Monday, December 7, 2020

Boarding Ladder Extension

I took the boarding ladder to a local welding shop to make a folding 2 step extension.  I then attached a retrieval cord and created a velcro latch to hold it closed while in the engine room.  I have not had a chance to test it out but this will mean we have 3 full steps in the water.  Even an old man like me will be able to re-board, problem solved.  

The total bill was just under $500 for material and labor and it took 10 ft of SS tubing.

Greg Whitaker, Julie B. 37VT63

Saturday, December 5, 2020

A Tugger's Monk Adventure

John Niccolls, ex-Knock Off 37VT66, on the flying bridge of his new Monk 36.  Just delivered Mary Alyce from Great Bridge, Virginia to her new homeport of Herrington Harbor South, MD. 


The flying bridge was abandoned when the sun and the temperatures fell.  But operations continued smoothly at the lower steering station throughout the night.  The radar proved invaluable for avoiding the abundant commercial traffic.  The 150 mile, 18 hour trip came to a successful conclusion at 0400 hrs.  How often can a skipper say he's got more night hours on his boat than day hours?

Making a tug...

Peter van Dommelen, Lord Nelson 37VT70 is now building his own 37 LNVT... model.

On a larger scale, Stefano Ferrarese, ( just joined the Association and is interested in building a 49.

Monday, November 30, 2020

LNVT Ship's Store Sale

๐Ÿ“ฃSpecial Holiday Sales Event! ๐ŸŽ‰

We've slashed LNVT Ship's Store prices. Sale runs through December 2020 with bargins on the entire inventory - including tees, hoodies, coolers, and burgees.  Free shipping to the lower 48.

๐ŸŽ„Our elves are standing by at , ready to ship that perfect gift to your favorite LNVT enthusiast.

Thursday, November 26, 2020


 From the crew of Teddy Bear 37VT15, who spent today aboard, Happy Thanksgiving!



A meal with all the fixings

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Update from Lord Nelson 37VT70

From: Peter van Dommelen - Lord Nelson 37VT70
Date: November 19, 2020 11:04:43
Subject: Re: [LNVT] Inside paint color

Hi all,

I’m working on that at the moment. Using epifanes oil varnish.  Lots of work ๐Ÿ˜‰

Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday, November 6, 2020

Impromptu Rendezvous

Thistle's pups

Chip Collamore, Decoy 37VT19, in the news

Deltaville boatbuilding legend and his son will reign over scaled-back Oyster Festival

by Larry Chowning – 

Pioneers in Virginia's fiberglass commercial boatbuilding industry, John (Chip) Collamore III and his son, John (Jock) Collamore IV, both of Deltaville, have been named captains of a special substitute version of the 63rd annual Urbanna Oyster Festival.

The annual selection of captains is to honor and acknowledge Urbanna's and Middlesex County's long seafood and boatbuilding heritage. Although there is no official festival this year, the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation still selected captains and a grand marshal. They will ride in the parade and participate in events in next year's festival.

When Chip and his wife, Susie Collamore, moved their family to Deltaville during the Christmas holiday of 1972 there were 21 active wooden boatbuilders in town. Deltaville was known as the Boatbuilding Capital of Chesapeake Bay.

Chip came to Deltaville from an apprenticeship in fiberglass boat construction with Bristol Yachts in Bristol, R.I., and Allen Vaitses of Mattapoisett, Mass., who wrote the book "Covering Wooden Boats with Fiberglass." The Collamores were contributors to the book.

While apprenticing in Rhode Island, Chip started thinking about starting his own business — but where? The cost of real estate and doing business in Rhode Island was expensive, so he started looking south. While at the Annapolis Boat Show he met the late Carl Pederson, who at the time was building wooden boats in Deltaville.

Pederson knew where there was a piece of land in Deltaville for sale and "for the right price." Chip bought the land and during the Christmas season of 1972 he and Susie moved to Deltaville to oversee the construction of the shop and started Hulls Unlimited East-Inc. He started the business with orders for a 52-foot ketch and a 60-foot motor yacht.

Chip's father, the late John (Pop) Collamore Jr., and his mother, the late Nancy Collamore, were living in Providence, R.I. The senior Collamore was general manager for a manufacturing firm when he decided to quit over union issues. In 1973, Chip's mother and father moved to Deltaville. Nancy took over as secretary of Hulls Unlimited-East and the father-son team started building boats together.

Although the Collamores started out building pleasure yachts they found it to be risky business, so they switched to building boats for commercial watermen. In partnership with Whitey Laurier of Glass Marine in Hayes, they built one of the first fiberglass classic Chesapeake Bay deadrise workboats in Virginia.

"We thought we could develop a product where we would build the 42-foot workboat hull out of glass and have wooden boatbuilders in Deltaville build and install decks and houses out of wood," said Chip. "That didn't work and the locals thought we would be out of business in six months. We lasted 26 years."

At first watermen wanted nothing to do with fiberglass. This led the Collamores to start looking at other styles of workboat platforms. The late naval architect Harry Bulifant encouraged them to try one of his designs that become known as the "Deltaville Garvey." The garvey is a very popular workboat design used by bay watermen to this day.

Along with the garvey, watermen, realizing the maintenance value of fiberglass verses wood in a boat, began placing orders for 42- to 50-foot fiberglass classic deadrise boats.

"We built boats, but we also built anything out of fiberglass we could sell," said Chip. The Collamores built tack boxes for horses, planters for commercial greenhouses and a variety of elements used for shedding of soft-shell crabs and growing oysters.

Chip and Susie's children, Whitney and Jock Collamore, were given a taste of the business. "We encouraged the children to participate in building one boat to see if they had any interest in carrying on the business," said Chip. "When they both finished their projects and we asked about them taking over the business. They both said, 'hell no! There has got to be an easier way to make a living than this!' " Jock is now a police officer with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

The Collamores sold the Deltaville boat shop in 1998 and Chip retired from the business. Afterwards Chip took on some one-off projects and 13 years ago Jock talked his father into one last project.

Colonial Seaport Foundation (CSF)

CSF was established in 2007 by Jock as a maritime educational group. "The purpose of CSF is to preserve facets of America's colonial maritime heritage by providing historically-accurate information and education to the public."

Chip joined the foundation to help rebuild and modify a 50-foot ketch (two-masted sailboat) into a replica of a 1788 Virginia sloop named Luna. The project is expected to be completed this year.

Luna will be home-based in the lower Chesapeake Bay. "What we are looking for are communities that have good waterfront, such as Urbanna, and where we can stay for a week or two to accommodate our educational programs and then move on to the next port," said Jock.

CSF has also been exploring possibilities of hauling commercial freight via sail to and from former colonial seaports. Jock noted that East Coast colonial seaports were a vital part of America's economic growth and heritage and visiting these communities will educate people of that heritage. It will also promote eco-friendly (low-carbon) transportation.

The organization intends to use Luna to display and demonstrate the operation of the vessel, and display vintage equipment, tools, procedures, skills and lifestyles used or experienced within 17th and 18th century maritime communities.

The group's other areas of interest and expertise depicted in its reenactments and addressed in its educational programs include life in coastal and maritime communities; life aboard a vessel of the period; common trades within the maritime community; and coastal transportation along the Atlantic Seaboard.

The actual construction of the Luna in Deltaville is currently being used as an education tool by Boy Scouts of America's Sea Scouts out of Mechanicsville who are helping with the construction process. "Sea Scouts have played a vital role in building the vessel and, at the same time, the boys are learning boatbuilding skills," said Jock.

Oyster Festival Chairman Joe Heyman said the Collamore Family played an important role in the development of the modern era of Middlesex County boatbuilding. He said, "The Oyster Festival Foundation is honored that they agreed to be captains of this year's festival!"

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Finished rescue ladder

From: Allan Seymour
Date: August 27, 2020 11:48:04
Subject: Finished rescue ladder

It is too hard for a small person to get the supplied ladder out of the engine room and fix it on the bulwark.

This came to mind after watching a much older couple trying to get back on their sailboat even with a stern ladder!  

Only thing I would change is to make the tubing a little smaller. But it fits over easily and it all stores in lazarette.  $89 at local steel fab.

Allan Seymour

Monday, August 10, 2020

Swim Step on Easy Goin II

Last year I put a boarding ladder on Easy Goin II. It was never Equipped with a boarding ladder from the start. All our boating is in Lake Huron/Georgian Bay with lots of swimming, so boarding ladder was very important to us. I am very pleased with the results  I purchased a Garelick 6 step over platform telescoping ladder. See pictures. 

Jim Williamson 
37VT16 Easy Goin II

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Swim Step

Testing a new swim step on Carolina today. Working quite well so far! No swimming yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

Joe Sousa
Carolina 41VT06

Friday, August 7, 2020

Lady Katie 37VT28 Offers a Dock

An invitation to any tuggers who would like to tie up in Tarpon Springs on the Anclote River, close to the intercostal.…..40 ft with water and power and always available (of course at no cost).

Capt Bill and Katiebird

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hurricane Isaias

Victory was securely attached to the pier with extra lines but they were not needed. The winds were very localized down here; a few miles south of me trees were down but luckily we did not have any major damage.

Bob Allnutt
Victory 37VT02
St. Inigoes, Maryland


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

PNW Cruising During Covid

Fresh crab cakes in Parks Bay

Hiaqua departed Hunter Bay after two days of very productive crabbing.  On to Friday Hbr for supplies before a couple of days in Parks Bay. 

FYI- Friday Hbr will take reservations but only operating at 50% capacity. It was a little tricky getting in and out for a short stay. 

Roche Hbr also operating at 50%, but is not taking reservations for the rest of the season. First come first serve once you arrive to get on a waiting list (preferably around 8am). Crazy!

We are wandering around the San Juan’s for another couple of weeks until we get tired.  Mostly to anchorages without land access (Hunter, Parks Bay,  Garrison, Prevost Hbr, Massacre Bay,  etc).  According to our yacht club report, Sucia is a zoo (crawling with campers & boats).  We did have a dingy happy hour with some club members which worked out good for distancing and socializing (4-5 dinghies tied off to a boat & BYOB). 

Weather is not real stable (like stalled out high pressure from the north for weeks).  It alternates from the north for a couple of days, then switches to the south for a few. No concrete plans. San Juan’s are pretty small.  Just great hanging out on the water, kayaking, crabbing etc! Look us up on Marine Traffic if they can find us or text at 360.420.5523

Randy & Yvonne 
Hiaqua 37VT03

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Update from Hiaqua 37VT03

We're just getting ready for breakfast....a limit of 5 crab (plus 12 keepers & 3 shakers I threw back).  Tough morning!


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A mini reunion in Camden ME.

After a 14 day Covid isolation the crews of Sally W. 37VT42 and Salty Paws' 37VT66 can finally get together in Camden, ME.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Engine Mounts

I've learned a lot putting new engine mounts in Nellie.  One, it's not a hard job.  Two, selecting the proper engine mount is critical.  

Nellie's factory-original Cushyfloat mounts had no model number.

The first new set of mounts, Cushyfloat 17-1609-65's, were dramatically noiser than Nellie's factory-original Cushyfloat mounts.  I then removed the 65's and installed Cushyfloat 17-1608-45's.  The graph below compares the wheelhouse noise level with each mount type.

On average the 45's are more than 50% quieter (-12bB) than the 65's. 

Why?  Because as the graph above shows, they're better at dampening the engine's vibration. 

Bottom line, Nellie has never run quieter or smoother.

An Update on Portlight Screens

Nellie's new bronze screen.

Nellie D. 37VT63 wasn't lucky enough to get factory window screens and it was a struggle to come up with a good alternative. Particularly irksome are the little portlights in the shower, head, and stateroom.  An effective, inexpensive and now time tested solution is to use the port's stainless ring to hold a screen in place.

Screen caulked inplace on backside of portlight ring.

The installation process is very straight forward. In fact, the hardest part of the job is removing the stainless ring. It is bedded in polysulfide but will yield with patience. I used a razor knife to cut the joint around the inside of the window. Then working around the inner circumference, with two screwdrivers and a putty knife, I gradually wedged the ring away from the cabin side. Two things to watch-out for: don't scratch the gel coat and don't bend the ring. With the ring off you'll note that the port itself is well bedded. If there are voids in the port's bedding, fix them now as I suggest the ring be reinstalled without bedding—it makes replacing a damaged screen much easier. Use the ring as a template but cut the screen about 1/4" smaller. A thin layer of silicone caulk will secure the screen to the ring. After the caulk is dry reinstall the ring. As always, make sure to bed the screws.

In 2013 I installed $3 worth of 18 x 16 mesh, aluminum screen in the four ports. Last month, after seven years in use, I noticed some galvanic corrosion on the aluminum screen.  The aluminum screen was easily replaced with $18 worth of bronze, 18 x 16 mesh, screen.  Why bronze screen?  Well, it should last longer than aluminum as it's closer in nobility to stainless steel.  But, more importantly, it looks cool!

By the way, worth considering too is the size of the screen's mesh. A 20 x 20 mesh will keep no-see-ums out.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dinghy Deck Core Sample

"Ever wonder what the O2 deck is made of? Two layers of three eights inch fiberglass sandwiched on a 1 inch piece of foam."  -- Kenny Bishop, Highland Mary 37VT17

Kenny Bishop is installing a cable chase inside Highland Mary's smoke stack.

This penetration has historically been an LNVT trouble spot as it can allow water to leak below deck and into the galley headliner.  Kenny's solution is two-fold: seal a PVC fitting to the deck and elevate the fitting above the deck.  

LNVT Bulkhead Plywood

Ever wonder what the 37's bulkheads are made?   Pictured above is the plywood's cross section.  

Jack Robert 37VT17's Loop Tales

The following was posted a few days ago on Jack Robert's cruising blog.
Thursday,February 6, 2020. Today was not a good day. But before I continue…for those of you who like to go right to the pictures in our blog, let me assure you no people were hurt. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Jack Robert.
We were enjoying our coffee and discussing the imminent weather system when bang! The boat was violently shoved toward the dock and we were nearly knocked out of our chairs. We ran out on deck and were horrified to see a large boat crosswise in the fairway with its bowsprit firmly imbedded in our port wheelhouse door. Dee immediately grabbed her phone and started taking pictures while Lee worked to dislodge the boat.

Apparently he decided this windy day was a good time to test his two new transmissions. Bad choice.
Lee worked to swing the boat away from Jack Robert to prevent further damage.
The door is solid teak and was shattered by the impact.
This gives an idea as to the extent of the damage.

No one was hurt, but this is an example of what can happen when a poor choice is made without considering the possible consequences. We had winds of 20 miles per hour in the marina in very tight quarters. The transmissions were not tested at the dock before the driver decided to go out for a sea trial, and he obviously did not have control of his boat.
So, what does this mean for us? We will not be able to leave for South Florida as planned. We need to find someone who has the time and expertise to repair the damage, and we need to trust the owner of the boat to stick to his word that he will "make things right". This will get fixed and we will be fine. But for now we will allow ourselves a little time to be angry and sick at heart.
It only takes a moment for things to go very wrong. Please think before you act.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thoughts on Bilge Keels (aka Roll Chocks)

Here are the bilge keel drawings John Niccolls commissioned for Knock Off 37VT66.  

A red-lined drawing (i.e. after the fact) would show that Knock Off's bilge keels were installed farther underwater and the forward, aft and distal ends are square, i.e. don't have a parabolic taper.

John Mackie, John William 37VT68 is considering bilge keels and his research has uncovered the following.  Concave surfaces on both the top and bottom faces of the bilge keel increase roll resistance (as compared to a flat plate).  

Putting holes through the keel will also increase roll resistance.  The idea here is that, with properly sized holes, the drag of the water through the length of the hole is greater than the decreased drag because of the hole's presence.

Disrupting the flow at the bilge keel's distal end will also increase roll resistance.
Of the two shapes above it would be interesting to know which is more effective.  Certainly increasing the size of the plate, up to an extent, will increase roll resistance.

  John Mackie points out that from a one-off, manufacturing perspective,  the concave plate with a flat, metal plate on the distal end is easier to make when using glass mat, foam and Marine plywood.

  When I last spoke to John M he hoped to make  concave keels.  The approach will be to sandwich foam around Marine plywood.
The inner layer is ~1" thick plywood while the two outer layers are foam.  The whole thing will be encapsulated in fiberglass.  

  I hope we can keep this conversation going.  There's a lot to be learned and I know some tugs that are available as Guinea pigs ;-)

  Take care, Dave