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Sometimes Just Owning a Nordhavn is Cool

Recently we cruised to Poulsbo Washington for the week end. Roxia was tied to the end of “F” dock and we had visitors from time to time. I was cleaning up in the cockpit when and older couple (my age) and younger man (40’s) were looking up at our mast. The younger man said “That is quite a comms suite you have”. I don’t know about you but I rarely hear all the hardware referred to as a “comms suite” by people strolling the dock. We talked briefly across the dock and I could tell I had some knowledgeable folks so I asked them aboard. Since I was taking Emmy and six of her friends on a girls weekend I couldn’t talk tools and equipment much. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for these folks to let me ramble unabated about all things Nordhavn.

Roxia Comms Suite

Roxia Comms Suite

Turns out the older couple were the aunt and uncle of the younger man whose wife and kids were getting some food in town. Sadly the older gentleman went to UC Berkley and since I went to archival Stanford we had to cease communication immediately. Almost kidding. Rolf (the nephew) loved Roxia and we ended up talking for an hour maybe more. At the end he offered to let me tour one of the boats he had commanded. An Ohio Class SSBN, ballistic missile submarine. I thought about it while I leisurely blinked my eyes once and said YES.

Nice Ride. Just add three zeros to Nordhavn price.

Nice Ride. Just add three zeros to Nordhavn price.

After the requisite security clearance waiting period we made the drive to Bangor. Capt. S gave me and 4 others (Will, Bobby, Paul and Jim) five hours of his time for the most amazing tour of the base and USS Alabama. I used to think a Nordhavn was both complicated and had redundant systems. Those two definitions both changed for me. I learned a few things that day. When security asks “Do you know what contraband is?” If you don’t know the answer you may be there a very long time. Contraband includes cell phone, camera, any wifi capable device as well as weapons, knives etc. The next question is “Do you have any contraband?” If the answer is anything but “no” you might as well give up and not even try to walk through the inspection arch. At the fourth inspection point when walking aboard the boat and you say “Permission to come aboard?” This is actually a question that you have to wait for an answer. When you are granted permission, cross the gangway, pause and face the flag, place your hand on your heart (I don’t salute because I am not military) you no you have entered a special place.

Because on this particular day Capt. S happened to be the senior officer on the base we were treated to some amazing information. We met the the on duty team CO, XO and COB as well as some very talented men serving our country. After touring every part of the ship except ones requiring a higher clearance than we got, I was floating around in a cocoon of bliss. I have a renewed respect for the training and sacrifice these young people have chosen.

And to think all of this happened because I bought a Nordhavn and was hanging out at the dock.

The Crew in front of memorial.

The Crew in front of memorial.

Thank you Captain!

Ps. He did say if the weather is bad they just drop down another 100 feet and say “That hurricane wasn’t so bad.”

Roxia Refit Starts Early

The plan was to start the major refit of Roxia after making it through the fall with a couple more weekend trips. I think Roxia was like a thoroughbred that needed some attention before going out on the track. The sub-title of this post could have been ” Remember Chafe Protection”. As it turns out when a piece of equipment was added 10 years ago there was one missing piece of chafe protection.

Underneath this floor plate

Underneath this floor plate

Do you know how long it takes to empty a 20 hydraulic tank when there is a one quarter inch tear in a 3,000 psi #12 (” ID) hose? Less than two minutes is the answer. It also makes such a big mess in the Engineroom that it took me almost 8 hours to find the source. I spent two full days cleaning up the mess but I am sure I will be finding pockets of oil for the next year. I pumped 12 gallons of oil out of the bilge and yes I got the bilge pump turned off in time. The rest of the oil was soaked up in my clothes, a bin of oil absorb sheets or my hair. A big THANK YOU goes to Greg Harmon of Harmon Marine Service for finding the leak and solving the problem. Another big THANK YOU goes to Barry at Dunlap Industrial Hardware in Everett, WA. Barry made a new hose while we waited and stocks all the sizes of hose and fittings including stainless steel and the dies for the Parker swage machine.

When a water pump for a Wesmar APU300 was added the hydraulic hose supplying oil to the stern thruster was bent when the floorboard was screwed down. Two things could have prevented the issue: First the floorboard could have been cut out an additional inch to keep it from touching the hose. Or Two, chafe protection could have been added to sacrificially protect the hose from wear. When Roxia was built the floorboard was not screwed down and it looks like it was pushed tighter to make more room on the other side. For the repair I took out the pump, cut the board and added chafe protection.

As long as everything was apart I cleaned things up and removed the Denso tape from most of the fittings. I left it on some of the steel connectors.

Before and After

Before and After

The moral of the story is to make sure you have chafe protection and check it to make sure it stays in place. When a system is added double check the work. The hydraulic APU was a backup to the backup (wing engine) so I will be removing itif you need a backup.

A day in Brisbane

I thought we had a pretty cool ferry system in Washington until we started spending time in Australia. On our last trip in October Emmy and I spent a week in Sydney and spent a good bit of time on the water. Now after loading Roxia onto (into?) the good ship Yacht Express, Devin and I spent the day on the River in Brisbane riding ferries taking in the sites.

Roxia was celebrity of the day making the local Moreton Bay Cruisers Facebook Page as we were headed to meet Yacht Express.

I saw this sign on the ferry and thought it might be a good Nordhavn option.



Hamilton Island

We left Mackay, QLD on October 15 and headed to Scawfell Island.  We had SE winds 10-15k with wind waves on the starboard beam of 2-3 feet. Roxia handled the seas comfortably.  We had one issue with the generator running but not producing power. I checked all the manuals on the boat for the generator and all we had were the Northern Lights books for the engine. I had enough information to rebuild the engine but could I find a wiring diagram for the actual generator…not so lucky.  I grabbed the multimeter and headed to the engine room.  I was getting power at the generator so I knew it had to be between the genset and the panel.  After looking in the N62 manual I found there was a double pole breaker somewhere.  Back to the engine room and yes I found the box mounted on the bulkhead behind the gen and there was a tripped breaker. Boom, done, drop mic.  First issue at sea solved. We decided to continue the trip. Scawfell was really pretty so we put the dink “On the Rox” in the water to check things out. Yikes, gas gauge flashing empty and no paddle.  We circled Roxia and snapped some pictures then back on deck for the Dink.

October 16 found us at Goldsmith Island and a nice little sheltered cove on the North side. Two sail boats were already anchored but we were all separated and cozy.  I forgot to leave the inReach on so it looks like we transported there but we actually cruise there. It rained hard but it was warm so Roxia just got a nice wash down.  Anchoring is quite nice with the use of Flopper Stoppers to keep the rocking to a minimum. A 300# anchor and 1/2″ chain makes you sleep easy.  An item we never had on any other boat is the hydraulic automatic anchor wash down. Water sprays the chain at 180 gpm so as we haul it up it gets clean. It is so strong I thought it might blow off the galvanizing…maybe not.

October 17 we decided to head to the snazzy marina of Hamilton Island Marina.  A little pricy but very nice.  We did make the mistake of calling in for our slip assignment and proceeding in. Oops, here you wait for the concierge dinghy to come greet you and lead you to your slip. I had to back into a slip for the first time and managed to keep all 70 tons from crushing dock or human.  This marina was hit in March with a Category 5 Typhoon. The island, marina and resort were blasted.  People in the marina (150) all huddled in conference center to wait out the storm.  260-280kph winds remained for nearly 6 hours. The people were pinned in the building for two days. Food was running out then the steel doors caved in.  Everyone tried to stay in the large restrooms. We rode the free shuttle around the island and our driver was in that group.  There is a driving range where you hit balls into a pond.  The wind blew all the water out and sent 10,000 golf balls onto the runway.  Airplanes couldn’t take off or land until it was clear.  Resort staff walked the entire runway and cleaned it off so people could be evacuated. The owners of the resort hired 500-600 tradesmen to rebuild the resort. They are still working on projects seven months later but the resort and Island was only closed for 7 days!! No WiFi here! What?

Pictures will have to wait.

New Roxia Page

Check out the new Roxia Page


Everyone dies, not everyone really lives

Let the adventures begin!

Lone pilot 2

Listing Price

M/V Shibumi $500,000 usd.


Shibumi is For Sale


With our sights on new adventures and a growing family we are looking at a different boat. Shibumi is at a perfect stage to sell.  For the person looking to differ some costs by keeping her in charter she has a consistent history of bookings. It is always good to buy a boat from a boat nerd who is a little OCD. Check out the tab and look at the PDF and let me know what you think.

Projects are slowing down.

After 12 years of making sure Shibumi was fit as a fiddle there are not that many more projects.  Finally added the AIS to the system and the new paint.  It might be time to sell and buy the next boat, possibly the last boat.  Interested?

The funniest comment during haul out this year was how shiny our propshafts were. I replaced them three years ago and there are no marks of any kind on them.  Maybe the quality is better.  I have to give Marine Hardware in Redmond, WA a shout out for building these shafts.  They are perfect and have no vibration.

Pettit has been my paint and varnish of choice for the last few years and bottom paint, topside epoxy paint and varnish are holding up better than expected. Thanks to Rachael and Pettit!


The days are getting longer!

For me it is always a time for celebration the day following the winter solstice.  The days are getting longer and I can feel the funk draining away from my brain.  It also means I have probably started to complete some winter projects. These two pictures represent more work than they appear.

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The picture of the electric panel shows a new selector in the upper right.  There are now two locations to plug in shore power.  One in the cockpit and the other in the same location as before on the port side of the pilot house.  We are in so many locations where the stern location would be preferred, now you have it. Since I was running wires I also wired Shibumi to accept 50a 240v.  I don’t have a use for it yet but I’ll think of something.

The picture of the hydraulic pump came after Shibumi returned from a charter with the pump hanging in the bilge after it sheared off.  I decided to design a new bracket that would be stronger and my friend Marc Lecoq from Lecoq Machine Works fabricated it. I notice the engine has less vibration and the gusseted bracket has no movement.

Still have a few more projects to finish…