Refit Blog #7 – My Continuing Education in Ballard

Refit Blog #7 – My Continuing Education in Ballard

Weeks 6 & 7 – Weeks of October 28 to November 8 – My continuing education in Ballard

Meet the experts who are my teachers:

I feel very fortunate to be working in Ballard with some of America’s best maritime craftsmen. Every day that I’m working on Starr, I feel like I’m in a classroom learning exciting new things. The fact that I can pick experts from every sector of the maritime industry, work with them and learn from them is thrilling.

Yesterday I met again with Chuck Albertson going over a list of questionsChuck started and managed the refit yard at Delta Marine thirty-four years ago and he has a wealth of knowledge. Chuck now is consulting on new builds and on refit projects like mine. (

My questions for Chuck included the following:

How would you do the fiberglass laminate schedule for the connection on the transom extension?

Chuck Albertson advising on the FRP layup for the transom

We went over ways to improve the hydraulic return manifold for the ABT thrusters and also add a ABT/TRAC get-home drive unit on the main shaft.

Modifying the ABT TRAC system

How should we go about replacing this grey water tank top manifold?

The Grey water tank top

Is there a better way to plumb the sea chest for easier cleanout access?

And so on…………..

Chuck Albertson can be reached at 425-446-2620,

Dana’s crew progressed with the fiberglass work. Dana and his partner Bill, have a team of guys that are hard working, thoughtful, and a pleasure to work with.

We are using Divinycell H80 5lb core on the top deck. The top deck core is made up of (3) one-inch layers of Divinycell H80 that are bonded with the vinyl ester resin.
Sopan preparring the Divinycell core

Sophan is from Cambodia

The first layer of Divinycell on deck

Sophan and Pablo preparing the next layer

It is important the there aren’t any air pockets left in the sandwich, so Dana and his crew compressed the core into the resin using 12×12 timbers loaded on top of the resin coated divinycell.

12×12 timbers used to compress core into the resin.

Josh and Chris finished glassing the deck drain downspout leaders (within the side walls), and are ready for fairing.

Josh & Chris wrapping up the downspouts

The downspouts are ready for fairing


Dave Schmidt worked in the interior of Starr, pulling out the radars, the Elbex cameras, and old wiring that no longer has any use.

Dave Schmidt

I look forward to seeing the exterior fairing get underway, and we will soon be moving on to the painting.

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