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"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 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.

March 22, 2013

Position: Marina Queen in Ft Lauderdale living on the BFYC.

Hello mis amigos, we received an e-mail the other day from Knut and May, N46 owners from Norway. Their daughter sent them these words of wisdom.

"When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land"
Samuel Johnson.

A few days later I was going thru years of Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Commodore’s Bulletins discarding those that didn’t have destinations of interest for the coming years. Occasionally there were postings of ‘swallowing the anchor’ and moving ashore after cruising. I quickly scanned each one and the message was the same; life ashore was a struggle and universally they were looking for direction and some actually were soliciting direction from others who moved ashore previously. Each one also gave their e-mail address and home address and asked visiting cruisers to stop by. Then the other night we met with cruising friends and one admitted that life off the boat during the off season was boring. And then the same person said other folks we know mutually said the same thing. One said they have a circle of dirt dwelling friends but even though they enjoy their company it isn’t the same as meeting interesting free spirit folks on a near daily basis while living aboard.

Obviously we have heard this same story before over the years from many sources. So what’s the bottom line here? Don’t go cruising? Go of course but understand it will change your life, how you think and your interests will definitely change so someday when you move back to dirt as we all must, the transition will take some time.

What the cruising world needs is an interesting location where world cruisers could move ashore and still smell salt. A few years back I fantasized about developing property in New Zealand as a non profit endeavor and the only requirement for someone to buy a lot is to have been a world cruiser, all nationalities accepted. Obviously it is a pipe dream, NZ property and building costs are beyond the budget of most world cruisers. But wouldn’t a community of cruising peers be fun? We could pave main street in dock like wood and still have our pot luck dinners, Friday’s on the ‘dock’ cocktail parties, and so on.

Ok, back to the present. We have been taking 3 short dinghy trips a day with grandson Kenny (7). The first trip we didn’t get far and he wanted to go back. So we did. The next trip we traveled a bit farther including going under a Very Low bridge where we had just a bit of clearance over the engine. So it went until today when Kenny announced He was going to drive the dinghy under the bridge (he has been running the dink all along except for the bridge and docking). So he did including voluntarily driving out into the ‘big waves’ from passing boat traffic near the Intracoastal Waterway. There’s a lesson here. Kenny is a 7 year old dirt dweller but he is leaning quickly and up for a bit of adventure. It isn’t magic what any cruiser does. It is simply getting comfortable for whatever a little at a time.

OK, back to techno. A friend called earlier asking how we set up Egret’s Naiad two, dual voltage stabilizer cooling pumps. Currently he has a 115V centrifugal pump but the problem is that it is leaking which can easily be repaired by a seal change, but the long term problem is it takes a ton of inverter power to run its large motor which in turn requires the main engine alternator to replace the guzzled amps. Hot, overworked alternators are inefficient at best and the main engine horsepower to run it is considerable. (On the Around The World N40, PAE calculated that 25% of their entire fuel burn went to turn the hot overworked alternator.) I’ll describe the installation in detail exactly as I did for him and as we installed for ourselves. We have gone thru this before on VofE but it was a while back so we’ll repeat the installation. The parts list numbers come from a local marine supplier at www.lewismarine.com. These parts are available at a discount from this site.

First we’ll describe the installation. N engine room floors are below the waterline which makes centrifugal pumps the best and most long lived option for pumping sea water 24/7 for weeks running and years on end without failure. We’ll list the best parts and why below but essentially the installation begins at the best fitting at the sea strainer outlet, the best hose to deliver the water to the 2 pumps and the best fittings to couple the two pumps together. Then we’ll describe the best way to wire the pumps.

The fittings for the discharge side of the sea strainer* to feed the cooling pumps are one of two depending on the installation. If the best hose path leading from the sea strainer to the pumps requires a straight pipe to hose fitting (3/4” male thread on one end and 1” slip fit on the other end), the figure number is 9345 – ¾”.

If the fitting is 90 degrees the figure number is 9344 – ¾” (same pipe ¾”, and hose 1”)

*Every sea strainer for Naiad cooling we have seen has been ¾” IPS – International Pipe Size - so we’ll assume yours is too. If not, it is a simple plumbing change to get back to these installation specs.

The best hose to couple the sea strainer to the pumps is expensive blue silicone hose but it is what Egret uses and it will last forever. Figure number 9697 – 1” - cut to length.

The first pump in line is a 12V Groco centrifugal pump with a nylon head and impeller and 1” slip fit fittings. Figure number 1698 - CB1012 (12V) If you have 24V only you must switch to an Oberdorfer 24V centrifugal pump with a bronze head. Figure number 5186 – 172BA82. Personally, if you have a 24 volt boat but have 12 volts available, I would use the 12V Groco pump because the pump seals are better. We carry no spares for the Groco pump because it is seldom used and the only spare to buy is the impeller which never goes bad. NAR friends aboard N46 Envoy crossed the Atlantic using a similar (bronze head) 12V Groco pump which is why I chose an even better pump* with a nylon head for the 12V installation. *no electrolysis.

The Groco pump has 1” slip fit fittings so you need a short piece of 1” hose to couple it to the 115V March pump.

The second pump is a 115V March centrifugal pump running off the inverter. Egret has 12,000 hours on this pump without failure. Total maintenance was around 5 years ago I changed the magnetic impeller assembly…….just because. It didn’t run any better. The March pump is a Figure number 6093 – LC3CPMD115. It has the same pump head as smaller Marine Aire or Cruisaire pumps so the pump spares are the same. All that ever goes wrong is the magnetic impeller assembly if the pump is started dry. This is a 4 screw – 5 minute change of impeller assemblies. The impeller assembly is Figure number 1MMC – 130-020-01. To bleed the pump after changing the impeller either turn on the <em>Egret</em>12V pump or crack the discharge hose on top* of the March pump until the air quits hissing and a little solid water starts to flow. Tighten the clamp and you be laughin’. (Ozzie speak) Notice the 90 degree sweep elbow fitting in the photograph leading into the March pump. A sweep fitting eliminates salt buildup common in multiple fitting instillations. The worst combination of fittings is a common street elbow plus a hose barb; a recipe for eventual salt buildup/restricted flow disaster.

*The nylon discharge outlet on top of the March pump is ½” male IPS (pipe) thread. The pipe to hose fitting to use is a Schedule 80 (the heavy duty grey fitting – not white) PVC ½” pipe (female) to ½” hose (male hose barb). However, ½” hose barbs in Schedule 80 PVC are actually measure 5/8” and 5/8” hose is Exactly what you need for the hose to the top of the Naiad cooling tower. Cool, eh?

To couple the 1” hose to the intake of the March pump requires one Figure number 9344 – ¾” 90 degree sweep fitting. The suggested installation is with both pump motors facing forward and the pump heads facing aft* (*or inboard if mounted 90 degrees to the keel) connected by a short piece of 1” coupler hose.

The wiring is simple (not that I can do it well enough to give advise because I’m electrically challenged) but all it requires is a 12V breaker on the panel and a separate 115V breaker on the panel. We start the 12V pump first until the stabilizer discharge water flow is seen flowing from the discharge thru hull outside the boat and then we switch on the 115V pump and turn off the 12V pump. The 12V Groco pump can be run dry for a short time and the 115V March pump can’t.

Forget using silly rubber impeller pumps or diaphragm pumps for stabilizer cooling or continuous duty applications. They rarely last long even though the manufacturer may rate them at continuous duty and if they fail and they will because its just a matter of time and if you are offshore and it is rough When It Fails it will be rock and roll city and if the Admiral isn’t happy you won’t be happy and if either of you starts hurling because you Cheaped Out and didn’t install two centrifugal pumps its sorta messy and if She finds out you had an Option it will be BAD and you Will Pay Big Time so just do the centrifugal deal and you will be cool and stabilized forever and the Admiral will be compfy wumpfy and so will be your life of coolness. Silly pumps can only be coupled together with a manifold and valves whereas centrifugal pumps are full flow* and whether it is running or not doesn’t matter because the off line – in line pump is just a bypass to the second pump. The only criteria for a centrifugal pump is that it be mounted below the water line because they are not self priming. As an interesting side note, the March pump we specked is submergible and its original function was as a submergible fountain pump engineered to run 24/7/365 when the A/C guys picked up on it and brought the pumps to boatie stardom

*Full flow is where water passes thru the pump head without restriction whereas rubber impeller or diaphragm pumps stop the water flow.

Incidentally, this used to be my vocation so that coupled with personal experience over the Egret years is where this information and other like it comes from.

So let’s talk about spares. The far majority of Egret’s spares have gone to help other boaters in out of the way places. For the most part, I believe they should have had the spares in stock but they didn’t and we don’t turn anyone away when they are in trouble and don’t have access to the part. Incidentally, no one ever asks for big parts. It is always a small part and mostly pipe fittings, short pieces of hose or electrical bits. If you cruise locally in populated areas a needed part is just an inconvenience. However, if you are away from it all, you should have the spares.

Take the Naiad/Trac cooling pumps for example. We mentioned how friends on Envoy crossed the Atlantic with a 12V Groco pump. I’m sure they had a spare but nevertheless Envoy had a single pump backed up by paravanes. So why not just install a 12V Groco pump and keep a spare? Here’s why and this isn’t theoretical. A hot engine room under way with cumulative heat is HOT. It is like diving in very cold water. Your time is limited as well as your ability to make rational decisions. We do everything to make the probability of spending any real time in the engine room minimal.

So let’s think about it. Let’s say you have a single stabilizer cooling pump, it is at night of course, you have been under way for 24 or more hours, there are just two of you aboard, the pump takes a powder and the Naiad/Trac overheat alarm light comes on. First you have to turn off the stabilizers and then turn up sea and match rpm to the wave sets to minimize motion. Then get up the off watch. Next you have to close the stabilizer seacox. Then find the spare pump. And the tools to make the swap and don’t think it is just a screwdriver for the hose clamps because it isn’t. The hose will need a pair of water pump pliers to remove it from being welded to the fittings. The probability of the pliers tearing the hose are high. So do you have a spare piece of hose and where it it? The wiring will be heat shrinked so the terminals won’t corrode so you need a pair of wire strippers and a crimping tool plus the wire terminals to make the connection. Where is this stuff? Up forward under a berth in a bouncing boat at night? Of course you have it somewhere. In the meantime it is hotter n’ heck in the engine room, you are kneeling on skinned city knees (unless you found the knee pads) trying to work while rocking and rolling supporting yourself with your flabby abs sweating like crazy and that is getting old fast, sorta like you. So you can see what seems to be a 5 minute job at the dock really isn’t at sea. So this is why you have dual pumps where all you have to do is turn off one breaker and on with the other. Egret carries no spares for the Groco pump as we mentioned. We carry a spare 115V March pump (with motor), a spare complete pump head and 2 magnetic impeller assemblies. Other than the motor, the spares also fit Egret’s 3 air conditioner pumps (220V). Sound like overkill? Probably, but nevertheless a round bilge boat MUST be stabilized and we have done what we can to be as bulletproof as possible. Then of course there are the backup paravanes……………

So you have two choices. Do the deal or hope your installation is good enough. If you hope and fail, don’t blame us for the Admiral chewing giant chunks out of your transom and talking dirt dwelling. If you hope and win, you really didn’t win because after reading this Knowing You Cheaped Out, you will be worrying about the stupid pump failing and transom problems until your boating days are over. You get the picture.

Gee, that was fun. You can quit sweating now and we’ll move along.

Grandson Kenny has more water under his (dinghy) keel. These days he heads straight for the Big Waves from the boat traffic at the head of the canal. He’s loving it. Now he’s taking his mom and dad out for his adventures and They are loving it. It isn’t because of how much they enjoy the water; it is because Kenny is so happy on the water, even if he is showing off a bit for his parents. Do you know how happy that makes Mary and I? Now for the sad part. With our son and family living in Thailand, there is no reasonable way Kenny can join Egret for a summer cruise during his summer school break until he is 18. Kenny is 7 so in 11 years we will most likely be living on dirt or perhaps even under dirt. Sorta like a worm farm. Bummer. But we do have a spare grandson who lives in Florida. Spares are good.

We got the bill for the generator injection pump. It was 1BU.89 We can buy a LOT of Stanadyne fuel additive for a BU. If I weren’t so lazy I could do the math but with one 5 gallon pail of Stanadyne Performance Formula* treating 2,500 U.S. Gallons of fuel from http://www.thedieselstore.com/ for $175 USP plus freight, we could have had treated fuel for lotsa miles in the past. The bio for Performance Formula suggests up to a 8% increase in mileage. So if it is for sure 5% added to the mix, we could go back even farther. Stanadyne says their formulas can be mixed with no issues but the mix isn’t straight math but a somewhat lesser gain. Stanadyne also has a Lubricity Formula that has 5 times more lubricity that is in the Performance Formula. I believe we will get some of that as well in smaller containers because Egret will be burning occasional winter fuel blend with less lubricity during the coming years so we’ll add a full dose of Performance Formula and a shot of the latter.

*I wrote Lugger Bob (Bob Senter) asking about the two Stanadyne formulas and he suggested for all around use, and what he uses is the Performance Formula. So we will.

Later. Ok, I did the math. 5% is a conservative estimate of Stanadyne’s 8% estimated mileage increase. A 5 gallon pail treats 2500 gallons. 2500 gallons x 5%* = 125 gallons. 125 gallons divided by 3mpg (Egret’s rough average) = 41.66. 41.66 x $5.00 world average fuel price = $208.30 So you make money by adding Stanadyne Performance formula plus eliminating wear on the injection pump and extending injector life.

Later. I called two Stanadyne dealers and both said the Performance Formula is basically all they sell in quantity. As I see it, most internet Stanadyne dealers sell Performance Formula for roughly the same price. We did find out that the ones we contacted don’t pay freight. UPS considers Stanadyne hazardous material so the freight charges are high. After comparing costs we’ll buy ½ gallon bottles from local N/L Lugger dealer, RPM Diesel. Stanadyne has a shelf life of 2 years. We don’t plan on burning that much diesel this summer so I believe we could loose a partial 5 gallon pail if it were opened and not used within a reasonable time. Half Gallon bottles treat 250 gallons of diesel so the math is pretty simple. We will buy 3 cases – 18 bottles – about what we plan to use for the next 2 years and there won’t be any loss from an open container going bad.

<em>Egret</em>If you have read this far, here’s a photo treat. This is another image taken at The Wave in southern Utah. The tall Navaho Sandstone formation in the background is 3 stories high.

So another week has gone by. Hopefully you are a week closer to Your Time. Next week will be more family stuff mixed with boat work when we get a chance. We scheduled a haul at 1st Performance Marina on May, 1st. Egret’s bottom is an absolute disaster after sitting in a high flow canal since the fall. It will be nice to get her bottom perfect again but more on that at the time.



March 15, 2013

Position: Marina Queen, Ft Lauderdale, Florida living on the BFYC – Big Fat Yellow Cord.

<em>Egret</em>Hello mis amigos, let’s return to the Florida Keys for just a bit to pass along two items of interest. First is a photo of one person’s Bright Idea. This is a Bat Tower erected years ago in Sugarloaf Key. Some dim bulb guy got the idea that he would build this bat tower, import a pile of bats and his mosquito problem would be over. So he did. However, the bats split immediately and now his tower is a curiosity for tourists. Oh well.

Secondly, last VofE I was so shamefully unthinking when I told you how to tenderize conch in a zip lock bag on top of the cockpit cap rail. Of course I was thinking about ourselves and Egret’s boy teak cap rail in the cockpit. It didn’t cross my mind at the time that some folks have girlkote (varnish/brightwork) on the cap rail. If you have pretty girlkote on the cap rail and hit a zip lock bag with a hard conch muscle inside it could easily shoot overboard sliding on the slick surface. And of course if you miss or the mallet slips it could crack the girlkote down to the teak. Most folks would ignore the obvious damage hoping it wasn’t as bad as it looked but here’s what happens. Water gets under the girlkote and lifts it off the teak in blisters. So now you have to repair it. Most repairs are done poorly. Here’s why. So you sand the offending blisters down to water stained teak leaving a tapered hole in the girlkote. So now you try to blend it in but even a .001” difference in something shiny looks train wreckish, much less the dry spots (holidays) as you try to blend wet girlkote to dry. And the more you try to make it better, the worse it gets. So now you have giant gnarly boo boos in the girlkote and everyone who sees it knows what happened and will delight in letting you know or even worse, subtlety letting you know they saw it and didn’t say anything leaving their opinion to your imagination. So anyhow, girlkote comes at a price and perhaps the girlkoters should order conch and let the boy caprailers catch and tenderize their own conch which has its own satisfaction and of course it tastes better. You get the picture.

So now we have abused a portion of VofE’s readership we’ll move on to abusing an entire continent full of nice folks in a cruising flashback. Actually, most of the continent is empty but there are random patches of folks here and there including a long N/S strip. Ok, so its Australia.

Mary bought a few pair of shorts before we left Oz. (She had a pair on today and reminded me about what happened.) So fast forward to a jillion miles from land in the Indian Ocean and the normally 100% workee autopilot decides to take a powder and steer here and there erratically, anywhere but straight. So we started on the problem. The Simrad autopilot has a rate compass mounted under the master berth. We are careful not to have anything metal in the drawers at the end of the berth, and particularly on Mary’s side near the compass. Of course I accused her of this n’ that and went thru the drawers to find something she stashed but there was nothing. It’s a long story but then SHE remembered her shorts. Yup, those ^%$#@& Ozzie shorts. They have cute little magnets to keep the pockets closed. This was the first time the shorts were in the drawer. The compass held out for days then took the powder we mentioned. With the shorts removed the autopilot went back to its usual workee all the time self and hasn’t missed a beat since. &^%$#@ Ozzies, can’t trust them with your shorts.

Today we learned a lesson and as usual we’ll pay and you can learn from our mistakes. Egret’s 12kw Northern Lights generator injector pump has been leaking. It turns out the pump has faulty gasket material from the factory who produced the engine for N/L. It has been corrected for the past 5 years or so but that won’t help us until we make the change. So I looked at the pump and it has 2 nuts and two bolts holding it in place along with a few fuel lines. No brainer – right? So I removed <em>Egret</em>the fuel lines that needed to be removed and loosened the others that needed moving. The front of the pump popped up and the back was stuck. So I Gently pried with a screwdriver and felt a spring or something so I quit. The fuel solenoid is to the left of the pump and I figured something in that was holding up the removal plus I couldn’t see how the solenoid was removed. Later we found out the solenoid is threaded where you can’t see it and simply unscrews. Knowing better than play joe mechanic and get over my head I did the smart thing and went to RPM Diesel, a local N/L – Lugger dealer we have used for years for parts. They came over immediately and removed the unit. It turns out I BENT the soft steel shaft of the solenoid and we’ll have to get a new one. (Later I straightened the shaft and it works smoothly but we will still put in a new one and keep the original as a spare.) So anyhow, in a few days the pump will be re-gasketed and we’ll let them put it back in with me watching to learn. What I learn we’ll pass along.

We have a workshop manual for the main but not the gen so having both is the first lesson we’ll pass along. (The owners parts/easy maintenance manual you get with both engines is not the special order workshop manual I’m referring to.)

Remember last VofE how I said when an internet boating forum had something to Buy the thread went on forever? So this is a commercial for a gift we received today from a friend, not a manufacturer or any commercial ties. While fine tuning Egret for the coming summer cruise we have been shedding a number of items and have been giving them away to yachtie friends who can use them. So today one of them gave us this incredible gift. This is something You Need if you are a boater and your chance to buy something way cool. It’s a flashlight. It’s a Boy Flashlight like nothing you have ever seen. We have had a large waterproof Pelican bazillion candle power hand held <em>Egret</em>spotlight since commissioning. It lights up the foredeck fine when I shine it thru the pilothouse glass (holding it to the glass) while Mary is doing anchor duties at night. It will spot markers at a reasonable distance but don’t ask it to light up shore because it shines into a black hole. It is basically useless as a spotlight. So we haven’t had a real spotlight until now. Here’s the deal. The flashlight is an Olight SR95S Intimidator. The light comes in a la did a protective case and unlike most high end LED flashlights with very expensive batteries, this one is rechargeable and comes with a cord that looks like a laptop power cord. So how bright is it? I waited until dark and called Mary up to watch. First we shined it on a boat across the canal. It turned white. Then we turned it on buildings about ¼ mile away and they too turned white. And so on. It is absolutely amazing how it concentrates the beam from a single LED. Fully charged it runs 3 hours on high power (1250 lumens), 8 hours on med power (500 lumens) and 48 hours on low power (150 lumens). There is also a blinding strobe. The only downside of the blinding strobe is it will boil the eyes out of any folks in a rescue aircraft. The most important point of this flashlight isn’t the number of lumens or candlepower for comparison by the numbers but how it concentrates the beam. The Pelican light looks great on paper but it doesn’t deliver the goods as a spotlight.

Here’s a cool light story. The buddy who gave us the light has one as well. Last weekend they were staying in Disney World and their room was on the 5th floor overlooking a game park. After dinner he went out on the balcony with the light and saw the dark shape of an animal sleeping standing up. So he hit the critter (a gazelle) with full power and the gazelle jumped from a dead sleep about 5 feet straight up then split big time. Can you imagine the poor gazelle trying to put together what just happened? ^%$#@@& tourist. Anyhow, the flashlight is way cool and you need one. This one came from Longhorn Tactical. http://www.longhorntactical.com/

Ok, back to the generator injection pump. RPM Diesel turned around the injection pump in 2 days and Matt came by in the morning and reinstalled it. First let’s discuss the pump itself. You know how fanatical we keep the fuel and take care of things. I was really surprised when Matt said the plungers inside the pump were scored and had to be replaced. He asked if we had bad fuel. Well, bad fuel (water and debris) gets stopped by the Racor 2 micron primary filter and secondly by the secondary filter on the engine. Both filters are always kept clean and changed well before they need to be. However, we did have ‘bad’ fuel in Argentina that wiped out the injectors in both the generator and the main. The fuel sooted so bad that the top of the stack, top of the mast and all the wires around it were flat black. The Racor main engine filters went to 4” of vacuum (where we change the elements) in 150 hours at times instead of the usual many hundreds of hours. So that is what had to have done it. Everywhere else in Egret’s travels we have had clean (no water or debris) and clean burning fuel.

To replace the pump, Matt set it into place. With the back of the pump tilted toward him he connected a ball joint looking deal (rack) that slides over a pin in the pump itself. There is a cotter key (split pin) that goes thru a hole in the pin to keep the rack in place. If you drop this pin into the black hole below the pump it is Real Bad. Matt used a pair of needle nose pliers to insert the pin. Then the pump gets bolted down and the fuel pipes reattached. The fuel solenoid gets threaded back in and the installation is complete. Next comes serious thumbing of the fuel pump lever to prime the system and in our case we paralleled the house bank to the generator/wing battery to spin the gen as fast as we could for the restart. It took two goes at the starter and a couple cracked fuel lines to get the gen primed then it fired up and ran like its usual self.

Matt said the 12kw (843) N/L injection pump is a really good unit and it rarely fails other than the leaking from a defective gasket we talked about. (Egret’s gen only has 4500 hours and we have heard 40,000 hour stories. I’ll fire an e-mail to ‘Lugger Bob’ (Bob Senter from Northern Lights/Lugger) and see what he thinks. I’ll post his reply and we’ll all know.

Later. Ok, so here’s Bob’s reply.

Good morning Scott,

Scoring in the absence of a fuel filtration issues could be caused by prefilling the secondary filter on the engine and accidentally introducing invisible contamination. I was graphically reminded recently that not everyone got the message how disastrous that procedure can be. Worse yet, an owner showed me a copy of an older Operators Manual that actually directs the owner to prefill the filter. (I thought we had killed that bug a long time ago.)

(Egret – we have never prefilled a secondary filter or for that matter, an oil filter.)

A second very common reason is low lubricity fuel failures when the owner chooses not to use an appropriate fuel additive. There is no doubt whatsoever that diesel fuel in the U.S. doesn't meet the lubricity requirements. We know that premium diesel in Europe is better. I can't tell you much about the rest of the fuel. I worry about it so I use Stanadyne Performance Fuel additive, or John Deere's version and have recommended it to everyone. From personal testing on engines with Stanadyne pumps, I know that it will extend the pump life dramatically.

(Egret – we heard last night that Bob said at a one of his training seminars (very highly recommended by everyone) that by using Stanadyne Fuel Conditioner it will nearly eliminate injector replacement.)

I'm sure you are already aware of my perpetual rant against 2-micron filters. I didn't invent that: none of the engine manufacturers in the world recommend the use of 2-micron Racor elements. In addition to unpredictable restriction issues, they are often implicated with air bubbles and cavitation issues in the fuel system pumps. This can also cause scoring and pump failures. I tried it in my own boat out of technical curiosity and damn near got killed by a ferry in the San Francisco bay during that particular learning opportunity.

Unfortunately, I can't accurately guess the condition of your Stanadyne FI pump. From your description, it doesn't sound like you have any pump problems. If you have prefilled your secondary filter, have not been using Stanadyne's additive or have been using 2-micron filters, then my recommendation would be to remove the pump and have a reputable pump shop rebuild it (assuming it has accumulated some hours, perhaps 5000 or more). If the pump is removed, it requires a couple of special tools: a puller to separate the gear and pump shaft and a crankshaft timing pin. Do you have those tools? A good tech should have them if you'll have a local place like RPM do the work. I can give you the part numbers if you need them.

Admittedly, a lot of this is crystal ball gazing on my part, since I'm not familiar with all of your maintenance procedures.

Hope some of that is helpful. Please let me know what you find or if you need more information.

Best regards,
Bob Senter
Northern Lights/Lugger Service Training
cell: 360-531-1444

Something else I’ll add to the equation; a long time ago I installed a Flo Scan fuel flow meter. The instructions said not to use 2 micron filters because of bubbling and screwing up the accuracy. The Flo Scan never did work so we ended up with a very expensive digital tach. I wasn’t going to give up my 2 micron filters but I never forgot the instructions.

Here’s what we are going to do. I will give away the majority of Egret’s 2 micron main filters to local yachtie friends to use in their circulation filters. We will use the balance in Egret’s circ pump. We will replace the 30 or so spare 2 micron main filters with 12 – 10 micron filters. We will take the 2 micron generator/wing filters to a local new & used marine store and get what we can and replace the lot with 10 micron filters. We will also buy a couple 5 gallon pails of Stanadyne Premium Fuel Conditioner off the internet. So we’ll convert 100% to Bob’s advise simply because I know no one takes any better care of their fuel tanks and filters and we had the injector pump piston scoring. It Was Not from ‘bad fuel’. It had to have been from aeration from the 2 micron filter elements because during Egret’s early life in the U.S. there wasn’t any ultra low sulphur diesel and no mention of low lubricity and until a relative short time ago all the fuel used in the engines came from outside the U.S.

So today we replaced the serpentine belt on front of the main. The installation is straight forward but we will pass along a little tip. Instead of trying to put the belt over the idler tensioner last, put it over the alternator sheave next to last and the idler pulley last. I only replace the belt every couple years and I forget the details. So this time I wrote it inside the top belt cover.

Adjusting the valves came next. We only had to readjust a couple rockers in order to make everything Exactly even tension on the feeler gauge. The only tools you need are a 17mm box end wrench and a slot screwdriver. The feeler gauge we use is a go – no go type*. We set the intake valves at a tight .014” and the exhaust at .018”. The intake valve clearances (set cold) for Egret’s engine are from: .012” - .015” and the exhaust is .016” .019”. We try to give ourselves leeway on both ends of adjustment. It is VERY important to make sure the exhaust valves are not tight. Err on the loose side if you are in doubt.

*A go – no go feeler gauge has two very accurate surfaces. For example, the .014 portion of the gauge is about 5/8” long and the balance of the gauge is .016. So if the .014 feels like it has the right tension and you push it into the .016 portion it shouldn’t be able to get under the rocker without excessive force.

What makes the adjustment go so fast is we marked the harmonic balancer (heavy bottom pulley assembly) at top dead center (TDC) with a magic marker. It took a while to make sure it was at TDC the first time but since it is a snap because of the black stripe. The directions in the Lugger Operators Manual are very good with straight forward text and illustrations. Our manual has both 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder rocker assembly’s illustrations on the same page. Do yourself a favor and mark thru the 4 cylinder illustration so your eyes don’t wander looking at the adjustment order.

One more thing. Lugger recommends using a special gear drive tool to turn the crankshaft from the flywheel/gear end. It is simpler to screw 3 – 3/8” x 16 (thread) x 2” stainless steel bolts into the holes in the face of the harmonic balancer. Turn the harmonic balancer clockwise, as you face it, with a breaker bar so you can observe the magic marker stripe marking TDC. Simple and it works every time. Lugger also recommends a special tool to stick thru a round hole in the gear into a matching hole in the flywheel meaning you are at TDC. I use a Phillips screwdriver.

<em>Egret</em>After start up with the belt covers off to check everything, I noticed the idler pulley jumping a bit. The idler pulley is the pulley in the middle with the slots in the bearing race. The top pulley is the generator and the bottom is the heavy spring tensioner for the idler pulley. This must be from worn bearings and it is why a Lugger engineer at the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show said to change the idler pulley because of Egret’s main engine hours – 12,140 at this point. We ordered one today from RPM Diesel here in Ft Lauderdale along with other spares.

Ok, enough techno talk. Our son and family from Bangkok arrive this evening so we have to tend to details and ready ourselves for family time and less VofE time.



March 7, 2013

Position: Fish Camp, Big Pine Key, Florida Keys, on vacation

Hello mis amigos, after moving so much the past few months it seems strange to get back to the no schedule – schedule. So its time to play and vacation a bit before our son and family arrive in a couple weeks from suburban Bangkok.

The boating internet forums have been busy, particularly the Yahoo Groups – Nordhavn Dreamers site. (The N Dreamers site is a good site to learn even if you don’t see an N in your future.) It’s funny and very predictable about general public boating sites. If a question is asked about actual cruising the thread stops with a single or occasionally a second answer. If the subject is something you can BUY, the thread goes on forever. And if you want to start an endless thread just throw out the word ANCHOR and away you go. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone who has ever boated loves Their anchor if it has been good to them and most have because they haven’t actually anchored where the anchor weight or design made a difference. I won’t rehash the carnage here but to say we observed first hand the angst when the wind started puffing in the South Pacific and folks whose anchors never dragged in their mostly windless local areas turned loose. We heard normal folks screaming on the radio “we’re going to die!!!!!”*, and other folks screaming at their friends to stay away from their boat (they were dragging anchor or a mooring). And so on. So anyhow, it pays to buy a large well designed anchor when it’s Your Time. And remember……..chain is free - more scope within reason is better than less scope. If more scope means you have to anchor 2 minutes by dinghy from where you would prefer to be, and be safe, oh well.

*It is funny to write and read about it now but the American woman who was screaming on VHF 16 was terrified out of her mind. It wasn’t funny at the time. The boat survived with no damage so the story ended well.

The boat chores have started. First we changed all the overhead light bulbs in every room to LED. The LED’S came from IMTRA via lewismarine.com. Next was changing the troublesome running light bulbs to waterproof LED’S. This is quite an investment in something as nominal as bulbs but with the cost of fuel these days it won’t take long to recoup the cost with less generator burn. Of course we can see Much Better with LED’s instead of the dim bulb – amp sucking cartridge bulbs of the past.

Every couple years we spray the shaft coupling with CRC Corrosion Inhibitor. Because of this, Egret’s mild steel shaft coupling and bolts are as new. While we were down there we used Corrosion Block to spray the area just before the shaft stuffing box and used a strip of mechanics 80 grit polishing cloth to clean the rust from the area. The easy way is to put the boat in gear – we did – and hold the strip by the ends above the shaft and let the turning shaft do the polishing.

At the other end of the boat we took the Maxwell windlass capstan head and chain wheel off and cleaned and greased the two clutch cones, shaft, etc. This should be done once a year at the least and it takes just a few minutes IF you keep up with maintenance. It is common for folks to take off the chain wheel and only service the upper clutch cone because the bottom cone is out of sight and it is frozen into the chain wheel. If the bottom cone is frozen a couple taps from a 3lb hammer takes care of it. (Don’t hit the cone directly with the hammer. Use a block of wood against the cone.) There are two pieces of 3/8” brass keystock that go into slots cut into the windlass shaft.. The soft brass keystock is sacrificial in case you overload the windlass and the keystock shears saving the gears and shaft. There is a trick here of course. It makes sense that the long piece of keystock is for the tall capstan head and the short piece is for the shorter chain wheel. That’s not how it works. The chain wheel is at the bottom of the shaft and takes the heaviest load and uses the long key. If you use the short key on the chain wheel it will shear with a nominal load. If you use the long key on the capstan head and overload it with a heavy line pull it will bend the shaft before shearing. So just use the long key on the chain wheel and the short key on the capstan head and you will be cool and your windlass will be happy.

Then we topped off the windlass fluid with Hypoid 90 gear oil as specified. The fluid is supposed to be half the way up the clear sight glass. So how do you fill the sump when you remove the plug and the oil runs out And the windlass is tight to the deck and there is no access from above without dropping* the windlass (*a big 2 person pain)? There’s a trick of course. So here’s the deal. You need a syringe or turkey baster or the like. We use a West Epoxy syringe used to squirt epoxy. Pour a little Hypoid 90 gear oil into a pint plastic paint pot. Suck up the oil in the syringe or baster. Have 3” of duct tape ready and the area around the filler hole clean enough for the tape to stick. Put a bilge diaper under the windlass to catch the drippings. Using a set of water pump pliers carefully loosen the clear plastic plug until you can remove it by hand. Remove the plug and immediately put your thumb across the hole. Tape all but the top of the hold closed with the duct tape. Keep one thumb on the bottom of the tape covering the hole. With one hand load and squirt gear oil into the top slit that is open to the sump until it runs out the top. When it is time to replace the plug, quickly remove the tape and insert the plug. You will lose a little fluid but not much because it is thick, and it is why you overfill the sump slightly. When the plug is in place but not screwed in the oil seepage will stop. Tighten the plug. Not too tight because all you have to do is seat the O ring with a little pressure. Clean up and you’re done. Neglect this and you will be done all right, probably in a not so good spot and then the bleeding starts. Yup, real blood flows when you have to buy a Maxwell gearbox.

So why we’re taking about windlasses, let’s talk about windlass motors. (You can tell I have time and its beer thirty and you know who is busy with filing and I’m finished with chores for the day and it’s something you need to know and so let’s get started.) I was told Egret’s windlass motor is a starter motor from a Land Rover. Maxwell Windlasses are manufactured in New Zealand and Maxwell isn’t in the motor business so motors are a buy out. NZ still trades quite a bit with Mother England so I guess this is why we have a Land Rover starter motor to power the windlass instead of an el cheapo – available anywhere Delco or the like. If you buy a Maxwell motor from the U.S. thru Maxwell in NZ and the motor comes from England via NZ via the U.S. shipped to where you happen to be it is a big pain for Many Reasons, much less the expense. However a motor is a motor. Most areas of the world including the most remote place you can imagine have a local shop with a spool of wire and a lathe to turn the wire.

This happened to friends on N46 Satchmo while in Barcelona. Bill was going to do what most boaters would do and order a Maxwell motor from someone in the U.S. then wait and hope it is the right replacement. The only saving grace was Satchmo was there for the winter and not cruising. However, while wandering around a local boatyard we came across an electrical shop with spools of wire. We took the motor in, a couple guys came to inspect the dead beast and in a couple days the motor was rewound. The cost was something like 120 euros instead of who knows how much for a gen u whine Maxwell replacement. The motor still works to this day. Incidentally, the same goes for alternators.

Next day. Let’s see. Filled 2 propane bottles and had one recertified. So now all three aluminum propane bottles are full and recertified. An original aluminum* bottle is certified for 10 years (*we got rid of the two original steel bottles after 2 years). Each re-certification is good for 5 year increments. We primarily use the 3 American thread bottles. Argentina, Chile and Canada/Nova Scotia/Newfoundland among others use the same thread and most places can fill the bottles. Only in Spain could we not get the bottles filled. While in the Canary Islands we bought a new bottle with British threads as a second option to filling and with 4 20lb bottles, Egret easily has a year’s supply even with Dickiedoo* steadily baking his sweet bread loaf and scones.

*Dickiedoo will rejoin Egret this June for a boat ride.

We replaced all 5 of Egret’s fire extinguishers* – 4 - 5lb ABC and 1 - 10lb with US made quality extinguishers from Broward Fire, a local company that has been in business since 1950. Fire extinguishers have a service life of 10 years. They can be hydroed and refilled like a propane bottle but the cost for new bottles is not much more so why not buy new? One old bottle still showed it was good so we kept it as a spare and we also have a second new 5lb extinguisher but it is not a quality unit we can depend on so we will keep that for a spare as well.

*There are 2 extinguishers in the salon (one inside the cockpit door and one under the bookcase leading to the pilothouse), one in the forward stateroom, one in the flybridge and the 10lb is next to my berth. Egret also has a 3 times the size necessary halon system in the engine room with a lead fuse and a manual release and a small halon bottle with a lead fuse behind the pilothouse electrical panel.

We also drained 2 gallons of months old dinghy fuel into another tank thru a 5 micron filter funnel. Yup, water. We cleaned the tank to dust before we filled it 3 months ago before leaving. We filtered the fuel thru the same strainer. This is the second time we had water in the fuel tank even with spotless care. The dinghy was covered by a dinghy cover while we were gone so the water couldn’t have come from anything but condensation or from the junk corn gas we are saddled with these days. So the new tank has filtered fuel and we’ll fill it so the Little Rice Picker grandson will have the dinghy to go exploring when he arrives in a couple weeks from Bangkok. (Actually Kenny is a tall 7 year old so he can’t be called a LRP any more. So I guess he’s a BRP now.)

Ok, so after all that work we needed a vacation so now we are at a buddy’s Fish Camp down in the Florida Keys. Of course on the way down we went thru our usual routine and stopped at our favorite lunch spot and had cracked conch* for lunch. Not bad. Then off to the Fish Camp after a quick grocery store stop.

While strolling one of our little buddys, a Key deer stopped by for a howdydidoo. Keys Deer are a small subspecies of whitetail deer.

<em>Egret</em> <em>Egret</em> <em>Egret</em>

For you Bahama* bound folks you can still find conch by wading in remote areas but these days most folks dive to pick them up. There is a trick to removing the conch from its shell I won’t go into here but will give you a heads up on an easy way to tenderize them. Conch are a tough muscle and must be tenderized like octopus. The easy way is to put them into a zip lock bag and use a wood mallet to mush them flat. If you try to hold the muscle and hit it with a hammer the conch will squirt overboard every time. Mary makes a to-die-for conch chowder. Mary froze the last batch of conch chowder before leaving the Bahamas prior to the NAR. We shared it with other boaters in Barcelona. Conch chowder in Barcelona, was that cool or what?

*There are no conch left in the Fla Keys.

We’ll be back aboard in a couple days and continue with boat chores.


Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.

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