Murakami House closure

You may have noticed when you have been at Britannia recently that the Murakami House and Murakami Boatworks have been closed. We had some flooding in December and decided to clear out and close both buildings in anticipation of flooding in January. Luckily we didn’t flood in January, so now we begin the process of moving everything back in. We anticipate that we will have the buildings open again by April.

The joy of using tools

We have started a regular, weekly program of shop training on tools. While the emphasis will be on power tools to instill safe practice, there will be instruction on the use and care of hand tools as well. Every Saturday morning, at 11:15, a member shares his or her expertise on some aspect of shop practice. Particular attention is paid to safety as these powerful machines can, in an eye blink, change one’s life forever.

For now the sessions are strongly urged for all active volunteers and open to all Society members. In the near future we hope to invite members of the general public.

Easthope engine

In this image we see Dave laying his talented hands on the flywheel on an antique Easthope engine in an effort to make it run. This engine was probably manufactured in Steveston before the Easthope foundry moved to False Creek.

This engine, and its close relatives (viz. Vivian) was the power plant of choice for fishing vessels in this area during the ’20s, 30s and into the 40s. There are still a few in service in vessels that are retired from active duty but are still operated by their owners for love rather than money.

The sound from this engine is the distinctive ‘kachung – kachung – kachung’ of the ‘one lunger.’ (On the East Coast it was the (in)famous Lunenberg engine.)

These engines are pretty well gone from the industry now and only a few remain in museums and private collections.

Dave got a few detonations on this day but smooth running remains a future goal.

The Eva, a classic 1937 gill-netter currently in Finn Slough. is powered by an Easthope engine. She visits Britannia from time to time. This brief video features the sound of her engine at idle: hear Eva Idling at Finn Slough.

2014 Annual General Meeting

The Society held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday the 12th. A gratifying number of members took advantage of the beautiful, sunny day to elect new members to the board, return some long-serving members for another term and say goodbye to a few retiring members.

Elaine has served on the Board for at least a decade and has done yeoman duty as Secretary and, when needed, as Treasurer.

Less official, but no less valued, perhaps even more appreciated, Elaine has ensured a steady stream of her delicious baked goods flows into the Society lunch room and into volunteers’ tummies. She has also kept the Murakami garden in show condition and generally improved the place with her sunny disposition.

The Society, deeply appreciative of her long and diligent service, presented her with a retirement gift. We hope she will like the secateurs. She has told us that despite stepping away from Board duties, she plans to stay on as head weed puller and chief Cookie Baker and Bottle Washer. (Come on guys! Wash yer own cup, eh?)

Thanks, Elaine.

The very welcome first day of spring

With improving weather we can expect operations to begin moving outside and we ought to be able to start leaving the big door on the Richmond Boatbuilders open more often.

Daisy is getting her new hull colour here.

She came in white but, the longer we looked at the pictures in Wooden Boat Magazine the more we thought blue, as her original designers suggested, was the way to go.

Here I’m inspecting the application of the first coat and lamenting the quality of the underlying preparation. It looked so perfect before the shiny paint started going on.

Iona update

Iona has been moved into Richmond Boat Builders and her survey has commenced. The previous job of recaulking has not held up well and the hull will need a lot of attention. She also sports a moderate list of deficiencies: she has developed rot on wheelhouse sides and roof; her transmission is seized.

Here we see a crew pulling out her transmission. Though it only weighs 207 lbs (according to the manual) it is in a tight spot and is extremely awkward to manhandle. It comes out easily with a good come-along.

Skiff Division

Work has begun on the “Skiff Division” fleet. The society has a number of skiffs from different periods and of different styles. The intent is to be offer rowing and sailing programs this summer.

Here we see Allen and Alex working on the Daisy’s interior in the top image, Beckie and Dave in the other image.