1940 Chris-Craft Maranee at Tacoma Yacht Club -- August, 2016

Friends who own a 42-foot 1940 Chris-Craft named Maranee where headed to south Puget Sound for a week or two of cruising.  I couldn't go with them (see exhaust system repair in the maintenance section below) but I could arrange moorage for them and welcome them to the Tacoma Yacht Club.  You'll see the large Tacoma-Vashon ferry to the left and you'll see to the right just the corner of the penninsula that the yacht club occupies and a bit of the construction equipment currently working on remediation of the pollution from the ASARCO plant that was nearby.  Maranee pulls smartly into the marina and enjoys a visit there for a couple of beautiful days.

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Cruise to Day Island and Narrows Marina with friends on board -- September, 2016

Early in September, four friends came along for a day cruise.  It was a beautiful day on the water .. absolutely perfect.  We cruised out around Point Defiance, then south under the Narrows Bridges, then past the entrance to the Narrows Marina and then just to the edge of the Day Island Yacht Club, just so these friends of mine could see interesting things.  Then we headed back north again under the Narrows Bridges, cruised along at about the same speed as one freight train as it trundled along the shoreline heading for Tacoma.  Then we motored slowly along the Salmon Beach housing area (no roads exist, all access is by very steep stairs down a high bluff, or water access via boat), then back around Point Defiance and eventually back into Pied Piper's boathouse.  It was a very fun and enjoyable day, with one eagle spotted, and we were all so relaxed that hardly anyone took any photos.  Ah well, we'll remember the day for a long time to come.

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To Tacoma and the Foss Waterway for fuel -- September, 2016.

It was mid-September and still summer weather.  The boat needed fuel.  It was a gorgeous mid-week day with hardly any other boats out and about, a perfect opportunity to untie the lines and head out to the fuel dock.  I snapped a few photos along the way .. one of a parasail boat that's out in Commencement Bay often during nice weather (you can pay for a parasail ride) .. a photo of a large Crowley tug (Crowley is a well-known tug company in the Pacific Northwest) .. a photo of an ocean-going grain ship and it's nice name .. and a photo of a wee tug named Whidbey.  I grew up on Whidey Island in Puget Sound so I thought that was a fine name for a wee tug.  The Pied Piper's fuel tanks were topped off at the fuel dock in Foss Waterway, right at the foot of down town Tacoma, then it was time to head back to Pied Piper's boathouse at the yacht club.  The last two photos below show just a part of the huge amount of work being done on many dozens of acres of ground around the Tacoma Yacht club and environs.

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Gig Harbor day cruise with friends on board -- September, 2016

Late September, and it was a bit cooler, but we were still having glorious weather.  It was another perfect day to be out on the water with friends on board.  We cruised over to Gig Harbor, in through the narrow entrance there, and then lollygagged around the harbor looking at boats and homes and anything else that attracted our attention.  One fellow in a small sailboat seemed to be following us, quite closely actually, and I kept my eye on him.  He pulled up alongside eventually and we waved and greeted each other warmly.  He said "I love your old Matthews .. if there was ever an old wood boat that I'd like to own, it's this one!"  He said he had seen me cruising around inside Gig Harbor for years and had just never timed it right to be out on the water at the same time.  We chatted a bit and bade each other a friendly farewell.  He continued to follow us around the harbor for quite a while taking photos, and dreaming, I'm sure.  What nice words!  The Pied Piper and I both felt right proud.  The photos below were taken after leaving Gig Harbor, on our way back over to Point Defiance.  Jim was skippering the boat; Margie was enjoying the ride.  A brief video is here: https://youtu.be/m8K2_LGMW3w .. Jim's arms move in the video showing how gracefully and softly the Pied Piper simply shrugged through the wake of a boat that had passed in front of us.  A fine day indeed.

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2016 Maintenance and Upgrades

As usual, regular maintenance was assiduously performed on the boat including engine tune-ups and oil changes, fresh water filter change and fresh water tank cleaned, fuel filters changed, belts and hoses inspected, painting and varnishing where needed, polishing and waxing the chrome where needed, testing the compressed air horn (it's a dual-bell system and it's loud!), etc.  The photos below show completion of the installation of a new freezer and the addition of a screen around it to allow more ventilation, complete rebuild/restoration of the galley and head windows, and replacement of an exhaust elbow on the starboard engine.  Finding parts for the exhaust repair was time-consuming, including calls to a company in Finland that used to carry these parts.  An excellent technician at Barr Marine in Virginia, USA, finally found parts that weren't exactly correct but that, with a bit of machining, would work perfectly.  I then chatted with several marine shops around the greater Tacoma area to find the best machinist in the area .. and he sure was!  A perfect job all around.  I installed the new parts and the engine started and ran without a hitch.  While the boat was out of commission for that work, I installed a new galley floor and replaced the hall carpet with the same carpet that was in the rest of the boat.  Later in the fall, the starter on the port engine failed.  It was still a 6-volt starter (so it was likely the original starter), so I had it rebuilt and re-wired to match the current 12-volt system (I'd had the starboard engine starter rebuilt and re-wired in 2005, also likely the original starter on that engine).  With that work done, a few more short cruises were enjoyed in the fall and early winter.  Here's to more great cruising in 2017.

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