Voyage of Egret Forums

Thomas Rexford of Conroe, TX USA asks:
I have been reading everything about your trip --- inspiring stuff to be sure! I would like to follow your tracks but have a bit of profiteering that needs to be done first. Until then, what is the best way to get a handle on something as fundamental as the power supply? Are there books that could be recommended to give at least some head start on what I am sure will be a rather steep learning curve once the boat is acquired? I have a healthy respect for Murphy's Law, especially when at sea. In fact, my lack of confidence in this department has me seriously eyeing the new Nordhavn Motorsailor, although I would actually prefer the ruggedly beautiful 62. I appreciate any input and wish you calm seas and tight lines.

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Thomas, we're glad you are enjoying Voyage of Egret. First I would like to make a very important point. From the first day aboard you will start a learning process that will never end. What all Nordhavn owners do aboard their boats is not rocket science. All 300 or so of us plus prior owners started learning from the first day on. You will soon learn every sound aboard, when the water pump is running, head is flushing, etc. Fortunately for all of us there are many years of fine tuning and polishing the systems in our little ships by the PAE folks. Once the initial intimidating valves, switches, do-dads are learned, it becomes much easier and intuitive.

To answer your specific question your Lugger is the least likely single mechanical object to fail on your new boat. Luggers are designed to run 24/7 and they DO. (Egret's Lugger has 4879.5 hours and has NEVER missed a beat.) Your Lugger is not a recreational engine where they get maximum horsepower per pound for performance. It IS an industrial engine. All your Lugger asks for is clean fuel, oil and air. Prior to the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, Lugger/Northern Lights trainer Bob Senter gave a several hour lecture to the participants discussing main engines and generators. This was a very condensed version of his three-day seminar. I would recommend you call Northern Lights at 800-762-0165 and ask about training seminars. As a side note, a very good all-around simple to read and understand book is Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder. (This is geared toward sail boats but most everything applies.) Another thing to remember is with your Iridium phone you have access to technical support from Lugger/Northern Lights. The technicians you speak to REALLY know their products.

Both of your choices for your new boat are excellent choices. The new motorsailor gives virtually unlimited range, something the Egret crew would love to have. This said, friends on Nordhavn 62, Grey Pearl, calculated if they reduced speed to Egret's 'stretching' speed of 6-6.4 knots their range would be in excess of 5000 nm. Three thousand mile range, achievable by all Nordhavns by reducing speed, is the farthest normal distance cruised in a circumnavigation (Galapagos to Marquesas). The reason Egret bought deck fuel bladders before leaving the Med was to make an unpublished trek from Valparaiso, Chile to the Juan de Fernandez Islands, Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, the Gambier Island Group then Tahiti. We had planned to top off fuel in the Juan de Fernandezes. After buying the bladders, we assumed the relatively large islands would have fuel...they don't. This eliminated our safety margin so the trip is a no-go. A 62 COULD make the trip comfortably.

Additionally, the 62 has a large 70 hp wing engine used to drive the hydraulic bow and stern thrusters plus the windlass. Per pound of displacement, the 62 wing engine has 25 percent more horsepower per lb. than Egret. This is 25 percent more safety. If you do choose a 62 may we suggest one particular option? Egret's next door neighbor during our winter stay in Barcelona was 62 Nordhavn, Rover. They had a beautiful custom (from PAE) seating and table on the aft pilothouse deck. John and Gail ate most meals there under their awning. Very nice living at its best.

Good luck on your new venture. If we can give a bit of advice, sooner is better than later. You'll see.

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