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Old 28-01-2009, 11:27   #1
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Solomons to Phillipines

Need sailor diver for exploring an unchartered reef off Manus island. Will leave Am Samoa next few days for Honiera Solomons. This is not going to be easy going. Will have to use sonar and patience-and have calm weather. If the weather does not cooperate will do limited diving to Cebu. Have tank compressor on a 46 foot seamaster sloop. Will pick you up in the Solomons. We are looking for a avenger airplane.--Ward
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Old 28-03-2010, 17:11   #2
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Seamaster 46

Dear Ward: I am a sailor/diver but unfortunately I can't make it to the South Pacific. Sounds FUN! I am, however, a former proud owner of a Bob Perry designed 1983 Seamaster 46 named Chinook Pass. My wife and I lived aboard for 6 years and did extensive sailing in the Caribbean. We sold the boat in 2001 to a lawyer in New England and I believe he changed the name of the boat to Caveat documented in Deleware. I believe it has changed hands since then. If you have any knowledge of this boat or if you just want to talk about your boat, let me know. I had our boat completely torn down in a 5 month refit in 1998 and know this boat literaly inside and out. Happy sailing.
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Old 29-03-2010, 08:27   #3
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Seamaster

My boat Ruthie is at Lia Pari Solomons. I have not run across another seamaster on my travels. I know my boat allot more than I would like. She needs a refit maybe in the Phillipines. Shes a bit different than other Seamasters is that her aft dog house runs way aft. Her transom has no swing out door or swim step. But I like the configuration I have with the enclosed stand up room lazerete. I have tank compressor, tanks, hooka compressor etc. My main problem is my stbd fuel tank acts like a water dam from leaks that eventually get into the fuel. I cant believe how they made the fuel tanks. The lid is 3/4 inch below the vertical wall next to engine compartment. Water collects here. Why the lid is not on top-is beyond me. The port tank seems to drain off-which is the one I usually use. I have ideas how to fix stbd tank-with drains-but like to be in yard. I have a portable extra set of very large raycores where I will tranfer fuel from stbd to port tank. I is no fun to do. My phone # 360-434-2333. Have a dive business here and will return to Solomons late October. Nice to hear from you.
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Old 29-03-2010, 10:06   #4
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Seamaster Fuel Problem

I think the boat (at least mine) was all in all a very well made boat. It was ridiculously overbuilt with solid fiberglass below the water line approaching 2" thick and the AC 110 volt wiring built to DC wire guides. I did, however, have a problem with the fuel tanks that may be related to your problem.

Although I did not have a water in the fuel problem, when I inspected the two fiberglass tanks through the huge inspection ports, this is what I found:
1. The rubber seals from the inspection ports had all fallen off and were lying in the bottom of the fuel tanks, so even though the inspection ports were closed, they were not sealed. If you open them up and reach WAY down to the bottom of the tanks with a stick you may be able to fish one of the large round rubber seals out. Also, they may have not even bothered to put a rubber seal on the inspection ports , who knows?
2. The inside of the fiberglass tank had been painted(?) and had reacted with the fuel, forming a semi solid 1/4 inch thick skin that was flaking off in large pieces potentially clogging the fuel system. I paid a guy to scrape as much of this crap off with a putty knife on the end of a stick as he could from the inside of these massive tanks (150 gal X 2). It took him a few days. He couldn'nt get it all, so I installed a bigger draw line into the tank (1/2"), put a strainer for large chunks first in line, then a racor , then I installed a 20 gallon day tank that I would transfer fuel into with a transfer pump and then out to racors for the generator, engine, webasto. I NEVER had a fuel delivery problem with that boat after refit. The funny thing about it was that even with the tanks full of 20 gallons of sludge, chunks, algae, old dinsosaur parts and parts of rubber seals (which I had to pump, scrape, and scoop out), the boat never had a fuel delivery problem BEFORE the refit either. Go figure. Erik ps: I have a 360 area code too.
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Old 31-03-2010, 17:20   #5
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Seamaster

Yep the hull is bullet proof. We put in a bow thruster-and 1 foot below waterline the glass was hand laid and 7/8s thick. She has a beautifull hull shape for her size. I know boat bottoms from my business-she is top class for open water. But for manuvering around a dock-and reversing-a bow thruster should have been std equipment. One can look at her underwater profile and see the beauty. I have thought about putting in a day tank-but its too late now and the die is set tell this journey is over. The lid on my one fuel tank I can access is rough-and where access portals have been placed the tanks surface has been raised by epoxy or whatever to help facilitate match. Rubber gaskets are good from what I can tell w/o pressurizing tank-there could be a crack in bondo or epoxy. Be nice to stop any water getting there so water contamination would be a non issue. My back is hunched over 12 months out of 12. Ruthie is # one on the list. She has a had a history of no maintenance-and many would have never left the dock. The dive is only 800 miles away-starting from Maryland-the cross where the plane is getting close. A ceremony would be a success. Thanks for your input Ward
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Old 03-04-2010, 20:12   #6
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Seamaster 46

Dear Ward: A bow thruster should have been standard equipment on a Seamaster 46! Since I had never owned a boat and never sailed or motored a boat prior to buying our Seamaster, I just figured I was an idiot when it came to manuevering the boat in a marina. Luckily the first marina I had her at didn't have any wind or current issues, or I would have given up and sold her. A 3 bladed Max Prop doesn't solve the problem but it helps.

I talked to Bob Perry about it and although he didn't come right out and admit the boat was hard to back, he did mention that he was sued by a new Seamaster owner whose claim was the boat had no steerage when backing.

The years of trying to manuever that unwieldy Seamaster paid off in spades a couple years ago, when the leeward engine on my Prout 46 catamaran quit while trying to enter a slip sideways to a 20 knot wind. I immediately jumped into Seamaster mode and after many forwards and reverses parked the boat successfully, though narrowly avoiding going aground. There were quite a few onlookers (most of them catamaran owners) who couldn't believe I had done it especially after learning which engine had failed. I just shrugged my shoulders and asked them if they had ever heard of a Seamaster 46.

Come to find out, there was over 5 gallons of water in the 100 gallon fuel tank that fed that engine (I guess from condensation). The boat had been sitting for several months (years?) with the tanks less than half full. After polishing and treating the fuel, I have never had more than a few drops in the fuel, even though the boat still sits for months (years?) in Florida, while I am living in Washington. I do however, try to keep the tanks full of fuel. That is a little hard to do with a Seamaster considering their 300-500 gallon fuel capacity.

You may be right about a crack in the fuel tank. Anything is possible but the boat is so overbuilt that's hard for me to believe. I am trying to remember what the inspection ports look like, but if I remember correctly, they were about 10-12" in diameter with bolts coming up through them along the edges. The rubber gasket was a full circle cut out that the bolts stuck through as well. I think our gaskets looked just fine from the outside until we opened up the ports and found all of them at the bottom of the tank. Could it be possible that the leak is around the bolts and bolt holes? I'd check that out. Also, did you say that the water in the tanks was fresh water? Erik
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Old 03-04-2010, 21:33   #7
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So Ward, how'd the search for the Avenger go?
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:19   #8
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Avenger

Next Nov-Dec we should be doing the search. The plane is 24 miles from Manus Island PNG. It sunk on a remote atoll while they were doing glide bombing practice. There are no recorded depths where it went down. Since it was noncombat his fellow fliers searched hard and found no trace and said plane went down in deep water after wing pulled off.. I believe the navy cordinates are pretty good-but of course there are no seconds. It pretty well matches a pinnacle where I can envision where they were practicing on. It will be success just seeing his resting place. I was named after him so its been in the back of my mind from the being of cognizance. I suspect plane will be too deep for me to dive or to find on my budget and experience. But the cross gets closer year. Happy Easter---Ward
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:59   #9
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Manus

Hi Ward,

Good luck with the search. I hope all goes well for you. As you mention, if the aircraft is near a pinnacle, it will certainly give you a good place to start your search.

In the late 60's, I spent a couple of years on Manus, stationed at the Royal Australian Navy base (HMAS Tarangau). When off duty of a week-end, many of us frequently went snorkelling and I can clearly remember that around the abandoned airfield across the other side of Seadler Harbour, were numerous items on and offshore, dating back to when the place was operational.

Cheers,
Darryl
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Old 05-04-2010, 17:30   #10
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Must of been incredible then. I hear mixed reports about safety in Manus. Iam sure the purity you saw has changed allot. Prior to the war it is not conceivable to me how it must of been. The Solomons are starting to go from a bartering village society to a world of money and glimpses of the internet. Its a tough show for these people.

Thanks for your input:
Ward
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Old 05-04-2010, 20:59   #11
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PNG Safety

Hi Ward,

Further to your mentioning mixed reports on safety concerning Manus Island, I have attached the below website article concerning cruising in PNG, which is worth the time to read.

The article is from The Coastal Passage; which is a great source of local (Australian) and overseas information.

Guns and Bandits or Low Rent Piracy in the South Pacific

Cheers
Darryl
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Old 07-04-2010, 19:05   #12
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Hi Darryl- That was quite the warning you sent. Out of 3, 1st hand acts from sailors in the solomons that had been to png. Two had been robbed and one not. The one that was unscathed were from a young couple on a small boat that innocense must have played a role. One who had best intentions for good of all was ransacked for 10 g of equipment In PNG-I believed while they where still being held hostage. They did not go into details. This same couple after the tsunami in the solomons procured 6 dug out canoes and took them to a village which was was devistated. They were heroes that time and the second time coming back. The third time they were thieved. Your fwd act has made me more cautious. Its a 3000 mile trip to the Phillpines from Rabaul which I have more or less have accepted as the route. There will be one tough dive exploration which will be not accounted for in the logs. we saved these people from the Japanese and Hitler-but we all have short memories. In Gizo Solomons the Japanese are building a new hospital for them. The Japanise sups and directors have worse manners than one would find in a stripper club in the US. I regret our country has lost its moral strength form loss of jobs and free trade, and greed. Particuarily to countries that do not play by the same rules. This is my ceremony to a person I loved-and to a person I wish would have been in my life. Iam no anthropologist and no innocent. The Cross is where I go. Ward
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