Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dinghy Deck Core Sample

"Ever wonder what the O2 deck is made of? Two layers of three eights inch fiberglass sandwiched on a 1 inch piece of foam."  -- Kenny Bishop, Highland Mary 37VT17

Kenny Bishop is installing a cable chase inside Highland Mary's smoke stack.

This penetration has historically been an LNVT trouble spot as it can allow water to leak below deck and into the galley headliner.  Kenny's solution is two-fold: seal a PVC fitting to the deck and elevate the fitting above the deck.  

LNVT Bulkhead Plywood

Ever wonder what the 37's bulkheads are made?   Pictured above is the plywood's cross section.  

Jack Robert 37VT17's Loop Tales

The following was posted a few days ago on Jack Robert's cruising blog.
Thursday,February 6, 2020. Today was not a good day. But before I continue…for those of you who like to go right to the pictures in our blog, let me assure you no people were hurt. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Jack Robert.
We were enjoying our coffee and discussing the imminent weather system when bang! The boat was violently shoved toward the dock and we were nearly knocked out of our chairs. We ran out on deck and were horrified to see a large boat crosswise in the fairway with its bowsprit firmly imbedded in our port wheelhouse door. Dee immediately grabbed her phone and started taking pictures while Lee worked to dislodge the boat.

Apparently he decided this windy day was a good time to test his two new transmissions. Bad choice.
Lee worked to swing the boat away from Jack Robert to prevent further damage.
The door is solid teak and was shattered by the impact.
This gives an idea as to the extent of the damage.

No one was hurt, but this is an example of what can happen when a poor choice is made without considering the possible consequences. We had winds of 20 miles per hour in the marina in very tight quarters. The transmissions were not tested at the dock before the driver decided to go out for a sea trial, and he obviously did not have control of his boat.
So, what does this mean for us? We will not be able to leave for South Florida as planned. We need to find someone who has the time and expertise to repair the damage, and we need to trust the owner of the boat to stick to his word that he will "make things right". This will get fixed and we will be fine. But for now we will allow ourselves a little time to be angry and sick at heart.
It only takes a moment for things to go very wrong. Please think before you act.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thoughts on Bilge Keels (aka Roll Chocks)

Here are the bilge keel drawings John Niccolls commissioned for Knock Off 37VT66.  

A red-lined drawing (i.e. after the fact) would show that Knock Off's bilge keels were installed farther underwater and the forward, aft and distal ends are square, i.e. don't have a parabolic taper.

John Mackie, John William 37VT68 is considering bilge keels and his research has uncovered the following.  Concave surfaces on both the top and bottom faces of the bilge keel increase roll resistance (as compared to a flat plate).  

Putting holes through the keel will also increase roll resistance.  The idea here is that, with properly sized holes, the drag of the water through the length of the hole is greater than the decreased drag because of the hole's presence.

Disrupting the flow at the bilge keel's distal end will also increase roll resistance.
Of the two shapes above it would be interesting to know which is more effective.  Certainly increasing the size of the plate, up to an extent, will increase roll resistance.

  John Mackie points out that from a one-off, manufacturing perspective,  the concave plate with a flat, metal plate on the distal end is easier to make when using glass mat, foam and Marine plywood.

  When I last spoke to John M he hoped to make  concave keels.  The approach will be to sandwich foam around Marine plywood.
The inner layer is ~1" thick plywood while the two outer layers are foam.  The whole thing will be encapsulated in fiberglass.  

  I hope we can keep this conversation going.  There's a lot to be learned and I know some tugs that are available as Guinea pigs ;-)

  Take care, Dave

Sunday, January 19, 2020

News from Miss Willoughby 37VT05

Quick brag for Beau Hicks Miss Willoughby 37VT05:
Above is a picture of him running a tug job as first mate down in Fort Lauderdale. Congratulations on the new position Beau.

And, from Mariah Hicks (Facebook Page):

"Miss Willoughby 37VT05 is officially grubbed. It's happening. IT'S FINALLY HERE!
Beau Hicks & I are leaving early in the morning from Rebel Marina in
Norfolk to head South! Woohoo!!"

Tug Spotting

Take your tug to lunch ~ Titan 37VT31
cruised from Sanford to Astor on the St John River, Florida. She and her crew spent
the night and had dinner at the Blackwater Inn.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Weather and Sea State Info...

Dee and Lee Anderson, Jack Robert 37VT17, life long "river rats," who just cruised from Minnesota to Mobile, are on the cusp of their first blue water cruise.  Below is a copy of the note I sent them after they asked for advice on weather window timing.

Nellie D. 37VT63's go to site for weather information is Over the last thirteen years, from Alaska to the Bahamas and on the Great Loop, it kept us out of trouble.

Passage Weather offers all sorts of data but the most important thing for a comfortable trip is the sea state--the graphic titled "Wave Height (m) and direction".

Waves less than 0.5m mean you'll get a very, very comfortable ride.

The chart above predicts perfect big bend weather tommow at 3 UTC, or +4 hrs for CST equals 7am your time. The predominate wave pattern, what little there is of it, is mostly from the southeast or east.

By mousing on the "next" button a bunch of times you can watch what the sea state does over time. In this case the weather window closes fast. By Friday at 4 pm you'd have beam seas up to six feet.

In closing, if you foray out in seas of 0.5m or less, that are predicted to stay that way for more than the duration of your trip, you'll be happy campers.

Dave Howell
Nellie D. 37VT63

Tuggers Article -- In the Details: Teak Decks

Tommy Chen and Loren Hart pose by Burmese teak that will be milled and used to build Lord Nelsons.

Our tugs are fortunate to be gilded with teak.  This functional, stable, beautiful and now incredibly expensive wood has been used aboard for centuries.   

Deck cross section.

Here's a cross section view of an LNVT'S teak deck.  A close examination reveals some interesting things.  First, the majority of the caulk joint doesn't penetrate all the way through to the underlying fiberglass, but rather rides in a 1/4" square groove.  Second, the boards weren't pressed tightly together but rather were spaced 1/32" apart.  Third, the black polysulfide caulk was applied into the joint under pressure as the caulk also filled the 1/32" gap between the boards.  Forth, the deck boards were quarter sawn (the grain of the wood is perpendicular to the width of the board).  Fifth, the teak deck is not a structural part of the boat.  Its primary purpose is to act as a non-skid surface.  

Growth rings are perpendicular to the board's face in quarter sawn teak.  Note the difference in width between winter and summer growth rings.

Side note: Have you ever wondered why some teak boards wear unevenly and become runneled?  Teak trees grow year round.  As such they have both winter and summer growth rings.  Summer growth rings are generally wider and a little softer--meaning they'll erode quicker. In quarter sawn teak, the alternating hard and soft rings run the length of the board.  The runneled look along a board's length is simply the result of erosion in the softer wood.  This also explains why teak should never be scrubbed along its grain.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

LNVT Model for Sale

Here are a few pictures of the finished Lord Nelson. It may also be useful to a boat broker as a gift or to a buyer of the real yacht. I think a fair price would be $350 which is $100 over the price of the model. 

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Gene Callahan

Monday, October 28, 2019

Fram 37VT71 goes to Newfoundland

Fram made it to Newfoundland for two weeks in September.  Plan now for  Fram is to cruise back to Belfast, Maine in June 2020.  Labrador and even more distant Greenland loom out there, beyond Newfoundland, but we probably will resist. 

We discovered the new PredictWind app this past season, and it is now my trusty tool for cruise planning.  It gives you about 1-2 days of predicted wave height and direction   Used it to decide when to make the 92 nm crossing from Cape Breton to Newfoundland.  

Roger Lee
Fram 37VT71

Jack Robert 37VT17 In the News

Surprising Connections: Travelers Dee and Lee Anderson Make Historical
Connection While Visiting Muscatine

By Margaret Stadtwald (Muscatine Journal)

In April of this year, Dee and Lee Anderson, retired and started making
plans to sail the length of the Mighty Mississippi. Boaters since the
1980s, the couple arranged to travel down the river starting from their
home port near Lake City, Minnesota, on their Lord Nelson Victory Tug, the
Jack Robert (which they named for their fathers).

As the Andersons traveled down the river, they learned that Lock and Dam
Seventeen had closed on October 13th due to flooding. Looking for a place
to stay while they waited for the water to recede, they discovered the
Muscatine Marina and chose to harbor there. Though not listed in their
travel literature, they found the marina the perfect place to dock. "This
is a great little Marina with great access to the waterfront," stated Lee.

Since the two had plenty of time to explore Muscatine, the Andersons went
into downtown to see some of the sights. Of particular interest, they
visited the National Pearl Button Museum @ History and Industry Center,
where Museum Director Terry Eagle gave them a guided tour.

While learning about the pearl button industry in Muscatine, the Andersons
discovered a surprising connection to their hometown. Back in Lake City,
the pair had seen the Lake Pepin Pearl Button Company (now an antique store
with some historical displays). They assumed it had created buttons
locally, but never investigated it. However, through their talk with Eagle,
they learned that the factory actually harvested clams locally and cut out
blanks, which they shipped down the river to Muscatine for finishing. Both
Dee and Lee felt amazed to find this link with their home, as well as the
larger history it contributed to. As Lee put it, "This town has a great
history . . .. It's as big as the gold rush!"

Along with diving into Muscatine's history, the Andersons also had several
chances to check on Muscatine's restaurant scene. The two met Mike "Boonie"
Kleist who treated them to dinner at his son's new establishment, Skinny's
Barbeque, as well as drinks at Wine Nutz on their back porch, which Lee
described as having a view worthy of a post card picture. Always looking to
try something new, the Andersons have also gotten meals from Boonie's
itself, as well as Elly's Tea and Coffee and Mamma Mia, an Italian restaurant.

Though the Anderson's never dreamed of stopping in Muscatine, their
unexpected trip has proved a truly enjoyable outing for them. "This is a
wonderful town," said Dee. "The . . . people are so welcoming and anxious
to help."

While their visit came to an end at the end of last week when the flood
waters receded, the Andersons will never forget their stop in Muscatine. As
they continue down the river, they look forward to running into more new


Tug Spotting 49VT08

From: Randy Miller, Hiaqua 37VT03

Tug sighting Aug 8, in the Octopus Islands, BC by Hiaqua. Marcus Clark on
Manito 49VT08,
Vancouver, BC.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Midwest Rendezvous Day 2

Today's lessons were:

1. How to splice your anchor line to prevent the loss of your very expensive anchor (sorry, no pictures).
2. How to quickly drop your dinghy and get it started so you can retrieve your errant umbrella before it sinks.
3. How to get your dinghy line back on the track of the Davits so you can raise it in 35 minutes or less.

Due to scheduling issues the Tug Talk titled Napping on Your Tug" has been postponed to a later date.

The bar is now open.

2019 Midwest Rendezvous

Greetings from Prescott. Tonight's meal will be hosted by Arvilla and Joe.  Tomorrow's Tug Talk topic is titled "Napping on a Tugboat".  😉

Lee Anderson