Friday, February 29, 2008

A Piece of History Saved!

Well here's my latest bit of treasure I gleaned off of eBay..............
I was looking through the bronze subset of the Collectables - Metalware category, and ran across this incredible trophy. The description read:


It was listed in an obscure category and made no reference to anything that had to do with what it actually was......... no yacht, boat, trophy, etc. in the description. I ended up with the only bid and basically bought it for the price of the shipping.

The trophy is from the Southern Shore Yacht Club, and a little research on the internet lead me to the Southern Shore Yacht Club of Chicago, on Lake Michigan. Here is a little history quote on the club from the club's history page:

"In 1912, eleven powerboat sailors ("stinkpotters"), finding little support from the sailing club in the outer harbor, organized a South Shore Power Boat Club (Changed to it's present name in 1930)"
The original clubhouse was actually a floating houseboat, but it later burned in 1934. The new clubhouse was built in the Cape Cod style and the yacht club is now one of the very exclusive yacht clubs in Chicago!

The trophy is made of bronze and the medallion features a power boat, very rare for this time period! All of the engraved letters were engraved by hand. The woman who sold me the trophy said that she had purchased a box of old trophies and plaques at a flea market, for her husband. He was going to remove the awards and use the wood plaques to mount arrowheads on. She said that this one was too beautiful to toss, so she kept it and put it on eBay......... I can only wonder what else was in the box..... She lives just outside of Chicago.

The cool thing about this is that it is a perfect match to all of the old 1930's and 1940's Great Lakes charts that I scored earlier in the month!

I'm sure that this piece is valuable, how valuable is yet to be determined, but in any case, it is a wonderful piece of early yachting history saved!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kosmos Brenner Lamps

We have two very beautiful, vintage oil lamps sitting on our mantle right now.............. Another eBay score for the boat!

We managed to find a matching set of very old, vintage, Kosmos Brenner oil lamps that were being sold from the estate of an USMC Colonel. These lamps are in near perfect condition and may actually be in never used condition. The burners are in perfect shape and function flawlessly, and yes, we got a great deal!
These will be installed on the galley and salon bulkheads in the boat.
We haven't fired them up yet, but I'm sure they'll burn wonderfully.


Yesterday I finally got around to checking out an old Canadian Raleigh, 10 speed road bike, that was given to me quite some time ago. This bike had been out in the weather for YEARS and I ended up salvaging only a handful of parts. The frame was an old cottered crank frame with tons of rust...... all the bearings were bad, wheels shot.......... I ended up with the front fork and head set, the brakes, and the head badge. I absolutely LOVE those old Raleigh head badges! That was my "pearl in the oyster" from this bike.

Love those old Raleighs!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bronze, Bronze, Bronze

I stopped off at the local marine used and consignment shop down at the Boat Haven the other day to have a rummage through the piles of boat stuff , hoping to find a deck iron for the new Sardine wood stove. No success on the deck iron, but I did find the perfect piece of deck bronze to finish out the aft deck remodel. It's a very old deck fill plate that is unlike any I have ever run across. I'm guessing that it's a very old style that pre-dates the more usual "gas" and "diesel" labeled caps one normally sees. I asked the shop owner if he knew how old it was and he said that he didn't, but that it was "pretty old" and that he'd only seen a few of them. My guess is that it goes back to early 1900's, but that's only a guess. No maker's names or emblems anywhere on it.

This piece will be for the fuel filler and will nicely fit in with the bronze deck plate configuration that I've been envisioning. Here's a shot of the "Trio". The medium plate is for the emergency tiller.

Now I just have to build the deck!

Vintage Navy Anchors.......A new Uniform!

I finally tracked down a second collar tab anchor for my captain's jacket. The first anchor I found on eBay and snapped it right up.......... but I was short one anchor. A second anchor that matched my first one came up on eBay recently, but the price was WAY too high. I had asked a question about it and then let it go. It didn't sell. A few days later, the seller contacted me through my email and said if I wanted it, to make an offer (good thing I asked a question, they had my email from it!). I made a low offer and they came back with a low compromise, but one more acceptable to them.................
Long story short, this anchor was the left anchor to match my right, and it showed up in the mail yesterday.

These anchors are quite old, with very old "top hat" back clutches. I'm not certain as to how old they are, or from what service they were used in, but the recent seller said they were USN Reserve collar tabs.

So now, my Captain's jacket is finished out. You can't run a vintage yacht without a captain's jacket, can you? :)

Seattle Bike Swap Success!

Well the Seattle Bike Swap has come and gone.......... until next year.
We had a great time, as usual. Even if you you never buy a thing at the swap, just being there for the carnival atmosphere is entirely worth the entrance donation. Picture a hundred or more booths and tables, loaded with new and used parts and gear, bikes of every type every few steps........ messengers, mountain bikers, collectors, casual riders, the road racers, rasta dreaded counter-culture riders............ well you get the idea! This is a cross section of the entire Northwest cycling scene, and its way cool and FUN!

As usual, we showed up with empty hands and left with an armload of deals that we couldn't pass up. N8 ended up with a Bianchi road frame, I left with a new set of bars and some clothing, and Sweet Pea scored a trio of new pannier bags.

N8's frame was an absolute score, and a steal on the price............ and it sounds like he's already built it up!

I had been wanting a set of alt-mountain bike bars, like the type I had read a review on in Dirt-Rag Magazine awhile back. Just as we were taking the last loop through before leaving, I saw a pair! This pair of bars is already installed on the bike and they ROCK!!!!!
I don't think I'll be switching back to the old standards anytime soon...........
They were made by On-One of England. I've never heard of this company before, but they are definitely on my radar now! Can't wait to hit the trails and try them out properly.

Here's the link for the info page on these bars. You've just gotta' check these out!

Sweet Pea's pannier bags are something else as well. Two bags with dry-bag liners that are removable and a big shopping bag pannier that you can pop off of the bike and take into the store with you............ good stuff :)

Those are just the "high points"................. socks, socks, double-dinger-bell, shocks, jacket, brakes....... you get the idea :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New life for a fishing float.

I've had an old aluminum fishing float that I beach combed off of the beach many years ago out at Ocean Shores, banging around the yard, just waiting for some important mission. Well that metal float's calling has arrived. It's now been commissioned as a anchor trip-line float for the Bernadine.
I used the same 1930's, art deco printing that I've used on the boat and life ring, for the boat name and registration number that is painted around the middle.

A light chain will be shackled on to the two float eyes and then this will be connected to a trip line that goes down to the anchor. This will serve as a visual locater for where the anchor is on the bottom and as a release to pull the anchor free if it gets hung up on the bottom.

Now it's back to Sharky's workshop...................

Big, Bad and Bronze...........

Well, the big day finally arrived. The bronze deck plate is here! This baby isn't just any deck plate, oh no, it's a 1920's vintage, 12" bronze deck plate! These things are rarer that diamonds........ I actually found it on E-Bay. I was doing my usual quick scan of the "ending soon" items in the maritime antiques, and I saw a picture for a deck plate. There was something that didn't look quite right, not like all the other small, 6" deck plates........... this one looked like it had four big screws and then small ones in between. Definitely not like the small ones. I opened up the listing and read further. It seems that it was nearly 18 inches across and weighed over 13 pounds! The seller said that she got it from a guy who was parting out an old "rum runner" that had been used to run rum during the 20's between the Bahamas and Florida. I don't know if there's any truth to the origins, but I can say that the deck plate is definitely in the pre-WWII time frame. Oh yes, I got the "deal-of-deals" on this one.......... WoooHooo!
This plate has been on my "wish-list" since we got the boat. I have never seen one for sale and to have a one new cast would probably be somewhere around $1000.00, give or take! All the old "classic yachts" have these plates, but you can't buy them in stores anymore.
It's marked with the Wilcox-Crittenden "WC" and "12" on the back, which indicates the inner opening width of 12". No dings, gouges or corrosion....... just needs a good polish,cleaning and gasket replacement!
Three of the four locking lugs came free, but one is frozen. I sent it home with a friend who is a boat wright and metal worker at the boat yard. He said that it should be no problem to break it free. Sometimes it's better to leave it to the pro's. Thanks Walt :)

This is the crowning jewel for the aft deck rebuild! This plate will replace the big, square, wood, lift off deck cover that the previous owner made when he cut a big hole in the aft deck to install a 10 gallon, aluminum gas tank....... the gas tank will be replaced with a bigger steel tank. This big plate will match a smaller "WC" 6" bronze deck plate that will be installed just aft of this big one to allow the use of the original emergency tiller.

I'm still on the look out for two bronze deck drain-scuppers so I can start on the rebuild.

The hunt continues!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bike Score!

The President's Day weekend was a good weekend for bike stuff...........
There was a posting on that from noon to 1pm, all the left-over's from a moving sale would be offered for free to whomever dropped by. The address was uptown and in "a good neighborhood", so I got there right at noon.
Bike-wise, I scored a brand new pair of women's Pear Izumi riding shoes and two boxes of back issues of Cycle Magazine, some Dirt Rag magazines, and a DVD on the
2000 Tour de France!
Then on Monday, we headed in to Silverdale to hit a couple of sales and to check out the Bremerton Goodwill to see what kind of holiday sale they were running............ Well I ended up with a brand new pair of mountain bike pedals with traps and straps, for 69 cents!!!

All that great stuff for less than a dollar!

This coming Saturday is our annual trip to the Seattle Bike Swap.......... can't wait to report on all the great deals we'll find there!

Treasure Trove of Charts!

This last weekend I read a posting on our local message board that someone was offering up a bunch of Pacific Northwest nautical charts. I gave them a call, and they said they were mine, and off I headed for Marristone Island to pick them up! Well, somehow I forgot the first two digits of their four digit street address.......... a quick stop at Fort Flagler State Park to call home, and with the complete address now in hand, off I headed again!

I had a great conversation with the woman offering the charts. The funny thing is, she looks right out their living room window at our boat in Mystery Bay...... small world.
She apologized and told me that the charts were actually of the Great Lakes and East Coast, but she was pretty sure that there was a big roll of NW charts still in the shed, and when she found them, she'd give me a call. She said they had belonged to her father.

Off I went with several, large rolls of old charts. At home, I unrolled the "treasure" to see what I had........... Numerous charts that date to the 1940's, that were published by the U.S. War Department! I haven't looked through them all, but it looks like there is a complete set of the Great Lakes and of the NY / Maryland area.

Love !!!! My fingers are crossed that she finds the NW charts, they'd fit perfect on the Bernadine!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Now we're cookin' with gas...........make that alcohol!

The galley rethink-remodel is right on track! I bought an older Homestrand, model 205A, marine alcohol stove. The seller had installed new gaskets, a new pump, etc., basically everything that could go out on one of these stoves, just before listing it. I ended up getting it for a fantastic price.
This stove was the exact make and model I have been looking for. It has a great art deco design that fits in nicely with the 1930's vintage of our boat and it burns alcohol, which is about the safest fuel you can burn in a boat stove. The main housing is formed aluminum and even has sea-rails. We'll keep in under the counter and pull it out when it's time to cook. I fired it up last night, and it burns great! And the hunt for the perfect parts continues.....................

Monday, February 11, 2008

TICKETS !!!!!!!!!!!

Burning Man here we come! The much anticipated delivery arrived this afternoon. A quick signature for the post man, and now we have our tickets! Tickets for two to Black Rock City 2008!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Bronze Half Dorade

Found a great deal on eBay......... Couldn't pass it up! In fact, I ended up with the only bid on this bronze treasure. What is it?.............. I guess you could call it a "1/2 Dorade Vent". It is designed to mount up against a cabin side or bulkhead to cover a vent hole, just like a dorade vent, just split in half. It is a very old design, I would definitely put it in the pre-WWII time frame. The bronze is a deep reddish and was cast by PERKO, and it's about 6 3/4 inches tall. I'm thinking it will be installed in the aft well deck when we do that rebuild this spring as a bilge vent........... or maybe up against the propane tank box so I can add a vent and have a new piece of boat jewelry.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Burnin' Hot Shade!!!!!!

It's official: The Playa Parachute Dome is officially retired! We have a new Playa shade structure!
After Burning Man last year, we decided that we needed something easier to transport and set up than the dome. We had a camp across the way that had a huge "Tipi" type of shade structure, sort like a "big top tent". It was exactly what Sweet pea wanted. We talked about what it would take to sew one ourselves and started searching for one that was already made that wouldn't break the bank. One random search for "tents" on Ebay, and we found it! I found a listing for a "tipi" style shade tent that was brand new, with no bids!
This beauty has a footprint of 30' x 30' (that's 30 feet!), and a height of about 12 1/2 feet! I did some more checking and found out that the company that listed the tent has an actual store in Nebraska and is an outlet for overstock and returns from Coleman and other companies. They sell the tent direct, on their website as well. I noticed that as soon as one tent sold on Ebay, they immediately list a new one.............. well, we won the auction!
Here's the link to the company that sells the tent, "Just Camp", in Nebraska. in case you want to order one right off of their website instead of doing the whole Ebay auction thing:

We unpacked it and checked it over the other night and let me tell you, this baby is HEAVY DUTY! I weighs in at 4o pounds and comes in a great, expandable dufle bag. The center pole is extremely well made. I would call it "industrial". The pipe lengths are super thick walled with heavy enamel paint, and the tab locks that hold the lengths together are the heaviest I've seen. I had wondered if I would have to make a new center pole that would be tough enough for the Playa........... no need, this thing won't have a problem at all. The canopy material is very heavy weight with sail seams, even the perimeter stakes are tough and solid (I'll still need to substitute rebar for the Playa though, just to be extra safe).
I can't wait until Spring so we can set this thing up and give it a pre-Playa shakedown check!

 August 2011 Update: 
The shade structure has been a FANTASTIC improvement to our Playa set up and tear down...... I will always miss our old geo-dome and parachutes, but with this set up, I can hit the Playa in the early-dark AM, and have this set up in about 20 minutes, mostly by myself. You need one person to hold the center post up while the second person pounds the stakes. I use a long piece of cord with two nails as a "compass" to mark out the footprint before setting it up. It really helps in placement and it helps to know where to pound stakes! We've had it on the Playa for two years and only very minor wear. I think this will last us for many future trips as well. (unfortunately this is a no-go year for us (2011).... we'll be back next year). Feel free to email me for more info if you need it.

Here's a picture of the actual tent and box on the front walk:

2015 Blog Update:   I have added another entry about this tent.  Click the link to find out what's up with it today!

New Sardine!

Well we finished up the Navigator Stove deal over the weekend! We've picked up our new Sardine stove, gave it a good coat of black stove polish and tucked it in for a bit of a nap before instalation in the Bernadine. The stove is beautiful, complete, and even includes a copy of the original paperwork.
I'm still amazed at how everything keeps falling into place on this whole stove manifestation thing. I ended up selling an old claw-foot bathtub that I've had banging around for a couple of years that I was given for free. Too good to get rid of, but not anything I really need. Well I saw an ad for someone who was looking for a claw-foot tub to buy, while I was looking for the stoves. She came over, bought the tub, and brought our friend Walt over to help load it. I told Walt about the whole stove deal and told him I would be removing the Dickinson Alaska oil heater from the boat and selling it. He said he just happened to be looking for that exact heater and would be happy to make a deal on it when I pulled it out!!!!!! Oh yes, I had also loaned him the claw-foot tub a year ago to use in a studio apartment he was renting! Small world............ when you're manifesting!
Here's a picture of our second "baby".