Moving Day – The ‘Sunbeam’ Limitless Nooks and Crannies

Moving Day – The ‘Sunbeam’ Limitless Nooks and Crannies

Moving day in the ‘Sunbeam’ salon.

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — Anyone who has ever experienced the bliss of packing for a move from one house or apartment to another will understand this short email message from Sunbeam V Captain Mike Johnson:

“Decommissioning has commenced.  Boats always amaze me with their limitless nooks and crannies.”

Except for items needed for the run to Front Street Shipyard from Northeast Harbor, this first decommissioning of the Sunbeam means removing everything else accumulated on the boat over the last 25 years.


Seacoast Mission Chooses Front Street Shipyard for ‘Sunbeam V’ Refit

Seacoast Mission Chooses Front Street Shipyard for ‘Sunbeam V’ Refit

Capt. Michael Johnson in the Sunbeam V wheelhouse. Click the image to see Capt. Johnson’s video.

BAR HARBOR, ME — The Maine Seacoast Mission has decided on Front Street Shipyard of Belfast, ME to complete the midlife refurbishment of the Mission’s 74-foot boat, Sunbeam V. Captain Michael Johnson expects the boat will be at Front Street Shipyard next month for the extensive refit.

Capt. Mike Johnson said, “The Sunbeam’s last trip ends April 25th. Then there’s a week to ten day decommissioning period for the boat in Northeast Harbor. In early May the boat will go down to Front Street Shipyard and have an additional decommissioning. Some of Front Street Shipyard’s work can be done while the boat’s in the water. It’s probably going to be hauled, taken out of the water in mid-May,” Capt. Johnson said.

Capt. Johnson said in his YouTube video explaining the Sunbeam refit, “The thesis of the refit work is basically to gain access to the below deck areas. Steel boats rust from the inside out. A lot of those areas are difficult to access.

“There’s no major hull degradation. But we need to address it now before there is,” Johnson said. “We have to rip out the entire accommodations section of the boat, sand blast the steel, and paint two coats of marine epoxy on the internal sections. Every nook and cranny. Unless you rip out the entire downstairs area you’re going to miss something, and that’s going to haunt you for years.”

When the Sunbeam’s insides are removed, Johnson explained, “it’s also a great opportunity to cosmetically upgrade the boat.” He said it “is a perfect chance to update” all of the Sunbeam “dated equipment and dated cosmetics.” That work includes the Sunbeam wheelhouse, bunk houses, galley, and salon, all of which are shown in detail in the Sunbeam Captain’s YouTube video.

“The boat’s fundamentally sound and serves us well,” said Johnson. The refitting “is the best choice going forward to get another 15, 20 to 25 years out of the Sunbeam,” he said. “We’re hoping to have the boat back in service by Christmas.”

Front Street Shipyard President and General Manager JB Turner said, “Our entire team at Front Street Shipyard is eager to begin working with Maine Seacoast Mission on the comprehensive refit of Sunbeam V. The vessel has had a critical role in the health and well-being of Maine island communities for almost a quarter century, and we’re honored to contribute to that ongoing mission through this refit. Having the opportunity to update and upgrade the capabilities of Sunbeam V will have a direct benefit to our fellow Mainers, which makes us all proud,” Turner said.

Capt. Mike Johnson will oversee the Sunbeam V refit. Meanwhile, Sunbeam Engineer Storey King will captain the Mission’s interim boat, Moonbeam, so Sunbeam crew members Sharon Daley, Douglas Cornman, and Jillian can continue their work as Island Health Director, Island Outreach Director, and Steward in the Sunbeam V’s absence.

Captain Michael Johnson’s “Sunbeam Refit Explained” video is available on the Mission’s YouTube channel here.

Mission Boat to Undergo Overhaul

Mission Boat to Undergo Overhaul

The Sunbeam V in Northeast Harbor, ME
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 15:54
Mission boat to undergo overhaul
Written by Devin Martin

BAR HARBOR – The Maine Seacoast Mission uses a boat to connect to a number of islands Downeast. That boat is about to get a complete renovation.

Based out of Bar Harbor, the mission has been serving the people of the Downeast islands for more than 100 hundred years.

But for the last 24 years, the mission has been using a boat named the Sunbeam V to get to people who live on some of the remote islands in the bay.

“The boat was a ministry, it was to take a pastor around to the outer islands. It has slowly morphed beyond that. We now do medical services on the boat and we also have a social component,” Capt. Mike Johnson said.

[T]he Sunbeam V is due for some repairs….

“All steel boats, they rust from the inside out,” Johnson said. “So if you take good very good care of the exterior of the boat, there’s still insidious little corrosion that’s starting so we’re getting little surface corrosion on the inside. So what that means is that we need to gut the entire interior of the boat.”

Those repairs will take about seven months to complete.

Full story

New Radar for Sunbeam V

New Radar for Sunbeam V

Photo by Captain Michael Johnson

NORTHEAST HARBOR, Me — This is a photo of the Sunbeam V bridge. Our complement of electronic navigation equipment includes the following:

1) A chart plotter which presents a digitized copy of a marine chart into which our GPS location is inputted and plotted.

2) A depth sounder which shows the depth of the water beneath our keel and gives a general contour of bottom characteristics.

3) A primary radar (radar#1) which is a large commercial grade radar that presents surrounding “targets” on a large screen allowing for safe navigation in low visibility conditions such as fog and/or darkness.

4) A second smaller radar (radar#2) which is partially for redundancy and as a short range unit to keep track of “targets” that are difficult to discern on the larger radar.

Radar #2 is the piece of equipment that I am replacing.

It is over 10 years old. Radar technology has improved tremendously. Do you own a flat panel t.v.? Think of how much LCD screen technology has imrpoved.

The resolution of the older radar screen is marginal and can cause distortion of smaller targets such as boats and bouys. A newer unit is much more crisp, with a zoom feature allowing the user to focus on a particular area of interest.

The other big improvement is advancement of what we call “hybrid” units that combine a chart plotter with a radar. This gives the user a feature called overlay that can project the radar image on top of the navigational chart. This can clear up a lot of doubt about radar targets without measuring the distance and range manually to determine if a target is say, a boat or a navigational aid.

Another plus of the new unit is Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology. AIS is essentially the marine equivalent of an airplane transponder which broadcasts ship information for other captains to use. The Sunbeam V’s position will be presented on a screen of other similarly equipped ships, and their information will be presented on our new unit.

Michael Johnson
Captain, Sunbeam V

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