...and sometimes other things

Old Boats

You’ve probably seen a movie or two where someone shouts, “Ahead Full,” “Astern Slow”, or whatever. But do you know what this thing is called? It’s called a Telegraph. I know, kind of weird. Where’s the guy in the green eyeshade tapping on a key?

So, why am I showing you this bit of antique boatery? (“boatery” is not a word.) Because during our nautical visit to Tacoma, we toured the Foss Waterway Seaport. If you are a fan of old wooden boats (small ones), the antique engines that powered them, or general maritime nostalgia, this is the place for you.

First, a few locally-made dinghies, skiffs, and canoes. For me, their attraction lies in the quality of the wood and the craftsmanship.

Diane and Mary Anne inspect a small rowboat. The removable arched supports fit into the oarlock receptacles. They support a cover so that rain will run off.
This canoe has a comfy seat. Comfy until the boom whacks you in the head.
Diane ponders what it would be like to haul that anchor by hand.
I love the fake wheel. Kept the kids amused, I suppose.

A brief look at more modern wooden pleasure boats.

The star attraction is this 1938 Chris-Craft.
Interestingly, they made the helm as much like a car dashboard as possible, right down to the skinny plastic wheel.

Let’s look at some old boat parts.

Early outboard motors were basic. Looks to me like you could hurt yourself in many ways if you weren’t very careful around one of these things.
Sailors liked to show off their knot-tying skills. These fenders are examples of a similar skill, but more like crocheting.
An early electric outboard motor.
Click if you want to know more about binnacles.

Two more wooden boats before we move on to the next category.

Take a close look at these photos. The level of detail is astounding.
The lines are not pieces of string; they are made of twisted strands like on a full-sized ship.
A model of the steamship Tacoma.
What nautical exhibit would be complete without a ship in a bottle?
…and the skull of a giant sea creature. This was once a fin whale.

I’ll leave you with something completely unrelated to the Foss Museum, except it’s also in Tacoma.

The Museum of Glass lies just beside the marina. It’s connected to the city by a bridge that spans railway tracks and a highway. Part of the bridge is covered by this glass-filled lid. I had never seen it in the dark before.

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