Zero Energy Historic Vessel Restoration

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Denali.Amida.YP146, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    Yes good call, thank you.
    Initially, the goal of the restoration project for the USCG vessel was to turn her into a "Zero Energy Vessel" - a vessel that produces more energy than she consumes and has zero waste. After learning about the severity of her decay, we decided that she's not a good fit for that project but I feared that if we don't figure out a way to restore her, she will end up being further neglected until she is abandoned and derelict. Her owner was going to sell her for $10K but liked the idea of donating her to an organization who intends to restore and maintain her. He mentioned that several people are interested in her as a liveaboard or as a tug (as he had been using her for). I would like to save her from the fate described above and so I had been brainstorming ways to bring a community to her rescue because there's no way our fledgling nonprofit can do that, which is obvious from my inquiries here.

    I've contacted state and federal agencies, shipyards and ports in Oregon and Washington looking for a temporary home for her and seeing if a temporary dry dock space could be donated. After running into dead ends elsewhere, the Port of Vancouver, Washington has been very interested in the project and we discussed docking her in one of their terminals. Then I was trying to think of ways that academia and trade schools can get involved because they can write grant proposals that include subcontractors like shipyards. The idea was to have the professional trade workers act as mentors and guide the apprentices through the restoration processes and supervise their work with an eagle eye. Or maybe there's another way that I haven't thought of.

    It has been a challenge to get information from Polar Star's current owner as he has been aloof and cryptic in communication. I had to research the vessel myself and found out that she was USCGC Bonham WSC-129, an Active Class Cutter built in 1927. I learned that her sister ship, Alert WSC-127 is docked in Portland and was restored by veterans. I've reached out to the team who restored her but they are an elusive bunch. I also learned that another sister ship, McClain WSC-136(?) was restored by a group in Michigan and I've been talking to one of the veterans who restored her. He has been very helpful and although he echoes the general consensus about her condition, he is optimistic and supportive about the possibility of extending her life (perhaps informed by his own nostalgia). I also met with the USCG inspectors and a LT at the Portland base. They gave me the rundown of requirements for inspecting and certifying vessels of her size and they warned be about the risks and responsibility associated with her ownership.

    I don't have any nostalgic purpose or any type of connection to USCGC Bonham, other than I think she is a beautiful vessel and deserves a chance. I'm not former Coast Guard or Navy although I come from a Navy family of sailors going back several generations. I'm just a surfer who always loved ships and now I'm building a nonprofit organization that is going to build a zero energy vessel, learn from that experience, and then share that experience so that it can be improved on. The long term goal is to build a zero energy research vessel that embarks on collaborative expeditions to learn about the challenges faced by coastal populations and to share immersive experiences. I had initially considered USCGC Bonham as a potential vessel to prepare for such a voyage but that was before I went aboard. During the first conversation I had with her owner, he said "she needs some work, like her engines need to be rebuilt. But she has a great hull!" o_O

    So in considering all of the factors, I think the best decision is to pass on Polar Star so that our organization can focus all of our energy into one project and turn Denali, the wooden yacht, into a zero energy vessel. I really appreciate everyone's input here and if anyone wants to participate in Project: Z-NEV, our door is open.
     
  2. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    Thank you for this information and perspective. It's very helpful.
     
  3. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    I think that's a good decision given your aim of creating a 'zero energy' vessel with community involvement. The reconstruction of the Polar Star would probably have drained every resource you have, and that even before beginning the zero energy engineering which is the real focus.

    You may be interested to look at this site Front Page - Ilen http://www.ilen.ie/ This project is hosted by the yard where I work. The Ilen will soon leave the build shed where she has been for about ten years (the keel timbers of the next project are already stacked by her side). Aside from the drive, tenacity and positivism of the organiser, I think the success of this project is due to his skill in forging a community of enthusiasts from the volunteers who have worked on it to patrons who have funded it.
     
  4. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    What an awesome story! Thanks for sending that. Did you work on Ilen? Sounds like a great community over there.
     
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    DA,
    Not really sure why you're here...
    You seem to have all the money and professional help one could ask for and don't seem to like many of the responses here.
    What is it you seek here?
     
  6. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    I'm not sure what you mean?
     
  7. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    Do you have anything to contribute?
     
  8. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    The organisation for the Ilen project is in Limerick which is about two hours drive away. The boat yard just hosts the rebuild of the hull but other elements of the rebuild, for example the deck houses and spars were made in Limerick. I spent a few days in the Limerick centre machining reclaimed pitchpine baulks in to two inch T&G for building the bulkheads. They explained that Limerick city had suffered badly from industrial closures and there was high unemployment and many associated problems. The centre provides a positive and creative environment and offers practical learning opportunities around boat building but if I understand correctly they consider that positive experience is more important that any specific learning goals. While I was there I was impressed with the sense of purpose with people arriving early and working late in to the evening. It shows what is possible if you have an inspiring idea and will to push it forward.
     
  9. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    The hull turned out beautiful! Nice work by your boat yard. I really admire the philosophy that informs Ilen's mission to serve the community..I might have to take a few pages out of their book.

    This quote from their website speaks volumes: Our approach to teaching and learning is to let it happen. We are confident that the elemental forces of materials and environment can nurture and release the deep buried treasure of people’s inner selves.

    And this is pure poetry: "Anaerobic allegations of personal and social pathology simply vanish in the iridescent light of the sun and the salutary terror of wind and wave." ...the salutary terror of wind and wave. Only genuine respect for the Ocean can produce those thoughts and language.
     
  10. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    Here is another community project from Cork. Meitheal Mara – Community Boatyard Cork http://meithealmara.ie/ I'm not so familiar with it but I have been around their work shops and I know people involved. Their focus is on building small traditional rowing craft and promoting rowing and water use. They have been going a long time and are large part of a wider movement to clean up the city docks and harbour and promote them as a public resource for leisure. See Home - Ocean to City - An Rás Mór http://oceantocity.com/ for example.
     
  11. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    That is so cool. I really like the idea of a community boatyard. In Portland we're pretty invested in the diy Maker movement and there are some cool community spaces where they're innovating and designing amazing things.
    Our community boatyard is a 100' boathouse and we're inviting everybody and their dogs (literally). We just received the deed of gift and own Denali officially. Our first meetup is on Thursday and we've had 28 members join since I posted it 6 days ago. I'm excited this project is launching and hopefully we can take a page from our Irish colleagues' book and finish what we start.
     
  12. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    I admire you initiative, good luck!
    Perhaps you could start a project thread to involve the wider virtual community too?
     

  13. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 14
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

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

    Good call! I've been meaning to do that here and find other forums. Is the projects and proposals category the best place to post on boatdesign.net? And if anyone has other productive suggestions, I'd be most grateful.
     
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