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January 22nd, 2007  · stk

"Pugwis" is the name of the 18-foot, 'Fraser Raider', double-hulled aluminum ocean-worthy boat that's now sitting in our front yard. It may be ugly, but it's a bloody tank! Come round for a peek at the newest addition to the family ...

The New Yard Ornament

Maternal grandparents visited Alex recently, bringing something with them - a boat named "Pugwis". "Pug-the-Tug" is an 18-foot Fraser Raider, built in the early 80's. It's a double-hulled, welded aluminum, shallow-veed 'landing craft'. It's substantially more sturdy than it is aesthetically pleasing.

Originally used as a work boat for hauling supplies and equipment to the 40-acre family property and cabin on the east-facing shore of Indian Arm, it's been some time since it's seen service. With rising moorage costs, it was relocated to dry storage, but with rising Vancouver-area land prices, even this was becoming expensive.

During the evening in which "Pugwis" arrived, we were treated to an oral history of the steadfast aluminum craft and the beauty of the property (which I've not yet visited). Lubricated with vintage grape nectar, we learned that the original name was going to be "Modnoc", a basackwards name that describes perfectly, a vessel which holds sea-fairing chaps. ;)

For more information and pictures about "Pugwis", read on ...

A Win-Win for Everyone

As ugly as "Pugwis" might be, we're mighty proud to be granted the right to use her. The waters off Vancouver Island are teeming with prawns, crab, salmon, halibut and oysters. Many of our neighbors talk about fishing and crabbing and we're eager to expand our horizons! (Read: Eat some great seafood!!)

I'm not sure how the offer was made or who was the first to suggest it (It was probably Rachel's father, actually.) But it's one of those great 'win-win' situations that works out for everyone. The Pilley's win, because having the boat here means saving the monthly dry-dock storage fee. They also know that the boat is being looked after, cared for and utilized (and appreciated). Obviously, we win, because we have access to a solid, sturdy boat that's perfect for prawning, crabbing and fishing. (And, as an added bonus, Rachel's friend's husband works at a Marine Supply Shop, where they work on boat engines.)


Monolithic Yard Toy

It'll be a while before we get our feet wet, however. Part of the reason is that the 50-horse, two-cycle Mercury engine that powers the boat is in a state of disrepair. It needs to be examined, to determine if it's worth overhauling, or we'd be better off with a new (used) four-cycle engine. With offshore currents in the Straight, it's important to have a reliable engine.

It's also a heavy bugger, weighing in at nearly 3,000 pounds (boat, trailer + motor). While our Chrysler Grand Voyager is "rated" to tow up to 3,500 pounds, we're very leery about doing so, because of the (well established) transmission problems.

So, on the one hand, we're pleased as punch to have use of such a sea-worthy craft, but on the other, it's probably going to mean swapping out a vehicle for something that can actually TOW the bloody thing. In truth, with a 5-acre property, it's probably something that we'd have to do anyway, so it's not that big of a deal. (Being tapped out from buying the house/property, thought, means we're not relishing the outlay.)

The boat needs some TLC, but we're hoping to have it up and functional (with the ability to tow it) by the summer. We've still got to find prawn and crab traps, get fishing licenses and acquire our sea legs and some nautical knowledge. (This boy is from the California desert and although loves the ocean, hasn't spent much time on it.) It should prove to be interesting.

We'll keep you apprised of our progress and regale readers with any humorous tales (which, we're sure, there will be a few). If we're lucky, we'll be catching our own prawns, crabs and halibut by next autumn. And if you come up for a visit, prepare yourself - you *might* get wet!!

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Updated: 24-Jan-2007
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Nice Post Scott,

It looks a lot of fun whilst catching some nice seafood. I bet you can't wait for the summer to come. Nice picture of your house in the snow (few posts ago). We get 0.5mm once every 5 - 10 years over here, as we live right near the sea and the salt in the air must drive the snow away.

Blackpool is the town's name and it originates from the colour of the sea - BLACK! You think I am kidding, eh? Ask Yabba! Even the fish don't swim in the sea here without a gasmask!

Look foward to reading of your nautical adventures in the future.

Have fun and as always Happy Bloggin!

2.flag stk Comment
LOL @ Blackpool. I'll have to bug him about that one. (Maybe he should quit bathing in the sea?)

We're close to the water here (1/4 mile?) but it doesn't seem to stop the snow. (And you're even at a higher latitude!!) Geez, just because it's called "CANADA" it means "MORE SNOW". :p

Glad you liked the post. If I find any police or fire patches, I'll post one your way. ;)

3.flag Glenn Comment
I was wondering how you all were doing and look what I find ... a new boat all set up for the big catch! I hope that motor works itself out, as they can be a bit on the expensive side to replace.

Europe has gotten its snow today and oh what a mess we have now. I have two co-workers who drove home from Mannheim today and it took them 9 hours. (Its a two hour drive on most days.) That should give you an idea of how big a dump we are getting.

I will post a few pics of my snow mountains I have next to my drive way due to all the shoveling.

Oh I also have a 2004 Land Rover with only 14K on it:)
4.flag stk Comment

Good to hear from you. With all that snow, no wonder the 2004 Land Rover has only 14k. ;)

All our snow has melted, though we did get to bomb down the (relatively untraveled) road, in front of our property, with the Oop. It was hoot.

Hopefully, I've left most of the snow shoveling behind, when we left Edmonton.

Should help the ski slopes though, eh?

Congrats on your new acquisition. (Think we'll be looking for a full-sized pickup with a super-cab, or something similar).
Thanks for that, If you get any I will let you know my address or just ask Paul. Thanks again, good luck boating / fishing, hope you catch a feast :)

6.flag Dad Comment
Hey, while not a thing of beauty, that boat is more impressive than you described.

It looks quite sea worthy and well suited for what you have in mind. That out(wheel) house will even provide some protection from your liquid sunshine. The big downside is what you will find when you get it up and running. That motor will suck gas like there is no tomorrow, so will likely limit your range !!!
.... either make friends with an oil baron or learn to row eh! :)
8.flag Glenn Comment
I was wondering why I get a US flag now that Im posting on a SAT dish that runs thru a company out of the AE. Strange!!
9.flag stk Comment
Stranger still, is that a lookup of your IP shows a German location.

I updated the (free version) of the IP database we use (it's updated every month) and it still shows as "United States".

Maybe it detects the nationality of the user, rather than the country of the IP address? smilie

Go figure! (It does say it's only 98% accurate and that it returns "U.S." for all AOL users). Your just the guy to fall through the cracks, eh?