"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 intouch 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 areover…fornow.“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 withthe Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat,sometimes not.Here, the latestupdate from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
March 23, 2015
Position: 38 57.25N 109 54.97W Somewhere near Moab, Utah
Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew is on their western swing. However, lets back up a bit and wrap up the details on leaving our precious in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
It was a scramble to get Egret ready to leave for a few months. We did a final wash, a final bilge clean, a final interior cleaning and emptied the fridge and freezer. Emptying things always makes someone happy and in this case it was the dockmaster. We have a boat washer lined up and cash left with the dockmaster. We doubled all the lines and put out extra fenders. The night before we left we pulled Egret off the dock and suspended her between the piling, cleats and the dock.
Here’s a little techno about the docklines. For securing the boat there are 3 large cleats and 3 pilings. The stern pilings has crossed lines and the side piling has double aft spring lines. The cleat on the dock is for an aft spring. The two cleats off the bow are doubled. We use 10,000lb test Samson Yacht Braid for docklines. The lines are tied with slight differences in tension so the pull is progressive. The docklines for all three cleats have chafe protection. The aft spring has a towel wrapped in multiple layers ty wrapped where it can chafe. The two forward lines have nylon straps with leather sewed on both sides. The bulletproof straps have served well over the years. They are a lightweight alternative to short lengths of chain. You can see them in the photos. Also see how we ran the line over the top of the cleat keeping it off the concrete.
Here is where the straps came from. If you have chafe straps made, I would recommend 6’ lengths, not 4’ like ours. The extra 2’ would have helped in Barcelona during the winter. In that particular case we had to use 6’ lengths of chain to eliminate chafe. Nylon straps are lighter and much easier to store than chain. Stitched leather outer guards are a belts and suspenders approach.
2349 STIRLING RD
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33312-6608 | view map
I can’t emphasize the need for general chafe protection enough. Here are a couple examples. We anchored in Tonga in calm weather with no weather expected. Within a couple hours it began to blow. Egret was anchored well outside any land protection to stay away from bugs. There was an immediate chop and she began pitching. When we anchored, the snubber chafe guard went over the bow roller instead of half way. I was lazy and didn’t bring the chain loop and snubber back in and re-tie the snubber. Within minutes the 5/8” nylon snubber chafed thru because the anchor chain came up short wrapped around boomies. MINUTES! We had zero wear on any snubber before or since.
Another time we were towing a flats boat behind our Grand Banks. It was super rough and instead of the usual Kevlar tow bridle (shoemaker’s shoes syndrome) we used a short length of ½” nylon. Of course the towline chafed thru a number of times turning the skiff loose in rough seas to gather back up and re-rig for towing. (That’s a story in itself.) In the end we sorted that issue with a shackle to the bridle but the next problem was chafe of the towline thru a hawse pipe as the skiff surged in the waves. Clear hose chafe guard melted within minutes by stretching and relaxing of the tow line*. Nylon line generates a ton of heat in situations like this. A la-di-da store bought chafe guard lasted no longer. What did work was a baby diaper used for cleaning rolled around the towline and tied in place holding the tow line off the hawse pipe. The diaper was continually soaked in sea water and over the next 8 hours or so it took the stretching of the towline without any degradation.
*While we are bored in a motel room lets talk about the way to tow a large dinghy or a flats skiff for a long distance that works. First, the proper way to tow a dinghy or a skiff is NOT from the bow eye, particularly from a relatively slow boat like a trawler. In following seas the dink or skiff isn’t directional and it will overrun the towline into a possible broach and certainly a heavy jerk each time this happens. The proper way is to have towing eyes installed on the side of the dink or skiff. On a skiff the towing eye is placed above the chine at the turn aft (roughly ¼ of the way aft). The tow bridle lines compliment each other and there isn’t any wandering with a bridle from the sides meeting a tow line.
Towing can be easy or a pain. The pain way is to have a fixed line off a stern hawse pipe or a stern cleat. This means the dink/skiff is off-center and it gets tangled in the wake. The easy way is to have a fixed line to a large sailboat block adjusted where it rides on centerline just aft of a swim platform or where the block can’t drop below the transom. The long line can be pulled tight for towing in a confined area or let back to ride on a back of a wave at sea. We have towed hundreds of miles like this and skiffs we sold as tenders to sport fish have been towed thousands of miles including across the Caribbean sea from Puerto Rico 525nm to Los Rocas off the coast of Venezuela. For docking just pull the dink or skiff tight to the hip on the outboard side and dock away for fuel or whatever.
OK, so much for leaving Egret. Like last year we have begun a west coast swing. It began with a stop at Mary’s brother’s house then off to Scott Jr’s and his family. The little guy is growing up and its fun to see.
From there it was off to New Orleans and a visit with cruising folks Bill and Ellen Baine who were aboard N46 Satchmo on the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. Post rally, B&E spent 7 years in the Mediteranean, mostly full time. Bill is in the process of sorting a jillion photographs from thoseyears into albums. As a first step they traced their major travels on a topographical map of the Med and had it printed on aluminum. I saw the map briefly but one thing I remember is they circumnavigated Sicily 4 times. B&E did the Med RIGHT.
It rained during our New Orleans visit but between breaks we took a walk with Bill to a local park and took a few snaps.
After leaving B&E’s we headed west driving thru 2 days of rain and 3 days of Texas. One night we stopped in the one street town of Van Horn. The town reminded us of much of Route 66 farther north. After dinner we wandered around a defunct 50’s motel. Also there was a Texas cruiser complete with a rumble seat nearby.
Tonight we are anchored in a suburb of Tucson, Arizona. We’ll spend a few days locally with boaters who are skilled photographers then we’ll head north to Moab, Utah and pick up Bubba (the bubba truck camper). Bubba has been in under cover storage in Moab since we left last June to fly back to Iceland and return with Egret.
OK, we haven’t written for a bit. We’re now anchored in Moab, Utah. The past two days have been spent on the trail. Here’s a couple snaps from today.
The next few months won’t have much to do with boating. We’ll have boating things from time to time as they pop up, but these few months will spent out west unless of course a smart couple decide to change their lives and sail away with Egret. Just think, they could be in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or Maine by July 1st and have the rest of the summer to play. Think about That.
Egret is listed for sale on the PAE website. Her details are shown along with photos and the price. Take a look if you are interested in a VERY GOOD boat at a great price.
March 2, 2015
Position: Under way at sea to Egret’s berth for the next few months.
Hello mis amigos, Egret has been in the boatyard for the past days getting her annual bottom maintenance. To date we have applied 2 coats of Interlux Micron Extra green, changed the zincs, are replacing the Naiad seals and the cutless bearing for the wing. The cutless would have gone another couple years with little use but if we needed it for a long run – good enough wasn’t good enough. The cutless for the main is original. We have hauled a spare since day one but it has never been needed. That says a lot for the engine stringers, mounts and alignment.
The wing has very few hours as nearly every wing. During our first year cruising we attended a Cruisers Reunion in Baltimore. The single most important thing we took from that event was sage advise from a Yanmar tech who said “if you don’t run your ‘wing’ two hours under load at least once a month you will see me”. So we have since. We have only used the wing as a wing for 15nm or so in these past years. I won’t go into it but I made a mistake, backed over the dinghy painter and seized the main shaft. I believe the wing cutless wear came from something we learned along the way. At times when you run the wing for it’s monthly run-up, slow and pull it out of gear to cool before shutting down, the prop doesn’t collapse and keeps turning even with the engine not running. When you resume speed with the main it still turns and sorta flops around which is hard on the cutless bearing. I saw the wing jumping once on an engine check and knew immediately what it was. We restarted the wing, put it in gear, back to neutral and then reverse and back to neutral once we slowed the boat. This folds the blades together and off you go. To keep it from happening again we marked the shaft coupling top and bottom with the blades vertical. Now after we run the wing and stop for the day we turn the mark to vertical then take a short piece of ¼” line and tie a couple hitches around the coupling to keep the shaft from turning. This way the prop doesn’t turn and drag the lower blade, which happens every time you don’t secure the shaft.
To make the securing line more clear, the line is permanently attached on the outboard side. The loose end is wrapped around the coupling in 2 hitches then secured on the inboard side. It just takes a minute then you aren’t dragging the blade. Of course if you need the wing, the line must be untied before you can put the wing in gear.
Mary did her usual great job. Twice the yard owner said he needs to bring his wife by to see Mary work. Of course he took the smart way out and didn’t. It’s easier. (I was going to include a picture of Mary here but she didn’t look like her usual beautiful self so I didn’t in fact she looked like an alien with her mask and paint coated hat and a dirty face and a ‘you gotta be kidding’ expression when I appeared with a camera which reminds me of the time I took a great picture of her with a huge dolphin that must have weighed at least 75lbs but she was wearing pretty crummy boat clothes that no one sees and her hair was a fright so as a fisherman I was thrilled but guess who wasn’t so no one has seen the fish picture or will see the alien picture.)
Mary usually cleans and paints the underwater gear and the bow thruster but not the main prop. This time she painted the main prop as well. Of course she did it perfect and brushed the direction the wheel turns. A broker stopped by to take pictures and Mary had just finished doing the stainless Under the swim platform only seen by divers and fish. Of course fish aren’t particularly happy to see the swim platform’s underside because if they are a tasty fish the next thing they see is bright sunshine soon followed by pearly gates and lotsa clouds.
My job is to paint the bottom and change zincs. This time I buffed and waxed the lower portion of the hull we couldn’t reach buffing from the skiff in the Keys. It’s a sad fact of boating life but many folks treat their boats like a summer cabin. When It’s Time the boat gets a quickie fluff and puff and she goes on the market. A slimedog yacht broker f&p trick is to pay a dockie for a quick buff and wax. Because the dockie is getting paid as little as possible by the broker they know the deal and mix wax with the compound for a quick one-pass shine that never lasts. The oxidized gel coat isn’t removed and the wax shines for a short time until it is absorbed into the porous gel coat. Anyhow, we did 2 full passes with compound and a third when needed. Then Treewax paste wax on and off by hand. It’s a lot of work but it pays. Tomorrow is a lay day before the Naiad guys come back on Friday so we’ll put on a bit more wax.
A couple weeks after Egret goes overboard it will be time to head west. We’ll see our oldest son and family in Tallahassee on the way west along with friends here and there, and early April our youngest son and family from Thailand are arriving in Salt Lake City. We have rented a travel trailer to tow behind Bubba. We will spend 3 weeks together in Moab, Utah and another week in Buena Vista, Colorado before they return to Bangkok. We haven’t seen them in two years so it will be great fun. The LRP – Little Rice Picker – grandson is now 9 years old and nearly as tall as his mother. I suppose we’ll have to find something else to call him besides the LRP because he isn’t little anymore.
We heard from someone from California PAE’s office and he said the Miami Boat Show went very well. There is so much pent up demand, the Boomers are retiring by the tens of thousands and there is a lot to see and do for the few who dare to be different. The market is screaming hot so the timing is perfect to take a payday and treat yourself to The Life. I’m going to repeat something I read on a popular boating site; “Routine Is A Jail For Dreams”. That’s priceless and it is so true. You can’t imagine what we boaters see every day. I couldn’t imagine trying to fill my day with unimaginative busy work nonsense just to repeat it the next day. And the next, n, n, n, and so on.
A month or so ago we received an e-mail from N46 Starlett asking about something we wrote on VofE. Starlett wintered in the Red Sea spending a lot of time diving. The Red Sea may have the world’s best diving and certainly the world’s most remote diving. With all the nonsense going on in Yemen plus Somalia across the way we were super worried they were going to make a run for the Indian Ocean. Yesterday we received a second e-mail giving us their upcoming plans. Starlett will re-transit the Suez Canal and visit Israel, Turkey, the Aegean Greek Islands and beyond. So that’s good and safe. We’re happy for them. They have a lot to look forward to.
Today my job is to clean the dock boxes in the flybridge. We have three dock boxes plus a medium size fiberglass cooler. The big dock box is for cleaning and repair, one smaller is for bottom painting and misc paint supplies and the third is for fishing tackle. The cooler has miscellaneous bits plus outboard engine stuff. The large dock box is the main focus. It is full of treasures for ‘what if’ – ‘just in case’ plus the usual maintenance supplies. Its surprising over the years how much stuff you use if you do your own work, particularly if you head Out. For example, items like CRC Cleaner Degreaser spray we buy 3-4 at a time. The other day after we removed the Naiad seals on the stbd side I used a half can of Cleaner Degreaser to get the area perfect. It is as clean as the day it was assembled at the factory. This way nothing is left to chance when the silicone seal coated new shaft seals are installed. Silicone seal doesn’t stick to grease so there is a chance of seal failure if the surface isn’t totally clean and grease free. And so on.
Boat parts are interesting. Parts were my vocation for years so we got to see more than most. So let’s call parts ‘spares’ and take a quick look. If you are a dock weenie in a boating community, other than a few cleaning items you don’t need much in the way of repair items or spares because these are readily available. If you are a coastal cruising weenie in populated areas, you need perhaps 3 times more spares because you won’t have transportation and won’t be familiar with the area. If you are a Pacific North West cruiser, NZ, Australian or a western country European cruiser, you probably need 3 times the spares of a coastal cruiser weenie. In these areas parts are available some of the time – sorta. If you head Out, you need everything. By everything we mean everything. Let’s say Starlett’s drier belt took a powder while she was on anchor in the Red Sea. They probably have a spare as do we. We have used ours twice over the years and replaced it when we could. How about a watermaker membrane? Toilet parts, pump parts, sea strainer parts, standard cutless bearing in a metric country, and a long list after?
The far majority of Egret’s spares have been to help other cruisers. In a remote anchorage in Patagonia a sailboat engine’s fuel fitting and hose crumbled. It would have been near impossible to sail back to Ushuaia for a fitting and a short piece of hose. We had both in spares and within a short time they were up and running. Another time a cruiser needed an impeller and thought they had a spare. They didn’t, we did. And so on and on. When you NEED something you really, really need it. If it is in spares, no problem. Flying something into many countries is nearly impossible. So anyhow…………
All right, for those of you we slighted by calling a dock weenie or a coastal cruising weenie, Egret has been both since last September so chin up and dry your tears before they rot your deck shoes.
OK, the Naiad seals are done. In the end we called the Naiad guys because we couldn’t get a fin off with the mechanical tool. So they did the seals and checked things over. We needed one other part and once that was in we be laughin’. I left the waterline masking tape too long and it was a pain to remove after it rained overnight. The little lady sparkles and we’re anxious to get back overboard. The first thing we’ll do is head out to sea a few miles and flush the holding tank and run the wing to bed in the new cutless bearing. So tomorrow at 0800 she’ll be lifted and hang in the slings for an hour and a half while the touch-up paint dries. We’ll stay in Ft Lauderdale for a week or so then move Egret up the coast to her berth while we are away.
We have a couple interested in buying Egret and having her shipped to Victoria, British Columbia. In a way it’s good and in a way it’s kinda scary. This is a very big change in our personal direction but we’re moving along toward the change. We’ll probably know within a week or so how this unfolds.
One thing that is sorta personal is what do we do with the VofE blog? Eventually we will no longer have a Nordhavn so there really isn’t any reason for PAE to host the site. However I believe VofE as you know it will always be available on the PAE site for the next generations to study and benefit. The far majority of information will never be dated.
What’s interesting how many folks at the past two Trawlerfests ask we keep writing knowing Egret is for sale. Its almost as if VofE has become some type of inspiration for folks to do something out of the ordinary with their lives instead of the boring usual. We mentioned before our new mantra is Endless Way Cool. What this means is taking the very best time of year for different venues. Our thinking now is part-time boating with a new design, continuing the Jeeping and exploring and perhaps a small dirt dwelling to store our stuff somewhere out west and even sending Bubba here and there by container. Tied into everything is our evolving hobby of photography. We’re pretty excited about the package and something new to learn.
Anyhow, what do we do? We spend a fair bit of time putting VofE together and I really don’t want to try to figure out how to put up a website and all that technical stuff which I have no ability or interest or time. However, I would still like to write and indulge in an occasional rant. We’ll see when the time comes.
MS and I were sitting on the transom cap rail last night enjoying a splash of spirits. She told me to look at her stainless boarding hoop because she polished it along with the rest of the stainless. Of course she expected me to tell her it was a thing of great beauty and it is. So I did.
We added the hoop in Turkey where we had access to great stainless work at a reasonable price. Here’s the deal. First of all, a swim platform and a transom gate is a must even if you don’t swim. The reason is boarding from the dinghy. When its calm it is easy to board even if you are prematurely grey like ourselves. However, when it chops up and you are prematurely grey and not a gymnast, things change. People who think of themselves as cool undergo a transformation to way un-cool. Like cool quickly becomes replaced by survival and crawling and groping and getting wet and munching fingers and skinned knees and looking like a nummer just getting back aboard their precious. So a fun day exploring ashore or dinghy exploring quickly looses its luster if it’s a bash fest.
Enter the hoop. When its calm we turn the dink sideways to the swim platform and Mary grabs the hoop holding the dinghy painter. I reach over and grab the swim platform while I’m sitting and once Mary is out she holds the dink close to the platform with the line. Then I climb out. When it is choppy, I drive straight in keeping the hoop just to port and slowly ram the platform with the dinghy tube. The second we make contact, I give it some throttle and pin the dink against the platform and Mary grabs the hoop and climbs out holding the line. As soon as her weight is off the bow I chop the throttle and shut down the engine. She pulls the bow tight to the platform and I grab the hoop and pull myself aboard. Easy – peasy.
If we plan to leave again during the day we let the dink drift back perhaps 15’ and tie it off. If it’s the last run of the day, Mary leads the dink to the stbd side and waits for me to get up to the boat deck. She has the hook ready and once she tosses me the bow line she snaps the hook into the 3 point lifting harness and untwists the lifting line* (we use a double purchase block which halves the lift speed but also halves the load on the winch). I push down the lifting line to take up any slack and hit the controller to lift the dink. When the dink is even with the cap rail we stop and Mary cleats off the dinghy stern line to the small sailboat winch on the transom cap rail and I cleat off the bow line to a boat deck rail cleat. When its super windy we add a 3d line to the bow eye and tie it tight so it can’t move. Lifting the dinghy at least part way at night eliminates the chance of theft but also keeps it out of the way. Also, if you have to move at night for any reason the dinghy is secure and not a problem.
*Years ago we changed from stainless steel lifting wire to 5/16” Spectra type line. It is much stronger but it also doesn’t have little hockles that stick out to give you a nasty surprise. A stainless steel wire cut is like a paper cut on steroids.
I was working on this VofE one morning while MS was enjoying her coffee in bed. It was after sunrise and the canal was calm. The reflection of a neighbor’s house was shot out the pilothouse door.
Those of you that have read VofE for any length of time are well acquainted with Dickiedoo – Dick Anderson from New Zealand. Yesterday was D Doo’s birthday so we celebrated with friends and had lamb in his honor. Along with the lamb, Mary had ‘Kiwi after shave’, mint sauce. Dick has been busy at home with projects. One project was a new car he built on a late 20’s Austin 7 frame into a real showpiece with a hand-made body.
We met Tut and Eddie, on left in the photo, our first year cruising. We were together in the Bahamas and later in the Dominican Republic for a few weeks. T&E went on to the Caribbean and stayed here and there for years then returned to the U.S. about the same time as Egret. The people on the right in the photo are our friends Kal and Anita with their Boat Kid, Eileen. K&A have their house for sale and plan to move aboard N46 Anita Cay. Unfortunately Kal is still working. Bummer.
We did wing sea trials for someone who asked. They requested a photo of a track of hard to stbd then hard to port turns running on the wing only. Quite honestly we have never done this and didn’t know what to expect. We took a few photos to scale the turn before we got offshore. It was calm with little current but what we didn’t expect was the wing to turn within a circle of 1 ½ boat lengths in either direction. Here’s a snap of the turns. We ran 360 degrees to stbd twice then one 360 to port. So now you know.
A couple more days have passed and between play we have been putzing on the little lady. The bilge is spotless. From time to time we put a heavy slug of cleaner in the bilge and let it slosh around while we are offshore. We did this the other day while on wing sea trials. It was calm but there were a few boat wakes that stirred the bilge. With that pumped overboard we turned the small bilge pump to manual and pumped out every drop we could. Next we shop-vac’d the remainder of the water and any fuzz from the bilge. With the recent heat and condensation from the air conditioner we had a little fresh water bloom to get rid of.
Incidentally, here’s a little tip. We turned off the small bilge pump when we began and used the high water bilge pump to cycle the bloom thru so there was no strainer involved. When we blasted the area around the high water bilge pump with a garden hose it created a lot of bubbles and air-locked the pump (so it spun and didn’t pump). If you turn the high pump off for a bit and turn it back on the air is bled off and it pumps again.
Anyhow the bilge is spotless.
Next was the big dink. We let it run on the hose muffs for 5 minutes or so at fast idle until the discharge water was warm. Then we disconnected the fuel hose and let it run out of fuel. To keep things perfect and not be lazy we removed the carburetor and took it apart. Sure enough there was a small piece of gelatinous goo in the bottom of the float bowl. The goo was large enough to eventually fuel starve the low speed jet. We cleaned the float bowl and removed and cleaned the jets. We have described this before with pictures in previous VofE’s so we won’t repeat it here. In the end we put it back together after draining the under-cowl fuel filter and draining the fuel lines to the carb. The dink engine is perfect so when we return it will run like new.
After cleaning the dink’s tubes and interior we put the cover on and strapped it down.
We did the same to the small dink some time ago so when we decide to use it, all it needs is fuel and it will be ready.
While we were putzing I took a look at the bow thruster. Every now and again it would hesitate when we hit the lever. I had Mary run it while I watched from above. (The bow thruster motor is under a hatch in the forward head). I saw a tiny spark and told her to stop. It was a loose bolt on one of the two aluminum fuse links from the solenoid block to the motor. 2 minutes later with a 13mm wrench it was perfect once again.
Today we drove north to Egret’s home for the next few months while we are out west. The dockmaster, Rob, is a good guy with a lot of boating history. We feel good about leaving it at Cypress Island Marina in Palm Beach Gardens. As luck would have it, it is listed as a Lloyds hurricane hole so if you would like to leave your precious in Florida during hurricane season, this is a perfect place. The dockmaster’s office number is 561 626-1792 email@example.com
The dockmaster is a Jeeper so we talked about that for a while. Speaking of Jeeps, Gracie has new wheels and tires. Within a few weeks she will be Way Bad. Hummm, let’s see. Wheels and tires…….done. Lift……..done. Passenger compartment roll bar, rock rails for the sides and oil pan armor will be done in Moab, Utah after we arrive. The parts are waiting.
Egret’s last boating for a bit will be the run up the coast to West Palm Beach inlet then north for a ways. We have a high tide on Monday morning (this is being written on Friday the 27th of Feb) so we’ll leave super early and head offshore to fish the way north riding the Gulfstream. After a few frantic days shuttling cars, etc., we begin the trek west visiting family and friends.
The plan now is to return to Egret in late April after our youngest son and his family return back to Thailand. That’s the plan but who really knows? Egret is for sale and perhaps a very smart person will step forward between now and then. She will change their lives as it did ours.
We’ll leave you with a little local color.
Egret is listed for sale on the PAE website. Her details are shown along with photos and the price. Take a look if you are interested in a VERY GOOD boat at a great price.
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.