Refit Blog #9 – And the Mess Goes ON. . . .

Refit Blog #9 – And the Mess Goes ON. . . .

Starr Refit Blog #9 – Week 9

Week of November18-22 – And The Mess Goes on. . . .

We have finished installing the new Technicold air handlers. Yay!

Installing the sixth and last air handler

Dave Schmidt, happy to be moving on to the next challenge

I’m removing what seems like miles of unused wiring.

For instance: old TV cabling, an unused telephone system, and 3-12 gauge wires that have labels like “spare from wheelhouse to lazarett”, and more.

“It seems like miles of spare wire”

The top deck and transom glassing is on the home stretch.

Spreading out the resin in preparation of next glass layer

Rolling out the glass

Spraying more resin on top of the glass

Sopan with a ready smile

Almost ready to start fairing.

As I am sitting at my desk at home at SBMC wrapping up these notes I See two of Western Towing’s tugs bringing back Foss’s Self-loading barges that work at Red Dog Mines.

My Office- It’s hard to get any work done

Western’s Tugs bringing Foss’s Red Dog Mine “self-loading barge” back for the winter

Red Dog Mine is a zinc mine 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Arctic Borough.

Every summer Foss takes their barge North to the Arctic and brings it back for the winter.

Last week while working at my desk, Western Towing entertained me by bringing in Golden Alaska.

Golden Alaska

Golden Alaska is a 3700 Ton Factory Trawler, and she is beautiful. Why can’t cruise ships look like her?

Western Towboat is our favorite towing company. Western has absolutely beautiful tugs! Their fleet of tugs is just down the canal from us.The owners, Rick and Bob Shrewsbury build their own boats and maintain them like yachts. I believe they have around 20 tugs at this time and always have another under construction at their yard. Every time Sharry and I row past their yard I feel proud of those guys and am fortunate that they are our neighbors.

Just 300ft across the canal from Western is the home of the Foss Towing fleet. Foss also has beautiful tugs. The Foss Shipyard there also does large yacht work. Currently they are working on repainting the 175ft Feadship “Ice Bear”.

In addition to our towing fleets, our fishing fleet is the largest in all of the US. There are over 700 active commercial fishing licenses working out of our Ballard neighborhood. I’ll talk more about our fishing fleet in the future. Our favorite boats in the fishing fleet are the old wooden Halibut Schooners. Take a walk some day on the estern most docks at Fishermen’s Terminal. When the fleet is in, that is were they are all lined up. It’s taking a walk back in time.

What a great place to live!

  • Craig Rowell
    Posted at 16:36h, 26 November Reply

    The project really is coming along. I’m anxious to see how the new electronics work out. Thanks for the great visit. We were really sweating it as far as making our plane…All good though and back home after a great month in Italy!

  • David Evans
    Posted at 23:28h, 29 November Reply


    Your neighborhood and view are very much to my taste also. I love the working waterfront and consider the Ship Canal through Ballard to be the best. I grew up in North Ballard ( Blue Ridge), but love to walk the docks and dry docks on both sides of the canal. Congratulations on developing a great spot, with great moorage, space for the marine service trades and living spaces.

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