Passage Maker - - Contents - By Brian K. Lind

The Aspen C120, Knot Waf­flen’, is ready to be­gin an epic jour­ney with her new own­ers, David and Sue Ellen Jenk­ins. With the help of Aspen owner Larry Graf and the ex­per­tise of the cou­ple’s brother-in-law, Blake Eder (who will serve as cap­tain), the Jenk­ins have planned to take their boat from Ana­cortes, Wash­ing­ton, to Alaska, and then down to the Sea of Cortez. At that point, the boat will be loaded onto a trailer, and trucked east­ward to launch once more in the Gulf of Mex­ico. The fi­nal leg will take Knot Waf­flen’ to An­napo­lis, Mary­land, via the Gulf Coast of Florida and the Ba­hamas. The Jenk­ins have de­cided to go big, to say the least, for their first sig­nif­i­cant cruise and de­liv­ery of this 40-foot pow­er­cat.

They are call­ing this trip “The 10,000-Mile Tour,” and it is sure to be the sort of epic ad­ven­ture that Larry Graf is known for cre­at­ing. At a press event prior to their de­par­ture, David ex­plained that he was first drawn to Glacier Bay cata­ma­rans, in large part due to Larry’s many ad­ven­ture-cruises aboard them (Larry Graf founded Glacier Bay Cata­ma­rans in 1987; he founded Aspen Power Cata­ma­rans in 2008).

While David was al­ways a fan of Glacier Bay, their more util­i­tar­ian de­sign did not quite cut it for Sue Ellen. “Glacier Bays were too much func­tion over form; I needed some form,” she said. The Aspen C120, a 40-foot pow­er­cat, fit that bill per­fectly. It pro­vided the rugged, pow­er­cat-built-for-ad­ven­ture that David was look­ing for while pro­vid­ing Sue Ellen a warm in­te­rior that did not sac­ri­fice crea­ture com­forts. David and Sue Ellen are the def­i­ni­tion of the type of cus­tomers Graf en­vi­sioned when he launched the com­pany.

Over the past sev­eral months the boat has been through sev­eral shake­down cruises through the San Juan Is­lands and south to Seat­tle. Cap­tain Eder has been in Ana­cortes for the past month mak­ing sure the boat is ready to go. And as of midMay, he said they were. “We can’t shake her down any more than we have.”

Af­ter some fan­fare and cake, Larry blessed the boat and Sue Ellen broke a bot­tle of cham­pagne across her bow. Knot Waf­flen’ is now headed north, putting the first few miles un­der her hulls as she be­gins this ad­ven­ture. A unique as­pect to this cruise is that Larry will help the Jenk­ins by com­ing aboard to fill in as cap­tain or crew, as nec­es­sary. Aspen will also en­cour­age mem­bers of the mar­itime press to ex­pe­ri­ence cruis­ing on­board pe­ri­od­i­cally through­out the jour­ney. More at:­pen­pow­er­cata­ma­ NEW GEN­ER­A­TOR FROM NORTH­ERN LIGHTS

North­ern Lights re­cently an­nounced the re­lease of their 30kW gen­er­a­tor. The com­pany is known for build­ing some of the

most de­pend­able gen­er­a­tors on the market, of­ten cited by own­ers and ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als for their re­li­a­bil­ity and low rpm rate. The new 30kW gen­er­a­tor meets U.S. EPA Tier III stan­dards and re­duces pas­sive emis­sions, mak­ing it more re­li­able, and eas­ier and cheaper to re­pair. This gen­er­a­tor uti­lizes the same en­gine found on some of their other mod­els but is able to cre­ate its out­put through mod­i­fied mo­tor tim­ing. The use of the same pow­er­plant as sim­i­lar gen­er­a­tors al­lows for stan­dard­ized spare parts and does not re­quire spe­cial tools to ser­vice. More at: www.north­ern-lights.comp


Long­time Pas­sageMaker and TrawlerFest cham­pion, Geoff Leech, bids farewell to the group, as he sails off for his next ad­ven­ture. Pas­sageMaker wel­comes in a new publisher, Wade Luce, also a long-time in­dus­try veteran. Geoff has been with the magazine and TrawlerFest in mul­ti­ple roles for the past 14 years. His en­thu­si­asm, work ethic, and de­vo­tion to the job will be missed by ev­ery­one at the magazine, by TrawlerFest at­ten­dees, and by his friends and col­leagues in Ac­tive In­ter­est Me­dia’s Marine Group. Good luck, Geoff!


Bremerton, Wash­ing­ton, hosted this year’s TrawlerFest in the Pa­cific North­west, and it was warmly re­ceived by sem­i­nar at­ten­dees, boat show go­ers, pre­sen­ters, and bro­kers alike. In the wa­ter, 55 boats were on dis­play, in­clud­ing two brand-new de­signs, the North Pa­cific 44 and the Ranger 27 Out­board. TrawlerFest also fea­tured a host of sem­i­nars that were well-at­tended, rang­ing

from our flag­ship course on diesel en­gines to new pre­sen­ta­tions on ad­vanc­ing bat­tery and so­lar tech­nol­ogy, marine weather, and old-school nav­i­ga­tion from Pas­sageMaker con­trib­u­tor, Robert Reeder. Bremerton marks the sec­ond TrawlerFest for 2017, fol­low­ing the huge suc­cess in Stuart, Florida. Our next event will re­turn to the An­napo­lis area, from Septem­ber 26 – 30, in Stevensville, Mary­land.


As men­tioned, TrawlerFest also saw the de­but of Cana­dian-based North Pa­cific’s new­est trawler, the 44 Sedan. The boat fea­tures an ex­tended sa­loon, a euro-style gal­ley, and a helm sta­tion that has the feel

of a pilothouse with­out be­ing closed off from the rest of the boat. The new de­sign sports a spa­cious two-cabin lay­out that is avail­able with ei­ther a sin­gle head or a head for each state­room. She also fea­tures spa­cious out­door areas, par­tic­u­larly the ex­tra large fly­bridge (an FRP hard­top is stan­dard). Co­pi­ous liv­ing space in a small, sturdy pack­age makes it a great cruiser as well as an en­ter­tain­ment plat­form. With a com­fort­able top speed of 11.5 knots, the new North Pa­cific 44 Sedan ran nicely at 7 knots where it burned a mere 2.4 gph. Hull num­ber two is al­ready sold and in pro­duc­tion; lay up for hull num­ber three be­gins in June. More at: www. north­paci­fi­cy­


Also de­but­ing at TrawlerFest in Bremerton, Fluid Mo­tion in­tro­duced a brand-new Ranger Tug 27, out­board edition. As with all Rangers, she drew plenty of at­ten­tion. This new boat is an up­dated in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the older 27 model, which only fea­tured an in­board diesel. It also builds on the suc­cess of the out­board-pow­ered 23, cre­at­ing a larger, more spa­cious plat­form. With a high cruise of 35 knots, this boat has the look of a trawler, but the per­for­mance of a sport boat. The change from an in­board diesel to an out­board doesn’t just give her more power, it also pro­vides ad­di­tional lazarette space and a qui­eter ride. Un­like the 23, the 27 has a fully en­closed wet head and a much larger for­ward bunk. The in­clu­sion of a curved, seam­less wind­shield and over­head sky­lights add to the spa­cious feel on­board. More on Ranger Tugs’ line at:

More than 400 years ago, Sh­effield, Eng­land, be­came renowned for its steel-work­ing, fine cut­lery, and swords. Over the decades and cen­turies, lo­cal ar­ti­sans con­tin­ued to re­fine the process of con­vert­ing iron ore into work­able al­loys. In the early 1900s, a re­search lab in Sh­effield worked on find­ing ways to elim­i­nate rust in gun bar­rels. The head of the lab­o­ra­tory hap­pened to no­tice that, un­like the other sam­ples, a dis­carded sam­ple from a pre­vi­ous test had not rusted yet. They quickly de­ter­mined that by ad­ding chromium to the steel al­loy the metal could be made far more re­sis­tant to rust­ing than ever. Two months later, in the sum­mer of 1912, they pro­duced a stain­less steel cast­ing for the first time. Ini­tially they called it “rust­less steel” but for mar­ket­ing rea­sons, soon changed it to stain­less.

Many con­sider stain­less steel to be a tech­no­log­i­cal marvel. This ma­te­rial has had a ma­jor im­pact in many crit­i­cal in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing food han­dling, med­i­cal sup­plies, and, of course, boats. Stain­less steel refers to a fam­ily of al­loys, with crit­i­cal dif­fer­ences within that group. The stain­less steel bolt might not be the same al­loy as the cleat it holds. The cleat will not be the same al­loy as the stain­less pro­peller shaft. Know­ing the dif­fer­ences among the choices can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween cruis­ing and sink­ing. If you are buy­ing a com­po­nent made out of stain­less, you will hear a va­ri­ety of con­fus­ing terms, such as 18-8, 304 or 316, Aquamet 22, and more. Un­der­stand­ing these terms will help you make smart choices.


As ac­ci­den­tally dis­cov­ered in Sh­effield, ad­ding chromium to the iron is a game changer. And here’s why: Chromium read­ily re­acts with oxy­gen and forms a hard, tough sur­face film that pro­tects the un­der­ly­ing metal from at­tack. The film’s thick­ness equates to about 1/10,000 of the thick­ness of a strand of hu­man hair. When pol­ished, this skin thick­ens and hard­ens, im­prov­ing its pro­tec­tive prop-

er­ties. In the same way that the bark on a tree pro­tects the wood from in­va­sive pests and dis­eases, the ox­ide film pro­tects the base iron from cor­ro­sion. If the film gets scratched or scraped it will re­form, pro­vided that oxy­gen is avail­able. Table cut­lery al­loys con­tain 12-14% chromium. For stain­less that will be more ex­posed to the at­mos­phere, such as au­to­mo­tive trim, the chromium con­tent must be in­creased to about 18%.

If we want to in­crease re­sis­tance to acids and cor­ro­sion, then nickel must be added. Nickel also hap­pens to make the al­loy non-mag­netic. The low­est grade of stain­less that should be used on a boat con­tains 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

We com­monly re­fer to this al­loy as 18-8. To be more pre­cise, stain­less steels can be iden­ti­fied via a nu­mer­i­cal se­ries, and for marine ap­pli­ca­tions they must be within the 300-se­ries—18-8 equates to grade 304. Three-zero-four stain­less, though, is sus­cep­ti­ble to cor­ro­sion from chlo­ride so­lu­tions, and salt wa­ter con­tains chlo­ride. The chlo­ride ions cre­ate small holes in the pro­tec­tive film, invit­ing pit­ting cor­ro­sion. Three-zero-four stain­less can be used for non-crit­i­cal in­te­rior ap­pli­ca­tions where the hard­ware will not be di­rectly ex­posed to sea­wa­ter. Screws hold­ing wires or hoses in place would be a typ­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion.

To achieve a higher level of pro­tec­tion from the el­e­ments, foundries in­crease the nickel con­tent and add one more el­e­ment to the recipe, 2-3% molyb­de­num, which boosts the stain­less grade to 316. This al­loy con­sists of 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molyb­de­num. Molyb­de­num greatly in­creases the al­loy’s re­sis­tance to cor­ro­sion from salt and acid. Deck hard­ware and fas­ten­ers should be 316.

You might be won­der­ing at this point, “How can I tell what kind of stain­less I have?” You usu­ally can’t. The grade must be known at the time of or­der­ing. Some 316 hard­ware comes with the des­ig­na­tion stamped into the part. Nei­ther 304 nor 316 stain­less will at­tract a mag­net. In crit­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions, if the mag­net pulls to the metal, re­place it with higher-grade stain­less, but this test does not work well on stain­less bolts be­cause the cold-form­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing process im­parts a small amount of mag­netism to the fas­tener.

Hose clamps pro­vide an ex­cel­lent il­lus­tra­tion of the dif­fer­ences. Cheap hose clamps use 18-8 and will be short-lived in a marine en­vi­ron­ment. The next grade up uses 316 for the band, but a lesser grade for the tight­en­ing screw. The best qual­ity, and the ones you should be us­ing, have 316 stain­less bands and a 316 screw (to go one step fur­ther, the band should not have slots which will cut the rub­ber, but stamped grooves in­stead). Check­ing hose clamps with a mag­net won’t help much, be­cause the form­ing process im­parts a sur­pris­ing amount of mag­netism and even an all-316 clamp will give the impression it’s a lesser grade. It’s all about cost/ ben­e­fit: You’ll pay more for good, all-316 stain­less clamps.


Just as deck hard­ware calls for a higher grade of stain­less al­loy than re­quired in the ac­com­mo­da­tions, go­ing be­low the wa­ter­line takes the bar even higher. Re­mem­ber that the game-changer for cre­at­ing stain­less steel is chromium be­cause of the way it re­acts with oxy­gen. In the ab­sence of oxy­gen, the pro­tec­tive film can­not be re­li­ably formed. Strut bolts serve a crit­i­cal pur­pose. The head of a stain­less strut bolt usu­ally seats in the strut, un­der

wa­ter. Oxy­gen in the sea­wa­ter en­ables the head to main­tain its pro­tec­tive layer. The threaded end pro­trudes into the boat, where it has ac­cess to oxy­gen in the air. In be­tween, where it passes through the metal cast­ing and the hull, the bolt will be starved of oxy­gen and that is where cor­ro­sion usu­ally oc­curs (which also hap­pens to be in a place you can’t see). Lower grades of stain­less will be eaten away in the mid­dle, form­ing a “waist”. For this type of ap­pli­ca­tion, if you are go­ing to use stain­less steel, it must be 316. For a bronze strut, bronze bolts would be prefer­able, but they are be­com­ing harder to ob­tain.

Pro­peller shafts face sim­i­lar is­sues. Shafts rest for long pe­ri­ods of time in stag­nant oxy­gen-de­prived wa­ter in stern tubes. Bar­na­cles form on shafts, also re­strict­ing ac­cess to oxy­genated sea­wa­ter. These de­mands call for higher lev­els of cor­ro­sion re­sis­tance. Var­i­ous trade names ex­ist, such as Aquamet® and Aqual­loy®, but the dif­fer­ent brands share the same nu­mer­i­cal des­ig­na­tions: 17, 19, and 22. Only 19 and 22 should be used on cruis­ing boats—19 com­pares to 304 stain­less, 22 com­pares to 316 and of­fers su­pe­rior cor­ro­sion re­sis­tance due to its molyb­de­num con­tent.


Stain­less steel does not con­duct elec­tric­ity very well. On a rel­a­tive scale, if cop­per rates at 100% con­duc­tiv­ity, stain­less steels fall in the 2-5% range. For this rea­son, stain­less wash­ers should not be used be­tween the elec­tri­cal ter­mi­nal and the con­nect­ing point. It is ac­cept­able to place the ring ter­mi­nal over the mount­ing stud first and then use a stain­less washer un­der the nut that will se­cure it. If, how­ever, you place the stain­less Top: The pad eye in the photo shows signs of rust caused by ex­po­sure to salt wa­ter. Above: The fas­tener above is in good shape at the head and the threads, but a lack of oxy­gen where the bolt passes through the lam­i­nate has caused the metal to de­te­ri­o­rate, form­ing a waist.

washer un­der the ring ter­mi­nal, you will cre­ate re­sis­tance in the cir­cuit.

De­spite its ex­cel­lent non- cor­ro­sive prop­er­ties, stain­less should not be used in crit­i­cal high- strength ap­pli­ca­tions. Grade 8 bolts have roughly 50% higher ten­sile strength than 316 stain­less. Shaft cou­pling bolts pro­vide a good ex­am­ple of an ap­pli­ca­tion that calls for grade 8 steel and not stain­less. Grade 8 bolts can be iden­ti­fied by six ra­dial lines stamped on the head ( as shown in the photo).

Weld­ing stain­less steel for marine use re­quires spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion. Fail­ure to use the proper al­loy com­bined with the ap­pro­pri­ate filler rod and weld­ing tech­nique can re­sult in welds that de­cay and fail sud­denly. Ex­e­cuted prop­erly, stain­less steel welds beau­ti­fully and re­li­ably.

Oc­ca­sion­ally stain­less steel will stain. Sur­face con­tam­i­nants such as resid­ual oils, dirt, iron par­ti­cles (never use steel wool), and salt crys­tals can vi­o­late that crit­i­cal mi­cro­scopic film that pro­tects the al­loy. Rins­ing the hard­ware af­ter ex­po­sure to salt can be help­ful and the mar­ket­place of­fers an abun­dance of stain­less steel clean­ers and pol­ishes. Clean­ing and pol­ish­ing helps re­store the pro­tec­tive ox­ide layer and, un­like a teak deck, clean­ing will not wear away the ma­te­rial. The higher cor­ro­sion re­sis­tance of 316 makes it less sus­cep­ti­ble to stain­ing than the lower grades.

Stain­less steel plays a crit­i­cal role aboard cruis­ing boats. It can be found on wind­lasses, deck hard­ware fas­ten­ers, port­holes, prop shafts, through-hulls, gal­ley ap­pli­ances, and much more. Given its wide­spread use, it pays to un­der­stand how this re­mark­able ma­te­rial main­tains its con­di­tion and what the var­i­ous des­ig­na­tions sig­nify. Choose poorly and you might ex­pe­ri­ence a crit­i­cal fail­ure. Choose well and you have an amaz­ing ma­te­rial that will main­tain its strength and beauty for more than a life­time.

Hose clamps serve crit­i­cal de­mands and should be all 316 stain­less. Lesser grades, such as this one, use lower grade stain­less for the ad­just­ing screw, with a pre­dictable re­sult.

Above: High qual­ity stain­less has its own beauty and can last a life­time.

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