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post #1 of Old 08-03-2011 Thread Starter
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CharlieCobra's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
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New to me boat and the delivery from hell

Interesting weekend. I picked up a 1969 Mariner 31 ketch in trade for some work. We drove to Mount Vernon to fetch my Nav gear and PFD's, charts etc. from storage, only to find I didn't have a key.

We got to Orcas via the ferry at 4PM, hitched a ride with the former owner to the boat, did paperwork and he left. On pre-trip inspection, we found the Nav lights inop. I found some speaker wire and using an extra Nav light for a tester, traced and fixed the issue by splicing into the cabin light circuit.

Three hours later, we fired the 100 hour Perkins 4-108 up and stood out. Of course, the wind was exactly from the wrong direction and we were short tacking to get open water when a jib block tore away. Back to the engine we went. We had a fine motor until we just exited the Resario Strait and the engine died of fuel starvation with 4 gallons left in the tank. Back to sailing we went.

Now ghosting along, trying to get by Sinclair Island in a 3 knot breeze and blown out sails is not much fun, especially against the ebb. I sent the rest of the crew to bed as it was freezing cold out and we all had light hoodies on.

(BFS needs to offer a heavier hoodie)

Along about midnight (me being awake since 4AM) it's starts closing in and raining. Now I'm peering at a moldy old chasrt left on the boat, trying to determine what's a reef and what is a mold spore (remember the locked storage?) and getting hypothermic. Four hours later I was past Vendova and at the entrance to the Bellingham channel but could not pinpoint where exactly, I was because of 1/4 mile visibility so I backwinded the Genny, crossed up the helm, kicked Chris outta the sack for a nap until sunrise.

At 6AM, Chris states that we're 150 yards from a tanker and drifting closer so I got up and got underway again. I ghosted along at a 1/2 knot for a while until we got some breeze, still freezing. About 30 minutes later the breeze stiffened up to about 20 knots. Now we're sailing! The bnoat is handling the quartering seas better than Oh Joy as we turn the corner into Bellingham Bay and I make for the yard dock as the wind falls off.

Two hundred yards short of the dock and in the channel, the wind dies, except for little puffs from variable directions. We sail forward, backwards, spin around, drift around, holler at Sealions and Seals for a tow for a freaking hour before we finally bump up againts the "Pelican", an emergency spill response barge and use our boathooks to grab the tires and work our way down her hull towards the dock. At the last second, we get a little puff and sail to the dock, 19 hours after the trip started.

We are there and I am fried after getting an hour nap in the last 36 and being hypothermic for the last 8 hours. we tie off and go home.

About the Mariner 31. Built by Far East Yachts in 1969, she's a glass hull and wood everything else ketch. she displaces 11,500 with 5,000 of that being ballast so she's very stable with that long keel, if a bit slow, with good seagoing manners. The thing that impressed me most was the cabin layout. Even though her beam is 9.9, it's a very spacious 9.9 and is much better than a lot of 35 footers I've seen or been aboard, including "Oh Joy".

She's a bit rough but nothing we can't handle. I plan to restore her and then enjoy her while "Oh Joy" is down. I may sell her later, I don't know. I know she'll make somebody a very fine, comfortable and dependable boat. One that they can take anywhere on the planet.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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