Daily Lives of Collectors: Challenges - Boats

The condition of the boats, their maintenance, how easily they started and ran, were constantly monitored  by the crew. The Nereis gave David Graham quite the scare on March 16, 1964, which he recounted in his log: “The Nereis overheated badly this morning when I gave her a warm-up at the dock. I came back after about 20 minutes and smoke was pouring out of the hatch as if she were on fire. I shut off the ignition but she kept on dieseling. Finally I stopped the engine by jamming her in reverse. The temperature gauge went right off the dial at 225 degrees. It turned out that the boat was pushed against the bumper right where the pump outlets are on the port side. The pressure popped the hose on the engine and then it pumped into the bilge and overheated. Chief fixed the hose and apparently the engine isn’t harmed. It would kill me if the engine got damaged! Nereis is currently the only able vessel.”

Just a month later that same year, the Sagitta had some trouble. Graham wrote “The Sagitta caught on fire today in the boat shed. Either the hot exhaust or a short burned the flammable insulation which ignited the engine cover. We had quite a time pulling her out of the shed in the dense smoke. A CO2 extinguisher worked quite effectively. Two fire trucks came to the scene and many curious people. No damage done to the hull.”