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Nor'Sea27 Owner's Newsline

#6  January, 1997 

We spent a marvelous week sailing out of Burnt Store Marina in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, over the holidays (Not our Nor'Sea, but a beautiful charter Island Packet 32). Now its back to reality and the long cold winter in Illinois.

A bright spot on the horizon is the "Strictly Sail" Boat Show at Navy Pier in Chicago, from January 30 - February 2. Gale and I are planning to attend Saturday afternoon and Sunday. We will stay at the Sheraton Saturday evening. Drop us a note if you are attending and we can plan a get together.

It was just a year ago, at the 1996 Strictly Sail Show at Navy Pier that we attended the program presented by Ed and Ellen Zacko about their sojourn aboard their Nor'Sea 27 ENTR'ACTE, #44. It was so inspiring just to talk with other owners of Nor'Sea27s, that we decided to start the now famous Newsline. We have 76 owners and co-owners on our list and add a few more each month. Keep spreading the word. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.

Mari Campbell of #95, WINGS, tells about the Women's Sailing Seminar that will be held at Island Yacht Club in Alameda, CA, on Saturday March 22nd starting at 8 am. The classes will include medical situations, a panel of live-aboards, cruising, computers on board, navigation, repairs and lots of hands on info. They usually charge $60-$75 and are looking for women owned businesses to help sponsor this event. For more info, please call Mari at 415-965-4849, or Dawn Chesney at 510-881-5422.


Dean's story about the early years of the Nor'Seas production continues from the November 1996 issue.

"We assembled a superb team of talented people to produce the Nor'Sea, bought a ramshackle old building squeezed between oil wells and tank farms and went into production.

Most of those years are a blur to me now, but I distinctly remember the thrill and pride of launching hull #1.

I am very proud of the quality we put into those boats. I did make a fatal mistake; I built a product that I had fallen in love with. We built the boats without enough regard to cost. We already had the worlds most expensive 27 footer, yet I could not bring myself to cut corners in areas seldom seen.

Our dilemma was eventually solved by a real estate agent with a stunning offer for our property. We had the only lot in the area zoned for an oil tank farm.

We then had to weigh the cost of moving a break-even business versus the emotional investment of ourselves, our employees, and our dealers.

The knowledge that the boat would continue to be built tipped the decision. Most of our employees went to the new builder, who continued the tradition of quality.

I decided to follow my customers and go cruising. A few years ago, I stopped counting at 30,000 nautical miles and ten years of living aboard. You can bet I know a bit about Nor'Seas, almost as much as Ed and Ellen Zacko (I'm serious guys!), and would be glad to answer questions of general interest. Write in care of our editor, as I travel a great deal.

Fair winds," Dean Wixom

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT - Owner's Report

Cliff Peterson, #72, MIND'S EYE, reports, "We left Anacortes on 28 May 1996 and made our way to Juneau, AK where we spent the last two weeks in July waiting for parts to get the transmission repaired. This caused enough of a slip in our "schedule" so we didn't get to Sitka, AK as we'd hoped or to some other places. Because of this, we plan on returning next summer after we spend a couple of months in Mexico after the first of the year to sail in the Sea of Cortez.

I sure am glad we had radar. One day as we came down past Cape Caution across the one 40 miles exposed to the open Pacific, we were in thick fog for 10 of 12 hours. We only saw one boat that came within 50 yards of us during the whole 10 hours in the fog.


‚Gary Campbell reports: The response to our mailing to Nor'Sea 27 California owners was very good. About half of the owners are interested in a get together in the Northern California area. We have scheduled a March 1 meeting in Alameda, CA, at the Oakland Yacht Club. [Ed. I hope they take some pictures.] The medium term plan is to have a Nor'Sea cruise out the Golden Gate to Drake's Bay in the Spring.

We would encourage other Nor'Sea groups to organize as the owner response in this area has been great!

‚We just received an E-Mail from Larry Jackson, #101 TUMBLEWEED, Sterling Colorado, who owns an internet provider business, SOS,Inc, who would entertain the possibility of hosting a Nor'Sea site on the internet. All in favor, say aye!

Larry's E-Mail address is -

‚For more pictures of Nor'Seas, visit Roy and Krista Timpe at

‚A report from Seymour Shapiro, #78 VISITOR, says that the boat, WONDERER, used in the movie, "Captain Ron", is now berthed in Kemah, TX at Lafayette Landing. Its available for party, lease and tour boat. I wonder if you have to bring your own oil?

‚Another video to rent, is "White Squall" with Jeff Bridges. Its a true story of a naval disaster that befell a square rigged 2 mast schooner expedition in 1960.

‚Cliff Peterson of MIND'S EYE, #72, responds to the propane stove upgrade question. I converted from kerosene to propane 4 years ago and mounted two six pound aluminum tanks on the stern pulpit. Square stainless steel tubing, 1" sq was cut to the needed length and fastened to the vertical position of the stern pulpit using ss u-bolts. I added a piece of teak to the cap rail on the gunnel for the tanks to rest upon. The tanks are fastened to the square tubing using ss 1" x 1/8" strap w/ss bolts. The pressure regulator is housed in a small teak box fastened to the opposite side of the tubing and the hose run through the little vertical piece right by the bronze chafe guard. Pictures available on request.


‚With help and ideas from a friend, Cliff made a form out of plywood just a little smaller than the opening. Then cut 1/8" acrylic sheet into 1/2" wide strips. Heating the strips (one at a time) in the oven at 250 degrees for a few minutes to soften and then wrap around the form and hold until only takes a few seconds. Cross braces were then glued in for support with plastic airplane cement.

Netting was then glued on with the same cement. Trimming off the excess netting a little oversize allows the screen to be friction fit in the opening. We left the screens in all summer on our cruise to Alaska. The portlights could be opened and closed as needed.

‚Larry Jackson, #101, TUMBLEWEED - "I don't understand all of these solutions for screens?? On TUMBLEWEED, I just removed the rubber seal and used a standard screen roller to press in the screen, then replaced the rubber seal. I found a source of commercial grade surplus neoprene round cord at a surplus store that works better than the original square hollow tube. I then simply trim the excess screen with a razor and glued the rubber in place with silicone. The seal is perfect, the screens tight and neat. Have I done something wrong?"


Gale has stepped aside this time to let our founder, Dean Wixom share a few of his ideas.

Fuel Systems Gimmicks

by Dean Wixom

A letter from Norm Lahti, #18 SARA FINN, regarding fuel problems on a recent passage to Hawaii prompted some memories. I love the smell of diesel fuel in the morning! or better yet, the midnight to four watch.

Who can forget the silky feel of this aromatic liquid as it trickles into the armpit and thence into the just-cleaned bilge; or the rainbows formed in the fine mist created by bleeding the system underway. The memory makes me long to change filters right now.

I have carried this precious fluid in jerry jugs all over the world. Despite reverential caution I have spilled it on new teak decks, freshly scrubbed cockpit grates, and for unforgettable entertainment, in Mexican taxis. A mere teaspoon of diesel mixed with rain water in the bottom of a rubber dinghy will render it silky, slippery, and fragrant for weeks.

This most noble of liquids has provided endless respite from boredom of cruising. The search for it takes us to paradise's most interesting places where tourists never go (those who dispense diesel are the very essence of local color). Carefully chosen jerry jugs provide a splash of color on a drab side deck and give lifelines a reason for being. You can tell an upscale anchorage if the jugs have matching canvas covers.

God tends to create balances. Cheap rum causes blinding headaches. God tends to create balances. Those endless white sand caribbean beaches are uncrowded thanks to voracious sand fleas. Cheap rum causes blinding headaches. For every downwind there is a windward. For the yachtie, blessed with being one of God's most nearly perfect creatures, he created diesel fuel.

Maybe that's why Lin and Larry Pardey are the perfect sailors. Their dinghy smells like fresh paint and the only liquid that moistens their lips is fine wines (they have no engine) Apropos of that, let me show you this other way to start a siphon........

Here are a couple of gimmicks to make dealing with it easier.

1. Parallel fuel filters

A few hose tees, a fuel valve and an additional fuel filter will gain you immeasurable peace of mind.

If you have two filters in parallel you can

1) instantly switch to the other if one filter gets plugged.

2) change a fuel filter with engine running underway.

3) instantly bypass an airlock in a filter. This device may have saved CHINOOK when a filter plugged in a windless three knot tide race. When the engine barely started to falter a flip of the valve to the other filter brought it back to life.

2. Squeeze bulb

Changing filters or bleeding the system is made immeasurably easier by installing an outboard fuel tank squeeze bulb in the fuel line, between the tank and the first fuel filter (I trust you have a pre-filter in addition to the one on the engine).

Changing filters? Just squeeze until the new filter is full and bleeds clear.

Bleeding the system? Just squeeze and bleed and forget that effete little tickler on the fuel pump. With this system you can have the engine bled and running within a minute after changing filters.

Additionally you can quickly force fuel through a mysterious airlock in an emergency, and should the engine driven fuel pump foul, you can station a crew person below to give the bulb a squeeze occasionally to get you home. If you carry an extra length of hose you could jury rig to squeeze from the cockpit.

A couple of caveats apply.

1.Don't create a new airlock! Choose a high quality bulb, exchange the cheap clamps supplied with all stainless and goop the joints with silicone - replace every few years.

2.Install it in the proper direction. For years I used an electric fuel pump in the same location for the same purpose. When I went to replace it I couldn't find one with a decent cleanable internal filter. (Remember if you have a tank full of crud the first thing it will plug will be the electric pump). The bulb instead will pass the crud on to the primary filter which is designed to deal with it.

When is the last time you heard of a great marine improvement or marine anything under $10.00?

Fair winds, Dean Wixom

Seymour Shapiro, VISITOR, #78, writes:I have used a feeder hose to purge the system of air after maintenance. My system is to connect a hose and funnel to an outlet port on my fuel filter. With the tank fuel turned off, I fill the hose with clean fuel to a level above the ejectors. Let the fuel in the feeder hose gravity push the air out when cracking open the fuel ejector line.

I even start the engine using the fuel in the feeder hose until I am ready to disconnect and use the normal tank fuel. This works so well, I never have to use the engine fuel pump and starter to bleed.


Attention all of you galley slaves! Send me your clever ideas for food preparation and food storage on board your Nor'Sea 27 along with your favorite recipes. Some may appeal to the long term cruiser and others may only apply for us weekend sailors.

I use the bag of shredded cabbage for a FRUIT COLE SLAW. Cut several pieces of fruit, such as apples, pears, or oranges, etc. into bowl. Add the bag of cut cabbage. Mix with your favorite dressing. My dressing is ½ cup lite mayo and ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt.


Larry Jackson, #101, TUMBLEWEED - "I want to make my own wind vane steering system and wondered if anyone has knowledge or access to Lin and Larry Pardey's plans?