Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014 - Marina Fire Investigation

Click here for my other entry containing the fire pictures

This morning I got over to the yard where the boats were taken after the fire.  They have all been lined up, just as they were in the marina.  In fact, a few of the damaged finger piers were cut out of the marina and placed between the boats, almost exactly recreating the marina on dry land.

In talking with several people involved with this process, the investigation is now complete.  The findings won't be released for a little while, apparently.  I am assuming (you know what they say about making assumptions!) that if the investigation is complete, that maybe they have figured out the cause?  We won't know that information though until the official determination has been released to the public.  I certainly have not heard anything official, just lots of speculation and rumors from fellow boat-owners and residents.

The way the investigation was conducted was that they started with the boat furthest from the center of the fire.  They investigated that boat, and the dock it was tied to.  All of the investigators (from all of the insurance companies involved) then had to vote YES or NO to the question "did this boat start the fire?"  If the unanimous answer was NO, then they moved to the next closest boat.  They repeated this process until they had no more boats to look at....  It seems like a daunting task to sort through the charred mess to find the source of the fire.

Click on any picture for a larger image:

The investigation scene in Anacortes.

Burned boats lined up on land just as they were in the marina.
The bright orange numbers painted on the boats are their marina slip number.

Look at the two motors.  You can clearly see where the galley was.  That tall
thing is the refrigerator.  The other "pile" is a trash compactor, a microwave
oven, and a cooktop/oven.  You can also see the two large fuel tanks.  Notice
the mattress springs in the rear; that's where the master stateroom was.

Even the remains of the docks were brought to the investigation scene.

Two boats from the south side of the dock.

Complete devastation!

Look at what the heat has done to this transom.  It's almost as if it melted.

The side area where they would bring items from the wreckage for further
investigation.  I guess the investigators have taken most of the items with them.

This finger pier was further away from the source of the fire.

What an aweful sight......
Back on J-dock the investigation is also complete.  The investigators have
taken every power poles electrical box.  These boxes are where the boats
plug into shorepower when tied to the dock.

Click here for my other entry containing the fire pictures

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014 - Boat projects update

Well a lot has happened with the boat over the past few months.  The transmissions have been pulled and both rebuilt;  they should be good for another 20+ years.  I have moved the house battery bank from it's temporary location to the permanent home, in a base that I fiberglassed into place.  I have the new dual alternator setup installed and tested.  Each motor has a 160amp alternator on it.  They are controlled as a team with a Balmar MC-612 Dual alternator controller.  I can run just one engine and have up to 160 amps of charging power.  Run both engines and I have 320 amps of charging power, with both alternators acting as one unit with this fancy 3-stage alternator regulator.  It is working great so far.

I am installing the anchor stabilizer poles right now, after being fabricated and powder coated.  the poles are 14' long and there will be on on each side of the boat.  With the "flopper stoppers" at the outboard ends of these two poles, the boat should be a lot more resistant to rolling around in a wavy anchorage.  The ends of the poles are more than 44' apart when deployed!  That gives the flopper stoppers a lot of leverage to work with.  

World circumnavigator Steve Dashew tests a flopper stopper just like the two we have:

Here's a little video showing the deployment of a flopper stopper on a 62' Nordhavn:

 I am repainting the motors and the engine room so that engine room checks will be quick and easy.  The last of the galley cabinet doors have been made and installed.  The final flip-down TV enclosure has finally been made and installed.

I took our old flybridge bimini top back down to the boat.  I hadn't seen it since we bought the boat.  It didn't fit very well and I had to spend many hours adjusting, cutting, lubing zippers, and freeing up stuck Allen screws with a torch.  This all took longer than I would have liked.

Cabinet doors have been made and installed over the microwave and refer.

The new TV enclosure, in the UP position.

The TV enclosure in the viewing position.  TV is a 37" LED unit.

New hatch in the master head floor.  The seacock and strainer  for the
manual seawater toilet are under this hatch.
Anchor stabilization pole in the upright position.

View from the boat deck.

Pole upright.  Piece of cardboard to show where
one of the solar panels will be installed.
Pole in the deployed position.  There is a device that will attach to the end of
the pole and hang in the water.  It will resist the upward movement of the boat
when rolling from side to side, hence reducing the amount of roll significantly.

Closer view, showing all the attachment points (lines and pole).

Another view.
View from the boat deck.

Transmissions ready to take to the shop for a rebuild.  I had a spare tranny
from our old boat that I was able to sell to the transmission shop.  Nice!
Tranny's after being treated with "rust neutralizer"  Ready for paint.

Tranny's after two coats of  POR-15 enamel engine paint.  This paint is tough and
durable.  I am brushing it on, which is a slow process.  This paint takes a week to cure!
A nice clean, rebuilt transmission.  If I ever have a leak,
it will be easy to spot!  I like white for easy leak detection.

Box of usable transmission parts.  I think we will vacuum bag these and carry them
as spares in case a tranny dies someplace where we don't have access to parts.

Repainting the motors.  This is VERY time consuming.  But, any leaks will be
super easy to detect, before they become a serious problem.  It will be worth it.
New battery tray.  Dividers at the bottom keep the batteries from moving.  It is all
fiberglassed so battery acid can't effect it.  It's painted with Interlux BilgeKote.  The whole
 tray is screwed, glued, and fiberglassed to the floor.  4 of the 6 L16 house batteries shown.
The bimini top when I first put it back on.  It sure didn't fit very well.  I took the
canvas off and turned it around.  It fit much better that way.  But I still had to
mess with the positions of the poles and even had to cut about 3" off each end
of  forward bow.  Eventually I got it to sit nice and level.

But it now fits very well and it is very tight.  I don't think it is going to flap
around much in a breeze.

This is fitting pretty well.  It will be really nice in hot weather.

The canvas is showing it's age.  There are a few thin spots.  Two of the zippers
have problems as well.  We will eventually have to have a new canvas made
 to replace this one.