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September 3, 2008

Checking in at 10,000 hours

By Jeff Merrill

Hours, miles, gallons…all measures that truly are yardsticks of a passage maker.  To circumnavigate our wonderful water planet you need to travel over 26,000 miles.  All Nordhavn long distance trawlers have a minimum design range of 3000 miles – allowing a carefully planned itinerary to connect the dots from port to port

Some of the recent places traveled to:

Owners of Nordhavns love to talk about range and performance and the dock talk usually revolves around rpms and gallons per hour, even more so than wind strength and sea height that sailors love to brag about.  The key to successfully crossing a large body of water is to monitor how much fuel you are burning per hour and find the optimum rpm to match a reasonable speed with economical fuel consumption to glide across the seas.  You can run 24/7 for two or three weeks to reach a far away destination.  And you can measure your consumption underway and adjust speed accordingly to insure a safe arrival with fuel in reserve.  But what about the time it takesThe hours of running time?

Nordhavn recently introduced a program to honor and acknowledge the number of miles individual Nordhavn hulls have travelled.  Visit the Nordhavn Distance Pennant Program page and you can read some pretty incredible logs of what our boats have done.  While this program was in development I received an email with photos from some good friends who happen to be the second owners of a very famous Nordhavn 46, Salvation II.  Frank Hilton and Alan Coogan grabbed the torch from Jim and Susie Sink, who were the first to circumnavigate in a Nordhavn. (Little did anyone expect that they would be the first of many!) Frank’s email included some photos taken by Alan of Salvation II up in the Pacific Northwest, but the real impressive photo to me was the one of the odometer hour count turning to a pretty magic number: 10,000 hours!

There are 8,760 hours in one year.  So I did some math and it turns out 10,000 hours is equivalent to just under 14 continuous months of operation, with probably twenty oil changes, quite a few thousand gallons of fuel (most at prices well below today’s escalating fees) and the best part is the trusty Lugger main engine is probably only 1/3 through her natural life expectancy.

Certainly other Nordhavns are up there in hours (although I have only been on a handful with 5,000 hours or more) and I would guess that the Nordhavn 46 Kanaloa owned by Wolfgang and Heidi Hass has the largest number on their odometer as they are nearing the completion of their second circumnavigation!

So, here’s to fun with numbers and celebrating milestones.  Congratulations Salvation II and thanks for sending in the photo with all those goose eggs on your dash!


 

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