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Old 21-11-2007, 17:54   #1
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PNW - Skookum 53 Re-Fit

My name is Bill, and my wife and I have been re-fitting our Skookum 53 ketch for the last 3 years. It was a commercial troller for many years in Alaska. When we bought it, it was kind of like taking on about 30 major engineering projects all at the same time. But I'm an engineer, and the wife loves the boat, so we have been ploughing through the projects averaging about 1000 hours a year on them. The boat is in Washington (Anacortes area), which has a lot of boat repair activity. However, it often amazes me how difficult it can be to find the spare parts you need for a 27 year old boat.
We are getting close to retirement, so the boat will be the "retirement cabin". I look forward to making some more PNW contacts on this really great website.
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Old 21-11-2007, 18:33   #2
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Welcome aboard billr!

I'm just S. of you, up the river in Port Gardner. I've a project going myself working towards retirement. Although I'll be sailing mine to the S. Pac. when it's to the stage to do so.

The spare parts are no problem for me, I make them myself. There seems to be a fair share of Skookums here in the PNW. I like their looks but know little of their construction.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the site, very infomitive.........................._/)
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Old 23-11-2007, 02:22   #3
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Hi billr. Welcome aboard. I am North of you a bit almost in Canada. I only spend the summers(8 weeks) and sometimes Xmas (3 weeks) in the PNW. Have a few upgrades left to do,but mostly in pretty good shape. I am 18 months from retirement. after my contract in the middle east. I still have a lot of places I want to visit again in the PNW. Love the inland passages between Vancouver and Prince Rubert. Lots of interesting anchorages along the way.
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Old 23-11-2007, 22:02   #4
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I spent months at the Skookum yard in Port Townsend in 1973-4. The boats were very "skookum," meaning very strongly built, and were great designs by Ed Monk, Sr. My Skookum 34 did get blisters, however. You have to look out for their sailboats, as I saw some being ballasted with, I kid you not, railroad rails and resin mixed with sand. You can be sure that they didn't check out that idea with Ed Monk, Sr.! If you have a Skookum sailboat, you should drill into the ballast to see just what is down there. Good luck!
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Old 23-11-2007, 23:40   #5
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Aloha Bill,
Welcome aboard!! Good to have you here. I'm rebuilding a Cascade 42 but I'm certain you are way ahead of me. Everyone seems to be. I'd like to hear what you've done to your boat. Currently I'm attaching an aluminum toerail.
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Old 24-11-2007, 07:26   #6
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Hi and Welcome aboard!

If all boats need something differnt or added then is makes sense to me all boats are "work boats" eh? In reality buying a "seasoned" boat requires a bit more work than an new one, so when I bought a boat with about 20yrs of deferred maintenance, I should have realized what I was in for, <he chuckles> I'm 2 1/2 years into a refit myself, I thought it would only take a year. But compliments are coming now and that makes it rewarding. Hang in there, at least we know what we are floating about in.
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Old 24-11-2007, 09:07   #7
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Sometimes when the stars are in alignment

Sometimes you can buy a used boat that is better off than a new boat. I have never had a new boat that didn't need something extra. A used boat that has had a like minded person owning it might have all the kinks out and everything organized the right way, all the bugs ironed out. Naaa never happens either way. You just have to like messing with boats, and spending the kids inheritance.
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Old 25-11-2007, 17:50   #8
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I bought the Skookum from the orginal owner who had it built. I mentioned that he thought you had to keep track of what was being done during the build because the management was a bit lax. As far as the ballast on my boat, the orginal owner told me they used resin, sand, and a whole pile of steel punchouts (like the ones you get when you install a metal electrical junction box). I am probably going to have to add some more ballast. The orginal owner said he had the boat under-ballasted so that it would ride really nice when he had 12000 lb of fish and ice in the fish hold. He mostly fished an area called the Fairweather Grounds, which is about 60 miles off Yakatak, Alaska. It tends to get rough quite a bit, so he wanted the boat balanced for his typical loads.

As far as blisters go, I have not found any yet. The sister boat to mine, a 53' in Sitka, has a few. I have seen a lot of small ones on a Westsail 42 (in the boatyard where we are on the hard). Of course, all that is trivial compared to what I've seen on a Carver powerboat, or should I say dockaminium. I suppose that there are a number of us who should be thankful for the Carver boat company. There huge amount of blisters keep a number of boatyard guys employed, and it makes the rest of us feel good that our blister problems are trivial compared to what Carvers produce.
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Old 25-11-2007, 18:23   #9
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Lancerbye

I guess we may cross paths with the PNW cruising. I still have a few years to retirement, and don't expect to be on the water for any serious cruising until 2009, but BC and Alaska is where I too will be going. However, I am sort of easing into retirement, since I have been able to do some of my work type work part time while we are on the boat. Actually, that works out pretty good. When my muscles or joints start to ache from some rigorous boat maintenance, well I just take a break for some computer work. Then I can rationalize to myself that I'm not getting old, or that I am out of shape, I'm just taking the break because the computer work needs to be done. HA. I love it.
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Old 25-11-2007, 18:33   #10
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I've been on a Cascade 42 in Sitka that some folks I knew were living on. Lots of room. Is yours the "high side" model of the 42? Good luck with your toe rail. I suspect that you now know every inch of the underside of the deck.
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Old 25-11-2007, 19:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I guess we may cross paths with the PNW cruising. I still have a few years to retirement, and don't expect to be on the water for any serious cruising until 2009, but BC and Alaska is where I too will be going. However, I am sort of easing into retirement, since I have been able to do some of my work type work part time while we are on the boat. Actually, that works out pretty good. When my muscles or joints start to ache from some rigorous boat maintenance, well I just take a break for some computer work. Then I can rationalize to myself that I'm not getting old, or that I am out of shape, I'm just taking the break because the computer work needs to be done. HA. I love it.
You got to love it when a plan comes together. LOL
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Old 25-11-2007, 19:52   #12
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Aloha Billr,
Nope, mine is a low side with an aft cockpit and chainplates moved aft to make a cutter rig. Very narrow beam and as much interior space as a beamy 36. I've got a one of a kind and its going to even be more such when I get it done.
My keel is a steel shell with concrete and lead tire weights installed. It also has some lead bricks attached to the bottom of that. It isn't pretty but all faired up no one will notice and it'll keep the bottom in the water.
Yes, I know every inch of the interior very well.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 25-11-2007, 20:44   #13
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Hi billr I remember a beautifull Skookum that was rigged for trolling that was moored at City Marina's fishermans terminal on the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma. That was in the early 90's, I wonder if it was your boat? Jesse
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Old 25-11-2007, 21:03   #14
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Aloha Billr...My Ingrid 38 came from up in your neck of the woods. Im entering year 3 of the re-fit. If I would stop hurting myself, the project would go much quicker. The plan is to sail "Faiaoahe" home to The Big Island and finish off the interior. Good luck on your project and I'm sure we would all like to see a picture of your 53.
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Old 27-11-2007, 18:02   #15
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Jesse

The Skookum I bought was mostly in Alaska from 1980 to about 2000. However, the original owner said the boat had made the trip between SE Alaska and Washington 28 times.
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