"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 documents 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.
Date: November 6, 2008
Boat location: Opua, New Zealand
Scott and Mary's location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Crikey dix mis amigos, enough is enough. Lets take the time to
address this ongoing money deal as a couple of mom and pop cruisers see
it. First let us explain we know little about the who done who but go
from mountain top to mountain top of information. It is easier that
way. Because we are so removed and not being bombarded by the sellers
of news on top of their game perhaps we can sit back and look at tings
objectively. The world isn't going to end. We all have less than
before. Prices will fall because if they don't few will be buying.
This too shall pass. Life goes on but it up to us to see what 'life'
is. We can wring our hands, donate a bit of stomach lining OR we can
be cool, slow down and let this pass. How we let this pass is up to
us all. I will tell you candidly exactly what we did - for what it's
worth (probably not much, however it is our plan). We did our major
purchasing while the USP is strong here in New Zealand. We wired in a
modest amount of USP to live on for the next year. This account not
only gives us a substantial exchange rate bonus up front but also pays
6.95% on the savings account that feeds the daily account. Not bad
for tough times. So we'll cruise as planned, take it easy on spending
and will take a look in another year at what is going on with pesos.
In the meantime we will have had another great year.
All this while some dirt dwelling amigos are addicted to information
hacks broadcasting doom and gloom (what sells).
Hummmm, lets see, indescribable landscape, royal albatrosses, superb
fishing, hiking, great cruising buddies and local countryman, a bit of
adventure OR we can watch the boob tube and drink Pepto Bismol
cocktails. The choice is yours. You get the picture.
What prompted this tirade is a recent Forum request from a UK resident
who has written a few times to the VofE Forum before. What does this
have to do with the economy and wave bashing? Quite a lot.
Zip: tq2 5tn
Questions: Congratulations. A fantastic climax. However, the timing
of your success runs parallel to my 'dream' fading.
The Global financial
problems have resulted in Sterling falling badly against the dollar,
effectively putting up the price of my dream 52 by 25%. I was
dreaming for too long. So for me it's probably goodbye to a Nordhavn
hello. At least for the time being, and with advancing years the
dream becomes less likely to become reality. However, I look forward
to reading more of your travels as they unfold. Take care......
Thank you, but first its not a climax. We're just getting>
started. More importantly, slow down to 7 knots and take the time to
rethink your dream. The N52 would be our choice in the next boat up
in size from Egret. However, it is just a boat. There are less
expensive N alternatives for well less than 25% of a fully outfitted
N52. A used N47, 43 or 40 would be available immediately and would
preclude the time of new build wait and commissioning. You would gain
a full year or more and would still see exactly the same sights,
safely and in comfort. You could be cruising within a month! The
whole world has lost money including ourselves. Lots of money to us.
Investing in a boat is another way of storing money if you choose
wisely. It is not lost. Your interest is buying dreams. Priceless.
But as you pointed out the clock is ticking for us all. We're not
stopping. We could have less ashore or afloat. You know our choice.
My advice to you would be call Southampton. Do the deal.
Perhaps not the same deal but a deal that works for you and get on
with your dreams. If we all rebound in a few years and you still want
your 52, go for it. But think what you have seen and done in the
interim. In the meantime; tick, tick, tick.......you get the picture.
We had a great flight to Ft Lauderdale, recovered quickly and were
looking forward to the boat show. For the first time we have seen and
heard the gloom and doom virtually the rest of the informed world has
been subjected to in the past weeks. I have to admit the written
media we have been exposed to is depressing. Neither Mary nor I have
watched TV and won't allow ourselves to be sucked into that depression
as well. I'll stand on what we wrote above because in the big picture
I still believe it to be so.
Arriving at the show I ran into a number of formerlife associates
still in the industry. Without exception they rattled off depressing
figures of industry layoff's and boat plant closings. However I will
say I have seen this before during different crisises where the weak,
underfunded or bottom end builders don't make it. As before, the cream
rises to the top and will again. The mega yacht builders are going
full blast with few if any cancellations and the better builders are
sold out for years. Perhaps this informed group of high end buyers
have a message for us all.
So far we spent two full days at the show and have learned a lot.
We'll pass along some items of interest. I mentioned in the past we
are looking into long term energy savings (fuel). If the payout over
5-7 years makes sense we'll spend the money up front while we are in
New Zealand with their excellent worker skills and favorable exchange
rate. After our initial spending flurry buying a dink, two outboards,
a 100amp battery charger and batteries there are two major items we
are looking into; possible generator downsizing and refurbishing our
under counter Sub Zeros (separate fridge/freezer) or replacing the
refrigeration with more efficient units.
First we'll address the generator issue. Egret has a 12KW Northern
Lights generator that has never missed a beat by its own hand. (We
caused the generator engine to suffer but it is not a generator issue
but an unusual problem we had no control over and nothing that will
happen to you in all probability) We cruise differently than most and
use the generator for simply charging the batteries.
During battery charging we run the washer, drier or watermaker as
needed. We have almost zero hours running the gen for heating or
cooling. Bottom line is we can't load the gen without running the
watermaker or dryer. When it is hot we run 3 zones of air set to 60
degrees F with the doors open and conversely we run the heat set to
90 degrees F with the doors open when it is cooler (to keep maximum
load on the generator). By not loading the generator we run the risk
of taking out the valves and or glazing the cylinder walls making for
expensive repairs. This is very typical in the sailboat industry
where the main engine is used to charge the batteries on anchor
running at fast idle.
It is not unusual to ruin a new sailboat engine in 1000-1200 engine
hour this way.
We were looking into changing the generator to a smaller unit for two
reasons: 1. Save fuel 2. Load the gen properly allowing it to come
to temperature. These are two completely different issues. We
learned a BIG lesson about the first issue of saving fuel. Previously
during a flurry of e-mails with cruising buddy Milt Baker aboard N47
Bluewater, Milt decided to give the generator fuel burn issue a test.
BW has a 12KW and a 6KW N/L generator. Milt ran both units for the
same amount of time several hours, carefully watching the small fuel
usage reporting tank on top of BW's day tank. (This graduated tank
is VERY accurate) Milt's observation was both generators burned the
same amount of fuel at the same AMP load (not the same percentage of
load). At the time YT's little pea brain couldn't accept the fact a
50% smaller unit would burn the same amount of fuel as its larger
companion. So I charged it off to M perhaps miscalculating. Well
guess what? The engineer at Northern Lights confirmed Milt's
observation at the show. It takes the same amount of energy (fuel)
to generate the same amount of amps whether in a 6KW or 12KW.
So now here are our generator options:
1. Continue as before and be at risk of damaging the engine.
2. Have an electrician wire in a 220V outlet where we can plug in a
space heater to artificially load the generator.
(115V wouldn't work because this would just load the
3. Replace the 12KW with the newer style and more efficient 9KW (the
previous generation 8KW doesn't meet current emissions). The load we
have available would be a larger percentage of power on the 9KW vs the
12KW and would bring the generator up to temperature easier giving it
a longer life.
We'll let you know when we make our decision.
The second issue is refrigeration. The door seals on both units need
replacement as well as an undiagnosed issue of extreme amp draw from
the freezer. The units have been in full time service for the past 7
years so I suspect that is their normal service life. Here we have 3
options as I see it at this time.
1. Completely refurbish the Sub Zeros and continue on as before.
2. Replace the door seals, remove the compressor along with Sub
Zeros running hardware and use the existing boxes in conjunction with
Frigoboat's innovative keel cooled 12V DC compressors that use no
water pump. The estimated amp draw for both units combined would be
under 100 amps a day. If that is true our 600 watts of solar panels
would supply nearly, if not all Egret's daily electrical needs.
3. Remove the Sub Zeros and replace both units with self contained
(as Sub Zeros) Isotherm units. We would use the Isotherm model
Cruise 200 refrigerator/freezer in conjunction with the Cruise 90
freezer. The storage capacity combined would be the same as the Sub
Zero's. Both have stainless steel finishes, much better insulation
than the Sub Zero's and a number of other features. They use
compressors that run on different voltages but we would wire them for
12V DC only. (Using DC power we immediately gain 17% lost in the
inverter conversion from DC to AC) The amp draw is about the same as
the Isotherm according to the brochure, but in reality I believe the
draw will be a bit more being air cooled vs water cooled. The freezer
is shorter than a Sub Zero so the top mounted compressors would be
easy to provide additional cooling with a 24/7 pancake fan blowing
past the compressors out a stainless steel grill we would have
fabricated. Another feature of the Isotherm units are the air inlet
holes built into the units on either side of the door for
I believe the Isotherm units will be the option we choose.
We are looking into final installation dimensions as a double/double
check. The costs are reasonable and are available at lewismarine.com
at a discounted price.
A small item we bought is an adapter to use with our hooka rig (air
pump for diving) allowing us to hook up a blow nozzle for different
uses. The other day I was detailing the main engine and generator.
It would have been nice to have compressed air to blow off the excess
water. The generator is in such pristine condition we don't have to
paint a single part to make it look new. The main, even after all
these hours only needs the exhaust manifold and header tank painted to
make it look new.
After arriving in New Zealand we gave thanks to folks who made the
trip possible or better; PAE, Lugger and OMNI Bob (weather
forecasting) and of course, My Sweetie. Walking thru the boat show we
ran across one glaring omission.
Naiad stabilizers. Since upgrading to the latest Multi Sea II
electronic control stabilizers in Argentina we have enjoyed a hugely
increased level of comfort with not a single maintenance problem.
So there you have it. A little soap box, a little boat show and a
little food for thought. Ciao.