Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Penrose's New Owner

Welcome aboard Don Carten of Cheshire, CT, the new owner of Penrose 35LN16. When asked about his plans for Penrose Don said, ". . .does a sailor need plans?". Good point.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Welcome Aboard Kavenga 41LN25

My husband (James Downar) and I (Heather Brignull) bought Kavenga in October of 2012. We moved onboard on day one and have been loving living aboard ever since.  It would be great to meet some other LN owners, so sign us up!
Kavenga at anchor
Jim at the helm
Heather underway

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Design of the LN 35 and 41 Stanchion Mounts

Behind the chainplate (pictured at left) is a typical stanchion support used on both the Lord Nelson 35 and 41.  Tommy Chen invented this mount to eliminate deck leaks.  The stainless stanchion mount is backed by a stainless steel plate inside the bulwark.  Just below the deck, three layers of fiberglass (mat and roving) span the space between the deck and hull.  This encloses the bulwark area.  Before the caprail was put on, the entire bulwark was filled with a sand impregnated resin.

The sand was dried before it was used by (1) leaving it out in the sun and then (2) heating it in a 3' to 4' wide, cast iron wok. 

Why the engine won't start--Aurora 41LN17

One of the areas I haven't been into yet--the injector pumps. One of them is bound up. Fortunately (or not) it seized up in the "Don't Run" position. As long as one pump needs service, I pulled the other two, for inspection and the injectors for inspection and cleaning. The pumps have about 5000 hrs on them, the injectors about 3000. 

Ted Boodry
S/V Aurora

Pictures from Aurora 41LN17

Just hanging around in Prickly Bay, Grenada.

Ted Boodry
S/V Aurora

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things I Learned from Tommy Chen--Aria 41LN18


 My wife, Terri, and I had the distinct privilege recently of meeting and talking with Tommy Chen, the designer and builder of our Lord Nelson 41. Tommy was a guest of LNVT's Victory Tug's Midwest Rendezvous on September 12, 13, and 14, 2014 at the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, Wisconsin.

We learned three unique factors about our boat in talking with Tommy. First, the Stays'l is positioned in the sail plan in such a way that one can fly that sail alone in very high winds and sail the boat properly. The helm is balanced on all points of sail and the boat speed is quite respectable. Second, the forward base of the lower keel on the 41 is a maximum of 22 inches wide. That is fairly significant. It doesn't affect the boat's performance. The whole keel is fashioned like an airplane wing to achieve the same lateral lift principles. That wide and heavy section of the keel enables the vessel to carry substantial weigh below without having to extend the keel even deeper. Third, Tommy used a continuous "unbuckled" cable to power the rudder quadrant from the helm so as to not risk cable separation under heavy load.

To other Lord Nelson sailboat owners out there I highly recommend connecting with the Lord Nelson Owner's Association. While I was the only sail boater in an otherwise Victory Tub gathering, I was treated royally. This association seeks to advance our understanding and appreciation of the boats we have and to join in fellowship over our chosen water sport. It is important that we get ample representation of us sailors wherever we might be.

Chuck Jakway
S/V "Aria" LN 41 (Hull #18) Apostle Islands, Lake Superior

Skene's Elements of Yacht Design

While asking Tommy Chen how he designed the 41LN and 35LN his response included many heuristics.  Heuristics like a rudder should be 5% of a hull's underwater surface area.  He said he learned them from Skene's Elements of Yacht Design.  Tommy doesn't read English and it speaks volumes that he made his way through this technical book.  When I asked him how he did it, he said, and I'm paraphrasing here: "Numbers are numbers.  You don't need to read english to understand them." 

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Embla's New Teak Deck

Donald and Patricia Dorn-Lopez are having new teak decks put on Embla 41LN14 in Vigo, Spain.  The Spanish quote was about 40% less expensive than a comparable quote from a yard in Denmark. The original LN deck was 12mm thick. The new deck will be 15mm thick and is applied in such a way that no mechanical fasteners are used. Donald reports that all the holes in Embla's deck were filled and the deck re-fiberglassed before the new teak was put on. The new deck is only one job being done in Embla's current refit.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Just in from Peter Nordlie, ex Fairwind 41LN10 -- Those Were the Days

Peter Nordlie, 2009
ex Fairwind, 47LN10 &
ex Last Call, 37VT47
[I can't post the following email without properly introducing its author, Peter Nordlie. He is the only Lord Nelson owner (other than the Harts) to have owned both a 41LN and a 37VT. Peter was so impressed with his 41LN that when it came time to make the geriatric jump into a stink pot, Lord Nelson Victory Tugs were the only boats he looked at. Peter's other claim to fame is making it halfway across the Atlantic in his Cheoy Lee Clipper 36 Ketch.  Yea, there's a story there and you can read it here.  All the pictures Peter shared are available on Fair Wind's LNOA album.  Posted by Dave Howell]

The following was excerpted from an email dated 3 August '14 and a subsequent undated snail mail from around 5 August '14.

I bought Fairwind in Feb. 1992 in Marathon Fl. from an owner with a last name of Beck who had a cement business in Baltimore. Unfortunately, after two moves, I've been unable to locate my file and so can't establish exactly when I sold her. I think she was sold to the Dosses in '98 or possibly '99. I would call the yacht brokers that sold her, Wagner and Stevens in Annapolis, but they apparently are no longer in business.

Peter Nordlie in the Middle of the Atlantic
Your request for pictures led to a most interesting afternoon of reviewing hundreds of photos especially of the transatlantic trip which left me overwhelmed with nostalgia. Selecting photos for your purposes left me uncertain so, unless you say, "don't", I'll send you a packet of a couple dozen. These include a set of very good, detailed interior shots that the brokers took that provide extensive detail on the 41's interior. Many of the other pics are of Fairwind on her adventures which will give a pretty good idea of what cruising on a 41 could be. Of all the boats I've ever been on, I always felt she was the most seaworthy and, no matter how raucous and tempestuous ( we went through 7 gales going to Europe) it got, I felt safe, secure, and comfortable.

A gale in the Atlantic
While I had her, in addition to the three year European trip, I sailed her twice to Nova Scotia, once to Florida, and throughout the Chesapeake.  Maybe the pics also show why, after cruising in this boat, when I had to go to power, I only considered Lord Nelson tugs.  The LN 41 s are heavy boats, built extraordinarily sturdy but they carry enough sail to handle the weight. They balance very well under sail; the wind vane steered 95% of the time trans Atlantic and performed flawlessly.  The boat is set up thoughtfully for easy sail handling. My 95 pound female crew could reef down in 35 knots of wind by herself - slowly, to be sure, but unaided. ( We did try to discourage her from doing it on her 3:00 am watch when everyone else was asleep).

Aurora 41LN17 on Generating Electricity

Aurora 41LN17  in Prickly Bay, Grenada (June '14)
Electric generation is an ongoing learning process. When we left Texas, we had the 4Winds II and a 120 amp alternator, driven off the propulsion engine. This charged a single bank of 660AH, made up of Trojan T105's in series-parallel. The 4Winds generally kept up with the fridge, in a steady 10 kt of breeze, but we still had to run the engine regularly. At sea, coming from Bermuda to St. Thomas the 4Winds kept up, generally, with the fridge and the autopilot. When we got into the Lesser Antilles, we were running the engine more and more, around 4 hours/day strictly for charging. We bought a Honda EU2000 "suitcase" generator in Antigua and started using it, instead of the propulsion engine. It is quieter and puts much less heat into the living area. Maintenance is also lower. It still takes about 4 hours/day, but that is a function of 110V charger capacity. We should have purchased a bigger charger. We didn't mind so much leaving the boat with the Honda running. The constant need to be tied to the boat for a number of hours each day can be a pain. The 4Winds helped but we never thought it would do the job alone, day in and day out. Other owners of wind generators seem to get better results, but so often you turn out to be comparing apples and oranges.

The solar panels are 2 – 245watt Kyoceras. They were the largest capacity/physical size that would fit the space available. As I recall the calcs, they should be more than enough to run the fridge, autopilot and everything else, with no additional help. Right now, the fridge is kaput and I've been using ice for the past 18 months. I am beginning to get back into tuning the panel charging, etc. and getting Aurora back into cruising trim. The whole scheme of things went sideways February a year ago, when my wife, Marita, passed away. Settling up the estate and all the hassles with the event have played havoc with boat projects. Inertia has me firmly in its grip and it is hard to get motivated when every day is partly cloudy, temp 83, wind from the east at 15, 20% chance of rain.

I have struck the 4Winds down onto the deck. I had some deferred maintenance issues and may have something out of balance. There may also be some issue with the rigidity of my arch. In any case, there is an unacceptable vibration when the 4Winds gets up to speed and it needs to be resolved. When I get the fridge back on line, I will get a better feel for the PV array output and know if I also need the wind machine.

Over the years that we have owned Aurora, there are few areas I have not had apart. I have learned a few things about how the boats were built. I also have questions about some of the things I haven't gotten into, yet. I am sure this group has a lot of knowledge.

Lying Prickly Bay, Grenada, West Indies
(473) 456-7418 (Grenada)
(512) 970-5884 (USA)

[The above was from an email dated 2 August 2014 - ed.]

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Origins of the Lord Nelson 41 Sailboat Design

XSA004041081 the first 41' Lord Nelson?
What would become the 41' Lord Nelson (41LN) started out life as Tommy Chen's dream sailboat.  Ever since he was a teenager Tommy wanted to sail around the world.   He can't remember the exact date but it was in 1977 or 1978 that he began in earnest to put his ideas on paper.  He completed the 41 design one year later.  

Among the many factors that Tommy credits for the success of the 41LN are, the two years he spent in Los Angles, CA (1975 and 1976) as Hans Christian's (HC) trouble shooter and, a book he read about Jiro Horikoshi's Zero fighter plane.  In LA he got to see the problems on lots and lots of sailboats.  From this he learned first hand what worked and what didn't.  From Horikoshi he learned the importance of aerodynamics, specifically how surfaces can be designed to minimize drag. 

After returning from LA, Tommy opened the Hai-O Yacht Building Corporation in January 1977.  Hai-O is Chinese for seagull; a bird revered for its intelligence and aerial maneuverability.  His primary customer was HC and he built the HC 38Mk II.  Two other yards in Taiwan were under contract to build the HC43 and the HC38T.  HC wanted their hull numbers to all have the prefix XSA.  The specific yard was identified by the next three numbers, Hai-O's was XSA004.

Back in the US Loren Hart was moving up the ranks in HC.  From 1977 through 1980 he ran Seattle's HC dealership.  Then, around September of 1980 he received an equity position in HC and he and Lani moved to Long Beach, CA.  According to Lani Hart's December 2010 Victory Tug History:
After the move to Long Beach, Loren found the partnership constricting to his newly developed opinions on market trends, and boat design. This caused the relationship in the partnership to become very contentious. Through his elevated position as national distributor, Loren had established a close working relationship with the yard owners in Taiwan. One particular yard owner, Fu Yi (Tommie [sic]) Chen mirrored Lorenʼs newly formed opinions with regard to the boating market and was independently developing a new hull design. 
Tommy's dissatisfaction with HC was concurrent with Loren's.  After long talks Tommy and Loren realized that their's was an ideal match,  Loren wanted to run his own company building something he believed in and Tommy had a yard plus a good 41 design.  Again from Lani's Victory Tug History:
For this new design, Tommie [sic] needed a sales representative in order to create capital for actually building the design. While Loren liked Tommie [sic] and respected his building expertise, Loren knew the design would not sell as is. Together they formed an alliance and fine tuned the design into the 41ʼ sailboat, that launched Lord Nelson Yachts in 1981.
Loren's knowledge of the market and what buyers demanded had a large impact on the 41's interior design. In 1981 Hai-O built the first 41LN.  Its hull number is uncertain as the first 41 listed in the Admiralty Corporate Ledger is "41-07", molded in November 1981, however, as evidenced by the picture below, there's a hull #4 that was molded in October of 1981.  The first known 41LN  with a Hai-O yard prefix is HAO410120482, hull #12 molded in April of 1982.

The above was written after a telephone conversation with Tommy Chen, 1 August 2014 -- Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just in from Tom Fish, Voodoo Child 41LN23 -- Making an Engine Bed

Before work
Here's why Tom Fish, Voodoo Child 41LN23, replaced his engine beds (excerpted from a 23 July '14 email).

The old engine beds needed to be reworked for several reasons. A previous owner had modified the height apparently to allow for a new offset transmission to match the height of the stern tube. And, for some reason, the centerline between the engine beds did not line up with the stern tube either.

Also, there was a small amount of rotten wood coring beneath the fiberglass layer of the starboard engine bed which probably occurred due to the previous modification.

The Beta Marine 60 engine is narrower than the old BMW. The Beta also needed to sit lower for the shaft to line up with the stern tube and it needed the engine beds closer together (or thickened toward midline of the vessel) for the mounts to reach.

The new engine bed.
 We considered fabricating custom brackets to reach the old beds but due to the shape of the engine block there was not enough clearance to turn brackets down and then midline again and we knew we had to rebuild the beds anyway due to the rotten core.

What we ended up doing was cutting about 2 inches off the height of the beds which got us down to solid wood and put us just below the height needed for the Beta. Then we thickened the beds inward toward midline by lag bolting and epoxying thick beams of mahogany. This was all then glassed in with epoxy including over the tops. Finally, 1/2 inch thick stainless steel plates were lagged down using 3M 4200 in and around the pre-drilled screw holes.

An advantage of using the stainless steel plates on top of the glass was the ease of sliding the engine around during installation and alignment. They also protect the new beds from future rot.

All done and lookin 
The Beta engine mounts will only allow for a small amount of adjustment during engine alignment so the most difficult part of the project was predicting the final trajectory of the transmission shaft during these major modifications. We used an engine mockup with fore and aft centering holes and a laser pointer that was centered and shot thru a new cutlass bearing from outside the hull. End result was accuracy within a millimeter with the motor mounts at mid-adjustment. I think we got really lucky. Surprisingly, Beta engine mounts only allow about 7mm of height adjustment which, at mid-adjustment, translates to only 3.5mm up or down. 

Just in from Pleiades 35LN22 -- Hesiod

And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy seas, when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion and plunge into the misty deep and all the gusty winds are raging, then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea but, as I bid you, remember to work the land.   --Hesiod

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Papiola II Survives Hurricane Sandy

Back to sailing after Sandy

35 LN 14 Papiola II is back in the water and looking mighty fine after hurricane Sandy.  According to her owner Carlos Nunez, "All cosmetic, but yeah, it was extensive... bowsprit, rail, hull paint etc. but I was able to sail her to the yard that did the repairs, never took water inside and the mast was still very strong, you can depend on these boats."

(Editor's note: Excerpted from 10/16/2013 post on Lord Nelson Yacht Owner's FB)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Origins of LNOA and the Admiral's Log

From an email just in from Peter Rossi:

I originally founded the LNOA in about 1992 and published a quarterly newsletter for about 5-6 years. I have the database of all owners for the VTs and the 35s and the 41s. Probably very outdated. I am willing to share as you wish. Also I have the newsletters. I sold my 41 about 2000 in Charleston, SC. Worse decision I made. Perhaps you could mention me in the current newletter. I live on a Grand Banks 42 at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor in Waikiki.

Here's what Vol. 1, No. 1 looked like.  When we get them from Peter all the issues will be made available on

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lord Nelson Owners Association

An old name, a new meaning.                                                         by Sally Seymour

Back home, among the LNVT documents, there are three newsletters from the LNOA (Lord Nelson Owners' Association) formed in the early nineties. These letters talk about tugs and sailboats. But apparently, the idea didn't take hold and the publication died. Coincidentally, I think this was around the time that Tom Blackwood started assembling a list of owners of LNVTs. It's interesting to see how the lists grew.  Imagine how the efforts and enthusiasm grew as more and more people joined the search to locate boats and collect names.

Some of us have talked about the idea of expanding our group of tuggers to include Lord Nelson sailboat owners. We seem to have a lot in common. We are an active cohesive group of enthusiasts. They would benefit from the organization. I think we should make it happen. The first step might be to compile a list of sailboat owners. Put out the call to our group and those known sailboat owners. We need someone to take this on. I'm not sure I should add it to my projects, but I'd love to see it happen.

This idea surfaced today as we saw a Lord Nelson 41 in Rockland, Me. They waved madly; we waved back and headed over. We knew we had hit the jackpot when were were close enough to read the name of their boat: Lady Nelson.

Lady Nelson was built in 1987 for Loren and Lani Hart. It is hull #54 of the 41s.
We went aboard and talked for an hour and agreed it would be great to create a Lord Nelson family. They were eager to learn about Lord Nelson boats. I showed them the meaning of the HIN. They know of another 41, "Le Garage", for sale by the owner, an 80 year old man who keeps it in Pemaquid. It's a start. 

Owners Betty Minson and husband Bob Catlow are live-aboards. They are the third owners.

Bob and Betty want to join our association. How could I refuse? Possible? I'll pay their first dues.