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Wood Zeppelin



Joined: 09 Feb 2016
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City/Region: Seattle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:13 pm    Post subject: Deadhead Reply with quote

Spotted a deadhead off Ediz Hook (Port Angeles) this weekend. At first it looked like some kind of Bouy. It was bobbing slowly in the waves/swell, and would sometimes disappear underwater momentarily.

I'm curious:

(1) Does anyone know where they come from and how they end up suspended perfectly vertical in the water column?

(2) If you are running at times of low light, how would you avoid them?

(3) Are they more common in the Strait than Puget Sound? How about the Salish Sea in general, are they in certain areas?

(4) what if we all carried orange flags in our boats that could quickly/easily be mounted on top of a deadhead to mark them so others are less likely to crash into them?

(5) Anyone here ever hit one? What happened?

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Current boats:

1988 16' Angler - "C Creature"
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Peter & Judy



Joined: 03 Dec 2014
Posts: 471
City/Region: Olds
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have spotted deadheads several times and so far avoided hitting one. I boat mostly off the east coast of Vancouver Island where the logging industry is active. Most of these are likely water logged logs that have been in the water a long time and will float vertically until they finally sink. On occasion I have noted that they bob up and down and I though that I was seeing a seal. I think also that it is possible that a some stage they might actually float just below the surface. In my experience the only way to spot them is with your eyes wide open. In waves they can appear and disappear as they bob up and down. Travelling at a lower speed helps and I think you have a higher possibility of hitting one when you are going fast. This could do a lot of damage. We all have various high priced instruments on board to help us navigate, but a good set of eyes on the water ahead is invaluable.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deadheads can penetrate the hull and sink a boat.. They are often very hard to see. I have run over floating logs just on or under the surface, with the Cal 46 in low light condition. The hull is over an inch thick with solid glass in the bottom and keel. The boat going about it 6 knots; the log was depressed deeply enough that it cleared the spade rudder, which is abut 10" higher at its bottom that the keel of the boat.

At speed, I believe that a deadhead could break the hull of a C Dory if. you came down right on top of it. The logs do move up and down, with swells.

Your idea of a flag is good, but many times it is impossible for many boats to allow people to attach such flag--I guess if you could screw it into the wood, it might stay. But that is risky. I have seen deadheads in the Straits, all of theAK- way up to AK. Often they are lumber logs which have separated from a raft being towed to a take out point or a mill. Some sit in the water for long periods of time. Some are washed off beaches.

Our mantra was just to keep a good lookout--and hope that you don't hit one in a vulnerable place. At hight if you have FLIR it can help with differential temperature

We only have hand held FLIR--and it will not work through window glass, so you have to have the spotter outside, or shooting thru an open widow. The fixed FLIR are expensive. There are add on FLIR attachments for a smart phone. But I don't think that the resolution is going to be adequate to detect a deadhead. I also have a generation 2 night vision scope--and I don't believe that would be helpful.

If there is a little light perhaps the SiOnyx low light vision would be helpful, but only if you are going at displacement speed.

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Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to affix some sort of marker by coming up to a dead head, capturing it, and attaching the marker while in open waters is probably going to end up damaging more boats than the number that collide with unmarked ones.

If boaters are charged with marking the dead heads they encounter, what happens if someone doesn't mark one and then the next boat by hits it? Is the boat who didn't mark it liable?

Perhaps someone needs to come up with some sort of gun that fires a marker into the end of the dead head to mark it so capturing the dead head for marking is not required.

Of course, the best answer is to make sure the logging and log transport companies don't lose logs that can become dead heads in the first place and hold them responsible for damages. Won't help for trees that naturally fall in though.
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starcrafttom



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Trying to affix some sort of marker by coming up to a dead head, capturing it, and attaching the marker while in open waters is probably going to end up damaging more boats than the number that collide with unmarked ones.


You just gave me a reason to buy a cross bow. just put little flags on them.

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Wood Zeppelin



Joined: 09 Feb 2016
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City/Region: Seattle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssobol wrote:

If boaters are charged with marking the dead heads they encounter, what happens if someone doesn't mark one and then the next boat by hits it? Is the boat who didn't mark it liable?

Of course, the best answer is to make sure the logging and log transport companies don't lose logs that can become dead heads in the first place and hold them responsible for damages. Won't help for trees that naturally fall in though.


It would be totally voluntary. No liability.

I wonder if the logging industry takes any responsibility?? There are so many other examples of people/corporations held responsible for just one mistake that causes injury/death/property damage!!
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The logs mostly have been lost years ago. However, the timber companies do not like to loose logs. I don't know exactly how much one is worth today, but in the past, they have been worth upwards of $10,000 a log.

Some of the "cabins" on islands along the inland passage, have been made entirely from "lost logs". When we were cruising the area, we had a friend who had a steel hull trawler, which had a substantial winch on the back deck, and he would wrangle logs off the beaches.
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Peter & Judy



Joined: 03 Dec 2014
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City/Region: Olds
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The profession of finding and selling stray logs is known as "beach combing". A long running (1972 to 1990) Canadian TV series was called "The Beachcombers". It was set in Gibson's BC and featured Nick Adonidas (Bruno Gerrusi) and his boat the Persephone. This boat is one of the two boats in my life that influenced me to get a boat of my own to explore the Salish Sea. This TV series was shown around the world. The Persephone was on display in Gibsons, right next to "Molly's Reach, which is still a good restaurant. It has been moved inside for restoration. Hardly a Sunday night went by without me watching my favourite show. Pat John who played Jesse in the show just past away last week.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXtbcz7Vm5Y

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beachcombers
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Leo Smith



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here I thought this was going to be a discussion about the Grateful Dead!
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SnowTexan



Joined: 08 Aug 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard the coast guard call that deadhead out in a pan pan! Good job if you called it in.
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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wood Zeppelin wrote:
... It would be totally voluntary. No liability. ...


In the US someone else is always liable. It's "the American Way".
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starcrafttom



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Puget sound I wound say most deadheads are old trees washed down river. Some are old pilings that have rotted off or washed out. After a good spring storm the Everett area is covered with logs laying horizontally, some 6 inches to a few feet under the water. We hit one like that once in the 22 and kicked the motor up. No real damage.

I see at least one vertical deadhead sticking out of the water every time I go out. Big one out of Everret yesterday. I spend a lot of time in the tidal areas of the sound and the Snohomish river system in different boats.
Some of the snags < soon to be deadheads> take month to work them selves out of the river to the open water. So that cut off end you see is not always from being cut by man but from the months of weather, sand, rocks and rubbing other logs as it works its way down stream. I see this over the long term because i see the trees fall in the newly flooded areas or coming off banks as then wash out in the winter while duck hunting. Then moving on the tides and spring run off when fishing or bird watching. Its a process that has always happened. No ones fault. Keep you eyes open and have fun
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robhwa



Joined: 04 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thataway wrote:
The logs mostly have been lost years ago. However, the timber companies do not like to loose logs. I don't know exactly how much one is worth today, but in the past, they have been worth upwards of $10,000 a log.

Some of the "cabins" on islands along the inland passage, have been made entirely from "lost logs". When we were cruising the area, we had a friend who had a steel hull trawler, which had a substantial winch on the back deck, and he would wrangle logs off the beaches.


I'm a retired forestry teacher. I've rarely encountered $10K a log, but floating loose logs are valuable, and often captured and used. Cedar, in particular could bring a high price. My current house was built largely from logs washed from the Nisqually River into the Nisqually Reach or from eroding waterfront. I've seen barges with booms come through our area after a flood and winch logs onto the deck.

My neighbors (and myself) sometimes capture them and use them to armor our beaches. Interestingly, historic war canoes in Hawaii often floated from this region to there.

https://uniquelyversatile.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/5-things-that-may-surprise-you-about-douglas-fir/

I have hit logs, and nearly everyone I know has, a few times with damage. I was out a few days ago and a high speed boat hit a floating log and needed to continue with his kicker.
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This year has reportedly been one of the highest in floating timber, deadheads, chunk wood, or what ever it is called (regional), in Pacific NW waters. Considerably higher incidence of contact and sighting for the R2AK boats and other cruisers in the PNW waters. Those "logs" are not all lost from the timber booms, (though many are and some are years old that have been up on the beaches for ????), and because for the abnormal much higher tides, and storm surges, this year than usual, they are getting floated off the beaches and filling our waterways. Several years back I was up in Tribune Inlet in the Broughtons and the passage was literally full of wood. Not cut timber but branches, trees and pieces of every size. At the head of the inlet there had been a huge land slide where a piece of the mountain side 1,500 yards high and 300 yards wide had all slide down the face, leaving it bare rock. All of that was in the water, and it was only a day old. There were boat anchored a couple miles down from that that experienced a "tsunami" when it happened, and they heard the rumbling. The water was still a bit muddy when I was there, and there were chunks every 10 yards or so.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon


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Foggy



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I came across a deadhead in open water, I'd record the coordinates then get
on the VHF and call "Securite" to report the navigational hazard.

The best time honored prevention to prevent holing your hull is keeping a good
diligent watch when underway.

Aye.

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