Posts Tagged “Mechanical”

Managing Fuel Quality

Managing Fuel Quality

When we left Seattle on our trip around the world, we were expecting fuel quality issues to be common and carried 48 Racor 900 fuel filters. Surprisingly, we used less than ten on the entire trip. Most of the fuel we got world-wide was surprisingly good. We did encounter some minor fuel quality issues, but…

Read more »

A More Flexible Power System for Panacea

A More Flexible Power System for Panacea

In 2014 we published A More Flexible Power System for Dirona. This article ran in the April 2016 PassageMaker issue and aspects of this design have been offered as options on new Nordhavn builds. Since that article was published there has been considerable progress in lithium-ion battery technologies. All forms of Li-Ion battery technology offer…

Read more »

Steering Issue

Steering Issue

We haven’t had steering issues in the past. Given they can happen anywhere, why the heck would it occur within hours of dead-center on our 2,800 nm trip through the North Atlantic? We have covered a lot of miles over the years and generally have seen pretty good conditions. The weather we’ve encountered has been…

Read more »

Alarms at 1:15am

Alarms at 1:15am

I bolted awake at 1:15am to a shrieking alarm. We were 50 miles south of the Grand Banks, in large seas, on passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. I ran upstairs to the pilot house and Jennifer, at the helm, just said “high bilge water.” Yuck. Better than fire but far from good news….

Read more »

Big System Coming

Big System Coming

For quite some time now we have been watching a very large low in the weather models coming down from Greenland. The storm is currently predicted to bring 20′ waves on 10 second period, with 25 to 30 kt winds.  With 20′ waves nominal, there will be some that approach or exceed our 30′ mast…

Read more »

Fuel, Option Value, Speed, & Safety

Fuel, Option Value, Speed, & Safety

Boat range in ocean conditions is remarkably hard to predict but it’s just about guaranteed that your real range is far shorter than estimates or even careful measurement if it wasn’t done in real ocean conditions. Ocean swell slows boats remarkably. We had no idea how much impact this would have when we first got…

Read more »

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

Most John Deere engines are scheduled to have the vibration damper replaced at 5 years or 4,500 hours. However, our Deere 6068AFM75 uses a viscous coupling with an 8,000-hour replacement interval so we went nearly 7 years before needing to make a change. We crossed 8,000 hours as we headed into Boston early last year,…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

Cracker Boy Boat Works

Cracker Boy Boat Works

When we hauled out in Whangarie, New Zealand near the end of 2013, we didn’t expect to go more than 2.5 years before the next haulout. We finally lifted Dirona again at Cracker Boy Boat Works in West Palm Beach. In the nine days that followed, we cleaned and painted the bottom; re-applied Propspeed to…

Read more »

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…

Read more »