Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Adventure Yields the Unexpected

Greetings from the Seymours on Tug Sally W, #42, in Maine.

Mariners who cruise the coast here owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Rockefeller family for their efforts to preserve the natural beauty. Much of their acquisitions have been donated to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Our tug is the perfect transport for exploration. We dropped 80 feet of chain and anchored off Buckle Island in ten feet of water at almost low tide, figuring it would suit the ten foot tides here. This gem was a Rockefeller purchase from a lobsterman for $300.

Members of the family built a cabin and visited for overnights. They felt strongly in teaching their children the value of self reliance.

The cabin is no longer there, ...

... but a primitive hiking trail rings the island.

Along the way, there are fairy houses which can be found on many islands, the product of children, both young and old, who pause to indulge their whimsies.

Along with fairy houses, metaphors abound here. Hikers delight in this surprise ... a door, right in the middle of the trail. One side says, "Reality." The other side - "Etheria."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Calisto 37VT19 Braves the Rapids (Tuggers Vol.61)

Bill and Keefer Irving (Callisto #19) are out cruising the Mini Loop and currently on the Erie Canal. They just phoned in this update.

We're were just going through lock number 8 with a flood. It was like going up white water getting into the chamber of the lock and it was filled with debris.  We had to bust through a huge debris field.  I needed all 157hp to get up the white water and boy it was a wild ride!  So the Lock Master said they were cheering the tug on.  They were all on the end of the lock saying, Go little tug! Go little tug!" We raised up and literally popped into the lock, don't think too many people could have done it.  The Lock Master was impressed with the boat and said, "I don't think many boats could make it through." Anyway, they just opened up the lock so we are moving out.  Safe journeys.

Sheryl Ann, 41VT05, Out for a Spin

Here's Sheryl Ann out to turn around in her berth at Port Orchard Yacht Club. She is being shined up for a new owner, so they needed to shine the other side.  Photo taken from the stern of Wally, 41VT02, Aug 22, 2014

Thistle #47 Gets New Deck Boxes (Tuggers Vol.61)

Ed McChain (, Thistle #46, added extra storage and seating on the aft deck with these deck boxes.  The teak covers were attached to the manufactured boxes and are hinged to allow easy access to the storage.

Cummins Forward Motor Mount Isolator (Tuggers Vol.62)

This picture shows a new Cummins motor mount isolator next to an old one.  The old isolator was removed from Pet Tug #60.  The permanent deformation means the isolator isn't doing its job as well as it should.  The new mount was purchased from Cummins for $47.  As a point of interest, Lou Steplock reports that the isolator was originally designed for an airplane.

The rubber isolator is located under the stainless washer in the center of the above picture.  The weight of the engine continually compresses the mount.  I guess we know what happens over time ...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Key's Cruising with John William #68 (Tuggers Vol.61)

Finally got everything together and went for our cruise. Ended up at Plantation Key in the city marina for 3 days running the AC continuous to stay alive. Could not break 84 in the salon but the state room air kept it at 74 and cooler. If anyone is thinking of installing AC do it like a bow thruster, go larger than recommended. Boat ran fine, only minor problems, engine stopped twice, due to bad connector on fuel shut down solenoid and a big ball of palm fronds in the wheel.

Spotted this anchor in 12 ft of water going down Biscayne Bay. Close to 6 ft or longer and too big for me to wrestle up on deck. Suspect it came from one of the oil barges that run to the power plant down there. Lots of growth on it so its been there a while.

We did have a nice trip and finally got to relax.   [Next we'll be] hauling for a bottom job and a new thru hull for a water maker. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fram #71 Drags Her Mooring

From Martha off Fram:

Fram #71 Underway in Maine's Penobscot Bay Before the Storm
We woke up at 7 this morning to see that our boat and mooring had dragged almost to  shore and  the tide was still going out .The larger dinghy had also broken free and ended up on the beach. He walked out to the small dinghy and got on Fram from there . He started Fram and dragged the mooring back out, but he knew he couldn't trust it to hold. We both got on Fram and took her to Front Street Shipyard to have it pulled. He knew we were not taking on water but wanted to check for damage. On shore we could see that 3 of the four prop blades had been bent slightly . They will take prop off and deme it for repair. We are in Roger's car going back to Islesboro to pick up our dryer which broke yesterday. We will try to have it repaired in Belfast. ... then back to Islesboro sans Fram. We will really miss her while we are on the island!

Enough excitement? Three boats sunk in Belfast.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Mast for Callisto 37VT19

 Hi Guys,
 Keefer and I are leaving next Monday on a trip on Callisto from Lake Champlain, down the Champlain Canal to the Erie Canal to the finger lakes andBack. We are postponing our loop trip until next summer.

I attached a few pictures of the new wooden mast I built for Callisto, as you may remember Callisto, (formally Natalie Ambrose's LNVT Alegria), was never delivered with a mast, so this was a start from scratch process.

We will be attempting on making the trip to the MD rendezvous, we will confirm as soon as we know for sure. We sure hope you all weathered the rain!

Bill and Keefer IrwinCallisto LNVT #19                        

Monday, August 11, 2014

BOTL: Be on the Lookout

Annapolis Boat Show Fall 1984   photo by David H Lyman
Thirty years ago sailors were scooping up Lord Nelson sailboats, designed by Tommy Chen and with an interior refined with the help of Loren Hart; familiar names to owners of Lord Nelson Victory Tugs. Tommy had been building Hans Christian sailboats at his Hai-O shipyard in Taiwan and saw room for improvement.

Loren Hart at the 1984 Annapolis Boat Show

Loren Hart, as the National Distributor for Hans Christian, frequently visited Tommy's yard. The two discovered they had similar design ideas. Over the next few years they collaborated and built 77 Lord Nelson sailboats and 82 Victory Tugs.

In 1992, Lord Nelson 41 owner Peter Rossi formed the Lord Nelson Owner's Association, an informal group of owners of Lord Nelson boats, both sail and tug. He published a newsletter called The Admiral's Log, which sadly, lasted only four years. But, it facilitated a valuable collection of owner data. Thank you, Peter!

Fast forward to 1999 when Tom Blackwood, LNVT enthusiast, formed the Lord Nelson Victory Tug Owners' Association, and began publication of the newsletter Tuggers. This also launched the effort to  compile a roster of tug owners. Issues asked readers to "Be on the Lookout" for tugs, and to spread the word for the search.

Today, twenty-five years later, Tuggers has just published its 60th issue. And the search for tugs was completed a few years ago. The list and details of each are found on this website under "Fleet."

BUT, the same can't be said for the Lord Nelson sailboats. 

Betty Minson on her 41LN built for Loren and Lani Hart. 
Serendipitous events in July 2014 have spawned the revival of the Lord Nelson Owner's Association. Peter Rossi has resumed the helm of "The Admiral's Log".

There is an official LNOA website:

The hunt is on to locate all 35LNs and 41LNs. This is a word of mouth effort. Please email your sitings to Betty Minson:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Lesson on Engine Oil Level for the Cummins (Tuggers Vol. 60)

By Allan Seymour, Sally W #42

 For the past five years, I have been filling the Cummins engine with the recommended ten quarts. After every ten to fifteen hours though, it appears that the engine is using oil because the level drops one quart. I routinely top it up, and repeat the process.

According to Tony at Seaboard Marine,, the B-Series Cummins uses a very shallow marine oil pan. It's best to run it on the low side of the dipstick, which equals nine quarts, rather than ten quarts high. Tony recommends this practice to keep oil "whipping" to a minimum.

This year I decided to follow his suggestion, and have seen no oil consumption in 70 hours. It appears that nine quarts is sufficient for our tugs' Cummins engines.

Mama Mia! 49#9's Diary from Greece (Tuggers Vol. 60)

Ken & Madeline Bertig

By Madeline Bartig, Mamma Mia! #49/9
(Excerpted from FaceBook postings)

May 17, 2014: Two weeks in Greece and loving every minute.  I'm excited to see all my hoped for boat projects actually becoming a reality. We are having a very comfortable and relaxing time in our beautiful little boat yard. It really isn't what one would expect of a boat yard.   Partheni, Greece is very clean, quiet, picturesque with awesome views of the water.  There are goats and sheep on the hill sides, one small plane landing daily at the tiny airport and great cruising friends also working on their boats. 

May 30, 2014:  Well Mamma Mia! is good to go….still need fuel, water, food supplies, and of course, going to the port Police (Coast Guard ) and getting our boat logs out of hock, paying our taxes and filing a proposed trip destination.  Figghua Gioya, our awesome dinghy is all cleaned and ready for the adventure to begin.  Ken and I sit nightly talking about which islands to revisit and which new ones look interesting. Do we go north or south or east to Turkey?

Paneotis & Madeline
June 9, 2014:  On the day before splashing Mamma Mia! The boat next to ours in the boat yard belongs to Paneotis. The Greek flag on his boat was all in tatters, to show our appreciation for all his help and kindnesses, we bought him a new flag as our going away present.  Well this morning, knowing we were launching, he came early with a going away gift for us, a potted plant and dried herbs from his garden. It was such an unexpected surprise for me, especially since I had a gift for him also. Funny how people work, isn't it? When you know you are both on the same page and neither one speaks the other's language. I suspect kindness and friendship have a universal language all their own. Kalinita!

July 9, 2014:  As Mamma Mia! peeked her bow out of Lakki harbor, we were given a great surprise - there heading towards us was HERA and our dearest friends from Norway, Sally and Helge. We spoke by radio and readjusted our plans yet again…now both boats are heading to Emborios, Kalymnos. An unexpected day to play with friends. Emborios and Pirates Cove is where we had a bad experience 2 years ago, both Ken and I were injured. Returning to this spot is a very good healing process. Time for me to get back on the horse, as they say. 

Mamma Mia! at anchor
July 28, 2014:  Planned activities of the day are to trek up the mountain by car and then hike 300 arduous meters to the top to visit the castle. We did this once before, a few years back. It's a spectacular view with a castle in ruins, making it all the more fun to probe and explore.  Unfortunately, the trek to the castle was canceled due to circumstances beyond our control.  The afternoon did have its moments that we call "dock drama." Sudden severe wind gusts made docking very difficult. One sailboat in particular had numerous problems setting their anchor and backing in. After 6 tries, they gave up and decided to bring their boat to our side of the dock next to Mamma Mia!  Now the fun began. It was horrendous and I'm glad we were on hand and not up at the castle.  Once again they aborted this attempt.  They gunned the engine pulling out from beside us, crushing our dinghy and missing our port side by a hair.  They finally got clear of all boats and docked along side the ferry dock. Whew!  

Chalki, Greece
About an hour later the captain came over to Mamma Mia! and apologized for the mess up. That was nice.  After some much needed reflection, I went to my favorite store and bought a bottle of my favorite wine Black Daphne. I took the bottle over to the captain.  He was so moved that I made this jester of friendship.  Me too, it made my day!  Simple human kindness goes a long way.  

July 22, 2014:  This morning I swam from Mamma Mia! all the way to "my" cave and back. The winds are sleeping and the sun is hot, making perfect water days. Tomorrow we will take the dinghy to "our hidden grotto" and do some snorkeling. Kalinita everyone and love from Greece.

Lesson Learned from Pet Tug #60 -- Check that Transmission Oil Cooler! (Tuggers Vol. 61)

During Pet Tug's recent engine work the all the accessories were removed and checked. As the pictures show, the transmission oil cooler had a major blockage.


Welcome Aboard Chimera #61 (Tuggers Vol. 60)

Nelson and Emma Bronte, retired British Navy, were recently married aboard their tug. "I've seen the world" said Nelson, "but I now look forward to peaceful outings, with my lovely wife, as we explore the area around our home in Norfolk."

Tess #22--Alaska to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Tuggers Vol. 60)

The following submission, by Tess' first owners Jim and Jane Mckinney, appeared in the Admiral's Log, winter 1994 edition.   

Tess is hull #22. We bought her in Seattle in Jan. 1988. We spent a year outfitting her the took off from Blaine, WA in April 1989.  We went as far north as Sitka AK, then down the outside of Vancouver Island, then harbor hopped down the coast to Cabo San Lucas Baja. We spent 2-1/2 years cruising extensively in the Sea of Cortez and the west coast of Mexico as far south as Puerto Vallarta.  In Feb 92 we shipped Tess from Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico to Clear Lake, TX.  We spent a year in Kemah, TX then came down here [Port Aransa, TX - ed.] in May 93. 

Victory #2 Solves the Rudder Shaft's Upper Bearing Location Problem

The following was excerpted from two emails on 24 and 25 July 2014.  Key Stage, Titan #31, is responding to a question by Jim Lanzaratta, Bodacious #44, concerning the rudder shaft's upper support bearing.

Dave Howell asked me to write re: your rudder shaft problem. I have not completely fixed mine, but I am sure we have a similar issue. I own Titan #31. Bob Allnutt with Victory had the same issue.

Take off the deck plate covering the will see a square fitting that is supposed to receive the emergency tiller. Titan has the square portion of the rudder shaft INSIDE the round hole of the bearing....literally a square shaft inside a round fitting! My shaft groans as well in heavy seas with the auto pilot correcting course. Will try to find pics of my shaft....they were on my old phone and I lost them. Titan is 2 hrs. away but will take some more when I get down soon.

Bob Allnutt had the same issue. His fix , as will be mine, is to move the bearing down an inch or so to allow the bearing to be properly positioned on the round part of the shaft, not the square upper part.

Here are some pics of Bob Allnutt's showing how he measured a simple wooden block to go beneath the stringer to mount the bearing in a lower position, thus relieving the square portion of the rudder shaft in the round bearing.


In original location, bearing rides
 on square surfaces

Bearing removed (port side view)
Bearing removed (starboard side view)
Width of square cut
Measuring how far to lower bearing

Just In: Tackling Jobs aboard Petite Wazo #20

The following was excerpted from a 2 Aug 2014 email

Petite Wazo #20 (2013)
I've had some things done to her but nothing crazy.  The rudder stops were big and I had some warranty adjustments done to the engine, transmission, and bearing installations.  We replaced some items due to premature wear and such.  An alignment of a few thousandths was off and I simply insisted on doing it over correctly.  Frustrated, but DBY was super cool about it.  we adjusted the idle a little higher as well to take the damper chatter out.

I pulled headliner and ceiling down in the stateroom to prep for remodel.  Found some water and mold rot so I left it to air out and will address pulling the forward 1/3 of teak deck off when I return.  I found Trevor's blog super interesting on his deck and new surface.  Eager to see and hear more.  I have almost everything I need ordered and delivered to redo the stateroom already except for a few lighting fixtures, wiring, paneling and foam backing I want to put under the headliner.

Looks like I might be addressing fuel and water tanks sooner than I had hoped.  These and the mast relocation I'm hoping to schedule when I return.  Then I was reading about Dave's project with the hull and paint process.  I'm not sure if it makes more sense to do the entire exterior this winter before I go through with the decks and other small projects or after I hit windows, wheelhouse, and such.  Thoughts?

A Story About Lady #8 from 1988

I found this photo of Lady from around 1988 when I had her out of the water.  The "banana bumper" on the front of Lady was original to the first owner.  It finally corroded.  I found a seaman in San Francisco who would make a replica of it.  I found him sitting in a Marine Supply warehouse.  He wanted $400 which at the time I thought was a bit much.  I went back a couple of months later and couldn't find him. Poetically I envisioned him having "shipped out".  -- from a 29 June 2014 email to Macy Galbreath

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lady #8 Gets a Makeover (Tuggers Vol. 60)

By Macy Galbreath & Bill Rothert, Lady #8

We purchased Lady in October 2000 after five or six owners and some hard luck.  She had had her pilot house top ripped off at an overpass just outside Seattle when she was being trucked from Houston to Seattle.  She was salvaged and put back together very well – no leaks or problems – but she has some subtle construction differences.  She was also repowered at the time with a 6BT5.9 210 HP Cummins.  While it takes up the whole engine room and is way more engine than we need, it has been reliable and given us an extra boost of power when needed.


Over the years, we have made changes.  Some changes were ideas put on later boats; others were for our convenience - among them: removable steps going to stateroom for front access to the engine [a Smith Access - ed.], a door under the settee in the saloon for easy access to storage, and a boarding gate on the port side.  Still, we knew we needed to do some serious work and started two years ago to get her looking her best.  Although we are not done, she looks pretty good for an old girl.
We had long wanted a mast and had one made locally.  It is mounted on the pilot house: has spreader lights, a place for flags, and a higher location for our radar.   A year ago, we had Lady painted with 2-part Alex Seal.  She still has her green hull, but now has a burgundy stripe, eyebrow and stripe on the stack.  We also had new lettering done. 
This past winter we redid the dinghy deck.  We removed the teak pads which were in terrible shape and had it fiberglassed, smoothed out, and painted. At the same time, we changed one ladder post – moving it back to match the other side and give us more room on the deck.  

We added a stainless mount on the ladder for the dinghy motor and new stainless rails to hold the dinghy on the boat deck.   

Although not visually appealing – we had the engine overhauled this spring before heading north into Desolation Sound and the Broughtons in British Columbia.  It included a new cylinder head, exhaust manifold, injectors and injector piping, transmission oil cooler and a new exhaust line.  She performed beautifully!

We have more projects on the list – some may get done this next winter.  There is always something with a boat!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Waves from the Northeast (Tuggers Vol. 60)

By Sally Seymour, Sally W #42

As the Northeast Contributing Editor and an LVNT owner it's gratifying to ask people about their boats and to hear from so many.  
Peter and Odette Noreau, Cap Saumon #16, spend summers on the mighty St. Lawrence River east of Quebec City.  The 23-mile width there affords them whale-watching cruises.

Tugnacious #7 owners Robert and Maye Bachofen of S. Burlington, VT have plans to sail the Great Loop after selling their business.  He writes, "This spring we were busy with upgrades and maintenance, as you know a never-ending task; but I have to say that she looks terrific!"  Another tug on Vermont's Lake Champlain is Callisto #19. Bill Irwin spent the winter building a mast. He and Keefer are planning to do the Mini Loop later this summer. Over in New York State Jeremy and Cathy Fields, Katy Lyn #50, keep their tug docked at their house on Lake Canandaigua. They find some of the best cruises are in stormy weather; witness the photo at, taken on Christmas day.

Larry and Marilyn Johnston, Loretta May #27 in Kingston, Ontario decorated their tug for the celebration of their yacht club's 50th anniversary.  Carl and Laura Butterfield keep their tug Carla B. #5 on nearby Seneca Lake. These two bodies of water are part of the Finger Lakes, with access to the nearby Erie Canal and a whole slew of more cruising opportunities.

Jim Lanzarotta of Kingston, NY has been busy working to restore Bodacious #44. "We're constantly picking away, as she sat for quite a few years before my father purchased her… We do go out quite a bit locally and it's been very enjoyable… We've yet to see another Lord Nelson and would love to take a look."
Fram #71, hails from Belfast, ME where Roger Lee and Martha Burke enjoy cruising Maine waters.  Roger owns a Friendship Sloop and he and Martha attended that group's annual rendezvous in nearby Rockland, where former LNVT owner Dick Salter, Messing About #76, officiated at the regatta. Sally W #42 joined them for a mini reunion. The Seymours are also spending the summer cruising the coast of Maine, with 3000+ islands that reportedly take a lifetime to explore.  Ursa #49-3 is up for sale and has yet to be spotted floating off David and Thea Fogg's dock in Vinalhaven, ME.
Pam Bates, an original owner - Monkey #52 in Newburyport, MA, reports that the tug takes the family for cruises. "The Monkey, in her 28th year, is well for a dowager but restless with too much time dockside.  I spend lots of time on board but all too little at sea."  Jerry and Jan Stovall recently purchased Lady Hamilton #12 and plan to take her south from New Bedford, MA this fall.  From Jan: "Other than stopping the leaks and the other unknowns we keep encountering, she is ready to make the trip."  The Stovalls report that they haven't yet met John and Ellen Isaksen, Neptune #35, who reside in the same harbor.  Neptune participated in a boat parade welcoming the Charles W Morgan, an historic restored whale ship from Mystic, CT.  If you're ever in New Bedford, ask John to take you to the excellent whaling museum.

John and Lisa Taylor, Aramis #40, spent the winter varnishing and polishing.  John stripped and refinished the pilot house doors; sprayed the first five coats, then block sanded and brushed the final two.  Lisa did all the polishing.

Hurricane Arthur forced many boaters on the East Coast to cancel Fourth of July plans. Hal and June Findlay, Le Papa #24, spent the day organizing their boats and plane for the big wind. Hal wrote during the storm, "So far rain just started in a big way and winds 30 knots.  Pretty wild but not out of control!"  Fortunately the storm didn't live up to predictions.  And finally, Peter Reich and Teddy Bear #15, on Shelter Island in NY, received deserved notoriety recently, gracing the cover of Soundings magazine.  Peter ran into John and Lisa Taylor on his way to the Wooden Boat Show.  "As we were halfway up the Mystic River. I spotted the LNVT and pointed her out to our crew.  A half hour after we were docked at the seaport, John was on board Teddy Bear!  It is always interesting hearing about all the subtle differences."