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

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cleaning, warming up and preparing for the season ahead

Once back, we had the fun of cleaning off what seemed like a ton of bird droppings. With the bimini cover removed for the winter, the naked spreader bars had been too tempting as perches for the local seagull population with all the obvious results. Lovely job.

As the poor boat hadn't had a run for a while, we took her for a "burn" around the bay to give the main and wing engines a workout and to prove that the oil cooler swap was really OK (no leaking fittings etc). The AIS trail that we left shows how repetitive that can be in the confines of Cardiff Bay:

If anyone was stalking us, then you might have felt a little dizzy.

To try and keep a little active, plenty of walking has taken place, in fact a Fitbit steps challenge is underway between the crew and Irene (Archie's mum). This means that the local canines are getting well walked, sometimes when the weather was a little inclement too:

Pip looked quite cute with his brown mud boots on we thought. Lorna, his owner, might have had other ideas of course.

Maintenance stuff:

Of course, there is some. Oil and filter for the main engine, fuel filters for the main and wing engine and a new transfer fuel filter too. Nothing quite like an afternoon having a bath in diesel to cheer you up! Actually, that is not fair, Changing them isn't too grubby a job really. It does leave you with a fair amount of waste oil (20 litres from the main engine alone) and a few filters to dispose of though:

Ziplock bags are just the greatest invention.....

What else to report? Well, the voltage meter that was playing up was treated to a new 1000 microfarad capacitor (see earlier pictures) with the captain having to remember how to play around with solder wick etc to remove the old failing one. Having soldered a new one in place, the refitted meter showed a constant reading. The fluctuating display problem had gone. However, it was still showing a voltage that was too low. Some more excellent information from the Nordhavn owners' group members and the captain adjusted a couple of potentiometers in the meter so the display voltage corresponded to the input voltage properly. The meter would not zero though - no input shows as +4v but we can live with that.

Of course, this tweak revealed that the other 240v meters were also under-reading a bit:

The top one showing 236v is the newly refurbished and adjusted one. The rest are reading a little bit low. One wet afternoon, we might build up enough enthusiasm to adjust all the others to fit with the voltage they are being fed. It seems that as these AC voltage meters age, they begin to under-read. The 24v DC system meters are still spot on though. Good thing as they are used to check battery voltages and to give an idea of the state of charge too.

What else is on the agenda? Well, the wing and genset need a coolant change.....