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  1. Christian says:

    Oh glad to see you stopped in New Castle at the Wentworth. You two will love downtown Portsmouth. Try the cellar at the Dolphin Striker on Bow Street for some good music.

  2. John Worl says:

    Hello – World Travelers. If you go up to Biddeford please take the time to look up their former mayor Wallace Nutting (General, USA Retired). He was my boss – several ranks removed, so to speak, when I was stationed at USREDCOM in Florida. General Nutting was one of the last US Army Cavalry Officers who really knew what cavalry was. He certainly gave this Marine a lot of help (and credit).

  3. Timothy Daleo says:

    How do you like the aft camera? The images look very clear! The first rear camera I put on was ok but I just Amazon’d the Raymarine CAM50 so I could use the reverse image feature. You have a video switch/splitter connected to a DVR?

  4. Brian A Smith says:

    Hello James and Jennifer! I haven’t posted for some time – been really busy getting our boat ready to leave FL for the Caribbean, and one of the things we want to replace is the Bruce anchors (or at least one of them) that came on the boat. I’ve looked here on the blog for specifics about your anchor(s), but as you can imagine, searching for “anchor” isn’t all that useful! Have you ever written an article / post about the main anchor you chose for Dirona? Thanks a bunch!
    Brian (and Fran says “Hi!”)

    • Hi Brian and Fran. Glad to here you are making good progress on your boat. For anchor, on our previous boat which was 30,000 lbs, we used a 30 kg (66lb) Bruce with 200′ of chain and 350′ of rope rode. The Bruce performed well and we really liked it.

      For our current boat, we thought about using the Bruce but the reports on Rocna’s were so good that we went with a Rocna. Dirona is 110,000 lbs and we use a 70 kg (154lb) Rocna with 500′ of 7/16′ rode. The Rocna even better than the Bruce. Where it really excels is in fast setting.

      Both the Bruce and the Rocna have one weakness and that is soft, light silt deep weed. The Rocna is better in both conditions but still has the same issuse. In weed, it will usually cut through and dig in but in realy heavy weed, it can fail to cut through. This has happened only in Tasmania region so it’s pretty rare. The other possible weakness is in very light river silt — this condition has shown up on the Bruce but we have not yet seen it on the Rocna. In this condition, the lack of surface area won’t hold in super light silt.

      The solution for both these conditions is an anchor with a sharp end and very high surface area. We use the largest Guardian I can handle by hand and use it in a tandem anchor configuration. About 20′ of chain between the Fortress and Rocna where we are really anchoring on the Fortress and using the Rocna as a kellet. In 8,300 hours, the Rocna has only failed to set a handful of times but, when it does, the high surface area Fortress always hold. They are excellent complements to the Rocna.

      • Brian A Smith says:


        Excellent info, as always! Three follow-up questions:

        1. “500′ of 7/16 rode” – your rode is all chain, or some chain and some rope, as you say you had on your previous boat?

        2. How much of your rode have you ever needed? We have 200′ of chain, but that’s it. As we cruise around the Caribbean, I don’t know that we’ll need more than that – but I suppose we might anchor in more than 30′ from time to time. I want to have enough, but not go crazy.

        3. Do you (or anyone else reading this) have any experience, or 2nd hand knowledge, of the effectiveness of the various delta / plow / spade styles, given the same weight as the Rocna? Some of them demo very convincingly, but I was in software – I know the difference between a demo and real life!

        • We like the flexibility of lots of rode so we are on the high side of what most people use with 550′ on the last boat at 500′ on this one. But, in my opinion, 200′ is way low. You really need at least 300′ and we like having more.

          We have 500′ of 7/16 chain on Dirona but, as I said, that is on the high side of what most people would use. We have used all the rode several times. Twice we anchored off Reid Glcier in Alaska which is 146′ and we used all of our rode. Once up in Prince William sound, we put it all out as well. But, we have only had more than 400′ out rarely and are only out past 300′ a few times per year.

          We have used a Bruce in the past and like the Rocna more. Many Nordhavn’t come delivered with a CQR and the owners replace them with Rocnas. That’s perhpas the most convincing comparason of Rocna to others that I’ve come across.

          What is the maxium rode we could have every used? I don’t know that there is any limit. Large commercial going boats often have 10 shots or more out. That’s 900′. Admittedly, they anchor in deeper water than most recreational boats but I like the freedom that comes with lots of rode We carry 500′ but if you offered us more, we would probably take it. Admittedly, the requency of use that we get for the last 100′ after 400′ is light but we like the option value of being able to anchor in deeper water.

          • Brian A Smith says:

            OK, then… looks like we need to add 150′ of 7/16th SS chain to our shopping list! Thanks for the info, as always.

            • I ended up with 7/16″ by asking for “bigger” than what comes standard on the 47 which is 3/8″ chain. I actually was intending to get 1/2″ but ended up with 7/16″. There is nothing wrong with 7/16″ but, if you do go that route, be aware it’s not as a common a size as 3/8″ and 1/2″. I also noticed you were going with stainless steel chain. Generally, galvanized steel is stronger and far less expensive so is a more common choice. The only downside of galvanized chain is it will eventually need to be regalvanized. On our prevous boat, we galanized at 3 years that application lasted until we sold the boat (7 years). On the current boat, we galvanized at 2 years and, after 4 years, it’s getting close to needing to be done agan.

              On Dirona we are using 500′ of galvanized 7/16″ high test chain.

  5. Gregg Testa says:

    You just installed brakets for your boat. Would you please take a moment and explain the proper way to drill into fiberglass and what you use to anchor the brakets or any brackets into fiberglass on Dirona

    • The right way to install screws into cored structures is to drill larger or dig out the core and then seal with epoxy, let it dry, and then re-drill and screw into the sealed epoxy structure. The absolute minimum is to drill and screw with 5200 but the warning that goes with that approach is there is a good chance it’ll eventually leak and need rebedding.

  6. Timothy Daleo says:

    Jen, good luck on the surgery. Seems like forever ago but eight months went by fast!

    If I ever buy a new boat it would a have a “Wire Highway” down both sides of the boat. I fortunately do not have wires above the ceiling panels like Dirona but having extras prerun would have saved me a lot of time. Heck, even a PVC tube down each side of the boat with junctions would be great. I would say four different colored Cat6 wires, NMEA 2000 with Ts every 2m, three BNCs and a dozen 14 gauge wires down each side would be enough. Right now I itch from cutting new access plates in the side decks!

    • If I were to do it again, I would not run most of the large conductors that flow throug a boat but instead use small, multi-conductor control cables signalling relays to close higher current connectors close the source. On this approach we could remove 100s if not 1000s of pounds of copper from Dirona.

      With NMEA2000, you’ll find you really don’t need that many Tees. We have only 9 locations for Tees: stack, brow, upper dash, lower dash, near the tanks, 2 locations in the ER and 1 in the Laz and it work pretty well.

      I agree that large PVC conduits would make life much easier when pulling new wires. Just having ample space would really help. Every wire duct in Dirona is running close to capacity and that makes subsequent pulls more of a challenge. I suppose that we are pretty close to having done all the pulls we need at this point but more capacity is always nice.

    • Thanks Timothy. It has been a long time since the initial break. I’ve mostly been ignoring the pin and not letting it get in the way of doing things. But it is a little irksome and I’m looking forward to getting it out. Arranging the surgery is also a bit of a hassle when we’re moving so much, and it will be good to have this behind us.

      • Greg Moore says:

        Congrats Jennifer on getting your pin out! That must feel great!

        All the best –

        Greg and Lisa

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        Jennifer, congratulations on a successful surgery! Our thoughts were always with you!

        James, I do all of my own wiring on my boats (and old cars) and tend to only use relays for large draw items like amps, AC, headlights and fans. I really like the Bosch relays by the way. Mostly though, I wire basic (but clean and tidy) and route how “Blue Sea” recommends by running large power wires to a switch panel (or fuse panel) and then switched wires to the device. I thought about runs of RVV wire to power relays but it decided to just run it simple. My wiring and NMEA is simple compared to the Dirona nervous system. I have six Ts and a power T up top, two by the AC panel and then two down in the engine bay for the fuel sensors. I will add a few more for Fusion Remotes and eventually a gps screen like Dirona in the bedroom. I do not monitor the network or anything complex like you do but I do read you and Jennifer’s programming and software comments over and over again so someday I may understand it! 🙂

        • Our bus ducts are all full so running new wires is getting to be more of a challenge. If we were to do it again, we would probaby run signal wires and do remote switching rather than the bring the conductor all the way up to the pilot house and then all the way back down to the device being switched.

  7. Rod Sumner says:


    In the process of changing engine mounts how is the engine ‘supported’ when a mount is removed?

    • For the front mounts, I put a hydraulic bottle jack under each corner of the engine and changed one mount at a time. On the left rear, it proved impossible to get even this fairly small little jack under the engine, so took a different approach on the rear mounts. For these, I lowered the mount I wanted to change away from the engine leaving it supported by the other three. That approach worked remarkably well.

      Once changed I restored the engine to the same location measured using calipers and then loosened the prop shaft and used feeler guages to measure the angle of the engine to the prop shaft. I put it to within 0.001″ of aligned and it’s now noticably smoother than it has even been when we are under way.

      • Steven Coleman says:

        Did you happen to take pictures not necessarily of the process, but what you were aligning? I’ve done a fair amount of millwright work over the decades and I’m always interested in seeing what other people are aligning.

        • We will post the details but the short answer is we unbolt the flange that connects the main engine and transmission assembly to the prop shaft. These two flanges are flat on the inner faces and the bolts run directly through them and pull the shaft up tignt to the transmission output shaft. Using a feeler guage I measure the clearance at the top of this flange and the three other quandrants. The goal is to get the difference between the readings to less than 0.001″ per inch of prop diameter. I use a higher tolerance and aim for no more than 0.001″ overall. The adjustments are made by moving the four engine mount heights up and down or shifting the engine and transmission assembly side-to-side with a goal of getting the engine assembly nearly exactly in the same alignment as the prop shaft. Once that has been achieved, the bolts holding the transmission output shaft to prop shaft are re-secured and the engine mounts are all tighted up with lock nuts installed and the job is done.

          • Rod Sumner says:


            I will be interested in your blog
            I can understand the vertical alignment, but the side to side is more difficult, especially when I look at the photos of the new engine mounts

            • Rod, the amount of motion is remarkably small when it comes to side-to-side. The mount basis are slotted to allow some minor side to side motion and remarkably small movements have a massive impact. Just shifting the front of the engine over 1/32″ of an inch has a fairly substantial impact on the alignment of the shaft coupling. The biggest challenge ends up being finding a way to move the 2,000 lb engine and transmission assembly over but trying to minimize the amount that it moves. It takes a fairly large amount of force to shift the engine at all and then, once it moves, it almost always moves too much.

              When adjusting height, it’s far easier using the mount studs effectively as screw jacks. But, as the alighnment gets close I was adjusting as little as a 1/2 of a nut flat (1/16th of a turn). Small movements make a big difference. We’ll get some more pictures and a bit more on the process posted.

              • Steven Coleman says:

                I generally do final location on heavy objects with bars however when I get something weighing a ton or more I find adjustments, like you’ve mentioned are somewhat difficult mostly because of the “jerk” after applying enough pressure to pick it up and creep it sideways.

                If the object can slide which for me since it’s usually on concrete or steel isn’t a problem, I’ve had good results using hydraulic bottle jacks with wooden cribbing to distribute the weight over the surface of what I’m pushing against, when making minute horizontal adjustments.

                A 2X6 under a small jack wouldn’t concern me a bit pushing against the fiberglass or cored bulkheads of Dirona, cast iron or steel sliding on fiberglass is something I’d have to think about though. But you aren’t moving it much and from the pictures I’ve seen, the dynamic load of the metal engine mounts sitting on fiberglass don’t seem to bother it any.

                • Thanks for the suggestion to use a bottle jack Steve. We do have a hydraulic jack on board but it’s hard to find clearance for even a small bottle jack between the stringers and engine so I end up using a large pry bar to gently shift the engine/transmission assembly over when needed. It’s the composite engine mount base sliding on fiberglass so friction is minimal.

  8. Ben Ellison says:

    Hello Jennifer and James, and welcome to Penobscot Bay

    This may be the wrong place to ask, but I’m wondering if I could visit Dirona and interview you about the electronics you’re using. I could come to Belfast most any time, but perhaps you’ll be stopping in Camden where I live?

    Regards, Ben Ellison ( ben @ )

  9. Steve McCreary says:

    James – I read in your “Low Tide” piece this morning how you learned of the lowest tide level from queries of the Maretron data you capture and store in a database. I’ve read in some of your earlier pieces that you do this, however I’ve not read any particular details of how this is done. Is capturing and logging this data within the realm of capability of the regular user? I’m not seeking lots of detail, just opinion of accessibility of these types of tools to the regular user. Thanks!

    • When we implemented the support to log all NMEA 2000 data in a database, there were no comercial products doing this so we had to hand code it which, for many people, is probably more work that it’s worth.

      We love support to log everything and there are now commercially available optiont that make doing this easy. Maretron has the VDR100 which is an excellent implementation with good support: Having all the data frequenly comes in handy and it’s now pretty easy to do.

  10. Rod Sumner says:

    I see that the standard engine for the N52 is now the John Deere 6068AFM75 266HP

    This I believe is a different engine from the original specs.

    Did you have any input into N’s decision to use the larger engine?

    • Perhaps a bit of influence but the decision to move to the same engine we use came from the Tier III emission requirements. The Lugger isn’t Tier III certified so Nordhavn had to move to a different engine. The Deere has the advantage of being the same block and basic foot print and it’s well understood since it was used on Dirona. Before reading your comment, I didn’t know they had gone with the M2 engine rated at 266 hp rather than going with the M1 rated at 231 HP given These are externally identical engines so eitehr can be used interchangably. The decision to go M2 might be partly influenced by the results of using this engine in Dirona being good.

      The 6068AFM75 M2 engine used in Dirona is a tier II power plant. I suspect the standard engine on the N52 is probably the Tier III 6068AFM85. The tier II engine remains available, but for those applicaitons requiring Tier III, Deere has the 6068AFM85. Largely the same engine with the same HP ratings but the Tier III engine gives up quite a bit in fuel economy over the Tier II engine.

      • Steve McCreary says:

        Hello – I can confirm the current N52 power plant specification is the Deere 6060AFM85 as per Nordhavn specifications dated 26Jan2016 which I received from them just last week. As James indicates it is compliant with U.S. EPA Marine Tier III emissions regulations & International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier II emissions regulations. While the specification does not indicate M2 designation, the listed bhp suggests that it is.

        My wife and I are currently evaluating N47-52-55 for our future and weighing the virtues of new versus previously owned. Obviously the N52 is the only one of the three available new. From you experience James I’m sure you are happy with your power plant selection, however assuming you have been on an N52 with the original smaller plant, would you share your thoughts of performance differential? This would be helpful in our studies. I’ve read some of your easier papers on this topic and found them quite informative.

        • With displacement boats of similar hull designs, it really comes down to hp per 1,000 lbs displacement. Here’s an article that shows this metric for various Nordhavns:

          Here’s the key data from that article:
          • N40: 3.30 (50,000 lb @ 165 HP)
          • N43: 2.75 (60,000 lb @ 165 HP)
          • N43: 1.75 (60,000 lb @ 105 HP original engine)
          • N46: 1.75 (60,000 lb FD @ 105 HP)
          • N47: 1.94 (85,000 lb FD @ 165 HP)
          • N50: 3.75 (80,000 lb FD @ 300 HP)
          • N55: 2.66 (124,500 lb FD @ 330 HP)
          • N57: 2.66 (122,000 lb FD @ 325 HP)
          • N62: 2.19 (155,000 lb FD @ 340 HP)

          Dirona is speced to be 90,000 lbs and it has 266 hps so the ratio is 2.95. Just about all boats are heavier the the manufacturer spec when in use but, to keep the data comparable, I stuck with the manufacturer specified displacement. We never operate the engine above it’s max continuous rating of 231 hp so, using that hp figure, it comes in at 2.6 which is pretty much identical to the 55 and 57.

          I suppose we might use the full 266hp if we grounded the boat or in especially unusual circumstances but 231 seems pretty good. We particularily like being able to run at 231hp 24×7 for as long as we like.

  11. Tim Kaine says:

    Hello James & Jennifer

    I know you have not been back in tropical waters of late but can you give any kind of update or information about how well the keep coolers are doing at this point in time? Have you checked to see if any growth/buildup has occurred? Maybe too soon to answer this but does it appear that painting the coolers along with the bottom may be the way to go for those pondering this? Also it seems at least that even upgrading to a larger cooler then speced may give positive results as well?

    • It’s so cool up this far north that we haven’t really given the cooling systems a good test. The engine room cooling system is delivering a reliable 30F deltaT and, when running slowly without much power draw, we have seen it drop down to as low as 22F deltaT. I’ve gone down to the engine room at times and found it to be barely warm.

      The same is true of the keel cooler. When we left the yard in Florida we proved we could run sustained wide open throttle in warm water with cooling to spare. But we have been in cold water since — even here on the dock in only 8′, it’s 60F. We haven’t yet tested wide open throttle in warm water with keel cooler that hasn’t been recently cleaned.

      The bottom paint we selected and applied in Florida is Pettit Vivid. It’s about 4 months since application and, since that time we have operated mostly in cold water and with the boat moving most of the time. Right now, the boat bottom could use a scrub by the look of it at the water line. I don’t know what it’s like further down but, if I was forced to make a call today, I would say the anti-fouling paint is doing OK but not as well as the Jotun Seaforce 30 we had applied in New Zealand 3 years back. We’ll know more when we next see warm water and it’s hard to know when that will be. Even though we have woken up to as cool as 45F, the boat is well heated and comfortable and we’re not feeling a super strong pull to warmer climates.

      • Dan says:

        James. In the PNW, over the last decade, I have used both Vivid and Vivid Free. Have not been happy with either. Mostly growth on waterline. Switched to their Hydracoat, no success there. Petit repainted bottom at their expense. Currently using Petit Horizon, and find it acceptable. Painting was done by pros, so application was not an issue. My 2 cents. Enjoying your travels, thks.

        • Hmmm, that’s disappointing to hear. We’ll know more once we have scrubbed the bottom once and see how long that lasts but our early results and your experience suggests we may not get to our target 2 1/2 years between bottom paint applications.

  12. Timothy Daleo says:

    The picture of the Amazon boxes is cute. It looks like you ordered another cat in the top box! It is provably one of the only things Amazon does not carry 😉 I know I would NOT be able to outfit our boat without Amazon. Replacement Whale and shower parts, a new helm seat, Perko and Southco latches, tinned wiring, hole saws, 3M sealant, dock lines, Garmin cables, Canbus data converter, LED lighting and ProMariner charger just to name more than a few.

    How is your carpet still so clean?

    • Yes, same with us. Amazon Prime saves us a massive amount of time.

      Thanks for pointing out that one box had a black tail. I hadn’t noticed it but not a total surprise. If anything new shows up on the boat, Spitfire has to immediately inspect it.

  13. Rod Sumner says:

    As a mechanic I would have thought SnapOn would be your preferred brand of tools.
    I guess for one or two times usage cheaper i.e. Chinese suffice!!!

    Looking forward to your blog on changing engine mounts and engine/shaft alignment

    • I just love Snap-On and came very close to using them exclusively when I was an automotive mechanic. It makes a ton of sense to have the best when you using them all day 5 days a week. But, on Dirona, these tools will only get used a handful of times.

      I need them on board to be able to keep the boat operational but I will likely use many of those tools only 2 or 3 times. Some perhaps never. So spending 5x to 10x more for professional tools doesn’t seem like good value.

  14. Gregg Testa says:

    Do you find that there is a mixture of SAE and metric nuts and bolts on Dirona and the choice between them when you start a job is trial and error.

    • We have a lot more metric than SAE but lots of both. For example, the ABT hydraulic fittings, connections, and anthing fabricated are SAE but the hydraulic componets are mostly metric. Knowing the country of origin of the part normally tells you what to expect so it’s not really a problem. All that is new for me is the size of some of the gear requires some unusually large wrenches and sockets and some of the torques are extraorginary. For example, the crankshaft nose bolt is torqued to 671 ft lbs. That is pushing suprisingly hard even with a 4′ long extension.

  15. Steve McCreary says:

    Technology is Grand! I’ve been watching your passage from Nova Scotia to Maine over the last day. When I understood where you were heading from the coordinates provided, I found the marina I suspected you were headed to. Their website had a webcam. Then understanding from all the data posted from your tracking posts it could be seen you’d be arriving sometime after 14h00. I opened the webcam shortly after 14h00 and there you were motoring into the marina. How cool!!

    • Cool. Web cams seem to popping up all over. We got pictures sent to us from Peggys Cove light house within 20 minutes of us passing.

      From the web cam, you’ll know that we picked up a load of diesel. This is our first fueling since Boston. It’s great to be able to be out using the boat daily for 2 months, running the generator, or engine every day and still be able to go 2 months between fuelings. Admittedly, we were starting to get fairly low on fuel needing 1,490 gallons.

      • Steven Coleman says:

        Cutting it rather close weren’t you James?

        The specs for a 52 show 1740 as fuel capacity (which of course could be plus or minus).

        I realize you were probably keeping an eye on where to zip in and take on fuel if needed but I also figure depending on how much you could throttle back my Road Glide would have gone farther on a tank than Dirona could with what she had left.

        It’s a good thing you monitor things so close through that Marethon system, I’ve have been freaking out.

        • You are right that it gets uncomfortable when dropping down below 400 gallons but I remind myself that 400 gallons is nearly twice the fuel capacity of our first boat and is nearly 1/4 of the capacity of this one. It’s really not THAT low. And it’s important that we be confident in our systems and have many redundant checks on fuel levels since, when crossing oceans, we will routine aim to finish the trip with only 10% reserve which is 175 gallons remaining. At the end of this run we had 250 gallons left so it’s more than we would expect to have after a long run at sea.

          We have 3 redundant checks: 1) the sight gauges on the side of the tanks showing fuel level, 2) the Maretron FPM100 fuel level sensors which are are primary measures, and 3) the engine ECU fuel consumed data point. Between them all, we have a lot of data and when we fill it’s normal that our measures be within 2 to 3% and its usually closer to 0.

          Over time we have developed confidence in the system but I fully admit to there always being a chance we will get it wrong and it still has my attention when we are running at lower fuel levels. By the way, the savings in filling up in Maine rather than Nova Scotia was just over $3,000. Just this one trip paid for the cost of the fuel measuring sensors many times over.

          • Steven Coleman says:

            I looked up average fuel costs between Nova Scotia and Maine so I knew there was a possible significant advantage to fueling in the U.S. additionally, I got to thinking I was off on my calculations and you had as much as twice the range I initially figured which running the coast meant as you say it wasn’t THAT low.

            I simply tend to start considering fuel when I draw a tank down to 25%, and in the winter around here I keep things full.

            It’s a big advantage when you know your tanks are clean and with your filtration system what you get is going to be good. And confidence in your measuring devices certainly helps.

            Without your experience and confidence in Dirona’s systems, I’d have still been worried myself.

            Even so, from your posts the experience would have more than outweighed any concerns. Sounds like it was an extremely good time.

            • I 100% agree. As the fuel levels drop below 1/4, we pay much more attention. There are times like when doign a long crossing when it needs to happen but you are right it can make one nervous. In this case it didn’t need to happen but fuel at half the price made it a fairly interesting option from my perspective.

              By the way, I installed the manually resetable dryer over temperature switch that you recommended earlier today. It works like a champ and, if it ever does trigger due to vent plugging, it can be reset by removing the back panel on the wet locker and reaching in the pushing the reset button on the fuse. Nice solution — thanks for the recommendation.

              • Steven Coleman says:

                Cool I’m glad it worked for you and, if you like Chinese food make sure you grab the chopsticks. They make real “wooden dowels” to reset those types of switches.

  16. Timothy Daleo says:

    Slow going due to the current and head wind?

    • Our current slow progress is due to a couple of knot current against us and our wanting to fuel when we get in. Because the fuel dock only has 6′ of water at low tide, we need to arrive a bit later to have ample water. We are aiming for 2:30pm and setting speed to achieve that schedule.

      We last fueled in Boston nearly 2 months and 290 engine hours back so we are running fairly light with 336 gallons left on board in all four tanks. We’re driving to schedule right now and aiming for the harbor entrance at 2:30 and the fuel dock shortly thereafter.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        Very cool to be back in the US. Two months is a long time between fueling for Dirona. Filters changed quite a bit?

        • Yes we did change the main engine primary fuel filter while up in Canada. It was last changed 6 months ago back in Florida so it went 414 hrs. Normally primary fuel filters run a couple of diesel tank fills but it varies between a low of 180 hrs to a high of 1,000 hrs. I change primary filters when vacuum starts to rise past 5″ of mercury, 1 year, or a 1,000 hrs whichever comes first. With the number of hours we run, the primaries are almost always changed on vacuum rather than hours or time.

          In our fuel system design, the primary filters do the vast majority of the work. The 10 micron secondary filter and the 2 micron tertiary filter are changed on time. All fuel has been filtered at least twice before getting to the two on engine fuel filters so they only see fairly clean fuel.

          • Foster says:

            Have you ever opened up the 10 micron secondary filter to see how much debris it’s picked up? I’m going to assume they have vacuum gauges on them, do you see any changes? I have a similar fuel setup and don’t see any swing on the secondary and when I pull them apart I can’t see any crud. But then I only do about 1000 gallons a year through them.

            • For on-engine filtration, we have a 10 micron followed by a 2 micron. I’ve never opened up the 2 micron filters but the 10s are easy to see. They catch nothing visible but are stained black so they are catching asphaltenes and other small stuff.

              The on-engine filters do not have vcacuum guages (and 3rd stage filter is after the low pressure fuel pump so won’t ever show vacuum). The only signal that these need changing other than time is an ECU code complaining about out of spec pressures. It’s never happened but we have all fuel filtered twice (25 micron and 2 micron) before the first of the two on-engine filters even see it.

  17. Sebastien says:

    Good evening Jennifer and James
    This is Sebastien, we have met you today in Halifax with Yvan my father and brother Frederik. We have enjoy meeting you, and would like to thank you for taking time to talk with us today. Thank you also for signing the book. I have read completely. It is a wonderful book. We are looking forward to stay in touch with you. And seeing you again.

    Thanks again.
    Best wishes

    • Thanks for the visit yesterday and for the beautiful pen. We are underway to Lunenburg this morning in a gentle swell but with heavy fog. If the fog clears, we’ll stop and have a look at Peggy’s Cove and, if it doesn’t, we’ll just head directly to Lunenburg.

      All the best on your boating adventures and we hope our paths cross again in the future.

      • Peter says:

        HI James;

        While in Lunenberg, you may want to stop by Knickles ( red building} and pick up scallops fresh if one of their boats are in or fresh fresh frozen for your ships freezer, both are excellent. Bring cash as credit cards are not accepted. There is /was a n68 in port.

        • Yes, when we arrived we had a 134′ Scalloper beside on one side and the Nordhavn on the other. Knickles is just one pier over. The Nordhavn left last night to be replaced by a sailboat that, interestingly, also shows Seattle as a home port. In front of the Scalloper beside us is the Paul Johansen, a boat we used to see frequently when achoring in the Seattle area. So, there are three Seattle boats on 2 side-by-side piers.

        • Peter says:

          James ,

          The retail store is on Montague St, to the right of your dock . I looked over your boat this am , it looks well found and is attractive..


  18. Skip N. says:

    What device do you use to record your personal tracks? You obviously carry it on your hikes as well as while in the tender. Just curious.

    • For tracking on hikes and other trips without Dirona we use an Android cell phone running Google My Tracks ( For some reaason, Google recently stopped supporting My Tracks and it’s no longer available for download from the Play store.There are a large number of fitness focused apps available and we tested quite a few after Google announced the termination of My Tracks. Surprisingly, even the commercial apps weren’t that great. We ended up starting from an earlier version of My Tracks that had been released as open source. We built and made some fixes to it and that’s what we are currently using to record the personal tracks.

  19. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    It’s hard to tell much about the water from the picture however, there is a crane on a barge I’ve seen along the Missouri River that could easily reach that far with that caboose.

    Or they could have set it with a helicopter.

    I use to wonder the same thing as most of the small railroad towns we ride through seem to have a caboose sitting in the middle of nowhere.

    One farmer told me he set his by dragging it with a 1948 8N Ford tractor.

    • For sure, there are many barge hosted cranes with sufficient reach to get there from the water but there isn’t sufficient depth for a barge near to shore in that area. The Helicopter solution can lift up to 20,000 lbs but I think a rail caboose is closer to double that at 25 tons. I don’t know of a helicopter with the lift capacity. I suspect the person you met that dragged the caboose in via tractor was probably closest to the solution employed here. I’m guessing hard work, creativity, and patience were a big part of the solution.

  20. Rod Sumner says:

    J & J:
    I did many pub crawls around Auckland in my student days, many years ago.

    However your world wide pub crawl cruise is one for the books.


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