The 175-foot cargo ship, the "Coastal Ranger," is one of a fleet owned by a Seattle company, Coastal Transportation Inc. The fleet is used to deliver supplies to Alaskan fishing companies, and return to Seattle with the cargo holds filled with fish. The Coastal Ranger was one of the oldest of the fleet and with the Alaskan fishing industry not very profitable, it was not likely to be needed for shipping in the near future.
Therefore in 2001, a lease for the boat and the necessary moorage was obtained. The ship was moored at the Coastal facilities in the freshwater Lake Washington Ship Canal in the Ballard area of Seattle.
|Where Built||Vallejo, California|
|Gross Tons U.S (International)||497|
|Minimum Dock Space||200’|
|Call Sign||WAH 2153|
|Cargo Gear Type (no.)||Yard & Stay
|Cargo Gear SWL (lbs.)||7,200 normal (Ratings for 2-part falls: #1Gear 10,000 #2 Gear 10,000)|
|Rough (or Bale)Cubic Feet||34,000|
|Crab Payload||850,000 lbs.|
|Max. Payload (lbs.)||1,500,000|
|1st CTI Voyage||1/27/89|
|Former Names||YW 103 , Icy Cape, Double Star|
|Original Use||Navy yard water tanker.|
|Shaft Control||Reduction Gear|
|Refrig-eration||Freon R22, coils|
|Reefer Com-pressors||York RS 44A (2)|
|Auxillary Engine/ Generator||Caterpillar 3408/ SR4 250kw|
|Auxillary Engine/ Generator||Caterpillar 3408/SR4 250kw|
|Auxillary Engine/ Generator||Caterpillar 3304/ SR4, 105kw|
|Bow Thruster: Motor/ Drive||None|
|Oily H20 Seperator||Heli Sep, Model 500|
|Fuel Centrifuge||Westfalia, OTB 200066|
|F.O. Transfer Rate||4,200 gal./hr.|
|Fixed Fire Ext. Systems||Engine room, semi-portable 200#.|
|W.O. Cap.||250 gal.|
|Fresh H2O/ watermaker||3,500 gal. no|
|Ballast H2O Gal.||16,689|
Several years ago, Valcom Ltd., a Canadian manufacturer of fiberglass whip antennas developed a center-loaded version for AM broadcast applications. The Valcom antennas have proven use for marine applications, and it was determined that this type of antenna could be mounted on a steel hulled vessel and moored in seawater for efficient AM broadcast. The Valcom antennas have been used with a traditional radial ground systems in several locations where the conventional taller antennas could not be used.
A 74 foot Valcom antenna was tuned for 1300 kHz operation and shipped to the Ballard location. A Broadcast Electronics 2.5 kW transmitter was also shipped to the Ballard site. A Valcom steel hinge plate was welded onto the aft deck over an area that had substantial reinforcement directly below the deck plate. The plate was mounted on a 45-degree angle so the antenna could be assembled on the dock. The antenna was raised using a boom crane mounted on a truck. The boom truck normally was used to load freight onto the ships that were regularly in and out of the facility.
A standard 20 foot cargo shipping container was lifted onto the aft deck and secured to the deck using the deck retainer locks already in place for that purpose. The double doors at the end of the container were replaced with a wood wall with a door and a ventilating fan installed. The BE transmitter was installed in the container along with a rack with monitoring and remote control equipment. The ATU was installed on the container wall with a feed through for the antenna feed.
With the antenna and transmitter installed and secured, the ship was moved from the Ballard moorage through the Lake Washington Ship Canal locks to the new moorage on Elliot Bay. The necessary 220 volt shore power and telephone lines were installed providing power and communications to the boat.
A simple ATU was constructed and pretuned to the Valcom specifications by Carl T. Jones Engineering. When the transmitter was powered up, very minor tuning was required for minimum SWR
Radio station: On January 1st, 2002, KKOL, 1300 kHz, began operating from temporary facilities installed aboard the 175 foot cargo ship, the "Coastal Ranger," in Seattle’s Elliott Bay. This 1000 watt transmitter facility has been operating reliably 24x7 since. It is the only licensed broadcast station operating in the United States aboard a ship. The combination of a Valcom fiberglass whip antenna installed on the deck of this steel hulled ship and moored in seawater is providing outstanding coverage for the Seattle area.
One concern was the effect of the tide levels. Elliott Bay gets more than 16 foot tide swings from time to time. Very little or no variation in base current or field strength has been detected even at the extremes.
Another concern was the effect of wind and waves as the boat pitched and rolled. The boat is in a protected moorage, so wind and wave action is minimal. There is virtually no pitch because of the boats 175-foot length, but some minor roll, probably less than a degree or two has been observed. You can see some minor sway at the top of the whip, but no variation in signal has been observed.
KKOL AM, 1300 kHz, first went on the air in the 1920’s as KOL, one of Seattle’s first radio stations. For many years, the station’s studio and transmitter were located on Harbor Island, just south of downtown Seattle amid busy shipyards and stevedore operations. In the mid 1970’s, the station abandoned the Harbor Island studios and the historic KOL call sign. The station continued to transmit from the aging 400-foot self-supporting tower on Harbor Island. In the 1990’s, the Port of Seattle began aggressively upgrading and expanding their ship container operations on Harbor Island and needed the land occupied by the transmitter and tower facilities. In the summer of 2001, the Port came to an agreement with Salem Communications, KKOL’s owners to abandon the Harbor Island transmitter facilities by January 1st, 2002. An application was filed with the FCC for a new 50,000 Watt replacement facility about 15 miles south of the Harbor Island site.
Location: Seattle’s Elliott Bay (USA)