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Raft Up!

May 28, 2014

Rafting your boat is a great way to spend time on the water with family, friends and other boaters. Here are a few tips to keep you and your boat safe while rafting up this summer.

Raft Up!Gear:
Make sure you have the right gear for rafting up. Fenders, dock lines, spring lines and anchors are important. A boat hook is also handy to maneuver boats at close quarters while keeping hands and feet clear for safety.

Make a Plan:
Having a good plan will make the process of rafting multiple boats together go smoothly and safely.

  • Designate the heaviest boat (not necessarily the biggest) to be the host or ‘anchor’ vessel. This will be the first boat in the raft, setting a good anchor for the boats that will then tie along either side.
  • The total load on the center boat will be more than normal and extra scope is necessary. Make sure the captain of the anchor boat is familiar with his anchor and sets it good at 7:1 minimum scope, 10:1 is always a good idea especially for larger rafts.
  • Size up the boats that plan to participate in the raft up. It is best to place similar sized boats next to one another to best protect the vessels when tied and make crossing between boats easier. Place larger vessels near the center of the raft, on either side of the host or anchor boat, and smaller boats towards the ends of the raft.
  • When planning a larger raft, it is a good idea to have multiple boats set an anchor to secure the raft, every third boat is a good rule of thumb. Be aware of current, tides and wind conditions. Plan to either anchor your raft in place (forward and aft) or to allow for swing (which can tangle lines and anchors if you are not careful).

Raft Up

Communicate:
Use your marine radio or cellphone to communicate between boats as they are added to the raft up.

Be Ready:
Have your fenders deployed and lines ready. Take into consideration if you will be setting an anchor prior to easing alongside the raft. Be safe, look for swimmers and smaller watercraft as you join the raft up. Children and guests not involved with rafting up should be sitting out of the way.

Tie Off:
When in position, tie off to the other boat. Adjust bow and stern lines so your stern aligns with the rafted boats. This allows for safer and easier travel between rafted vessels. Use spring lines to prevent forward and aft shifting between boats.

Movement:
Movement, especially in wake situations is usually unavoidable. This is one reason some choose not to participate in raft ups, and is often a cause for the rafted boats dispersing before dark. How protected your anchorage is from wind and wake, how safe and secure your fenders keep your boat, and how securely lines were tied are all important factors that will contribute to a safe and damage free raft up experience.

HAVE A PLAN, HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR AND HAVE FUN THIS SUMMER BOATING SEASON!

Be Respectful: Respect the privacy and belongings of the boats next to you, especially when coming aboard another’s vessel to cross along the raft. Be mindful of where you step, avoid walking over hatches and through cockpits, etc..

Be Safe: Take your time when crossing between two boats, never jump! Climbing over bow rails, lines, gunwales or swim platforms pose trip hazards and safety concerns. Be careful of cleats and other sharp objects when barefoot. Keep arms and legs out from between boats, you never know when shifting may occur. Wear life jackets or PFD in case of a slip. Never swim between boats.

The Right Tools: Even if you only raft up with other vessels once in a while, it pays to have properly sized and shaped fenders, and the right kind of dock lines for the task. For rafting up with larger vessels, you might want to consider having a set of at least two slightly larger fenders. Having slightly heavier dock line is a good idea too, especially if some of the boats in the raft are larger. Make sure you are tying lines off securely. Checking and maintaining your boat’s cleats and other gear is a good practice to prevent damage while rafting up or dockside.

Get The Gear Here!

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Old Boat, New Tricks

May 6, 2014

The Adventuress

The schooner Adventuress was designed by B.B. Crowninshield and built at the Rice Brothers Yard in East Boothbay, Maine. She launched in 1913; a two-masted, gaff-rigged schooner owned by John Borden II of Chicago. Borden commissioned the vessel for his personal use in the Arctic, where he planned to collect specimens including a bowhead whale skeleton for the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

 

John Bordon behind the wheel in 1913

Borden’s efforts to acquire a whale never reached fruition, Adventuress was later sold to the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association where she was used as a work boat for the next 35 years.

She transferred pilots to and from cargo vessels before being commissioned during WWII as a United States Coast Guard vessel assigned to guard San Francisco Bay.

AdventuressIn the 1950’s, the Adventuress was brought to Seattle and the Puget Sound. In the early 1960’s, Monty Morton acquired her, restoring much of her original lines which had been altered during her years as a working boat. Her topmasts, gaff rig and bowsprit returned and the main boom was lengthened to increase her sail area. She was then used for sail training by Youth Adventures, a non-profit organization closely tied with Scouting. In the late 1980’s, Sound Experience, another educational non-profit, began conducting educational programs aboard Adventuress continuing the ship’s youth mission. In recognition of her national significance, she was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

She is currently owned and operated by Sound Experience, a Seattle area nonprofit organization who’s mission is to Educate, Inspire and Empower their community to make a difference for the future of our marine environment. Over 3,000 participants each year experience hands-on, experiential, on-the-water programs encouraging stewardship, teaching sustainability and promoting awareness of the ocean and estuarine environment.

In the past two decades alone, more than 60,000 have sailed aboard learning about the marine environment, and how their daily actions make a difference in its future. She is one of only two National Historic Landmark ships still sailing on the west coast, and one of the region’s most recognizable maritime icons.

Rig: Gaff Topsail Two-masted Schooner
Over all Length: 133 feet
Deck Length: 101 feet
Length at the Waterline: 71 feet
Beam: 21 feet
Draft: 12 feet
Rig Height: 110 feet
Sail Area: 5,478 sq. feet
Sail Number: TS15
Gross Tonnage: 98 tons
Auxiliary Engine: 250 hp diesel
Hull: Wood
Designer: B.B. Crowninshield
Commissioned: 1913
Builder: Rice Brothers East Boothbay, Maine

Adventuress Boater's BlogIn January of 2010, Sound Experience began a $1.2 million dollar Centennial Restoration Project leading up to Adventuress’ 100th birthday in 2013.

The project spanned a number of years and funded by grants and donations. January through April of 2010, Phase I of the restoration replaced forward port topside frames and planks (67 new futtocks and 840 feet of planking), fore chain plate, stem, fo’c’sle bunks, and anchor & headrig configuration.

Phase II & III took place November 2010 through March 2011, resulting in the re-framing of the starboard bow and the restoration of the Counter Stern. In January 2012 Phase IV began, focusing on the  propeller shaft. The following November through March of 2013, the below water-line port side was re-framed.

Mark

Schooner Adventuress “Splashes” with State of the Art Refrigeration

The 101 year old gaff-rigged historic schooner Adventuress re-launched April of 2014 in Port Townsend following the completion of a $1.2 million, five year Centennial Restoration Project.

Go2marine’s Mark McBride (a leading expert on marine refrigeration) worked alongside national designers, engineers and manufacturers to design an efficient, safe and ecologically sustainable refrigeration system for the 1913 schooner. Her galley now includes a fine touch of modern convenience, new Frigoboat Keel-Cooled AC/DC Refrigeration Systems supplied by Go2marine and Coastal Climate Control, North America.

Frigoboat Marine Refrigeration, renowned world-wide as one of the best possible solutions for on-board refrigeration needs, provides a little modern day cruising comfort to a remarkable, historic vessel.

At 133 ft in vessel length, one might think the Adventuress has plenty of space in the galley for this system. Fortunately the two Frigoboat systems nested easily in the only available nook of the galley where the systems supply refrigeration to two new hand crafted 15 cubic ft lockers, one of which houses a smaller freezer.

“Once I learned of their requirements, Frigoboat was really the best choice for the Adventuress” according to Mark, who added “Coastal Climate Control is a top notch company providing support and service to the marine markets for over 25 years and this was also an important factor in choosing Frigoboat systems.” Mark goes on to say that there must be literally thousands of Frigoboat systems in the world, and Frigoboat was chosen in Practical Sailor’s (June 2009) as the winner in the “Frig Chill-off” survey.

 

Frigoboat

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