Sunday, September 24, 2017

Salon Upgrade

From Randy Miller, Hiaqua 37VT03

New carpets and upholstery were just installed in the wheel house and salon. Salon upholstery includes a new "L" shaped settee along the aft wall. A forward to aft tapered cubby storage unit with a 13o back slope was built behind the back cushion along the port wall. Oriental carpet runners also made a huge improvement along with a custom profile runner in the wheel house. Two teak side chairs were also stripped, oiled and re-upholstered. 

Midwest Rendezvous Day #4

Trev, Steph & Ashley of Hjortie 37VT33
Very happy birthday wishes (even if a bit late) to both Steph and Trev.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Hiaqua's 37VT03 Coffee/Mouse Table (CMT)

From Randy Miller

In preparation for the 2017 cruising season, Hiaqua tops off the list of new upgrades with a Wheel House CMT.  This 8"x 8" multi functional fold up and stowable table hooks under the lip of the wheel house seat edge trim and under the cushion. Table can be positioned anywhere across the seat and works great for morning lattes in the wheel house and as a mouse table while underway. We use Coastal Explorer via a computer based chart program which is then projected on a second fixed mounted 15" display monitor so the CMT is a perfect portable table to use while cruising seated with mouse & remote autopilot. 

Reversing the Stateroom Steps Handrail

Before and After on Jack Robert 37VT17
This simple 15 minute job flips the handrail 180°.  The major benefit of doing this is that it positions the handrail better to help someone going up the stairs. 
A second benefit is that it makes installing an underway floorboard easier.

The first step is to remove the bolt holding each end of the handrail.  The top bolt is accessible via the compartment underneath the helm station.  The lower bolt is in the engine room.  Next, rotate the handrail 180°.  Finally, reinstall the two bolts.

Midwest Rendezvous Day #2

Hjortie, Nellie D., Our Villa, Kedge & Jack Robert
While looking over the data that the US Government has on each tug's Document we noticed an interesting anomaly: our listed drafts vary from 4' to almost 7'.  This in turn affects the listed Net and Gross Tonnage.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hurricane Irma Update on Cruz-In

An update on Cruz-In 37VT74
Moored in Key West during Hurricane Irma
From Marty Raymond

A marina neighbor was able to board our boat this morning.  Happy to report
she looks pretty good. Some damage to port side rub rail and starboard side
paint.   Lines are pretty frayed.  Bilge is dry.  Pilot house looked okay
even after doors being open at some point during the hurricane.  

Of the six boats in our row -- two sank, one broke out of her slip and
ended up in the transient slip behind us on top of another boat, another
had major damage including broken windows while our boat and one other had
minor damage.  The damage in the marina is significant.   Many boats sunk.
One boat from a mooring ball in Boca Chica was found just outside of FT
Lauderdale.  It may be three months before power is restored. 

Jay will be flying down next week with new lines to inspect the boat and
contact insurance company if need be.  He is hoping to stay on the boat.  
There is no water, power or sewers.   Not sure how he will manage but ...

I am sure Jay will take lots of pictures.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day #1 of the Midwest Rendezvous

Kedge, Jack Robert, Our Villa & Hjortie
The tugs raft-up for lunch at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Minots Light in 2015

Taken from an email received from Dan Stroeing

In the Summer of 2015 Minots Light 37VT53 was the safety boat for the Race2AK race.  This 750 mile race is from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.  The R2AK race organizers' claim, "No motors.  No rules.  No support."  The next race is scheduled for June 14, 2018 with a first place prize of $10,000.  Dan indicated that one individual used a stand up paddle board to cross the Juan de Fuca Channel in the 2015 race.  Sounds crazy!

Minots Light in Victoria BC 3015 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Irma Preparations

The following is from John Mackie, John William 37VT68.  John and Sue live on Merritt Island, FL (near Cape Canaveral).

JW all trussed up and locked down.
2 anchors, an oak tree and deadman on the bow.
2 anchors, a deadman and one dock piling on stern and 3 breast lines to the dock and the insurance is paid.
Looks like winds will be less than predicted for us.
Will get some video and keep you updated.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Composting Toilet

Ken and Heidi Maitland, Victorious, 37LNVT44, have solar panels and enjoy being on a mooring and anchoring out. Having a composting toilet allows them to be more self-sufficient. This also solves the problem of finding pump outs. On their long voyage last winter they found many times that they were out of service at marinas and gas docks. This prompted them to replace their conventional toilet during the trip.

In their own words
We have used both main types of composting toilets: Air Head on their LNVT, and Nature's Head on their previous boat. Both types have a mostly pleasant odor, which is the smell of peat moss used in the toilet tank. There have been a few situations when the composting toilet didn't work as designed and can be traced to use by a visitor who did not follow the simple directions (in our case, children). Check the manufacturer's comments on-line for dumping the contents.

INSTALLATION: For the shelf it sits on: make a cut out wide enough for the toilet and the crank handle; for us we lowered the base 6"  (still about 3-4" above the floor of the head).  If you lower the base more, the whole toilet moves more into the center of the head because of the turn of the hull in the head. There is a new vent hose that runs up the head inside the port wall and we added a clamshell vent outside just forward of the head port.

After lowering the shelf, it is just a matter of bolting the composting toilet down and removing the hoses to the holding tank. Plug and cap the short length of hose a couple of inches at the holding tank end and plug and cap after the vented loop at the sea cock end. Note: we intend to remove the holding tank and the seacock but our job was done while we were cruising in Florida and we were in the water and had time constraints.

LESSONS LEARNED: make cuts to the old shelf in such a way that the remaining shelf can be trimmed with teak. We made some rounded cuts and are finding that trimming the new straight edges is not a problem but the rounded edges will be difficult!

Galley Sink Faucet

Allan and Sally Seymour aboard Sally W, 37LNVT42, needed to replace their galley sink faucet. They found this Moen pullout spray faucet from the Renzo collection in spot resistant stainless steel finish. A shiny chrome finish is also available. They like the joystick feature and the fact that the faucet arm is a good length for extension over the sinks; but not too far. It's available on Amazon:

Sunday, July 30, 2017

East Coast Rendezvous 2017

Lord Nelson Victory Tugs gathered for the tenth east coast gathering in Fairhaven, MA. The Fairhaven Shipyard's marina is home to two LNVTs, Neptune and LaSalle. Salty Paws, Sally W, Tugnacious, and Victorious brought the count to six. Crews from six other tugs, plus past owners and family and friends of hosts John and Ellen Isaksen, LNVT Neptune #37 brought the body count close to 40.

Hosts Ellen and John Isaksen

The Isaksens put together a great variety of activities which included tours of the harbor, a scallop boat, and a guided walk of the historic area, meals featuring local favorites, and of course, ongoing tug talk. 

"So good to see you again."
Something new this year was planned arrivals on Thursday to give everyone two solid days to enjoy the event before departures on Sunday. It worked well.

John Mackie and Dave Howell 

John Mackie and Dave Howell compared notes on their recent trips. The Mackies spent three months in the Bahamas. The Howells are in their second year of cruising the Great Loop in reverse. They began in Ft. Myers, FL in 2016 and have made it to the top of Lake Michigan.

Jeanne Koenig

The Isaksen family ensured that no one was ever hungry. Menus of local fare included sea scallops, clam chowder, Portugese pulled pork sandwiches, and sweets featuring local favorites such as Butter Almond Bars, cookies, cakes and pastries. All were homemade on the spot. 

Saturday morning's Tug Talk was held in one of the shipyard's buildings called "The Big Shed." People shared a variety of interesting stories from voyages to composting toilets.

And Tug Talk continued throughout the event with everyone inspecting all the boats. Bob Allnutt admired the shiny brass aboard Neptune.

Tug talk aboard Victorious: L-R: Bob Allnutt, Jeanne Koenig, Bob Ewing and Sue Mackie

Harbor tours were conducted aboard Neptune. The NewBedford/Fairhaven Harbor is home to the largest fishing fleet in New England.

A local historian conducted a walking tour of Fairhaven, highlighting several buildings donated to the town by a financier who grew up there. Henry Huddleston Rogers built the town hall, library, high school and Unitarian Church, each in a separate and distinctive architectural style.

The Isaksens were thanked by Dave and Bicki Howell for the very successful event. The Isaksen's children Randi and Mark, and cousins Arne, Gail and Max also worked tirelessly.

The happy group gathered on the final night for a photo record of the event.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tug Differences: Wheelhouse Windows

A new tug difference was just spotted: the size of the windows behind the wheelhouse seat.  Thistle Dew 37VT46's are 31" x 13" while C'est Si Bon 37VT38's are 31" x 14".  The one inch difference looks even more dramatic in the picture above.