Tag Archives: spare parts

2008 Week 23 in Review

Searching for an Atlas-Imperial

We received an email from California last week about the possibility of finding an old heavy-duty for an old boat. Cary from Vallejo California recently bought a 1928 fishboat, “in pretty good original shape.” As a diesel mechanic and boat guy, Cary’s fixing her up for cruising and family fishing and wants to replace her modern Detroit with a period engine, maybe an Atlas-Imperial diesel. We’ve posted his full story on the Discussion Board here.

I think an Atlas-Imperial would be perfect, and recommend a 65 to 85 horsepower, three or four cylinder, maybe just like the Arro’s. Does anyone know of one out there that could re-power Cary’s boat? Comment here, or contact me.

A Spare Injector for the David B

Early this week, I threw together a spare injector for the David B. The boat doesn’t currently have any spare injectors, so we’d been planning to make several spares when we overhauled the three existing injectors this fall. Jeffrey just decided he wanted one onboard for the summer cruising season (good call).

I pulled out the spare injector parts for a Washington of that size, which were from an engine with the early pressure-balanced injectors, rather than the spring-balanced or Bosch injectors that later engines used (incidentally, the only remaining engine that I know of with pressure-balanced injectors is in the Kodiak Maritime Museum).

Anyway, I got out all the spare parts we had and put together the best injector I could without machine work. I can put two more together with some machining, but that will have to wait until fall. Here’s an in-progress shot of injector parts on my workbench:


After I got it together, I set up the injector to barely hold at 4,000 psi, then made two full compressing turns on the spring adjusting screw per the Washington Iron Works instruction manual. By now, I have set up all the injectors for three of the four boats that use the spring-balanced injectors (the Arthur Foss and Catalyst are the two others; I haven’t yet seen the San Juan) and can set spring tension in my sleep. I shipped the injector up to Juneau and went back to work on the fireboat’s air compressors (they’re coming along; more next week).

Update on the Lightship #83

We finished up a draft lumber bid request for Northwest Seaport and its lightship, and now we’re just waiting for comments.

It’s exciting to see how much thought and effort is going into laying the lightship’s deck right. I’m looking forward to walking around on it in a few years.

Enterprise in the Basement?

We recently got a call about someone pulling an Enterprise that used to power a gen set out of a building. We’re definitely wondering how they’re going to get it out – and what they’re going to do with it next.

If anyone knows more about this, contact us.

Songhee Sale?

We’ve heard that the Songhee (powered by an Atlas-Imperial) was sold to a new owner — but then the deal fell through. What happened? Comment here if you can add to the story.

Minor Catastrophe on the Union Jack

The charter boat Union Jack experienced a calamity this week: one of their pistons seized while the boat was underway, forcing them to a screeching halt. The cause is unknown, and they don’t have a lot of time to figure it out since every moment they spend at the dock is eating away at their charter time. They need to get it fixed ASAP, and many folks are recommending that they pull the liner to have it honed.

This is such a huge job that we at The Shop think that they should attempt to do some of that honing in place. Unlike most heavy-duties, Union engines have overhead cams, which make pulling the liners really, really messy (which is a messy job even without the overhead cam).

We hope that they manage to fix it soon, and that we hear about how they fixed it.

Major Catastrophe on the John Cobb

We heard this week that the NOAA research boat John N Cobb suffered a catastrophic engine failure.

According to the crew, they were cruising along doing their research when the boat suddenly started jumping up and down and making a lot of noise and losing RPM, the way it does when a gillnet or a line gets wrapped around the propeller. We’ve heard that the engineer then ran down to the engine room and realized that most of the noise was coming from the engine. He shut it down, the noises stopped, and they were towed into port.

Inspection later revealed this:

a broken crankshaft

Non-engine folks, see that ragged gray crack on the lower left side? That is a clean break through the crankshaft under number one cylinder, and that is about the worst thing that could happen to an engine.

Without knowing more than what we’ve heard through the old engine grapevine, this is probably it for the John Cobb’s Fairbanks. If we were still in the middle of World War II, the folks over at NOAA could just call up the factory, order a new crank, get a guaranteed install, and call it as good as new. It’s about sixty years too late for that, though, and even if you could get a perfect new crank it’d be foolish to install it in the engine without knowing what caused the break in the first place.

Why did it happen? We at Old Tacoma Marine Inc can’t even begin to tell without seeing the engine for ourselves and doing a lot of detailed inspection. We do know that both NOAA and the Cobb’s contracted mechanics have taken good care of the boat throughout its lifetime, as shown by engine logs and service records.

Until we hear more from NOAA and other folks in the know, all we can do is speculate. We’ve set up a thread on our discussion board for you all to share your theories here.

Leave a comment

Filed under atlas-imperial, fairbanks-morse, lightship 83, week in review

2008 Week 18 in Review

This week was sort of boring compared to last week’s whirlwind tour of Northwest Washington’s heavy-duties.

An Update on the Maris Pearl

On Tuesday afternoon, we moved the Maris Pearl to pick up the new cover for the aft end of the boat deck. I call it the “wing.” I’ll try to post pictures later. Then we moved to Charlie’s tug, the Sea Devil, to pick up some fuel. We ended up spending all day there because they miscalculated the delivery rate. After griping a bit, Charlie and I called up some friends to come hang out on the tugs while we waited, so we had a nice night anyway.

This week, I also tried to seal some persistent water and oil leaks in the engine with little success. It’s a low priority for now, but hopefully next winter I can take the time to make sure the connections are all tight.

Business as Usual

This week was quarterly tax time. Ouch.

I also visited Striegel Supply again, where Steve is doing all kinds of interesting things (like having bearings made) and making deals with owners of awesome engines. I finally traded some of the Maris Pearl’s unuseable spare parts for a store credit. I hope he finds a customer for all those R model parts.

Party Planning

We got the word that the big party that OTM Inc co-hosts has been bumped back a week. It was very difficult to get the word out and we lost some of our performers. We worked day and night to find new performers and get the word out to the partners and guests, so hopefully the party will be a success anyway.

Helping out the neighbors

South Lake Union had its grand opening celebration this week. Several of the big historic boats in Seattle are moored there, including the Arthur Foss with the big old Washington. Northwest Seaport, the group that owns the Arthur, was invited to blow the tug’s horn (which is very, very loud) for the opening ceremony.

Usually, when Northwest Seaport wants the horn blown or the engine run or whatever, they ask me to come down and set things up. Since this usually coincides with the classes and demonstrations that I run on the Arthur, it’s usually not a big deal. This time I was just too busy to help out, so I talked Diana the Museum Specialist through starting up the AC generator (a modern Jimmy, not very interesting) to run the air compressors and fill up the tanks. She’s watched me start the generator plenty of times before but is really nervous about breaking parts of “the artifact.” I say that the worst thing that a museum can do with its ships is treat them like glass and that it’s actually better for the boat and its systems to just turn things on, but I guess I’d rather have the museums ask how to do it right than just think that they can treat it like an old photograph or a set of tools.

Anyway, since I couldn’t come down to Arthur, I had to describe the process over the phone. This was challenging, because the DC generator is located between the aft fuel tanks, which block cell phone reception. Diana had already gone through the first part of the generator’s pre-start checklist I wrote for Northwest Seaport (check water level in the main expansion tank, check oil level, check fuel level, open fuel valves), but called when it came time to push buttons. She would confirm what the next step was, put her phone down, go back and fuss with the generator, then come back and go through the next step. She was doing great on her own until we realized that the battery was dead (another reason that the generator should be run more often). Luckily, the Vice President of Northwest Seaport’s board had his truck right there on the dock, so they pulled its battery out, brought it down to the engine room, jumped the generator, and made it all work beautifully. Diana sounded like she was going to pass out from the stress (museum people are weird), but I told her that the next step after starting the generator was to go get a cup of coffee while it warmed up for a few minutes.

Compared to starting the generator, turning on the air compressors was uneventful (though apparently she turned on the big tow winch instead of the compressor for a few seconds) and the tanks didn’t need that much air anyway. When it came time to blow the horn for the big celebration (the Virginia V had steam up for her whistles and everything), though, the valve stuck after just one short honk. Lame. Diana called me back to ask how to fix it, but when I got to “climb up on top of the wheelhouse with a pair of needlenose pliers,” she decided to save that for a different day and welcome visitors aboard instead.

What I thought was neat about this process is that Diana said she was able to figure out some parts of the DC generator by comparing them to Arthur‘s Washington, which she’s very familiar with:

The checklist just says “hold governor in while cranking.” At first, I just went “shoot, don’t know anything about modern diesels,” but then I started looking and thinking about how the main is put together, and figured out that the knob sticking out of the horizontal bar must be the governor, since the main’s governor is the lever sticking out of the horizontal bar. I know, I know: obvious to mechanics, but this was the first time that I really understood how the parts connect in a modern engine.

This really reinforces my point that working on the big old heavy-duties is a great way to learn about diesel engines in general, because you can see everything that’s hidden or tiny on a modern engine. I can’t think of any diagram or lecture that would explain how pushrods work half as effectively than coming down to the Arthur or any of the other boats or stationary engines and just looking at how they sit on the camshaft and connect to the rockers. If folks actually start the engine, they learn that much more from the heavy-duties by watching how the parts interact.

I’m also glad that Northwest Seaport has people interested in learning how to run Arthur‘s engine again. We need more heavy-duty engineers if we want to keep these engines running.

Leave a comment

Filed under museums, washington iron works, week in review

2008 Week 17 in review

We started Week 17 with a whirlwind tour of Northwest Washington heavy-duty diesels. San Juan Island has at least one engine from each of the major manufacturers that I work on: Washington Iron Works, Atlas-Imperial, Enterprise, and Fairbanks-Morse — and that’s not even counting the boats in nearby Bellingham and Anacortes.

Cannery Tender David B

First up was the David B, one of OTM Inc’s regular clients. Following the party, we hung out with owners Jeffrey and Christine to recuperate in the sun:

hanging out on the David B with Jeffrey and Christine

We also took some pictures of the engine, a 1929 Washington-Estep:


We used to think that the David B’s engine was the oldest remaining Washington, but since then we’ve “discovered” two older engines (the Kodiak Maritime Museum’s and the Waimea Sugar Mill Camp Museum’s). That doesn’t make it any less awesome, though, since it’s still the oldest Washington installed in a vessel.

We would have stayed longer with Christine and Jeffery on the David B, but we had a ferry to catch to San Juan Island.

Tugboat Quail

Before hopping on the ferry, we stopped by the tugboat Quail in Anacortes, just to see how she looks these days (she’s been for sale for a long time) and take a few pictures. We hadn’t called ahead for an appointment, so we had to look through the portholes to see the engine.

While I was taking pictures, an older gentleman strolled up and also started taking pictures – several from the same spots I shot from. I said “It’s a good looking boat huh?”

He looked up at me from the view finder. “Until it sinks,” he said, and went back to taking pictures.

I hope a prospective owner who wants to cruise often finds out what a great boat the Quail is.

Valve problems on the Catalyst

After a long ferry ride, we arrived in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Bill from the Catalyst has been having problems with his air compressor and asked me to come up and take a look before they start their summer season.

The Catalyst’s main engine-driven air compressor hasn’t been pumping air. While the boat (like any other air-controlled boat) carries an auxiliary compressor, it’s much nicer to use the engine-driven compressor while underway, as it’s quieter and uses energy already produced.

I inspected the air compressor and found the problem in the outlet valve. I took the head off and lapped the valve a lot, but couldn’t get the pattern I wanted. There was a spot near the outlet pipe that was not contacting at all. I started to think that corrosion or something like that cut into the seat. It took me a while of messing with the valve before I noticed that one of the flutes that guides the valve and blows air by was rubbing on a little bump in the bore that it rides in. I ground down the bump and touched up the flutes. I got good contact on the seat with just a little more lapping. I pressure-tested the compressor but then had to leave before turning on the engine and really testing it, but Bill later called and said the compressor has never pumped so much air for him.

Valve problems on the Oswell Foss

Our next stop was the retired tugboat Oswell Foss, also moored in Friday Harbor. The Oswell is powered by a “G” Enterprise engine, like the Briana Marin and the J. S. Polhemus:


Captain Jim and his wife Sue use the boat to cruise around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Lately, its main start valve has been leaking, so they asked me to come by and take a look.

I thought the valve probably just needed some adjusting, but I needed to lap it a bit, too. The pilot valve will need to be replaced soon, but fortunately the owner has lots of new spares – an important commodity if you’re going to keep an old engine going.

The fishboat Vivian

Next up was the Vivian, also in Friday Harbor, a seine boat that’s been for sale for a while. Last week we got great news while tracking down the current owner to get a tour: the boat just sold to Max from Portland. This is great news for the heavy-duty diesel engine world, since Max intends to cruise in the boat (more on that subject later).

The Vivian is powered by an Atlas Imperial 4HM1125 with a 10 ½ inch bore:

the 1943 fishboat Vivian

The advertisement we saw circulated called it a “P 155” engine. I asked Dan what “P 155” meant, since I’ve never seen that kind of number associated with an Atlas before. Dan said “Any fool knows what a P 155” is. Ha ha, Dan. I waited and eventually he told me that whoever wrote the ad must have taken the information from the manufacturer’s plate. The “H” in the abbreviation for “horsepower” must have been worn off or obscured, making the plate read “P 155” rather than “HP 155.” At least this confirmed that the engine is a 4HM1125, since that model does indeed produce 155 horsepower. Dan also said that its serial number of 12479 dates its manufacture to around 1943.

As a fishboat, the Vivian is a very bare bones vessel. As with most workboats, there isn’t much else aboard other than the equipment needed to do its job: a hull that doesn’t leak (much), an engine that runs, and the rig for fishing. There’s very little else on board, but that’s part of her charm:

the 1943 fishboat Vivian

New owner Max plans on to haul her out for inspection and maintenance, then bring her home to Portland for more work in preparation for a South Seas expedition. We hope to hear more from you, Max, and maybe some pictures of a great old Atlas cruising the Pacific.

Roche Harbor Generators

After finishing up with the Oswell Foss, we headed up to Roche Harbor on the northern end of San Juan Island. The Roche Harbor Resort used to be a company town for the Tacoma & Roche Harbor Lime Company, which produced lime for cement and other applications. Parts of the lime production used to be powered by stationary Y-model Fairbanks-Morse diesel generators. These are still on the site, though they’re showing the age and the weather:


The generators, a two-cylinder and a three-cylinder, haven’t been worked on in years. I’ve contacted the resort’s manager in the past to ask about restoration or programming plans, but he’s been non-committal. I think it might be time to bring that up again, though.

For now, they’re an interesting feature in the middle of a fancy fancy resort and spa:


The Roche Harbor Fairbanks-Morses were the last stop on our heavy-duty tour of Northwest Washington. After that, it was back to work.

An Update on the Maris Pearl

Back in Seattle, I replaced the Maris Pearl‘s block heater element and the oil cooler’s sight gauge. I also drained the oil cooler to tighten the oil line, and picked up the fuel pumps and injectors that I had machined. The project is starting to wrap up — we’re set to leave for Alaska on May 14th. I’ve got lots to do before then, so I’ll wrap this blog entry up and get back to work.

Leave a comment

Filed under atlas-imperial, enterprise, fairbanks-morse, tugboats, washington iron works, week in review

2008 Week 16 in Review

An Update on the Maris Pearl

I finally finished pipe fitting for the Maris Pearl‘s oil cooler and flushed all the lines in preparation for sea trials! On Wednesday, Jay, Dan, and I cruised the boat around Puget Sound to test systems. Everything went just fine. There are still some small issues to be worked out, but the oil did heat up like we’d hoped. Now I just need to get everything else finished before Jay takes the boat up to Alaska for the summer.

The Nokomis’s engine (and others like it)

I had a nice phone chat with John from Pasidina Maryland about his retired ice breaker Nokomis. The Nokomis is powered by a model (6) 31A6 1/4 (model list here) Farebanks-Morse, a neat engine with a big flapper on the front for a blower. This two-cycle engine runs with a growling sound at about 720 rpm when cranked up to full speed.

The boat was built in 1951 and is 70 feet with a 20 foot beam. John has put in a lot of work to clean it up and fires up many of the systems as often as he can. He reports finding two fuel pumps frozen from rust, which he’s sending out to be overhauled along with a spare. When they get back, he’ll be following the instruction manual closely to re-time them.

John is also looking for other engines like the Nokomis‘s to hear others’ experiences with the A model — plus where any potential spare parts may be obtained from.

Here in Seattle, we have the John N Cobb, a research boat still used by NOAA to conduct fisheries studies in Alaska every summer. The Cobb has a model (8) 31A10 engine – an eight-cylinder model similar to the Nokomis‘s six-cylinder. The other differences include the Cobb‘s larger bore (10 versus 6 1/4), the reed valve plates for each cylinder in addition to the ones at the blower, and a slower running speed. If anyone reading knows of another similar Fairbanks-Morse engine out there, leave a comment or join the discussion.

For extra experience, John also volunteers on the Chesapeake Lightship at the Baltimore Maritime Museum regularly. Good luck with the Nokomis, John — we are all looking forward to hearing a sound clip of her engine running, and hopefully a YouTube video or two.

Cooper-Bessemer for Sale

This week we got an email from Dave Thorson alerting us to the Cooper-Bessemer for sale very cheap in Cle Elum, Washington. It’s another neat old engine that no one I know wants to move. I hope someone eventually takes it on and fixes it up into a runner. Mike Wallaston has the same engine in the Northwest Marine Propulsion Museum, but has not yet turned it into a display. If anyone reading wants this engine, contact me and I’ll forward you to the owners.

Another One Bites the Dust

We heard a rumor that the Oregon’s Enterprise is out and on the beach for sale very cheap. It is so sad to hear that another heavy-duty diesel bites the dust. Once out of a boat, a classic engine like that rarely escapes the scrap yard.

I wish I could report that a fancy new yacht (like the Discovery) intends to install it for the smooth propulsion, great low rumbling sound, the interesting history, the beautiful shape, the fuel economy, and the reliability of an old diesel—not to mention how fun they are.

If anyone does want the engine installed, you can contact me and I’ll forward the message along to the owners.

Life on the Arthur Foss

In brighter news, we ended the week at Northwest Seaport for a work party and the second session of Tugboat Night aboard the Arthur Foss. During the work party, I led a crew that moved all the main engine’s spare parts from the boat and outbuildings at Lake Union Park to Northwest Schooner Society’s warehouse on Northlake Way.

In addition to getting all the parts together in a secure on-land location, this was a great chance to get a full inventory of all the spares. During our last two Diesel Engine Theory programs (this year’s class at Northwest Seaport’s program page), we rebuilt the valve cages and the fuel injectors from spare parts. I knew that there were more components for more injectors in the spare parts collection, but now I (and NWS) know just how many of each there are. Once they compile the list, we’ll try to post a copy here.

Following the work party, I helped run Tugboat Night. Last time (at the end of Week Seven in Review) we ran the generator (just a jimmy) and the main. This time, we turned a lot more things on. Before the class started, we ran the generator to make air, then turned on everything in the Arthur that we could: the interior lights (including all the reading lights over individual bunks), the navigation lights, the radar, and the radios (though something’s busted and I couldn’t get them to stay on). When the participants showed up, we had them light the stove and then we cranked up the main several times.

Then we did something new: we split the participants into two groups. One group stayed in the engine room with me to practice bell drills and starting the main, the other group went up to the wheelhouse with Diana to “steer” the boat. The Arthur Foss has two steering systems: the manual steering that uses the big wooden wheel and the armpower of whoever’s in the bridge, and the power steering that uses a small bronze wheel and a hydraulic-over-pneumatic system. Since the Arthur’s rudder is about 14 feet high and six feet wide, the power steering can really make a difference when handling the boat.

Since the tug’s steering gear really hasn’t been exercised much since she stopped cruising in 2001, and since the goal of Tugboat Night is to turn everything on that we can, we powered up the steering gear and let participants turn the rudder back and forth at the dock. The difference between the two systems is pretty interesting to feel: the manual steering is really stiff but you can yank on the wheel as hard as you want, while the power steering is smoother and needs a light touch to not sheer a delicate pin in the system.

Everyone had a great time at this Tugboat Night, like the last. We didn’t have any repeat participants, but a couple people were out of town or already booked for the evening and swore they’d come next time. The next session is Saturday, June 21. Everyone should come. No excuses.

We didn’t get to linger much after Tugboat Night, though; Diana had to drive out to Port Angeles to help friends move, while Lia and I jumped in the truck and drove to Bellingham for Jeffrey’s (of the David B) birthday party.

Leave a comment

Filed under fairbanks-morse, museums, programs, tugboats, week in review

2008 Week Twelve in Review

An Update on the Maris Pearl

This week I cleaned up and organized the Maris Pearl’s tools and spare parts:


Jay recently bought a new storage container and had me lead the move from the old container to the new. Changing storage areas like this is a good time to inventory and organize the stuff you’re keeping with your boat and make sure that you’re holding onto the right things. Every time I do this for a client I find tons of parts that don’t fit the engine they are intended for. Since holding onto the wrong parts is a waste of space and effort, I try to arrange trades or sales of the wrong parts and get the right parts instead.

The Maris Pearl has a Q Enterprise, but many of its “spare parts” that Jay has been storing are for a G or R Enterprise. I’m working on trading them in to Striegel Supply for store credit, but if anyone reading needs parts for a G or R Enterprise, or has parts for a Q Enterprise, maybe we can arrange something.

Despite the clutter, Jay has some really neat spare parts, including a brand new cylinder head still in its original factory crate:


Classic Workboat Show 2008

On Saturday, OTM Inc met with representatives from the Northwest Seaport and the Center for Wooden Boats about holding another Classic Workboat Show. After some discussion, we decided that it was too soon to hold another show featuring tugboats, but holding a Classic Fishboat Show is doable for this fall.

The Classic Fishboat Show this fall will be great, but Old Tacoma Marine Inc won’t be as heavily involved. The 2009 Classic Workboat Show, though, will be epic, with even more heavy-duties, more events, and hopefully a big crane barge demonstration. We’re already looking for sponsors and donors, so give us an email if you’re interested or know someone who’s interested.

For those of you who missed the party, the first-ever Classic Workboat Show was last October. It was by far the best boat show I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to a lot of boat shows. I may be biased, though, as OTM Inc was a major sponsor of the show and I helped put a lot of it together with Northwest Seaport and the Center for Wooden Boats. The best thing about the show was getting together six of the eight remaining boats powered by Washington Iron Works Diesel Engines all lined up at the Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park. The restored tugboat Donald R, the research boat turned charter boat Catalyst, the monkey boat David B, the tugboat Ruby XIV, and the hard-working Western Towboat tug Fearless (formerly the Ruby II and the Discovery) joined the museum tugboat Arthur Foss for one awesome lineup of Washington power:

Visiting Workboats at the Historic Ships Wharf during the Classic Workboat Show; from left to right VIRGINIA V, ARTHUR FOSS, DONALD R, FEARLESS, CATALYST, DAVID B, RUBY XIV, LORNA FOSS, NEWT; photo courtesy Northwest Seaport and Wayne Palsson

We also had the tugs Lorna Foss and Newt on “Atlas Row,” and the Joe, Teal, Propeller, and a couple other boats in the non-heavy-duty section (but we thought they were great anyway). A Sea Scout troop did a scuttlebutt demonstration on the wharf and we held line-toss and bollard-lasso competitions for all ages:

Bollard Lasso on the Historic Ships Wharf during the Classic Workboat Show; photo courtesy Northwest Seaport and Wayne Palsson

To complete the festive atmosphere, Ballard Brothers Seafood & Burgers set up a booth selling their famous blackened salmon burgers and the jazz trio Bar Tabac played old-timey music on the docks and the boats. We even set up a pub, sponsored by Pacific Maritime Brewery.

The best moment was at five o’clock, closing time for the show. All the workboats sounded their horns, whistles, sirens, and bells at once. It was totally unplanned except for me telling everyone to blow their noisemakers at five, and it became this amazing workboat symphony. I can’t even describe how awesome it is, you’ll just have to listen to it yourself. It was an amazing day and I think it will be tough to beat. The fishboat show this fall will be great, but I think that the 2009 Classic Workboat Show will be even better. I hope to see everyone there.

If anyone reading can help with the 2009 Classic Workboat Show, we need sponsors, visiting workboats, volunteers, and cash (and see if your employer has a program for matching funds, since it’s a great opportunity for sponsors to get their names out there). Donations can be earmarked for the show or for other programs. Email me or Northwest Seaport to help.

A Unique Two-Cycle Atlas-Imperial

Finally, this week Chris from Utah sent pictures of the only two-cycle single-cylinder Atlas-Imperial diesel engine I have ever heard of. If anyone reading this knows of another, please let me know.

We borrowed the two-cycle Atlas-Imperial manual from Dan and scanned it for you to read. I read through it as well, and it seems like Atlas stole the idea straight from Fairbanks-Morse.

What do you think? Read it and let us know on the Discussion Board.

More Scans Coming Soon

Speaking of scanning original diesel manuals, Old Tacoma Marine Inc scanned a whole bunch of original heavy-duty manuals and catalogs this week to post on the website as a resource to enthusiasts, operators, and history geeks. We’re still getting them formatted for the web, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what manuals do you want to see scanned and posted on the web? Make a request and we’ll track it down and get it up–as long it isn’t about lawnmower or washing machine engines. Heavy-duties only.

Tours for Guy

Guy [formerly] from Kodiak, who sent us the great photographs and information about the Kodiak Maritime Museum’s Washington Iron Works engine, visited Seattle on Saturday and called to ask if he could see some old engines. We were happy to help – we sent him to the Northwest Marine Propulsion Museum to see their Washington and to Northwest Seaport to see the Arthur Foss’s Washington. It’s too bad that he didn’t get to see them run, but he’ll just have to visit again during a demonstration.

1 Comment

Filed under atlas-imperial, enterprise, museums, programs, tugboats, washington iron works, week in review

2008 Week Four In Review

Maris Pearl Work

The retired tugboat Maris Pearl and its Enterprise diesel engine is a long-time customer of OTM Inc. This week, I resealed the oil tube in the No 1 cylinder on the starboard side. Water is still dripping into the crank pit on No 1, and the easiest and most likely way to fix it is to reseal the oil tube. Let’s hope it works. Here’s the Maris Pearl’s engine with the starboard access panel removed from No 1 cylinder:

Later in the week, I met with Bob Shildwalker to see about replacing the control head in the Maris Pearl’s Enterprise. It currently has an Ingersoll-Rand control head, which uses a teeny little air control motor to shift the camshaft. Since it’s so small, there’s a small possibility that it could hang up and cause the tug to get stuck in forward or reverse. It probably won’t, but I want the engine to be as perfect as it can be. I heard that Bob has a spare control head manufactured by Westinghouse that uses a big air ram to shift the cam:

Westinghouse control head suitable for Enterprise diesels

This makes it more reliable, as well as easy to use. I met with Bob to ask first if all the control head pieces are there and second if he would sell it.

The answer to both questions was no. Not only is the control head missing many pieces, but Bob said that he already sold the Red Cloud and everything on it to Rick Hamborg. This is unfortunate, since I think that with a little research I can make the missing parts and get the control head working again. Last year I installed the same device on a DMG-6 Enterprise and had a lot of fun learning about it while restoring it. I’ll try again soon. For now, though, it remains with the Red Cloud in Everett.

Cylinder head for Arcturus

Dan and I were cleaning out the storage locker and came across a 9″ x 12″ cylinder head, which would fit the yacht Arcturus‘s Atlas-Imperial. Since his engine is still sea-water cooled (and subject to the corrosion damage that can destroy an engine if not kept under control) we thought we’ll offer the head for sale to him first.

Cylinder heads for Catalyst

I’ve been meaning to hunt down the extra cylinder heads for the Washington in the Catalyst for a while now, as I know that the former owners had some made a few years back. This week, I spotted an advertisement in the Boats and Harbors rag for “Washington Engine Parts”. I immediately thought “Wait, there’s Washington parts out there that I don’t know about?” Since Washington Iron Works stopped manufacturing parts around 1980, they are hard to find and most of the collectors have already contacted Dan or I.

I called the foundry and machine shop at Texas Empire Motors Inc that placed the ad, which was for 8″ x 10″ cylinder heads. He said he has one old head, three new ones, and all the patterns needed for casting more. He was very anxious to sell the whole lot and sounded disappointed when I told him that there is only one potential customer in the world (as the Catalyst is the last remaining 8″ x 10″ Washington engine that we know of) and they may never need the spare heads. But, I wanted to see what he would let them go for, so I should see an offer in the mail soon.

Meanwhile, the Catalyst‘s current cylinder heads are looking great:

Leave a comment

Filed under enterprise, washington iron works, week in review