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Steel Magnolia

We completed the surveys yesterday on the 52’ custom steel trawler in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Accompanied by the lovely Laura Lee, I watched as a surveyor and engine surveyor poked and punched and gave the boat a thorough physical exam. We took her out for a “sea trial” where she was run wide open for a few minutes to look for any engine problems. And, finally, she was hauled out of the water for a view of her ah…figure, below the waterline. She’s quite voluptuous.

Everything seemed to go well and the surveyors had no serious concerns. As Laura Lee says, the boat has been thoroughly “vetted”. We are awaiting results of the oil sample analysis and the actual written surveys, but it appears that we’ll own a new boat within the week.

We have been discussing several alternative names but we keep coming back to “Steel Magnolia”, reflecting the new southern home for this steel vessel. In an amazing coincidence, we found that the current owner, Bob Leitz, had planned on using the same name when he built the boat but changed it to Acadian in honer of the many Acadian workers involved in building the boat. When we found that out, it seemed that “Steel Magnolia” was simply meant to be for this boat.

Starting in mid-October, I hope to be bringing the boat from Sturgeon Bay to Chicago and then down the river system to the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway and on to Mobile, Alabama. There we will pause to have some work done at Dog River Marina, among old friends. I’ll be posting the ship’s log here during the trip.

For those interested in ship’s systems, I’ll be setting up a new section of the blog called “Principal Particulars”, a term I like, used by the naval architects in all the drawings and details for this boat. If you’re not interested in such strange things, just don’t go to that page. For now, I’ll just give the basics:

Principal Particulars

Length, Overall 51’ 11-1/4”
Length on DWL 47’ 5-15/16”
Breadth, Moulded 15’ 3-3/4”
Max Depth, Skeg to Sheer 12’ 11-1/8”
Draft to DWL 5’ 9-5/16”
Displacement 36 Long Tons
Cruising Speed 8 knots
Propulsion 370hp @ 2600 RPM

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