The CG 36 footer, Siuslaw harbor


dan mulholland
 

A story, some of it must be true, forgive me if I've told this before.

In high school, and college, I worked summers at the Siuslaw Marina in Cushman, east of Florence.   At that time, the marina had a marine railway- the marina being formerly a CRPA cannery.   Being a teenager, I was free to launch boats, run the saws and the planer, pump gas, attempt boat repairs, sell worms, you name it.  Rules rarely enforced.    But, I never ran the ways.  It was kind of a scary setup, all open, not a safety feature in sight.  A chassis, or frame, on one end a rambler flathead six engine,  with a lever attached to the clutch; you moved the tabs on the 3 speed,  formerly column shift, transmission, to go "in and out".  The copper fuel line went into the spout of a gas can.  At the other end of the chassis was a reel of wire rope, which went through a 90 degree turn at a block, and down to the carriage.  Engine spewed smoke when starting up.  The ways worked best for going on and off at high tide, slack.   There wasn't much for lights, but we'd acquired a few of the old lights from the football field we could plug in as needed.

I was left in charge of the place, at least once,  when "the boss", Floyd White, went commercial fishing in his all mahogany Owens cabin cruiser.  I don't know how anyone knew I was "in charge"; I just had the keys and knew where the cash was. 

One night I got a call at home.   The coast guard was on the line.  That afternoon, they'd dropped the 36 footer's aft onto the north jetty.  They had every pump on it, barely keeping it floating, at the station.  Could I haul them out on the railway?  At high  tide, 12:30 AM?   I don't know what I said to them, but I knew I'd have to figure out how to run the ways.  I set up at least one football light to see down the tracks.   I managed to get the engine started, and fooled around with the transmission tabs,  tested "in or out" with the clutch lever, and got the carriage in the water.   Once the crew had the boat on, I moved a transmission tab, who knows what comedy of things I tried, I didn't know anything- such as reverse and 1st gear being on one tab, and 2nd and 3rd on the other, things learned after I got a Willys wagon. Anyway,  started it up, "let out" the clutch, and killed the engine,  but the cart was at least headed uphill.  Did that a few more times, and got the boat out of the water.

Later I figured out, or may have been told, that I'd pulled the boat out in 3rd gear, hence the need for all that clutch work.  And that's my experience with 36 foot double ended lifeboats.

Dan















johnacord
 

On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 08:04 PM, dan mulholland wrote:

Dan,

A bit off topic about boating, but ........
.............things learned after I got a Willys wagon.  

Same one in the pictures of the planer?  How about some photos of it and a short narrative.

Sometimes missing the old cars of my youth  :-)
John Acord


Jove Lachman-Curl
 

Thanks for sharing a great story Dan. Wish I could go back and watch.
You'd have to go to a 3rd world country now to see that kind of antics with an old pickup engine, but I"m sure they're doing it somewhere today.
Reminds me of my upbringing in Ireland, although I wasn't near the water unfortunately.
When did that story take place?
It's interesting how quickly we've moved away from home built machines, and become so regulated. Pros and cons to that of course.
-Jove

On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 8:33 AM johnacord <jcacord@...> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 08:04 PM, dan mulholland wrote:

Dan,

A bit off topic about boating, but ........
.............things learned after I got a Willys wagon.  

Same one in the pictures of the planer?  How about some photos of it and a short narrative.

Sometimes missing the old cars of my youth  :-)
John Acord


 

Walt Fossick and some of the other Florence fishermen, when there were still some, kept the marine railway at Siuslaw Marina operating until maybe ten years ago. It was even more jackleg at the end than when you worked there. <g> When my friend, Dunaway, hauled his captain's gig there, I recall sitting in the shade next to the boat looking out on the sunny river, with healthy weeds in the water, ducks swimming by, and little baitfish playing near the rails, and thinking of all the boats that had been hauled there over the years to have their bottom paint scraped and sanded off and redone. <g> I don't recall if it was the difficulty of keeping the railway working, or the DEQ, that finally killed the marine railway. Last time I saw Otter hauled out it was at Winchester Bay.

Terry Lesh worked at Siuslaw Marina, repairing boats, when he lived over there.

On 2/3/2021 8:04 PM, dan m wrote:
A story, some of it must be true, forgive me if I've told this before.
In high school, and college, I worked summers at the Siuslaw Marina in Cushman, east of Florence.   At that time, the marina had a marine railway- the marina being formerly a CRPA cannery.   Being a teenager, I was free to launch boats, run the saws and the planer, pump gas, attempt boat repairs, sell worms, you name it.  Rules rarely enforced.    But, I never ran the ways.  It was kind of a scary setup, all open, not a safety feature in sight.  A chassis, or frame, on one end a rambler flathead six engine, with a lever attached to the clutch; you moved the tabs on the 3 speed,  formerly column shift, transmission, to go "in and out".  The copper fuel line went into the spout of a gas can.  At the other end of the chassis was a reel of wire rope, which went through a 90 degree turn at a block, and down to the carriage.  Engine spewed smoke when starting up.  The ways worked best for going on and off at high tide, slack.   There wasn't much for lights, but we'd acquired a few of the old lights from the football field we could plug in as needed.
I was left in charge of the place, at least once,  when "the boss", Floyd White, went commercial fishing in his all mahogany Owens cabin cruiser.  I don't know how anyone knew I was "in charge"; I just had the keys and knew where the cash was.
One night I got a call at home.   The coast guard was on the line.  That afternoon, they'd dropped the 36 footer's aft onto the north jetty. They had every pump on it, barely keeping it floating, at the station. Could I haul them out on the railway?  At high tide, 12:30 AM?   I don't know what I said to them, but I knew I'd have to figure out how to run the ways.  I set up at least one football light to see down the tracks.   I managed to get the engine started, and fooled around with the transmission tabs,  tested "in or out" with the clutch lever, and got the carriage in the water.   Once the crew had the boat on, I moved a transmission tab, who knows what comedy of things I tried, I didn't know anything- such as reverse and 1st gear being on one tab, and 2nd and 3rd on the other, things learned after I got a Willys wagon. Anyway, started it up, "let out" the clutch, and killed the engine,  but the cart was at least headed uphill.  Did that a few more times, and got the boat out of the water.
Later I figured out, or may have been told, that I'd pulled the boat out in 3rd gear, hence the need for all that clutch work.  And that's my experience with 36 foot double ended lifeboats.
--
John <jkohnen@boat-links.com>
One cat just leads to another. (Ernest Hemingway)
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The marine railway at Ralph Criteser's mooring is an interesting, homebuilt contraption. I was disappointed to see that the old car engine on the winch had been replaced with a Briggs and Stratton by the time of the last launch there. I think the last car engine was a British OHV four-cylinder, can't remember the make... The B&S didn't run very well. <g>

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9UaEnk

Ralph's crane is an interesting contraption, too. The most interesting bits are underneath. I'll have to sneak in there in a boat and take some pictures before it's gone. But will I be able to get in there now that Ralph has stopped dredging a channel with Rex's propeller? ;o)

On 2/4/2021 9:44 AM, Jove wrote:
Thanks for sharing a great story Dan. Wish I could go back and watch.
You'd have to go to a 3rd world country now to see that kind of antics with an old pickup engine, but I"m sure they're doing it somewhere today.
Reminds me of my upbringing in Ireland, although I wasn't near the water unfortunately.
When did that story take place?
It's interesting how quickly we've moved away from home built machines, and become so regulated. Pros and cons to that of course.
--
John <jkohnen@boat-links.com>
The louder he talks of honour, the faster we count our spoons. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
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dan mulholland
 

Jove-my best guess re the story is the summer of 1972.  And, a very important point, a Rambler was a passenger car.     Here's another picture of the ways, 1964 or 65. I'm the kid with his hand on the post.   This is/was the sailboat we had, built in Portland in 1939.   Original name:  "Gay Deceiver".   I'll send John Acord info about the Willys, don't want to get into trouble with the moderator for being off the topic, because the penalties are severe.

Dan






Jove Lachman-Curl
 

Sweet little sailboat what's the length/beam on that. What is the keel configuration?
Gay deciever is a great name, wouldn't get away with it these days.
Nice chain plates too.
-Jove


On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 4:21 PM dan mulholland <mulhollanddr@...> wrote:
Jove-my best guess re the story is the summer of 1972.  And, a very important point, a Rambler was a passenger car.     Here's another picture of the ways, 1964 or 65. I'm the kid with his hand on the post.   This is/was the sailboat we had, built in Portland in 1939.   Original name:  "Gay Deceiver".   I'll send John Acord info about the Willys, don't want to get into trouble with the moderator for being off the topic, because the penalties are severe.

Dan






 

American Motors (Nash, Rambler) was the only major post WW II US car manufacturer that didn't make a pickup. GM, Ford, Chrysler and Studebaker all did.

There's an old registration card in Ralph Criteser's boat, Beaver, that says she was powered by a Nash engine. It really wasn't _that_ long ago that people put car engines in their boats, cobbling together whatever "marinization" needed on their own. It wasn't that long ago because I can remember overhearing some fishermen debating the merits of different auto engines the first time I went to Moe's, and I'm not old. <g>

Beaver's got a Chrysler Crown in her now. Based on a Chrysler road engine, but built at the factory for use in boats.

https://flic.kr/p/fE6M9s

https://flic.kr/p/fE71Hq

On 2/4/2021 4:21 PM, dan m wrote:
Jove-my best guess re the story is the summer of 1972.  And, a very important point, a Rambler was a passenger car. ...
--
John <jkohnen@boat-links.com>
Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers. (Lewis Mumford)
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