Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dredging continues in the Swinomish

Progress continues in dredging the Swinomish Channel.

Dredging the Swinomish - one bucket at a time

Dredging began in the Swinomish Channel last September.   The Channel links Skagit Bay at the south and Padilla Bay on the north, and is where the town of La Conner, Washington is located.  La Conner and the Swinomish is also the home of American Tug.

The Swinomish Channel receives heavy vessel traffic all winter when it is the only safe & calm route between Puget Sound and areas to the north when the Straits of Juan de Fuca are rough.  This is a very popular route for the American Tug fleet, in fact every AT has been sea-trialed on these waters.

The Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing American Construction and the $2.2 million contract.  They are using a very large clamshell bucket to fill the drop barge "Lummi Island", the barge is moved and dumped a couple of times per day.

Full information on the project can be found on the Army Corps of Engineers website.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sold Boat: 2008 American Tug 41 "Jade Princess"

2008 American Tug 41     Jade Princess      $  Sold by EYS!

We have now sold Jade Princess! That is three American Tug 41's sold by Expedition Yacht Sales this year. I need another to put on the market now.

Let me know if you are thinking of selling your AT-41...I am the guy to do it. Proven results with the best marketing, honest representation and thorough product knowledge that helps the buyer and seller. Call Steve anytime at 206-321-2164.

Ready for your next family Expedition, Jade Princess is in gorgeous shape. Equipped with the Volvo D9-500 engine with electronic controls and trolling valve, watermaker, Rigid Boat dinghy with Yamaha 25, two-axis 1000-pound crane, dual display Raymarine electronics suite with autopilot, high power digital fishfinder and satellite weather receiver, neutral colored Ultra Leather interior, Stidd helm chair, air conditioning, she even has a rear cockpit enclosure of Sunbrella & Strataglass and a power downrigger…She is ready  Sold by EYS!

Full details are here including over 50-photos and a video.

Call Steve Scruggs or for a private viewing of Jade Princess. Anytime at 206-930-6139, offering the highest level of service and product knowledge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stern Tie Reel

When anchoring in British Columbia it is very normal to use a "stern tie", to keep your boat from swinging around the anchorage. 

In the Pacific Northwest we don't have much wind in the summer to keep all the boats aligned when anchored; with 10 to 20-feet of tidal height change between Seattle and Alaska, the chance of boats swinging and touching in a tight anchorage is too large to risk.

The solution is to run a "stern tie" line ashore, around a fixed object like a ring or tree stump, and back to the boat.  The stern line pulls the transom of your boat towards the beach, keeping your anchor line taut.  The stern lines are typically 300-400 feet long and made of 5/16" or 3/8-inch polypro line.  The inexpensive polypropylene is ideal as it floats and is normally a bright color like yellow whch makes it easy to spot if you are cruising around in your dinghy.

I have long searched for a "reel" good solution.  Many boaters will use a plastic hose reel and are embarrassed by its appearance, but appreciate its simple functionality.  If you search the internet you will find a variety of recycled line reels and PVC pipe home brew set ups, extension cord reels that don't quite hold enough line, and overly elaborate custom mounts.

Brooks Marine in Anacortes, WA makes the simplest and best I have found.  They run about $230.  Steph reports he has a few more in the shop, but is not sure if he is going to make another batch.  Brooks Marine is at 360-299-2956.  You might want to hurry!

Let me know if you have a good alternative.  Email me at

PS:  The reel pictured is aboard Forever FridayYou can buy the reel and the boat here.

New Listing: 2008 American Tug 34 w/ EC Package

2008 American Tug 34     Cracker Jack    $344,500

EC Package with extended side rails, sliding doors and hydronic heat!
Cracker Jack has been beautifully kept by her original owner. “Whisper Grey” colored hull with “Polar White” deck, she looks great and is timeless in appearance.
In late 2008 the American Tug 34 received an upgraded standard equipment list. Some of the changes were to certify the AT-34 for export to the European Community (EC), and other changes were just nice updates. The mid-year model changes included extended length stainless side rails, sliding pilothouse doors, an aft door with 3/4 glass, Hurricane hydronic furnace system with zone heat, and interior doorways with arched tops. Cracker Jack was built to this new spec.

Ordered from the AT factory with all the best options including; Sapele & Maple salon sole, Magnum Energy 2kw inverter & extra battery, Stern thruster, Village Marine watermaker, full-height door windows, shaft line cutter. She even has the large Buell double trumpet air horns!

Full details and over 60-photos are here.

An integrated Furuno navigation suite includes: NavNet 3D 12″ color multifunction display with GPS & chart plotting, 4Kw radar, and high-power fish finder. Integrated wth Furuno NavPilot autopilot, Furuno FI-50 Multi and Wind instruments. An Icom IC-M502 VHF radio completes the electronics package.

Hull #124 is an extremely late model boat with gorgeous sapele joinery work, excellent interior & exterior colors and all the popular options and upgrades. She is in really great shape and shows a pride of ownership. Professionally maintained and ready for your family’s next Expedition.

Call Steve Scruggs, CPYB and let’s go see Cracker Jack in Gibsons, BC. I sold her new and this is a great boat. I have sold nearly 60 American Tugs and am a great resource for you, I really know these boats. Anytime at 206-321-2164.

 Thank you, Steve

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tech Tips: Time to Winterize

When the days get shorter and the sun is lower in the sky…It gets cold!   Time to make sure your boat is ready for winter.

Download the Winterizing Checklist  pdf

Winterizing your boat will keep her in the very best condition. It is much better to avoid any problems by getting your boat ready for the cold.

Remember to only run your engine in the winter if you have time to take it to full operating temperature.  The retained heat in the engine will allow the engine internals to dry and prevent condensation and corrosin.  Resist the temptation to run it for only a few minutes.

This is also the best time to fill the diesel tank, be sure to use an additive to the fuel that prevents fungal growth such as Racor Biocide or Biobor JF.   A full tank helps prevent condensation forming.

Blocking the air intakes on the hull sides keeps cold air from flowing thru the engine room.  This may be most important single thing you can do to prevent freeze in the systems.

Use your boat in the winter!  It will be the best way for both the boat and owner to stay happy!

Steve   206-321-2164

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sterilite Storage Totes for AT-34

Perfectly sized storage totes for your American Tug 34

I just delivered AT-34 Hull #59 to her new owner in South Sound.  We had a fun trip down Puget Sound and under the Tacoma Narrows Bridges. 

While aboard I spotted these perfectly sized storage totes for use in the "tank room" under the salon floor.

American Tug owners know this is a wonderful space to keep heavy or bulky items.  It is a storage locker on the boats center line.  This space holds the fuel tanks, batteries and water tanks.  The middle area is wide open for your usage.

The Sterilite brand totes are model #1692 and are available in white, black & green.  They are made in USA just like American Tugs.

Here is a link to the Sterilite product page.

Dimensions are: 15.25" long, 13.75" wide and 10.5" tall.  These dimensions make excellent use of the space in this locker.   They run about $6 each and are available from Target or Amazon.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Open House at La Conner Marina - Sept 28-30

Come see four American Tug 34′s – all on the same dock!

We have eleven boats on display, come to the Open House!
Directions: Head west on SR-20 from I-5. Turn south on La Conner – Whitney Road. At the traffic round-a-bout turn west into La Conner on Morris Street. Turn right on 3rd street and go past the South Basin of the Marina to the North Basin. Park near the Port building and look for us on I-Dock. Call me if you have questions at 206-321-2164.

We hope to see you this weekend at the Open House!

Steve & Cindy – Anytime at 206-321-2164

Monday, September 17, 2012

American Tug Owners Rendezvous 2012

A fantastic event held in Anacortes, WA - September 2012

The largest Rendezvous yet with 37 boats on the dock at Cap Sante Marina. 

The fleet sure looks great!

Kurt Dilworth leading his Friday morning tech talk.  This is always one of the most popular events.
Bob Senter of Northern Lights generators leading a hands on seminar in the parking lot.

The "Skylounge" is open!  They had a good time.
Kurt and Mike from the American Tug factory singing with Bizarre Love Triangle during Friday's dinner.  A great band:
Kurt's daughter Grace "High Fiving" her aunt Katie.
Publisher Mark Bunzel showing the size of his big fish.   A great program on cruising the Inside Passage to Alaska.  See his books at:

Nearly ninety American Tug owners in attendance. 

Thanks for including us in the festivities.  We always enjoy the Rendezvous.
Steve & Cindy Scruggs

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sold Boat: 2004 American Tug 34

2004 American Tug 34  "Hull #59"   Sold by EYS!!

Hull #59 has been beautifully kept in fresh water covered moorage by her original owner. “Cabernet” colored hull with “Polar White” deck, she looks great and is timeless in appearance. Ordered from the AT factory with all the best options including; Prosine 2kw inverter & extra battery, Ice maker, full-height door windows, shaft line cutter, stainless stern davits, bow storage box and custom interior book racks. Her Cummins 370hp engine has just 1,000 hours.

She has an AB inflatable RIB with Yamaha 8-hp 4-stroke engine hanging on the davit. Raymarine instruments include C-80 color chartplotter, Autohelm ST-6001 autopilot, Wind & Tridata. A gorgeous Garmin GPSmap 2010c color chartplotter is the primary navigation instrument. A side-power stern thruster has been installed with the cool single lever control.

Hull #59 is a late model boat with teak interior joinery work, excellent interior & exterior colors and all the popular options and upgrades. She is in really great shape and shows a pride of ownership. New bottom paint applied by CSR Marine in August 2012. Waxed twice annually. Professionally maintained and ready for your family’s next Expedition.

Full information and over 50 photos here.

Steve Scruggs, CPYB knows the American Tugs best. He has sold nearly 60 AT’s in the past eight years. Call Steve anytime at 206-321-2164 for additional information or to make a private appointment to see Hull #59 in Seattle. I am honest and work hard for all of my clients!

I sold her!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Price Reduction: 2001 American Tug 34 "Morning Rose"

2001 American Tug 34 #002   Morning Rose     Now $234,500

Morning Rose is a very nice & very original American Tug 34.  She is hull #002, which means she was hand built by Tom, Mike & Kurt when they started.   Her teak wood joinery is beautiful!   Equipped with the optional larger Cummins 370-hp engine with only 1177-hours since new; just broken in!  The Onan 5-Kw genset has just 147-hours on the clock. 

The warm “Buff” colored Ultraleather upholstery with a neutral colored carpet look great with the teak interior.  Morning Rose is equipped with a 6-hp Side Power bow thruster, Espar forced-air diesel furnace, Reverso oil change system, Raymarine electronics, Racor fuel filtration, Statpower inverter, and Zodiac inflatable.

Call Steve Scruggs, CPYB at 206-321-2164 to arrange a private viewing of Morning Rose in her Anacortes, WA private slip. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tomco Marine building Bristol Bay fish boats

American Tug is building commercial fishing boats with La Conner Maritime

Hull #1, The Daddy O, already fishing in Alaska.

The Alaskan fishery in Bristol Bay has been very healthy in recent years.   This is a timed season where the fisherman have a limited amount of time to run into the designated area, set their nets, load the boat and get back across an imaginary line before the short season ends.  It requires a strong boat able to safely carry a large load of fish, balanced with speed to maximize the amount of time fishing.  The fisherman are now investing in new boats which are stronger and faster; Tomco Marine with La Conner Maritime are supplying these unique 32-foot vessels.

AAC 06.341. Vessel specifications and operations:
(a) No vessel registered for salmon net fishing may be more than 32 feet in overall length.
(7) "trim tabs" means an extension of the bottom of a vessel, at the transom, which is no more than 18 inches long at its longest point; "trim tabs" do not provide any increased flotation, and their sole function is to provide trim to a vessel while underway.

Tomco Marine, the builders of the American Tug series of pleasure boats have teamed with Ed Oczkewicz of La Conner Maritime to build this next generation of commercial boats.  Tomco is utilizing their tested American Tug 41 hull, shortened to just 32-feet in order to comply with Alaska's length requirement.  They have moved the transom forward and cropped the bow vertically, the hull retains its 15'10" beam.   Tomco has always built a super strong and seaworthy vessel.  The cabin house is moved forward allowing maximum working deck space.

Hull #2 just delivered by Tomco.  Note the trim tabs, allowed by Alaska for Bristol Bay.

The fiberglass hull and decks with all internal bulkheads, frames and supports are completed on the line at Tomco, then moved across the fence to La Conner Maritime for the mechanical and fishing systems to be installed.

The Lynn Senour semi-displacement planing hull form, ideal for fishing or cruising.

La Conner Maritime is marketing the boats and can fit them out for gillnetting, crabbing, long-lining or any other commercial fishery.  A variety of engines and drive systems are available.  Hull #1, The Daddy O, delivered earlier this year has a 625hp engine, small keel and prop in a tunnel for work around nets.  Hull #2 will receive a water jet drive.

Blunt nose and cabin house moved forward.  She is optimized for Bristol Bay fishing.

It is great to see two northwest companies joining forces to fill a need, and keeping their employees busy.  Contact La Conner Maritime for more information 360-466-3629.

Steve Scruggs, CPYB
Expedition Yacht Sales

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Down the Coast to the Columbia River

I just helped deliver a Camano Troll to Astoria; 275-miles of fun!

Big Sky in Friday Harbor - first light

The Straits of Juan De Fuca, the Washington Coast and the Columbia River Bar are all places that Oregon boaters are familiar with, and most Washingtonians avoid.  This can be a fun trip with proper planning and opens up a whole new crusing ground. 

When the new owner of Big Sky, a 2000 Camano Troll 31 asked me to join him on his delivery home I was quick to agree.  I really like being on the water and Chuck seemed like a good guy to hang out with for a few days.  We watched the weather pattern, tides and potential bar crossing windows and found a couple of days that looked good.  There are great resources on the internet for all of these.

Nobeltec view of the positive current, required a 4:30 am departure

We left La Conner on a Sunday afternoon with the intention of spending the first night at Friday Harbor, just 25-miles.  The first leg put us in great position for catching a huge ebb tide the next morning that would launch us towards Neah Bay, our moorage for the night.  Sunday was gorgeous and we were nearly the only boat moving through the San Juans.  Mount Baker loomed large with clear skies.  A late dinner at Herb's Tavern in Friday Harbor tasted great!

Cattle Pass at 5:30 AM - the weather looks perfect!

To catch the best currents we slipped off the dock at 4:30am and headed towards Cattle Pass, picking up 1.5-knots of positive current.  Our route would take us south through Cattle Pass and then west in the Straits of Juan De Fuca past Victoria, BC and Race Rocks, all in favorable current. The water was very smooth.  We made a southern jog to cross the shipping lanes and joined the Washington side near Pillar Point, then on to Neah Bay, WA for the night.  A 75-mile day. We ran the Volvo engine at 2,000 rpm and burned about 2-gph.  Easy cruising!

The Straits can be smooth, good planning & great luck!
Big Sky at the Neah Bay Marina.

Neah Bay remains a sleepy fishing village and home of the Makah Tribe.  It is a very good jumping off point for the next leg of the trip, the Washington Coast.  The Makah's provide good internet service on their docks which I used for watching the NOAA Marine Weather Forecast.   Good news; the weather pattern looked good for the next couple of days. 

On the ocean, if moving port to port, I prefer to be on the water early before the land warms up and draws in an onshore breeze.  We left Neah Bay at 4:30am for our longest leg of the trip, 107-miles to Westport in Grays Harbor, WA.  We had a great day on the water.  We ran a little faster, running at 2,500 rpm, 8-knots at 3-gph.  The extra speed brings the bow up a bit and stabilizes the boat in the swell & waves of the coast.

Commercial fishing on the Coast.

Remember to tip your crew!  Westport Marina entrance.

Our arrival at Westport was at about 5pm, just in time for a casual dinner.  Westport remains a friendly fishing town with both commercial and sport fishing.  They still have a couple of dozen charter boats offering day fishing trips for a little over $100 bucks. An easily navigable bar crossing in good weather and plenty of guest moorage, it is a pleasant stop over.

Westport Marina, a friendly place.

That night aboard Big Sky, I felt the boat begin to rock and could hear the wind kicking up.  I tuned the VHF to the weather channel and started listening to the changing forecast.  Chuck and I walked over to the Coast Guard station (at the marina) and talked to the crew about the weather and bar conditions.  They said "you should be able to make it" and added "when you get to the Columbia Bar, be sure to call the Coast Guard for a bar report and make sure they have not closed it", neither was the response I wanted to hear.  We decided to leave her in Wesport until the weather pattern improved. 

The summer weather pattern does tend towards favorable conditions on the ocean, and a few days later we rejoined Big Sky for the final leg to Astoria, OR.  The water was super smooth and we found the Camano very comfortable as we traveled south.  We were able to head directly towards the Columbia entrance and did not need to quarter the ocean swell or waves. 

Navionics app on a smart phone, very cool.  Big Sky moving past Long Beach.

The Columbia Bar has the reputation as "the graveyard of the Pacific" and many boats have met their match here.  You want to cross the bar on a flood tide, and preferably with small ocean swell.   Bad conditions can be found when a large outgoing current slams into big westerly waves, causing steep waves that stand up, a dangerous situation.   We found smooth water by planning to arrive on a small flood tide.
Cape Dissapointment Light House and illuminated range marker.  This is "the Bar".

Astoria, OR is just about 10-miles inside the Bar, and has good facilities for recreational boaters.  This leg of the trip was 75-miles.  We again ran at 2,500 rpm and the Camano was fun to be aboard.  This is where I finished my trip.  Chuck spent the night aboard and headed out early for his final run up river to Portland.  Big Sky is now in her new slip.  This summer he plans to go further up river towards the Hanford Reach and maybe Idaho.  It sounds like a fun summer cruise.

Chuck Thompson and his new boat Big Sky in Astoria, OR.

Thanks for inviting me along!

Steve Scruggs, CPYB
Expedition Yacht Sales

Monday, April 30, 2012

American Tug Owners "Spring Fling" 2012

Spring Fling 2012 was a great success!

Deer Harbor Marina was hopping over the past weekend with the American Tug Owners "Spring Fling".  The Fling is a casual gathering of the Tug Owners, a good chance to renew friendships and make plans for summer.

A big thanks to Rex & Susan for putting together a fun event!

The "Chicago Dogs" were fantastic!

The docks were full and everyone had a good time.

Summer will be busy with many of the boats making plans for Desolation Sound, The Broughton's and a few more will make the run to Southeast Alaska.  

Let me know if you would like to plan your own Expedition for this summer.  Call Steve anytime at 206-321-2164.