Charles Bell of Owings Mills, MD, asks:

I work for Belgoes Filtration Systems and have been eagerly following the daily installments of the Nordhavn ATW journey. The ATW journey is one that I would love to make myself someday. My first choice would be to make the journey in a Nordhavn. I can think of no better craft for such an endeavor.

In the ATW forum I saw your post regarding "paper towel" filters and was surprised by it. I found a lot to agree with on your post but I would like to address one of the points brought up by your engineer. I agree that the factory filters provided by ADE, and found in Nordhavns, do perform their jobs well. If the oil in the engine is serviced per ADE's guidelines, the engines will provide an excellent and long life.

I do however request that we revisit some of the statements regarding the effectiveness of paper towels as a filter medium. Cut open any oil filter and inside you will find cardboard or paper weave. In the premium filters you will often also find chopped newspaper (you can read the print) or sawdust. One brand also uses string with paper spun into it. Paper towels are literally the same material base (spun or pressed cellulose) used to make many spin on filters.

Paper towel based mediums differ primarily in that they are much thicker than most spin on filter mediums. The increased thickness greatly increases effectiveness and improves results. Independent lab results consistently bear this out.

When compared with spin on filters, bypass filters reduce particle counts, delay TBN number declines, and greatly extend the useful service life of additive packages. These factors in combination extend the oil drain interval (saving the operator time) and also extend engine service life between wear-related overhauls.

Dan Streech responds:

Thank you for your question and comments about engine oil filtration and also your kind comments about our Nordhavns. I believe that your comments are well-stated and informative.

For reasons that I can't explain, the subject of bypass oil filtration has been hotly debated for many years. I can even remember the "toilet paper" filters available when I was in high school in the 60s and the controversy that they caused at that time.

I have seen the oil filter subject debated in long strings of commentary on the Trawler World list and have seen much well documented support of paper towel filters.

I think that what I have learned in recent months is that this subject is much bigger than PAE and that we at PAE are not really qualified to render opinions on the merits of bypass oil filters. I took a stab at answering an "oil" question and my opinions were posted on December 21, but from this point forward, I think that I will defer to experts of higher authority.


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