#13 April 1998
Hugs to everyone who has been so supportive of this newsletter during the past two years and patient for this one. Some of the praises have come by mail or by E-mail and the most recent in person; dinner at the top of the Hancock Building in Chicago with Frank Hooper #16, KALOLINA was a real treasure.
Greg Delezynski and his staff (to be determined later) in Northern California have come forward to take the tiller. Great!! Greg can be reached at:
660 Bair Island Road #24
Redwood City, CA 94063-2704
They may try to go with a quarterly publication. Please continue to support Greg and his "staff". This is the last issue Gale and I can do as we will be on board NO NEWS after the end of May. We have found that the people who own NorSeas are a great group of friends to have. Thanks!
ANOTHER OWNER SIGHTED
My wife and I live on THE BEAGLE, #36. We've been moored in Bahia Coyote, Bahia Concepcion, Golfo de California long enough that Gerry Curringham uses BEAGLE as a landmark in his published cruising guide.
Two days ago I looked out from my office on shore and saw double; another green-hulled NorSea anchored next to BEAGLE. This turned out to be MIND'S EYE #72, and we met Deanna and Cliff Peterson, and they told us about the owners group.
We can be reached at email@example.com that is when we take the Powerbook to town to connect.
David Kallgren, Leslie van Barselaar
FOUNDERS FEATURE by Dean Wixom
ANCHORS AND ANCHORING
As a novice I clipped every article on anchoring. After the first year of cruising I threw them all away. There are only two things to remember in the "Wixom Way" of anchoring;
1. It does not matter what kind of anchor or rode or scope you've got down if the anchor is stuck tight.
2. You know it is stuck tight if you pull on it hard and it stays stuck. If you understand #s 1 and 2 above you know practically all that you need to know about anchoring.
Early on in cruising I gave the anchor a good pull in reverse, as most of us do. If I was going ashore for the day I would give it a really good pull before departing. Before leaving for a few days I would get the boat going in reverse a knot or two and jerk the hell out of it. Then I would go traveling and sleep well ashore.
During the first year or so I would maintain an anxious anchor watch in strong winds. Guess what! At no time during a full gale did the anchor have as much strain on it as when I set it originally! I stopped anchor watching and slept nights.
Pull on the anchor rode hard, really hard, really, really hard, in that order.
How hard? I'm talking 1 - 2 knots in reverse at half throttle with a full throttle burst as the rode takes up and the boat slows (or jerks). So hard that people who are not hanging on loose their footing. Hard enough that the tiller may swing with hazardous force when the boat slews, hold it or secure it. Hard enough so that the forces of your boat riding to a gale do not equal the original pull and jerk.
Pulling really, really hard is not always that easy. The boat likes to back in circles. This is minimized by throwing the helm in the proper direction. Practice on a windless day until you know how to do it.
If the anchor never begins to set and skips or pops loose suddenly, you have a hard or dense grassy bottom. Put down a Bruce or yachtsman and try again with adequate scope. If these don't hold, go somewhere else or sleep lightly.
If the hook "sets" softly or drags backward slowly you are on a soft bottom. Put down a Danforth and try again. If it doesn't take up fast or doesn't hold against the infamous really, really hard jerk go somewhere else or sleep lightly. Forget the math formula about scope; if it survives the really, really hard pull, the scope is enough. If it doesn't survive the pull, observe the anchor line at maximum pull. Be it rope or chain, a tightrope walker should be able to walk down it without skidding. That is the vaunted 7 to 1 scope or more. Once the hook is set securely you can shorten scope, but give it the really, really hard pull test before going ashore. Remember if it survives the pull it will likely survive a gale.
If it breaks loose easily, retrieving, it was not well set in the first place. I usually have to windlass or power mine out regardless of anchor or bottom type. If that anchor is so buried that it is still holding at 1 to 1 scope , it is providing real security!
There are critics of the Wixom way. Some say; "You put a great deal of force on the rudder when slewing and jerking". Duh! If you are at anchor in a gale the boat will be thrown backwards on the rudder thousands of times, once with every wave. If the rudder is weak wouldn't you like to know it now?
"You might break the cleat or bit." Double Duh!!:
"You might break the anchor loose from the bottom." Triple Duh!!!
"You might break the anchor rode or shackle." Quadruple Duh!!!!
"You will have everyone in the anchorage pointing and laughing . Just grin sheepishly and say "my throttle stuck" and enjoy your new friends.
Next time; anchor types and multiple sets. FAIR WINDS, Dean Wixom
A report seen in the April 15th issue of Practical Sailor reviews brands of anchor line, and finishes with a practical suggestion. "Wrap any chafe point and tape with our favorite sacrificial chafe guard- torn up strips of cotton toweling, tightly wrapped and taped securely at the ends." Ed N & G
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT - Owners Report
Trailering Saga - Part II
John & Carol Gignilliat, CHINOOK #175
The next morning we were up early and ready to roll. We looked out our window to see four inches of fresh wet snow on the ground. We ate breakfast and debated whether to start. "Oh, what the heck!" we said. We have four wheel drive, so I locked it in, and we started up the long incline leading out of town and back to the interstate. Halfway up the hill, Carol's worst fear came true. We lost all traction on the snow. There was no room to turn around, so the only way out was to back down. Carol got out of the truck and tried to direct traffic. Every time I touched the brakes, the whole rig would slide an extra five feet. The local police showed up and took over directing traffic. The final problem was the narrow two lane bridge at the bottom of the hill. I was starting to get too far to one side, and straightening the boat and trailer out, sent the truck heading for the ditch. Red lights were flashing, and traffic was stopped from both directions. Nothing like an audience of delayed motorists to add to your composure. Somehow, I got the whole thing lined up, down the hill, and across the bridge.
The police car led us through a little subdivision to get turned around. Here we got stuck on flat ground. We couldn't go forward or backward, so they called a tow truck.
With half his teeth missing and an impish smile, our tow truck driver arrived. His shiny red tow truck, our yellow and orange Suburban, and a 27-foot ocean sailboat all hooked together in line made quite a sight, especially in a little mining town high in the mountains.
"Toot, toot, here comes the train!" he said as he towed us back to the motel. We left the whole rig parked in back while Carol and I re-evaluated our plan. We figured to let the snow stop and the roads clear, then take off again. The snow didn't quit for another day and a half. We were running out of the time allotted for this trip and came to a painful decision. We would have to leave CHINOOK for the winter and try again in the spring.
We got permission from the motel owner to leave the boat and trailer in an empty lot behind the motel. But he recommended we talk to the gas station owner who knew of some indoor storage. The fellow at the gas station sent us to the manager of the grocery store.
We spent the rest of the day trying to squeeze our boat and trailer into an out-of-business Chevrolet dealership. It seemed that we were just a little too tall and a little too wide. On the main street side, there was an arched display area covered on the top but open on the street side. We were just barely able to squeeze in with the bow pulpit grazing the plaster. There CHINOOK was, on display on Main Street, Cle Elu, Washington until next spring.
We settle on a storage fee of $28 a month. We stopped at the police station, left our name and address, and asked if they would let us know if there were any problems.
to be continued...
Cliff Peterson #72 - MIND'S EYE - responded to chapter one of the trailering story before heading for Mexico and the Sea of Cortez; It will be interesting to read the rest of John Gignilliat's trailer story. I hope he has realized the 3 causes of his trailer sway.
1. His Suburban is a ½ T version that doesn't weigh enough and doesn't have stiff enough suspension. And I wonder what his rear axle ratio is? It doesn't sound like the 4.10 he should have.
2. Not enough tongue weight is a major culprit to cause sway.
3. Two axle trailer - since I added the third axle on our trailer, I don't even get the beginning of any sway and we have trailered a lot.
Ed Zacko - #44, one of the original Nor'Sea gurus, has E-Mailed a lengthy response which began - "I laughed and cried when I read the letter from John Gillignilliat. It was all too familiar." Ed's response, (rather lengthy, save it for the next issue) was to buy a Dodge 3/4 with a 5 speed and the Cummins Turbo Diesel.
Ed and Ellen also report they bought a new battenless main for ENTR'ACTE and 135 genoa on a Pro Furl rig. They used full main and genoa in 20 kn and it actually tacked in 25 kns wind. Ed added an inner forestay for the working jib or staysail or the drifter. "It sets just behind the furling unit and removes when we don't need it."
If you need to talk to Ed before the next issue, his address is EZacko@aol.com. They leave June 21 at 13:15:45.999 sharp!! for the Bahamas. He says he has a date with a lot of fish!
Gale and I bought NO NEWS, #76, at Homer, Alaska, shipped it to Tacoma, and trailered it Illinois. We pulled the double axle trailer with a 1991 Suburban, 454 - V-8 with 410 rear axle, up the Columbia River gorge and through the Rockies without any serius problems. Above 50 mph, created problems, such as blown tires from overheating and a hot engine. Surge brakes worked great. With a newer (post 1990) transmission, don't pull with it in overdrive!
One question I have been wondering about is the bilge scupper. It is beneath the waterline and I was curious if that is normal on Nor'Seas? asks Paul Lepisto, #369
Seymore Shapiro, #78, VISITOR
On holding tanks, I bought and installed a Raritan compact holding tank. It runs new $200 and fits around the potty. I built mine up as a removable module so so if needed I can pull the tank and potty out of the head to make repairs on deck. Note: they say legal Type III in all areas. Raritan Part Number CHT or PHT. One is removable.
At the Miami Boat Show, I picked up from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, a discharge identification wheel. By spinning the disk, it shows type of trash, distance off shore that discharge is legal and the Regulation Codes that apply. It has a lot of answers that are hard to find. Look for it item #CG-MEP-MW(9-92)
I just became a distributor for a WIRELESS MODEM SYSTEM, INSAT, from AlphaCom. It allowed me to send this E-mail on full access Internet without a telephone line. Great for us Sailors, RV, and Truckers, works on a laptops and desktops from your home. No need to pay for a second phone line. Modem, Including software and Internet access runs less then $500. Seymore Shipiro - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lon and Joan Zimmerman #81, ETTLEDREE, add, "We have evolved to our present Thetford MSD(head). It is a portapotti style but with vent, deck hold downs and a pumpout pipe. I connected a macerator pump between the pumpout pipe and a seacock. The Thetford uses fresh water to flush, but when freshwater is low, we use sea water. The Thetford is very well constructed and somewhat more compact than the Sealand Traveler. We have been happy with it."
Gus Wilson #130, SAKER - I am organizing the "Early Bird Fleet" again in the Veracruz regatta - Regatta de Amigos - details at www.veracruzregatta.com, which is for the smaller cruising boats like Nor'Seas to get a head start and sail all the way, but still arrive in time for all the festivities. The distance is 620 miles, and there are stops to make on the way back. Anyone with a Nor'Sea is welcome to come down and sail with us. GWLSN@aol.com
Greg & Jill Delezynsky #80, GUENEVERE, have a terrific web page http://home.att.net/~g-j-delezynski/home.html that should be checked regularly. Greg has a full report about rebedding the ports due to the discovery that the old sealant was rotted out. He checked out all the types of sealant for rebedding the ports and finally went with Sikaflex 231 bedding compound. Greg reports "It looked like the best all-around tool for the job." They applied it to the inside part of the port, then Jill held it in place as Greg applied more 231 to the outside ring. They used one full tube for 3 ports. He used "Goop Off" to clean up all the 231 that squeezed out as the port was assembled.
This report came from the Northern California web page - www.vander-bend.com/norsea
Dean Wixom #77, CHINOOK - The NorSea is one eager boat. Even at anchor it wants to keep sailing. We can thank the NorSea's long keel and cutaway forefoot for this most annoying trait. The bow is blown off easily. When the boat is sideways with the anchor rode tight the stern is slowly blown backward. The aft part of the keel resists this movement. This is why we spend such a long time abeam to the wind and heeled over. Every sailor has a favorite method of slowing the back and forth nonsense. Two anchors spread apart work great. Reducing windage forward and adding windage aft helps.
In their "Storm Tactics" book, Larry Pardey describes a setup to prevent the boat from tacking back and forth while riding to a parachute sea anchor. I see no reason why this would not work on a ground anchor. The beauty of this system is that you can adjust the angle of the boat by adjusting the length of the line to the sheet winch. It's already on a winch.