Preparing To Move North

Most of May and June were spent preparing the boat to go north. Before we moved to another marina, the hull needed to be painted above the waterline and the engine room needed to be gone through. Some lighting was added to the engine room, all wires, belts, and hose clamps inspected and tightened, batteries checked, and I spent some time looking through lockers and boxes to see what spare parts were onboard. The impellers were changed in all the water pumps, and fuel lines were all inspected.

Engine room on the Pokalong



Our dock neighbor Ernie is a marine electrician, and he rebuilt the starter and replaced the solenoid on the 8.5 KW generator which was a real help. Toward the middle of June it was time to do a sea trial, so the girls and I headed upriver for a day and got to test the autopilot and run the engines up to temperature for a while. All performed well, and we were happy to find a favorite local pizza chain had relocated near the boat harbor in Toledo. The picnic lunch Celeste had packed was moved to dinner so we could enjoy pizza for lunch, by unanimous vote.

My running partner Dan’s 100 year old seiner, Pheonix III


Pokalong tied up in Toledo, note the Bering Sea king crabber tied up in the background


Caomi and Mocha enjoying the boat ride



The sea trial was considered a success by all. Now we had to find a balance of days off work and weather window to move north and inland on the mighty Columbia River.

To be continued…



My name is Chris, and I have a problem…

There’s a place where people with a serious addiction stand around drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and none of them encourage the rest to confront their problem – quite the opposite. It’s any commercial fishing dock on the west coast, and for that matter, probably around the world. But beyond my wooden boat issues, I have a longing to return to salmon trolling, making a living tricking the majestic king salmon into coming aboard your boat. This longing is not based on common sense, certainly not on economic principles or good judgement. But salmon trolling for a living is a lifestyle, it’s a place in the world that you either belong in or you don’t. To put it simply, of all the things I’ve done in my life, the one thing I daydream about, miss, and would wish to do again is troll salmon for a living on the open ocean.

So in the spring of 2018 as I was tearing out rotten wood and replacing it with new on the Pokalong, all of my friends across the bay were painting and stocking and coaxing their boats back into life for the salmon season. I would sneak across the bay and look at two boats in particular, the Norma Jean and the Lone Eagle. Both needed serious work, but I formulated the grain of an idea that I could restore a salmon troller by the time I retire and then go back to fishing full time until I couldn’t do anything anymore.


The Norma Jean


The Lone Eagle

Both boats are ‘Tacoma Boats, built by the famous shipyard in Tacoma. The Norma Jean was built in the late 30’s, the smaller Lone Eagle was built in 1928. Both needed serious work with years of deferred maintenance. Both were rigged for salmon trolling and appealed to my salmon sickness in the worst way. I would walk over, look at them from every angle, then go back to the Pokalong and think about it. Back to the warm teak glow of the Pokalong, with the diesel stove and all the comforts of home. At some point it dawned on me, what I needed was to build what Dan and I refer to as a “geezer troller”. A carefully set up troller that is so well outfitted and designed that it can be fished into a ripe old age. We have both known fishermen who have trolled into their 80’s and 90’s.

Since I had to rebuild the aft deck house anyway, what if I just decked it over and added a door to the rear deck. The existing lazarette could easily be converted into a troll pit, the small recessed cockpit in the back that the fisherman works in. What had been a queen sized bedroom would make a large fish hold, and to avoid fiberglassing and insulating the entire thing you could store fish in insulated totes. Back to the line drawing:

Pokalong troller

Now there would be a fine “geezer troller”. A walk-out door straight to the back deck. Remove a couple of windows from the back half of the boat to reduce the greenhouse effect. Add a real mast with trolling poles, and install commercial fishing gear on the back deck. This is all doable.

So I explained my plans to the bride of the king salmon ride. She is so used to my hair-brained schemes by now that she nodded her approval, with one condition: you can fish on your off time, but don’t quit your job! Luckily for me during the spring of this year I had been moved to a rotating shift, working 48 hours on followed by 4 days off. This actually could work! We were in South Beach marina, where the weather severely limits the time you can do exterior boat work. The thick fog and steady 20-25 knot NW winds scream down the beach and through the marina all summer long. During the winter, up to 90 inches of rain falls and storms march through sporting 70-100 knot winds. The next step would be to move the boat from Newport to somewhere with better weather where I could work on her.


A rare calm evening. Under the bridge, the fog bank can been seen retreating to the 30-fathom curve.

To be continued…

The Pokalong


The Pokalong as she appeared before purchase.

Our new to us liveaboard, the Pokalong, is a 1973 Grand Banks 42 classic. She was loved and cared for (and fished hard) by a wonderful friend of mine. After retiring, for many years he took her up to Barclay Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island in BC for the summer. He was a meticulous mechanic, with spare parts for just about everything aboard. The engine room was famous in town for being ‘polished’, always bright and clean.

The woodwork, however needed some work. The mahogany hull is in excellent shape, but the flying bridge, bulwarks and wheelhouse were showing their age.

My lovely wife was happy aboard, our daughter thought it was a great adventure. Then the rains came. The stress of owning 2 boats came. I got grumpy being thoroughly soaked in drenching rain and 50 knot winds down the 2000 feet of our dock. That my wife remained married to me at this point is much more a mark of her stubbornness than it is my value as a husband.

So we ended up moving ashore, relocating to a much better school district and much better weather in December. I was working M-F at the time, and would stay a few nights a week on the boat to reduce the number of 100 mile round trip commutes.

Moving off the boat gave me a chance to start tearing into the boat and finding out the depth of the rot, which is more difficult when everyone is living aboard. It soon became apparent that 3/4 of the flying bridge needed to be replaced, about 20% of the wheelhouse walls, and 100% of the aft cabin walls. This would have to wait until better weather.

Come the spring, work could be started in small bursts then covered with a tarp between days of rain.

First to go was the flying bridge. The more I took apart, the more problems I found. During one of the rainy days I added up the cost of replacing the entire flying bridge, and it came to materials of about $1500 and a significant amount of time. Then I started toying around with the idea of removing it all together. I had seen pictures of this done on a handsome GB in Puget Sound called ‘Ebb Tide’. I modified the drawing:

I also considered what it would be like to extend the house aft on the main level, or remove the aft cabin all together. Something needed to be down because all 3 bulkheads in the aft stateroom were rotted out from window leaks, in various stages of disrepair.

First the flying bridge was removed, and the topside turned out pretty clean:

Pokalong 24 April 2018 side

Pokalong 24 April 2018 topside

To be continued…

Update on the Carlyle III

Let’s do a quick catch up of the past year. We sold our home in July of last year and moved onto the Carlyle when a couple of issues became apparent, the kind of things that don’t pop up when you are overnighting on the boat, but become readily apparent when you live aboard her. We talked about the problems and it became apparent that the galley and dining would need to be on the same level, and we needed an alternate way to get to the foc’sle without going through the engine room. After measuring, reviewing hundreds of old boat plans, re-measuring, and sleeping on it, I found that altering the original layout was not practical and would not improve the boat.

After about a week the girls went on a pre-planned month long trip oversees to visit big brother who moved over last summer to attend college. Just before they left I noticed a Grand Banks 42 was for sale again, needing some attention, in the same marina. I knew the decades-long owner and had been to sea on the boat a couple of times, and I had once owned and lived on a Grand Banks 36. The long term owner of this boat had done incredible work in the engine room and maintained detailed records. He had sold the boat a year earlier to someone who used it once then tied it up, not even leaving a window cracked for fresh air. The Central Oregon Coast experiences up to 90 inches of rain a year, and old Grand Banks have lots of windows. The combination of a few window leaks and the greenhouse effect had caused the boat to become covered in mold and mushrooms inside. I took the bride over to see the boat before she left, and I think largely because she was excited to go on vacation and see her baby boy, she seemed unfazed. She said ‘I’ve seen what you can do with a boat, I like the layout, if you get it and clean it up by the time we get back we can live aboard her’.

Challenge Accepted.

I tracked down the owner (actually his mother) and made a deal to purchase the boat. I then began a manic 4 week undertaking to make the boat inhabitable. First thing was to get the boat moved over to side tie to the Carlyle, so I didn’t have to keep walking and carrying things back and forth over half a mile in the marina.

After 4 weeks of work, the interior paint had been sanded and repainted, all carpets and cloth curtains had been removed, the master stateroom bed had been modified, and all systems aboard the boat were working. The around the clock work had kept me busy enough not to think about the inevitable question of owning two boats.

Summer turned to fall, school started, and the reality of 2 boats set in. We were paying over $900 a month in moorage, and the Port was getting ready to raise rates again. We reluctantly put the Carlyle up for sale, and quickly realized that although we had over 200 inquiries, the age of the boat and the remoteness of Newport to any major population centers was making it a very, very hard sell. The market for large 1930’s vessels is very small; the chances of selling a boat the size and age of the Carlyle so far away from Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco was remote. The price fell each week and disappointment came after each showing hearing ‘she’s just too much boat’ or ‘she’s just too old’. Eventually she was sold to a retired merchant mariner who entered the boat, stood in the wheelhouse, grabbed the wheel and gazed out the windows. “I’m home” he said quietly. He paid the now tiny asking price in cash which figured out to be about 1/10th of what we had spent on her. Such is the cost of loving old wooden boats.

To be continued…

Weather break yields some work…

A little over a week ago I enjoyed my first 2 dry days off in a row since July. Yes, you read that correctly. We have had some dry days this past week, but I worked six days in a row, most of them 12 hours.

So I was very glad to take advantage of the dry spell and fix a serious problem. The boat has a slight starboard list right now, and all of the water that landed on the boat was supposed to be draining off on the starboard rail amidships. Except there was some rotten and missing wood that allowed every drop of rain to run down inside the hull – the opposite of what we want to see. Here is the problem area:


The water is all supposed to drain off in the little cut scupper just to the right of the last bronze railing. The old steamed curved piece of wood was lost to history, and many years ago someone had placed a temporary plywood patch to keep the rain out. The plywood had long since failed too. So on the first day of a 2-day dry stretch I threw a couple of things in the wheelbarrow for the long trip down the dock and got to work.


The lighter wood is leftover plank ends of Norwegian larch. The darker wood is Philippine mahogany. My wife recently returned from the Philippines where she traveled to the southern Bicol province and sent me a picture of a mahogany tree farm. I’d never seen the actual trees before. Speaking of wood I started by removing the mulch formerly known as wood:


I spent a lot of time over the summer fretting that removing the gentle curve would alter the character of the boat. Then I realized squaring it up would be stronger and match the railing stanchions and stopping the water was more important at this point. The old material was removed and new short frames added to give strength.



All the existing wood was treated with chemo and the new wood was given the 3-way of pine tar, linseed oil and turpentine. Eventually two short planks were added, a section of marine-grade birch plywood on the inside (to reduce intrusion into the narrow side deck) and a caprail was cut and fitted from the mahogany.



Next every screw hole must be filled with a wooden plug, or bung, ideally cut from the same piece of wood as it is going into. These are cut with a plug-cutter on a drill. It’s best to use a drill press, but a) I don’t have one, and b)it’s 1/4 mile from the truck to the boat. That’s a long way to carry a drill press. So some time was taken up drilling dozens and dozens of plugs. I used mahogany for all of them.


I needed to figure out how I was going to cover the aft end of this new bulwark wall, where the plywood, frame, and outside planks were exposed. I have found that there is frequently a “sit and think about it” phase in boat projects. Skipping this phase can lead to financial ruin, public shaming, and in some cases – divorce. I have also learned over the years that this phase is often more productive if gently lubricated with English Harbor rum and a little (not too much!) coke.


So after an intensive planning phase and a trip home to sleep overnight, I decided to make a mahogany cap to cover the end pieces. I made liberal use of the table saw and a little chisel work and we had a working cap:



I needed to cut a new channel to let the water drain off the deck – that’s when the scope of work suddenly increased…


The rot in the cap rail had extended further than I had thought. With the rain just hours away I had to remove almost three more feet of this piece. Did I mention not to use modern fir on a boat?

The rush was now on and there was no time to take pictures. All of the rotten piece you see above was removed, and a new piece fit to join the deck and the hull. This piece is stepped underneath and took a while to cut. Finally the skies were darkening but the wind picked up and helped dry a coat of white paint and varnish.



The gap in the upright piece is to allow the handrail stanchion to fit in place. After the handrails are re-installed I will make a custom piece to fit and match the caprail. First I have to cut the bronze pipe handrail stanchion and take it somewhere to be threaded to meet the new lines of the boat. I have matching wood to be able to modify the other side to match later (next spring?) but for now the water that lands on the boat leaves the boat without going through a bilge pump! The paint and varnish survived the inch of rain that started about 4 hours after they were applied. I’ll add another photo when the handrails are modified and back in place.


Not much of a summer…


You see the flags flapping above? That was the normal state of affairs for the months of July through September this year. From about 10:00 on, almost every day, we experienced winds in the 20-30 knot range. I had forgotten how frustrating the wind is at South Beach Marina. I had exactly 1 day off from July through the end of September where is was dry enough and mild enough winds to be able to paint. I wish that were an exaggeration. That being said, I did have some help for the time I was able to spend aboard the boat:


My trusty little deckhand was going around the boat taking measurements. She has been a big help whenever we are working on the boat, always ready to pass a tool or board up or down the hatch. Always keeping me on track, under close supervision.


The other deckhand, the four-legger, takes a more relaxed approach to management. It usually involves taking lots of naps on deck and managing to step in any wet paint or epoxy that may be available.

We did manage to get the salon cleaned up a little bit, install Celeste’s television, and put up Caomi’s lantern fish painting for some color. The TV will get hidden behind a nautical painting on a panel that hinges up out of the way eventually. One has to make compromises when trying to convince one’s wife to eventually live on the boat.



The life rings were repainted, marked with the ship’s name and hailing port, and 12 fathoms of lifeline added.


A new(er) and working faucet was found onboard and installed so we now have cold running water at the galley sink. The plumbing overall looks good but I haven’t tested the hot water system – that’s on the winter project list. The water heater can be run off shore power, the engine’s heat exchanger, or the galley’s diesel stove.


Occasional breaks were taken at the noon hour, to stave off wind-driven depression and read about Admiral Lord Nelson’s battle tactics. Sometimes these breaks were followed by a safety nap, while the wind howled in the rigging outside…


A little work was done in the engine room, but all in all the summer was not that productive. After leaving the shipyard in June we started getting really busy at work, culminating in August with almost 350 hours on the clock. One of the few things I could accomplish on my windy days off was taking an inventory of the forward deck planks. The rear of the boat had been rebuilt several years ago, and the old deck planks were removed and replaced with plywood and fiberglass. I know. That offends my sensibilities too, but we get 80-90 inches of rain a year, and the decks were well done, and they don’t leak. Contrast that with the forward decks, which leak like Hillary’s email servers. So every inch of every forward deck plank was sounded. The results were not good.


Over 50% of the decks on the forward half of the boat need to be replaced. This is now the top priority on the boat work list. And it needs to be done this winter, preferably the first half of the winter, so I can complete my goal of overhauling the engine room over the winter as well.

I have spoken with the Harbormaster about getting a more protected spot so I can erect a partial shelter over the decks. There is a service dock next to the brewery warehouse which would offer great protection. My current slip at the and of “A” dock is directly exposed to the up to 100 knot winds we get from winter storms. No temporary shelter can hold up to that.

The other big decision is to redo the planking or be consistent with the rear decks and go plywood and fiberglass. Given our wet climate and the high cost of planking, I have voted to replicate the ply/glass method as on the rear decks. It will be built up to the 1.5″ thickness of the current planks, but will probably keep the inside of the boat dryer longer into the future.

But first – I must repair or replace the carburetor float on the 1939 gas pony motor, which recently failed and leaked gasoline into the engine compartment. Not for the weak of heart, this boat rebuilding…


Idiot’s Guide to Cutting and Fitting Planks

I had promised a separate post on planking. What shipwrights do is an ancient and mysterious art – there is a lot of well-written information in old musty books, and even some online – about spiling planks. This author will not be adding to that collection of information.

But there was a time when every small river along the northwest coast and the inlets of Puget Sound were dotted with fishermen and coastwise traders who would build their own boats and then work them. Some would build a boat and fish it for decades, others would build a boat, use it for a year or two, sell it, and then build a bigger one or one designed for a different fishery. These men were not shipwrights who built and repaired boats for other people – they simply gained the knowledge they needed to provide for themselves. What I am learning is more in the spirit of that. I have observed shipwrights in action over the years, and tried to learn what I can to be able to repair my own boat – if for no other reason than I can’t afford to pay somebody else $100.00 per hour to do it.

So the first step is to remove the old plank. In the picture below the old guard planks were removed (dark wood area) and the plank immediately below has been removed:


“Removing” planks from an 86 year old vessel is not as easy as it seems. She had been put together with iron square nails originally, and over the years silica bronze screws, stainless steel screws, and even galvanized lag bolts had been used. Here are some from the guard removal – and none of them wanted to come out easily:


Next, we cut some strips of 1/4″ plywood that are slightly undersize of the plank dimensions. These will be used for our patterns.


The plywood strips are tack-nailed into place where the missing plank is. If the plank is longer than the plywood, then two plywood strips are screwed together. Often they will have to be offset because the plank is not actually straight – that’s also why a 6 inch plank takes a 10 or 12 inch piece of wood to carve it out.

Once the plywood is tacked into place where the plank will be, I place white stickers just touching the planks above and below. I use one sticker for every frame, or rib, where the plank will be fastened. Then you carefully remove the pattern.


Set your plank stock out for measurement. Remember we went to Port Townsend to find this wood, which is Norwegian Larch that has been air-dried for over 20 years. Here you can also see that two pieces of plywood have been joined to form the proper length pattern. I place the pattern upside down so the white stickers are laying directly on the planking stock.


Once the pattern is tacked down, use a black magic marker to made a mark across the end of the sticker. This should now give you a sharp line exactly where the edge of the existing planks above and below are.


Once all the marks are made, you can remove the pattern. Then lightly set a nail in all the marks:


Then use a thin but sturdy strip of wood as a spiling batten, which you can use to trace the curve of the plank from nail to nail onto your planking stock:


Now we have a line for the saw to cut.



Always cut to the outside of the line, then use a planer to finish shaving down the plank edges for a tight fit. After it’s cut your straight piece of planking stock becomes a curved plank that fits just right (in theory).


The edges of the planks should fit tightly together, with the outer facing edges beveled in a V-shape to accept cotton and seam compound. It’s hard to see but in this picture the rear half of the planks are seated firmly together, the outward-facing half of the joint is beveled.


If you are going to remove more than one plank, as in the picture above, you mark the framed with the old plank edge before you remove the second plank. This mark can then be used when you make your pattern. The planks are then fastened (I use #14×3 stainless steel fasteners above the waterline and silica bronze below) and bent into place using clamps. It often takes some patience to keep shaving off bits here and there to get a tight fit. Then repeat and repeat until the bad wood is replaced by good wood:





While there are still planks that need to be replaced, half of the battle is making a realistic refit plan and prioritizing projects. Most of the bad planks are gone, but it was not realistic to tackle all of them this year. Also whenever a plank is removed, the frames behind it should be inspected and another frame added if warranted.


In the end we have a much safer and much stronger vessel. The real shipwrights, Reino and Ted, very kindly inspected my work and offered encouragement and advice. I feel like the boat and I are carrying on the maritime tradition of captains who take care of their own boats, learning just enough to be dangerous…



Hauling Out


My friend Dan came with me for a short boat ride to the slings. On Tuesday morning, May 31st, we motored upriver and slipped into the lowered slings of the Toledo boat lift. They yard guys came down and measured the boat alongside the pier and looked at some old photos to determine where to place the slings. They then slowly lift the boat up until the bow is almost at the pier in front, so the crew can step off onto dry land. Then it’s up, up and away until the boat hangs over the pressure washing pad.


This was our first glimpse at the bottom, and it looked pretty good. As usual with old wooden boats in the northwest, they are better preserved underwater. The only planks that needed to be replaced were above the waterline.


While she was having her bottom pressure washed, Celeste and I made a speed run to the valley to pick up a decent ladder and scaffolding from Home Depot. The Toledo boat yard charges a daily rate to rent the ladder and scaffolding, which was new to me. So I figured we would pay for them in the first two years – and I can loan them out to friends so they don’t have to pay either. This pad next to the shipwright’s whop would be her home for the next 9 days. Here’s the boss inspecting the bottom:


I did find a couple of butt seams that got some new cotton while we were out:


Here’s some pictured of the some of the new wood we installed. I’ll go over how planks are cut and installed in another post, but the short of it is you expend a lot of energy removing the old planks and old fasteners, add new framed or ribs if possible, then pattern and cut new planks to replace them.

All told about 80 feel of new planks were added and 175 feet of seams were caulked.





It made for some very long days. Out of the water I usually worked until 8 or 9:00 at night. The heat during the day was horrible – for 5 days it went over 90 degrees during the day, so I would switch sides and hide from the sun. I did have some occasional helpers…


Eventually she got a new $1000.00 coat of bottom paint, and I spent half a day cleaning the propeller. The new zincs went on and she was ready to go back in to the water…After paying the yard bill, which was over $3800.00 for 9 days.




A quick splash, and then it was back to the service dock to keep an eye on the planks while she swelled back up. The planks had shrunk quite a bit in the 9 hot and dry days we were out. most wood boats were trying to haul out day one, paint & zinc day two, and go back in the water day three in this weather. The pumps had quite a workout the first night. The main float switch stopped working so I had to stay onboard and get up once an hour to pump her out.


After a pump replacement on Friday and the planks swelling up for 36 hours I could finally go home and relax. Saturday morning we took a quick boat ride down the river, making 7.3 knots at 600 rpm. Uncle Pat came along as engineer, and went around checking things and greasing the shaft. It felt good for the old girl to stretch her legs. This was her first real voyage in over a decade, 11 river miles to South Beach.



carlyle III first voyage

After an uneventful hour and a half, Pat and I tied up at the end of A dock in South Beach. There’s plenty of work left to do, but all the people who thought she would never leave Toledo were thankfully proved wrong. Thank you to my beautiful bride for being patient for the last three months as I’ve literally spent seven days a week either at work or at the boat in Toledo. It was all worth it though, as we will one day have a sturdy and beautiful family cruiser.



The Longest Short Journey

The old girl made her first trip under power in many years on Sunday evening. She is now sitting on the river channel on the outside of the dock, waiting for her haulout later today.


This was the most nerve-wracking journey the boat will ever make. It’s always a bit stressful driving a new boat for the fist time, because each boat handles differently with different hull profiles, propeller sizes, and rudder sizes and angles. Add to the mix that the throttle and gear controls are unlike any boat I’ve skippered in the past 25 years and there is a new level of stress. At least there’s plenty of water, right?


Wrong. The above picture at high tide is very deceiving. Most of the water you see between the boat and the shore is only a foot deep. The Carlyle draws almost six feet of water, and we have to squeeze into a narrow channel basically scraping alongside the boat house. One wrong move, and we could get stuck in the mud and the boat would roll over when the tide goes out. Many boats have been lost this way. Here’s a shot of how narrow the deep enough water is to sneak around the boat house:


Doesn’t look as wide now does it? A couple more pictures with more water:



So we had to wait for high tide which gave us barely enough water to turn the boat around. My friends Dan and his son Daniel from the F/V Pheonix III came and helped get the boat turned around and Dan joined me for the first short boat trip. He spotted us as we ran the narrow channel to get out past the boat house and helped get tied up in the current. We went about an hour before high tide so if we did run aground we had some more water coming in to lift us off. All went well. The old motor chugs away and the boat moves some serious water. She had excellent rudder response. The controls will definitely take some getting used to – instead of moving a lever forward or reverse to change gears, it’s three turns of the big wheel clockwise for forward, three turns counter-clockwise for reverse. And good luck if you forget which turn you are in. Did I mention the throttle? The lever is backwards, you shove it forward for less throttle and back towards you for more. And there is about a 3 second delay in the old engine rpms…

Here’s a picture of the controls from before we bought the boat. The big wheel on top is the transmission control, the assembly with the vertical shifter on the right is the throttle. To kill the engine, just shove it forward until you run out of fuel. Shoving it forward is exactly what you would do on 99% of boats if you need emergency throttle – more power. And this engine doesn’t restart with the touch of a button. So it takes some real thinking to get used to these controls.


Daniel took some pictures from the dock – when he sends them over I will post them. Now we wait for the haul out at slack water, scheduled for 09:30 this morning.


Anchors and Chain

The emergency brake of any ship is its anchor. And on a pre-WWII boat with a huge engine that can only be started with a little engine, it becomes even more important. The anchor winch was until recently fitted with 22 fathoms (132 feet) of chain followed by 22 fathoms of steel cable.

I opted to reuse the existing chain and back it with line instead of steel cable. Cable is used in parts of British Columbia and Alaska where there are jagged rocky bottoms. For here and Puget Sound chain and line are more common as are sand or mud bottom anchorages.

The chain is what really keeps the boat in place, and keeps the anchor from slipping. I always opt for a fathom of heavier chain from the anchor to the anchor winch, as additional insurance. First on the winch is the anchor line. I picked up a coil of line from a friend for a screaming good deal, you can see it here next to the old greased and rusty steel cable:


I spread the line out on the dock and measured it – 44 fathoms, or 264 feet. Then the bitter end needs to be tied to the anchor winch:


Since I haven’t run the hydraulic hoses back through the deck, I needed to spool the line on by hand. I immediately regretted not having completed the hydraulics before doing this part. But after an hour the line was on.


The next part I didn’t really get any pictures of, because it was so messy. To move the anchor winch all the chain was dropped to the chain locker in the forepeak. The chain was really rusty, so I had to drag it out through the deck hatch (which knocked quite a bit of rust off). I then laid it out on a tarp on the front deck and sprayed it with a cold-galvanizing finish. Then all the links were turned over and the other side galvanized. Then as I hand fed the chain onto the winch the links were spray galvanized a third time. Hopefully this will protect that chain a little longer. In the end, 22 fathoms of chain were in place with the new fathom of larger chain between the winch and the anchor:


Finally I added a cover to try to slow down the rusting process. Eventually I’ll have a canvas cover for the whole winch fabricated.