Fishing Report 5/14/15 Afternoon

What a better way to start off the season than a successful fishing trip?!?!?

We motored out of the marina south of Waukegan IL and set up near Great Lakes Naval Base.  Took a few minutes to set lines and and it was not before long when we had 4 fish on at once!  We stayed on a south bound troll and picked up better than half our limit, and turned back north and picked up the rest before we got back to Great Lakes.

The crew did an excellent job cranking in the fish and keeping an eye on the rods.  It was a pleasure having all of you aboard and looking forward to our summer trip and try and nail some big kings!

Coho Salmon on Bragging Board

Dave, Denny, and Rich with a limit of Coho Salmon.

Once we were back in the slip, the Captain cleaned up the fish.  Although these spring Coho Salmon don’t appear to be intimidating based on their size, but they are voracious

Fresh Coho Fillets
Fresh Coho Fillets

eaters and will continue to gain size and weight over the next few weeks.  What they lack in size right now, they make up for in deliciousness.

Thanks again fellas for making the trip up from down-state!  I look forward to having you out again.

Tight Lines!

Popeye IV is finally In!

I launched the Popeye IV today and have been busy getting her ready for the new season. It’s amazing how much work there is getting moved into a new boat and setting her up the way one wants!

It was a foggy ride from Kenosha WI, to Waukegan IL, but the seas were calm.  We took a gingerly approach to the harbor despite hearing reports of two sunken vessels.

Just a few more items to attend to and we’ll be ready to rock 2015!  Looking forward to years of good times and good fishing.

Popeye IV
Popeye IV in her slip 2015

First Fish of 2015

The Popeye IV is not in the water yet, but I was lucky enough to be invited onto another Captain’s boat for his first run of the year.   Due to a stroke of luck I just happened to be standing next to the first rod to get hit.  The First Fish cranked in was this healthy 12 pound King (Chinook) Salmon!

The rest of the trip was followed by a mixed bag of Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, and Lake Trout.  The weather was fantastic!  flat seas and reasonable temps for this time of year.

Looks like this season is off to a great start!

Capt. Bill with the first fish of the year. A 12 pound King Chinook Salmon.
Capt. Bill with the first fish of the year. A 12 pound King Chinook Salmon.


New Lettering!

I spent a day working on the hull because the lettering guy was ready to go. After removing the old letters, I prepped the surface with 600 grit wet sanding followed by 1000 grit. After several washings, I followed up with 3 passes of a heavy cut compound, then 1 pass with a medium cut. I did this on the transom and the forward areas that will receive the new lettering. I think the rest of the hull will buff out nicely with 1 pass of compounding followed by wax.

I did the lettering design myself and I am very pleased with the results and I think the read really POPS!



Woodwork Progresses

I had planned on stripping and sanding most of the woodwork this month, but I was not expecting to be able to do any staining or poly.  The warmer than average temps made it possible to make progress.  I was able to heat the inside of the boat up to the mid 60’s with a small electric heater.

Here is the port site panel.  This terribly neglected interior has been the subject of years of sun damage and leaking windows sills.  I am still unable to determine if these water stains Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Port Side Panel before sanding.are from a leaky roof, or just from the occasional water spray that gets up and over the drain gutters.    I have 3 goals for this refurbishing project; it must make the boat presentable, it must be cost effective, and it must be done by the most efficient means possible. I removed the locker doors and the solid wood trim pieces to work on in the heated shop.  This gave me the opportunity for me to test a few methods and several products before continuing with the work.  I think the end result will be a dramatic improvement without sacrificing too much time and dollars.

This panel was taken down with a random orbit sander and 120 grit paper. It took of the outer layer of grime and original stain color and left a nice clean and smooth finish.
Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Salon area woodwork sanded and cleaned.You will see some shavings on the floor because  I tried hitting the wood with a block plane.  It was working pretty good and true to hand planes, left an extremely smooth and clean surface.  But unfortunately, the wood is not straight enough and flattening it in place would remove way to much material.  I would try removing it and and taking it back to the shop, but that would take way more time than I can afford.   I have good random orbit sander with the dust collection port and if I hook it up to the shop vac, it leaves behind very little dust.  The darn thing blew a belt and the dust was making a terrible mess.

Woodwork Progresses…

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Salon area woodwork before sanding.You can really see the damage the sun has caused over the years.  There was a card table stored in this spot and most of the original mahogany color remains.  I don’t think this weed has ever been touched since it was new in 1978.

Here is the panel that was just done and ready to move onto the next.  I went with a darker stain that I would have liked; Minwax Red Mahogany. It’s very close to the original stain and it blends well with areas that are not sun bleached.

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Saloon area woodwork sanded and cleaned.The original colors in the non sun-bleached areas are a little deeper and would require a more aggressive cut. This would take more time as I would have to go over it at least twice with different grits and these side panels are veneered and I would rather leave behind as much material as possible.  It’s a nice looking color however and I am happy with it so far.  I would have liked to get a layer of poly on this, but I thought it would be best to make sure it completely dried. I might get one more chance before the next cold snap.

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Port Side Panel woodwork with mahogany stain.

2014 is a “Wrap!”

Well, 2014 is a wrap.  I seem to punish myself in that I always buy boats at the end of the season.  This Trojan F-32 Hardtop marks the third vessel under my ownership.  I am excited to get my gear loaded and sort out all of the issues and get her in the water, but instead I am spendingbonnie2 the day getting it wrapped up for snow and ice.   There is a window of time in the winter that I can take care of a few inside projects if the weather is not too bad, but unfortunately, most of this work will have to wait until the spring.  I will be happy if I can get in there  to replace the carpeting in the salon and lay down a new floor in the galley area and perhaps get some sanding done on the teak work. Varnishing is probably out ofIMAG0810 the question until the weather is warm enough to allow it to cure properly.  I am not sure I want to be in there with a cover on with an open can of solvents!

I probably could remove the teak door panels in the salon, take them home to varnish them, and them put them back on. I am also considering installing some of the electronics that I will be bringing over from the the other boat.  I have new LED light fixtures to replace the overheads to install and I can work on how I am going to store all of my fishing gear.  The helm chair needs attention.  I bought a new seat, but the post is a bit ratty.  I think I can clean it up, but I would like to see what other options are available, such as a quick-release seat post.


I am looking forward to 2015 already!  So much to do, and so little time to do it.  Then it’s the mad rush to get it all done when the weather breaks and the fish bite. bonnie-04My plan is to get those covers taken off sometime in March, and the earlier the better.  Then I need to get to work on the punch-list items that are required before she splashes…  That consists of some rubbing compound on the hull, re-lettering the vessel, transducers for the fish graph, and some rub-rail repair.  Pretty much most of the rest can wait until she is in the water.  Nonetheless, I would like to have her ready to accept customers and ready to fish by April 15.



Look what I found!

I was rummaging through a bin of stuff I brought home from my new-to-me F32 and found this! I was impressed to see some of the factory documentation hand written. You sure

Trojan Yachts Original User Manual
Trojan Yachts Original User Manual

don’t see that anymore. The manual looks just about complete; there are a few electrical schematics in the back. I would like to give them another look to see if I can get a better idea of how things are connected. Nothing about plumbing however, but there is a list of where all the sea-cocks are located. Of course after 37 years and 2 or more previous owners, who knows how much is left in tact?

There is a lightweight Chrysler manual on there as well.

I have an older survey document that said the motors were 318’s, but my USCG Document has the motors at 250HP. I was originally disappointed that this vessel did not come with the 360’s but I was impressed that the 318 pumped out 250 horses when my Slickcraft’s 302’s were rated at 215. But this document confirms that she does indeed have the 360’s. She wont be a rocket, but she should move pretty good especially given that this is a hard-top sedan (no fly bridge)

Just look at this sunrise…

Sunrise on Lake Michigan
Sunrise on Lake Michigan

Just look at this sunrise!  This is by far, the best part of my job. Not every person can go to work every day and have scenery like this.  Of course, the down side to seeing the sun rise every morning is having to wake up well before the sun does.  But it’s a trade-off worth making.

Although the fishing has been a little slow lately, the weather has been cooperating .  It’s starting to warm up a bit which is a nice relief after the winter and very late spring we experienced.

We’ll keep the rods in the water and the boat a-float and get on top of these fish…  Now it’s about time I wake up and get to work!

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work…

Sunrise over Lake Michigan
Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Whoever said “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” was dead on right!

It’s nearing the end of the 2013 season and fishing continues to be slower than average.  The weather was predicted to be horrendous this weekend so we did not book any trips.  But Mother Nature and the weather Gods gave us a break for a few hours and the Popeye III launched out of Waukegan Harbor, IL. for a quick morning trip.

The bite was not on, but we managed to put one nice Brown Trout into the cooler.  We had a monster on the hook; probably a mature Chinook, but it went sideways when we were just about to net it and it tangled with the rest of the gear and got cut off.  We took a few more hits on other gear but we could not managed to get them hooked up.

It was still fun to get together with some friends and fellow captains and mates for a little “Fun Fishing” trip and nothing beats a nice boat ride. There are only a few more possibilities for fishing trips before it is all over…