Posts Tagged “Mechanical”

Fuel Cooling

Fuel Cooling

On arriving into Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands in 2013, the fuel temperature in our supply tank had climbed to 180F (82C). What was happening is the engine circulates about 50 gallons per hour and yet only burns a tiny fraction of that.  Most of this fuel flows through the engine fuel system and…

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Maretron Firmware Upgrades

Maretron Firmware Upgrades

Readers of our blog know we’re heavy Maretron users and big fans. The products are well-priced and easy-to-use, with great customer service. Read more about our Maretron usage at Maretron N2KView on Dirona. Firmware upgrades to any company’s devices are always risky, so we typically try to avoid them. But firmware upgrades sometimes are necessary,…

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Kar-Tech Mini Guider Proportional Calibration

Kar-Tech Mini Guider Proportional Calibration

The Kar-Tech Mini Guider is a good wireless remote control for the Steelhead ES-series of cranes including the ES-1000 and ES-1500. It’s easy to use and works quite well. For install instructions, see Steelhead Wireless Remote. Part of the installation is configuring proportional control, and the Kar-Tech instructions are a bit opaque. But once calibrated,…

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Windlass Maintenance

Windlass Maintenance

Our Maxwell 3500 windlass has performed flawlessly for us in a decade of use across thousands of anchorages around the world. To keep it that way, we disassemble and grease the top end every twelve months and change the oil every two years. Both were due recently. In taking the windlass apart, we found far…

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Steering System Maintenance

Steering System Maintenance

Here we step through the steering system on the Nordhavn 52, showing some of the wear points and the changes we have made to minimize these issues. Finally, we show the removal and replacement of the hydraulic steering rod end. This is the part that transfers force between the hydraulic cylinder and the steering arm….

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Replacing Lugger/Northern Lights PTO Clutch

Replacing Lugger/Northern Lights PTO Clutch

Many small Lugger marine engines and Northern Lights generators are equipped with a power takeoff (PTO) unit that can be used to drive accessories. Hydraulic pumps are a common use case for this PTO. These PTOs are equipped with electric clutches to allow them to be powered or unpowered at will. This is convenient, but…

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Northern Lights 12kW Generator Overheating

Northern Lights 12kW Generator Overheating

Over the last few months the generator running temperature has been slowly increasing. We were still below the 205F cut-off level, and the generator continued to run fine, but something clearly wasn’t right. The generator normally runs in the 192F to 193F range at full load and I have a warning set at 195 that…

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Steelhead Wireless Remote

Steelhead Wireless Remote

We’ve had three pendants fail on our Steelhead Marine crane over the last 9 years. The proportional switch proximity sensor is very fragile but there are other failure points as well. These pendants cost just under $1000 each, so we really needed a longer lasting and more economical solution. Steelhead does sell a remote-control for this crane,…

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Soft Start

Soft Start

Isolating shore power from on-board electrical systems is important to avoid excess corrosion and, even more importantly, to avoid risk of shock in and around the boat. Two common approaches to isolation are galvanic isolators and isolation transformers. Isolation transformers have many advantages and often are installed in Nordhavns, but have one potential downside though:…

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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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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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Trondheim Projects

Trondheim Projects

We completed a number of boat projects in Trondhiem, including replacing a steering pump and the nav computer. Most were waiting on gear sourced on our return trip to Seattle—we spent much of the ten days after the trip installing and stowing parts. Below are highlights from July 14th through August 14th in Trondheim, Norway….

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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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London Projects

London Projects

We didn’t spend all our time in London socializing and taking in the sights. We also completed a number of projects, for the boat, the web site, ourselves and even Spitfire. Below are highlights from Feb 13th through April 12th in London, UK. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to…

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