#7 March, 1997
The Strictly Sail boat show at Navy Pier provides a moment of excitement for midwest sailors in the middle of January. Gale and I enjoyed some classes and bought a Monitor wind vane from Scanmar. We also bought several exciting new products. One was new fenders by Perimeter Industries and another was a bucket with a hole in the bottom, Bail Handy™ by Davis. The fenders are extremely light, small sized, very strong and resilient, filled with closed cell foam and covered with polyester textile. The bucket has a flap of rubber covering the bottom, so when it is dropped straight down, it fills and as it is lifted, the flap closes. It is suggested as a flopper stopper, to calm the boat's rolling in wavy anchorages, and great for bailing the dingy from a standing position on board your boat.
My priorities have become rearranged and sewing the new boat cushions is currently on the back burner. My day job is preparing income tax returns at Gale's office, so that has taken precedence. After April 15th, I'll get back to important things. I'm glad our weather is still blustery, as going to the boat is not a temptation.
The newsletter editor of the Bristol Channel Cutter News, Michael Pearson passed along the report that Lyle Hess is doing quite well at:
3952 Katella Ave
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
The health report on Ed Zacko, ENTR'ACTE, is that Ed has survived a prolonged bout with pneumonia and 49 days in the hospital. We are glad to hear that he is fully recovered and back at work. Ed and Ellen will be flying to Europe this summer to renew friendships from their sailing trip across the ocean.
The Northern California Nor'Sea Owners had an exciting organizational dinner on March 1st, at Oakland Y C and planned several sailing forays. The first one was scheduled for March 29 - A Treasure Island Cruise. The reports have come in. IT WAS GREAT! Other boaters were speechless at the sheer beauty of 8 Nor'Seas gracing their docks. Such an assemblage of nautical pulchritude had never before been witnessed in the entire Bay Area. WOW! Everyone arrived about 4 pm on Saturday for the Bar-b-Q and pot luck. We had an extensive and leisurely boat crawl. Lots of customizations were proudly displayed. Even though the boats may all have the same hull, they are custom boats.
"The more Nor'Sea owners I meet, the more I think the boats picked us", reported Jill and Greg Delezynski. "All are willing to talk and share ideas and anything else needed. It's great to be a part of this! When we woke Sunday morning, we discovered the Easter Bunny had visited all the boats and left an easter basket in the cockpit."
The next event will be May 17-18 at Point San Pablo Yacht Club in Richmond, followed the next weekend with a cruise on May 24 to Drake's Bay, north of the Golden Gate. Contact Gary & Mari Campbell for more info (415)965-4849.
FOUNDER'S FEATURE by Dean Wixom
Five Fixes for a Leaky Tank
How many times have you struggled with a boat problem while muttering "I wish that %&#@! designer could be here right now. Well folks, I've been there! on my knees with my head in the engine compartment. My wife, Jacqueline has been there too; she's small enough to crawl entirely in.
Some background - We chose to put the NorSea fuel tank in the keel. It used unusable space and provided ballast. To fill that awkward space, we designed a very complex shaped tank. It was made of an aluminum alloy which was "guaranteed not to corrode in any marine environment".
We then encapsulated it in closed cell foam which was "impervious to saline and aromatic liquids". Right!
After 15 years and 40,000 miles our tanks' aluminum was swiss cheese and the closed cell foam was a sponge.
If you're in the vast majority and your fuel tank is not now leaking, you must preserve it by preventing salt water from reaching it. Saltwater reaches the tank from two sources. Foremost is the shaft packing gland. Here it is necessary to build a waterproof dam connected to a drain hose going over the tank into the sump. Second is the sump itself. Fiberglass covers the tank about 2/3 of the way up, but a full bilge can reach the tank. The seal must be extended to the top of the tank. If you do have a leaky tank you can:
1. Ignore it. Use water absorbers and biocide.
2. Re-seal the tank internally with some magic goop - results unknown - info needed here.
3. Seal the tank externally
4. Replace the tank with a rubber bladder type
5. Replace the aluminum tank.
Choice #1 has a catch 22. If diesel leaks out, water leaks in. Biological sludge grows in the interface of water and fuel and chances are if you have a leaking tank, you have sludge in the tank. It will lurk there quietly until you have to make harbor to windward on a wild night. The wild motion will stir it up to plug your filters; the fuel pressure will be the reciprocal of your blood pressure. The fix here is to clean out the tank and keep your fuel laced with water absorbers and biocides.
I chose #3. I sealed the entire tank with cloth and epoxy and sealed both the main sump and the shaft log area with epoxy. This prevents diesel from leaking and water from intruding. Now the keel becomes the fuel tank. NorSeas were laid up with isopthalce resins. This is the construction used on Hatteras and Bertram fuel tanks for years. Four years later, I have seen no problems, but will keep you posted.
Ed and Ellen Zacko chose fix #5 and replaced their aluminum tank. Ed has written a tome on how it is done, but don't bother him with a request unless you are prepared to spend hundreds of hours and/or thousands of dollars. This is no easy task. Ed is blase about it now, but I didn't talk to him during the job!
If you choose to throughly clean out your tank, it requires two inspection plates covering large cleanout holes. If your lucky there is a local fuel cleaning service to do the clean out. If not I suggest you take your boat to where there is one. You will save a lot of aggravation and give you a nice cruise.
Ed Zacko has some suggestions for fabricating and installing inspection plates. There is a baffle midway on the tank. It may or may not be nesessary to remove the engine to install the inspection plates. Don't be intimidated by this. A good yard should be able to remove the engine in 1 ½ to 3 hours. I have done it by myself at sea in a few hours. Be sure the yard has a "C" frame hoist and is familiar with sailboats. This will also give you a chance to clean out the bilge and engine, repaint where necessary and give things a good look over, like checking the brushes on the starter if you have 1000+ hours.
One caveat - If possible, remove the engine without pulling the lag bolts holding the engine mounts to the wooden engine bed. Polyestar resin was poured into the lag bolt holes to prevent vibration from eventually loosening the wood surrounding the lag bolts. If you must remove them, rock the lag bolts back & forth gently and hammer them viciously to break them free. Just pulling on them harder with a bigger wrench may snap them off.
Always use a fuel biocide, water absorbers, and relax. Relax, that is after you have installed the dam and hose to divert shaft log drip water over the tank and sealed the front of the tank adjacent to the bilge sump.
‚Greg Delezynski, #80, GUEVEVERE, has a burning question for Dean Wixom and any other knowledgable salts? Each of the two tangs that the split part of the backstay attach to, on the stern, have an extra hole at the bottom. WHY??
a. So that lightening can escape
b. A hold down spot for trailering
c. So a line can be tied around the rudder
d. None of the above
‚Lon Zimmerman #81, ETTLEDREE, in Alaska writes "My question is about converting our old Yanmar from raw water cooled to freshwater cooled. Can anyone recommend a heat exchanger conversion? Is it worth converting after the engine has been run in saltwater for years?
‚Richard Leasure,#141 - I have made a few modifications on WINGS that may be of interest. I find that a bracket mounted on the split backstay makes a good mounting location for antenna's as well as a stern running light.
I have mounted 8" cleats on either side of the bow sprit main timber below the bit. I through bolted these to each other using the other cleat for a backing plate. With this you can secure two anchors and leave the bit free for emergencies
How does everybody lower their mast? I fabed up two brackets that attach to the lower chainplates leaving the upper shrouds attached. On the top of these brackets I have an eyebolt that is in the same plane as the mast step pivot bolt. To these eyebolts I attach both halyards, one on each side, tensioned with the mast winches. The boom is fixed perpendicular to the mast by using the reefing lines tensioned to either eyebolt and the topping lift counteracted by the main sheed. Cast off the back stay, get the mast going with the headstay and ease it down with the mainsheet. The mainsheet must be long enough to follow the mast all the way down.
(I have measured the line necessary and find it requires 100 feet. Since our mainsheet isn't that long, we have a specific line for lowering the mast. Ed.)
Internal Depth Sounder
Tad Michel, #145, New Bern, NC has forwarded to this Newsline, his description, with drawings of the way to install an In-Hull depth sounder without cutting a hole in the boat. This method essentially uses 4" pieces of PVC pipe sealed against the interior of the hull. Please address your requests to the Newsline if you would like a copy of these complete instructions.
Fuel Tank Rebuild
Larry Jackson, #101, TUMBLEWEED, writes that one of his first major projects was to remove a rotten aluminum fuel tank. "In rebuilding it, I cut 2" off the bottom and added 200# of lead poured into the old rotten bottom as a mold. The tank and inside of the hull were painted with polyurethane. I also added about 100# of lead poured into a mold to fit into the deep bilge in front of the engine and epoxied it into place. The engine had to have the injector pump and injectors rebuild because of water in the rotten fuel tank."
Larry Jackson also writes "I can't tell you how many times I wished the Nor'Sea had just 6 more inches on the cabin sole, so I partially solved this problem in the narrowest area, by adding a battery box, above and below the existing cabin sole. The aluminum battery box that I built, will hold 2-8D batteries. Currently it holds 1 dry cell dedicated starting battery and 2-27 deep cycle house batteries connected to a three bank charger. The added ballast has made a wonderful difference. This gives me almost 20+ inches wide sole and only decreased the head room by 4+ inches and this is over the companion way which is higher anyway. I'm short and wouldn't recommend it for tall people, but it works for me. I have very easy access to 3 batteries and the weight is low where I want it.
I am really glad I bought an older boat, as I am having so much fun making the boat exactly the way I want it. Larry Jackson
Cliff Peterson, #72, MIND'S EYE, submits the following trailer suggestions: If the boat is to be ramp launched, you need rollers like on the EZ-Loader. I strongly recommend, THREE axles with brakes on two of them. I just replaced the whole undercarriage of surge brakes with new springs, axles, backing plates, ELECTRIC brakes and hitch at a cost of $1500 here in Phoenix at a local boat trailer mfg. I can no longer ramp launch, but the improved braking control has given greater peace of mind while trailering. It costs $65 to put in the water by travel-lift and it's worth the price. A 100% galvanized trailer is worth the cost, also.
Cliff also adds, The company in California that made the trailers for Nor'Sea is Pacific Trailers owned by Roger Treichler, 1870 Betmor Lane, Anaheim, CA 92805 714-937-1243, 714-937-0537 (FAX)714-937-1354
He built our trailer for MIND'S EYE 15 years ago and is still in business. He was the EZ Loader dealer, until EZ Loader consolidated operations in WA. Roger was still making trailers for NorSea not long ago, so he does know what's needed to carry the boat.
Larry Jackson has accepted our nomination for creating a Nor'Sea 27 web site and promises to get to it soon. He asks for pictures, specs, ideas and anything that owners would like to see on the site. Hard copies of pictures work better than across the net. He would like to include a good quality print of the Nor'Sea sail logo. email@example.com
or: Larry Jackson
17300 Road 33.7
Sterling, CO 80751