Archive For The “Technical” Category

FPB 781 Cochise

FPB 781 Cochise

We are interested in all ocean-going power boats, but right near the top of the pack is the FPB series from Steve and Linda Dashew.  We’ve seen many FPBs over the years as we completed our around-the-world run and the first things that jumps out is they are unfinished aluminum. When we were in New Zealand…

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Crane Maintenance

Crane Maintenance

In Newport we found a washer on deck below the crane and concluded we likely had a critical crane issue, so stopped using it until we understood the problem. We later found a bolt on deck as we arrived into Baltimore. It was pretty clear that something was coming apart in the crane. James took…

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On Board a Canadian Scalloper

On Board a Canadian Scalloper

While we were in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, the crew of a 134-ft scalloper in port for maintenance work gave us a tour of their factory ship. (We were asked not to include boat, crew and company names.) The ship was built in 1997, but is well-maintained and is equipped with the latest scallop auto-shucking equipment….

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Replacing Engine Mounts: Take Two

Replacing Engine Mounts: Take Two

As we completed our previous attempt at changing the engine mounts, we still had two major issues. The first was the front mount material seemed thicker than what originally was on the boat, and the second issue was we couldn’t jack the engine up far enough to remove the old rear mounts. We spoke with the…

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Replacing Engine Mounts: Take One

Replacing Engine Mounts: Take One

In Boston we noticed that our forward engine mounts were starting to deteriorate. We purchased replacements but expected the current ones to last for months yet. While in Newfoundland, they suddenly started deteriorating badly and over two weeks the isolation material just crumbled away in a pile around the mount. One morning we picked up…

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Maretron N2KView on Dirona

Maretron N2KView on Dirona

When we go to sea in Dirona there are usually only two people on the boat. That means automation and reliability are super important to us, and we want early warning of problems or unusual conditions. Maretron N2kView is a good-value display system that has worked very well for us and allowed us to incrementally expand what…

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Boston Tour Boat Crash

Boston Tour Boat Crash

When there’s no room for error, even a small mechanical failure can make for a very bad day. In this case, one of the four main engines on Boston Harbor Cruises’ Regency remained in forward gear coming into Long Wharf and, with only seconds to figure out what was wrong and take action, time ran…

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Dryer Thermal Fuse

Dryer Thermal Fuse

Earlier this week our dryer stopped producing heat en route to Rencounter Bay, Newfoundland. The drum would tumble, but there was no heat. Once we’d anchored, we rigged a clothesline in the engine room to take advantage of the heat to dry the large load of clothes while we investigated the failure. We opened up…

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Oil Analysis

Oil Analysis

Oil analysis is one of these practices where many people I know find it valuable and send their oil out for analysis on every oil change. We don’t on Dirona not because we don’t believe in it but more from a perspective that the hassle/cost-to-value equation isn’t sufficiently compelling for our usage. When I raced…

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Crankcase Pressure

Crankcase Pressure

Our main engine now has more than 8,000 hours, so increased oil leaks are more or less expected. But up until recently it has leaked almost nothing and the change to leaking more happened quite quickly, so we decided to dig deeper. Oil seepage can be caused by loosening bolts, tired/old gaskets and seals, and…

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Nordhavn 47/52 Rudder Upper Bearing

Nordhavn 47/52 Rudder Upper Bearing

Boats are full of compromises, and advances in one dimension can bring problems in another. Nailing the full equation of longevity, strength, and serviceability often is truly challenging. A perfect example of this challenge is the Nordhavn 47 and 52 rudder upper bearings. The early members of the Nordhavn 47/52 line used fixed race ball…

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Boat Projects

Boat Projects

Soverel Harbour Marina has been an excellent stop to replenish our boat spares and supplies, address Jennifer’s shoulder injury, and just relax and enjoy a slower pace. While here, we’ve also completed a ton of boat projects, ranging from battery replacement to canvas work to automation systems. Below are the majority of the projects we’ve…

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Balancing alternator outputs

Balancing alternator outputs

In our charging configuration, we parallel the house and start alternators to charge the house battery bank. Each alternator has its own individual Balmar Max Charge MC-624 regulator and we’ve been asked a few times if we balance the outputs using a product such as the Balmar Centerfielder.  This is one of those issues where…

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Fuel bugs

Fuel bugs

As we describe in Dirona fuel manifold, we choose to explicitly pump fuel from the appropriate bulk tank to the supply tank rather than gravity feed. This is a slightly more manual operating mode but has some advantages that we really like. The first advantage is that a leak in the supply system can put…

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