August 5, 2012.
Lets talk about something new. Tugboats. Not actual working tugboats but the tugboat style cruising trawler.
They're kinda cool in a slow boat, nice accommodations, cruising kinda way. There's several different types plying the local waters. And just like sailboats each tug family has its fans and detractors. Some are lightly built while others are tanks. Some are spartan while others are opulent. But they're all of the genus Powerboatus Relaximus.
Near the top of food chain are the Kadey Krogens. We've done a ton of work on two of these beauties recently. One of the tasks that peaked my interest was the owners request that we add a sailboat to his deck.
He's got an upper deck with a crane to lift the dinghy from the deck and safely plop it into the water. Space is kinda tight but sure captain we'll see what we can do. He wanted a Lazer on board. They're 15 feet long, 54 inches wide and weigh about 130 pounds. One of our employees has a Lazer so I got him to bring it to work so we could try it out in different spots.
First we tried anthwartships on its side. We were considering fabricating a stainless steel rack that would work in conjunction with the stern rail to keep the boat in place. Sounded like a good plan, the mock up was received with mixed reviews so we changed tacks. Lets try stacking them.
At 15 feet the Lazer was a little much for the space available so we went with the Lazer Pico. Its a little wider, and 2 feet shorter and turned out to be a great choice. We fabricated 2 cradles that plug into receivers recessed into the deck. The Lazer sits securely in these cradles. Bridging the Pico we designed a stainless steel folding rack to support the dink. It also fits perfectly into receivers we built into the deck. The dink sits in its own set of cradles and when the whole enchilada is strapped down its actually pretty slick.
So now the owner can launch his dink. Fold and stow the rack and then launch the Lazer Pico. We've done a ton of work on the guys boat like new televisions, washer and dryer, toilets and a hundred lesser things. But it was the stackable dinghy/ Lazer combo that really wowed him. Score one for us.
When I said some tugs are built like tanks I wasn't kidding. A 26 foot Nordic Tug was being delivered to us on a trailer to be splashed. While the delivery driver was sitting at a red light a drunk driver rear ended the trailer. The boat and trailer were pushed up onto the truck and the drunk drivers car was totaled. The trailer was pretty much torn in two pieces yet the tug escaped with practically no damage. The U-bolt at the bow was bent over and the keyway in the rudder post was sheared so the rudder can swing freely. There was auto paint on the rudder but it wasn't bent. The key and U-bolt are easy repairs, the trailers totaled, the towing truck has major damage but the boat came through practically unscathed. Go figure.
And while we're on the whole tugboat theme. A couple of years ago while working for another company with Bob and Dullard I had the opportunity to work on an unusual trawler. I made that key on top of the boat spin while the boat is underway. Cute, quirky, dumb, I dunno but the other day I saw it go by and it still spins.