About us and the boat

About us and the boat:

We were lucky enough to retire early at the start of 2013 so we could head off and "live the dream" on board our Nordhavn 47 Trawler Yacht. The idea is to see some of the planet, at a slow 6 - 7 knots pace. There are no fixed goals or timings, we just had a plan to visit Scotland and then probably the Baltic before heading south.

The Baltic has been postponed as we didn't manage to see everything we wanted to in Scotland during our first year owing to family issues. The idea is to visit the nicer areas in these latitudes before heading south for warmer weather. If we like somewhere, we will stay for a while. If not, we will just move on. So, for the people who love forward planning and targets, this might seem a little relaxed!

If anyone else is contemplating a trawler yacht life, maybe our experiences will be enough to make you think again, or maybe do it sooner then you intended!

The boat is called Rockland and she is built for long distance cruising and a comfortable life on board too. If you want to see more about trawler yachts and the Nordhavn 47 in particular, there is a link to the manufacturers website in our "useful stuff" section. For the technically minded, there is a little info and pictures of the boat and equipment in the same section


Richard and June

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Toddlers, flu, pottering

The flu season seemed to have passed us by but it caught the crew's mum big time. So, we spent a little time helping her parents (aka the toddlers) as nursemaid, cook etc until she recovered. That meant staying in Essex rather than afloat. Upon our return, a nice new DC voltage gauge was waiting for us thanks to Sandie from Nordhavn Europe and it was duly fitted.

Although the manufacturers still offer the same part number, it now comes with a different fixing (nasty plastic things) and a different face panel so we cannot add the diffuser sheet that is in all the other gauges. As you can see, that means the new one is brighter and clearer:

We think that we can live with that.....

As for pottering around, a trip to Cornwall staying with Norman and and Julie (who you have met here before) and their three hounds involved a trip to the Rick Stein seafood restaurant in Padstow. No, we have not come into a lot of money - this was a super deal, attending the annual charity lunch. £24 for three courses in such an excellent restaurant was pretty good we thought.

On the way back we visited Port Isaac, known to UK TV fans as the home of Doc Martin. Real addicts of the program will probably spot the house used as a surgery:

We enjoyed an excellent coffee and cake break in The Chapel Cafe. Very good indeed. Add it to your list of places to imbibe and listen to the locals chatting. Most enlightening. Suggest you avoid it in peak holiday season though, it must be chaos.

Back afloat it was time to do the pre-cruising season jobs that were still outstanding. The genset valve adjustment was due so the poor thing was rendered topless:

The little gauze filter that is supposed to sort out some of the blowby oil vapour got cleaned up too:

and refitted - you can see the screws holding the cover over the gauze in the centre area:

The air cleaner element also had a bath.

Of course, after all the effort in dismantling the thing, only one of the eight rockers needed any adjustment.... But you feel better to have checked them, so I am told. The main engine got a new air filter (dead easy job) and the engine room was tidied up ready for a run out to warm everything up. Except it rained and blew a gale so the warm up got a little delayed.

Instead we fitted a new sheet of plastic under the crane. The original that hides away the messy sheaves and cable setup was seriously sad, cracking and warped. The guys who cut the replacement were good but the new piece was just a little too narrow - couldn't put all the fitting screws back. Annoying but not critical.

Life isn't all maintenance of course. Walks into Cardiff, coffee stops, folks around for dinner etc etc keep us happily amused.

Friday, 12 January 2018

There is always some stuff to do....

Here is an update for the terminally sad - those who find tinkering with their Nordhavn theraputic or those who enjoy seeing the pain inflicted on owners who have to keep up with the winter maintenance stuff.

So, the raw water pump on the genset had been weeping and the weep was turning into a drip. Time to replace it.... The pump was the original and has survived many years and hours but the usual seal problem had arisen.

David, who bought a 47 last year and has the same job to do on his boat, came around and helped. This was excellent news for both captain and crew. It allowed the crew to avoid flexing her muscles holding a ratchet and socket on a couple of bolts. It allowed the captain to just ask "can you hold that" rather then explain how the ratchet works, which way it was going to turn and how to place your knuckles to avoid losing skin / being moaned at. Bliss, thank you David!

The genset without the pump:

you can see the water pipes hanging in the air too.

The hardest part of the job is persuading the drive gear to come off the old pump ready to fit it to the new one. It is a taper fit and needs a puller to encourage it to release. It actually needed quite a lot of encouragement. However, with David on the spanner and a big puller in place, it duly surrendered:

and was refitted onto the spare pump with a torque wrench to be sure all was OK. Allowing it to spin off whilst inside the engine would be a bit messy.

Refitting the pump is easy enough except when the O ring that seals the face plate moves out of its little groove as you are bolting things up......

The captain had considered buying a spare drive gear so that it could be fitted to the spare pump which would then be ready to go and easy to replace on either the wing or genset engine. All was good until he saw the price that Energy Solutions, the local Northern Lights dealer, wanted for one. Madness - a typical captive part price. So, we didn't buy from them.

The old pump will be resealed and have new bearings fitted too and then become the "lukewarm" spare. Not "warm" or "hot" as we still need to do the drive gear swap to put it into service.

What else - well, the Yamaha 20 engine on the RIB got an oil and filter change and the captain got to enjoy a burn around the bay beforehand to warm up the oil. It was a perfect winter's day. Sun, blue sky, just a bit chilly. The trip almost made doing the oil change and washing the black streaks off the hull from earlier rain worthwhile.

As the crane was uncovered, we also took off the plastic sheet that fits underneath and hides away the sheaves and line. It is getting old, deformed and brittle. Almost human-like in its behaviour. Steve the waterbus man knows a place that can cut us a new piece.....

He is busy too:

It isn't just Nordhavn boats that need some winter attention although Steve seems more likely to get a parking ticket than we are.