Thursday, May 29, 2014

Construction update, week 68 - She's Done!

She's done!  Or at least close enough to declare it done and make the big payment.  She's booked on a freighter which is on it's way to pick here up.  Once back in the US we start the commissioning which will take 3 months, give or take.

Bottom paint is on, zincs are installed, and Propspeed is on the running gear.

Wing running gear

Main prop, cutter, and PropSpeed

Main prop

Here's a good profile.  You can see the cables running from the cradle up through the bow thruster tunnel, and up through the hausepipes.  I'm assuming it's all part of securing the boat for it's ride across the Pacific.

Profile shot

One thing we added along the way was this stainless bash plate and tow eye.  The tow eye is a great attachment point for an anchor snubber, and the plate helps protect against strikes of logs and the like.  It's hard to see in the picture, but it extends about 8" below the water line.

Bash pate and tow eye

Stern with swim ladder

Exhaust port for diesel exhaust.  Also swim shower box.

Close-up of diesel heat exhaust

Propane locker stocked and ready to go

Emergency tiller, articulated so it can clear the cockpit settee and table.

Battery charger and fire extinguisher canister

Lazarette, DC power panel, battery compartments

Steering gear

Auto pilot pumps

Heating system

Air Con unit, pre-wire cable for dive compressor

Glendinning shore power system

Steps into Laz, inverters in the background

Finishing touches on wing engine exhaust

Wing exhaust and day tank

Wing exhaust

Main hydraulic pump with protective cover

Salon with table and seat cushions

Navy blue cushion for cockpit settee

Pilot House cushions in place

Pilot House helm with wheel and Stidd seat base

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We're back in Gloucester

I'm once again tardy with the updates.  We've been back in Gloucester for a couple of weeks, completing our winter Bahamas trip.  While the boat was in Charleston, we went home for a while and I spend a week in China doing the final checkout on the Nordhavn build.  More on that later.... On return, I went directly back to Charleston and met up with Laurie there, and the north trip continued.

This last segment took us first from Charleston to Annapolis with stops in Myrtle Beach SC,  Port Royal NC, Chesapeake VA, and Deltaville VA.  Once in Annapolis we stayed for a week, including a long weekend trip to CA to attend the Nordhavn owners rendezvous at their headquarters.  Our visit to Annapolis also included a personal tour of the Naval Academy by brother-in-law Joe who is a professor there.

After Annapolis we made an expedited run back to Gloucester, taking advantage of very favorable sea conditions and running fast several days.  You sure can cover a lot of ground running at 18kts.  The last segment included an anchor stop in the northern Chesapeake just a few miles before the C&D Canal, a stop at Cape Map, then a marathon run up the NJ coast in calm but foggy conditions (never saw NJ) all the way through NY Harbor to Port Jefferson LI for another night at anchor.  Then on to Westbrook CT for fuel and a marina night, followed by a run to Cuttyhunk.  Then from Cuttyhunk home.

Reflecting back, it was a great trip.  We had two goals; one to experience the ICW while we have a shallow draft boat, and the other to get a taste for the Bahamas.  We were pleasantly surprised by the ICW.  We knew it would be a combination of developed and undeveloped coast, but found it much less developed than we expected.  A few spots made for a tense moment or two as we watched the water depth drop then stop reading because it was too shallow, but we kept floating the whole time.  For us a big test of how much we like a trip is whether the return voyage is still fun, and it definitely was.  Would we want to do it again?  Yes, but not the same way.  There are inside parts that I would definitely do again, but in the future we look forward to longer outside passages directly between the places where we want to visit.

As for the Bahamas, what a great place.  It's so varied, and we only saw a small part of it, but you could spend months and months exploring any area of it.  We certainly look forward to returning once we are back cruising on the east coast again.

With the Grand Banks back in Gloucester, we have now officially moved off the boat and are nearly done returning her to factory condition.  The great thing about boats that get used regularly is that everything works, so we have no repairs to do.  Most of the work is cleaning to get the ICW scrubbed off the hull, but that's done and she's as shiny as ever.  All our stuff is moved off, and all the Grand Banks fitted bed covers, throw pillows, wine racks, wine glass racks, dishes, silverware, ice maker, etc are all back on board and ready for the next owner.  It's now in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get presentation form which makes things easier for prospective buyers.  Tanglewood II has been an awesome boat and carried us for nearly 8,000 nm of cruising.  I'm sure she will deliver the same to her next owner as we head out to the high seas.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nordhavn build questions

I was asked a question about our Nordhavn build, and thought it would be better to answer in a post rather than a comment.  Here's the question:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is fun watching your build and seeing some of the custom things you are doing. I noticed no bulbous bow and know that the first several N60's were without, but thought PAE intended to make that a standard. Did you opt out? I believe you came to the correct conclusion, but would be interested in your thought process. One thing you did that I debated when having my (non-Nord) boat built was all hydraulic windlasses and thrusters. In the end, I concluded that the cost ($40K extra, as a change order on my boat) wasn't worth the benefit.
I see you went with a gas range, as did I (although I was cautioned it was a bad idea). I have no regrets about that decision. Can't wait for the next installment. -Rick
So the questions are 

1) bulbous bow

2) hydraulics

3) propane vs electric cooking

Bulbous Bow:

PAE has a good article on the topic on their web site where they talk about some of their key design features Nordhavn construction fundamentals.  As best I can tell, the 50, 57, and 62 mostly or all came with bulbs, but in the latest generation of models they are not available until you get to 76'.  Read the article for more info, but bulbs are not without their down sides.  They work best when tunes for a specific speed like a freighter operates, but for a boat that operates at a range of speeds they can harm as much as they help.  They also can create slapping in certain seas.  I read about one owner who added a bulb to his boat, then cut it off the next year because the slapping was so horrible.   PAE seems to have been wise to focus use of bulbs only on the larger boats.  The down side of not having a bulb is that you can't do fun things like this


Hydraulics also have their pluses and minuses.  The plus is that it enables more powerful thrusters (25hp), and you can run them continuously.  Electric thrusters heat up when you operate them, and after a while trip a thermal breaker.  You need to run them for a minute or more to get a thermal timeout, but if you are running them that hard, it's probably because you really need them, and that's the worst possible for them to shut down on you.  I didn't want that.

Additionally, an hydraulic windless is more powerful than an electric one.  I didn't know this going into this project, but rather stumbled across it later while reading the specs for my Maxwell 3500.  The "3500" means it can lift 3500 lbs, but that's only for the hydraulic version.  The electric
 version can only lift 1200 lbs.  Both are enough to lift a 200lb anchor and 400' of chain, but the electric version can just barely do it where the hydraulic model can lift it with ease.

One more key point is that assuming you have stabilizers, you already have hydraulics.  It them becomes a question of what you are going to do with them.  Granted, it takes a lot more capacity to run thrusters than stabilizers, but you are taking on the extra complexity either way.  Pat of that complexity includes a few failure modes that can disable all the hydraulics.  This is a common argument in favor of electric hydraulics and winches: as independent devices, failure of one won't disable another.  This is true, so part of having hydraulics is understanding these failure modes, doing all you can to prevent them, and being prepared in the event they happen.

Propane Vs Electric:

There's no doubt that getting rid of all propane on a boat eliminates the possibility of a propane fire or explosion.  That's good of course.  But to me a grill isn't a grill unless it's gas.  And I greatly prefer cooking with a gas cook top.  And it's nice to be able to cook and grill without having to run a generator.  So gas it is for us.