"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret do cuments the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now.“Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised
April 24, 2013
Position: Marina Queen in Ft Lauderdale living on the BFYC.
Hello mis amigos, back to boat chores. This time we cleaned the fuel tanks. Clean fuel is somewhat important if you want to go somewhere and why let the Racor fuel filter elements do all the heavy lifting? When you’re Out There it is important that your Happy Little Lugger, or whatever, keeps playing. So you clean the tanks.
Egret has two, 500 gallon fiberglass fuel tanks, one on either side of the engine room beginning a little forward of the main and back. Both have two large stainless steel inspection plates and both tanks have large baffles with limber holes at the bottom. Each tank when selected drains by gravity into the small day tank of a N40. From the day tank there are ports that deliver fuel to the primary dual filter Racors and to the generator and wing Racor. The drain at the bottom is where we plumbed the intake for the circulation/polishing filter so in theory, unless the crud reaches over 12”high to the primary filter port, the only debris that reaches the filter is by what gets sucked into the port falling from the gravity feed hose to the bottom of the day tank. This is what day tanks are all about and why by using a day tank you eliminate 99.99% of all fuel issues. But we still clean each tank to perfection. One interesting side note, in nearly 12 years of ownership we have taken less than a thimble full of water out of the tanks and that was the first time I cleaned the tank. There has NEVER been a single drop of water in either tank since. That says a lot for well insulated fiberglass tanks.
When I cleaned the tanks yesterday and today, I took a shortcut. You should Never Do This until you have cleaned your tanks so many times you know everything about them. So I only opened the inspection plate where the fuel drains to the day tank. I knew from experience if this portion was spotless the rest would be.
First I’ll describe the tank cleaning pump apparatus and then how we actually clean the tanks. For a pump we use a 12V, rubber impeller Jabsco Commercial Duty Water Puppy pump*. 12V: Jabsco number 18670-0123 and 24V is 18670-0943
*It is Very Important that the Water Puppy has a 6303-0003 Nitril impeller, NOT a 6303-0001 Neoprene impeller. A neoprene impeller will swell in diesel and stick after the first use. A Nitril impeller will last 2-3 years. (For general Jabsco rubber impeller pump use – like for the generator raw water pump– use the appropriate number Neoprene impeller followed by 0001. It will last much longer than the stiffer 0003 impeller.)
The intake and discharge ports of the pump have ½” IPS to schedule 80 1/2”* pvc hose barbs with 6’ of 5/8” hard plastic head type hose attached. (We replace the hoses every 2-3 years to keep them pliable)
*1/2” schedule 80 pvc hose barbs measure 5/8”.
For cleaning I ty wrap (zip tie) the last 2’ of the intake hose to a 4’ – 5/8” wood dowel so I can easily direct the intake/suction hose into the corners. The pump has two wires coming out of the motor. To these we attach male bullet connectors. To power the pump we use a 20’ piece of 14-2 marine wire with battery clamps on one end and the other end has a 20 amp circuit breaker that we use as an on/off switch. The end of the long wire has the female bullet connectors. We attach the battery clamps to the wing alternator hot lead and the ground to anywhere on the wing. This happens to be the closest place to get 12 volts but it could be anywhere on a different boat. The other items are an empty 5 gallon jerry jug to pump the cleaning fuel into and a small 1 gallon jerry jug with clean fuel. We put a large piece of heavy plastic on the floor near the inspection port and cover that with bilge diapers to keep any diesel from getting on the floor. Also, a roll of paper towels are on standby for any whoops. And a flashlight.
We pump out ALL the fuel with the circ pump. This leave a small amount of fuel near the tank drain fittings. To begin with, I inspect the tank floor and walls for any trace of algae using the flashlight. Then I suck the last bits of fuel into the 5 gallon jerry jug. Next we pour in a half gallon or so of clean diesel and use that to rinse the tank floor, wall and thru the holes cut in to the baffles (about half way up from the floor) to rinse the next portion over. All this drains along the bottom of the tank to the gravity drain fittings. Then this too gets pumped out. There is NO debris left inside the tank and it is spotless. Then transfer the fuel from the other tank to the newly cleaned tank and repeat on the opposite side. When you are done with both tanks, balance the boat with fuel.
One thing that is important is to have a second 1 gallon jerry jug full of clean fuel. When the circ pump pumps the day tank dry it will pump the circ filter dry as well. This needs to be refilled with a jerry jug. Some folks use the circ pump to refill the primary Racors after changing the elements which is fine but if the circ pump filter runs out of diesel and you don’t have a small jug with diesel standing by it is a problem. (We keep the 1 gallon jerry jug in the engine room below the Racors sitting on a folded oil diaper. The handle of the jerry jug is tied with a line against the bulkhead to keep it in place).
As a double check after everything is put back as it was, it pays to check the fuel level in the primary filters to make sure none of the fuel has drained away when the day tank was emptied. Even better, run the main, gen and wing for a bit to make sure there isn’t any air in the lines. Under way is not the place to find out.
By using the short cut we did, with Mary helping it took less than 20 minutes per tank to remove the inspection port, clean the area around the port and then to actually clean the tank. It is a simple procedure, you can’t do anything wrong unless you have a dumb attack and leave tools or the inspection plate nuts where they can get knocked back into the tank.
While we are at it, here is a fuel related item. ALL the fuel we put into Egret’s fuel tanks other than from a reliable fueling source ashore is filtered. In this photo is the large size Baja Filter and a two step piece of hose to connect the spout on the Baja Filter and insert into Egret’s recessed cockpit fuel fills. Without the hose the Baja Filter can’t be completely emptied when it is taken out of the fill pipe because it is on an angle. A Baja Filter has 3 screens inside, all with finer stainless steel mesh from the coarsest at the top top to the finest at the bottom. The top screen does the heavy lifting and there is rarely any debris in the middle screen, much less the bottom.
So after all that work we are down in the Florida Keys unwinding from the intense pressure. We stopped at a place you would enjoy seeing if you happen to drive to the Florida Keys. At the end of the turnpike, turn right at the first light and keep heading west. When the road goes to 2 lane you are within a short distance from seeing Robert Is Here in the distance. Fifty six years ago a little kid named Robert started a vegetable stand next to a rural road with very little traffic. When Robert was at the stand after school or weekends, Robert would put out a sign saying Robert Is Here. Today, Robert Is Here is a tourist attraction with a huge inventory of fresh vegetables, fruit, jams, etc, etc, AND the worlds best smoothies in a couple dozen flavors. They also have fruit mixed with ice cream.
So today we had a mango milkshake and Mary had a cherry/key lime that was to die for and we also loaded up on fresh veggies and jams, etc.
Wandering around the Fish Camp in Big Pine Key we took a few snaps. We caught this hermit crab rocketing along on dry land. To make the shot interesting I laid down and held the ^%#@#) 8lb – 200 - 400mm lens and heavy camera by hand and rotated on my elbows as the hermit crab was tearing for cover. So my elbows suffered for this shot but it was worth seeing a little critter like this at its eye level. Next up was an interesting bird with head plumage I hadn’t seen before. And before dark came a snap of this lonemangrove trying hard to establish its own little island. And of course we couldn’t pass upflowers on a tree in the front yard.
We always enjoy the Keys. I have been going down to the Keys since my older buddy got a drivers license and he could borrow his brother’s car and put my aluminum skiff on top. So it has been a few years and what is remarkable is the Keys haven’t turned into a condo blight like most of coastal South Florida. This trip we saw a number of small shallow draft trawlers making their way on the Bayside going here and there. Hummmm, so let’s see. We need a small shallow draft catamaran to tow a flats boat for exploring the Keys. We need a 32’ Downeast/Lobster boat to leave in Puerto Williams, Chile. And of course keep Egret for the long hauls. And Bubba for the U.S.south west in the off season. That would be about right. There is just one problem………….not enough Pesos. Oh well, two out of 4 isn’t bad and I promise you it will be an interesting summer. You’ll see.
I know guys like to buy stuff and here is some stuff we got recently and is it way cool or what? Check out these waterproof lights from Adventure Lights. (The car key is for scale) We bought 2 complete sets – red, green & white -, one for the large dinghy and one for whatever. The dinghy set is ty wrapped to each side of the bow and the white light is attached to the back of the outboard with double side tape. When the lights arrive they are in the strobe configuration. By twisting off the lens and flipping the battery upside down the lights are in the constant on position. To turn the lights on and off just give them a twist. The lights themselves look like a watch without a band so they can be ty wrapped, threaded with a Velcro strap (furnished) or stuck with double sided tape. They also come with a swell belt snap as shown in the photo. I imagine if you lost a running light at night, you could put a couple of them together and they would be bright enough to get by until morning or until it was calm enough to change the bulb in the running light. So get a couple sets and a handful of spare batteries and you be laugin’.
Boat chores are starting to wind down. The Naiad folks will be here Thursday and Friday to change the hoses and the suction hose from the cooling tower to the engine, the filter in the cooling tower and all the fluid. After that bit of preventative maintenance the Naiad’s should be good to go for years except for fin shaft seal changes. We haul on May, 1stand plan to apply 3 coats of green Interlux, change the zincs, paint the prop and give the hull a little love with the buffer. Also this week or next we plan to update 3 laptops with the latest OCENS e-mail program and Weathernet 3 for e-mail and short haul weather at sea. Professional Weather Forecaster, OMNI Bob (Bob Jones - Ocean Marine Navigation), will return with longer haul forecasts.
So it won’t be long. We plan to leave Ft Lauderdale direct to Nantucketwith the first weather window after May 10th or so. The trip should take 5 ½ days. (More on the trip before we leave).
If you are a N Owner and haven’t been following the N Owners site, Milt and Judy Baker from N47 Bluewater have posted a loose cruising itinerary for later this summer starting in Maine and on to Nova Scotia including Bras d Or Lake, St Pierre Island (French), Newfoundland and perhaps even to Prince Edward Island. It would be great fun to join this group for the entire trip or portions as you choose. Milt and Judy have a zillion miles over the years and Bluewater was up in Nova Scotiaand Bras d Or Lake last summer so they can show you or tell you what is the best of the best. Check out the N Owners site for all the details.
Another good way to learn about Nordhavns is via the Open House that will take place at the Nordhavn Rendezvous in Mystic, CT. The event will be by invitation only but worth your time if you are serious about some day owning your own Nordhavn. The invitation form will be posted on the Nordhavn website soon so keep your eye out for it.
We’ll leave you with one last thought. This photo of a happy Key Deer says it all. It obviously doesn’t care it is in a No Parking zone. This deer thinks like a cruiser. Rules are for other people, who, well, live by the rules. Cruisers live by their own rules because they live a life of freedom. So I suppose the choice is to live free like this little Key Deer or like a sheep. Of course there is comfort in sameness so I suppose Sheepville isn’t all bad.
April 17, 2013
Position: Marina Queen living in Ft Lauderdale on the BFYC.
Hello mis amigos, so what do you do when a friend with a world’s best small sea boat* calls and asks if we would like to fly to Bimini (Bahamas) and help bring back his boat? Well of course I would. So last Saturday we flew over to South Bimini, took the water ferry past the same dock Egret departed after the final payment and the papers were signed with PAE. (She was OURS for the first time!!!) So after a short cab ride to the marina and a touch of rhum, we took care of nap chores from the 35 minute flight (16 minutes in the air). Then it was off to Bimini Big Game Club for dinner. Ho hum, cracked conch and conch fritters. Ok, some Kalik too. (local suds)
*The world’s best small sea boat, is and has been since the late 80’s, a N46 of course. If enough Smart People sign up for the new N49, the 46’s will loose that title.
So we left the next morning at daybreak, cleared the channel and headed to the waypoint off Ft Lauderdale’s head pin leading into Port Everglades and Ft Lauderdale. We put out a couple worms to see if something would snap and it wasn’t long before a dolphin (mahi mahi) thought the blue and white worm looked like breakfast. It wasn’t. It chose poorly. After a tussle we deposited the dolphin in a cooler and slammed the lid. The cooler came alive for a while dancing across the cockpit but before long my buddy did a filet and release. The same evening one beer battered filet fed 7 adults, one boat kid and one dirt kid.
On the techno front, my buddy had been having intermittent problems with the autopilot doing crazy Ivans (changing course for no reason). However, the problems have been few and far between. On this trip it happened 3 times within a few hours in 6’ following seas with an occasional 8’ (Following seas greatly increase the rudder load and it is why the problems surfaced quickly and more than once). Just by chance I checked the Simrad AP-20 autopilot parameters. Yup, not even close and the rudder couldn’t keep up. Someone had set the parameters at something like 26 rudder and 250 counter rudder on the low setting and 18 rudder and 150 counter rudder on the high setting. I changed the parameters to Egret’s high setting of 90 rudder and 150 counter rudder*. Wow!! So instead of steering a course with 15 or more degrees of deviation from a straight course it went immediately to 4 degrees, which in following seas is Very Good. The crazy Ivans did not return.
*Every boat is different so please don’t think these parameters will necessarily work on your boat. One thing that helped immeasurably was my buddy previously replaced the T160 Simrad autopilot pump with a T300 to give the large Hynautic K2B steering ram (cylinder) more fluid flow. If you don’t have enough flow to a large ram, no parameter setting will help. We tried with Egret’s original T160 Simrad pump* and we ended up changing to an Accu Steer HPU75 pump.
*Recommended by Simrad. They must have thought Egret had typical coastal weenie girl steering. She doesn’t.
Years ago, I read a Passagemaker article where some old guys* got together and took one of the groups Cheoy Lee trawler for a spin out of Australia. One reason they went the year they did was “before the cutting starts”. I never forgot that phrase. So now it is some years later and my cutting will start on Wed. Yup, not a big deal but the First Cut Ever. Cataract surgery in the right eye. Its part of the tick, tick deal.
*Actually men don’t get old, they get distinguished.
So I’ll describe the procedure in lay terms I can understand…..I think. The iris is what is in front of the eye. Behind the iris is the lens which has become fouled with growth. So the doctor goes in with a super trick, 3 way tool that contains a knife, a flashlight, and a shop vac. He cuts around the lens, then cuts that into pieces and sucks it out with the shop vac. Next he has another trick tool but this time it is just a 2 way deal. It contains a flashlight and a small tube with a very thin plastic prescriptive lens inside. He goes in thru the same hole, then he unrolls the lens, taps it into place replacing the cornea and that’s it. It is a fifteen minute procedure and he has done 15,000 of them. So it’s no big deal except I will have to have glasses for reading, sorta like now. That’s why we have been hanging around Ft Lauderdale and not off to the Bahamas for a few months checking out something new and exciting. However, it’s getting closer to leaving. Can’t wait.
Later. Ok, the doctor did the deal and now I have a bionic eye. It has been a few days and my right eye vision isn’t what I signed up for but it is supposed to be getting better day by day. So we’ll see.
Recently we received an e-mail from OCC – Ocean Cruising Club in the UK. This is a prestigious club of voyagers whose membership includes many of the who’s who of long distance cruising. OCC members are admitted by what they did, not who they know. To qualify, you have to make a single passage of 1,000nm in a boat no greater than 70’ – 21.875M. I copied the qualifications to a buddy who plans to run from Ft Lauderdale to Nantucket in May. He e-mailed OCC for confirmation and they calculated the distance at 1047nm and said the voyage qualifies for membership. This doesn’t mean that you can keep one foot on the beach from Ft Lauderdale to Nantucket; the voyage has to be made on a rhumb line course which takes you well offshore of the Carolina curve. I was under the impression the voyage had to be part of an ocean crossing but that isn’t the case. So for those of you U.S. East Coast folks or Caribbean cruisers who wish to join OCC, this is an option. What is ironic, Ft Lauderdale to Bermuda is under the 1,000nm minimum even though it requires an ongoing voyage to the U.S., Canada or the Azores.
As you know, we treat everyone fairly and without venue. If it’s a good thing we’ll pass it along and the inverse. The other day we had a good thing happen but before we get started we’ll give you a bit of background. Egret was delivered with 3 reverse cycle Cruisaire A/C units controlled by individual Cruisaire SMXII control panels. The original SMX panels were el junko, and while Egret was under Cruisaire’s 2 year warranty we replaced around 5 controls. Then Egret’s warranty period was up and we left for Europe. Within a year, 2 of the controls failed again. However, it wasn’t that big of a deal because we ran them on heat during the winter and though the thermostat wouldn’t go back up with the push pad it would still heat at whatever degrees where the unit failed. So we limped thru the next number of years and didn’t care that much because all we used the A/C for was to load the generator while charging batteries and the stateroom control worked while we were Marina Queens during the winters.
So it is time to make things right because we are going thru Everything before we leave in May. I went to Beard Marine in Ft Lauderdale to buy two new units. Beard Marine is a long term, family owned business that has stayed the course of time by treating folks competently and fairly. When the parts man was getting ready to ring up the sale he said “well, that’s normal” (meaning the controls failed). That’s when I started thinking about it and told him to forget the sale and to call Cruisaire and tell them they have one Very Unhappy customer on their hands*. I explained the issue to Beard Marine’s service manager Arnie, who sold Egret a control last year and visited aboard. Arnie went to bat for us even though it meant Beard Marine wouldn’t reap the profit from the sale of two units. In the end, by working with the National Service Manager at Cruisaire we came up with a fair resolution. We were told that there was a 2 year period around when we took delivery there was a rash of defective units and that the problem has been solved with a new touchpad. So that was nice and it is really nice to know that some folks, both Cruisaire and Beard Marine still have business integrity.
*Having been in the marine business, I know what’s fair and what isn’t. If something fails we rarely do anything but buy another whatever and that’s the end of it. We don’t argue or complain because life is too short and I’m not interested in getting upset or trying to push the limits of fairness just to save a few pesos. In this case when the parts fellow said “well, that’s normal”, it set off a strong sense of Unfairness because we had no control over a bad batch of units and we were just supposed to fork over half a BU for someone else’s bad batch. We didn’t.
Our younger son and his family, Siriwan the Movie Star, and Kenny, 7, are leaving tomorrow after a month in the U.S. Most of the time they were aboard as well as taking trips to visit his brother in northern Florida, Disney World and a few days in the Florida Keys at a friend’s house. Our son had fun reminiscing with old friends telling Keys house stories* and where they went in his 15’ boat, Thanks Dad. Kenny went from a shaky dinghy driver to skilled to the point where he could not only hold a straight course but he could also dock. The boys playing. Kenny also performed deckie chores when it was time to launch or raise the dink. We really enjoyed their visit and they had a great time as well.
*Our oldest son was in university and later married during our Keys House years. The youngest son got the gift of water. And now his son Kenny, 7, wants to buy a “cruising boat” some day and travel to all the places he dreams about in the atlas and his flag book. Kenny entertains himself for hours pouring over the atlas and his flag/country book.
We have never mentioned games before but over the years we have been entertained by other cruisers with games like Mexican Train and some devilish card games. However, we really aren't game people. We were introduced to the wood block game Jenga by my cousin out west and it is a hoot, particularly on board and particularly after a splash of mind altering liquids. It is great fun to watch your competitors who talk serious trash until it is Their Turn. You would think there were a few BU's at stake by their concentration. A little movement by the boat adds to the excitment. In the photo you can see the different levels of rectangular blocks. The trick is to remove one of 3 blocks or even 2 of 3 blocks from a level and place it on top. Shortly after this photo was taken, it was crash city but an Egret new record (32 rows) was set by Mary, Siriwan and Kenny.
Ok, back to boats. Here is something new to us so we’ll pass along something that may make your life a little easier if you are U.S. citizens and plan to leave the U.S. and return from trips to the Bahamas, Canada or Mexico, etc.
“There is a new way to report your boat’s arrival in the United States. With the Small Vessel Reporting System, clear your vessel, crew and passengers through the CBP by telephone.* The system is Free, Easy to use, Easy to apply for. Just fill out the application online and interview in person with a CBP officer”. Visit cbp.gov/SVRS
*(CBP reserves the right to conduct an in person inspection).
Ok, so we did and it was quick and easy. Of course it was quick and easy because the closest reporting office is about 3 miles away. We were issued a SVRS card with a number and they wrote the number in our passports as well. However, as a foreign flagged vessel we still need a U.S. cruising permit, good for 1 year.
The Isotherm 12V fridge/freezer has been getting warmer and warmer over the past month. The freezer works as always but the fridge is warm. Warm beer doesn’t cut it. So we called Beard Marine who is also in the refrigeration business to check it out. Nick (the tech) added a bit of R135 gas and that seems to have taken care of the problem. He found the Schrader valve where you fill the gas a ¼ turn loose so perhaps that was the culprit.
Yesterday we changed every Racor fuel filter element in the engine room to 10 micron. Today we’ll clean the tanks and then we need to go on vacation for a couple days from all the hard work. Of course with Mary helping it takes less than a half hour per tank of actual cleaning. The real time is spent with the circ pump transferring fuel from one side to the other. We’ll head back down to theFlorida Keys to unwind from all the intense pressure. When we get back I’ll pressure clean Egret’s factory installed N40 gravity feed day tank and describe the cleaning process in detail for the N40 folks or gonnabe N40 folks.
Of course it isn’t all hard work.
April 5, 2013
Position: Marina Queen in Ft Lauderdale living on the BFYC.
Hello mis amigos, let’s talk about boat chores. To complete a task it always costs twice as much as you estimate and takes 3 times longer. Or perhaps it costs 3 times as much and takes 4 times longer. It’s just how it is; you can’t fight it so just do it with a minimum of whining and you’ll be happier. Like yesterday and today for example. I ordered a pulley only for the serpentine belt tensioner for the main on the recommendation of a Lugger engineer at the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show (because of Egret’s 12,000 hours). Of course you can only buy the whole assembly and it is a different design.
So here’s the deal. First of all, few of you will have to worry about this because it is rare to have this many hours but for those who do or will, we’ll tell you the deal and we’ll start at the beginning.
After removing the serpentine belt, I tried to remove the complete idler assembly by using an allen wrench and a long closed end wrench hooked over that for more leverage. All I did was hurt my little hand. So then I got the bright idea to remove just the idler pulley itself and change just that. To save you the trouble there are two issues. The bolt that holds the idler pulley to the tensioner is Left Hand Thread, not the usual right hand thread. Secondly, the new model pulley doesn’t even begin to fit so don’t bother.
So I sprayed the allen bolt holding the original tensioner assembly in place with Corrosion Block to see if that made a difference and I could get it started. (Actually I was just buying time for my hand to quit hurting.) Then I got the bright idea to use the Whale diaphragm holding tank pump handle to put over the allen key and after trying to see if it had left hand thread as well, it became apparent that it was right hand thread and off it came.
The new tensioner pulley is much improved. The pulley faces inward instead of outward and to relieve the tension to change belts all you have to do is stick the square head of a ½” breaker bar into the corresponding hole in the tensioner casting and you be laughin’. No more freaking if the breaker bar and the ½” x 3/8” adapter and socket is going to twist and come off the bolt pinching off a finger or two when the tensioner snaps back.
The new tensioner comes with a separate spacer to move the assembly away from the alternator cooling fan. However the old bolt holding the assembly doesn’t fit. The old allen head bolt is 10mm x 1.5 (thread) x 70mm. The new bolt is 10mm x 1,5 x 90mm hex head.
The new tensioner assembly is Lugger Number: RE518097-8
The spacer number is Lugger Number: R518210-8
The new bolt is 10mm x 1.5 x 90mm and is a hex head. There is a Lugger part number for the bolt but I don’t have it.
In the photograph the white tensioner assembly is the old unit facing as it does on the engine (pulley away from the engine) The new style light brown tensioner is as installed on the engine with the pulley facing the engine. The spacer is shown with the hook up but the spacer gets installed with the hook set into a hole in the front of the engine case.
When the assembly goes back together it will be obvious that the hook on the spacer fits into a hole in the face plate for the engine. The spacer back is marked OUT. One other thing that is super important to know is the face plate for the engine is ALUMINUM, not steel. So the bolt threads must be coated with Never Sez compatible with aluminum or Tef Gel. (We used Tef Gel) Also, you don’t have to over tighten the bolt. The guys at RPM Diesel in Ft Lauderdale where I bought the items and later returned for the longer bolt said they repair quite a few boats where the bolts were over tightened and stripped the threads. The only cure for stripped threads is drilling out the hole and inserting a heli-coil.
Next day. It seems to me that somewhere along the line I said; “To complete a task it always costs twice as much as you estimate and takes 3 times longer. Or perhaps it costs 3 times as much and takes 4 times longer”. If you didn’t skip the session on the Lugger serpentine belt tensioner you know we just changed it. Well, installing the tensioner, threading the belt thru the various pulleys and a perfect start up isn’t the end of the deal. You have to successfully install the upper molded plastic belt guard as well. The bottom guard was on when I did the start up but the top piece wasn’t so I could watch the pulleys and belt. The new tensioner works the same but it isn’t Exactly the same, particularly when a spacer is added and the recessed allen head bolt on the original tensioner is now an exposed hex bolt. So the trimming began. It took 8 versions to get it perfect. I didn’t want to remove any more material than was necessary. In the first photograph I filed a slot to let the shroud fit over the bolt head. Close but no cigar.The second photograph is attempt # 7 showing how much had to be cut away to make it fit without flexing the shroud and rubbing on the alternator cooling fan.The final cut, if you will, was cleaning up the shroud making the trimming smooth and transitional instead of the sharp cuts you see in the photograph. So now it’s perfect. It just took 2 partial days instead of 30 minutes. The good news was there was very little blood loss. In fact, just a few scratches. So that was good.
A special ordered 600’/188m spool of 5/16” Amsteel/Spectra line came in the other day from lewismarine.com to replace two of our three original shore lines. We took it to Rope Inc here in Ft Lauderdale for splicing. I asked them to cut the line in two 300’ pieces and add 4” spliced loops on all four ends. The splices were $20 USP each. The reason for splices is Amsteel/Spectra is difficult to tie knots that hold under pressure and with knots the line looses much of its strength. Amsteel floats, it doesn’t freeze like nylon and it is a bazillion pounds/kilos test. It is much easier to handle than the ¾” polypropylene we used for shore lines in the past. The storage space is about one third and the weight in the lazarette is negligible compared to the polypro.
We’ll list the entire set up for shore lines. We have done this before but it is worth showing again. Shore lines allow you to anchor in tight places where you don’t want to swing. We used shore lines in Sardinia, Turkey, Stewart Island, New Zealand, Nova Scotia and used them nearly daily for over a year in Argentina/Chile. We plan to use them quite a bit over the next couple years and it is why we upgraded to the lightweight shore lines.
In this photo you can see the shore end of the shoreline set up and both bags containing 300’ of flaked line. We attach a large stainless steel shackle to the spliced loop in the line. On one side of the shackle pin is a thimble attaching one end of a 30’ piece of 5/16” 7 x 19 stainless steel cable. Attached to the other side of the shackle pin is a large snap shackle.
The shore line procedure from beginning to end is:
Launch the dinghy while drifting in a wide open place near where you intend to anchor.
Tie the dink tight enough to the transom/swim platform so the prop can’t suck up the dinghy line.
Drop the anchor and back it in.
One person needs to be at the helm to hold station while the shore lines are set.
Put the stainless cable in the dink and about 20’ of shore line.
Cleat the shoreline off to the 10” nylon cleat you mounted to the INSIDE* the dink’s transom. This frees up a hand. *the side opposite where you sit.
Beat feet for shore heading to the windward side first.
Just before landing, throw a small grapnel (fixed, not folding) ashore anywhere. It doesn’t have to be set and can be thrown onto a beach or into the vegetation beyond the beach.
Sea boots/Wellies allow you to step into the water before the dink lands ashore. This is a big plus when the shoreline is covered with mussels like in Chile.
Unwrap the line from the transom cleat and head ashore with the stainless cable.
Pass the cable around a tree or a large rock and snap the loose end into the snap shackle.
Whoever is on the boat takes up the slack and cleats it off.
Repeat on the downwind side.
Adjust the lines and you be laughin’.
(The shorelines should be deployed in a V behind the boat.)
To retrieve the lines, remove the lee – downwind line first then the upwind side. If the cable is around a tree, most times you don’t have to land the dink. Just unsnap the cable end from the snap shackle and pull it back to the dink. If the cable is around a rock it will rarely come free without going ashore. If there is no wind or current you can lift the dink before pulling the anchor. If not, raise the anchor and head for open water to lift the dink.
It is very difficult for one person to set shorelines in anything but perfect conditions with a large center console dink. Even on a boat as small as Egret there is enough room to carry two dinks. The best size for a small second dink is 9’ (not 8 ½’ or smaller). Any two stroke engine will do except a toy 2hp. We used a 8hp Yamadog 2 stroke with the small dink everywhere but New Zealand where we switched to a 3hp to save weight and ease of use. We kept the 8hp as a spare. In my opinion, the best 9’ dink is an AB lightweight aluminum bottom inflatable. There is an upgraded 9’ available with a fixed floor but it costs and weighs a bit more but it would also work well. Egret’s ‘large’ dink is a 10’ AB inflatable with the optional floor and a 15hp 2 stroke Yamadog (bought in Nassau, Bahamas). In case you’re wondering, there is a VERY BIG difference between a 9’ and a 10’ AB inflatable. Another point to make is Egret now carries two aluminum bottom dingys; one from New Zealand and the 10’ AB we mentioned. While in Chile we used a 9’ inexpensive roll up dinghy with wood floors and it worked well.
The reason for a 9’ dink and an engine that starts quickly every time is speed to deploy the windward shore line. A larger dink is sluggish and harder to handle. We have been places when seconds counted. I know it is hard to visualize but it is Very True.
*Don’t Even Think about coiling the lines OR deploying shore lines thru a hawse pipe. The line must be deployed from a flaked bag over the transom cap rail*. Coiled lines Never run free and when they stuff up inside a hawse pipe, you won’t be laughin’. Of course when it does stuff and it will it will be freak out city because the wind will be whipping and if the Admiral is having a hard time holding station it will be getting grim fast and she won’t be happy and if she isn’t happy you won’t be so just do what we said and you be laughin’ and a very cool dude with everyone watching and your precious will be all tucked in snuggy wuggy.
*After making fast to shore, the quickly secured lines over the cap rail can be loosened and fed thru the hawse pipe in the transom.
Of course I have to pass this along. MS (My Sweetie for you newbies) decided this evening to help and coil the new lines so we could flake them into canvas bags so they won’t tangle when deployed. She wrapped them between two cleats but she didn’t leave enough slack to lift them over the ends of the cleats so now it is dumb attack city and she has to start over.
So we both had dumb attacks today. She with the line and me with the tensioner antics. And don’t think for a minute that you won’t have the same attacks. You will. Lotsofem’.
The balance of this VofE posting is VERY IMPORTANT. It could change your life.
Now let’s talk about something that is close to my heart and should be yours if you are in the market for a smaller new build N. The N folks just released a preliminary drawing of the replacement for the N46; the worlds best small sea boat that has proven itself time and time again. I started campaigning for the N46 replacement back in January, 2007 when Jim Leishman was trapped aboard Egret for three weeks down in South America. I have made several runs since at PAE to build this boat including offering to buy one. For a number of reasons it didn’t come to pass until now.
Jeff Leishman penned a low profile N49 that can be seen on the N website. I’ll buy the profile in spades but some things need tweaking. Before we get started with the features let’s revisit some truths of sea boats. Every boat is a compromise. If you want ultimate efficiency, flatten out the bottom and build it light. However, it will be a pounder. If you want more volume for living and relative efficiency, build it taller and light. This too will pound. If you want more volume and comfort, build it taller and heavy. If you want more efficiency and more sea kindly, build a low profile, relatively narrow heavy boat. Egret is the latter and she has NEVER pounded no matter what the seas. We had boats in the past that pounded and they wear you out. Stretch this over days, not hours, and you are exhausted. Not good. However, to make Egret even better, stretch the waterline and keep it heavy. This is what Jeff did and did it very well.
One thing interesting up front is the draft is just under 6’ instead of the normal N46 draft of 5’ 5” or 6”. This is a big plus because the extra draft gives more directional stability and less rolling in beam seas. If anyone is wondering why I applaud the extra draft in addition to what I wrote above has to understand once you have owned a keel cooled, wide keel boat like Egret you have zero fear of running aground. (Egret and other N’s are built in 2 piece molds. When the two halves are married at the centerline, the overlapping fiberglass becomes inches thick. I imagine Egret’s keel is at least 2.5” thick if not more.)
Another design feature I like is the tapered aft section and squared off transom. A squared off transom isn’t as efficient as a rounded transom but with the additional volume you can add fuel. Around 1450 U.S. Gallons would be perfect. The squared transom also gives better pitch control and the N49’s extra waterline length will span the waves better. The N49’s aft section and transom are a combination of the best of both worlds. Longer length means extra storage and that would be a big plus as well.
This is what the N49 should have to be the new world’s best small sea boat.
The N49 should retain the N46’s 15.5’ beam to be super efficient and not to buoyant. Even with the additional weight, the N49’s efficiency might even surpass the N46, particularly going up sea.
The N49 should have a midship master with the stairwell leading down from the pilothouse like the N47. At the landing turn aft to the master and forward to the guest. Egret’s midship master is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter because of the extra insulation from the pilothouse and flybridge top.
A simple flybridge option is something we would desire. It would be a console similar to a largish center console outboard fishing boat cut down to seating height. Stainless rails would run down both sides of the pilothouse roof around the brow to the console. Simple sumbrella spray cloths could be lashed to the rails for a sense of closure and removed for less windage at sea. This, coupled with a lightweight bimini top would add no appreciable weight or windage. Mary and I do most of our reasonable weather entertaining in the flybridge. Occasional big groups flow back to the boat deck with both dinks overboard. Realistically, most guests are sailors and they Love being high where they can see. As you know, meeting other cruisers is a big part of what we enjoy. Every long distance cruiser will tell you the same.
Unlike the preliminary drawing, there should be a set of molded stairs to the flybridge on the port side similar to the N46 instead of a cockpit stair entrance.
Room has to be found for a separate washer and dryer.
As a perfectionist I would move the windlass farther aft to keep the windlass and chain weight farther aft for a better ride.
If the engine room isn’t full standup it doesn’t matter. Give me low profile any day for a small sea boat. We learned how to maintain Egret’s engine room by using the three openings; the engine room door in the master, a salon hatch to service the service side of the engine and access to the dual Racor filters and circ filter, and the 4 large hatches in the aft part of the salon giving access to the wing and generator. One big advantage of this set up, is under way we can do a 90% engine room check by opening the single hatch in the salon using a flashlight with the engine room lights off. The only thing we check THRU the engine room door is the vacuum gauge on the Racors. Vacuum doesn’t climb rapidly so we don’t have to wake the off watch at night by opening the engine room door. The vacuum can be checked first thing in the morning, during the day and in the evening before the off watch goes to bed. Otherwise we turn on the engine room lights and check the stack cooling fan thru the clear double pane view port without opening the door. Only twice EVER did we have to enter the engine room at night to fix a problem that couldn’t wait until morning and both of those were the same night. The problem we had, you won’t. The Racor elements can be changed at will during the day.
The N49 is a real winner in my opinion and is on line to become the new world’s best small sea boat. We would love to have one if the major items we mentioned would come to be. Of course then I would have a couple pages of finer personal details but the big items are the important ones. After a few months pounding out the coastal miles on shake down I know Just The Place we would like to take her. It would be Wild!!
So it’s up to you. If it is near Your Time, sign up for the updates and see where it leads. Or better yet, pick up the phone. You never know. You could hit the jackpot.
Later. I’m sure what prompted PAE to offer two new smaller designs including our favorite we just mentioned (the other is a twin engine – aft pilothouse 54/56), is the Boomers that are Dreamers are getting to the stage in life where they have to make a decision whether to Live or Wonder. I was born during The War – near the end fortunately – but most Boomers were born sometime later. I imagine most folks that follow VofE are in the latter Boomer group or a little younger. 911 changed the way many Americans think including other nationalities as well. This group went from excess to thinking about the quality of life instead of more. I know 911 was a factor in what Mary and I chose to do. Then came 2008 when the house of cards fell and dashed many folk’s plans. However, time marches on, things have gotten more stable and the mom and pop Boomers are picking up the phone because they chose to Live. And Jeff inked our dreamboat.
April 1, 2013
Position: Marina Queen, Ft Lauderdale living on the BFYC
Hello mis amigos, there is something I have been meaning to mention. On the N.com, VofE site there is a problem with the Forum* portion where you could write in and ask a question and I would reply. The account where the Forum questions go has been hacked or whacked and is continually full of spam. If you have written a question in the past months, we have not received it and why there hasn’t been a reply. While we are at it, on the N home page there is a Voyage of Egret Updates bar to click so if you haven’t requested the updates and would like to receive the postings as they are posted it is a lot simpler than continually checking the home page. The same goes for N. Brokerage. You may sign up for both at the same time. No problem, no obligation.
*Over the years there has been quite a few good questions asked by readers and you may have some of the same. It would be worthwhile to check out the Forum questions and answers if you are just getting started.
Early this morning the water pump went off when the fresh water flush head in the forward stateroom was flushed. The pump ran like its usual self but then progressed to a low hum and I knew it wasn’t pumping. Empty tank. Bummer. So I put on a pair of shorts and turned off the water pump breaker in the pilothouse and went outside to fill the tank. Of course it was in the mid 40’s at 0400 here in sunny Florida. It took a while to fill 200 gallons/760ltrs so I sat up and waited. The reason I mentioned this is because when the fresh water pump – pumps itself dry it takes a while to prime and there is an easy way to help it along. While filling the tank with dock water, when the water starts boiling out of the fill it puts a slight positive pressure on the water tank. Turn the water pump breaker back on and open the faucet, or faucet near the toilet in this case and the pump will soon begin pumping. After the stream gets stronger close the faucet and the pump will cycle and stop. After, it is best to flush the toilet (assuming you have fresh water flush toilets) to purge the air. With the faucets closed, particularly if the outlet ran dry far from the water pressure pump it may not prime because the pump is trying to compress the air in the lines and many times it can’t.
This is the simple cure while on dock water and it usually works. In our case with guests in the forward stateroom we had to wait until they were up in the morning to crack the faucet and prime the system. It wouldn’t prime with just the positive pressure from the dock water hose because of all the air in the line.
If you run out of water on anchor and have a water maker there is a similar fix. Egret has a stainless steel water manifold with 4 inlets/outlets with valves. One is water to and from* the water tank, a second is water out to the fresh water pump and in Egret’s case the third is water maker water in. The fourth is a spare and plugged. To prime the system using the water maker, start the generator and let it run a bit to get some heat in the system, then switch it to Ship Power and bring the water maker on line. After the watermaker has been running for a hour or so putting in 25 gallons (in Egret’s case), then shut the valve to the fresh water tank to prime the fresh water pump with water maker water after turning on the fresh water pump at the breaker. It may take a minute or more for the water maker water to reach the pump and fill the empty water line. When water starts pumping out the sink faucet, close the faucet and open the valve to the water tank and the pump should be prime (the pump should not be turned off during the purging). If not, repeat the same sequence and be sure to not allow the water maker to pump to the fresh water pump with the pump not running. Most fresh water pumps have a severe restriction on the intake side if it is not running so if you run too much pressure against the pump with the pump not running, the water maker could burst a hose. Once the pump is primed it will hold its prime and you be laughin’ (Ozzie speak)
*When water is flowing TO the fresh water tank it is from the water maker and FROM the fresh water tank is thru the manifold to the fresh water pump.
Every year or three I mention this but the information never gets dated. Over the VofE years there is a lot of technical information we have shared. This information comes from my former vocation as well as what we learned during the Egret years. Over a period of lazy, snowy, rainy, or whatever days, if you took the time to very quickly scan each VofE posting for technical information and printed each one and even catalogued the topics for future reference, I believe you would be surprised how much this would help with real life situations and resolutions during your boating years. If you are driven by saving money, saving blood, saving time, curiosity, independence or even saving your transom in a far away place, this information is priceless. Most of it we learned by doing and of course by paying because we didn’t know how to fix whatever or goofed it up ourselves. But we learned and shared what we learned or knew and the information is accurate. If you think these situations won’t happen to you over time, well mi amigo, think again.
The good news is there is nothing to be afraid of and don’t think you can’t do it if you give it a chance and a bit of common sense. There are many tens of thousands of boaters who preceded all of us and I imagine a very small portion of those were mechanics by profession. They all learned just as I did and you will. So give yourself the information we didn’t have to help you thru the learning curve.
We generally don’t read other boat’s blogs, not because we aren’t interested but because we spend a bit of time on VofE and that’s enough time away from playing. However, I was rooting around and came across another N 46 blog (Emily Grace). It is super worthwhile, and it’s a Boat Kid blog. Emily Grace’s latest posting is from St Helena Island, way south in the Atlantic, and prior to that from Namibia (Africa). Their next stop will be Brazil so this family is Doing The Deal big time. Oh, ho hum. Another Atlantic crossing by a N46. And the Indian Ocean. And the Pacific. firstname.lastname@example.org/
“I created this site to keep in touch with Earthlings left to toil behind at the various Penny Factories while they save up for their particular dreams. My dream is living aboard with my two favorite women and seeing a bit of this world”. Emily Grace has been under way and posting their adventures since July, 2008. Check it out.
Hummm, lets think about this. Emily Grace is N46 #20. If I’m not mistaken, N46 Envoy is #19. Envoy crossed the Atlantic with the NAR and is still cruising the Mediterranean with different owners. Salvation II is #10 and the first N to circumnavigate and still cruising. And so on. There are a few N46’s in brokerage. Each and every one is certainly capable of crossing an ocean after a check up. N46 Stachmo (#65) also crossed with the NAR and is available in Florida. With the price of new boats these days it is now cost effective to retrofit a N46 paravane boat with Naiad’s or Tracs and there is a late model flybridge paravane candidate in Dana Point brokerage. So if you are in the market for a smaller boat, take a good look at N46’s because as you know they are super sea boats and will take you safely anywhere you may dream of going and the price is right. And if you choose not to cross an ocean, you still have a very, very good boat you can be proud of.
Later. Did we hit the N46 timing jackpot or what? A friend called who has their 2002 N46 at a Florida marina overnight and guess what? Anita Cay is N46-82 – the last one built. Berthed next to Anita Cay is Frog Kiss – N46-01, the first one built. JENNY, INSERT PHOTO KAL BLUMBERG SENT HERE. (Frog Kiss at first glance appears to be a flybridge boat. It isn’t.) Is that wild or what? Lotsa history here and in between folks. Can you imagine the cumulative N46 miles between #1 and #82? It has to be easily over 1,500,000 nautical miles and perhaps over 2,000,000 nautical miles. To my knowledge every one of those 81* boats completed their intended voyage safely. Pretty good record, eh?
*PAE skips hull number 13.
Eleven years ago today (April 1st, 2002*), Mary and I retired and left for the rest of our lives. What a wild ride! We still can’t believe our good luck** to do what we did, when we did. All we gave up was more money and more things. So what? I could dwell on every aspect but I won’t. We’ll be content to let your imaginations run free to make your choice. Its sorta best to choose well. Choosing poorly is a bummer. Oh well, there’s always TV and Facebook.
*We took delivery of Egret August 6th, 2001 – eight months prior and have been full time liveaboards since.
There is one interesting observation we will share. On April 1st, 2002, we moved Egret to Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Ft Lauderdale specifically to invite our business associates, Mary’s and mine as well as our long time friends. We did this on three consecutive evenings and left the morning of April 4th, headed for the Chesapeake.
We invited Mary’s group first. As a bit of background, Mary’s retirement party was filled to overflowing with virtually every person she worked with and invited guests. This was a moving tribute to Mary’s physical therapy work with children afflicted by Cerebral Palsy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house including the other diners at the restaurant and wait staff after a few of the kids put on skits or a little speech.
The only therapy staff that came to the boat for Egret’s send off was close friends and most likely those out of obligation. Same for my former associates. More family friends outside of work came the third evening to share our enthusiasm but only one was really interested in doing it themselves. That one has Done The Deal and is Doing the Deal.
What I’m getting at is you should congratulate yourselves for already Doing the Deal or by Dreaming and hoping to Do The Deal in the future. You are among a very small group who dare to be different and think outside the boring norm.
**our good luck. Actually, you make your own luck.
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.