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

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Holy Loch to Tarbert

Leaving Holy Loch it looked very threatening but dramatic:

Our run to Tarbert takes us though some of the prettiest cruising grounds in this area, winding around the Island of Bute and through the Kyles:

Off Dunoon, this old girl was still out trying to earn a living for someone:

Quite a way to earn a crust or two.  Dunoon also sports this rather sad little light tower to keep folks away from the Gantock rocks. It looks like it is overdue for a paint job or maybe just a clean up but is an addition to our collection:

Oh, and whilst we are playing lighthouses, here is the one a little further south at Toward point:

Much nicer. The trip around the Kyles of Bute is one that we always enjoy and as the sun peeped out, it was even better. Firstly, going past the Burnt Isles and through the narrow channel:

Then it was a stunning flybridge run down the West Kyle in the sun enjoying some strange cloud shapes:

We were chased into Tarbert by the Waverley:

and with her 2,100 HP steam engine and significantly bigger waterline length, she goes a lot faster than us. Mind you, most motorboats do. As she is bigger and captained by someone with a very miserable voice in the VHF radio, we diverted a little to let her into the harbour first although we did have right of way. Sometimes you don't push these things:

We happily stopped on "our berth" in Tarbert (the one that we used several times when we were in the area 2 years ago). It was a lovely trip. No more to add really, just to remind everyone of how lovely the scenery is around here.

Maintenance news:

Well, we have something to report for you. The night before we left Holy Loch, there was monsoon like rain, thunder, lightning, the whole shebang. In the morning there were a few water drips on the tray above the main engine that had clearly made it down the exhaust stack. A first! Less pleasant was the appearance of a flake of rust there too. Very very probably from the exhaust muffler / silencer which is a huge steel thing inside the bottom of the stack all nicely wrapped with insulation. After 10 years it has a right to rust a bit and we were planning to replace it next spring at lift out time. Perhaps it will not wait that long?

During the trip, we listened carefully to the exhaust and checked for any signs of leakage inside the stack. Nothing obvious although the note sounded a little different - or was that paranoia? So, we gave the engine a good wide open throttle burn to properly test it. Sure enough the engine note sounded slightly different to normal or our paranoia was telling us so. A leak in the silencer? A loose baffle inside? Not sure. The only way to tell will be to remove the insulating wrap around the silencer and see:

However, if the thing is seriously corroded and the wrap is holding it all together, then unwrapping could be very unwise. We might end up with an inoperative silencer and either stay in Tarbert until we get a new one or rely on the wing engine to get about. Not sensible. We will head back to a slightly bigger place before we take the wrap off and in the meanwhile, have ordered a new muffler / silencer as a precaution. It was going to be renewed early next year anyway. Why is it so impatient?!


  1. Hello Richard - Enjoying your blog for the last year. Excellent and informative - must come to Scotland and UK to see for myself.
    Maintenance: From where do you get spareparts like silencer and insulation wrap in UK. Nordhavn parts from Nordhavn in Hamble??
    Best regards / Erik

  2. Hi there Erik

    Yes, Scotland is a wonderful cruising ground. You have to visit the west coast and the outer islands. Spectacular scenery if a bit wet at times!

    Parts - we source some via Nordhavn Europe (Sandie the office manager is very good at tracking them down) and some direct from the USA or UK suppliers. The muffler is coming via Nordhavn and the wrap is being made by a UK company TMD supplies who made some for the pipework in our engine room earlier this year. They did a great job at a sensible price - there are pictures in posts made during March.

    So, see you in Scotland soon perhaps?



  3. Just started reading your blog. If you have an IR gun, look at the insulation you may see higher temps in an area where there is a leak (doesn't look it). A leak would show up on the insulation as a sooty area/plume. Regards John X-Chief Engineer USN

  4. Hello John and thanks a lot for your help.

    We had used our IR gun and spotted a hotter area around the top of the muffler. No soot though. Kept a very regular check on it during a short run back to "civilisation" and there was no change luckily. Found a nice little hole when we took the insulation off..... Will post some pictures soon.


    Richard and June


Thanks for your ideas / cheek / corrections / whatever! They should hit the blog shortly after the system checks them to make sure they will not put us or you in jail.....