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   The Nor’Sea27 Owners NewsLine
The Newsletter of Inspired Nor’Sea 27 boat owners.
Issue # 16                   Jan, Feb, Mar 1999

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Gale & Nancy to give presentation at boat show
           See Editors Locker for details
Results from the questionnaire
A new WEB site just for the NewsLine
NorCal Get together planned

1 Information on heavying-to by Dean Wixom
2 San Francisco Bay by George & Elizabeth marcotte
3 Upgrades: Jib Jam Stopper from Gary Campbell
4 Upgrades:  For Privacy from Joan Rennick
5 Winters Weekend from Richard Leasure
6 News from  No News
7 Book Browse

Owners Report
Winters Weekend
By Richard Leasure
Aboard Wings #141

 ‘Wings’, my NorSea 27, and I ghosted into the seeming endless  Ingrams bayou on a dying  winters afternoon breeze as the now reddish sun disappeared behind the pines on the western shore.  A few migratory Mallards mixed in with the ungainly brown Pelicans, lifted off the dark glassy waters as we entered their quiet domain. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful silence I quietly dropped the sails as the tide carried me further into solitude. The splashing down of the waterfowl around the bend of the bayou echoing off the piney woods was the only sound to be heard as I dropped the anchor.

  As I settled down in the cockpit the full moon nosed up above the treetops on the other shore.
The breeze was gone and the cold stillness enveloped me with a surreal but very peaceful feeling.
  The crickets accompanied me as I played my guitar until my fingers shut down from the 40 degree cold. I had already lit the cabin heater and the heat coming up from the companionway called me below. I ate my warmed over chicken and rice and tried to read but promptly dozed off in my sleeping bag, leaving the bright cold night to its rightful owners on the water and in the woods of the bayou.

  As I write this, its 9 am, breakfast is finished, the low winter sun has dried the dew on deck, and the northeast wind is rising. I plan on  going up the bayou to its end and back, then exploring Wolf Bay to the west. The pelicans are gliding and splashing near the sandy shoreline, while the sun shining on the pines is making a bright green canopy over the brown sawgrass below. Tomorrow clouds are forecast with a clocking wind as another cold front approaches from the northwest. I hope to have an east to  southeast wind, and if I’m lucky, no fog for my 40 mile trip back to the city and reality.



Gale & Nancy Saint to be speakers at the Strictly Sail, Boat Show at Navy Pier in Chicago the end of January.

They will give a slide show on Thursday, Jan 28 at 4:30 and Saturday, Jan 30 at 1:30.  "Where to Casually Cruise from Chicago to The Chesapeake, via the Erie Canal"

Any Nor’Sea owners who can make it, should put this at the TOP of their MUST DO list! 

We were asked for the deadline dates for submissions to the NewsLine. We try to keep it loose, but for planning purposes, we would like everything to us by the 15th of the month prior to the publication month.  So before the 15th of Mar., Jun., Sept,. and Dec.

Last month I made mention that Mr. Hess is one great designer.  Here’s the story.

On our haul-out list, we had: raise the water line, replace the prop, replace the prop shaft, replace the cutlass bearing, have a fitting made for the Monitor and autopilot, and redo the fireplace exhaust system.  We expected to get it all done in 5 days, Monday to Friday.  Then spend the rest of the two weeks exploring the Bay.  It actually took 7 days.  We were back in the water on Monday.
Doing the bottom was EASY this time, as we had applied CopperPoxy the last time.  The rest was also easy.  You can see pictures and read about it on our web site.

Then it came to the prop stuff.  I walked into the yard office and asked when they could start on my cutlass.  I was told six (6) other boats were also asking to replace their cutlass bearings!  It must have been the season!

We bugged the office a few times and were told that the expert was working on the boat directly across from us.  I then went over and talked to the expert.  He was waiting for the lift to come over and raise that boat so they could drop the rudder.  As it turned out, ALL of the other boats had to have the rudder removed just to change the cutlass or the prop shaft!  This involved lifting the boat and removing the rudder. Which cost the boats not only time, but $$ as well.  He told me I was 4th in line.

I managed to get him to come over and take a look.   We decided it would NOT require the lift for a Nor’Sea as the rudder did not have to be removed.  It took us about 3 minutes to remove the prop. He was still waiting for the lift to arrive for the boat behind us. Another 10 minutes to get the shaft out (we had to get it out of the flange). The lift then showed up and he had to go back over to help drop the rudder.  Jill and I took out the prop shaft/cutlass tube and handed it to him after he helped drop the other boat's rudder.  He measured the other guy’s cutlass size, took our tube, and disappeared into the shop.

He returned after lunch with the new cutlass pressed into our tube (done on a bench press in the shop) and the cutlass for the other boat in hand.   Jill and I installed the tube in just under 15 min. as he continued to press in the other boats cutlass.

Bottom line was:
For a Nor’Sea:
$32.50 for labor and $55.00 for parts. Total - $87.50
The other boat:
2 boat moves at $40.00 each, One to remove the rudder, one to reinstall it, at least 2 man hours at  $65, plus parts of Apx. $55.00 Total - $265.00
A savings of $177.50  NOT BAD!!  Just due to a good boat design.

And now, the results from last months questionnaire…….

Of the 119 issues sent out, we have received only 46 replies.


First, THANKS for all of the donations!!   We are set for at least the a year!

Speaking of donations, we know this may not sound like the best method to use to fund this newsletter, but by going this way we are able to keep it going out to ALL Nor’Sea owners.   Like the Saints, we like the idea that ALL Nor’Sea owners have access to a source of information on one great boat.

E-mail vs Snail-Mail:

19 people can receive the NewsLine via e-mail
27 people still want to have it sent to them by Snail-Mail.

Our simple plans,
Lets do both!
We will still send some copies,
AND, we will have a web page.


If you received the e-mail notice, and have already taken a look, you know about this.  If you have not gotten to see it, and do not have a computer, you might consider stopping by your library and using one of their computers (usually free) to take a look.  Because there is no cost for the WEB site, or to copy and distribute the NewsLine by using the WEB, we can include a lot more.

Please look at the address label on your copy of the NewsLine.  At the top right, the place we normally put the boat name, we have printed a note as to how you will be receiving the NewsLine.  If it has “e-mail” printed there, you should have already received an e-mail note that this issue was ready for you to read at the new NewsLine WEB site (and this issue is old news to you).  If you have not received this note, PLEASE e-mail us and let us know!  We want to make sure everyone gets a copy. If the label has “US Post” on it, you will continue to receive a hard copy of the NewsLine in your mailbox.  If you later become able to get your copy by the web, please e-mail us and let us know.

If you do not see “e-mail” or “US Post”, on your address label this will be the last issue we send to this address as we have received no information back from it.

If we have missed you, or dropped you in error, PLEASE let us know as soon as you are able to!  We do NOT want to drop anyone, but we do not want to send out newsletters to anyone who is not interested in getting them.

If you have chosen to get the NewsLine via the web, THANK YOU.  It will help conserve our funds and allow us to keep it going longer.  I expect to send out the e-mail that the NewsLine is ready for viewing on the WEB site at the same time I take the hard copy to the printer.  That means you should be reading the NewsLine a bit over a week before it would get to your mailbox.

Your decision on how to get the NewsLine is NOT cast in stone, and can be changed at any time you wish by dropping us a note or e-mail.

On the WEB site we have included color photos that we can not possibly include in the hard copy.  In this issue, the “Upgrades” article by Gary Campbell, has a color photo of the installation on the WEB page that shows how well it works.  A few people suggested we get photos from all the owners and make up a book for sale.  We like the idea, but at about $1.00 per page, that could add up FAST.  So, we have added a photo albums area to the WEB site.  Send in your pictures and we will try to get them up into the page.  If you e-mail them to us, please make them 640x480 “.jpg” files.

We have also put up a complete index of all issues of the NewsLine.  This index lists the name of the article, what section and issue it was printed in, and who wrote it.  If you do not have access to the web and would like a copy of the index, you can send us a business size self addressed, stamped envelope and we will print you a copy and send it out.  Of course, if you have a computer, you can print it out for yourself.

Best of all, we are working to have a copy of EVERY issue of the NewsLine that has ever been printed on the site!

For those of you who are web savvy, we have put each issue on one (1) WEB page.  This takes just a bit longer to load & view, but it then only takes one (1) button to print your complete copy of that issue of the NewsLine.  This makes it easy to jump on the net, print out a copy, then sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of Coco and read & dream…..

I expect that most who want to get the NewsLine via electronic means, still want a hard copy to review.

Now on to the counts,

Number of replies: As of December 15, we have had 46 people reply to our survey

What people like to read:

Number of replies so far:  46
Do you still wish to receive the
NewsLine?   Y__46,   N__ 0
Do you get more than one copy? Y_0,
Would you be willing to get by the Internet?
Y__19, N__16
prefer to get the copy by E-mail:Y__3
prefer to be notified by E-Mail: Y___16

Average Ratings of areas:
Been There, Done That, _____  6.4
Diesel Digest,   _____  7.4
Editor,    _____  4.4
Equipment For Sale,   _____  4.8
Factory Comments,   _____  6.5
Founders Feature,   _____  9.6
Galley Grommet,   _____  2.5
New Products/Solutions,  _____  8.6
Owners Inquire,   _____  6.4
Owners Reply,    _____  6.4
Upgrades,    _____  7.5
Tech Tips,    _____  8.0

If we publish the NewsLine on a web site, may we include your E-Mail address so others interested in the Nor’Sea can contact you?  Y__17,   N__0

If someone in interested in information on a Nor’Sea and contacts us by phone, can we give out your phone number so they may contact you?   Y__33,   N___8

Nor’Sea usage:

Weekend play, _________19
Local cruising,  _________19
Coastal cruising, ________22
Coastal for more that 2 months at a time, __17
Offshore cruising, Plan to depart
Within 5 years, ______10
5 to 10 Years, _______6
after 10 years, ______1

Greg and Jill

Owners Report
San Francisco Bay
From: George & Elizabeth Marcotte
Aboard Sea Of Tranquility

Plan A was to take three days to get to Monterey. We were at the Golden Gate Yacht Club and ready to catch the tide out the Gate when we
listened to the weather report: Small craft warning and 10 foot seas. It didn't sound like a vacation to me so we opted for plan B.

We spent two days at Angle Island. At Angle Island you can easily picture yourself sailing in Europe some where instead of the Bay Area.
We spent time relaxing and hiking around.

We sailed up to Vallejo Yacht Club and had diner up there on Wednesday night. This is a very nice place with cheep food, drink and friendly  people.  I think we NorSea'ers should partake in the next Vallejo race. The commodore helped me plan a trip up to Napa.

We motored up the Napa River to the Napa River Marina. We found Napa not very accessible to sail boating. You can go up to the 3rd street  drawbridge but on the other side is just a day use dock there. We took a taxi to down town and had diner and a movie.  The first part of the Napa River has some shallow water areas in what looks like a wide channel. The actual channel is narrow so staying in the channel is important. Once the river bank comes to the edge of the channel its easy to stay on
track.  There are a lot of houses right on the water there. I was thinking how on earth anyone living there would commute without a boat.

The next day we sailed over to China Camp for the night. The current at China Camp is strong. If you want to set out two anchors they should be
60 degrees on the bow. Don't try the bow and stern anchor setup because the current hit the boat side ways if you are not perfectly lined up.
Swimming there is good but I always let out a long line with a fender on the end of it so I can have a way of pulling myself back to the boat.
The current can be strong.

Next day we motored up Petaluma River. Now this river area has more farmland to look at. There is one bridge just before you get into down
town Petaluma that you need to call for a lift. They want you to schedule 24 hours ahead of time. When you get up to the turning basin
just past the draw bridge there is a large float for docking over night with easy access to down town Petaluma. The fee is $10 for the use of
the float. The down town area has many restaurants and quaint little shops. Petaluma still has its old small town charm.

Next day we sailed back to Angel Island for a couple of days. We can't get enough of that place. Then back to Alameda.

All in all a nice tour of the bay.

George & Elizabeth.

Editors Note: George is now the WEB Master for the Nor’Sea factory WEB page at -

Jib Jam Stopper
From: Gary Campbell
Aboard Wings #95

Often, when raising the jib, the hanks would jam on the lower swage fitting on the headstay.  That would require a trip up to the bow.  To stop this, purchase a small rope end Jamstopper (West Marine part number 254617 for green or 306144 for red $7.95).  Put it together on the headstay below the jib hanks and above the lower swage fitting.  This prevents the hanks from slipping down on the swage and jamming.
(photo of the setup….Ed)

For Privacy
From: Joan Rennick
Aboard Galadriel

Cut ovals to fit your ports from the rubbery non-skid sold for table use, etc. – it comes in several patterns and colors.  Use double-stick tape to apply it to the inside of your ports. You can see out but others (unless they make a spectacle of themselves!) can’t see in.  Looks neat and tidy from both outside and inside. I used the lace version, but then I have a girl-boat!


The Nor Cal Nor’Sea owners are planning a get together on Saturday April 17, 1999. Sail Expo West sailboat show will be at Jack London square that weekend, so people can have a great day at the show, then a get together at the yacht club Jack London belonged to, the Oakland Yacht Club.  ALL Nor’Sea owners are welcome and should contact Gary Campbell (first by e-mail at, or by phone, if required at (510)-814-1920) for information.  Plan to sail in and we can have a boat crawl!!

By Dean Wixom

Last issue I waxed rhapsodic about how safe and comfortable a Nor’sea can be when properly hove to in a gale. I am a very devout coward, I seldom enjoy storms, but given sea room I have learned not to fear them.

Most beginning voyagers fear bad weather due to bitter experience. They have been coastal sailing with hazards nearby. They have pushed for home in bad conditions and unsuitable boats because they had  to. They have fought an overpowered boat for hours , rail down, spray flying and knuckles white , arriving exhausted , seasick and probably screaming at their mate.  Conclusion ?? Storms  are scary and dangerous. If  they can barely survive  a few hours at sea near home, how will they cope with weather for days on end at sea?  With hot meals, dry clothes, and good books, thats how!!

There is a bit of mystery about heaving to. That is because every boat is different.

It is easy to heave to in a Norsea.

Read Pardey for the ultimate description of being hove to. For our purposes, being hove to is when the boat is dead in the water with the bow pointing upward as high as possible. The boat has sail up but makes no forward motion. The boat drifts in the direction of the wind,  not in the direction that the boat is pointed.

The drift of the boat downwind creates a slick of turbulent water on the wind-ward side of the boat that tends to keep waves from breaking aboard. (Remember that a large sea is mostly like an elevator ride. It is only the breaking top that is uncomfortable or dangerous].

Here's how to set up a Norsea to heave to.

1. Forget anything you have ever  read.
2. Keep whatever mainsail you have been sailing with comfortably.
3. Remove the jib entirely. (Forget what you have read).
4. Bring the boat up into the wind as high as it will go.
5. Lash the tiller to the Lee(low) side of the boat.
6. Go below and make some cocoa.

That is really all there is to it.

The Nor’sea does not require a back winded jib to heave to , in fact any kind of jib or  staysail is an impediment , keeping the bow blown too far off the wind. Conventional wisdom on most boats is that  a back winded jib ( as if you had tacked but not released the jib sheet) will prevent the boat from unwanted tacking. This might be necessary on a Nor’sea only in light winds and flat seas. If wind and sea are up the Nor’sea will not tack by itself under main alone. This is because the cutaway forefoot allows the bow to be blown off when the boat is not moving and the keel is stalled. (Remember the "Sailing the Nor’sea" article.)

How much main sail  should you have up? , Generally whatever you had up comfortably at the time of heaving to. If the bow does not point up high enough (40-45 degrees) add mainsail. If the boat is heeling too much for comfort, decrease mainsail. Remember it is the main and leeward tiller that is driving the bow into the wind and keeping it ideally at 45 degrees to the wind

Don't even think of doing with little or no main. That would put the boat abeam to the wind and wave. That is called lying ahull and it is uncomfortable or possibly dangerous. This is when boats get knocked down.

Remember if you are moving forward significantly you are not hove to, you are sailing. Check this by throwing a tissue over the side . If it moves down the hull as if you were sailing , you are indeed sailing. If the tissue appears to drift slowly to  windward you are drifting dead downwind and are properly hove to.

Some very general recommendations: at about 25 knots heave to under full main. At 30 knots a single reefed main. At 35 knots a double reefed main. At 35 knots and above a triple reefed main. All the above with no jib or staysail.  Your boat may vary with the amount of windage fore ( roller furling, genoa bags, and etc.) and aft (dodger, weathercloths, and etc.). Remember the object is to lie the bow as high into the wind as possible without allowing the boat to tack.

At 40 - 50 knots, or if it is likely to get there , lie to a parachute, go below and prepare a hot meal. (you can)  Then take a proper sea berth (lee cloth and safety strap) and  enjoy a good book. Properly hove to you will be astonishingly  comfortable. Look out every 15 minutes. Don't bother with foulies. If you are hove to correctly there will be very little spray.

A hove to boat ideally drifts only downwind. But life isn't ideal. A boat hove to will also drift a bit at about 90 degrees to wind and wave. This is called forereaching  and its direction depends on which tack the boat is on. Thus if the wind is from the north and the boat is on a port tack, it will drift mostly southward and a bit eastward. The reverse of course is true on the other tack. Thus if you have a lee shore to the west you would want to be on the port tack and make some eastward drift.

If you have a lee shore downwind you should know your rate of drift.  I have found  the downwind drift of CHINOOK to be  VERY roughly 1/2 to 1 knot in 25-30 knots of wind, 1-1 1/2 knots in 30 knots, and up to two knots in 40 plus knots of wind. This of course varies greatly with he amount of sail carried and windage of the boat. If too little sail is carried to drive the bow into the wind, drift can be greater. If too much is carried, the boat is greatly heeled and the keel is not deep in the water, drift can also be greater. Since I have measured drift only by D.R. these estimates err on the side of safety. If someone has figures based on G.P.S. readings it would be valuable information to share.

A boat hove to on a parachute sea anchor of proper size makes very little drift, a fraction of a knot..

P.C. disclaimer: I strongly recommend any serious sailor should read, understand, and be equipped per Pardey's Storm Tactics book [and no other, they'll only confuse you]. There might be some misguided soul who snivels "conflict of interest".  The Pardeys are indeed close friends. Any remuneration to the Pardeys by book sales to Nor’sea owners is insignificant to what we all  owe them; the inspiration for the Norsea idea . I owe them very probably my life, certainly a long and safe sailing career, and most of all my wife. They introduced us fifteen years ago and arranged our marriage in Falmouth, England nearly in the shadow of Taleisin's mast.

Sea Story:

we had been hove to all night off the coast of Bermuda, wind was 45 and gusting. Seas were peaking at 20++ feet. As dawn arrived the horizon was visible only 20% of the time. The view from the top was thrilling! I was wishing I did not have to go off watch. My reverie was shattered by a land-familiar smell. I quickly scanned the horizon. Awareness returned as I realized my crew was down below, awake, and frying up a mess of bacon!

She wasn't aware we were in a storm.


Ed… Dean has asked if any of you have ideas of for future subjects to write about.  If you would like to see Dean write about a subject near and dear to you, send us a note and we will pass it on to him.


What feathering props have been installed on a NorSea and are they worth the extra cost?

Where have you put a third battery - on the aft cockpit model?

Both questions from Gale & Nancy Saint aboard No News.

Does anyone know of a place that has made a dodger for an aft cockpit model that has the patterns etc. and the ability to make another one and ship it?

From Joe Butera


Gale & Nancy Saint

We are here in Baltimore at Anchorage Marina.  We made it this far, and now Gale has to go back to Bloomington for about 6 months to give a
little encouragement at the office. We will fly back to Bloomington, get the trailer, drive back to Baltimore, and then drive the boat and trailer back to Chicago where we will store it
for the winter.

Our plan is that next summer we will sail the Great Lakes, or North Channel and then about September, drive the boat back to the Chesapeake and start down the ICW and continue the adventure.

I am dreaming and planning a NorSea rondevous somewhere on the Great Lakes during the summer of 1999.

Options of location would include, (1)Holland, Michigan, (2)North Point, Michigan, (3)somewhere in the North Channel, (4)the Apostle Islands, (5) Presque Isle Bay at Erie, PA or somewhere else someone might suggest.  If any of the Nor’Seas are interested in getting together for a long weekend, or more, at one of these locations, please let me know at, or 309-824-4253 or 115 W. Jefferson #303, Bloomington, IL  61701.
It would be a great way to get to a location on the Great Lakes and cruise in some beautiful clear fresh water, without tide or current!

We spent this weekend rafted with another NorSea - Roy Timpe and his family and had a great time.  Weather here on the Chesapeak was warm and sunny.

We also met Ron Della Penna at the Annapolis Boat Show.  We were both attending a program by Lynn and Larry Pardey.  Then Ron and Shari
stopped in Baltimore to see our boat before they drove back to Ohio.  NorSea people are so great.

Hope your summer was good.


We are back in an apartment in Bloomington and enjoying the warm weather - 60 -65 degrees!!  Gale felt he had to come back to give the law
office a bit more support, so we trailered back from Baltimore.  There are some mountains between here and there, but we had no trouble after we added extra transmission cooling to the Suburban.

The boat is up in Chicago for the winter and we hope to cruise the Great Lakes next summer, with the possibility of heading east (by trailer)
when the hurricanes calm down.

Take care - Nancy & Gale

Cost Conscious Cruiser
Lin and Larry Pardey

 In their inimitable style, Lin and Larry again reaffirm their original statement of 30 years ago “ go small, go now”.  They did just that and in their new book, show us how to prepare for cruising.  Whether the subject is finances or budget or the psychological cost, it is covered here.  Whatever your current situation, if you truly want to cruise, pick up this book and save yourself many “boat units” by considering money saving alternatives to costly equipment and boats.

 As small as the bookshelf is on a Nor’sea this book deserves a space and should be referred to often!


We received an update from Dave Bradley, who Greg met at the All Sail Expo in Oakland last year.  He and his son, John are preparing their Nor’Sea to launch in the bay area.

In November they purchased a new 3 axle trailer from Pacific Trailer in Chino, Ca.  They hauled the boat in Mission Bay and trailed in to Turlock, Ca.  In the process, Dave says they “smoked the surge brakes “ coming down the grapevine.  This spring the project is to install a new 2GM20F Yanmar and other projects.  They anticipate locating the boat either in Berkley or Emeryville.
We have a great group of Nor’sea owners here in the Bay area and are looking forward to your arrival, Dave.


We are selling our '93 Norsea 27 (first launched 11/94).  It is an aft cabin model and her name is "Defiant".  It comes with a new triple axle Pacific trailer we just bought this year.  The boat and engine are like new and have had little use.  We are asking 59,000.00 but we would consider ALL offers.  We are moving and have to sell for that reason.  She is beautiful and we hate to have to sell her!!
Jim and Leanne Hamilton of Defiant

My wife and I are looking for a used Nor’Sea. Used to be a Westsail 32 owner for 13 years. Like double enders. We have toured an aft cockpit boat for sale in Port Aransas Texas.
Our address is:
Tom and Lynn Barrett
W1952 Belle Mapps Ct.
Green Lake, WI  54941
(920) 294-3873

Published, edited, typed, copied and stamped aboard Guenevere (#80) by:
Greg & Jill Delezynski
660 Bair Island Rd. #24
Redwood City,  Ca.  94063