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   The NoríSea27 Owners NewsLine
The Newsletter of Inspired NoríSea 27 boat owners.
Issue # 17                   Apr, May, Jun 1999

Three NoríSea get togethers planned!
Owners reply to web site
12 NoríSea photo albums now on the web site
For Sale & a request to view a NoríSea
Points Beyond

Tacking in heavy weather by Dean Wixom
Cutter Rig your NoríSea by Ed Zacko
Anchoring in Central American by Gary Campbell
Time for a ByPass by Frank Hooper
No News Modifications
Owners Inquire
Editors Locker


Great Lakes Owners get together

Gale & Nancy Saint are dreaming and planning a NoríSea rendezvous 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 NoríSeas 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!

Nor Cal Owners get together

The Nor Cal NoríSea owners are planning a get together on Saturday April 17, 1999. The ďSail Expo WestĒ 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 NoríSea 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!!

So Cal Owners get together

Joe and Connie Unzicker (S/V YAH TAH HEY Hull # 440), are planning a Southern California NoríSea rendezvous at Catalina Island.  The date is open at this time. If you are interested, please contact them by phone at (310)376-6063, or by e-mail at


For any of you who have not logged into the web site yet, try it!  We now have 12 different photo albums. Each from a different NoríSea.  Some albums have over 20 photos in them.

Found on the WEB:

For small boat cruisers with ships under 30 feet, when clearing customs back into the USA, the customís inspector is probably going to require the purchase of a decal for $25 plus fees.

I would like to alert you to a little known provision 19 CFR 4.94 of the Code of Federal Regs that exempts boats under 30 feet from this requirement.

Most customís officers are not aware of this exemption.

Owners Report
Anchoring in Caribbean Central American
By Gary Campbell aboard Wings

 This is not intended to be a tutorial on anchoring.  Rather it may give you some tips on anchoring in conditions that you may not have seen.

 My wife, Mari, and I were crewing for friends down in Central America in January 98 (before the big storm hit).  The boat was an Endeavor 42, similar to a lot of charter boats.  It has a lot of space inside but that is the cause of a lot of the problems we encountered.  The deck is about 6-7 feet off the water.  To say it has a lot of windage is an understatement.  The boat constantly sailed at anchor.  The primary anchor was a CQR knock-off with about 15 foot of chain and 5/8 rode.  The captain elected to go with that anchor most of the voyage.

 We dragged anchor in situations where it should be easy to anchor.  We sailed, motored actually, from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala to Placencia, Belize and anchored behind Placencia Cay.  While there, the weather turned very bad and we decided to run for better cover.  Big Creek, south of Placencia, is a deep water port with good shelter in a nearby mangrove swamp.  We anchored in mud in about 10 feet of water.  When the wind came up we dragged anchor and almost hit another boat also taking refuge.  They held, we didnít.  We couldnít get the hook set again until the storm blew itself out.  If you canít anchor in mud, you ought to quit sailing and take up Ping-Pong.

Mistakes #1:
Donít sail in boats with more windage than sail power (most charter boats).
Donít buy knockoff copies of good anchors.
Donít anchor in mud with anything but a Danford if you expect any sort of trouble.

We meandered up the coast eventually getting to Mexico.  With more bad weather on the way we tucked into Bahia de la Ascencion, south of Cozumel.  We anchored just inside the reef because we were going to motor north again tomorrow, NOT.  The captain checked, on snorkel, the set of the anchor.  He was happy with the set.  About 1000 the wind came up and guess what; we dragged again.  I recommended that we put to sea; if you canít anchor in daylight, you donít have much chance at night.  We tried to set the hook 5 times before we finally put out to sea again.  I rigged a sea anchor from the cover for the dingy.  We had wind from the North and Gulf Stream current from the South.  We only moved about a mile all night.  Remember the sea can be used as an anchor even if you donít have a formal sea anchor.  It worked for us.

Mistake #2:
Donít think that just because your anchor appears, on snorkel, to be buried it is set.  The sand 3-4 inches down in that area has been packed by hundreds of years of current flow from the Gulf Stream.  It is about as yielding to an anchor as concrete.  If the wind blows, you drag.
Tandem anchor before you need to.  Or set two anchors, or both.

 As you might imagine I was getting tired of dragging anchor every other night.  We came back into Bahia de la Ascencion at first light and anchored further in behind Culebra Cays in about 12-15 foot in mud. I insisted we change anchoring technique.  We tandem anchored.  I put the Danford ahead of the fake CQR; the CQR was essentially a rode hold down for the Danford in mud.  No problems.

Heavy anchor and lots of chain.  I came back and replaced the 22# Bruce on my NoríSea with a 33# Bruce (not a knock-off Bruce).
Change anchors like you change shirts.  What works today?
When you sail on other peopleís boats, check out the ground tackle.  They are blind.

Recommendations for NoríSeas:
Go with mostly chain rode.  My primary is a 33# Bruce with 100 foot of ¼ inch High test chain and 150 foot of ½ inch line.  The Bruce seems to hold well in kelp, a real problem here in the Northern California area.
My secondary anchor is a 25# CQR with 50 foot of ¼High test chain and 150 foot of ½ inch line.  I figure this is about the max that I can row out if I have to kedge off.  I also have an 18# Danford stored aft.
Chain means you need a windlass.  I have a Simpson Lawrence Hi-Speed manual Windlass.  If you anchor in an area with much mud, get a chain scrubber.  Screw the boat hook approach.  I bought a cheap plastic covered Dumb-bell and attached it to the scrubber and attached a 15 foot tether.  I put the scrubber on the chain and let gravity do the scrubbing.  5 pumps on the windlass then scrub scrub scrub up and down using the tether.  Works very well.
When you have the choice, go up rivers for good holding.  If the weather is a factor and you are exposed, anchor in shallow water and take a line or two ashore.  Tie them to mangroves if you expect high winds.  Donít worry about being blown aground.  NoríSeas have fallen off trailers with little damage to the hull.  Just kedge off if you are blown aground.  The boat will be just OK.
Use the guides for this area to help you decide where to anchor.  The two we used were Freya Rauschers ďBlue BookĒ and Nigel Caulders guide.

Please forgive my whining; anchoring should not be that difficult.  I, heavy sigh and knock on wood, have never dragged except while setting.  Pick a protected spot, put down heavy tackle with much chain and you will live happily ever after.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at garycampbell@hotmail.

The NoríSea Cutter Rig
Sort Of
By Ed Zacko

Want to turn the Nor Sea 27 into the cutter we ALL   wanted?  Well, after 22 years of brainstorming(I'm real slow sometimes) I finally did it.  The truth is you can only turn the 27 into a "real" cutter by moving the mast back 14" and that as we all know would play havoc with the interior.  But, the good news is that you can get most of the benefits of the cutter rig and eliminate a lot of expensive equipment.  This whole thing worked out far better than I had imagined and it works really well.

The Advantages of the Cutter Rig are: 1.  Better support for the mast(extra fore stay)  2. Split the fore-triangle and break up one huge sail into two
smaller ones.  3. An extra place to hank on a storm head sail which brings the center of effort back toward the mast.  This is where you want it in heavy weather as the boat balances much better in heavy air. 4. If (when!) your Roller Furler packs up you can still hank on a head sail and keep going.

The Disadvanyages of the Cutter Rig: None in general! However, the Nor' Sea was designed as a sloop and 1. Unless you build it as a cutter from day One and build your interior around it you have a problem if you move the mast.

1. The Nor Sea deck layout is a bit too small for all the extra equipment namely 2 extra winches, extra track etc.

The Dilemma:  How to get most of the good for the least clutter and expense on a small platform.

The Result: The Whacko Zacko Rig!!

I made up a new forestay with Norseman fittings and  had a metal shop fabricate the mast and deck fittings.  The mast fitting is mounted down
32" from the top of the mast.  The deck fitting is approx. 32" aft from the back hole of the stem head fitting ( just aft of the bowsprit). The foredeck is narrow enough at this point that you get good support without any bowing. Just to make sure though I did back up the deck with a 1" oak beam.  For double safety I had an inner plate made for the deck fitting so I could run a wire to the interior bulkhead to transfer the load.  So far this does not seem necessary.

I use a bronze turnbuckle with a toggle and circular rings instead of Cotter pins.  This is easy to disconnect and takes just a minute.  It saves the Big bucks of a highfield lever.   When the stay is not in use I stow the turnbuckle in the cockpit locker. The stay "lives" at the base of the
starboard middle stanchion attached  by a 1/4" turnbuckle. It is under just enough tension so it does not bang around and make noise.  The tension is also good because if you grab the stay as you move around the boat it is somewhat secure and is not  tenuous hand hold.  I did have to put a bit of chafe guard on the spreader to eliminate wire sing as it rested on  the spreader. This has worked out well as the stay is just the right length. You don't have to bend it to stow it. This saved the expense and clutter of a "wheel" mounted on deck.

After a summer in the Bahamas and a fall in New England here is the report.

1. At 32" the fore stays are so close together that you cannot tack the large head sail but I forsaw that.  I just remove the inner stay when I know
I'll be doing a lot of tacking.

2. Stowing the stay in the manner described was no problem at all.  I never noticed it unless I wanted it.

3. It sets up in less than a minute.

4. We tried the standard working jib in 20kn and the storm jib in 35 knots and the boat sails very well.  Maybe even better than it did before!

5. To use it, furl the Genoa.   Next, take the sheets and cleat them to your foredeck cleats to tame them.  Or, in our case we have cleats installed on the inside face of the foredeck coaming.  Hank on and raise your sail. Use
the existing winches, cleats and track as always. You do need a second set of jib sheets.

6. To lower sail, lower away and tie off the sail.  Unroll the Genoa on whatever tack you choose.  Now, undo the small sail and stow and lastly,
remove and stow the fore stay.  It really works!!

7. An added feature is that you can even  move the bottom of the foresay up to the stem head fitting aft hole and hank on a big drifter. If you get the measurements right the new stay ends up  just aft of the roller furling drum and does not interfere with the furling gear at all.  NEAT!  It will be 2 ft. shorter on the luff than your standard drifter  but we made up for it in the body and overlap.  And by moving the forestay forward for the drifter we can maximize sail area. In drifter conditions, the balance of the boat is unaffected.

Besides all of the advantages of the real cutter rig you also get the following: 1. No running back stays. 2. No extra chain plates. 3. No big
wheel to stow the fore stay when not in use. 4. Twin head sails if you want them. 5. The staysail halyard doubles as a spinnaker pole topping lift. 6. The new fore stay makes lowering the mast a lot safer if you have roller furling. You can drop the extrusion  before lowering the mast and still have a fore stay to support the mast.

I have also re-designed the topping lift so it is adjusted from the coackpit. This  frees the old topping lift to be used as an spare halyard. A real
advantage if your jub halyard is permanently tied up with your furling gear. More on this later.

Disadvantages:  Aside from not being able to short tack with the stay  in place, none that we know of as yet. The entire project took about a week at a total cost was about $250.00.  Most of that was for the mast and deck fitting. I had them made BIG!

Time for a Bypass
By Frank Hooper
Aboard /sv/ Kalolina

September 1997, had our NoríSea boat for a year now, and have had overheating problems from the day we bought her.  The Farymann single cylinder, sea water cooled diesel was as old as the boat. We thought the overheating was from a buildup of salt or mineral deposits. It was time to try a desalination and removal of deposits in the engine either that or a new engine.

Greg Delezynski  skipper of Guenevere  provided a method to try to remove the builtup saltwater deposits:  ďFrankĒ, he said, ďtry the following method, I heard it worked on other boat enginesĒ.

1.  Disconnect the cooling water intake hose from the seacock of the boat.  Then add an extension to it long enough to reach into the cockpit.

2.  Disconnect the hose that feeds the cooling water from the engine to the exhaust elbow and add an extension long enough to reach the cockpit.

3.  Put a 5 gallon bucket in the cockpit with both lines going in to it.

4.  Add about one gallon of fresh water and about one gallon of auto type radiator flush  to the bucket.

5.  Rig up a drill motor to run the water pump.  (May need to add a pulley to the drill chuck and run the belt with it removed from the crank.  Also may need to remove the engine thermostat.)

6.  Run this setup for 10 to 15 min or longer to do a complete flush of the engine!
If that don't work, a new Yanmar (I priced it at the boat show on Sunday) is about $5,600.00

Well, I thought,  an auto radiator flush?  that might be to strong for the old girlís heart, Vinegar was about the mildest flushing agent I could think of so I rigged a very small bilge pump to circulate through a hose from a pail to the water exit from the engine then from the normal water intake at the engine brough a hose back to the pail. I mixed 2 qts of vinegar with 2 quarts of warm fresh water and circulated it through the engine for about 1 hour. Eureka! the flush worked or so I thought. Water circulated well, and after reassemble, the engine ran very cool.  Success? Yes, but only for a short time!

Well, we used the boat for a few times in September and October of 1997 Until the inevitable happened. The engine would not turn over! In fact the engine even with the injector removed and the decompression lever open would not turn over . I checked the engine crank case no water in the oil a good sign. Must have froze the piston. Was I wrong!

 What I was unaware of was that I had created a very small leak into the fly wheel area from the exterior waterjacket area when I removed the old builtup deposits that had sealed that hole. Well what was I to do now? I was not prepared to spend $ 5,600 plus installation for a new engine, nor was I about to rebuild this one myself. Fortune was smiling.

Nick Meyer the skipper of Mirage, a rear cockpit NoríSea, came to my rescue. Nick has the same engine and had it rebuilt for about $ 2,500.  All I had to do was remove it, get to the shop for rebuild, then reinstall it. Well, It sounded simple until I tried to get my 6í5Ē 250 lb body in the engine compartment to deinstall this engine.

I was able to disconnect the electrical wiring, alternator, pullyís, remove fuel lines, water intake lines and take the exhaust elbow off the engine.  Now, I had only the coupling to the prop shaft and the engine mounts to remove . Trouble!,  couldnít get them off, they were as frozen as the engine. Well, Nick helped again this time with his physical assistance as well as his knowledge. We finally cut the main mounting nuts off the bolts with a Sawzall. Then we pried and lifted the 250 lb engine up off the bolts the mount rested on. We used 2x4ís and 2x6ís to keep the engine off the fuel tank and slid it forward in to the cabin. Finally, we hoisted it out with the main halyard. What a job!

After using the internet and e-mail to find Farymann in Germany and learning who the US distributor was, I contacted Dave Oostmann, at Entec West, in Portland Or.  Dave was great, we talked through the rebuild and the cost. The price was right $2,500 including freight and a one year warranty. I shipped the engine off on a wood pallet as Dave handled the freight company pickup. We had to wait for one part to be shipped from the factory in Germany, but even with that we still got the engine back in about 8 weeks. The rebuild incorporated all the changes made to the engine before Faryman stopped making the water cooled version. The workmanship was good, plus Dave even spent more time answering installation questions I had.

While we had the engine out, I  fiberglassed in the exposed fuel tank to elimnate future oil  leakage.  The keel installed tank under the engine that Dean Wixom and Ed Zaco wrote about earlier is known to leak and fiberglassing seems to be the best cure.

Now the hard part, getting the engine back in. Well, thanks to my 22 yr. old son and his small but powerful buddy, we were able to get the engine into the engine compartment and on to the old mounts with the new bolts. You have to tip the engine on its side to get it in. Could not have done this without the strong help these two young men gave.

Now for the finish! Nick again came to the rescue, he had done this before and in short order he had the engine aligned and we got it running. Thanks again to Nick for his time, expertise and help. Without him I donít think I would have undertaken the task. Would I rebuild it again?  maybe,  but I would seriously reconsider the Yanmar and repower with a fresh water cooling system.  Carolyn and I love the boat and are back to learning to sail on the San Francisco Bay.

Frank Hooper
/sv/ Kalolina

Modifications to No News
By Gail & Nancy Saint

In preparation for our departure in June 1998, we initiated several projects on the boat. The first one was to remove the folding leaf from the slanted nav station on our 1978 vintage hull #76. We wanted to be able to use the nav station for our marinized Toshiba laptop. Previously, a cigarette lighter outlet had been installed just above the nav station. This was extremely helpful for powering our laptop, the modem and occasionally the printer. We have another outlet on the port side by the pantry cupboard and one aft by the electrical panel.

The beautiful teak shelf that was removed from the nav station then became a fold away shelf, with the addition of a teak folding bracket. It was installed just aft of the stove and secured to the bulkhead at the head of the starboard quarter birth. This shelf functions as a chart table as well as extra counter space when the galley is in use. We had purchased an electric burner, that works great on the shelf when we are connected to shore power.

As we were filling the water tanks under the quarter birth cushions, we were struck with the idea of simplifying the filling process. We still have to bring the hose down into the boat, but we cut the board that covers the tank into two sections. Now we only have to remove the stuff from the front of the tank. The cover to the lockers under the quarterbirths were also bisected.

With saw in hand, we attacked the long board that covered the back of the two lockers under the dinnette seats. We cut it in the middle, so now we can open each locker individually. It only took us 8 years to figure that one out.

Since only Gale and I would be on board during our adventure, we elected to leave the port quarterbirth cushion at home. That would give us four more inches of storage space - oh so important! I found a plastic 3 drawer chest at Target, with positive latches. This fit great on the quarterbirth just aft of the head.

We discovered that we had to tie it in, before we headed into heavy weather.

A final tip is that a regular state map of the areas you are sailing is very helpful in addition to all the charts you can afford.

Any questions?  Just give us an E-Mail.  Snow tonight 6-10 inches.  Why are you in California??

Nancy & Gale

By Dean Wixom

Some NorSea owners have become expert at the heavy weather jibe, not necessarily to sharpen their sailing skills, but because they have no success tacking in heavy winds.  Sometimes the only way `round is the long way `round  -  to "wear `round" [a controlled jibe].  This is sometimes hard on gear and overly stimulating to captain and crew.  It's usually avoidable.

Our boat will do the tack, but needs gentle persuasion.  Why?  The same reason that creates some of its virtues - the cutaway forefoot.  This feature that among other things helps the boat tack in light air, allows waves to knock the bow downwind when pinching into heavy winds and seas.  This takes additional weather helm to counteract, stalls the rudder and keel and causes the boat to wallow.

Did you catch that key word:"pinching".  It's key because it's what you don't do.

Here's how it's done.

1.  Fall off 10 - 15 degrees and let the boat build up speed, [the rudder will regain its normal angle, the rudder and keel are foils again, they are now working].

2.  Time your turn to occur at the top of the oncoming wave.  [You should be about 1/3 through your turn as the bow breaks free at the top of the wave].

3.  Backwind the jib.  [Don't let go the jib sheet until the jib fills from the opposite side.  This causes the backwinded sail to pull the bow around quickly].

4.  Once the tack is near complete let the jib sheet go and sheet in as you would normally.

As with many things about the NorSea, this goes against conventional wisdom.  Well, our boat was never conventional.  Resist the urge to go as high as possible before the tack.  Resist the urge to let the jib sheet fly at the start of the tack, but let it go quickly once the boat goes through the eye of the wind.  If you delay too long you'll get a lot of heeling and stall the boat an the new tack.

To condense it all:quit pinching up [what are you doing up there anyway?].  Fall off, build up speed.  Time your wave, backwind the jib.

Easy as 1,2,3.


Editors note: Next issue, Dean tells us the secret on how to add speed to your NoríSea.



We are exploring the possibility of adding a computer navigation system for our boat and were wondering if you, or any other NorSea owner, might have some advice on the best lap-top and software to buy.

Mort and Carolyn Meiers -Blue Moon

Does anyone have suggestions for insurance that will cover an older NorSea sailing from Florida to Belize?

We have been told that a 1978 boat is too old and a 27' boat is too small!!

Thanks.  Gale & Nancy Saint,  NO NEWS



From: Seymour Shapiro

pulled down the News Line from the web page and made a hardcopy on my Epson 640, color pictures came out real nice.  Your good ideas of single web page works well and looks good.

Follow Up: On the head stay stop, I used a flat washer making a cut in it, like a split washer, bent it on the cable, cost 9 cents. When made flat again it will prevent jamming of the hanks.

Follow Up: On window covering, I have used that same  non-skid material as an aid in griping twist top jars and on oily screwdriver handles, hold on to the scraps after cutting the window covers.

From: Michael J. McCue

I just logged on the NewsLine web site to download the latest NewsLine.  You can stop sending it to me via US Mail as this works great. Very informative. The little bit of information on the cutlass bearing saved me $200 in yard charges. Thanks. You may include my E-Mail Address in you list. Best regards...Mike

From: Steve Gross

I'm setting off again in a few days(went for 10 days in Oct)for San Carlos for 2 weeks of cruising along the Baja California side. Will be attaching my new autohelm to the wind vane gear for use when motoring. I'll be single handling.  Hope to try heaving to in the Pardey-Wixom style, and when in anchorages will install my amateur radio HF rig(and attempt to make a useful antennae), finish the dropleaf modification to the dinette table, install a second hawzer pipe to separate the forward anchor rodes, and install an auxiliary jib halyard for the new spreader level forestay.

Feliz Navidad,
Steve Gross
KC5LZZ ('XE2'KC5LZZ in Mexico)

p.s. If you have an HF rig with a high gain antennae, tune in to the "Chubasco Net" at 10:00 am pacific time (transmits every week day and maybe saturdays) on 7294 kHz lower side band, to hear the goings on of those cruising the west coast of Mexico and the Baja area.  I'm curious to know whether it can be heard from the Bay Area.


I we go to press we just got an e-mail to good to not add in.....

Hi this is Doug on S/V Freya
we are currently in mexico with our norsea.  We will send you the newsletters of our cruise through mexico and beyond via the mail. It may be a few months though as  we leave april 1 for the marquesas islands and the Easter holiday has closed the post offices down here.

Doug and Jenn on Freya


I would like to visit a Nor-Sea 27 in my area.  Easiest trip for me would be the west shore of Lake Michigan from Chicago to Door County.  I do get around Green Bay and the north end of Michigan on my ComPac 23 as well.  If you would put my Name:Tom Harrer;
Address: Sister Bay, WI;
Phone: 920-854-7077; and; in your newsletter with a request to be contacted, I would be most appreciative.


NoríSea center cockpit for sale with trailer. Was first launched new in 1980, hull #66. We have just finished a 6 year cruise on her & have numerous extras that will go with her. Sales where new in í92. Motor new in Nov. í95. Would like $38,000.

Bob & Eva Chilcoat
1202 Aabear Ln.
Missoula, Mi.  59802
Phone (406)258-2048

Wanted:  Late model (after 1990) NorSea with three axle trailer. or (920) 294-3873


Tom Barrett

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