2017 Winter projects

PT  boatyard reminder

Wintering over at a marina and boat yard where the Dude abides!

Port Townsend Boat Haven was a great choice for our winter boat projects. We spent our days on the dock surrounded by wildlife in this healthy marina.

PT Heron

Herons stalked between boats for fish and shrimp while turnstones cheerfully peeped and moved en mass at the slightest provocation.

new furler

A few projects were doable at the dock as we waited for our haulout. We ordered and installed a roller furling system for the genoa and added autopilot control and throttle/shifting in the dog house.

metropolis visit

Furling installation went well and Sean of NW Sails and Canvas in Hadlock kindly altered our sail in time for a quick test jaunt to the big Metropolis (Seattle) over the Christmas Holiday.

frozen fountain

Projects were well underway on board in spite of the distractions of restaurants, brew pubs and movie theaters in town.


Insulating lockers and adding rubber tiles to the bottom for moisture is a slow process and we worked through many of the boat lockers during the winter. To stave off cabin fever we joined the PT Athletic Club, a charming warren of spaces cobbled together in old building fashion with two studios. We enjoyed 7AM yoga/exercise with new friends as well as some afternoon dance practice when no classes were scheduled.

Finally, in Mid January we hauled the boat and were pleasantly surprised by a new boatyard experience.. a self service pressure wash option.

self service boat wash

It was nice to be in charge of our own washing and with a 30 minute time limit we were glad to have two nozzles as we used every minute of that time to get the bottom cleaned.

We were treated royally by Boat Haven and PT Shipwrights Co-op


and even had first class stairs delivered to access the boat.

yard scene

With the galley sink draining to a bucket and a very long series of hoses (several hundred feet) to fill our water tank we were able to wash dishes on board as long as we remembered to empty the bucket regularly. A friend graciously loaned us his car which helped with the inevitable errands that come up in the yard.

Snow in the yard

It was a chilly winter with several cold snaps and some snow too. Fortunately we were in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains so much of our work in the yard was done in dry weather.

marked chain

Planned jobs included adding anchor chain, new folding Max prop (easy model, brand new design!) rudder shaft connection, new hydraulic ram and there were a few surprises as is always the case with a boat.

prepping the boat

We are grateful that Arren at the PT Shipwrights Co-op noticed a crack in our rudder gudgeon. That’s an important part and we didn’t hesitate to replace it when he showed us the crack. BUT, replacing a part like that isn’t easy on an old custom boat. Fortunately PT has a foundry.

PT Foundry gear

Port Townsend Foundry

Fitting the gudgeon

Port Townsend Foundry impressed us with their attention to detail and fit. As our work continued we also found some serious corrosion on the rudder shaft that needed to be fixed at the last minute.

Rudder shaft corrosion

No Problem! Arren welded on a new piece in no time and we hired someone in the yard to glass it up. That glass job would have taken us a couple of days and we were grateful to have it done by a pro in the below freezing temps!

Reinstalling the rudder

Rehanging the rudder went without a hitch with assist from a fork lift.

During our stay in the yard there was a catastrophic accident with the Travelift that was used to haul our boat out.

travel lift

A cable snapped during a launch leaving poor Bernice dangling while the danger was assessed. The yard crew are such pros they safely got Bernice out of the broken lift in short order. The broken lift was stored near our boat in the yard and it was a daily reminder that Irene is on the large size for the smaller Travelift that would be used to attempt our launch. It all worked out and the yard ran smoothly even with one lift out of commission.

If we could turn back the clock to last fall would we choose Port Townsend again? Absolutely! It was a great place to park for the winter and we were very impressed with the work done in the yard as well.


It was a pleasure to rub elbows with all the boat crews that came through during the winter. Fun to hear boat conversations over coffee in the morning or beer in the evening – it’s a very boaty town!

One thought on “2017 Winter projects

  1. So glad to visit you during the “Winter in PT”. You accomplished a lot! Looking forward to your next adventures… xoxo E

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