Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Spotted Sea Turtle 37VT14

The following is from Dave Forsman, Liberty (a Pilgrim 40):

We came across #14 getting some, actually a lot of work done in Indiantown [off the Calooshatchee River, Florida].  The owner wasn't around today but it is obvious that an entire cosmetic make over must be in order as she looked a lot worse than the photo shows.  My guess is a total paint job.  This place isn't cheap at $600/month to be in the working area. 

An Update from Titan 37VT31

Key Stage writes:

This a Kady Krogen at my marina with black iron fuel tanks that need to be replaced......note the first step.....removing the engine just to get to them!!

Also enclosed a pic of Titan....cap rail with varnish removed, sanded and Senco applied. Plus, my new bow puddin'! Coming along, slow but sure!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Check those Hose Clamps

Corrosion led to this failure
While tightening a hose clamp after changing the engine's impeller I heard a single, and distinct, click.  At first I thought is was the screw slipping.  Suspicious I pulled the clamp off and inspected it.  As the picture shows, it was the band breaking that made the sound.

This is the second broken hose clamp I saw this week.  The first was from a PSS packing gland.  It had been in place and untouched for eight years.   This failure is scarier because it means that hose clamps, even if not tensioned farther, have a definite service life.  For a PSS, it's less than eight years.  I wonder how long it is for the hose clamps that are installed on the through hulls?

Dave Howell, on the hard aboard Nellie D. 37VT63, Port Charlotte, FL.

Another Slurpee Installation

  Nellie D. 37VT63's wet bilges have driven me crazy.  Today I solved the problem by installing a Slurpee  What's a Slurpee?  Here's a previous post that discuss the Slurpee's design details and here's a post that discusses the Slurpee installation on Knock Off 37VT66.
The 3.5 gallon/minute Shurflo pump is mounted under the floorboard just outside the head.  The pump's mount is made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) cut from a 3/8" thick, $9, Wal Mart, cutting board.   The right angle in the HDPE was formed using a heat gun.  
Two 1" PVC threaded nipples were screwed onto the Shurflo's 1/2" MIP treads.  Then the 1/2" MIP end, of a 1/4" hose fitting, was screwed into the bushing. 
The effluent is pumped into the drain line of the head's sink.  To accomplish this the opposing ends of a 1" PVC tee were hose clamped into the cut drain line.  After a bushing (1" slip  to 1/2" FIP) was glued into the tee, the 1/2" MIP end, of a 1/4" hose fitting, was screwed into the bushing. 
The programmable controller, with manual on/off switch, is mounted with HDPE under the galley's floorboard.  Visible just to the right of the controller is a vacuum line connector.  It's here that either the forward or aft bilge pickup is plugged in.  
Nellie has two strum boxes: above is the picture of the under-engine bilge strum box.  The strum box in the aft bilge is all the way back under the stern tube.  Notice how dry the bilge is?  Ahh.
Dave Howell, on the hard aboard Nellie D., Charlotte Harbor, FL


Friday, December 4, 2015

PSS vs. a Traditional Packing Gland

Image result for pss shaft seal
PSS Packing Gland
All things being equal a conventional packing gland is less prone to mishap than a PSS. The PSS' vulnerable spot is its rubber bellows. A rip in it would allow copious amounts of water into the boat. This was my thinking this week as I was removing Nellie's (37VT63) PSS and putting the original factory gland back in. However, with the conventional gland in place and ready to tighten, I began to have second thoughts. The packing gland is in a very tight spot. It's underneath a floor joist and flanked by fuel tanks. Getting both hands on it requires a tight squeeze; my bloody forearms were evidence of that. While undergoing this torture I imagined myself performing the routine maintenance a conventional packing requires. It was then that I decided that all things are not equal. In this case the lower maintenance solution is the safer choice. Off came the conventional packing and I've ordered the PSS rebuild kit for a 2" shaft and a 2-1/2" stern tube ($130 #07-200-212R).

Dave Howell, on the hard aboard Nellie D., Port Charlotte, FL

Where is he now? A Tommy Chen update.

Tommy Chen, 2006 Seattle
Tommy Chen, who built all the Lord Nelsons, returned to his home in Taipei, Taiwan in late November. Tommy splits his year living between British Columbia, Canada and Taiwan.

He spent part of this past summer working on his Lord Nelson 41LN55 (eponymously named Lord Nelson). With her he plans to attend August's LN Victory Tug Rendezvous in the San Juan Islands.

In December Tommy plans to go on a tour of Shanghai. Tommy has been touring China regularly for the past three years. Also while in China he visits a friend from his boat building days who lives in Shamin. Tommy plans to return to Canada in March.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sedna's 37VT02 Operations Manual

From Larry Motschenbacher:
I thought I would send along a copy of a little manual I started writing when I originally bought Sedna.  I spent years in engineering for Alkalies Pipeline, and before that had been a pilot and flight instructor in Alaska.  Creating a manual was sort of an automatic response for me.  I had never attempted a manual for a boat and was new to larger boats but I tried to be as complete and and accurate as I could.  Also, I learned a lot  about Sedna while preparing the manual.
I wanted to share it with others in hopes it might serve as a possible starting point for other Lord Nelson owners.  I suspect there are enough differences between individual Lord Nelsons to make the effort a worthwhile
and learning exercise.
Anyway, if you see any value in it, please feel free to pass the attached copy of the Sedna O&M Manual on to other Lord Nelson owners who might be interested in having a copy. If you do, please caution others that this information may NOT be correct on their boat and they should verify each point on their own.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New Name: Saltwater Joys 37VT12

Roger Brown  writes:

A friend of mine by the name of Wayne Chaulk wrote a song about the quiet pleasures and simple comforts of rural Newfoundland, my home province.  There is an underlying theme throughout the song that suggests the rejection of the busy urban lifestyle for one that embraces new quest as I plan for retirement. The name says it all.....Saltwater Joys

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Two Chefs on a Tugboat

By Dee Anderson, Jack Robert 37VT17

Lee and I both love to cook.  In our “land galley” this is not a problem as we have plenty of room to move around each other and work at the same time.  On the other hand, our “river galley” poses a bit of a problem.  There is only room for one cook at a time and that cook needs to be VERY ORGANIZED.  As a result, we have arrived at the following “rules” for our meals.

1. Plan meals in advance to be certain the necessary ingredients are on board.  “Oops! I forgot the eggs” does not work well when we are motoring up or down river.

2. Decide who the Master Chef is for the given meal.  

3. The Sous Chef  (“able bodied assistant) is responsible for setting the table, pouring the beverages, staying out of the way and cleaning up after the meal.  No kibitzing, suggestions for herbs and spices or back galley driving are allowed.

4. The Master Chef must organize all ingredients, utensils and equipment before starting the preparation phase.  Because the refrigerator top is also the prep counter it is important to have everything ready or precious time is spent moving things aside to get back into the fridge (while the Sous Chef is treated to colorful commentary). 

5. Every attempt is made to have the entire meal ready to eat at the same time.  Sometimes, however, we have a “progressive meal” and it behooves the Sous Chef not to complain about this.

6. The meal is then enjoyed by both and there is no quibbling over who has the cleanup detail.  (Note: it is helpful, although not required, if the Master Chef cleans up as he or she cooks.  This makes the Sous Chef very happy and might result in a larger glass of wine than expected).

Midwest Rendezvous chefs for the breakfast buffet
Dee and Lee Anderson

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Forward fuel tank removal

Just in from Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02

Yesterday was good, I got the forward port tank out. It took about 3 hrs. of work with a big hammer, crowbars, Sawsall, and come along. It was tight but not as bad as the starboard forward tank, that one took over twice as much time and was very difficult to move. The boat is a mess so the next step is to clean it up and make design drawings for a welder. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fuel Tank Removal

Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02 is currently replacing his fuel tanks.  It turns out that tugs with the six fuel tank configuration share the same port-forward and starboard-forward tank size as their four tank sisters.   But, unlike later tugs with four tanks, Victory's floor joists are resting directly on top of his tanks.  This makes it much more difficult to get the tanks out.   Loren Hart said that an LNVTs tanks are designed to be removable--he didn't, however, say when they initiated the removable tank program.   It was clearly after hull #2. 
 Another difference between the tugs with four fuel tanks and those with six, the latter are self leveling.  That's because there's a tap at the base of each tank that's plumbed to the other two fuel tanks on the same side of the tug. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

In their Own Words: Loren Hart, Tommy Chen and Jim Backus

The following is a video made of the LNVT principals speaking at the 2006 International LNVT Rendezvous in Seattle's Bell Harbor.

YouTube video posting courtesy of Sally Seymour, Sally W 37VT42

Sunday, November 8, 2015

AC Safety Tests You can Do Yourself

The National Electrical Code is changing.  Don't get caught in the dark.  The following is from Jim Healy's blog, "Cruising Aboard Monk36 Trawler Sanctuary".  His write-up is an excellent step-by-step approach to make sure your tug's electrical system is ready.  Included below is only the article's introduction.  The rest of the article can be found here.
This article describes a series of test measurements intended to be performed safely by boat owners/operators. Little or no prior knowledge or skills with electricity, electric circuits or the regulatory codes, components, materials, workmanship and techniques involved in installing and servicing AC electrical systems is needed. There is never a need to contact a “live” electrical circuit. The tests assess the safety status of a boat’s AC electrical system. These tests can a) expose non-compliance and/or b) confirm compliance with a key subset of safety elements of the ABYC E11 electrical standard. Compliance of the boat to ABYC electrical standards is becoming more and more important. As shore-side facilities upgrade to the requirements of newer versions of the National Electric Code (NEC), boats that do not comply risk being left without AC electric power. For background information on that concern, see my article, “Emerging AC Electrical Concern".   Continue reading...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Welcome Aboard New Owners Patty and Bob Raichle, Mary K 49VT02

My wife and I bought the Mary K from Ed and Kathy Smith in August.  She is now docked at the Skyline marina in Anacortes.

We had quite an adventure coming up the coast [in early September]. Our calm waters turned nasty about half way between Westport and the Straits. We encounter 25kt winds and pretty rough seas, all in the dark of night. But the Mary K plugged along and none of us got seasick. So all was good. However, about 2 hours past Cape Flattery the exhaust elbow developed a bad crack and we filled the engine room with exhaust. We had to be towed to Port Townsend (had BoatUS insurance).

The second biggest problem was filthy fuel tanks. The rough waters churned up all the crud in the tanks. In anticipation of that very problem I tried to get the boatyard in Scappoose OR to clean them but they failed. In two weeks I will have inspection ports installed and really clean the tanks.

Bob & Patty Raichle

The Neptune Diner

A Little Boatyard Humor

Every Tuesday during boating season John Isaksen, 37VT35, hosts several men friends for lunch aboard Neptune. The menu is always the same: grilled cheese sandwiches with ham and tomatoes. The dock master at the marina has a wicked sense of humor and for years has tormented John relentlessly with his sick sense of humor. 

The Seymour's recent visit to the Isaksens fell on a Wednesday, a day late for grilled cheese fare, but there was evidence that the Neptune Diner was still up and running this late in the season. This sign gave warning that the dock master had too m much time on his hands. And note the panel of four signs in the background, hanging from the trim above the windows on the tug.

Good-natured John has saved these ribbings to share with friends. He has notebooks full of them. Note the one of the far right. Here's a close up.

With such notoriety, why would anyone want to step aboard?

Well ... we took our chances and the Isaksens, as usual, rolled out the red carpet. We came for the visit to show friends from the UK what our tug looks like. (They brought lunch.) We joked about how fortunate we were not be be subjected to the usual fare from The Neptune Diner. The day was filled with laughter. Life is good. Thank you Isaksens.

Welcome Aboard New Wannabes Marianne and Gregory Campbell

Marianne and Gregory live in Surrey, BC, Canada and are interested in a 49.   Marianne goes on to say:

Gregory and I have been sailors, but we have decided its time to explore our own backyard of the PNW in a warm confines of a LNVT. As one of your photos that I came across..."Life is too short to own an ugly boat", is exactly why we are seeking a LNVT. We are restorers by nature and we appreciate classic design. We have and own a few vintage cars that we have fully restored and we vintage race three of these cars. We also fully restored a 1973 GMC Motorhome. Used that lovely motorhome for a decade. Gregory is a mechanical engineer and he is meticulous in getting the job done correctly. And we love exploring! Thats a bit of who we are. Hope to own our tug soon! Marianne

Welcome Aboard Wannabes Al and Diane Robichaud

Al and Diane Robichaud
Al and Diane Robichaud are very ehtusiastic wannabes.  They attended the 2014 East Coast Rendezvous and are regulars aboard Neptune 37VT35 and Sally W 37VT42.

The Robichauds are cranberry farmers.  They have eight acres that keep them very busy from April until October.  This year's harvest was in late October.  It's grueling work.

Allan and Sally Seymour, Sally W, recently visited the Robichauds, went on a tour of some cranberry farms and took the following pictures.

The plot is flooded, and the berries are released from the low-growing bushes by these beater contraptions. Talk about built-for-purpose.
Cambodian workers travel between farms to do the collection.
Once all the berries are released and floating, they are gathered and sucked up into a chute which fills the truck on the left.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Elusive Window Leak

Crack in the stailess Z-frame
Just in from John Mackie, John William 37VY68

I've been chasing a leak in the starboard window since we bought the boat. Yesterday I removed the glass and did some caulking and thought I finally had it.  This morning the leak was still there so the glass and trim came out again and I discovered a crack in the frame. Appears to be from forming the tight radius with the press brake.  Before claiming victory I removed the teak trim inside and cleaned out the old caulk and poured water, with red dye
over the crack. No leak, so out came the whole window. The window had been installed at some point with 3M's 5200 but it came out with some persuasion and colorful language. About ready to reinstall with 3M 4000 this time and will let you know how it goes.

Crack repaired
Z-frame out 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Articulated Rudders

Here are two examples of articulated rudders that have been installed on LNVTs.  Why these rudders are effective is discussed on this web page:

Tortuga 37VT69 (more photos)

Minot's Light 37VT53

John William 37VT68's new Bimni

This just in from John Mackie:

It's done. Color matched perfect.

Welcome Aboard Lyndsay Caleo, Ursa 49VT03!

The following just came in from Lyndsay Caleo:

It's official, I'm an LNVT owner as of last night[30 October 2016]! I'm sure I am going to have lots of questions moving forward...I very much look forward to being in touch and being apart of the LNVT community!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

John William 37VT68's New Galley Sink

John Mackie reports and the installation of his new galley sink and faucet:

Been hangin with the gov engineers too long. This is up there with shuttle toilets and special hammers. Even had to make a finger extender to put wing nuts on sink hold downs. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Slurpee Bilge Pump

The ideal bilge is both clean and dry, but this is tough on an LNVT.  Water, either via the packing gland, Bomar hatches, or the anchor hawse constantly finds its way into the bilge.  Current bilge pump technology removes most but leaves about 1/2" of standing water.  Described below is a solution that can be easily made at home.  
Here's the setup for the Slurpee dry bilge: 
  • 3.3 gpm diaphragm pump
  • 1/4" plastic tube
  • 1-1/4" x 3-1/2" x 6" soapstone strum box
  • Scotchbrite pad.  In operation the Scotchbrite pad, which acts as a filter, is face down. 

The soapstone has 3/8" holes drilled in it as follows:

This system is effective because the diaphragm pump's vacuum is strong enough to entrain any water in or below the Scotchbrite pad.  I tested the 3.3 gpm pump to a height of 5' with no decrease in the 1oz/sec flow rate.   Allow the pump to run for few minutes after the area around the Scotchbrite is dry and there's no backflow.  A manual switch can activate the pump.  Included with the switch is a programmable 12V relay (~$10 from Amazon).  This way the pump can be automatically run on a fixed schedule.  Set and forget--I hope. 

Spotted: Lil' Toot

The following lightly edited text is from Terry Keith, Lil' Toot, 37VT75

We had her out today [25 October 2015] for about three hours and all worked well.

Welcome Aboard Ginger and Brendan Mazur

The following lightly edited text is from our newest wannabe:
We have a R21, Ranger Tug, St. Brendan, that I absolutely love. My wife Ginger and I live in the Atlanta area, but I'm in FL monthly on business. We'll usually trailer our tug down and spend a weekend coastwise cruising and spend the work week (evenings) entertaining clients. We just got back last night from our Tampa trip. About 2 years ago, I was on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta and found myself sitting next to LNVT owner, John Mackie [John William 37VT68] from Merritt Island, FL (divine intervention to have two tug owners sitting next to each other). This conversation with John is when LNVT's really came on my radar. This past week we were tying up to a courtesy dock at a restaurant inside John's Pass when a Yacht Broker approached us admiring our tug. He had just sold a LNVT and is an admirer of LNVT's and my little R21 classic. He invited us into his office and let me borrow an old copy of Soundings Magazine that had an article about LNVT's. My wife recalls me talking about LNVT's and my meeting John, but she never seemed to have an interest in my appreciation for the tugs until she saw one. Since that conversation and article, my wife has been combing the internet about the 37's. The plan was to find a winter home, but her wheels are now spinning about a '37 LNVT. I'm tickled she is the catalyst in our interest.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Smith Brothers

From Allan and Sally Seymour

Ken and Craig Smith

We recently visited brothers Ken and Craig Smith aboard Craig's tug Rosebud 37LNVT#34 in Newport Beach, CA. Craig and wife Rosemary are original owners from 1985. He'll regale you with stories about buying the tug from Loren Hart.

Rosebud at the dock, neatly protected from the strong California sun.

Polar Mist waiting patiently for the fleet to join up for the cruise to Poulsbo, WA in August
Ken and wife Pat bought their tug, Polar Mist 49VT#7 in 1998. They are the second owners.

Here's yet another tug rendition in the neighborhood.

Warning! If you don't take care of your tug it could morph into a catamaran and be boarded by aliens. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Before and After

The first time Roger Brown (owner of the little tug) and Carl Butterfield, Carla B 37VT05 met was on the Rideau Canal some 10 years ago. Today Roger is the newest LNVT owner--Lady Hamilton 37VT12.

Just in from the New Owners of Cielito 37VT51

Philip Kramer, Cielito 37VT51
We got Cielito into the yard and then took off for a three week road trip with the little one. We're settling back into Seattle life now and it's good to be home.   We won't be renaming her and Seattle will be the home port. 

A big welcome aboard goes out to new owners Philip Kramer & Erin Gainey.

We're working on many small repairs and some tidying up of items that the survey picked up. Biggest adventure was an exploration of the salon walls for moisture/rot. No rot in the walls, some moisture but looks like it is condensation forming in the delaminated areas. The yard noted that the way the walls were constructed probably means it's been this way for many many years and they weren't concerned (nor surprised). They attempted to fill one large void with epoxy but quickly discovered the walls aren't sealed on the bottom when epoxy began running out. Not sure what the future holds for these voids - maybe we just all learn to get along?

We also rebedded some of the windows while exploring - the pilothouse windows were sealed poorly but all salon windows were well installed. What else - reorganizing our elecrical/battery/inverter setup and bringing it into the modern world, rebedded some deck screws that we think we're causing a small leak into the stateroom, and sealed the overhead hatches which were leaking, replaced the plywood under the sliding hatch cover on the topdeck. The engine also got a tuning up and several new hoses. Oh, and we discovered that our steering cable was barely hanging on, the crimps had come off one loop and the cable was on it's last strand of steel coming down from the helm (accessed from the shower).
As for salon windows we had a good test of their weather resistance with this last rainstorm in Seattle. A notable amount of water came through the forward window on the starboard side (one that had been rebeddded). It seems that at the right angle and volume, rain will fill the gutter faster than it can drain and overflows into the salon. Common issue? We also realized that we have all port oriented windows. So the starboard side has the outer layer of glass towards the aft deck which leaves the felt seal between the panes woefully exposed to any water coming from the front of the boat.
I could keep going but... :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Saloon Wall (Tuggers Vol. 65)

Hiaqua 37VT03 with the stainless window frames removed
Knowing how the wall was made will aid in the diagnosis and repair of wall problems. Wall problems are almost exclusively caused by water leaking past the saloon windows. The saloon's wall is made up of six distinct layers. Layer (1) on the weather side of the wall is a white gel coat. Next, layers (2), (3) and (4) comprise a 1-1/2" thick fiberglass-balsa core-fiberglass sandwich. The sandwich's width is the yellowish/white area in Hiaqua 37VT03's window jam pictured above. The sandwich was laid up inside the topside's mold pictured below. Next up is the saloon's wall itself. It's made of layer (5), a 1/2" thick plywood, with layer (6), a melamine-like finish attached to it. The plywood is fastened to the fiberglass with furring strips. There's space between the furring strips and that's why in the picture above there are voids visible between the sandwich and the plywood inner wall. Note: the wall's plywood thickness and finish varied over the LNVT 37's production run. Lady, for example, has a 1/4" plywood wall with no melamine-like finish.
The LNVT 37 hull and topsides molds

Lady Hamilton 37VT12's New Owners

Congratulations to Roger and Deborah Ann Brown newest tug owners in the Fleet!

As Roger relates -- 
The deal is complete! Attached is a photo I took last Monday [12 October 2015].  She is ready to be shrink wrapped for the winter in Newburyport and I will sail her to New Brunswick in the spring.
The Browns will keep Lady Hamilton in Fredericton, New Brunswick