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Category Archives: Repairs

Maintenance and Repair Items

Starboard Propeller before being cleaned and balanced.

With Yes Please on the hard, it was time for some serious boat maintenance. The bottom was sanded down and painted with ablative paint, the propellers were removed, cleaned up, balanced and coated with propspeed. The tailshaft from the starboard engine was pulled so the cutlass (strut) bearing could be replaced. During the purchase survey, it was noted that a chunk of wood had become wedged into the starboard cutlass bearing, which needed to be replaced during the next haulout, and here we are, at the next haulout! 😉

I also took the opportunity to change all of the engine zincs out, clean the strainers, replace hull zincs and inspect the rest of the running gear. Yes Please spent two weeks in the yard before being launched again and put away snug in her boathouse.

Propellers and shaft after cleaning and balancing.

Starboard Propeller mounted back up and ready for Propspeed.

Propspeed applied and cured on the Propeller.

Old and new pencil zincs from the Starboard Engine.

Grand Banks Eastbay 39 on the Travel Lift

Grand Banks Eastbay 39 on the Travel Lift

With Summer winding down and Autumn right at our doorsteps, its time to put Yes Please on the hard. At dawn on a calm, foggy Monday morning, I motored quietly over to the shipyard and was very pleasantly surprised to find the Travel lift warmed up and ready at 08:00 when I arrived.

There was quite a bit of marine growth on the shafts, rudders and trim tabs, but the bottom paint is still in excellent condition. A few minutes with a scraper and a pressure washer and she looked almost brand new. Yes Please will get a few fresh coats of bottom paint, just to keep it that way.

The propellers are being pulled, cleaned and balanced and we need to replace one of the Cutlass bearings, so she’ll spend a few weeks out of the water before she’s ready for a full season of winter boating.

Grand Banks Eastbay 39 on the hard

Grand Banks Eastbay 39 on the hard

Anchor Rollers were disassembled, cleaned and greased.

Anchor Rollers were disassembled, cleaned and greased.

I spent most of the weekend prepping the boat for multi-week trips to the San Juan’s and Gulf Islands this summer. I changed the oil and filters in the main engines, then removed both of the Anchor Rollers so I could clean up and grease the shafts. The aft roller was squeaking and the forward roller was frozen. After a little elbow grease followed by some real grease, they are rolling smooth as silk and silently.

Marking the Anchor Chain for depth.

Marking the Anchor Chain for depth.

Once the rollers were working, I flaked most of the anchor chain out onto the deck to inspect and mark it for length/depth. We have always used Red, White and Blue paint and chain markers every 50′. It’s very easy to remember the red, white and blue color scheme. I also found some old yellow paint every 25′, so have intermediate lengths marked as well.

I replaced the start battery for the generator, even though it appeared to be functioning perfectly. The date code indicates that the battery is 11 years old (as are the house and start batteries) and I wanted to be sure we were able to start the generator in case we needed to charge the other batteries. The generator battery was the hardest one to get to, requiring a painful crawl forward and around the outside of the port engine, all the way aft to where the battery is hidden away next to the tail shaft. The positive terminal stud was very loose and was growing green corrosion, indicating it had been a long, long time since the battery had been serviced.

Replacing the Generator Start Battery.  Notice the date code from 2005!

Replacing the Generator Start Battery. Notice the date code from 2005!

I understand why, recalling that Matt (surveyor) had been unable to physically get to the battery or the Fireboy extinguisher during the survey. Fortunately, I’m shorter than he is so managed to worm my way back and get er done!

Freshly varnished name boards looking sharp!

Freshly varnished name boards looking sharp!

Life has been keeping us pretty busy lately, but I still find time to run down to the boat during my lunch hour and get a little work done. Those short breaks were perfect for sanding down the old name boards and putting on several fresh coats of varnish. Each coat takes 24 hours to dry, so after about a week and seven coats, I was finally able to put the new Vinyl on the name boards.

Fusion BB-100 control

Fusion BB-100 control

Another, bigger project was to install a new Fusion BB-100 (black box) stereo system in the Stateroom. I installed the “black box” under one of the steps, then mounted the small controller/blue tooth transmitter in the side of the port drawers. Full range speakers were hung and the stereo sounds magnificent. It is easily controlled via Bluetooth and the FusionLink Iphone app, so we don’t even have to get out of bed at night to enjoy our music.

Another, easier project was to replace the Raymarine Depth Sounder Module (DSM-300). As mentioned in a previous post, the old one dropped out and alarmed constantly, which made it useless and extremely annoying. The refurbished unit dropped right into place and works like a champ, as seen in the screen shot below showing Yes Please passing over a wrecked concrete sailboat.

Sonar is now working thanks to a new DSM.

Sonar is now working thanks to a new DSM.

New full range speakers sound awesome!

New full range speakers sound awesome!

Irrational Xantrex Inverter Display

Irrational Xantrex 2512 Inverter Display

One of the minor annoyances listed as a deficiency on the survey was the control panel for the Xantrex Inverter. As Matt Harris so eloquently put it, “the inverter remote control panel display readout is irrational.” Indeed it was and apparently always has been (see photo).

According to the previous owner, the inverter works perfectly, but the display has always been scrambled and no one had been able to fix it. Hmmmm.

I read through a bunch of Xantrex manuals, which are guaranteed to put you right to sleep, no matter how restless you might be. Apparently, the particular model number of the Inverter on Yes Please doesn’t actually exist (P2512M), and a scrambled display is often the result of communication faults between the inverter and display. The solution, hit the reset button (reset to factory defaults).

Non-srambled Xantrex display after the reset

Non-srambled Xantrex display after the reset

Granted, hitting a button that resets to factory defaults is a little scary, since you can’t tell what those factory defaults are, but the button was pushed, the display reset and who would have guessed, problem solved. Now I can at least see what the darn thing is doing!

Raymarine Electronics at the helm of Yes Please.

Raymarine Electronics at the helm of Yes Please.

I have never been a big fan of Raymarine Electronics. Almost all of the charter boats that I have operated came equipped with them, so I am familiar with how they work. I also see them on a lot of local boats, so am guessing it is a popular brand.

Yes Please came equipped with Raymarine Electronics, so it was time to re-program the AIS unit with the new boat name (formerly Maverick) and to troubleshoot a very annoying alarm that constantly pops up that the “connection to the DSM module has been lost”. The first order of business was to find the modules, then figure out how to access them. It took a bit of hard pulling on the Autopilot, and eventually the dash popped off and I was able to see how things were hooked up.

DSM and Sea Talk modules

DSM and Sea Talk modules

My mini-usb cable turned out to be a little too short, which necessitated holding the laptop with one hand while typing with the other. Eventually, I was able to re-program the AIS unit with the new “Yes Please” boat name and then updated the AIS firmware to the latest version. This was very easy to do using the ProAIS software and USB drivers. I was also glad the laptop batteries were in good shape, since I forgot the power cable. DOH!

Next, I updated the E120 chart plotter to the latest version of firmware, which helped with troubleshooting the Raymarine SeaTalk network issues. Then I began to investigate the dropping DSM module error that constantly appears.

AIS module well hidden below the helm.

AIS module well hidden below the helm.

It turns out that the Raymarine Depth Sounder Module (DSM300) was the victim of very poor engineering. The Ray supplied power cable is too thin (insufficient gauge) to handle the 8 amps of load required. As a result, when the DSM pings, it attempts to draw 8 Amps of current through the too thin wire, which drops the voltage below the unit’s minimum voltage set point (obviously set too high), so the unit drops out and restarts. Wow, engineering has fallen a long way since Raytheon invented the Magnetron (radar) during WWII!

Barnacle encrusted Gori propeller on the Wing Engine.

Barnacle encrusted Gori propeller on the Wing Engine.

We all make mistakes from time to time and my Stupid Owner Trick this year was not using my Wing Engine enough. DOH!!

After reading the James Knight interview on Pendana’s blog, his answer to the question, “if there was one thing Nordhavn owners should check religiously and don’t what would that be?”, really hit home. Yep, it’s the Wing Engine, specifically, exercising the Gori folding prop. I put my dive gear on to check mine, and sure enough, it was a mass of barnacles and muscles, so fully encrusted that it was stuck in the open position. Damn It Scott! Thirty minutes of chipping away at the growth underwater didn’t rectify the situation, so it was time to pull the boat.

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle, on the hard at Swantown Boatworks.

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle, on the hard at Swantown Boatworks.

Swantown Boatworks was pretty busy, but they squeezed me in (literally) right in front of their office. Once the boat was up in the slings, I was impressed to see that my underwater work had allowed the folding prop to fold-up, but it still wasn’t really functional. Compare that to the main propeller (see photo above), which had been coated with Barnacle Buster last year. I had mistakenly left the Gori prop bare and you can see that the marine growth LOVED it!

They pressure washed the hull and running gear for me, then set the boat on the hard about one foot from the front door of their office. It was rather funny to watch the yard workers ducking under the swim step in order to get to the restrooms.

All cleaned up and ready to launch.

All cleaned up and ready to launch.

I spent the next few days chipping, grinding, sanding and eventually painting the Gori Folding propeller with outdrive paint. It was a bit of a miserable job, with air temperatures around 40° F and rain squalls every hour or so. Once the prop was good to go, I lubed up the mechanism and then went to work cleaning the keel coolers, replacing zincs and touching up a few spots of bottom paint that were bare.

Prior to putting Sea Eagle back in the water, I pulled and replaced the 7/16″ packing on the main shaft and inspected the shaft/bearings/etc., finding it all to be in excellent condition.

Launching Sea Eagle back into the water.

Launching Sea Eagle back into the water.

For those that didn’t see James Knight’s interview, here was his advice on what Nordhavn owners should check relegiously: “I would say that placing their wing engine into and out of gear while its running is something most are guilty of not doing. When we pull boats from the water we often see that the wing engine propeller is jammed i.e. the propeller doesn’t fold / unfold correctly.” Busted!

Clean and functional Gori Prop, like it should be.

Clean and functional Gori Prop, like it should be.

New LED Navigation Lights on N47, Sea Eagle.

New LED Navigation Lights on N47, Sea Eagle.

During a recent daybreak departure, I noticed that my masthead light was burned out. I took this opportunity to continue my project to replace all the halogen and incandescent bulbs in the boat with LED’s. I’d been wanting to do the anchor light for a LONG time, since it consumes lots of battery power during our long winter nights in the Pacific Northwest.

I have had very good luck with LED replacement bulbs from Marine Beam. They make excellent constant current replacement bulbs that are a very pleasing color and have performed flawlessly on the boat for the last two years. Their “Idiots Guide to Marine LED’s” is also a good read. I ordered some new Navigation bulbs and as usual, they priority shipped them the same day.

The bulbs arrived on a sunny, but very cold day, so I took the opportunity to climb the stack while it was dry and replace the navigation bulbs.

Bright LED anchor light on top of the mast.

Bright LED anchor light on top of the mast.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that even though I’d carried a bag full of tools up with me, not a single tool was required and the bulbs were very easy to replace. MUCH better than my previous boats. They had Nav lights that were very difficult to replace.

At sunset, I turned on the new lights and was very pleased with how bright the Anchor and Masthead lights were. I’ll sleep easier at night when the Anchor Light is on, knowing it is easily seen and very easy on the batteries. I think the only Halogen bulbs left on the boat now are the Spreader Lights, Docking Lights, Search Light, Microwave and Oven. Good Progress!

The Anchor Windlass Fusible Link is hidden just under the lip of the forward head floor!

The Anchor Windlass Fusible Link is hidden just under the lip of the forward head floor!

With the weather finally warmed up above freezing, the water had been turned back on, so I was hooking up the water hose when I noticed a big pile of anchor chain jammed up in front of the windlass. Hmmmmm, it had me wondering how the heck that had happened and a quick check showed the windlass wouldn’t turn either direction.

I pulled up the floor panels in the Guest Stateroom and Guest Head and eventually located an 80 amp fusible link that had failed. It was well hidden under the lip of the floor over the bow thruster. I checked my spares and didn’t haven any fuses that small, so checked West Marine ($20) and Amazon (2 for $5), and I’m sure you can figure out which one I ordered.

Then I went around the boat, checking the windlass control stations and discovered the aft station (in the cockpit) was engaged by the weight of a dive tank fill whip that had been draped over the canvas cover for the control station. Damn It Scott!!

The forward Thruster Well on a Nordhavn 47 is found below the floor of the guest Head.

The forward Thruster Well on a Nordhavn 47 is found below the floor of the guest Head.


I rectified the issue with the fill whip, then spent some time and brute force to get the chain unjammed from the chain stripper and windlass. Eventually, I was able to get everything put back together like it should be and I replaced the 80 amp fusible link. Fortunately, that restored windlass functionality and taught me two important lessons.

1. I typically leave the power on to the Windlass as a safety measure in case it needs to be deployed or recovered in an emergency. Now I’m thinking I should disconnect the power when I’m here at the dock (even though the breaker is hard to get to).

2. Don’t set things on top of the aft control station unless you want a big pile of anchor chain jammed up on the foredeck. All I can say about that one, is DOH!!!

Bauer 8 CFM Breathing Air Compressor getting an oil and filter change.

Bauer 8 CFM Breathing Air Compressor getting an oil and filter change.

One of the last items on my very long list from the purchase survey of Sea Eagle was to get the Bauer Breathing Air Compressor working. It has no hour meter and no maintenance records, so I wasn’t sure what it’s history had been. I remembered the previous owner saying it didn’t work due to some power issue, but he didn’t know why.

I cleaned up all the mildew from the compressor and storage box, then drained the old compressor oil out. It looked brand new, but I changed it anyway. It was the same story with the breathing air and intake filters, both looked brand, spanking new, but I replaced them anyway. I spent almost an entire day with a small wire brush and some rust converter (naval jelly) to clean up the rusty hose fittings, get the connectors and fill whips all clean and working, then I turned on the power and pushed the “on” button!

Filling the first Scuba Tank with the dive compressor on Sea Eagle.

Filling the first Scuba Tank with the dive compressor on Sea Eagle.


Surprise, surprise, the compressor was turning the right way, sounded good and was putting out high pressure air. I blew down all the lines, hooked up a high pressure tank (HP 100), and opened up all the valves. The compressor purred to life and filled my tank in no time! The sweet sound of success!

I used the tank this weekend to clean the bottom of the boat and am glad to report I survived, so we can cross both jobs off the list!