Archive For The “Technical” Category

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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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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