Author Archives: seamarsh

2007: Heart Transplant–Caterpillar Re-Powers Corps of Engineers Dredge Essayons

A story I wrote in 2007 for Diesel Progress magazine became an official Caterpillar press release titled Eight Cat® engines re-power the dredge “Essayons,” providing more power, improved efficiency, and emissions compliance for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Needless … Continue reading

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2017: Old Astoria Pilot Boat Arrow 2 Returns

The pilot boat Arrow 2 disappeared from the Astoria waterfront in 2012 and has been greatly missed by the seamen who admired its unique traditional hull shape and general low-tech appearance. There was much speculation about its final disposition: would … Continue reading

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WW II: Astoria’s Epic Minesweeper Years

Astoria Shipyard’s Minesweeper (YMS) Production Remembered The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor last December gives us a chance to review the incredible history of the “war at home” in Astoria—a time when thousands of ordinary women performed … Continue reading

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In Praise of My Own “Retro” Bikes

The frames of all my bikes were designed 20+ years ago, so qualify as “retro.” Several of them are based on the early mountain bike, so here is a brief introduction to that design,followed by four of my “variations on … Continue reading

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The Flettner Rotor Makes a Comeback!

The new hybrid ship designs were pioneered in Scandinavia where ecological hydro-power has long been the standard for utilities. The public demand for more clean power use has led to the introduction of hybrid propulsion in several new ferries and … Continue reading

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140′ MV Manu’Atele–a Versatile Ferry for American Samoa

Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders of Whidbey Island, Wash. was contracted by the Government of American Samoa to build the MV Manu’Atele, a 140′ multi-purpose inter-island ferry to operate between the capital Pago Pago and the Manu’a Islands. “We have visited American … Continue reading

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Arthur Piver: Pioneer Trimaran Designer-Sailor

Arthur Piver (1910–1968) was a World War II pilot, an amateur sailor, author, printshop owner and legendary boatbuilder who lived in Mill Valley on San Francisco Bay. In the late 1950s, Piver (rhymes with “diver”) designed and built a series … Continue reading

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2015: Western Towboat Builds Seventh Titan-Class Tug

When Western Towboat of Seattle started building its first Titan ASD long-haul tug at their base on the Seattle Ship Canal in 1995, owners Ric and Bob Shrewsbury were simply responding to the growth of barge service to SE Alaska. … Continue reading

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North America’s First Hybrid LNG/Battery Ferry

This story is about hybrid boats, a subject that I have been following for many years. However, when I see the word “hybrid” I still think first of a really efficient, low-emission passenger car like the Toyota Prius, the world’s … Continue reading

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WW II Minesweeper Tradition Continues in Seattle

History Repeats Itself at Pacific Fishermen Yard Almost every kind of boat imaginable has traveled up and down the Seattle Ship Canal and through the locks over the last 100 years, but few of the thousands of crew or passengers … Continue reading

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