll remember back in Week 50, I had honed in preparation for flame spraying), so I took all six wrist pins and six of the cam followers out to be flame-sprayed at Flamespray Northwest, down in South Park. Flame-spraying is a process to build up a coating over a metal part and then grind it down to a precise size (Wikipedia has a pretty good article on it here). I have stuff flame-sprayed when it’s worn down and needs a little more material to fit right.

The wrist pins needed to be built up a little to fit the newly-honed bushings in the rods. The Washington book just says that the wrist pin clearance should be one-thousandth of an inch for every inch of diameter, since the book was written to cover many sizes of Washingtons. The Catalyst‘s pins are two-and-three-quarters of an inch, so I told Flamespray to grind them to between two-and-a half and three thousandths of an inch, and the followers to two thousandths.

The cam followers needed to be built up a bit, since both they and the guides they ride in are a little worn down. It’s really important the that the followers and the guides fit together tightly, since a bad fit can make them break. The lobe on the camshaft will kind of slap the follower every time it comes around, and the fit of the follower in the guide is important to transfer the energy quickly to up and down motion. Side-to side momentum can build up if there’s too much clearance in this set of parts, and this force can break the guide. We reamed out the guides to make them straight, then had the cam followers flame-sprayed and ground down for a tight fit.

I also honed the cylinders with a ball hone. This is quite a work out, plus we use brake cleaner so it’s pretty fume-y – and this was just to clean up the cylinder a bit, not to fix any tapers or deep scratches. First, we tie a bucket under the cylinder to catch all the grinding gunk:

Using a bucket to catch slop while cleaning up the CATALYST''s cylinders

Then, I stand up on the engine with a ball hone attached to a drill motor, while a helper (in this case, Captain Bill) sprays brake cleaner into the cylinder. The ball hone has lots of little grinding stones mounted on wires that spin around and cleans up the cylinder liner:

Ball hone used to clean up the CATALYST''s cylinders

The honing has two phases. First, I run the ball hone up and down pretty fast to clean up all the scratches in the liner, while the helper sprays solvent in to wash away cut material and grit. Then, I slow the drill motor down to make a 45-degree cross-hatch all over the liner surface. If the liner is just polished smooth, oil doesn’t really adhere to it and you don’t get enough lubrication between the piston rings and the liner. The cross-hatch pattern helps hold the oil against the liner walls so that the piston rings glide up and down without actually touching the liner. If everything is aligned perfectly, the engine can run for years without any friction between the rings and the liner, and the cross-hatches will be perfect when you inspect them.

We finished honing all the cylinders in just a few hours, then cleaned them really well with solvent and hot soapy water. We finished up by oiling all of them, so they’re all ready to be re-assembled when we get the other parts done.

New Years cards from OTM Inc

Old Tacoma Marine Inc’s annual 2008/2009 New Years cards are in the mail!

New Year's card from OTM Inc

If you don’t get one, send your address and we’ll put you on the mailing list.

Show your concern for the Bristol Red Salmon

Lia and I hosted a Red Gold gathering at the house, where twenty concerned citizens came to eat Bristol sockeye and watch the documentary Red Gold projected on the basement wall. We passed around Aquavit, generously provided by Pacific Fishermen’s Doug Dixon.

Red Gold is a good conversation starter, though it doesn’t tell the whole story (but what does?). I really hope that progress on the mine can be slowed and that more people get involved in the discussion. I wrote Alaska’s senators about it, and I hope some of you write those who can call for more investigation into the plan. Addresses for the Alaska senators are here on the United States Senate website.

It must be the holiday party season

Speaking of Pacific Fishermen, they invited us to the 56Th annual Fishermen’s Night, hosted by the Norwegian Commercial Club. I love this event, since it’s another great Ballard seafood feast. We ate almost our weight in king crab, oysters, pickled herring, fried cod, shrimp, and gin. The food was amazing and probably 80% of Ballard’s wealth attended.

A couple days later was Jensen Boat Works’ holiday party, which we attended with the folks from Catalyst and Newt. It very nice to see the community that Jensen’s Motor Boat has built. Anchor was there in spirit.

On Saturday, the folks down at Lake Union Park hosted “Holiday Spirit at Lake Union Park.” They had a lot of activities for kids and families on the old boats, like ornament making and kids choir recitals. The Arthur Foss the kids’ favorite because of the giant Washington… Okay, no, it was the gingerbread tugboats! Diana helped dozens of kids smear frosting and stick gumdrops on the cookies, the boat, and their parents. It sounds like a lot of fun, and everyone I’ve talked to says they had a blast. Next year, maybe OTM will set up a booth with engine-shaped fruitcake to give them some competition.

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