Voyage of Egret Forums

Dan Freix, Denver, CO USA asks:
First of all, congratulations and thank you. The thank you is for providing us all with your remarkable stories and for allowing us to dream of the day when... My question involves maintenance. I'm a fleet manager here in Denver and understand the needs of preventative scheduled maintenance for engines, gearboxes, hydraulic systems and the like. I'm more curious about what it takes day-to-day to keep your vessel in good running order. How much of your time is devoted to things like cleaning and polishing brightwork, washing down decks and surfaces, scraping the hull, and other non-glamorous work to keep corrosion and the elements at bay? The conditions you've been through must really take their toll and I would imagine these types of chores must keep you busy. On that note, I can't wait to actually put my hands on a Norhavn to help feed my retirement dream. I've read your many postings that encourage not waiting too long to make it happen. Having grown up around boats on the Great Lakes and now living in what is basically a desert, I'm starting to take your advice to heart and am missing the water. Thanks again.

Scott Flanders of Egret responds:
Dan, Perhaps you will be the second fleet manager to own a Nordhavn. Friends from Boston own/owned a 35 Nordhavn, Xanadu.

Egret's maintenance is remarkably simple. We change main oil every 200 hours, generator oil at 100 hours, main gearbox and wing oil once a year. The 2 micron Racor filter elements are changed at 7 inches of vacuum for the main, generator twice a year and wing once a year. Mary does the stainless steel on an as need basis, usually once a month or two (2-4 hours). We have NO brightwork. We used to own a Grand Banks and know about brightwork. NO brightwork. We scrub the teak cap rail once a year with dish soap and a white scotch brite pad.

Egret's only hydraulics are steering, with zero maintenance, and stabilizers. The stabilizers require a fin shaft seal change every few years that require specialized pullers. We pay to have this maintenance done.

You understand maintenance let us get a bit technical. Engine room air intakes can make or break a neat engine room. So many times I have seen engine rooms that were a ball of rust from salt ingestion thru their intakes. What appears shiny in a boat show can be a nightmare a few years down the road. Egret's engine room sparkles like the day she was delivered. The main engine's exhaust ports are discolored from heat but THAT'S IT.

Exterior washing is on an as need basis AND water availability. Keeping Egret salt free while cruising is more important to us than a little surface dirt. When under way with heavy salt we wash the boat in seawater when conditions are calm then towel it dry. Cake salt is every boats biggest enemy. Once a year we buff Egret's gel coat with 3M Perfectit (there is no wax on Egret). During times in high heat we will buff selected parts a second time (45 minute sessions in the early morning). We pride ourselves on how Egret looks. We are never more than a week from 'boat show ready'.

We haul once a year. Pressure washing takes care of the slime and few barnacles except what is clinging to the underwater gear. We have always painted our own bottom. This takes two half days with hull buffing in between. This is an intense three days overall but its soon over and our little ship sparkles.

You have a credible, life enriching goal. Stay focused. We'll keep the fires lit with writin' n' pictures. Perhaps we'll see you 'out here' somewhere. Wait until you see the Nordhavns in person. They're the real deal. Give our best to the Nordhavn folks.

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