Friday, July 24, 2015

East Coast LNVT Rendezvous Begins

Early morning shot of Sally W. #42, Fram #71, Loon #57, and Victorious #26 at Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine, Camden, ME.

2006 Time Warp

Walt Bacon, ex-Wayfarer 37VT74 in 2006 upon selling his tug to Jay Sterling, now Cruz-in.  Wayfarer/Cruz-in can be seen in the background.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Upgraded helm on Jack Robert 37VT17

Got a good deal on a Raymarine E120 and we added the FlowScan as well.  AIS is hooked into E120 but not the FlowScan.  Still have to upgrade radar but will have to wait a while.  -- Lee Anderson

Dun Wurkin 37VT45 Out Cruising

Sunset anchored out on Dun Wurkin Saturday night -- John Barker

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Repairing Turtle/Hatch Soft Decking (Tuggers Vol. 64)

  The decks of the turtle and hatch become spongy if water gets by the teak's caulked joint and into the plywood sub-decking.  The solution is simple, replace the plywood.  A picture is worth 1000 words; here's one of Lady #8.  In it you can see that the turtle's plywood sub-decking has been removed as has the hatch's teak decking.  

  Here's some good news, if the turtle's teak deck and sub-deck are removed first, the hatch's retaining screws can be removed and with them the hatch itself.  This saves from having to remove the entire turtle.  You want to remove the hatch because it's easier to repair it off the tug; its plywood underside, which is visible from inside the saloon, needs a precisely cut white laminate covering. 

  Some thoughts on the repair: use a good, marine-grade plywood; put a waterproofing layer (epoxy) on top of the new plywood; finally, epoxy, rather than screw, the new teak decking down. 




On Jul 17, 2015, at 2:59 PM, John Dann <> wrote:

hi Dave - 
please look at the following
would or could the use of this stuff work to harden up the teak in the companionway and hatch?
i'm no expert
your thoughts appreciated

J. J. Dann, MD, DMD

POBox 1869, Eastsound,WA,98245-1869
cell 925-989-5296; home 360-376-2940

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Loon's Transom Exhaust Fitting (Tuggers Vol. 64)

The following is from a 16 July 2015 email from Andy Mutch, Loon 37VT57
Thought you all might enjoy seeing why we always had a wet bilge in LOON. This was the through the transom stainless steel weldment (apparently original equipment) for the wet exhaust that was never actually welded together but which was patched together with goop at some point. The two halves were only tack welded together.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What century? (Tuggers Vol. 64)

From Sally Seymour, Sally W 37VT42

It was a busy day for Sally W. After three perfect summer days for our cruising, we awoke in a "thick a fog." With no lift in sight we set a southwest course for Penobscot Bay. Thank goodness for that 20th century invention radar. Never saw land, just occasional appearances of ghost-like lobster boats. We finally reached the bay and began searching for L'Hermione, the replica of the Marquis de Lafayette's ship, heading for a celebration in Castine. The VHF and AIS, more 20th century luxuries, aided the search as visibility improved only to fade once again. All of a sudden we were back in the 18th century when the French frigate appeared. Due to lack of wind she had to submit to engine power to make the arrival time up the bay. Her speed proved too much for our tug and we watched her slip away back into the foggy time machine.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hiaqua 37VT03 Arrives in Alaska

From Randy & Yvonne:

Hiaqua arrives Ketchikan safely without any issues. Smooth sailing or I guess tugging! Pulled fuel from port tanks to eliminate port list.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Design Concept for a Helical Anchor

  On the ICW and in the Bahamas there are literally millions of spots that are shallow, with soft bottoms, and with very limited swing room. The goal is to develop a method to 'park' the boat, securely, on a very short scope. 

  What's under consideration is a helical anchor that can be deployed and recovered from the boat's deck in water depths < 7'.  Here's an $18 helix found at a local hardware store.  

  Concept feasibility was tested by screwing the anchor in by hand and then pulling on it (@1500 rpm or about 25hp) with a tug.   This is the same RPM used to set a conventional anchor when a blow is expected.  We would have gone to higher RPMs but we're afraid the rope would break :-0

Two things were learned. The anchor was easily screwed into the sand/mud bottom, to within inches of its hilt, using only the 32" wide wood handle (pictured).  The helix's shaft bent a little but easily held the load. 

  As proposed, the helical anchor system is comprised of two parts: the helical anchor and a T-handle. 

Once the helix is set the T-handle is brought back aboard.  

Note:  Welding the handle to the helix is a possibility but keeping the boat from hitting the handle is problematic--think tide and wind changes.   An inelegant but feasible solution would be to set helixes fore and aft.  I prefer to focus on the removable T-handle solution. 

  In order to recover the helix, the T-handle must be positioned over,  and then aligned with the helix.  A daunting prospect unless the anchor rode is used to facilitate the coupling.   

  Imagine a hollow T-handle made of aluminum tube.   If the rode traveled through the tube than the rode could be used to guide the T-handle to the helix.  The success of this design rests on the interface between the T-handle and the helix's shaft, i.e. the coupling.  Here's an idea for a coupling.

After the rode emerges from the coupling it is tied to helix's shaft.  A potently fatal flaw in this design is the chafing that would occur where the anchor rode emerges from the coupling.  

There are advantages going with a square tube T-handle:  it simplifies the coupling design; nesting T-handle tubes could extend the operating depths; and, height of the handle (the part turned by hand) could be adjusted (think ergonomics).  Here's what the coupling could look like if square tube was used. 

The coupling is greatly simplified. Of course, getting the T-handle back on the helix would be harder. 

  Perhaps the ultimate solution is to use square tube but with a coupling that allows the rode to run through the tube.  The Achilles heel, and the problem I'm having trouble getting around, is how to do this without chafing the anchor rode.

Carolina's 41VT06 new mascot (Tuggers Vol. 64)

Carolina 41VT06 moored at Eagle Harbor in Washington over the 4th of July.  Besides getting to see fireworks, they were treated to a fabulous view of Mt Baker.  This was also the first time aboard for their cat Thunder.  Thunder quickly adapted to being the tug's new mascot and seemed to enjoy his time aboard.  We look forward to hearing about his adventures aboard on future trips.

Thunder enjoying the view from Carolina

Beautiful Mt Baker

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Trucking Lil Toot 37VT75

The following was taken from some emails from Terry Keith, June 2014
Coast to Coast haulers did a wonderful job and shipped her the 700 miles in less than two days [the cost was about $7.40/mile].  Lil Toot's height [when loaded on the trailer] was 14'2", he had no problems with that height.   
Lil Toot is perched in her fully enclosed boat house here on Chickamauga Lake on the Tennessee waterway in Chattanooga.  Just through with removing probably 15 coats of clear coat and now we start back.  She loves the fresh water and is currently being re varnished and Awlgripped.  I think she will be complete on the outside in about four weeks and if the money holds out, then we start on the inside.
We will probably make our first cruise in about four weeks. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Installing a Bulwark Door

Here are some lessons learned from installing a bulwark door:
1.  Install the door on the tug's favored docking side.  For a left hand prop that's the starboard side.
2. Install the door at the same time you're painting/repairing the bulwark.
3. Cutting the door out carefully will save a lot of finish work. The thin kerf of a sawzall blade creates the perfect spacing between the bulwark's caprail and the door's caprail.
 4. After the door is cutout, finish the bulwark part of the job first. The finished bulwark can then be used to size and trim the door--just don't touch the door's teak caprail ;-).
 5. Get hinges that don't have a lot of end play (i.e. axial movement between the leaves) or side play (the amount of movement of the leaves perpendicular to the pin). 'Loose' hinges will make your life miserable.
 6. Hinge the door on the forward side and have it open inwards. Hinging it forward means you won't have to walk past it when boarding and going aft toward the companionway. Hinging it to open inwards keeps the door safe from docks and pilings.
 7. Bevel cut (see picture below) the unhinged side.  Fifteen degrees is sufficient.  The door will fit tighter and look better.

8. Keep the fiberglass jam panel below the caprail. With the door closed the teak caprail should look continuous.
 9. Put a strike plate or other support between the bottom of the door and the threshold. The strike plate supports the unhinged side of the closed door. Somebody, sooner or later, will walk on the door's caprail and without the strikeplate the hinges could be damaged.
 10. Think about how best to finish-out the threshold. Big, expensive boats put in shiny stainless thresholds with the manufacturer's insignia on them. Lots of 'cool points' there. With a little forethought the same could be done here.
 11. Choose a latch that that is both effective and doesn't stick out so much that it snags unsuspecting passers-by.

Here's a list of tugs that are known to have installed doors (current 1 July 2015).  Pictures of their doors are available here:

LNVTSide InstalledHow Door Opens
Lady (8)port sideopens inboard and towards bow
Moby (14)port sideopens by lifting the door up and out
Titan (31)starboard sideopens inboard and towards bow
Neptune (35)starboard sideopens inboard and towards stern
Sea Turtle (40)starboard sideopens inboard and towards stern
Mocko Jumbie (49)port sideopens inboard and towards stern
Nellie D. (63)starboard sideopens inboard and towards stern
Fram (71)starboard sideopens inboard towards the bow
J. Edgar Moser (76)starboard sideopens outboard and towards stern