Archive For The “Technical” Category

River Bar Crossings

River Bar Crossings

River bar crossings require great care and in some conditions they simply can’t be safely crossed. Earlier this week, the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Mary B requested help from the US Coast Guard in a night crossing of the Yaquina Bay bar at Newport, Oregon. Sea conditions were reported to be 14 to…

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Steering Pump Shipment

Steering Pump Shipment

In May of this year, while cruising Arctic Norway, we ordered two new Accu-Steer HPU 200-24 steering pumps from Emerald Harbour Marine in Seattle after our Accu-Steer HPU212 steering pump developed serious bearing noise. This actually was our secondary pump that we’d switched to when the primary started leaking. Both pumps were still fully-operational, but…

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TV Lift Problems

TV Lift Problems

We have an Inca TV Lift on Dirona and we’re generally very happy with it. The lift is powerful, so it doesn’t get stuck when friction on the slide surfaces increases over time, as it invariably does. It’s built from heavy parts, so it keeps working even in the high vibration environment of a boat….

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Black Water Level Sensor Take Four

Black Water Level Sensor Take Four

Reliable black water levels make the boat easier to operate and lower costs by reducing the number of pump-outs required.  We have sufficient black water tankage to go for two weeks in normal use and, with some care, we can go much more than a month between pump outs. However, when using inaccurate level sensors,…

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13.2 kW Alternators and Beyond

13.2 kW Alternators and Beyond

On Dirona, we aim to always run the boat using a single power source. When we are plugged into shore, we aim to drive the entire boat off of shore-side power and never run the generator. This may sound easy, but in Europe you frequently won’t find more than a 16A shore power service and…

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Updating the Maintenance Log

Updating the Maintenance Log

A few years back we posted the Excel-based spreadsheet we wrote for our maintenance log, along with instructions on how to use it. The spreadsheet has continued to serve us well, and still is our main tool for managing maintenance items. While it’s fairly easy to add new maintenance items for a given piece of…

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Forward Spotlight Upgrade

Forward Spotlight Upgrade

Most fish boats run both deck lights and forward lights. They use the deck lights for working at night and the forward-facing lights to see further in front of the boat better. Our experience from operating around commercial fishing vessels at night is their forward-facing spotlights can be seen from great distances. We sometimes find…

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John Deere 6068 at 10,000 Hours

John Deere 6068 at 10,000 Hours

It’s hard to believe, but our “new” John Deere 6068AFM75 is now nearly 9 years old, has been around the world, and has now clocked up over 10,000 engine hours: Hours: 10075.1 Nautical miles traveled: 69,187 Fuel burn: 59,257.4 gallons Load factor: 44.2% Longest ocean crossing: 3,689 nautical miles (St. Helena to Barbados) Over the…

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Fuel Quality Differences

Fuel Quality Differences

When considering fuel quality, we’ve always thought first about water, rust, and other impurities in the fuel. Knowing we intended to travel the world and expecting poor quality fuel in the many less-developed countries we would visit, we left Seattle with 48 primary filters on board. What we have learned is that fuel quality is…

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Battery Bank Life Expectancy

Battery Bank Life Expectancy

Most battery manufacturers specify battery life expectancy in terms of number of cycles at a certain maximum discharge level. Transforming this data into the expected or remaining battery life for a house bank is challenging. In measuring the number of cycles, for example, what depth of discharge qualifies as a “cycle”? Our house bank consists…

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Tender NMEA2000 System

Tender NMEA2000 System

Frequent readers of this blog know we like NMEA2000 and have become very dependent upon Maretron N2KView at the core of our monitoring and control system on Dirona. The screens above are our underway and at rest monitoring displays for Dirona. They are repeated in the pilot house, salon, and master stateroom. Knowing how much…

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Tender Rigging

Tender Rigging

After 9 years of hard use and over 550 hours, we decided to purchase a new tender and we picked it up in Harlingen, Netherlands. It was long past time to replace our tender with the final straw being an eight-inch complete seam blow-out in the cold Orkney Islands group in Scotland. Our goal was…

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Exhaust Cooling Fault

Exhaust Cooling Fault

The dry exhaust system on Dirona is well-built and reliable. The way it works is the stack heads up through the boat in a 5-inch pipe to release exhaust gas at the top of the stack. The exhaust pipe is enclosed in a larger pipe where it passes through the boat. This larger pipe provides…

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On Board Artnautica 58 Britt

On Board Artnautica 58 Britt

On the way to our berth at Harlingen in The Netherlands, we passed Britt, a 58-ft Artnautica. The boat shares some design features with the Dashews’ FPB (FPB 781 Cochise), the most notable being it’s fairly narrow for the length and features an unfinished aluminum exterior. Not long after arriving, we met Rob Westermann who…

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New Tender for Dirona

New Tender for Dirona

Tender selection on a small boat can be complex. Big tenders don’t fit and it’s more challenging to make multiple tenders work without giving up prohibitive amounts of deck space. Finding the “just right” compromise can be challenging. Back in 2009, we bought an AB 12VST and have used it for the intervening 9 years….

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Southampton

Southampton

Prior to the thirty-one days in Southampton, the longest time we’d ever been in the yard was ten days. During our month-long Southampton yard trip we completed three major projects: replacing the muffler, rebuilding the crane, and replacing the cutlass bearings on the rudder shaft and the wing and main propeller shafts. We also completed…

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