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Why Did He Say That?

June 15, 2010

I have publicly acknowledged I am a huge fan of Abby Sunderland. My father is a former lofter boats (Lofting is a process whereby the boat is actually drawn full sized to determine the exact sizes of the frames and components). Here is an articles of one of his boats “Ocean Leader” that was recently in the news on National Fisherman. At the end of this article I’m going to tell you what my father said about Abby’s boat.

Everything dad lofted was by hand and mind – no computers!

Dad lofted these two tugboats:

D158441-36C Date: 06-13-1970 36 of 90:
More detail
Series: D158441   Image#: 36C   Date: 06-13-1970
Tugboats post-christening. On June 13, 1970, two tugboats were christened at Martinac Shipbuilding facilities. Both the “Seneca” (foreground) and “Sioux” (rear) are Seattle-based but will be used to haul barges to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska’s oil fields. Color photograph ordered by J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. (TNT 6-14-70, A-4 – article)

Dad lofted the Northern Glacier factory trawler, Ocean Leader built as a crabber, and Tradition tuna boat from scratch.

In 1976, he was a greenhorn on the halibut schooner Grant. He also spent time on the halibut schooner Northern and the Quest, another halibut boat. Eventually he became a licensed chief engineer and prowled the engine rooms of the factory trawlers Northern Glacier and Starbound. Both are, as Brevik says, “Cadillacs of the fleet.”

ATY West

New deck cranes installed; boatyard has first 30-footer

In June, the 120-foot trawler Ocean Leader was hauled at the Dakota Creek Industries boatyard in Anacortes, Wash., for deck and shaft work. A boom that had been in use since the boat was a crabber was removed in Seattle, and then the crew at Dakota Creek replaced it with a new deck crane.

The crane will be used for moving bags, nets and doors. It can be run manually or via remote controls from the wheelhouse.

Besides the crane, a couple of picking booms were also installed.

The decks were sandblasted and the gantry got new bracing; also, new hatches were installed. The old ones “were original and weren’t sealing well,” says Bud Ryan, project manager on the job.

Both the prop and shaft were pulled. The shaft had some wear and had to be refurbished. The wheel “was in fairly bad shape,” Ryan says. It was given a hard polymer-type coating and put back on. A new wheel was ordered, and the coating should protect the prop until it is replaced.

Ryan says that cavitation and electrolysis did most of the damage to the wheel. “We put a ground strap on, which always makes a difference with those issues,” he says.

The Ocean Leader also had a new autopilot installed while it was hauled, though the boatyard didn’t do the work.

Michael Crowley

My father felt that putting Abby in the boat she used to sail around the world was borderline criminal or just plain ignorance. This is what he told me, “The reason Abby’s sailboat was a poor decision for her to sail in was because of the open cockpit, it’s prone to down-flooding and not enough scuppers to relieve the water quick enough out of the cockpit. She could have filled the boat with water and it would become very unstable. Then the meta-center would rise and she would have either capsized or been rolled with the big wave.”


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