The Lunacy Report

Strange Invaders: Negotiating with Bugs & Other Pests



One of the very first problems I had to cope with on Lunacy involved an uninvited guest who came along on the delivery trip home to New Hampshire from Florida, where I had purchased the boat. One of the other problems was that the engine stopped working, which is a theme we've discussed before. The presence of the guest became known during Phase 1 of the trip, as we were beating around Cape Hatteras, sans engine, in a frustratingly light breeze. What happened specifically was that a member of the crew happened to spot a lizard slinking about, though he did not tell me this at the time. During Phase 2 of the trip, from Atlantic City (where the engine was repaired) here to Portsmouth, another crew member also saw a lizard, presumably the same one.

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Used Diesel Engine For Sale

 

I made an offhand offer to sell my old engine back when I wrote up the installation of Lunacy's new engine, but now I'm getting serious. I'll be listing the engine for sale with Trans Atlantic Diesels, Inc., but will happily sell the beast to any interested WaveTrain riders.

The beast in question is a Lister-Petter LPWS4 4-cylinder marine diesel, rated at 40hp @ 3,000 RPM, serial number 4000021LPWS4A-42. It comes with a Hurst transmission, HBW150-2R, serial number 1746267 (not pictured here, but I assure you it does exist). The engine was built in 1991 and has approximately 3,500 hours on it. As I described in my earlier post, I thought the engine had fuel issues, but it turned out it didn't. It does leak oil and could use a rebuild, but you might be able to put it into service as is.

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Strange Sand In My Water Tanks

 

While sailing Lunacy south in the fall of '08 my crew and I noticed there was some white sandy grit in the fresh water running out the taps when the boat was sailing in rough weather. The operative theory at the time was that this crud was just what it appeared to be: sand. We reckoned at some point in the boat's long cruising career (including a westabout circumnavigation), some sandy water had been taken aboard in some remote tropical port, and that the sand had settled to the bottom of the tank, where it sometimes it gets stirred up when things are bouncy onboard.

Before bringing Lunacy south again last fall, I decided to open up all three water tanks and hopefully remove the sand. Cracking open the fuel tank (which had been part of the summer's ongoing engine drama) had been a major production, as some joinery first had to be removed to access the inspection plate. But opening the water tanks was easy. The inspection plates are under the settees and nav seat in the main saloon, with access hatches right over them.

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FWI With An All-Girl Crew

 

I am pleased to report that this year's post X-mas cruise in the French West Indies with wife Clare and daughters Lucy and Una was much more successful than last year's. Indeed, last year there really was no such cruise. This was because a) Ehouarn, a shaggy French diesel mechanic who looked something like an Ewok, unfortunately failed to repair Lunacy's engine in a timely fashion; and b) the famous Caribbean Christmas winds were so strong that the entrance to Oyster Pond, where Lunacy was docked, was darn near impenetrable. We ended up noodling around St. Martin, doing the landbound tourist thing, and used the boat only as a hotel room.

This year the wind was unusually light, and though we had to rely on Lunacy's new engine to get around a bit more than I would have liked, we roamed the waters betwixt St. Martin and St. Barts with impunity. The girls got in lots of swim time, us big folk got in lots of down time, the suntan lotion flowed like honey, and I even got to check out a couple of places I had never been before.

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Southbound WX And Marina Thoughts

 

I'm just back from sailing Lunacy down to her winter berth in St. Martin.  For this year's passage I had a professional weather-router, Rick Shema of WeatherGuy.com, give me advice on how to finesse the notoriously dodgy conditions that plague any boat trying to get from New England out to Bermuda and thence south to the W'Indies in th e fall.  As Andy Griffith once put it in his famous comedy spiel "What It Was Was Football," the name of this game is to get from one end of the field to the other without either getting knocked down or stepping in something.  Which is none too easy, what with late hurricanes and early winter storms to contend with, particularly on the first leg to Bermuda, where the Gulf Stream, perhaps the most significant climatological feature on the face of the planet, gets to play the role of the proverbial 800-pound gorilla.

I've been commissioned to write up the details for my print comic SAIL (they promised to pay Rick's bill; a tip of the hat to Peter Nielsen on that one), so I'm not going to spill too many beans here, but I thought I'd share some general impressions.  Plus, of course, I urge you all to read the full write-up when it appears on newsstands sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

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Rudder-Skeg Leak And Corrosion

While Lunacy was hauled out last June to have her new engine installed, I became aware of some other problems.  The most perturbing ones concerned her rudder skeg, which is a rather high-aspect alum inum structure that is welded on to the main structure of her aluminum hull.  Problem number one was that somehow, during the course of the year and a half since Lunacy was last hauled, about two pints of clean seawater somehow contrived to get inside the skeg.  Problem number two was that a bizarre corrosion pattern, seen here, appeared on the lower part of the skeg after the boat was out of the water for a couple of days.

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A New Westerbeke

This story begins in a dead flat calm somewhere between Bermuda and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, late last spring.  Said dead calm is pictured here in all its glory.  In all my years of wandering about the watery parts of our world, I swear I have never ever seen a stretch of open ocean quite as flat and millpond-like as this.  If you have a functional auxiliary engine it is much easier to appreciate such scenery, as you can motor through it regardless.  Without the engine, however, it gets a little frustrating.

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Introducing Lunacy (Tanton 39)

My current floating home of choice is a one-off aluminum cutter I purchased in the summer of 2006 from an active cruising couple, Bob and Carol Petterson, who commissioned the boat’s construction and launched her in 1985 .  They cruised her extensively on the U.S. East Coast and in the Bahamas and also completed a circumnavigation.  The bare hull was built by Kingston Aluminum Yachts in Ontario, Canada, and was finished in Rhode Island.  The design is by Yves-Marie Tanton, a French emigrant who slaved with Bob Perry and Chuck Paine in Dick Carter’s office in Boston during the ‘70s before making a name for himself designing several successful custom IOR race boats.

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