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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Neptune Spotted 37VT35

On Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 3:12 PM, Michael DiRusso  wrote:

I got these pics of Neptune Friday October 9th leaving Cuttyhunk MA.  The pics were too beautiful not to share.  She is an extraordinary vessel.  Enjoy.

Mike DiRusso
s/v Visionary

Insurance Concepts (Tuggers Vol 65)

2015 Insurance Survey Results
Phil de l'Etoile, Brave Duck 37VT67
(Presented at the NW Rendezvous 2015)

Boat Name
Liability Limit
Physical Damage
Annual Premium
de l’Etoile
Brave Duck
Pet Tug
State Farm


$500K ?
Tugboat Annie
Nellie D
Thistle Dew


   de l’Etoile Boat Value Annual Premiums: 
  $100K = $981, $125K = $1,196 ($215 Increase), $130 = $1,230 ($249 Increase), $150 = $1,356 ($375 Increase),  Liability Only = $477 ($500K)

Insurance Concepts
Insurance is intended to cover unexpected losses that you cannot afford. 
• The premiums for Umbrella layers are generally lower than premiums on Primary Coverages. IOW, the top $200K in a $500K underlying policy (Auto, HO, and Boat) is more costly than the bottom $200K in an Umbrella policy.    
• Physical Damage coverage (Hull) is normally the largest chunk of our Boating insurance premiums . - usually at least 50% or more. 
• In some lines of coverage, a total loss is not the norm.  So a 50 or 75% insured value might seem to make some sensebecause of the lower premiums involved. However we know that it doesn't take much to "total" an Automobile these days, so under-insuring your car doesn't make much sense. Boats are pretty much the same because a boat that sinks or a boat that catches fire may easily result in a "total" the vessel. 
• So when it comes to boats, an accurate value on the hull is probably the best policy. The term "accurate" can often behard to determine however. Maybe the question really is, "What amount is reasonable?". The question is not "What's the maximum amount that I could ever get for my very beautiful boat?". Don't forget that when selling your boat you have to consider that brokerage commissions, endless haggling, moorage fees, and survey fixes and correctionswill reduce your asking priceAn Insurance settlement has none of these.
• Comparing premiums can be tricky. There are variations in territory, loss history, and policy limits and coverage that come into play.
• You must decide what Claims are really worth reporting. There's an expression in the industry: "Frequency Breeds Severity". That means that if you file 2 or 3 small claims, it is expected that soon you will have a big one. That's also the time you could possibly get dumped. 

So it’s probably best to not plan on trying to get so much of your premium money back as possible by claiming every little, incidental loss.
Beware: Insurance carriers that spend big bucks on advertising will most likely be hard to deal with when it comes to settling claims. Insurance companies have only one source of revenue and that's premiums. Generally 20-30% of their collected premiums is a good estimate for normal insurance company expenses. That includes overhead, and profit. The rest is to pay claims. 
If you see an insurance company paying for expensive Super Bowl ads or other regular TV shots, or glossy magazine ads, penny pinching claims are the only way to offset those extra high expenses.  

Especially beware when these same carriers promote "Low Premiums". Ask yourself how that can possibly work out well. In addition to having high advertising expenses, they are now also reducing premiums. 
I know of a body shop that hates to handle claims for a certain low premium, highly advertised company.  The carrier is always looking for after – market parts, or not wanting to replace parts that can salvaged in some way.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

John William 37VT68 Gets Some Shade (Tuggers Vol 65)

Oct 5, 2015 6:23 PM

Just got the boat back in the water. Been out since August 20th. Painted the bottom and added the frame work for our top over the back deck. Need to keep out of the sun won out over our umbrella. Top will be a welcome addition and does not take anything away from the looks of the boat. Off this weekend on a 5 day trip up to Daytona.

John Mackie

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The First Tug

From Roger Brown, who is closing on Lady Hamilton 37VT12  this week: 

....this photo shows how it all began.....the love of tugs! Now you know why we want to "upsize"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Northward Rendezvous (Tuggers Vol 65)

Northwest LNVT Rendezvous
Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew 37VT42

T'was another family gathering up here in the Northwest.  Tugs from the "Bottom of the Sound", Olympia, heading north and tugs leaving Canadian cruises heading south while still others left their home ports all to converge on Port Orchard.  Some came alone while others joined up along to way to come in groups, looking real smart as they did.  Even as far away as Vermont didn't keep some back as Sally and Allan of Sally W joined us.  As has happened a few times before, former LNVT tug owners that sold their tug and moved on to other hulls, couldn't resist and brought their new boat to join in as well.  There is something magic going on here and we sure like it.   This time it was another Jim Backus designed hull.  As with any family gathering, should one have a birthday there will be cake and candles and so it was as we celebrated our Commodorable Bicki Howell's birthday....29th I think.  

From boat to boat, boarding parties roamed; from boat to boat, happy hours and impromptu meals were a happening and at night, the oils burned long as there was just not enough time to say, do, visit and see all that we wanted.  A couple of highlights included the arrival of Erik Teevin with Excelsior hull #1 and the many exploratory tours that followed.  Thank you Erik for being so kind in letting us all poke, look and take pictures.  There have been a number of morphing changes over the years of production and it was a real treat to see where they all started.  Speaking of that, we also had builder Tommy Chen with us.  Here is a picture of him surrounded by some of his family.

Being in the Northwest we of course had some rain too. (Below: Looking out Pet Tug's 37VT60 window)

One of the special awards we have here is the Admiral Nelson award.  It consists of a full biography of Nelson accompanied by the hat of an admiral as well.....suitable for wearing while reading the book and, for certain, at all LNVT gatherings.  Look for our new admiral in your neighborhood soon as this year it was awarded to our illustrious Commodore Dave Howell by Macy Galbreath, our most recent tugger to be aboard the HMS Victory, for real!

It is not all fun games.  We did have a very informative presentation of nautical terms by Lou Steplock of Pet Tug and his able body assistant Phil de l'Etoile of Brave Duck 37VT67. Look closely and you too can advance your nautical lexicon.

The photo on the left shows a "tugboat".  That on the right shows a "tubgoat"  :-)
Our out sail took us an hour or so north to Poulsbo for another couple nights of myrth.  If you haven't attended one of your area rendezvous' you have really missed the boat.  Put the next one on your calendar and you will probably never want to miss another. 
See you there!
Tom Blackwood