#8 May 1997
Our NO NEWS is afloat for the summer and what a grand feeling that brings. Early in May, we launched the boat and then motored down the Calumet River, through the locks, to Lake Michigan and then up to Jackson Park Harbor in Chicago, just south of The Museum of Science & Industry. The day was warm and overcast with a few sprinkles and light wind. It's fascinating motoring through the "streets" of the shipping areas for the city of Chicago and the midwest.
It was several more weeks before we could get all the parts together and the mast off the middle of the yacht club storage rack and upright on the boat.
Our plans for a summer cruise on NO NEWS are to sail Lake Michigan the month of July. We would love to meet some of the other Nor'Sea owners, but it is hard to project just where we will be at a certain weekend.
Minds Eye #72, is cruising up the coast of British Columbia. Cliff has included us in his group E-Mail reports. We pour over the maps to chart their progress north. On Thursday, May 14, they were just 70 miles south of Prince Rupert, BC.
After arriving in Prince Rupert, they were detained for 3 days due to impending bad weather. They decided to make their own weather window and got started for Ketchikan. Deanna is the fisherman, and reports her daily catches. We need to have her explain her fishing techniques on the Nor'Sea.
The Northern California Nor'Sea 27 Owners will have their next meeting/cruise in on May 31st at Point San Pablo Yacht Club. Everyone will be tying up to the dock and there is water and power (30 amp) if you so desire. Saturday evening a barbecue is planned. Bring your own meat to grill and a dish to share. If you can't get there by boat, or have questions, please give Nancy Mutnick and Allen Brinkman a call. They would love to have you join them. (707)935-6292.
We currently have 83 owners and co-owners on our Newsline list. We show two owners with the last name Campbell and two named Seng - unrelated I believe, and two boats christened "WINGS".
A sort of the list by hull numbers shows that from those who gave a boat #, only 5 have numbers in the 200s and 4 in the 300s. We account for 32 boats with hull numbers between 1-99 and 14 in the 100s.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT - Owners Report
Sea of Cortez
John Lewis reports: We took PROPER MOTION, #19, to the Sea of Cortez in April of 1995. The entire trip including towing the boat both ways, took about a month and was an experience I hope to repeat. We launched at San Carlos on the mainland side, sailed straight across to the Baja side and worked our way down to La Paz and back.
The Mexican part of the trip started in Nogales, AZ at dawn. We were in the water in san Carlos by 3:00 pm the same day. The roads were adequate (4 lane but no shoulder in many places) with tolls about $25 each way.
We launched the boat at the Marina San Carlos and were very pleased with the service. At that time there was no travel lift, so our trailer saw salt water for the first time. The fee for launch was about $15 and storage for the truck and trailer in a fenced dry storage yard cost $30 for the month.
San Carlos is a modern tourist town with plenty of good restaurants. A great place to stock up is Guaymas, about 10 miles away.
There were plenty of mexican men at the docks looking to help. I hired a talented fellow, Vincente, who spoke just enough english. With his help I was able to rig the boat and load everything. I paid him $30 which was suggested by other boaters in the marina. We left, I told him that I would be back on a certain date very early in the morning and would like to hire him again. He was there waiting for me and with his help, we dropped the mast and secured the boat by 2:30 in the afternoon and were back in the US by 9:00 PM.
During the trip south we had most of the anchorages to ourselves, but by the time we were working our way north later in the month, the American cruising fleet had worked its way north and most anchorages had several other boats in them.
(John rates many of the anchorages they used. I'll send you his complete report, if you want it. Editor)
La Paz was a pleasant town with a good supermarket that is a reasonable walk from Marina de La Paz. The marina is a well run place with a coin laundry. a beer truck and propane truck visit once a week. Its a short walk to a restaurant that the cruisers call "cheap chicken". They served chicken, beans, fries and slaw for $1.65. We ate there a lot and never got sick. We never got sick on anything in Mexico.
A great dive site is at Las Animas off the back side of Isla San Jose.
Weather in April was wonderful. The strange experience is to turn on the Wx channels on the VHF and hear nothing. Insurance- we bought our mexican insurance through Vagabundos del Mar which is a travel club based in Rio Vista, CA. They provide everything you need in this regard. They can also do your fishing permits, too.
If you enter at Nogales, you must stop south of town and get a temporary importation permit on your vehicle and boat. You need lots of photocopies of your document or registration for the boat and vehicle. You also need copies of your driver's license and copies of your insurance papers.
Good publications were two books by Gerry Cunningham - "Cruising Guide to San Carlos", and "Cruising Guide to Middle Gulf". I found his calls on the anchorages very much on the money,
Jack Williams has written two volumes called "The Magnificant Penninsula". I found Volume II (ISBN0-9616843-2-1) to be excellent about the geology, flora and fauna.
"Charlie's Charts" is not as good, but if you ever request advice from someone, they will describe anchorages in terms of specific pages in "Charlie's Charts".
A wonderful book that will give you a great deal of insight into the mexican culture is "The People's Guide to Mexico" by Franz.
GPS was very helpful. Loran does not work down there. Dead reckoning works.
VHF very useful in area around La Paz - channel 22
Ham radio - good for listening to the news on Voice of America.
Monitor Wind vane - handy for about 2 days
Autopilot - very handy since one does a lot of motoring.
Bug screens - used them once but were very important that night.
Sun shower - very, very, very useful
Inflatable dingy and 2 hp ob - very useful, actually pretty essential to enjoying this place. You should lift the dink out of the water at night.
We did not have refrigeration and got along just fine without it.
Notes from Alain Provost - SIRIUS II #456 - AAA does wonders at expediting the worst part of border crossings and proper paperwork (The temporary import permit for tow vehicle and trailer and boat). I assure it can mostly be taken care of in any AAA office before the trip and if you are a member it's free. It's the way to go since it will assure you not to become stuck at the check point, 10 miles south of Nogales, realizing you are missing that one critical document. The tourist visas are no big deal and are readily available at the above mentioned checkpoint. If you come through Tucson, Alain will be glad to fill you in on the details.
The Information from E. Scott Wright, DESTINY #450, indicates that the area around San Carlos is very safe and clean with ample provisioning, restaurants, shops, etc. The sea is warm and clear with reef sea life rivaling the Caribbean and excellent fishing for dorado, sailfish, wahoo and others. The scenery is dramatic with 1000'+ peaks rising out of the anchorage. A good chart is available from Cotez Designs Inc, Box 976 Patagonia, AZ 85624. North still for nearly a hundred miles are similar bays and coves which do not have land access by road and which we plan to explore.
‚Larry Jackson #101 has discovered a problem this Spring. The stanchions for the boom gallows can fill with water and freeze. Both stanchions had frozen and cracked the welds and bulged the backing plate. He removed them, re-welded, polished and drilled a small weep hole so it won't happen again.
Larry also writes that he is replacing the cutlass bearing. It is stuck after so many years and he will have to machine the bearing out. He is also machining a new cant as the old one was broken. "You really have to massage and inspect everything every season", Larry writes.
John Lewis, PROPER MOTION, #19, would like to hear from people who have recaulked their chain plates. "I think I have a leak in one or more on the starboard side. Rebedding the aft chain plates was easy in my aft cabin, but I wonder how much disassembly will be required to get to all of the chainplates on the starboard side."
‚Newsline has received several requests for the book by Wayne Carpenter, "The Voyage of the Kristina". Our son found it for us through a rare books store with computer connections. It was then mailed to us from California and is truly a must read book. If anyone has a copy that they are willing to sell, or lend, please let us know along with the price, to satisfy these requests.
Ed Zacko, #44 ENTR'ACTE, has built his Nor'Sea from the hull and sailed to the Caribbean and Europe and back. Ed says "I had a ball reading Dean's article (March #7) on the fuel tank and would like to add my comments. The decision to remove the tank was not arrived at lightly. We did almost a year's worth of research before we cut, and all of Dean's options were discussed and researched at great length.
2. Magic goo inside tank: I was strongly advised against this approach by Yanmar and also by the company that makes the sealer. It works well on jet planes, but in the marine environment it is iffy.
3.Encapsulating the tank (Dean's solution) is probably a good idea, but I was afraid that the diesel fuel would act on the old foam in such a way that the foam would end up in the injectors. 4. Bladder tank: I've known too many cruisers that had them leak and rupture at the wrong time. I don't trust them.
5. Replacement: It seemed that this was the only permanent fix that we could trust to real ocean cruising. I was actually going to try to repair my tank even though I was admonished by a German engine mechanic--"If you have one leak you have a thousand little ones. I guarantee it! Remove the tank and replace it." He was right on!
Dean is right about two thing though;(1)I would not want to pay a boat yard to do this job. It's not at all difficult, it just takes some time and the results are worth it. You should be able to do the entire job is less than 2 weeks. (2) I have written a TOME on the procedure that is very explicit and very complete. Anyone who want it can contact me or the Editor.
There is one other option that I always said I'd take, but in the end discarded. Remove the old tank and replace it with some sort of water tank under the engine and remove the port water tank and replace it with an aluminum fuel tank. This results in 10 more gal of water and ten gal less fuel, plus the trim of the boat improves and the fuel pump problems disappear. Plus you run the risk of fuel smell in the cabin. I just chickened out. Now with a desalinator we don't need the extra water, but I'm glad for the fuel.
In the end, I honestly feel that the only LONG TERM safe and reliable fix for anyone doing real ocean sailing is to replace the tank. When every decision you make could cost you your life, then there usually is only one decision to make. It's only when we take short cuts that we get into trouble. End of lecture!
New cushions and upholstery
The orange and brown plaid fabric on the original cushions on NO NEWS was clearly dated and somewhat dingy, so it was time for an upgrade. We have the aft cockpit version Nor'Sea and seldom use the quarterbirths for sleeping, so I planned to just recover that foam, but to purchase new 4" foam for the rest of the cushions. The original settee cushions had a 4" edge with 3" for the rest of the cushions. This meant some adjustments on the back snaps and also a 1/2" trim off the plywood port settee backrest that folds down to make the rest of the V birth.
We did use an original idea on the quarterbirths, and cut a cushion out of the full cushion that is just the size the engine opening. That was covered separately. In order to inspect the engine from the side, just the small cushion needs to be removed and the door opened. Otherwise the entire quarterbirth had to be unloaded and cushion removed to get to the engine room opening.
A local upholstery shop was a great help in ordering the foam which was HR 3133 polyurethane and then cutting it to duplicate the original cushions. I had salvaged some of the vinyl backs and most of the zippers. My Elna Super sewing machine from the 70s is a real workhorse and had no trouble with the 4 or 5 layers of upholstery fabric. Double sided tape was used to baste the layers of fabric together.
The fabric decision is most difficult, since we wanted something that was light in color(to make the space look bigger) and a tight weave, but something that would not show dirt. The teal fabric we chose is a textured weave like a tweed.
The shop also sold me dacron batting to cover the cushions and soften the edges. This was cut to size and then glued on with a spray glue. A thin film of non-woven fabric called "cushion eze" was then wrapped around the foam and batting in order to make it slide into the fabric covering.
The Sailrite catalog (800)244-6715 has a lot of the necessary supplies. I'll be glad to give more details to anyone attempting this project.