Sunday, May 31, 2015

Just Another Sunday

 Sally Seymour, Sally W,  37VT42

They say a picture almost never does justice to the situation and it's certainly true in this case: crossing Penobscot Bay this morning in 3 foot seas slapping us broadside on course. With the first mate hanging on for dear life, dishes rattling, pantry items sliding, cooler contents shifting, salon cushions leaving their nests, the captain at the helm with feet firmly planted wide stance deftly managed the seas deviating first north, then south of the course to bring the good ship back to port.

Back at the dock and soon after finishing the clean up, we were sitting in the salon when two heads appeared outside the window. The woman exclaimed, "What a beautiful boat!" Her husband was by her side wearing a jacket with an embroidered boat named "Moby." Yes, it was previous LNVT owners Alan Oates and Nancy Caffee, of 37VT14, Moby.

Third owners of Moby Alan Oates and Nancy Caffee of Gulfport, FL.
Moby has led an interesting life. She was first owned by Peggy Hall, who used the boat on her job as park ranger in the Bahamas. Peggy sold her after 14 years to a Florida couple, the McCulloughs, who sold her four years later to Alan and Nancy. They kept her for ten years, living aboard for three. During that time Nancy used her handy Sailrite sewing machine to make curtains, screens, bimini, and fancy dodger screen which enclosed the entire stern. The tug may be the only LNVT with a bow sprit. And it also came with one of those coveted bulwark doors which previous owners called a "rum door." Guess why? Hint: Caribbean.

The fourth owners, Bob and Birdie Jenkins changed the name to Sea Turtle and kept the tug for two years. And here's more intrigue: Sea Turtle was sold again in September to 2014 to unknown buyers. This is where Dave and Bicki Howell get antsy. Losing track of a tug is like, well, losing track of a child. The tug has been spotted in Fort Lauderdale. Anyone wish to help solve the mystery?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Stuffing the Stuffing Box (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Thomas Bauer, Sempler Fidelis, 37VT59

I really enjoyed the article on re-stuffing a stuffing box [Tuggers Winter Issue #62, by John Barker, Dun Wurkin #45 - ed.]

I have never attempted this job while in the water, but it's good to know that it's possible. I have one "improvement" to the instructions.  Instead of the chop sticks, I split a piece of 2" plastic pipe, put it on the prop shaft, and use it as a perfect "tamper" for the packing. 

There's a fantastic How-To website that I think is one of the best sites for boat owners. This is their article on stuffing boxes. You will see where I got my idea for the pipe tamper. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

How the Rub Rail's Wood is Attached

Allan Seymour, Sally W. 37VT42, sent in this picture which shows what's under the rub rail's stainless strike plate.  Note all the screws holding the teak to the fiberglass.  

From the New Owners of Victorious

From Heidi and Ken Maitland
Victorious 37VT26

After a false start yesterday (underfloor repair needed on the packing gland nut at the stuff Ing box that the yard didn't tighten properly,) we really got going today. Lots of folks on the water due to the holiday but everyone wants to smile and wave at the tug! 

Working on the packing gland

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It is officially Cruising season!

Sally W 37VT42 was just 'splashed' in Camden, ME.  It must mean that the ice has finally melted and cruising season in the NE has officially started.  We look forward to hearing more from the Seymour's as they embark on a bit of cruising in NE waters.

Sally W 37VT42 at Camden Harbor, ME

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Jim Backus (LNVT architect) Responds "From the Bridge" (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Your last paragraph ["From The Bridge" Tuggers Spring Issue No. 63 - ed.] in discussing the placement of ballast causes me concern. In it you say, "Using engineering principles, Jim wanted to make his boat's motion more comfortable. Using time-tested manufacturing practices, Tommy wanted to make his boat safer." From that it could be inferred that I put comfort above safety. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Placing the ballast on centerline when the design is a powerboat does nothing for the design other than add weight. With the ballast on the centerline it as no value as a roll deterrent. Simple proof of that is that Robert Beebe and Steve Dashew both use "flopper-stoppers" to combat roll and both place the weights (ballast) outboard and at a location about 65 -70% aft where the maximum waterline beam is usually located. Sailboats place the ballast on centerline to offset the load forces on the mast. If the ballast was split on a monohull it would have less force to compensate the pressures on the sail.

I divided the ballast between port and starboard and placed equal amounts high up to maximize the moment arm and thereby maximize the foot pound forces in countering any waves wanting to make the boat roll. This is similar to adding bilge keels but much better looking.

I think to have people believe that I set the ballast outboard for comfort reasons at the cost of safety (implied) is completely inaccurate. The fact that the boat was designed to SNAME and ABYC standards indicates that the design had safety as first consideration during the entire building process. For that very reason a weight study to determine the longitudinal, transverse and vertical center of gravities, taking nearly a week to develop, was used to insure proper location of the centers of each. I still stand by the design and the method used to control the roll based on knowledge available in 1982. Unfortunately, if the ballast is indeed on centerline it may be difficult to realize the difference it would have made to build the design to the plans.

[From an email dated 10 May 2015]

Before people start wondering why the boat(s) was built differently than the plans require, understand that the role of the yacht designer is not to inspect the progress of the design; that can be done but is separate of the design fee and contract. Loren was the importer and was also the inspector of record (self appointed) and he decided what would be acceptable regarding changes. My design firm was unaware of most of the changes made. Loren did not provide information on changes he made or approved, although the design contract required such to occur.

As designer, I adhered to the standards of that time going so far as to hold conversations with SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers) regarding the designing of the freeing ports due to boat size and calculated freeing port size. If anything, the design is over built as designed (emphasis on designed). Since the first tug was launched I am unaware of any accident caused by improper design that resulted in injury or loss of life.

What owners need to remember is the design was done in 1982, before hull fairing programs, before righting moment and laminate calculation computer programs. Weight studies were done by hand, took over forty hours to do and were done using HP's 41C hand held calculators. No one had 3D CAD and what computers we could afford were floppy disk driven with memories too small to run engineering programs.

One thing that designers were full aware of was safety. Designing boats required that a designer accept the moral responsibility that people would use his design and therefore those peoples' lives were dependent on the designer working to a standard that most people would not be required to achieve. We worked in three axis, horizontal, longitudinal and vertical center of gravities, and to standards as thick as two typical books and were subject to inspections by the US Coast Guard.

The easy part was making the design look like a tug.

[From an email dated 18 May 2015]

Friday, May 15, 2015

What to do on your wedding day?

Earlier this month (May 2015) Key Stage pulled out his sewing machine.  What made this an odd thing to do was because it was his wedding day.  Just hours before he walked down the isle he helped out fellow Tugger, Bob Allnutt (Victory 37VT02) to re-stitch a few boat covers.

He did make it to the wedding in time and even enjoys a little social time with fellow tug owners Dave Howell (Nellie D. 37VT63) and Allan Seymour (Sally W 37VT42).

Turtle 37VT23 -- Welcome Aboard!

Email from the new owner of Turtle 37VT23
Steven Sanford 
I have enjoyed reading about your cruises [reference to Nellie D's blog - ed.]--in the 70's had dream that when I turned 60 it would be my time--having been devoted to my profession and having little time to travel--romance of ultimately sailing off into the sunset---well don't know how to sail--however developed love for tugboats when 7-8 yrs. old--watching out grandparents' windows-- activity on the hudson---idea is to spend warm months living on the turtle in perhaps florida region--the last two winters--jan.+feb---brutally cold--time to branch out--fortunate to have [past owners - ed.] Eldred's to teach me the ropes--excited about new adventure.

New Throttle Cables (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Phil de l'Etoile, Brave Duck 37V67

Last year our transmission failed while pulling up to a fuel dock, and this year our shifting cable broke while docking.   At first I thought we were quite lucky that both incidents occurred at the dock, but in retrospect, that would normally be the case because other than docking or anchoring, one would not likely to be shifting while underway.

The throttle is another question however.  That could break at any time.  Remember, these cables are 25 years old. Also, in the process of installing new cables, we saw that the cable pathway just below the controller was rather abrupt just before going into the back shower.  Actually, that's exactly the point where the cable broke - about 9" from the controller.  Other than perhaps moving the controller farther aft in order to straighten the cable path, I saw no solution to this problem and we replaced the throttle cable as well simply because of its age.

I didn't save the original throttle cable because I see no likelihood that I would ever attempt to replace a broken cable out on the water.  FYI the cable numbers are located on one end of each cable. If it is on the engine end it is accessible, on the controller end, not so much.  It is handy to have these numbers because you may need to order new ones and may want to do that as soon as possible.  My cables were 22' and 24' in length, and the numbers were: 33C 22FT 7KO6 NTM, and 33C 24FT 7KO6 NTM respectively.  Although I’m not happy with the tight curve of the cables below the controller, I see no alternative. 

C'est Si Bon 37VT38, just for fun (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Welcome Aboard (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Col. Ralph L. Hagler from Seattle, WA recently purchased Talapus 37VT36.  He renamed her Ranger in honor of his being an Army Ranger.  She is undergoing some major upgrades and we look forward to seeing her on the water in the Pacific Northwest.

Heidi and Ken Maitland are from Duxbury, MA and joined us at the 2014 East Coast Rendezvous.  They are seriously looking to become new owners of a tug.   We hope to see them quite soon on the water in their LNVT.  

Adventures in the Bahamas (Tuggers Vol. 63)

John & Sue Mackie, John William, 37VT68
Excerpted from an email to the Editor

We left Green Turtle yesterday due to up coming weather.  Didn't want to spend another five days there.  We stopped outside the Marsh Harbor anchorage to make water and then came in. We were not here an hour when a squall came through  -- high gusts clocked 60.

A large sail boat broke loose and was coming at us just as ours let loose.  John, as quick as he is, started the engine and pressed the anchor up button at the same time.  Got away from the boat and all the others piling up behind us.  Had to anchor in the channel and stayed there until the wind died a little.  We then moved around the anchorage and didn't see any desirable spots.  We called Marsh Harbor and they graciously stayed open long enough for us to get tied up in an inside slip, dink being towed and wind just a blowin.  Anyway had enough excitement for one trip.  Doing wash--all the towels we have with us. Today is an all-day rain/wind day.  All is good!!

Nellie D. Along the Okeechobee Canal (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Dave & Bicki Howell, Nellie D., 37VT63
Excepted from Blog:

After breakfast aboard Liberty, a Pilgrim 40, this morning we said our goodbyes to owners Dave and Bobbi Forsman. It has been a fun trip up the coast with them.  Before heading out of Manatee Pocket we took on 95 gallons of diesel at Mariner Cay Marina. Their advertised price was $2.85/gallon. How then did we end up paying $2.99/gallon? Sales tax; it wasn't included. I can't say I'm a fan of the trend, most notable in airlines, to bait-and-switch prices. "Yes sir, that flight to Rome is only $100 but would you like the $300 upgrade that includes a pilot, a pressurized cabin, oxygen and heat?" Caveat emptor.  Tonight we find ourselves moored between two huge Port Mayaca Lock dolphins on the east side of Lake Okeechobee. 

We made 35nm today bring the trip total to 286nm.

At dawn we're treated to a rare sight, the Port Mayaca Lock with both its gates wide open. The level of Lake Okeechobee is the same as the canal that brought us here. The lock master clears us straight through then coolly adds "But you can tie up if you need the practice." How'd he know?  It only took one lock to get us from the Atlantic up to Lake Okeechobee but it'll take three locks to get us down to the Gulf of Mexico.  Tonight we are safely moored between the dolphins on the northeast side of the Franklin Lock.  

71nm today and 357nm so far.

Isle of Palms to Georgetown (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Roger Lee & Martha Burke, Fram 37VT71
Excerpted from Blog:

We got underway at 9 am, after spending the morning greasing and lubricating the infamous pillow block bearing, which made some scary noises as we pulled into the dock at Isle of Palms Marina on Tuesday evening.  A metal scraping metal sound could be heard every so often.  The grease did the trick, and we got underway. 

Georgetown is about 48 miles from Isles of Palms, and it took us 8-1/2 hours.  We ran at 1600 rpm, but were slowed by tidal currents more than  usual.  We danced around low spots along the way, and even had to plow mud briefly just south of marker G37, one of the worst shoaled areas along the Southern Carolina stretch of the ICW.

Georgetown, itself, is nice. It has a new boardwalk -- actually a pier that extends over the water along a path that runs parallel to shore.   Its central commercial area has several clothing stores, and even a sidewalk poster reminding passerbys that "Friends don't let friends shop in department stores."  

FairWind Reunites Past and Present Lord Nelson Owners (Tuggers Vol. 63)

By Mike Wiens, FairWind 41LN10

Yesterday Linda and I hosted the reunion of Peter Nordlie [the only individual to have owned both a Lord Nelson sailboat and later a Victory Tug 37VT47 - ed.] and his former boat, FairWind.  There must have been some dust in the air because as Peter first spied FairWind through our back door his eyes began to water.  Skipping the idle chit chat we went directly to the boat. Through Peter's eyes, actions and words his fondness for FairWind was obvious. We started at the stern and worked our way forward while I pointed out some of the maintenance items I had done to keep her Bristol.  Remarkably, many of the items Peter had added for his Atlantic voyages were still in place.  Below deck he started to reminisce about his time at sea aboard FairWind, the security he felt throughout the seven gales he encountered at sea and how well FairWind accommodated him and his crew.  I think Peter was appreciative of the care FairWind has received the past several years. 

Peter also brought with him a photo album he made of FairWind, himself, his crew and their adventures on their Atlantic crossing.  As he reviewed the pictures with us the joy he experienced on his voyages was obvious.  The ports he visited, the people he met, his crew and FairWind were all special to him. 

After lunch Peter answered many questions we had as to how he handled the sails offshore and other aspects of life on FairWind.  Our visit ended with Peter taking several photos of his beloved FairWind and along with a sage bit of advice, "Mike and Linda, you've spent a great deal of time working on FairWind, now go out and sail and enjoy her." 

That we intend to do. 

From the Bridge (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Hurray, it's finally Spring--never mind that it snowed a few weeks ago from Ohio to Maine!  I'm happy to report that the weather isn't dampening the Tugger spirit as Spring commissioning reports are pouring in.   Bruce Griffiths, whose Tess II 37VT22 is in Skagway, Alaska, gets the "Most Determined" award.  Since it's still way too cold and wet to work outside he's moving Tess II into a heated shed.  Some of the bigger jobs being tackled in the fleet are: painting the hull; new fuel tanks; installing new windows; re-bedding existing windows; new steering quadrants; adding solar panels; and new Bomar hatches.   

Not all tugs were laid up this past winter.  Fram 37VT71 made it as far south as Savannah, Georgia and is currently underway, heading home to Belfast, Maine, and finishing a 2800nm round trip.  In January Nellie D. 37VT63 took a leisurely three months to do the 400 mile Florida mini-loop (Naples, Key West, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, across to Ft. Myers via Lake Okeechobee, then back to Naples).   John William 37VT68 just started a three month cruise of the Bahamas.  After a Gulf Stream crossing to Grand Bahama Island they cruised to Green Turtle Cay.  Windy weather has them pinned down but once it abates they'll continue through the southern Abacos, Eleuthera, and the Exumas.  John and Sue Mackie's goal is to make it all the way to George Town.  Go John William!

Three tugs went up for sale this past quarter: Lady Hamilton 37VT12; Mocko Jumbie 37VT49; and Mary K. 49VT02 (Ed and Kathy Smith are original owners).  One tug sold; Talapus 37VT36, purchased by Ralph Hagler of Seattle, Washington.  

Tommy Chen built the tug that Jim Backus designed--with a few field changes.  One such change involves the location of the ballast.  Jim wanted it to be as far outboard as possible on each side of the engine room.  Tommy put all the ballast in the keel.  Understanding why highlights a problem as old as the pyramids; the difference between theory and practice, architect and builder.  Using engineering principles, Jim wanted to make his boat's motion more comfortable.  Using time-tested manufacturing practices, Tommy wanted to make his boat safer.  

Keeping it simple and having fun. 

A Thermostat for the Cummins (Tuggers Vol. 63)

We received quite a few comments regarding Tom Bauer's, Simpler Fidelis 37VT59 article.  Most of the discussion centered on how a thermostat functions and questioned whether operating the Cummins engine without a thermostat would indeed cause the engine to overheat.  Further research on the issue uncovered a warning in the Cummins Operations Manual (provided below) which hopefully helps clarify the issue.      

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wedding Bells (Tuggers Vol. 63)

This past weekend Dr Key Stage and Clara Mincey, Titan 37VT31, tied the knot. Five other Tuggers were there to help in the celebrations.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

[Photos taken and provided by Allan Seymour]

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Books Every Galley Should Have (Tuggers Vol. 63)

Martha Burke, Fram 37VT71

Cruising Chef Cookbook 
By Michael Greenwald

Discusses preparing for a voyage and resupplying in native markets.  Provides recipes for pressure cooking, stir frying and grilling, particularly useful techniques for the galley chef.

The Boat Galley Cookbook
By Carolyn Shearlock and Jan Irons.

800 everyday recipes and essential tips for cooking aboard with recipes made from readily-obtainable ingredients and tips on how to do things more easily in a tiny, moving kitchen.