Rats Nest

After Action Report

Work Party

February 22, 2014

Rats Nest – Chehalis, Wa.

Ahoy Brother Rats-

As some of you know, I had come down to a very serious cold / crud and not able to attend the work party.  The following report came from Stephen Morrison who kindly took charge of the work details and ongoing efforts ( Thank You Stephen-well done) :

Report on actions and projects undertaken during the February 22, 2014 work party.

We met for breakfast at the Kit Carson Restaurant in Chehalis at 0800.  In attendance were the following River Rats:

Dave Perry, Steve Sumrall, Bob Cook, Larry Bissonnette, Alan Stephens, Jamie Welsh, Al Johnson, Darrell Doke, Bern Smith, Sully Sullivan and myself.  Jerry Patterson was waiting for us at the RN.  We got to the RN about 0915 and went over the work projects.

The jobs and their status follows:

1.     Install head light on truck.   Work done by Jerry Patterson and Bob Cook.  Job complete

2.     Remove skid plate and fifth wheel from truck.  Work performed by Darrell Doke and Jamie Welsh.  Job complete

3.     Measure up and design bed for truck.  Darrell Doke.  Design and materials passed to Stephen Morrison

4.     Prepare Pumps for paint and prime with first coat of primer.  Sully Sullivan and Bob Cook.  Job complete

Will finish painting before next work party

5.     Clean out refuse from engine compartment bilge.  Al Johnson and Jerry Patterson.  Job complete

6.     Repair RN door and install dead bolt.  Steve Sumrall  Job complete.  Steve also furnished burritos for the crew.

7.     Prep small trailer for paint and continue fabricating modifications to trailer tongue.  Dave Perry  Job in process.

Will plan for completion next work party.

8.     Install raw water sea cocks.  Work performed by Alan Stephens and Jerry Patterson  Work 90 % complete.

Will finish next work party.

9.     Measured up awning frame support and discovered entire awning has been bent.  Al Johnson and Darrell Doke.

Will straighten and install awning next work party.

10.   Installed bilge uptake screen in engine compartment bilge.  Al Johnson

11.   Inventory ships store materials and sold a few items.  Larry Bissonnette  Job complete

Thank You all for your attendance and efforts.  I know that the work we do is important to our lives and will I believe recognized by future generations.  You guys are the best in my book, always have been and always will be.


Next Work Party SATURDAY, MARCH 22nd……there will be hot food.  Thank You again Steve Sumrall for providing burritos for the gang.

  • I want to encourage all those who are going to attend our reunion to sign up for your rooms:  July 30th thru Aug. 2nd

Hawthorn Suites / Kent Wa.   253-395-3800   Single Room $89 plus tax, Two Bedroom $105 plus tax / day.

Your room includes a very good Breakfast Every day and Evening Dinner on Wednesday and Thursday.

We need volunteers to work during the reunion.  One of the areas is the Op-Boat Rides.  If you wish to be on the boat a part of the crew while we have it in the water we need your support in taking a coarse that Heinz is setting up on the NW Web.  Completing the coarse will help to make everyone’s boating experience safer.  This is mandatory to becoming a part of the Boat Crew.

    • To take the coarse you need to contact either myself 253-670-1657 or Heinz 360-275-5663 for your password.

As some of you know who were in attendance this last weekend, we had a large electrical bill.  I want to recognize Dave Perry for stepping up and supporting the payment of that bill.  It was as always unexpected events that show our true mettle about our commitment.  Many of you thru our times together have stepped up and given of your time / energy’s / service, money and much valued equipment and talents.  You will not be forgotten by our organization.  Letters of thanks and IRS statements are not your motivation.

I have heard said that what makes a volunteer so valuable is that “They have the heart of a Lions”.   To me you have all of that and more …the spirit of being “Brother Rats”…what a Rat Pack you are indeed. BZ

Thanks to all, carry on.

BB out

Greetings River Rats

This is going to be a little longer AAR than usual as it covers two events, the work party on Nov, 2nd and the Auburn Veterans Day Parade this past Saturday.

November 2nd Work Party

The work party was very well attended and all hands got right to it.  The boats were surveyed for areas that needed paint.  These areas were prepped as was the mast and radar dome.  A gallon of the very expensive two part paint was broken down into quart size containers and the painting completed.  The pump nozzles freshly back from the powder coaters were assembled by Joe Mettler and Wayne Palmer and temporarily bolted in place for the parade.  The thru hull bolt holes for both sea cocks were plugged with Dura Glass and the backing plates (provided by Jamie Welsh) were installed in the bilge using resin.  Once the glassed and resined areas were cured the overhauled sea cocks were installed.   Still to do in that department is the replacement of the rusted steel hangers that support the sea strainers with hangers made of stainless steel.  The shimmed pumps, (one dead on at 10 thousandths and the other slightly out at 13 thousandths  but to bring it into dead on would require pulling the impeller and truing it on a lathe are ready for paint and reinstallation.   Dave Perry is in the process of modifying the trailer so we will have an electric start five KW generator, compliments of Jerry Patterson, mounted on the tongue, new wiring, new paint and the interior built to accommodate our displays, ship’s store and access tent.   Bob Brower and Bill Ringlbauer worked on the J boat and the day culminated with the moving of the J boat into the big bay in preparation for the move on Saturday, November 9th and the Auburn Parade.  Last but not least we finished with a great crock pot feed.

 During the feast the results of the election were announced:  Bob Brower will be the new President.  The new VP will be Steve Sumrall and the new Treasurer was to be Gary Smith but he has decided he would not accept the position.  In his place Jerry Popovice has stood up and will take the job.  Thanks Jerry!   The new officers will assume their duties on January 1st 2014.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade

Saturday Nov, 9th started early for the drivers who were in Chehalis at the Rat’s Nest by 0700.  The trip to Auburn of about 60 miles went without incident.  The day was foggy in places but no rain was expected although it was pretty chilly.  We had a fair turnout of River Rats and both boats looked great.  The parade began with a fly-over by a Huey, slow in one direction and then smoking in the reverse.  Wow!  You never forget that sound.  The crowd was enthusiastic, most rising to their feet when we passed by and you got the feeling it was great to be an American.  Our parade number was 105 of more than 200 entries so there was much of the parade still to go by the time we finished.  Upon completion of the route we off-loaded our folks and the boats were returned to their home at the Rats Nest and further restoration.

The next work party will be on November 30th.  We will meet at the Kit Carson Restaurant at 8:00 and plan to be at the Nest at 0900.  This work party will work on the installation of the pumps, steering and bucket controls and nozzles.   We are especially looking for enginemen but anyone with some enthusiasm will do. With the completion of these items we can turn our attention to the electrical system, alternators, lights, instruments and the few remaining items concerning the hull; specifically the improper repair of the areas that were cored in the foredeck to determine the extent of any rot that might have crept into the balsa.  The repair was done so poorly that it has guaranteed there will be some now.  We also have two soft spots in front of the Chief’s Quarters and a small area around the Coxswains Flat.  The bracing of the Coxswain’s Flat splinter shields and the reconstruction of the port and starboard lockers will pretty much finish the restoration and is something that will take us most of the winter to accomplish.

Before I sign off I want to recognize Rod Morgan (aka Weasel) for his contribution to the boat in the form of both funds, time and a world of experience.  Rod took time out of the middle of his vacation and away from his wonderful wife Linda to work on the boat, rewiring the bilge pumps, buying new floats, cleaning the bilges, (a miserable job under the best of circumstances) and, in general, doing whatever it took.  THANK YOU!

All for now.

God Bless America

Stephen B. Morrison

President, Northwest Chapter

Gamewardens Association Inc.

(Vietnam to Present)

253-588-8585  (H)

253-906-6900  (C)

working Parties at the Ratt’s Nest. The Ratt’s Nest is the home of our PBR’s, a work shop and Club house.  The operational PBR is getting a major overhaul, all in preparation for next years  operations. We want it in perfect shape for the National reunion 31 July to 2 August 2014.


Some of the workers and some of the work they have done.

Below is the gate assembly before and after pictures. everything on the boat is a major project but we have the team to get done and done right.





The pumps have been completely overhauled and now have to be cleaned up and put back into the PBR.


Members are working yp on the boat and on the shop floor. Everyone has a job to do.



We also have a break for lunch and a chance to tell sea stories.