Friday, August 3, 2018

Tug Spotting

Lord Nelson 37VT70 spotted in the Netherlands
[photo provided by owner
Peter van Dommelen]

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Closer Look at the Rudder Post Cutless Bearing

I've been wondering why there's a cutless bearing, or what at first glance appears to be a cutless bearing, in the rudder post.  Perhaps the yard's purpose wasn't additional support, but rather to aid in the installation of the rudder post tube.  Specifically, they wanted to keep the post centered, within the post tube, while the post tube was being fiberglassed into the hull.  Here's a picture of an installed post tube.  It's 7" long (1" of that protrudes outside the hull), with a 2" ID and 2-1/2" OD).  

The Fiberglass Post Tube Penetrates the Hull and is Fiberglassed Into it.  A 7-1/2" x 2-1/2" Hose (Not Shown) Connects the Post Tube to the Packing Gland.   The Metal Retainer, Seen above the Post Tube, Keeps the Lower Part of the Packing Gland From Moving When the Upper Part of the Gland is being Tightened.

I imagine the yard installed the rudder posts something like this.  Drill a hole in the shoe and install the gudgeon.

The Shoe's Gudgeon (or Lower Rudder Post Bearing)

Next, mount the rudder post's upper bearing in the lazarette.  

The Upper Rudder Post Bearing

Next, drill a 2" hole through the hull on a line between the upper and lower bearings.  

Next, slide a 1-3/4" rudder post through the upper bearing and then through the hole in the hull.  Before seating the post into the gudgeon, slide the post tube onto the post.  Push the post tube against the hull and draw a line on the hull at the intersection of the post tube and hull.

Remove the rudder post and cut along the line on the hull.  Now, finally, install the rudder post and post tube again.  Slide all but 1" of the rudder tube into the hull and fiberglass it into to the hull.  And there you have it, a perfectly aligned rudder post and rudder post tube.

A Piece of Rubber Emerging from the Rudder Tube

In conclusion:  The rubber that we've seen coming out of the post tube for years isn't part of a cutless bearing.  The rubber was there to make sure that there was a tight fit between the rudder post and the rudder tube during construction.  Once the fiberglass had set the rubber was superfluous.

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Maritime Links

A very interesting website with links to all things nautical:

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Champlain Rendezvous

Little Bitt, Nellie D., Callisto and Fram

The tugs have arrived in Burlington, Vermont!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tug Spotting: Carla B. 37VT05 and Nellie D. 37VT63

A mini rendezvous on the Erie Canal at the Schenectady Yacht Club, NY with Carla B 37VT05 and Nellie D. 37VT63

Tug spotting: Fun 37VT75

Peter Reich forwarded these pictures of Fun which was spotted today in Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island, NY.  She's looking good!

Engine Room Ventilation

I have so much enjoyed the blog and seeing what other folks do to improve their tugs, so I thought I would take a little time to tell you what I have been messing with on Thistle 37VT47.

A couple years ago I decided that the engine room lacked enough ventilation for proper cooling and air for the engine.  I installed an inline 3" blower.  It was kind of noisy with a high pitch whine.  But, it seemed to help, maybe 10 degrees or so, but this is hard to measure.

I also didn't like the fumes from my Cummins 4BT3.9-M 150HP crankcase just floating around in the engine room making everything a little oily. The cure for that was a 3 or 4 hundred dollar breather cap device.

My inverter/charger was starting to complain about the temperature.  Its manufacturer wants it in an area with lots of ventilation and a maximum temperature of 104 degrees.  That must be a misprint or else they are not made to be used in Virginia.

Seems we are getting a little older or maybe just spoiled but I ran the 8KW generator a lot this summer so we could have air conditioning. Wow, does it get toasty in the engine room with everything running. There was really no other place to install the inverter/charger and so here is my solution to the problem.

They were promoting a blower for engine rooms at the boat show (Sea Flow SFBB1-130-01) that was super quiet, with a 4 yr. warranty and made for continuous operation. I installed one on the port side blowing out and one on the starboard side blowing in. Based on engine room size and the blowers rated output, theoretically they change the air once per minute.  I aimed the discharge from the blowing in air blower straight at the inverter/charger to help with the high temperature issue.

A close look at the blower sending the warm air out will show a ¾ inch plastic tube that is an extension of the crankcase breather tube. This is placed near the intake of the air out blower. I find a little oily residue on the outside of the boat at the 3" round vent, so we know it's working. The in and out vents are new and none of the original vents are changed in anyway.

Ed McChain, Thistle 37VT

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tug Spotting: Callisto 37VT19

Callisto, with Keefer and Bill Irwin aboard, is spotted on Lake Champlain heading towards Burlington, VT

Teddy Bear Gets an Update

From: Peter S. Reich, MAC <>
Date: June 27, 2018 14:29:35
Subject: Before and After

Only took 33 years to do this!

Peter S. Reich, MAC
⚓️ 631-749-0138 ⚓️

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Dan Reich Cruises On

From Peter Reich:

Got a coat on the cap rail yesterday. Very special formula. 60% Epiphanes,40% Gleam, 1 teaspoon Dan's ashes.

Tug Spotting

Thistle 37VT46 and Victory 37VT02 get together at Bob Allnutt's dock in St Mary's, Maryland.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hiaqua in Coffman Cove, AK

From Randy Miller, Hiaqua 37VT03:  

Amazing sunset at 9:30 in small, non-native fishing community, pop 200. We spent the evening in their tiny bar  the local favorite drink:  Duck Farts (a shot of Crown Royal, splash of Kahula & Baileys). Yum!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

37' LNVT Bulwark thicknesses

Repairing the Caprail Trim Board

With the hawsepipe out and that caprail trim board removed I considered it a good time to grab my calipers and gather some data.

Measuring the Bulwark Thickness

[These numbers will help] if someone wants to use that caprail trim board for pad eyes to support fenders.

Hawsepipe and Bulwark Measurements

The tape on the left recorded the thickness of the hawsepipe insertion point.  The vertical center tape recorded those thicknesses where the inner bulwark is recessed.  The vertical tape on the left held the readings for the full thickness bulwark.

The hollow cavity behind the trim board is one inch deep.

There is little strength there and should one want to tap into the fiberglass it would provide the distance needed and with it should go a caution of not to go too deep as one will soon come out the inner edge of the bulwark.

That is the way Thistle Dew was set up and that is what lead to the breaks in that piece when fenders would get fouled around a piling, ladder, etc.

I intend to abandon that technique and go to a couple of fender clips. If they don't fall overboard and become completely lost, they should give me more flexibility in setting the fenders and also eliminate the possibility of another fracture.

Tom Blackwood
Thistle Dew, 37VT46

Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 East Coast Rendezvous

Fram 37VT71 just arrived in Burlington, VT to attend the 2018 Rendezvous.
Roger Lee and his crew may be a month early, but they'll be there. How
about you? Check out the planned events and all details for the 20-22 July
rendezvous at:

Hope to see you there!

Tug spotting

Salty Paws 37VT66 is in Shelter Island NY on a Teddy Bear's 37VT15 mooring.
That's Bob Ewing being greeted by Peter Reich. It sure is a wonderful
thing to see Peter as he has been quite ill this past year.