Towing an 85-foot 1926 Wooden Express Cruiser on the Columbia River

Discussion in 'Stability' started by Denali.Amida.YP146, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 28
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Our nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon (USA) is restoring an 85-ft 1926 A.E. Luders Express Cruiser wooden yacht named Denali. We are considering towing her about 90 miles on the Columbia River from Portland to WCT Marine Construction in Astoria. Here's a map of the location in Astoria

    The Naval Architect who is volunteering on this project is not available for a couple weeks and I'm trying to gather information about the risks involved with moving such a long wooden vessel. One tug captain I met with is concerned about potential damage to her hull from ship wakes and bigger waves as we near the mouth of the river. Denali was last hauled out in 2000 when she made the same trip from Portland to AMCO in Astoria to have some planks replaced, ribs sistered and hull repainted. She has been in the water since she left AMCO in 2002 and she slowly takes on water in multiple locations (and has 4 different pumps cycling every few minutes 24/7).

    Taking her length, age and construction into consideration -
    • 1926 - 91 years old
    • Original hull construction is double planked with oak frames
    • Express cruiser architecture with a 5.5-ft draft + 85-feet LOA, 78-ft at waterline
    - What considerations and precautions are recommended for towing the distance mentioned above? We would have one or two pilot boats that can scout ahead for vessels creating large wakes, but what else? Maximum recommended speed? Special precautions?

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Rick Coyle
    Portland, Oregon (USA)
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 7,513
    Likes: 749, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    In general, it is the tugboat company that must do all these calculations and request the pertinent permits. It's his responsability. Among others, determine the points where the boat should be fixed and advise the necessary reinforcements. Many of the measures to adopt depend on the means and equipment for towing that the tug has.
    In any case, to say something without knowing the state of the boat is not advisable. A visit on board is essential to determine the measures to be taken for towing.
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 7,797
    Likes: 1,735, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Did the guy on the Tally Ho project ever talk with you? He is probably one of a handful of qualified wooden shipwrights in the PNW. I'd consult with him. But he might want a waiver of liability for any quid or pro bono work. He is a very hands on fellow it appears. If there was needed repairs prior to running or inside shoring; he might have good ideas.

    All of it is outside my qualifications for sure. But the project is certainly interesting and I am wishing for good outcomes for you.

    What is the shallowest spot on the river you would encounter? I'd be somewhat concerned about a grounding if you are ever even close.

    Then, the leaks should all be assessed for what would happen to them at speed. That might require having a diver inspect and video them. Last thing you want is to have a hole open larger underway. Again, all way beyond me, but something I would be concerned about.
  4. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 28
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thanks Ignacio, it turns out that the tug captain I met has been familiar with Denali for 25 years and knows a lot about her. He went aboard and looked at her and is getting more involved with assistance. I'm meeting with him and a few river workers for breakfast this weekend to talk about logistics and other details. He's also bringing more eyes to look at Denali to determine the best way to move her. I'll post an update as it progresses.

  5. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 28
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Funny you should mention Tally Ho, I was just replying to an email he wrote with some tips and questions. I'm not sure what the most shallow part of the river is but the tug Captain does and we know Denali's draft is 5.5 feet.

    Good call on inspecting the leaks for potential hazards at speed. I might be getting into the water with my 5mm wetsuit and a gopro this weekend to get some footage. If I do I'll post it for feedback and put the link here. Thank you for the advice!
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.