Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Burligton, VT Rendezvous--Save the Dates

Just received this nice postcard reminder from Keefer and Bill Irwin, Callisto 37VT19, for the 2018 East Coast LNVT Rendezvous.

This is the Fleet's first ever Rendezvous in Burlington, Vermont. It promises to be a lot of fun! You can find all the details at here.  Bicki and I have RSVP'd in the affirmative.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Spring Commissioning Tip

Hose Attachment to the Intermediate Bearing Support

During your Spring commissioning be sure to check the integrity of the metal hose fitting on the intermediate support bearing.  This fitting supplies raw engine water to the packing gland. Since it's below the waterline, a broken fitting will allow seawater to enter the tug.  The following sage advice comes from a recent LNVT Forum post from Wesley Eldred, ex-Little Bitt 37VT21, "I would encourage all owners to check this fitting as a failure when under way could be most inconvenient." 

Lady Katie's Failed Fitting

In 2013 Lady Katie 37VT28's fitting failed at the dock.  She slowly filled with water and was saved from completely sinking by an observant passerby. 
Corrosion on the Hose Fitting

Just last month Mike McCoy, Tug E. Bear 37VT62, found his fitting was badly corroded. 

Tug E Bear's New Bronze Fitting

He replaced it with a new bronze fitting and reported that the repair was straight forward and easy.  

Doing a simple fitting inspection during the Spring launch could prevent the trials and tribulations of an underway emergency.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sally W. 37VT42 in June Soundings

Hat tip to Peter Reich, Teddy Bear 37VT15, for letting us know about the article.  Double click on each of the article's pages to see a legible version.

Here's a link to some Soundings' LNVT videos:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Welcome Aboard!

A special welcome to new owners Mariah and Beau Hicks who just purchased 37VT05. Beau is no stranger to tugs as he works professionally on a tugboat in Fort Lauderdale. They currently are living in Richmond, VA with plans to move their new tug from Waterloo, NY to Urbanna, VA in late June/early July.

Mariah tells us:

"The past couple of years my husband, Beau, and I were living on a 41 Island Trader down in the Keys, specifically Marathon, FL.  We fell in love with the live aboard lifestyle!  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma changed some things for us and our boat was not salvageable.  We temporarily moved to VA while we searched for our next home.  After living below the waterline we had decided our next boat would be a trawler.  Beau found a Lord Nelson on YachtWorld in November and we knew it was the boat for us.  Everything about her was perfect for what we were envisioning for our next home to cruise on.  This past weekend we just closed on hull 5 Carla B. in Waterloo, NY.   We are so excited to be joining the LNVT community!!  We have been following it now since November - reading the blog, the forums, the newsletters.  I was so enamored with the tugs that I actually painted Thistle 37VT47 in my last watercolor commission.  

While Carla B is a great name, we would like something that reflects us.  We will be renaming her to Miss. Willoughby.  Willoughby Spit (in Norfolk, VA) is where Beau grew up & where we met for the first time. My jeep was broken down on the side of the road and he was the one I flagged down to help me.  We started dating and got married a few years later in Willoughby Spit, so that town has a special place in our hearts.  The ultimate goal is to take the tug to the Florida Keys. "

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tug spotting: C'est Si Bon

The Blessing of the Fleet and Opening Day Parade in Port Townsend, Washington included C'est Si Bon 37VT38 (owner Craig Kurath and proud pup

[Photo by the PTYC photo crew]

Monday, May 7, 2018

Tug Spotting: Lucy

Tug sighting:  Osprey Marina. Myrtle Beach SC

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Resins: Isophthalic vs. Orthphophthalic

Just below Nellie's bootstripe the hull has been sanded to reveal (starting in the pictures upper right and moving to the lower left) multiple layers of bottom paint (black and red), gel coat (bright white), barrier coat (gray), and fiberglass.

Tommy Chen said that he used two types of polyester resin (at least on the later tugs). Below the waterline he used an "iso" resin as it resists osmotic blistering.  Above the waterline he used "otho" resin.

"Orthophthalic polyester resin is the standard economic resin used by many people.  Isophthalic polyester resin is now becoming the preferred material in industries such as marine where its superior water resistance is desirable." From Net Composites.

To decrease the permeability below the water line iso resin was mixed with what Tommy called a "gray powder" and then applied to the hull with a roller.  I assume the gray powder contained plateletes, like those in Interlux 2000E, which make it more difficult for water molecules to pass through.  So effective is this gray layer of iso that Tommy says he made some tugs without gel coat bottoms.  Nellie D. #63 clearly has the gray layer between the gel coat and fiberglass.  According to Tommy, the bottom's gel coat should be about .7mm thick.

I measured a piece of Nellie's gel coat, which has the gray layer on it, at .027" or .6858mm.  The gray layer is very thin.

Dave Howell
Nellie D. 37VT63

Monday, April 23, 2018

LNVT Felt Window Channel Replacement

Replacing the felt window channel has been a long standing problem because there's nothing commercially available which easily accommodates an LNVT's 10mm thick glass.

10mm Safety Glass

The solution described here uses off-the-shelf, 3/8", PVC channel but modifies it to suit our 10mm glass.  The repair process is straight forward: remove each windows' outer and inner retainers and their glass panes; install the new, PVC window channel and; reassemble each window.  Naturally, the devil is in the details so, here are the details.

To better understand the repair it's helpful to know how the windows are made.

This diagram is a cross section of a starboard side window, looking towards the bow.  The windows are made of three pieces of stainless steel: (1) the window frame; (2) the inner, or sliding pane retainer and; (3) the outer, or fixed pane retainer.

The felt window channel, which we'll be replacing, fits inside the inner pane retainer.

Above, the inner and outer glass panes are shown in their respective retainers.

Eight screws hold each retainer in place: 2 along the bottom; two along each side and; two along the top.

Now that we know how the windows are made, let's get busy repairing the channel.

Step 1: Modifying The New Channel

From Trim-Lok Catalog 700, Page 4.

The above illustration shows how the channel is made.
From Trim-Lok Catalog 700, page 7.

Trim-Lok's 1375-3/8 is the replacement channel we'll be using.  It comes in rolls of 250'. You'll need one 8' piece for each window.  For hull numbers 1 through 29 there are 11 windows: 7 in the saloon/galley and 4 in the wheelhouse.  For hulls 30 through 76 there are 9 windows: 7 in the saloon/galley and 2 in the wheelhouse.

Before and After Removing the Gripping Tongue.

Modifying the new channel is a two step process. First, using a razor knife, shave off what Trim-Lok calls the gripping tongue. Don't cut too deeply as the metal underneath the PVC will be exposed. While cutting too deeply adversely affects appearance it doesn't affect performance.

Tools of the Trade: 1375-3/8 Channel, Restrike Die, Punches, Rubber Mallet, Razor Blades and Epoxy.

Next up, we need to enlarge the width of the channel. To do this a restrike die and some punches need to be made.

Using the Punch and Restrike Die.

Restrike Die, 1375-3/8 Channel and a Punch.

It's called a restrike die because while Trim-Lok already formed the PVC into a u-channel shape, we're going to restrike it to make it a little wider.  The restrike die is made of three, roughly 2' long, 3/4" thick pieces of hardwood.

U-Channel Restrike Die Dimensions.

The two 2-1/2" wide boards need to be securely attached to the 5-1/2" wide base board because they'll take a big side load when the channel is expanded.   I recommend using both glue and screws/nails to hold them to the base board.

U-Channel Punch Width.

I made several punches, each just a hair thicker than its predecessor.  When restriking the channel it's easier to approach the desired width in several iterations rather than in one fell swoop.

Please note that the dimensions shown above worked for me.  Your dimensions might be different.  The overarching goal when modifying the channel is that the final product fit snuggly into the stainless retainer.  Doing this guarantees that the glass will slide easily in the new channel.

Step 2: Remove the Glass and the Retainers

Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew 37VT46, Cleaning the Window Frame.

The picture above shows the window frame after both the inner and outer retainers, and their glass panes, have been removed.

Outer Retainer and its Glass Pane. Note the Two Screw Holes.

Inner Retainer and its Glass Pane. Note the Two Screw Holes and the Two Square Drain holes.

After the retainers' screws are removed the retainers can be pushed out using small pry bars or tapped out with a wood block and hammer.  Be careful not to bend or kink the retainers.  Finally, give the retainers and window frame a good cleaning.

Step 3: Install the New Channel

Dave Howell, Nellie D 37VT63, Works the New Channel Into Its Retainer.

The first order of business is to dry fit the channel into the retainer.

Heat Helps Relax the Channel.

Really pay attention to getting the entire channel firmly pressed against the retainer as the success of this project depends on it.   A little heat helps, especially in the corners, to get the channel seated solidly.  In the upper left in the picture above you can see that the break in the channel aligns with the break in the retainer. 

Next, the inner retainer and the channel (without the window pane) are temporarily placed into the window frame.

A Punch with a Radiused End Helps Assure the Channel is Tight Against the Retainer.

Next, the channel will be cut to length. Before doing so however, make certain the channel is bedded solidly against the retainer.

Time to Trim the Channel to Length.

An 8' length of channel will be about 4" too long.  Cut the channel leaving a 1/4" overlap. Then, press the channel's two butt ends together and push them into the retainer.

Cutting Channel Drains which are Aligned Over the Retainer's Drains.

The new channel needs two drains cut into it otherwise rainwater will collect within the channel.

Cutting Drains Reveals the Channel's Aluminum Skeleton.

Cut the channel's drains so that they're the same size and directly over the retainer's two drains.

Removing Staples.

Using a pair of needlenose pliers remove the exposed staples.  I recommend removing only three staples as removing more overly weakens the channel.

The next few steps will take place on the workbench so remove the channel and the retainer from the window frame.

Liberal Use of Tape Holds the Channel Tightly Against the Retainer.

Glue the entire length of the channel to the retainer with a thin bead of polyurethane caulk.  I used Loctite PL but 3M's 4200/5200 or anything similar will work just fine.  The glue prevents the channel from moving or sagging when the window is opened or closed.  As the picture above shows, tape is used to hold the channel securely against the retainer while the glue sets.

After the glue has set, and using the eight retainer-to-window frame mounting holes as guides, drill holes through the channel.

Step 4: Reassembly

Put the glass pane into the channel/retainer and the channel/retainer into the window frame.  Install the eight screws which hold the retainer to the window frame--don't forget to put a sealant on the screws' threads.

Silicone--a Lesson Learned--if Expired it's Runny and May Not Harden.

The last step is to reinstall the outer retainer and its pane of glass.  This is the fixed pane, i.e. the one that doesn't slide.  As such, it doesn't need any Trim-Lok channel but, instead is held inplace with silicone caulk.  Install the eight retainer-to-window frame screws.  Again, don't forget the sealant on the screws.

While standing outside the boat push the fixed pane towards the inside of the boat.  As the picture above shows, the silicone caulk goes between the outside of the window pane and the outer retainer.  Putting painter's tape on the glass, before applying the silicone will make for a much neater job.

In closing, the modified Trim-Lok channel has been used aboard Nellie for the past nine years.  The technique described above has proven trouble free for the past five years.

Literature Search:
  1. Lady's, 37VT08, window channel solution
  2. Patrick Mitchell's, Elnora 37VT37, window channel solution..
  3. Philbrooks LTD's window channel solution for Tess II 37VT22.
  4. Randy Miller's, Hiaqua 37VT03, window solution.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

An Old Salt Trick

Experienced skippers don't need a knot log to know how fast the boat is going--they merely observe the location of the bow wave.  

The pictures below we're taken while sitting atop Knock Off 37VT66's wheelhouse.  At 4.5 knots the bow wave is about even with the front of the wheelhouse.  At 7.3 knots it's even with the midship hawse cleat.

By the way, it's a displacement hull's inability to get over the bow wave that results in maximum hull speed

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cummins Transmission Oil Cooler

Seakamp 212144 Marine Oil Cooler 2"x12" Body 1/2" NPT and 1-1/4" Hose 

The Cummins' transmission oil cooler doesn't have a zinc and is subject to corrosion.  Nellie's had corroded badly (I could see daylight through the metal) under the the raw-water hose attachment point.  It's a good idea to visually inspect the exchanger every three to five years.

Replacement exchangers are available from Fredwarner1.com for $110.09 (March 2018).

Cummins Engine Mounts

Over the years several engine mount failures have occurred in the Cummins-equipped LNVT fleet.  Here are some of the details and a fix for the problem.

Tripod front engine mount

Hulls 37VT31 and 37VT33 through 37VT76 were factory equipped with the Cummins 4BT-3.9M engine.   The tripod engine mount was standard equipment until mid 1987. Starting with Georgia J. 37VT65 Cummins switched to a conventional four point mount. The tripod mount subjects the engine's two rear mounting bolts to larger loads.  In fact, the LNVT fleet has experienced several bolt failures. Some skippers have converted their tugs from the tripod to a conventional four point mount.

At this point  Allan Seymour, Sally W. 37VT42, who converted his mount, picks up the story.

 "... the mechanic installed new engine mounts all around, front and rear.  It was a little expensive but well worth it in my opinion because it has never been so smooth and quiet."

"You will need to get the front engine parts [vibration isolators] from Cummins.   Then fabricate the part that the mounts bolt to and connects to the engine bed/rails."

"Discard the a A frame mount on the front. Hope this and the pics explain this.  Don't hesitate to ask for more."

Allan Seymour

Thursday, February 1, 2018

East Coast Rendezvous

Tug Spotting

Here is a favorite photo of Wally 41VT02 (when he was Captain Mike) in Ketchika, Alaska.

Erie Canal Waves Cruising Fees for 2018

From the NY Canal system website:
"To continue to commemorate 200 years of Erie Canal history, we're waiving tolls for recreational vessels for 2018.
This is the second straight year that tolls—normally $25 to $100 for a season pass, depending on the size of the vessel—have been waived. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Barge Canal's first opening to traffic."

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

John William 37VT68: Teak Deck Removal, Part 4

The deck is almost done.  Needs some more paint but the weather has not been cooperating. 
The gray paint is primer.  The finished decks will be white.