Bobb Brann of Menifee, CA, asks:
What type of engine cooling is on the good ship Nordhavn?
The NORDHAVN uses a keel cooler and has a dry exhaust. The engine coolant is circulated through a series of coppernickel tubes which are recessed into the exterior of the hull - below the waterline. The hot coolant enters the pipes and the coolness of the ocean water takes the heat out of the coolant - returning the coolant to the engine at a much cooler temperature. This eliminates the need for a second salt water pump, an intake thruhull, water strainer and heat exchanger - all of which require maintenance and can be troublesome. Additionally the exhaust is vented out 20 feet above the vessel's living space which eliminates any diesel smell or soot residue on the transom and cockpit. This type of cooling and exhaust system is commonly used on commercial vessels as it enhances the reliability of the main engine considerably.
How long will you run the main engine before an oil change?
Generally speaking the engine oil should be changed after 250 hours or twice per season. During 250 hours of use the engine probably would be started, run and then shut down many times which would lead to more oil contaminates accumulating than if run continuously. On our longest passages we will run up to 380 hours and we will not change oil during those legs - we'll wait until we're in port. This practice has been approved by Alaska Diesel and Electric.
What maintenance items have been done now that you have run the engine for about 30 days straight?
The only maintenance we will perform on the main engine during the circumnavigation will be oil changes and we'll change the transmission oil after 1,000 hours. We expect to put about 3,800 hours on our main engine. Aside from fuel filters and probably belts, we do not plan to perform any other maintenance on it.
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