Tuesday, April 28, 2015

John William 37VT68 in the Abacos

We got word from the crew of the John William 37VT68 that they made it safely across to the Abacos.  They are 'stuck' in Green Turtle, Black Sound due to the weather.  What a terrible place to be 'stuck' indeed :-).  Once the weather improves, they intend to continue south to the Exumas before crossing back to their home port in Florida.  Sounds like a fabulous cruising plan.

They sent a few photos which we also are publishing.  The pup in the last photo is Lucy and she is trying out her life jacket for the first time.  Looks like she too is enjoying the warm waters of the Bahamas.  We wish them safe travels and we hope to hear more from them soon.

John William's pilot house navigation
Even the threat of rain is pretty
The perfect sunset
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Keel and Rudder: Design vs. As-built

Jim Backus designed the 37' LNVT with 3000lbs of ballast to be located just below the waterline and as far outboard as possible.

However, the tug was built with the ballast in the keel.  Did the ballast's relocation result in changes to the keel?  To find out let's compare the tug described in the blueprints to the tug we own, i.e. the as-built tug.

The LNVT's 'Revised Hull Line Drawing', dated 19 June 1981, calls for a 4-3/4" wide keel. This thickness is to be consistent from top to bottom and from stem to stern.

Here's a shot of Thistle 37VT47's keel. Looking at the root (where the keel attaches to the hull) the light makes clear the keel's fore-aft and top-to-bottom tappers. At the aft end of the keel the root is 6" wide while at the bottom it's 5" wide.   Moving along the root towards the bow, the keel's width increases to ~8".  But the bottom of the keel remains 5" wide.

The bottom line: the as-built root is thicker than designed but tapers quickly to almost the specified thickness--5" vs. 4-3/4". There's also some taper along the keel's longitudinal direction which wasn't specified in the plans.

In the above picture the as-built measurements (in red) were made by Allan Seymour, Sally W. 37VT42, the numbers in black are takeoffs from the blue print.  The height of the keel was measured from points 3', 6' and 9' forward from the end of the shoe.  The fillet between the hull and keel makes it difficult to get an exact measurement. While there are differences between the designed and as-built keel, they appear to be minor.   Since there are known differences between the designed and as-built shoe, perhaps basing all measurements from the rudder post's center-line would make more sense.

Most glaring, in these preliminary measurements, is the difference between the designed and as-built rudder. The blueprint calls for an approximate 32"w x 32"h rudder; the as-built is 30"w x 30"h.  The rudderpost's center line was designed to be 6-5/8" aft of the rudder's leading edge; it is actually 3-3/4" aft.

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Yard Productivity and Market Competitivness

According to Daniel Spurr's Heart of Glass, U.S. based Endeavour Yachts more than tripled their productivity between 1984 and 1988.  In 1984 they built 200 sailboats with 308 employees (2/3 boat per employee). In 1988 they built 100 boats with 50 employees (2 boats per employee).  

Contrast this to OEY's peak year, 1986, when 33 boats were built with 250 employees (that's about 1/8 boat per employee).  

If the above is representative of the world boat building industry, several generalizations can be made:

To be competitive a mid 1980's Taiwanese boatyard worker made about 1/5 of their U.S. based counterpart. 

By the late 1980's, and without major productivity increases, OEY could remain in business by paying their employees 1/15 of the U.S. yard worker or by tripling the price of their boats.  Clearly, neither solution by itself is feasible. 

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 NE Rendezvous

The NE Rendezvous is now scheduled and we hope you'll be joining us.  It will be in Camden Maine 24-26 July.  You can find all the details at: http://tugin-east-2015.wikidot.com/schedule-of-events. Hope we will be seeing you there!  If you have any questions about the event, please contact the organizer, Sally Seymour at sallyvt@me.com.

Friday, April 10, 2015

LNVT History: "No one really needs a boat."

Lord Nelson Ltd. and Ocean Eagle Yachts went out of business in 1989.  U.S. based Pearson Yachts, the largest recreational boat maker up to that time--at their peak they had nine production lines and sold one new boat per day--went bankrupt in 1991.  Their deeper pockets allowed them to hold on a little longer than Lord Nelson but they too were done in by the same tidal wave of events.  According to Daniel Spurr's Heart of Glass those events included the institution of the 10% luxury tax on new boats, anxiety over the Persian Gulf War, high oil prices, fear of recession, and the flood of good used boats on the market.  William Shaw, Pearson's CEO, reflecting on why his company, along with much of the boat building industry had recently gone under, succinctly said, "No one really needs a boat."  

  Pearson is where Jim Backus got his start designing boats. In fact, in 1982 he'd just left Pearson to hang up his own shingle when he won the 37 Victory Tug commission.  

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thistle 37LN47's Bigger Rudder

Thistle's rudder has had been extended by about 4 inches.  The weld is a very good one but you can see the seam when you look closely.  As a comparison the picture above shows a standard LNVT rudder (the darker image) overlaid on Thistle's rudder.  Thistle tracks through the water like she is on a rail. 

Ed McChain, Thistle 37LN47

Friday, April 3, 2015

Annie's Makeover

Submitted by Craig Kurath, Annie #38


We applied a second coat of high build primer on the sheer stripe, sanded that out and applied gray sanding primer.  We are currently sanding out the gray sanding primer. 


Victory 37VT02 gets a new mast (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Submitted by Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02

It is wonderful to be getting warmer weather; yesterday I painted the aluminum mast that I made for Victory. I applied Interlux Primekote and will apply Interlux Perfection for a top coat. My compressor is not big enough to paint with so I am using a HVLP spraying system that does a fair job. The first coat has some orange peal; I may not have thinned it enough. As the weather permits, I'll apply an additional prime coat and top with Perfection.