Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LNVT Model

From Bill Capitan 

I'm the former owner of La Salle, and my wife & myself winter in Southern AZ.  While here in 2011 I ran across the model of a LNVT made by a local woodworker; the enclosed pics [below] were taken and forgotten about until last week as I was transferring a hard drive to a new laptop. I think they would be of interest to everyone associated with this fine boat. I've kept my membership in Tuggers as a reminder of the happy years spent cruising the Great Lakes in La Salle. Be proud of what you have to yacht in, I was.

Replacing Deck Caulk

Teakdecking Systems SIS-440
Dug out some failing teak deck seams, taped the edges, put in SIS-440, used a putty knife to level the surface, and removed the tape before the caulk setup.  Got a great result.  The SIS-440 stuck well and seems the perfect durometer for a deck joint--not too hard and not too soft.  The color matches the existing caulk and the SIS-440 is priced under $15/tube.  What's not to like?
I bought a tube last winter and it summered aboard in the southern Florida heat.  Amazingly, the tube was still good when I used it last week.  Clearly, shelf life isn't a big problem.
Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Holy Smokes

[Tuggers Issue 49 article reprint]
By Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew 37VT46

During the Spring [2011] we took Thistle Dew to the boatyard to do a Webasto heater installation. While there, amongst other things, it became obvious it was time to change out our batteries. We had over ten years of success on our deep cycle house batteries and their little boxes were bulging. Time to go. In so doing, I removed all the house batteries from their portside engine room location and set them on the deck. Before heading over to wrangle the 8D crank battery out of the starboard side engine room location, I saw an opportunity to clean up the house battery location and do a little woodwork there. While leaning way in on the portside of the engine room working with my head nearly against the hull I hear this Whaoosh behind me. I immediately withdraw from my contorted position to look over my shoulder and to my amazement, in that short amount of time, the starboard half of the engine room was full of smoke and billowing...from somewhere. I bolted straight up the overhead hatch slapping all the AC and DC circuit breakers off, the main AC breaker off, followed by the rotary shore/ genset selector. 

Without breaking pace I bailed out the starboard wheelhouse door, ran to the dock hook up and pulled the shore power cord out and ran back in through the salon and with fire extinguisher in hand, took a deep breath and went into the densely smoke filled engine room to see what I could see. Through the smoke I could see a bright, nearly molten, red wire cascading from my Northern Lights generator and it was getting redder. What is it? Where is the source? Where is the power coming from? In a flash I remembered the 8D crank battery. That ol' boy just didn't want to leave its home and was giving it its all to show its stuff.  I reached up and turned the Cole Hersee selector switch to OFF and withdrew to the galley and selected OFF on that one as well. Another deep breath and back in. Through the smoke with face and fire extinguisher right up to that wire, I looked again. It was still nearly molten and red, but, the intensity was not increasing and as I held my breath a little longer I could see it was starting to dim. Exhaling on the way out, I felt a great deal of relief that I had stopped a fire just at the moment before ignition and sure conflagration. 

Back in I went, surveyed the area as best I could then started to evacuate the smoke. That was close....too close.  Had I been just five more steps away at the start; say up forward or in the salon, I would have lost the boat. So what happened? Short answer: don't know. Longer answer: I observed that most of the ground wires in the boat were affected; now melted or with crinkly insulation, all the way up to the back of the circuit breaker panel, especially the generator and the hot water heater. Each of those wires took out any wire that was touching it. I checked all over for any evidence of arcing and could not conclusively say I found sound evidence of same. Back to the spot in which I was working (port aft most corner of the engine room) I suspect I must have leaned against one of the house battery cables that were laying there unprotected and caused it to con- tact one of the copper water lines going to the hot water heater (that and the generator sustained the most damage). Since the grounds are tied together the juice flowed on to the generator. Because both Cole Hersee battery selectors (one in the engine room and one in the galley) were both in the BOTH position, the crank battery was then tied to the house battery cables and when shorted the battery charger (we were hooked up to shore power) decided, "hey, I've got a job to do" and kicked into full gear and was trying to charge the whole boat through the ground system. That's the best I can figure out and that's why some of the folks, for a while, called me "Sparky". I've put lots of new wire in the tug since that day, and am happy to report all is again well and after 90 some days in the yard, Thistle Dew had a very smooth 7 hour run back to her home berth. 

Tug Spotting -- Cruz-In

Cruz-In 37VT74 spotted in the Naples, Florida mooring field.  They've also been previously seen in in some other great locations--Marathon and Marco Island.  Owners Marty and Jay left their hailing port of Key West, Florida last month.  Sounds like great cruising!   

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thistle 37VT47's Spotlight

Thistle has a very nice Jabso 63022 spotlight.  Ed's is 6" in diameter.  Jabsco sells the light in 5"-8" diameters.  The following pictures show the light installed  on Thistle.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fuel Tank Removal

From Lee Anderson, Jack Robert 37VT17

Trevor Croteau [owner of Hjortie 37VT33] and I were able to get 4 of the 6 tanks out on Sunday.  Forward port tank could not be removed.  It jammed between the floor joist and the support plate for the shaft seal, the same problem others have had.  I did not have a jack handy so we called it quits for the day.  We loaded up the four tanks we did have (all the SB side and the middle tank on the port side) into my trailer and I took them up to Gas Tank Renu today.  Great bunch of people.  

Joe [from Gas Tank Renu] unloaded the tanks.  He was a bit concerned with all the fiberglass on the tanks.  I said the fiberglass was the boat yard’s attempt to prevent the tanks from rusting and it had worked well enough for 32 years.  He went after the forward SB tank with a scraper and peeled a sizable chunk of the fiberglass off the tank exposing the steel tank surface.  It had visible standing water and rust around the inspection port.  He believed he could clean all the fiberglass off but wanted to do more to see how much of a job it was going to be before he gave me a quote.  He showed me a tank he had just completed the complete Renu process on and it looked brand new.  

They do all the tank refurbishing for the Minnesota DOT.  We agreed on doing the same outside finishing process on our tanks.  Joe said we could put whatever other finish we would like to put over their outside finish if we wanted to, it should be no problem.

Here are some pictures of the tanks. We are at about 8 hours total into the project at this point.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pet Tug 37VT60 New Storage Cabinets

Lou and Debbie Steplock, Pet Tug, shared some photos of their new cabinets.  The area behind the salon settee was changed to provide space for six new storage areas.  An arm rest with a bead board side was added to the aft settee cabinet section which integrates the piece.  In addition, the stateroom got more storage.  The original three drawer configuration under the "V" birth was changed to accommodate six drawers.

Tug Spotting

Cruising Season is starting!  Just heard from the owners of Teddy Bear 37VT15.  She is out of her winter covers and owner Peter Reich indicated the engine fired right up.  They celebrated the arrival of Spring with a luncheon cruise.

Friday, April 15, 2016

New Fuel Tanks in Pet Tug 37VT60

From Lou Steplock

We removed the fuel (4) and holding (1) tanks in the shop in Olympia. It took 2.5 guys (I was the 0.5) about 12 man hours total to get them out. We removed the glassed-in supports for the mid shaft bearing, and after that, the last fuel tank came out easily. Then we trucked the tanks up to Bellingham to Coastline Equipment, who duplicated the four fuel tanks and one holding tank.  The tanks were made of aluminum for fuel, stainless for the holding company.  They were prepped with S76 and painted with TuffStuff.   I'm going to try to keep all of existing fuel copper lines and fittings.  The holding tank is under the forward part of the bunk and all the vent and waste hoses will be replaced.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tug Spotting

Hull 37VT14 was recently seen at the ship yard in Indiantown Marina, located inland on the Okeechobee Waterway in Florida.   Looks like a bit of tip and rolling is being done on the stack.  Owner Troy Lazzaro bought hull her last September.  Troy indicated the boat is on the hard in the working yard.  He stated, "There's a list longer than the tug is but she's SLOWLY getting there."  He is planning to have her back in the water this Fall.  

Tank inspection & repair

This just in from Lee Anderson, Jack Robert 37VT17

Two hours into the project and the starboard middle tank is out.  Initial inspection of all the tanks seem to show they only need a good cleaning and some minor weld repair.  I found a place nearby that refurbishes steel tanks and I plan to see them to get a quote.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tug Spotting

Cruz-in 37VT74 spotted in Marathon, Florida Keys.  Owners Marty and Jay Sterling said the trip from Boca Cica to Marathon was a bit rough.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fun Artwork

We loved this!  We received this photo from Peter Reich, Teddy Bear 37VT15.  When he experimented with his new Apple Pencil on IPad Pro 9.7, what did he draw?  Of course he drew an LNVT!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2016 Victory (Tug) Cruise to Canada and points along the way!

From: Macy Galbreath <>
Subject: 2016 Victory (Tug) Cruise to Canada and points along the way!
The cruise/rendezvous has finally come together.  We have gotten notes from about 8 - 10 boaters so far who plan to join us either for the entire 10 days or for several days along the way.  It should be great fun and good cruising.  We have had to make some changes and a new schedule. *Please note:*  Deer Harbor was not available so we substituted Reid Harbor on Stuart Island.  We hope some boaters might get in early that day (those not going through Deception Pass) and get one of the floats so we can raft up together.  From there we will go into Sidney, BC to clear customs and shopping, since there are a number of items you can't take across the border.  We will send a link (or list) later.  Then we will head on up to Montague Harbour where we are planning for everyone to anchor and maybe do a circle raft-up!  Then on to Telegraph Harbour and finally Genoa Bay before making our way either back home or on to other destinations.  Bill and I will be heading home!
We have tentative reservations with 4 marinas, but need to get back to them right away with a firm count.  This will not obligate you, but will guarantee us enough slips.  Later on, you will need to make your own confirmed reservations with a credit card saying you are part of the LNVT group.  We will send the information you need for that later.  Right now, even if you replied earlier, we need you to respond back and let us know where you will join us on the trip (as you believe now or hope to join up). You can also add your name on the rendezvous list.
Will you be planning to join us at:
* Langley Marina - July 9 & 10*
* Port of Sidney Marina (BC) - July 13*
* Telegraph Harbour Marina - July 15 & 16*
* Genoa Bay Marina - July 17*
Please let us know about the 4 marinas above as soon as possible so that we can get our confirmed reservations.  Thanks, Macy and Bill
PS.  This message has gone out to the entire NW tug group.  As we get our list together of those participating, we will just be mailing to them.

Hiaqua 37VT03's New Bottom Job

The good news is that after 12 weeks of drying, the hull is bone dry and we are ready to start filling blister holes, epoxy and bottom paint.

The plan for Hiaqua is to go over the bottom one more time and grind out any more potential bad spots, then give it a light coat of Sea Hawk Tuff
Stuff Epoxy. Then start filling and skim coating with West Systems Epoxy w/ filler. This will be done 1/4 of the hull bottom at a time since
recoating for best adhesion is time sensitive. Re-sand the whole smooth and two coats of the same epoxy barrier coat. Then two coats of Sea Hawk Sharkskin epoxy bottom paint. This yard is hot on Tuff Stuff and Sharkskin so I guess that is what we are going with. I used Velox Plus Antifouling Paint on the rudder and props.

I just finished polishing the stainless bow stem plate and got the 12
fender pad eyes back from the chroming to mount on the freshly varnished
cap rail as well as remounted the freshly varnished navigation light boards
and aft doors, so we are really looking new and ready to go cruising!
--Randy Miller

Hiaqua 37VT03 Finds Buried Treasure

[Here's] a little treasure we found bolted to the port stateroom closet wall under the bed in a storage compartment.  It has a top screwed to it and looks kind of like a knife holder, but nothing in it.  All teak.  Any ideas as to what this is all about?  I removed it.  Hope it is not some superstitious item.  --Randy Miller
I haven't seen anything like it on a tug before.  For awhile the Yard built wood block knife holders into the countertop to the right of the stove.  I sent the picture to Tommy Chen.  We'll see what he has to say.  --Dave Howell

That has got to be what it is.  It sure looks like a knife holder even though it looks a little odd.  Having worked with Taiwanese for 40 years, I know how superstitious they can be.  A previous owner must have just relocated it for some reason rather than using it to make teak plugs.  --Randy Miller