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General questions & comments
  1. Steve says:

    Hi James and Jennifer, any chance your going to travel to Toronto? If you do, I would love to get together.

  2. Rod Sumner says:

    Interesting to hear of the engine mount deterioration.
    Did you measure the 1/4″ lift requiremet from the thickness difference between the old and new mounts or did you have the height above the stringer recorded (I would not be at all surprised if you had!)?

    Once again your recent maintenance news never ceases to amaze me with your on board ‘spare parts warehouse’!

    Enjoy NS


    • The measurement trick was just a quick and dirty way to get the engine alignment close to the original alignment without having to disconnect the prop shaft and do it right. What I did is measure the rear mount isolator height since they haven’t failed and the isolation material is still at the original height. I then set the front mount height to be the same. It’s a primitive solution to an application where thousanths of an inch are critical but it was a quick fix that kept us moving and the vibration went from fairly bad to not noticable.

      This solution is temporary but it will hold us for a while. However, we clearly need to do something soon since the plastic isolation material in the front mounts is simply crumbling away to a pile of dust. 6 1/2 years is very early for an engine mount failure and I’m used to seeing mounts fail slowly over months to years rather than days.

  3. Timothy Daleo says:

    Safe trip for you three. Slow and steady I see. Light traffic too?

    • Yes, exactly Timothy. We have good weather and light traffic. We saw three container ships in the 20 nautical mile radius around the boat, was passed by the Sydney to Newfoundland ferry and then had to divert slightly to avoid the path of the ferry running the opposite direction on the same route.

      The boat is set up to arrive at the channel that forms the northern entrance to Bras D’Or Lake at 8am this morning. That’s 1:15 hour before the current swings from ebb to flood. We have read the max current is 4.5kts and, with opposing wind and current, the waves can build up substantially. We expect a south wind as we arrive so will start with the tail end of the ebb and pay a bit of fuel to work against it but avoid the wind against current of the flood. Because we are driving to a relaxed arrival schedule, we only needed to average 5.8 kts and are currently running 5.9 kts at 1.8 nautical miles per gallon. We last filled the fuel tanks in Boston more than a month back and we still have 889 gallons left — just about exactly 50% of our internal tank fuel load — after having cover a lot of ground.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        It takes a lot of planing taking Dirona to all of your hidden locations. I am hoping to learn about it when we are on Due North next month. It seems to be very intimidating.

        • Having most of the spares we need is really not challenging at all Timothy. It takes some thought, some research, and some discussion with the manufacturer to figure out what spares to carry and which to only ship when needed. Then it takes some work ordering them all. Finally, they need to be stored in sealed containers safe from vibrration and environmental damage. And, you neeed to have an inventory of what you have and where it all is. It’s a ton of work but just requires requires attention to detail and follow-through but it really isn’t very difficult.

          One detail that is easy to miss, is what tools are needed to change the part? For example, having a spare starter won’t help if a special tool is required to change it.

          We sometimes don’t have the ideal tools or don’t have a particular part and, when that happens, we have to improvise and that can be both challenging and time consuming. So far, we have always found a way to keep things running and have not had to divert the trip or delay it for service.

          We try very hard to make service something that is never done in an emergency under time pressure and to have the parts and tools to always be able to continue the trip without diversion or delay.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            Sorry James, I was referring to the tides, depth and current when I made the intimidating comment. You always plan for those in great detail. With the news about N4748 the importance of a safe, navigable route was again brought to everyone’s attention. Here in Southern California the coast is made for large ships so when leaving Long Beach I never have to worry about tides or bars, and only worry about the mechanical. With the Vancouver trip coming up I hope to get some Dirona-type experience on coves, anchoring and tidal considerations. We have not chose our itinerary yet, other than leaving from Vancouver, so with a six day charter we should be able to find some good place to go.

            • Sorry for the mis-read on that one Timothy. Yes, tides and currents are a big issue. In the Kimberley region of Australia they have the second largest tides in the world with more than 30′ of range. You technically could actually anchor in 40′ of water and end up on ground if you weren’t careful. We are currently in a very small exchange area but the nearby Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world wit a range of more than 50′ making it a truely challenging area to anchor unless you are willing to have the boat lie on the bottom at low tide as the locals do.

              You also mentioned current. Our previous boat had much higher HP to displacement and twin engines so we could force our way against currents as high as 6 kts and still have enough control left to manage wirlpools and overfalls. With our current boat, we have less power and a lot more boat in the water so we need to be careful of currents. If the flow is laminar we can carefully work our way through fairly currents. In working our way up the Columbia River, we saw some places where we could only get up to 1.5 kts with wide open throttle (should be 9.5 kts at that power level). On the way down river, we exceeded 15 kts at one point. Where there are whirlpools and overfalls and there there are strong cross currents we need to be super careful and generally try to avoid much more than 3 kts in these conditions.

  4. Brian says:

    Hello James and Jennifer,

    The answer is probably obvious, but seeing the obvious isn’t something I’m known for.

    Quite a few years ago I read a blog posting where you wrote about stern tying in BC, so this question came to mind.

    Finding anchorages doesn’t seem to be a problem for you in NFLD. But, depths seem to be a bit of a issue, so I’m wondering if stern tying is an option there. It seems like many of the anchoring situations that arise in NFLD are quite similar to the inlets in BC.

    Or, do the walls of the inlets you’ve been to just drop straight into the depths?

    • Yes, Newfoundland has a lot in common with British Columbia anchorages and stern tieing is a great way to make narrow anchorages, anchorages that quickly ledges off into deep water work, or very busy anchorages work. We do stern tie with Dirona but not frequently. I think the last time might have been Teakern Arm BC.

      Stern tieing is very much an option but there are a few reasons why we no longer do it very frequently: 1) Dirona is 110,000 lbs so the stern tie has to be very solid both in attachment and in line strength, 2) Dirona has a lot of above water draft and, if the stern tie had it sideways to the winds and the winds were strong, the side forces would be incredibly high, and 3) we have been finding good anchorages without stern tieing and generally stern tieing is more work. But we are equipped to do it and it’s one of the tools we have at our disposal to make an otherwise difficult anchorage work.

  5. Andrew Hunter says:

    Looks like your blog is now popular enough for a spam filter!

    • No, nothing new on the comment spam front Andrew. It’s a constant war. I have automated tools that remove the vast majority of it and then what you see show up I have to remove by hand. So far the blog has had 4,544 spam comments but only 2,215 non-spam. They are slightly ahead :-).

  6. Jonathan says:

    I saw this article recently and thought of you guys, having seen the vessels involved recently in Boston:

    • After videoing how close those boats need to operate when docking and undocking, it’s super interesting to see this report. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll write up a short blog entry on it.

  7. Gregg says:

    After you taped off the engine with protective plastic preparing to paint the engine torsional damper how did you paint it ? Did you turn the engine over ? manually ? and how did you get the inside of the engine torsional damper painted. The quality of the paint job looks very good.

    • I used Rustoleum white spray paint on the Torsional Damper. It ended up being difficult to really do a super good job on since it’s surrounded by black parts, the drive belt, and other parts that are best not painted. The inside of the tamper proved impossible to paint without heavily coating the belt and or pulley. I could probably have removed the belt but it didn’t seem worth it and the net result is that the inside of the damper is not painted but it’s also not visible. I turned the engine over using an 1 1/4″ socket on the crank shaft front pulley.

  8. David Andrews says:

    A couple of questions if I may:
    1 Do you know who owns the land in Newfoundland? Is it private or public? It looks very rugged and seemingly only supports small fishing communities. Can anyone build a hut like those you have seen in the remore locations?
    2 Are moose protected from hunting? Indeed do they even make good eating? In New Zealand wild deer were/are hunted for their meat and the venison was judged to taste better than farmed venison because of their different diet – rather as wild salmon taste different from farmed salmon.

    • David,

      Over 90% of the land in Newfoundland is owned by the province. Residents who wish to build a remote cabin on Crown lands need to apply for a “remote recreational cottage” license from the provincial government and if approved are granted a five-year renewable lease. Non-residents cannot hold these licenses.

      Moose are hunted for food and sport in Newfoundland. Moose meat is an important food staple in the traditional diet across the province, and has become an important ingredient in a number of traditional Newfoundland dishes. Residents obtain a license through an annual big-game lottery and non-residents can obtain a license through one of the province’s outfitting companies.

      • David Andrews says:

        Thanks for that reply. I will be interested to get your verdict on moose meat if you get the chance to try it. That, it seems, could take a while as your itinerary is way off the tourist trail and the choice of restaurants so far appears to be zilch.

        • Yes, definitely a lack of restaurants in this area. So unless Spitfire switches from fishing to big game, we’ll not likely be tasting moose any time soon.

        • John says:

          I have had the pleasure of moose steaks at my brother’s place in Alaska. What we had were thick steaks on the BBQ. Real good (but not tender beef).

  9. Dave Pavlik says:

    Hi James.. I see you run Lenovo monitors in your pilot house . Do you also run Lenovo PC’s for your Nav computer? Andy on, N62 Infinity, wants to upgrade the computer running his Nobeltec and I am recommending Lenovo brand with solid state drives. I am in IT business and Lenonvo/IBM is my brand of choice.
    What has your experience been?
    Any recommendations?

    • I chose the Lenovo monitors because they were very small framed (mostly screen), relatively thin, and good value. I bought spares but haven’t yet used any. Generally Lenovo quality appears to be very good.

      The Nav PC is a custom built unit where I focused on very small case size since I don’t have much space in the install location, low power since it’s on 24×7, low fan noise (since it’s on 24×7). Another factor in a custom built computer is we are very dependent upon that unit and need it running. So, I have every part on hand from CPU through memory and disks — only the case does have a spare tucked away somewhere on the boat. The primary disk is an SSD like the Lenovo you are recommending for Andy. Lenovo makes good gear.

      • Dave Pavlik says:

        Nobeltec recommends a dedicated video card but am trying to stay away from this as is a high failure item.
        Do you run a video card or just use the onboard motherboard graphics? I guess if the video card failed the onboard would work. Or as you say he could get a spare video card as they are only about $100.
        The new Lenovo Tiny would fit the bill as small, no fans, SSD, and an external power brick like a laptop. 50% less power than a PC too.

        • That’s a nice looking system and it’s smaller than what we are currently using. We don’t use a separate video card and just run off the motherboard supplied graphics support.

  10. Timothy Daleo says:

    You have enough beautiful pictures to make your own 2017 calendar on this destination!

    • Yes, it’s true that Newfoundland has been incredible. The amazing thing is we have not seen a single recreational cruiser the entire time and it’s been almost a week since we have seen anybody at all. With the busy US east coast so near, Newfoundland should have 100s of boats. The weather is great in August and the scenery is world class.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        Yes, you pretty much have the whole inlet to yourselves!

        • Yes, world class natural beauty and just about nobody in the entire area. It’s amazing what a lightly discovered gem Newfoundland is.

          • Karen says:

            It’s all fantastic. I am surprised you haven’t seen a moose yet. Until then, you can’t really say you have been to NFLD.

            • Wow, just after reading your posting, we were sitting around the dinner table saying, “we just aren’t going to see a moose.” Sure, they may be shy but we have been up on the highest points in the area where we can see for miles in all directions with unbroken hills rolling off to the limits we can see and yet, no Moose. If we can’t see any under those circumstances, I’m convinced they simply aren’t here. It really looks like there is a good chance we will leave Newfoundland without having seen a Moose.

              As we are sitting outside in the cockpit I’m laying out this argument that Moose just must not be in this area, Jennifer yells “Moose!” and dives for the binoculars. It’s true. Way up on the top of the cliffs looming straight above us there are clearly a set of massive horns in outline back lit against the late evening sky. I went for the camera and we have now documented evidence of a very large and mature Moose sighting and our visit to Newfoundland is now official. He spent quite a while looking down on us so, if there is any credit for mutual sightings, we got that too :-).

              Later today we’ll post the picture of what might be the only Moose left in Southern Newfoundland.

              • Karen says:

                They are just like that. We didn’t see any on our entire drive up the Northern Peninsula, and I was really disappointed. Then, when we got to our B&B, there were three of them hanging out under the clothesline in the backyard.

                • Timothy Daleo says:

                  Moose: “I bet I am not going to see a Nordhavn this year…

                  … look, a N52 down there!!! Is that a cat on deck?”

                  • You know, I suspect you might be right. The moose spent quite while stairing down on us from his perch nearly 1,000′ above.

                    • Tim Daleo says:

                      That 65X zoom on your SX60 is amazing!

                    • Yes, the Canon SX60 is a respectable camera and an amazing value at $400. When we started boating back in 1999 we spent a long time deciding between a prosumer camera that we expected to replace every 2 years or a high end SLR. We were and are convinced that boating pictures are very dependent on long lenses (you often aren’t close enough) and on image stabilization (poor light conditions or long lenses).

                      We spent a long time thinking through the options but the SLR options with long, good quality, lenses and auto-focus were astronomically expensive. We have destroyed three cameras over the 17 year period. One started producing E19s (error code) while shooting pictures in mixture of rain and snow in northern BC — everything was soaked for hours in a row. Another got hit by a unusual wave while jennifer was taking a shot forward. One was lost to a small tender flipping in good sized waves where we both where pushing our luck and ended up in the water. Having less expensive cameras means we use them in the rain, in the snow, in high risk situations, and it’s always around my neck. Sometimes bashing against cliffs as we climb down but it’s there and available. It’s not heart breaking if it fails and we have a spare on board since the trip is worth more than the camera.

                      What we gave up in the early days was lightening fast focus, faster operation in general, and a bit of crispness in some shots. As time goes on, the prosumer cameras get faster and these differences get smaller and less material and we are pretty happy with the choice we made to go with prosumers cameras.

  11. Rod Sumner says:

    James and Jennifer:

    Welcome back to Canada.

    I see you have broken out the cooler weather gear – hopefully you won’t need the next warmer iteration of clothing.

    1. Always impressed by the range of spare parts you have on hand – for example a spare fog horn. How do you decide whcih parts to carry?
    2. Looking forward to the write up on the harmonic balancer replacement

    • That’s a great question Rod. You can’t carry every possible part so the game is how close can you come to carrying every part we need. We do fairly well. In 8,100 hours of crusing on this boat and 4,100 hours on the previous boat, we have never had to wait in port for parts, divert destination, or head back early.

      We chose parts based upon a combination of factors: 1) manufacturers recommendations, 2) listening on the cruising forms to what breaks, 3) opinion on what looks strong and what looks like it might break, 4) nearly 20 years experience, and 5) ballancing out risk of fault, do we have some backup or would it be catastrophic (were there is no backup plan, we tend to have more spares).

      The for horn as an example, is the same we have had on two boats and we know they are only good for to 3 years if getting hammered by ocean waves.

      The harmonic ballancer replacement was an adventure. The part ordered came in wrong. The next part that was ordered came in wrong again. There were no parts available so it was looking like we were going to have to put the old one back on when the good folks at Deere managed to have one made and expressed shipped. It’s got more than 100 hours on it now and seems to be working well.

  12. David Andrews says:

    Your arrival in Newfoundland reminded me of Captain Cook’s remarkable survey of the coastline, harbours and hydrograhy back in the 1760s, following the Treaty of Paris 1763. The first islands he surveyed were St Peirre and Miquelon, because it was agreed the French could keep them provided they were not fortified and Pitt wanted an accurate map. He went on to survey the whole 6000 mile coastline of Newfoundland and its waters, sealing his reputation as a great hydrographer. Furthermore, in August 1776, when surveying the Burgeo islands he knew there was to be an eclipse of the sun and completed an observation of the eclipse which was later reported at the Royal Society in London. This was to lead him to being commisssioned by the RS to observe the transit of Venus in Tahiti in later years and to his epic round the world voyages and exploration of the Pacific, including numerous Pacific islands, New Zealand and, of course, Australia.

    Before this he was also one of principal surveyors of the St Lawrence river, which helped Wolfe win his famous victory. It was thiis work that brought him to the attention of the Admiralty as a man of “genius and capacity”. It will interesting to learn if his pioneering work is still acknowledged in Newfoundland.

    • David, thanks for the background on Cook’s contributions in Newfoundland. Having rounded the world, we have been amazed at how many different places where we found references to Cook and his contributions to world exploration, navigation, and even, as you mentioned, astronomy. We have collected a large number of pictures of plaques commemorating Cooks contribution in all over the world.

      Unfortunately, in Newfoundland, it appears that Cooks charts are still in use and, as good as he was, GPS does make a difference :-). Charts here are frequently out of registration by 100s of yards and lack detail in many areas but the natural beauty is incredible. Newfoundland is a cruising gem.

      • Karen says:

        I think the flag you have identified as French in the Gaultois picture may actually be the flag of Newfound pre-Confederation (1949). It still gets a lot of use.

        • Good catch Karen–thank you for pointing out my error. Having just now done more reading on Newfoundland flag history than I ever anticipated, that is the Newfoundland Tricolor, an unofficial flag popular in Newfoundland since the early 1900s. I could be wrong, but as near as I can tell the Newfoundland pre-Confederation flag was the Union Jack.

      • Karen Mosher says:

        Newman’s not only dominated the south coast fishery, but also started the lucrative port trade–wine from Portugal would be brought over on the fishing ships and cellared in NFLD. You can buy a bottle with your name on the label at the main liquor store in St Johns.

        • Newmans was doing both seafood and spirits? They almost had all the food groups covered! πŸ™‚

          We have this cool anchorage today anchored at a water fall. Second time in two days with a waterfall. Today we climbed up to the highest point of land in the area and had lunch with a 360 degree view of the area. We’re loving Newfoundland.

          • Karen Mosher says:

            Here’s the best part. The port was aged in rum barrels, brought up from the Caribbean after unloading a cargo of salted cod. Maybe a model the Amazon marketing department should look at?

            • If I get to live in Newfoundland while we execute on that plan, I’m all in! Third anchorage in 3 days with a waterfall. The steady stream of natural beauty is starting to get monotonous πŸ™‚

              • Frank Ch. Eigler says:

                It must be difficult not to become desensitized to natural beauty. When traveling by one type of vehicle only, a couple of hours takes the magic away for us, regardless of the initial shock.

                • Never for us. Partly because we travel in pretty diverse areas ranging from atols in the pacific, way north in Prince William Sound, up the Columbia and Snake river system to Idaho, Hawaii, Palmyra, Fiordland, Tasmania, Australia Kimberley region, Capetown, Caribbean Islands, and Newfoundland. All very different and all pretty amazing. Newfoundland alone is a pretty amazing destination and I suspect we could go quite a few months before we lost our current wide eyed amazement.

      • David Andrews says:

        I think we are all pleased that technology has moved on over the past 250 years! Perhaps for the local fishermen his charts are still good enough?

        Out of curiosity I rechecked his biography, by Richard Hough, who records that his equipment consisted of a “theodolite…drawing instruments…two or three azimuth compasses…and a number of pendants of any colour to put as signals on different points for taking the angles as the survey goes on”. It is thought he would have used a sextant as well, which he would already possess. Some of the measurements were probably made from the mast head (according to a A Treatise of Maritime Surveying published a few years later). He had one assistant. I think Cook deserves a bit of slack as the pioneer πŸ™‚

        • Cook’s charts are good but the area could definitely use a survey using technology from this century. However, from a natural beauty perspective, Newfoundland is hard to beat. It’s an gem.

  13. Timothy Daleo says:

    Glad to see it has smoothed out! It must be beautiful scenery.

    • We are still too far out to see anything but water but we’re absolutely looking forward to it. We expect to be arriving mid-afternoon. It’s been more than 6 months since we last anchored. This is perhaps the longest we have gone without anchoring in our more than 16 years of boating.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        Was the first cove too crowded?

        • The inner cove has steeper more attractive hillsides and is a nice anchorage. And, as you guessed, the outer cove has 15 or 20 houses. The current anchhorage is very picturesque.

          Just dropped the tender down and finished breakfast so we’ll plan to head out to explore.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            That wreck is an awesome backdrop for an anchorage. Very jealous!

            • You know Tim it’s kind of funny. I was thinking the wrecked ship was kind of “in the way” of the scenery when we first arrived. But, as it turns out, you are 100% right. It’s a great backdrop to dinner and drinks on the aft deck. We are loving Newfoundland — this is exactly our type of cruising.

  14. Greg Moore says:

    Hi James –

    Glad to see you’re having a good leg out of Boston. I looked closer at your systems display in the most recent picture and had a question – why are you showing a 0.7 Amp discharge on your house battery? Was there just a short term hi draw at the moment of the screen capture? I also noticed that the Main Start Alt seems to be up to temperature indicating its producing current but the Main Alt looks like it’s at ambient engine room temp? I can’t imagine there isn’t a logical reason for all of the above.

    Thanks –


    • Hi Greg. You are right. It’s been a wonderful smooth run out of Boston. We checked into Canada at Lockport Nova Scotia this morning and are back underway to Newfoundland. There is a weather system not far off shore in this area so we are starting to pitch a bit. Not extreme at all but not nearly as nice as the run up from Boston.

      You were asking why are we showing a negative charge rate? When the batteries are fully charged it shows negative about 1/2 the time and positive about 1/2 the time. It just moves back and forth around 0 as load go up and get ahead of the alternator regulators, the draw goes negative. As loads fall and again get ahead of the regulators, the charge rate goes positive. What you saw in that screen capture is pretty typical.

      The other question is why is the main start alternator running at around 200F whereas the main alternator is down around 120F. Under heavy loads, they both run hard and will show temperatures up in the 250F range. When loping along with light loads, sometimes one will catch the load and sometimes the other. It doesn’t make much difference — either alternator is happy to drive these light loads and, if the load go up, they both will be there going hard. And, if either fails, the other will take over transparently.

      The swing on the ammeter is pretty wide as the system is configured. I have seen draws of up to -300A when running short duration heavy loads without a power sourse. And, when charging flat out, it’ll push up to +300A. There is a good reason those battery cables are so fat.

      It’s nice to be only 2 1/2 days out of Newfoundland. We’re looking forward to spending some time back in the wilds.

      • Karen Mosher says:

        You are heading to our second favourite province…we will follow your progress. (Well, I will–Gord is spending a lot of his time in Macau.

        • Hi Karen. Good hearing from you. We loved Nova Scotia when we were there probably 25 years ago. A friend from St. John’s sent us a few pictures from the area when we were in Cape Town and both Jen and I said “we have to go.” Newfoundland looks exactly like our kind of place and it sounds like it ranks fairly high for you as well. Our plan is to arrive tomorrow and do a lap around the island clockwise enjoying the highlights as we go. After Newfoundland, we’ll likely return to Nova Scotia for a while before heading south to Maine.

      • Greg Moore says:

        Just as I thought – a completely logical explanation! Is there a cpu like a Balmar managing the alternators? Are they both rated to the same amperage? Was the generator running at the time? Seems like low draw on the alternators for as high a current as the inverters were delivering.

        Enjoy the wilds! I’m envious. Spent a couple nights in the San Juans last week – hoping to get out again soon. Walked the docks in Anacortes today and saw another 52 along with a 47 from Kiel and a 55 plus a couple 40’s, a 46 and even a 35. Almost a Nordhavn rendezvous!


        • You know, in absolute numbers, there really aren’t that many Nordhavn’s in the world but we seem to see them absolutely everywhere.

          The regulators are, as you said, effectively small CPUs that watch voltage and adjust charge rate to a programmable curve depending upon charge stage and voltage. We use Balmar 624 regulators on Dirona and used 612 on our previous boat.

          You were asking if the generator was on. No, we produce 9KW from the main engine so never need to run the generator when underway. We can run the dryer, the oven, and the A/C units off the main engine. At the dock, we run on shore power whether 50hz or 60hz and never run the generator even when plugged into very low capacity shore power. We are fairly heavy power consumers — we run the boat like a small condominium — so the generator runs 3 times a day when we are at anchor so it does get used fairly heavily. The generator has 4,297 hours in 6 1/2 years.

          We’re two days out of Newfoundland expecting to arrive on the afternoon of the 5th.

  15. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    Glad to see you two underway again.

    I was looking at your O-ring and couldn’t really tell much from the picture however, it looked like either chemical or thermal breakdown.

    Sounds like you are carrying a lot of spares, I was just wondering if you are carrying spares of the right type.

    We’ve touched on the subject of engine room and Laz. temps previously and there may be nothing to be done but here is a useful troubleshooting tool for O-Rings

    • The failed O-ring was part of the original install from the hydraulic system manufacturer. It’s been operating now for nearly 7 years and this particular system operates at a fairly high 3,800 PSI. The hydraulic system hase never had oil over 150F but I don’t like it even up that high so a few years back I put a bigger heat exchanger on the system. Since that time It’s never run over 125F.

      This failure appears to have been caused by a loose O-ring boss fitting allowing the O-ring to partially squeeze out and tear. The O-ring doesn’t feel hardened at all and before taking it apart you could see a bit of the O-ring had been forced out allowing a dribble at that connection. My diagnosis is insufficiently tight in this case.

  16. Tim Kaine says:

    Nice MacGyver move to create a working substitute cap! πŸ™‚

    On the pic “Leak Source” there is a gauge in the upper right hand corner. It looks like it is half full of water with some standing condensation. I took a screen shot of it so you will know which one I was talking about…..

    Is this something normal for whatever that gauge is watching or part of the saltwater leak?

    Looking forward to see your adventures in Newfoundland as that will be one of my destinations one day as well.

    • Tim, good observation to notice the liquid in the hydraulic pressure sensor guage. I agree it looks a bit unusual but it’s actually just a liquid filled guage. Liquid filled guages have some advantages over dry guages. The liquid dampens guage motion where there are pulsations or rapid changes in pressure, they lubricate the interior of the guage, and they prevent condensation or frost from obscuring the guage face. Neither of the latter is likely in our engine room. I think the chief benefit is the dampening of sudden pressure changes.

  17. Tim Kaine says:

    Okay vacation over and the boats on the move…HOORAY!!!!

    • Rod Sumner says:


      • I arrived back at the boat yesterday from 3 weeks back in Seattle and we’re ready to go. Full diesel, full gas, full water, and a full fridge. We will be clearing in to Lockport Nova Scotia — they are on holiday Monday and don’t start Tuesday until 8:45am so we’ll lope along at 6.2 kts for an arrival at customs opening time. After that, we’ll be back underway for Newfoundland.

        It’s nice to be back underway.

  18. Greg Ireland says:

    Hi James, I would like to ask you if you could provide me (us) with an overview of your Maretron system on Dirona. As a fellow Maretron user I am interested in your configuration such as is N2K running on a Black Box or PC, how far have you gone into digital switching for DC and AC circuits, and do you rely on the alerts system for monitoring critical events?
    Being located in Darwin, Australia which as you are aware is a relatively remote location I struggle for technical support and there seems to be no real support on the web either. Have you done any formal training or learnt as you went along? I have been having a few issues along the way, I am on my fourth fuel flow sensor (I run 4 sensors on twin engines) as they just stop working and my WSO100 failed after a few weeks. Unfortunately my engines do not report any data so I need to collect it via engine interfaces.
    I am aware that you get into some pretty advanced programming that would be out of my league to reproduce but I do like the idea of virtual devices such as DCR100 so I could create buttons to show the status of tasks to be done, much like pre take off or landing checklists on an aircraft. Do you think that type of thing would be possible for a local programmer if I was able to time them a few basic instructions?
    Thanks for your time and I enjoy reading about your travels.

    • That’s a good idea Greg. We’ll post a run down on the NMEA2000 installation on Dirona in a future blog. The short run down is the system has an IPG100 at it’s core, there are around 50 sensors spread throughout the boat, and I monitor it all with N2kview running on the Windows navigation computer.

      I don’t have direct experience with the fuel flow sensors but do have and like the WSO100 and the DCR100 you were asking about. Both seem accurate and haven’t been maintenance intensive. As you know we have a lot of Maretron equiment installed on Dirona and we’re pretty depenedent upon it. Generally, we’re fairly big Maretron fans. Good price/performance and N2kview does a great job of displaying the data clearly.

  19. Steve & Jenny Ransfield says:

    Hi James and Jennifer
    This is Steve and Jenny from NZ. We have been following your blog for some time now. We are currently in Florida looking at buying a Nordhavn. We are planning on coming up to Boston and would like to catchup with you guys if it works for you?

    • Steve and Jenny, it sounds like you are very close to becomming Nordhavn owners. Congratulations.

      We’re currently in Seattle and will be here until end of month. We haven’t made final plans but our current thinking is that once we get back to Boston, we’ll get underway and will cruise offshore to Newfoundland. Then we’ll work our way slowly south enjoying coastal cruising and exploring. On those plans, we may not overlap in Boston but we will be returning south along the eastern seaboard and we hope our paths cross sometime over the course of the this year.

  20. Timothy Daleo says:

    $2.15 for diesel is a good price on the water.

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