Monday, June 29, 2015

Types of Ballast and How it was Installed

Lord Nelson sail boats came standard with cast iron ballast but had a lead ballast option.  Tommy Chen said you can tell which ballast material was used by the depth of the bilge (as measured from the floor boards).  A lead ballasted boat will have a deeper bilge than a cast iron ballasted boat.  Because lead is denser, and therefore a lead ballasted boat will have a lower center of gravity, less volume of lead was used--thus the deeper bilge.  Tommy said that 5.2 metric tons of cast iron or 4.2 metric tons of lead was used.   The manner of ballast placement depended on the type of ballast used.

For a lead ballasted boat, the inside of the keel was first covered with a slurry of dry sand and heat resistant resin.  It was critical that the sand be dry and so the yard had a special, large wok just for heating sand.  Tommy assured me that this was a different wok from which meals were prepared ;-).  Lead pigs were then tightly stacked inside the keel.  Finally, molten lead was poured into the keel fixing everything into place.   

The iron ballast was sand casted, off site by a subcontractor to shapes specified by the yard.  Three separate castings make up the ballast for a Lord Nelson 41.  After the castings were placed inside the keel a sand and resin slurry was poured around them to lock them into place.

Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63

Friday, June 19, 2015

Update: Voodoo Child's Bilge Pump Refit

 The following is from Tom Fish, Voodoo Child 41LN23 (

As part of my refit, I installed 2 sumps with self contained pumps and float switches, one forward and one aft. The normal sources of bilge water on VC are the anchor locker with deck opening for the windlass and the fore and aft air conditioner evaporators. I applied a white epoxy resin coat throughout the anchor locker and glassed in a drain system that is plumbed to the forward sump. I also ran the forward AC evaporator drain line to that sump. The aft evaporator is plumbed to the aft sump.

The next big challenge was the enormous amount of residual water that would drain back into the bilge from the oversized bilge pump hoses after the pumps shut off. The hoses are 2" internal diameter and connected to high volume pumps and 2" thru hulls. There is enough residual water in the lines to fill the entire length of the bilge to nearly 1/2" deep. The setup is designed to slow the rise of water if a major leak occurs and works in conjunction with 2 high bilge water audible alarms.

I thought I had solved the residual back flow problem by putting in check valves. However, 3 weeks after installing and testing this new system I was shocked to see it fail on a repeat test. The huge column of residual water above the check valve put so much back pressure on the valve that even these massive pumps couldn't prime and start pumping. Centrifugal bilge pumps like these are designed to self prime against a zero pressure head. Once primed, though, they are very powerful. So the check valves were removed and the pumps now prime instantly and perform like fire hoses.

This still left me with the problem of 1/2" of residual water in the bilge after the large pumps stopped.  I used a small Whale diaphragm pump on manual switch with small diameter tubing and an extremely shallow homemade strum box placed in the 4" x 8" recess in the bilge. My strum box has a small ball bearing that seats on a small o-ring forming a low resistance check valve. Since the check valve is on the suction side rather than the pressure head side and is light weight, the pump has no problem priming. The result is a bone dry bilge and the 4"x 8" recess pumps down to near zero which can be blotted completely dry with one paper towel. After achieving a dry bilge I painted it with white bilge paint and installed LED downlighting. Now it will be very easy to inspect the bilge for any leaks.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Update on Voodoo Child 41LN23's Lightening Strike

From: Fish <>
Date: June 4, 2015 at 6:15:49 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Voodoo Child's Refit

Very little progress over the last month with the lightning damage. It's been a major headache removing all my newly installed equipment and shipping back to original manufacturers for bench testing per the insurance company's instructions. However, in the end the insurance company is taking care of me. I just received my first progress payment and the repair work is about to commence.

I haven't had time to research lightning protection systems yet and haven't heard from any other owners. That will be next on the agenda.

Just in from Solana 41LN51

Sean Kelly and I purchased Solana in 2006, sailed her to San Diego in 2008 where she was our winter home until 2014. We wanted to do the Sea of Cortes but in 2008 the economy took a dive and folks were getting shot in Mexico. We never traveled further south.  This year [2015] we trucked her back home to Anacortes where she is seeking her new owner.  [W]e bought a Kadey Krogen.  After Solana sells we'll be free to travel to Alaska.

I did not realize until Lady Nelson [41LN54] came on the market that Solana is one of only two tall rigs built. I guess Loren Hart would know! That's what got me researching again and found this website. Thanks for the good information!

Jan Chapman
June 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Aurora 41LN17's Fuel Injector Tribulations

I spent last night tied up alongside for the first time in 3 years. I am the victim of deferred maintenance and procrastination.

Several months ago, I decided to change the oil. Though the engine hadn't been run in a couple of years a change seemed like a good idea. Crank, crank, crank.... no joy. Shorten story, no fuel going to injectors. Pull injector pumps and find one is well and truly bound up. Pull injectors too and catch ride on another boat going to Trinidad, where these things can be rebuilt. (Grenada sends to Trini.) Much procrastination over tedious job of pump re installation. Shop manual warns "Don't drop the spring into the crankcase". Of course the spring is at the rear of the engine. Get all back together and fire it off. Runs OK but leaking fuel from several joints using reused crush washers.

Trip to states and return with plenty of the 3 sizes of washers require. Attack the task with so much gusto that I twist off one of the return line banjo bolts. I found a lathe to borrow and an operator and we spent 2 days and got a usable looking replacement. It wasn't a hard job, we just aren't very good machinists. Lost confidence in my crafted product and went to a machine shop where, in about 2 hours, after a week involving local holidays and higher priority jobs, the guy turned out 2 very good looking bolts. Jumped on the job yesterday to find that they were about .10mm oversize for the banjo part of the line. Polished that down with a flat file in the cockpit and all is together with no leaks.

In the testing/starting process something went awry with my drip less shaft seal. If the vent tube is any indicator, the stationary part of the seal made about 8 revolutions, before everything started to slip. Nothing seems to be broken beyond repair, but the bellows is not properly seated on its carbon ring and there is a pencil sized stream of water running in. I'm tied to the fuel dock til Monday am when I'll find out when I can haul and see how big this breadbox is.

(473) 456-7418 Grenada

Admiral's Log, Spring 2015

Inline image 1

Welcome to Vol. 2 CE (current era) of the Admiral's Log.  We went out of production for a few years, ok, 17 years, and with apologies, to our Editor Emeritus, Peter Rossi, ex-High Cotton 41LN40, contained herein is the latest reincarnation.  Most of the stories below are just snippets.  If you want to know more, mouse on 'Read more>' at the snippet's end.  To contact any Association member directly all you need do is look them up in the Captains List.

About 40% of the Lord Nelson fleet has joined the Association.  If you see another Lord Nelson, or know of one, please tell them about the LNOA.  The more members we have, the more knowledge we'll have to draw from.  

Bicki and I finished up the winter by crossing our wake in a circumnavigation--of southern Florida.  Hey, you've got to start somewhere ;-)  Our three month route took us from Naples to Key West, to Miami, to Ft. Lauderdale, to Stewart, to Ft. Myers, and then back to Naples.  It seems very strange to be back in Maryland, where boats are just now being commissioned, to have left Nellie on the hard in Florida.  It's going to be a long summer without her.  Like me, there are other armchair sailors in serious need of some boat stories.  Help keep us from going stir-crazy by sending a line or two to  Tell us about what you've done, or what you're doing, or even what you're planning on doing.  I'll make sure the word gets out. 
So, without further delay, on with the show...

Welcome Aboard
Bill and Lyn Charlton bought Canik 35LN20, formerly Amazing Grace, in 1996.   In 1997 they started a circumnavigation which they completed 13 years later. They live in Garden Bay, B.C. and now enjoy cruising Alaska, Haida Gwaii, and Vancouver Island.

John Moir ( and his partner Pam Hastings have been looking at both Lord Nelsons and Hans Christians. They hope to purchase a boat sometime later in 2015 or in 2016.

Lightning Strike!
From Tom Fish, Voodoo Child 41LN23: I'm curious as to what, if anything, other owners are doing for lightning protection. Voodoo Child was struck a few weeks ago while on the hard and suffered major electrical and electronics damage all of which had just been installed during a 2-1/2yr refit that was nearing completion.  Read More >

BMW D50 Parts for the Asking

Also from Tom Fish: Voodoo Child 41LN23:  I recently re-powered during a major overhaul and now have to find a home for the old BMW...  Although its still listed for sale on Craigslist for the general public, for a Lord Nelson owner it will be "free to good home".

FairWind Reunites Past and Present Owners

Mike Wiens, FairWind 41LN10: Yesterday Linda and I hosted the reunion of Peter Nordlie and his former boat, FairWind.  There must have been some dust in the air because as Peter first spied FairWind through our back door his eyes began to water. Skipping the idle chit chat we went directly to the boat. Through Peter's eyes, actions and words his, fondness for FairWind was obvious. Read more >

Embla's Pending, East to West Atlantic Crossing

From Donald Dorn-Lopez, Embla 41LN14: I am currently lying Vigo, Spain waiting for a front to pass and for northerly winds to set in. Sometime this week, I will set sail for the Canary Islands with a local Spanish crew member. I plan to cross the Atlantic in May, to arrive before Hurricane season. If all goes well, we will have Embla in the Chesapeake this Summer.  [May Update: Embla completed the passage between Spain and the Canarys and still plans to depart for the US in late May. - ed.]

Free Spirit 35LN27

From Thomas Scott MacGregor:  I am the proud owner of hull 35LN27, the last 35' Lord Nelson. What an amazing vessel we have in the LN! I am pleased to see we owners have started to collect together here. It is my hope to hook up with you all out on the water.  When I got "Free Spirit" I knew that I wanted a real blue water cruiser... And I fell in love with her form but now that I have been her master for two years, I have learned just how fine a craft we are lucky enough to command!   If you wish to see a short viddy of me ship on youtube.

Meet Mike and Linda Wiens, FairWind 41LN10

Mike and Linda (and puppy Riley) have owned FairWind for seven years. Mike and Linda met in college. He had just graduated and she was a cute sophomore. Together they built a successful heating and air conditioning business. Along the way two children, a son and a daughter, came along. Good thing, the kids now run the business while Mike and Linda play. And these two know how to play; if they're not sailing FairWind then they're flying their Bonanza.  Read More >

Sea-FeverBy John Masefield (1878-1967), English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.

(Photo of David Lyman, ex-Afaran 41LN46, taken in 2009 or 2010, at the helm of Searcher, the family's 57-foot Bowman Ketch--100 miles north of Bermuda, winds 35 knots gusting to 40, seas 15 to 20-feet.)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
Read more >

Update from Aurora 41LN17

Ted Boodry, Aurora 41LN17 writes: WX here has been cold [in Prickly Bay, Grenada, West Indies - ed].  I am shutting hatches down to sit on the dogs after dark and sleeping under a light blanket. Really miserable. I have been looking for the photos of Aurora, taken 3-4 years ago in Beaufort, NC. One has a ruler buried 7" deep in the snow on the cockpit table. The others only add to the ambiance. We swore then NEVER AGAIN!

Anyone else not keeping up with the caulking on the counter behind the mirror?  Yes, the fiddle rail does come off. It is still in one piece. All this for failing to keep the seal between the marble and the bulkhead.

Chainplate Upgrades

From Donald Dorn-Lopez, Embla 41LN14: I improved the chainplate mounts, by adding a fiberglass base to get the joint up out of the water channel and then welded on a stainless base (Hallberg Rassy style) to give further protection from leaks. I also learned that they must be sealed with butyl rubber and not polyurethane sealant! This is important.  Read more >

Lord Nelsons For Sale
The End


You've reached the end of this issue of the Admiral's Log, but not to fear, there's lots more available online.  Here are some quick Links to LNOA resources: Website  Blog  Forum  Captains List  FaceBook
This issue of the Admiral's Log was made possible by Peter Rossi, LNOA's Editor Emeritus, ex-High Cotton, 41LN40, and by our two roving reporters Sally Seymour, Sally W. 37VT42 and Betty Minson, Lady Nelson 41LN54.  Betty and Bob have Lady Nelson up for sale in Annapolis.  They will be missed out on the water.

Please send any and all comments to
Until Next time, Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63, Church Creek, MD