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

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Greenock farewell time

Remember how we said that after the exhaust muffler replacement we just needed some good weather to set sail? Well, this was on offer:

followed by this a day later:

So, we stayed put in the shelter of James Watt Dock and used the last couple of days with the hire car to do all the heavy shopping things that are harder without transport.

During our various excursions, we spotted this stone penguin in a garden:

Not sure if it is looking after the egg properly though, it can be cold up here and the egg looked very exposed and a bit blue. Patrick insisted that we post this picture as he has been feeling a little ignored recently. He also thinks that we should adorn the Defender with something like this to make it more "his car":

Poor deluded penguin.

We went for a wander around Stirling and wondered why we had never done so beforehand. Many wonderful old buildings:


and some inventive locals including one who put a cute little pretend clock tower on the top of his garden shed:

(Maybe we should say garden hut as we are in Scotland of course.) The captain particularly liked the inscription on one building (hard to read all of it thanks to the sun and shade but worth the effort):

The captain will try to enforce this when the crew ignores an order whilst underway. His chances of success are, realistically,  not high.

Maintenance news:

The little engine battery alternator that we had ordered many many weeks ago finally pitched up. Prestolite supply here is pretty dire unless the part is already in the UK stock and their tracking of deliveries from the USA to the dealers seems feeble. Very unimpressed with them. The supply of repair parts is reported as equally hopeless by some alternator overhaul specialists too. So glad we now have a spare domestic alternator for the main engine as an 8 week lead time could really cause trouble if the bearings went (it runs on the same serpentine belt as the water pump).

Fitting the little alternator wasn't straightforward. Getting the pulley off the old one and onto the new needed some tools that were not on board so he had the delight of wandering into a local garage (that mainly fixes taxis, enough said) and asking one of the mechanics if he could spin it off using his impact gun. The guy was very helpful and suitably critical of the kind of folks who drive and basically abuse the taxis he has to fix. We have seen some of them out and about on the local roads. The mechanic was right.

Alternator fitted with a new drive belt and the mounting was shimmed a little to try and align the pulleys better:

No need to play the battery parallel game underway any more. Just got to check the charging voltage is OK when we fire up the engine now. It might well need adjusting upwards to suit the AGM batteries.

We also (finally!) sorted out the cold idle problem with the RIB outboard. The strange heated wax pellet thing (called a Primestart in Yamaha terms( that manages the enrichment until the engine is hot had been misbehaving for ages. It started fine but needed some throttle until warm to prevent stalling (a bit like temperamental old 2 stroke engines!) A new Primestart was not much cheaper than a whole carburettor so that it what it was treated to. The first repair for it in 8.5 years so no big complaint.

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