Monday, June 22, 2015

Hiaqua 37VT03 Heading to Alaska

Yvonne and Randy are teasing us armchair sailors with pretty pictures of their trip from the Puget Sound to Alaska.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Knock Off 37VT66's New Hailer (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Knock Off 37VT66's pilothouse has a new loud hailer mounted on a custom, American cherry standoff.  The standoff lowers the cabintop-mounted radio for easy access.  The standoff's wood coloration goes well with the laban headliner and matches exactly the existing VHF radio mount.  John Niccolls reports that:

The outside PA speaker somehow also feeds voice from the foredeck back to the built-in speaker in the wheelhouse unit.  No more screaming "neutral" while raising the anchor--a whisper should do it.  The signal functions include a siren!  Cannot wait to use that while apprehending a speeding cigarette boat."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hiaqua 37VT04 Visits Cortes Island, BC

Randy reports, "We stopped in Gorge, BC on Cortes Isl for a couple of days of R&R. Beautiful resort ... our departure was delayed five hours while I re plumbed the main aft bilge pump. The bilge thru hull exits to port and was now just under water and siphoning back into the bilge. As it turned out we were listing to port.  The fwd bilge exits to stbd and still above water. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Floorboard Differences

In a display of brute strength Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02, lifts his galley's single floor board with apparent ease.   In later tugs, the Yard split the one, large, galley floorboard into two, smaller floorboards.   

To be filed under 'Know the Difference', our floorboards aren't teak and holly, but rather teak and laban.  That's right, the same laban as used in the headliner.

Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02

Where's the Ballast?

According to the drawing below by Jim Backus, 1500 lbs were to be placed on the port side and another 1500 lbs were to be placed on the starboard side, with the weight's CG 13" aft of Station 5 (i.e. just aft of the saloon/engine bulkhead).   This amount of ballast and in this location lessens the tug's roll period by increasing the tug's moment of inertia.

Tommy told me he put the 3000lbs of ballast in the keel because that would increase the tug's ultimate stability.

Hiaqua is Off to Alaska--with New Windows

Randy and Yvonne write:

Just departed for Alaska.  Windows turned out great. Not enough time to do a write up before we departed. Will do this Fall.

Victorious 37VT26 is home

Heidi Maitland, Victorious 37VT26

We got back to our home mooring on Thursday afternoon and our home Thursday night.   We have duly showed our new boat to each son and daughter in law the last two nights. Now to catch up on what we missed at home and what the boat needs!

The last few days [of the trip from NC to MA - ed.] were good.  High winds but we could "hide" behind Long Island and parts of the Buzzards Bay shore for a lot of it.  And the threatened thunder storms held off. The boating folks in our small harbor are very curious about the new boat in town!

Victorious happily moored at her new home port

From new owners Eleanor & Terry Keith

Terry Keith, Lil Toot 37VT75

Lil Toot left Sailing Emporium in the morning on June 9th for her new home in Chattanooga on a truck, she will be placed in fresh water and live in a fully enclosed boat house and endure a make over.  Everyone in the organization has been so helpful answering questions and it sure seems like an out going group. Eleanor and I are proud to say we are new members.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Victory's 37VT02 Ballast Placement Slows Roll Period

Victory 37VT02 has a roll period of 3 seconds, 20% slower than the other tugs tested so far (for background read the LNVT Roll Period Theory vs. Reality blog post).   So, why is Victory's roll period longer? Because Victory has an estimated 1,400 lbs of ballast, in the engine room, outboard, and split evenly between the port and starboard sides (see the picture below).

The Port Side of  Victory's engine room.  The ballast is contained behind
the elliptical opening under the battery boxes.

The ballast itself is composed of thousands of ferrous metal punchings.
Some of the ferrous metal punchings.   
Because the weight of the punchings is so great and distributed port and starboard, I doubt an owner added it to correct a list.  It's more likely that the punchings were added at the factory in an attempt to build the tug per the blueprints.  Perhaps it was later that the decision was made to move the ballast to the keel.

So, how is the ballast configured on other tugs made about the same time as Victory?  Hiaqua 37VT03 reports having fiberglassed-in ballast in the engine room; how much we don't know.  Raven 37VT04 reports having no ballast in the engine room.  This makes me wonder if what we're seeing is the evolutionary process by which the ballast was moved from the engine room to the keel.

20 June 2015 Update:  Spoke with Tommy Chen today.  He believes that the all the tugs were built with ballast in their keels.   As for Victory's ballast of punchings, Tommy said he never worked used the stuff.

Update from Loretta May 37VT27 (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Larry Johnston, Loretta May 37VT27

We would truly like to attend [the NE Rendezvous in Maine - ed.] but we have family commitments that do not allow us to attend at this time of the year.  We really enjoy these "rendezvous" because of the excellent friends we have met and the new ones we meet every year.  We are going to miss getting all the hints on how to improve our own LNV Tug after seeing what the other owners have done.

Marilyn and Larry aboard their tug

I replaced our old Raytheon chart plotter and depth sounder this spring.  I still have the Raytheon Radar (still operational I think).  I installed a Raymarine a98 as the upgrade.  By having an approved Raymarine installer doing it, I have an additional year of warranty.  By doing it myself, I would have 2 years on parts.  By using "Vessel Support Systems" I get 3 years on parts and labour.  When you buy the units, they send you three bar code stickum for the a98 and the transducer.  You need to save these to give them to the installer for him to send away to Raymarine.

I like the clear 9" screen and the charts are certainly detailed.  It is a touch screen so zooming in and out is simple.  The transducer was a PT120 (bronze with a faring block).  Canadian cost for a98 and transducer was $2249.  Gold navionics card for Canada was $203.99.  (All costs after tax).  Cost of removal of old transducer and installation was $600.  The old transducer had a 2" hole and this new one was slightly smaller (1/4" difference) but no leaks with plenty of caulking.

I retired after 40 years from Ontario Hydro in July of 2013.  Marilyn has reduced her work hours at Hotel Dieu Hospital as an Occupational Therapist working in the Augmentative Communication Department (working with handicapped kids giving them computers so they can thrive at school).  She is now working 2 days a week instead of 5.

Hopefully we will get Loretta May off the dock more this year.

So that's my news.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Check Your Tug's AC Panel (Tuggers Vol 64)

By Ted Shann, Tug E Bear 37VT62

Pulled into our outstation awhile back and when I plugged into AC my reverse polarity light came on. Tried a different outlet on the dock with the same result. Never had an electrical problem at our outstation before. When I opened the power panel I had a big surprise looking at me in the face. My neutral wire on the back of the panel was loose and the wire was a little black from heat from the loose connection. I cleaned the connection and put things back together and the reverse polarity light went off and we were good to go. Not really sure why reverse polarity light came on. I went through the rest of the AC panel and DC panel and found no other loose connections. I know that a loose neutral is a problem and we should keep an eye on our power panels. Could be vibration from the boat or plugging into power with a lot of AC switches on and taking a surge all at once. I know when I leave the dock all AC switches get turned off, then the master, then unplug the power cord. When I hook up, just the opposite, plug in cord, turn on master, then individual AC. This affords you a little protection when hooking up in case there is a problem with the shore power. If there is a problem with shore power and you have all your AC switches off it won't get to your boat. You can tell by looking at your meter when you hook up. That's why it is a good practice to have two people watching when you hook up if you can. 

Loon 37VT57 headed to Maine

Just received word that Loon is splashed and ready to depart Annapolis Maryland for her new home in Maine with long time owners Alice and Andy Mutch.  Andy writes, " OKay, we are afloat once again. All spiffed up and ready to go to Maine, starting Sunday, I Hope."  Safe travels Loon.  

Monday, June 8, 2015

A 37' LNVT's Roll Period: Theory vs Reality

Dave Gerr in The Nature of Boats, discusses a heuristic that states a boat's most comfortable roll period, i.e. the time it takes to roll from one side to the other and back again, can be determined by dividing the maximum waterline beam (in feet) by the constant 3.28.   A boat that rolls faster than the ideal is called "stiff". A slower rolling boat is called "tender".   For a 37' LNVT the ideal roll period is 12' / 3.28 = 3.7 seconds.

When tested, Brave Duck 37VT67 and Victorious 37VT26 both had a roll period of 2.5 seconds.   Using the definitions above, the tugs are a little stiff.

The roll period can be extended by several means.  One method is to add weight high on the tug.  As an experiment, Brave Duck put about 500 lbs on the dinghy deck and found this extended the roll period to 2.8 seconds.  Another method is to add bilge keels.   Knock Off 37VT66's bilge keels add 14 sq-ft of roll resistance.   As can be seen in this video ( her roll period is 3.0 seconds.

Next to be tested is the effect a riding sail on an LNVT's roll period.  

1.  Gerr, Dave, The Nature of Boats, September 1995
2.  Using the Rolling-Period Test to Estimate Stability in Small Fishing Vessels 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Le Papa 37VT24 in Manhattan (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Hal Findlay, Le Papa 37VT24
From a recent email

We are now (Sunday) docked at North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan.  We've rented out our condo in CT and living most of the summer on the Vineyard.  This past winter we became snowbirds (Delray Beach, FL).  Hoping to think about bringing tug South this year.  Maybe basing on the West Coast and exploring the Boca Grande area.  This is 50% pipe dream at the moment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Petite Wazo 37VT20 Upgrades

Lazarette almost done. Rudder stops dialed in and some shelves to keep shit from running astray and sitting in moisture.

Leather headliner installed, sub ceiling laid with wiring installed for new pimp lights.

New portlights going in tomorrow.
I also pulled those overhead cabinets out in the galley. Everything feels so much more open and clean.

Trucking an LNVT—Lessons Learned (Tuggers Issue 33)

Dave Howell, Church Creek, MD, Nellie D. 37VT63

In April 2006 Dudley Boat Transport 800-426-8120, POC: Jerold
Parker, moved Nellie D. from Long Beach to Olympia. Then in
September 2007 Dudley moved Nellie from Anacortes to Annapolis.
Our first lesson leaned is that Dudley does a great job.
Here are some other things we learned.

Height is Money: The boat faces forward on the trailer and sits
bow low. This makes the top of the pilot house’s hatch about
the same height as the top of the stern deck’s ladder—which is
14’-0” as measured from the ground. Measuring to the top of
the name boards yields 14’-4”, and it’s about 16’-0” to the top of
the stack. Trucking up and down the west coast is fine at 14’-4”.
However, going across the US, we saved $1,000 by dropping to
a 14’-0” max height. Removing the stack is straight forward as
only four bolts and some caulk hold it on. Getting the name
boards, radar, antennas and kayak mounts off were more difficult
but worth it for the savings.

Measuring the height

LNVTs are Under the Weight Limit: when shipped Nellie
weighed 25,000 pounds. Both her water and fuel tanks were
full. Maximum load for the tractor trailer is almost twice that.
Remove Loose Things from the Exterior: There are two reasons
for this: it reduces the likelihood of theft; and makes it easier
to clean the boat at the destination. Our kayaks, 10’RIB, the
outboard motor, man-overboard sling, etc. were all packed
tightly into the saloon. We bought lots of blankets and sleeping
bags inexpensively from Goodwill to use as for padding. Remove
all exterior covers and the dodger too. Sunbrella is ruined
by road dirt while other materials get very dirty and are hard to

Nellie gets loaded on the trailer

Forget Shrink Wrap: We heard that shrink wrapping or dry
soaping could make arrival clean-up easier. We did neither and
found that removing dirt and grime was easy with soap and water.
Use Shrink Wrap Tape: The white tape that boat shrinkwrappers
use sticks incredibly well to fiberglass and glass and
leaves very little residue—versus the mess that duct tape leaves
behind. I used the white tape to waterproof the fastener and
wire holes left in the pilot house roof, to lock the windshield wipers
in place, and to seal the gap between the two panes of glass
in the saloon windows. Don’t use it, or any other tape, on finished
wood surfaces (Cetol, etc.) as it may pull the finish off.

Some Other Ideas: Get the drivers cell number. Both our drivers
wanted us to know where they were and what was happening.
Let the driver and/or Dudley schedule loading and unloading
with the yards. Shipper and yard have a professional relationship
based on repeat business—so Dudley can get you in even if the
yard says they’re busy. Keep your tools in an easily accessible
place, extension cords too. Block the dorade boxes so road dirt
isn’t funneled below decks. Horror stories abound of boats filled
with rain water because the bilge pumps weren’t left on or the respective
thru-hulls open. Finally, don’t forget to put padding on
the companionway lock—you don’t want it marring up the door.

Life is Good (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Don Miner, Wannabe

Sherry and I just returned from an impromptu road trip to Anacortes and surrounding areas. As you must know, sometimes you simply need a ‘boat fix’ and this one turned out to be a good one.  We would have been happy with the salt air and seagulls.  The unexpected Lord Nelson Victory Tug photo-op bonus was much appreciated.

By chance we found Doreen 37VT29on the hard in Anacortes, took lots of out-of-the-water pictures and had an enjoyable telephone conversation with owner, Rick Benedict. 

Our good luck continued when we found, and again took many great pictures, of C’est Si Bon 37VT38 in Port Townsend. Finally, as we were enjoying a shaded park bench overlooking the Poulsbo Marina who should arrive but Hal aboard Drifter 37VT11.  Ah, life is good!

A Beautiful Day on the Water

Lee Anderson, Jack Robert 37VT17 
Some friends of ours in the harbor took these pictures.  I believe he is a professional but they really show how our tugs slip through the water both effortlessly and gracefully.  We were going down the fairlane to our slip.  Jack Robert really looked smart.  The last one is now my wallpaper on my computer and iPad.  We had a great day out on the water with no particular place to go except to just be.

[Photos posted with permission from photographer Miguel Trujillo]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pet Tug 37VT60 Gets Paint

We have just finished the painting of the tug. Used Awlcraft inside and out. Pure white outside and white with just a hint of blue inside. All previously painted surfaces (as you know, it is improper to paint wood) inside got the same color. Head, shower, stateroom, salon. Also painted the rest of the stack we missed last year. Used Macy's [Lady 37VT08--ed] claret red there. So the entire boat now has had all visible surfaces painted with Awlcraft in the last 14 months. Looking for donations here.  Lou Steplock, from a 28 May 2015 email.