Archive For The “Technical” Category

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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Cutlass Bearing Replacements

Cutlass Bearing Replacements

The final major project we completed at Saxon Wharf in Southampton was replacing the cutlass bearings on the rudder shaft and the wing and main propeller shafts. On inspection after removing the cutlass bearing, our main propeller shaft was badly corroded with some of the pits running quite deep, so we opted to replace it…

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Crane Rebuild/Remanufacture

Crane Rebuild/Remanufacture

A second major project that we completed while in the yard at Southampton was to rebuild our crane. It was in remarkably poor condition. The ram-to-extension bolts were siezed due to lack of Tuff-Gel application on the stainless screws in the aluminum casting; the linear winch had worn away all its bearing material, damaging the…

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Heatstrip Patio Heater

Heatstrip Patio Heater

While in Brisbane, Australia in 2014 we installed a Heatstrip patio heater and just love it. A key advantage of the Heatstrip is a nice, even warmth with no red glow. You can’t tell it’s on and it doesn’t change the lighting at night. Spitfire appreciates the heater too, and usually finds a spot underneath…

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Muffler Replacement

Muffler Replacement

We had a long list of projects to complete during our Southampton haulout at Saxon Wharf. One of the bigger jobs was to replace the muffler. Our old one turned out to not be in bad shape, and might have gone a few more years. But we couldn’t really know the state of the muffler…

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Control Systems on Dirona

Control Systems on Dirona

We run Dirona like a small apartment with little regard for power consumption, power load or power source. Right now we are moored at St. Katharine Docks in London plugged into 32A/50Hz power. But we run the same way whether we are plugged into 50A/60Hz power in the US or if we were anchored off…

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KVH V7-HTS: Twice the Speed & More Coverage

KVH V7-HTS: Twice the Speed & More Coverage

Frequent readers of this blog know we have become very dependent upon satellite communications. In fact, we have three different satellite technologies on board Dirona, as described in Communications at Sea. Here, we complete a quick survey of the satellite systems on Dirona, our experience with them, and why we upgraded to the KVH V7-HTS system four months ago. Our…

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Fendering Take Three

Fendering Take Three

When you travel the world, the boat sometimes has to be docked in less than optimum conditions. Nobody wants to med moor against a concrete wall in a large swell and without protection. But, if you want fuel in Nuku Hiva, you’ll need to be able to safely dock in these conditions. Nobody wants to…

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Racor CCV

Racor CCV

I’ve never been happy with the RACOR CCV (Closed Crankcase Ventilation) system on our Deere engine so I decided to dig in and learn more. To meet emission requirements, the CCV (the black housing circled above) separates oil from the crankcase vapors, drains the oil back to the sump and sends the vapors back to…

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Diesel Engine Load Profile

Diesel Engine Load Profile

Electronic diesel engines track usage data to help engine manufacturers and service personal understand causes of different fault conditions and evaluate how well the engine is performing in that specific application. Generally this data isn’t available to end users but, if a service technician is on your boat, it’s worth asking for the engine load…

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Managing Spares

Managing Spares

Our goal has always been to never have a trip delayed or cut short due to equipment issues. We have achieved this in 13,500 hours of operation across two boats, by keeping the vessels in a high level of service, having redundancy in equipment, and carrying a large number of spares parts. Having the right…

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Dirona Around the World

Dirona Around the World

When we bought our first boat back in 1999, a coastal cruiser that we named Dirona, the salesperson asked how many hours a year we expected to put on. “Fifty, maybe a hundred” we replied. We both worked in busy software jobs in Seattle and weren’t expecting to be able to boat that frequently. We…

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ProStock: Nice Fender, No Warranty

ProStock: Nice Fender, No Warranty

Just under three years ago, we purchased a full set of ProStock Marine fenders. We like to be well-fendered so we ended up buying just over $2,000 worth of these fenders. In the intervening three years we have been super-impressed with them. They have been used in gales up against cement walls, when fueling from…

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