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Spa Week for the David B

Northwest Navigation / David B Small Ship CruisesEvery year in the spring the David B gets to go to the boat spa, otherwise known as the boatyard. We feel that it’s an important maintenance task that keeps the boat in good shape. This year our tasks were pretty standard – bottom paint, clean the prop, and change the sacrificial anodes. We also had a once every four years survey.

We had originally scheduled our haulout for March 23, but Washington state was going into lockdown that same day. The yard we haul at wasn’t sure what their rules would be and if they would be able to put us back in the water once we were done. We rescheduled for April 13 and we were able to get everything done yesterday. It was the fastest haulout we’ve ever done mostly because we scaled back how much we wanted to paint while we were out of the water. While Jeffrey and the surveyor checked systems, planks, and fasteners, Christine painted the topsides, and the yard employees did the hard work below the waterline.Northwest Navigation / David B Small Ship Cruises

It was a quick turn around and there’s still a little left to paint, but the David B is back in the water and ready to go. We’re just waiting until it’s safe.

Tin Top Upgrade

The new galley overhead (roof) and back deck cover is in place. We were able to install in about a week ago and since then we’ve been working on the finishing details like handrails and stanchions on the outside of the David B and new overhead tongue and grove in the galley. The next time you are on the David B you’ll really enjoy all the space on the upper deck as well as a dry outside space on the main back deck. I hope these photos can give you a good idea of what a nice upgrade this is. Not only did we upgrade the deck this year, and we also upgraded our double kayaks. They are a little shorter, wider, and more stable. We think you’ll love them as they are a lot easier to get in and out.

Tin Top at the fabricators and ready to move to the David B.

After a short drip down the road, the TIn Top is ready to be installed on the David B.
It didn’t take very long for Captain Jeffrey and the fabricators to get the Top on the David B. Next week we’ll update you will all of the work we’ve done this week to make the David B the best boat for seeing Alaska on.

Winter Project – The Tin Top

We have an exciting winter project this year. We’re replacing the roof over the galley and at the same time extending the roof over the back of the boat to give us and our guests a nice new covered fantail where we can enjoy being outside on hot sunny days as well as rainy cool days. The video below is a timelapse of Jeffrey and our winter employee, Tim removing the galley roof.

New Drink Station

We are always looking for new ways to make your experience on the David B even better. This week we added a new drink station with a sink, ice maker, and cooler. It’s a small thing, but it’s the small things that count.

Interior of the small cruise ship David B
Recently completed drink station on the David B

 

Winter Happenings on the David B – Tuning Up the Engine

Engine Rebuild - Washington Iron WorksWinter is always a busy time on the boat. It’s when we do maintenance, make upgrades, and take on projects. Unlike last year when we built the new pilothouse, this year is a little more mellow. Our biggest project this winter is to do an engine overhaul, which means we’re removing the heads, cylinder liners, and pistons. We’ll check the piston rings, change the gaskets, and fix a water leak in the cooling system. In addition to the big stuff, all the small parts will be cleaned and checked before we reassemble the engine, and Jeffrey will be adding new sensors, so we can monitor the engine more effectively.

We put together a quick time-lapse video showing us lifting the #3-cylinder head off the engine.

 

 

 

April 15, 2017 – Open Boat Thanks & Tin Hat Project Reveal

From Christine and Jeffrey,

Thank you to everyone who helped us with the Tin Hat Project and everyone who came to our open boat on Saturday. This was an incredibly fun project that turned out more beautiful than we imagined!

 

Many thanks to our Open Boat Guests & Miss Stacy Shearman for the lovely bouquet!
Many thanks to our Open Boat Guests & Miss Stacy Shearman for the lovely bouquet!

Tin Hat Update – Putting on the Hat

New pilothouse for Alaska small cruise boatWe reached a major milestone in the Tin Hat Project this week, we put on the hat.

Early Tuesday morning just in time for sunrise we got underway. It was cold, sunny and beautiful on Bellingham Bay as we moved the David B from our slip in Squalicum Harbor to the Landings at Colony Wharf where a crane was ready to lift the Tin Hat from the shore and place it on the David B. Check out our latest video update to see us driving the David B as a convertible, the Tin Hat being lifted and set in place, and then heading back to our slip.

Thank you to Fluid Fabrication for a great job on the Tin Hat, and thank you to The Landings at Colony Wharf for a such an impressive move!

Now that The Hat is on, we have a lot of work to do to get it outfitted and ready to go for spring! We hope you’ll keep following our progress and maybe even come along on a trip with us in Alaska, the Inside Passage or in the San Juan Islands this summer to experience for yourself the new and improved David B!

-Christine

Tin Hat Project Update – Assembling the New Pilothouse

Well, it’s been scheduled, the day is almost here, and so long as there aren’t any unanticipated problems or bad weather, the Tin Hat will be lifted onto the David B next Tuesday, December 6th! We don’t have an exact time yet, but first thing in the morning, we’ll be driving the David B to Colony Wharf in Bellingham where the new pilothouse will waiting on a trailer and a crane will be ready to lift the house on to the boat.

If you’re interested in watching,we’d love for you to come on down. If you do, park on Roeder Ave in the block between F street and C street or on C street by Hana Teriyaki and walk in since there is a lot of construction going on around Colony Wharf.  It’s pretty obvious where to go because there’s really only one big crane in the area. Feel free to email me if you need directions.

As the off-season moves along, I’m getting really excited for our upcoming cruises this summer. I can’t wait to see people on the boat relaxing in the saloon or watching whales outside under covered decks. It’s going to be amazing! Be sure to send Sarah an email or give her a call at 877-670-7863 if you are interested in any of our Alaska, Inside Passage, or San Juan Islands trips this summer or beyond.  2017 is going to be the best year ever!

-Christine

Tin Hat Update – Welding, Windows and More

Small cruise ship constructionThis week saw lots of progress on the Tin Hat Project. We stopped in at Fluid Fabrication to see how things were taking shape. They’d begun assembling the framework for the front of the pilothouse. It was the first time we got to see the curving lines of the new house for real. We’re not sure exactly how long it will take them to finish welding, but my feeling is soon. Maybe just a couple more weeks until we can bring the boat over and have the house put on.

While the welders have been busy, Jeffrey, Tim, and Greg have continued on all of their jeffrey-greg-doorprojects. Jeffrey’s work on the refrigeration system is shaping up nicely, and Tim’s been steadily preparing the boat so we can quickly and efficiently install all the systems in the new pilothouse. Greg’s been turning out windows and doors all week. Our good friends Pete and Jackie graciously loaned us the use of their garage to set up a varnish shop, and with the help of their daughter Naomi, I got started on the bright work. I also put together a little video for you to enjoy…

-Christine

Tin Hat Update – Mast, Stairs, and Coolers

TMotor Vessel David B Tin Hat Pilothouse Rebuildhere’s been a lot of progress on the Tin Hat Project in the last couple of weeks. We ended our 2016 cruising season on October 9th, and starting on October 10th with the help of some friends and family, we began removing everything from the David B to prepare for the new pilothouse.

We also welcomed back employees Greg K. who worked for us on the original rebuild project 12-years ago, and Tim A. who’s worked with us off and on for ten years as both a kayak guide and a jack-of-all-trades.

One of our first big projects was to remove the mast. It took a day or so of preparation before we
took the boat to Seaview North Boatyard. The weather was perfect. We pulled into the bay where we are usually hauled out of the water, but instead of having the TraveLift pick us up, they brought out a large crane came. The crew then set up some rigging and in less than half an hour, the masTin Hat Project David B Pilothouse Rebuildt was lifted out of the boat and onto ground. Later we removed all the hardware and bucked up the mast. Back in 2006 when we placed on the boat we followed an ancient tradition of placing coins under a new mast. The lore is that if the boat ever goes under and the crew lost, the crew will have money to pay the ferryman to cross the River Styx. After the mast was removed, Jeffrey carefully picked up the coins and stowed them away until the new mast is installed. We’ll be sure to add a 2017 coin to commemorate the year of the new mast.

Back the boat, Greg has been making the new Grand Staircase that leads to the cabins, and Tim’s been removing structures from the boat, like thTin Hat Project MV David B Pilothouse Rebuilde skylight, navigation station, and pilothouse trim. He’s also been helping Jeffrey lay the ground work for the new systems.

The new custom fridge and freezer, which Eli S. began work on in the spring, moved out of the shop and onto the boat.

While we’ve been busy on the boat and in the shop, the actual Tin Hat has been in construction. Sean and Nigel from Fluid Fabrication, in Bellingham have been working hard welding the structure.

There’s been a lot going and we’ve been thankful for all the help we’ve had so far. The first few days were filled with lots of mundane things, like carting load after load of David B stuff up the dock and into the storage locker. Thank you to Carol and Steve W., Dan K., Craig T. Jack M. and Eli S. for helping to make that workload much lighter!

-Christine

PS-  Here’s a video of removing the David B’s mast: