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Monthly Archives: October 2013

One of the very few disadvantages of the dry stack that is found on most Nordhavn Trawlers is that they will occasionally blow soot all over the back of the boat (or worse, your neighbors boat) when starting up a cold main engine. Over the past six months of use, we have discovered that this primarily occurred after heavy rainfall had washed built up soot down the stack to blown back out on start-up.

Version One Soot Sock in place covering the end of the exhaust stack.

Version One Soot Sock in place covering the end of the exhaust stack.

The trick to avoiding the soot in the first place is putting a rain cap in place while the boat is parked (you will see the commercial fishing boats using a bucket for this). Scroll down past the end of the article to see Scott’s version of a rain cap made from 5″ PVC. One additional way to help prevent the accumulation of soot in the first place is to run the engine exhaust hot enough to burn the soot periodically, which means running the boat at near full throttle until you see the exhaust smoke clear (~ 10 minutes).

The above will help with soot, but not completely prevent it. That is where the Soot Sock comes into play. When starting up the boat in a marina with calm winds, we usually cover the end of the exhaust with a Soot Sock to catch any of the carbon particles exiting the stack on start up. We have two versions of the sock and use both, depending on the wind direction.

Our original Soot Sock is a simple black plastic flower pot (the flexible, disposable ones from a nursery) with a black ladies nylon stocking taped to it. A 1″ PVC elbow is bolted to the pot to allow the Soot Sock to be deployed and recovered with a boat hook. This sock works well if the wind is coming from the bow and you are very careful when removing the Soot Sock so that it doesn’t tip forward and drop soot all over the boat deck.

Version 2 of Scott's Soot Sock covering the end of the exhaust Stack.

Version 2 of Scott’s Soot Sock covering the end of the exhaust Stack.

In less favorable wind conditions, we use version two of the Soot Sock. It is made from an 8″ long section of 5″ PVC pipe, cemented to a 45° elbow. A black, ladies nylon stocking is attached to the end of the elbow to catch the soot (with a hose clamp). There is also a short section of 2″ PVC bolted to the side that allows deploying/recovering the sock with a boat hook.

While much heavier than our flower pot design, the 5″ PVC Soot Sock catches and holds soot very well since the bend of the elbow creates a natural catchment for the soot to accumulate in that does not blow all over the boat when recovering the soot sock.

Version 2 Soot Sock

Version 2 Soot Sock


PVC Rain Cap installed over the end of the exhaust stack.

PVC Rain Cap installed over the end of the exhaust stack.


PVC Rain Cap installed on the stack

PVC Rain Cap installed on the stack

After a day of stripping and scraping, Sea Eagle has her new Home Port.

After a day of stripping and scraping, Sea Eagle has her new Home Port.

The application to change Sea Eagle’s documentation was sent to the USCG on Tax Day (4/15/13) and we did not get the “official” document back from them until October 4th (10/4/13). That took almost six months! Geez!

I had to remove the old home port of “San Francisco, CA” from the transom and sadly discovered that it had been painted on. Oh Bother! I tried removing the lettering with Lacquer Thinner and then Acetone (which eats fiberglass up) and neither had any effect on the paint. Tough Paint!

A trip to West Marine and a spray bottle of paint stripper brought some success, but it took seven hours of stripping, then scraping, then scrubbing, then rinse, repeat, before I was able to finally remove all of the old paint. Whew.

The new vinyl lettering was relatively easy to install, especially since we had a nice sunny afternoon, which was pleasant after our 35° F morning. Sea Eagle’s newly documented and official Home Port is now Olympia, WA.

Here is the original home port of San Francisco, CA that had to be removed.

Here is the original home port of San Francisco, CA that had to be removed.

We found our old friend Commencement next to the Public Dock in Gig Harbor

We found our old friend Commencement next to the Public Dock in Gig Harbor

We saw a couple of sunny days in the forecast, so decided to drop the lines and head over to Gig Harbor for a long weekend. We had been to the Tides numerous times and had run a lot of Dive Charters (and TV/Film crews) on the wrecks located in the harbor, but had never spent the night, walked the streets and played tourist.

It turns out we’d been really missing a charming boating destination, right in our own back yard. We arrived mid-day on a Thursday and found the Public Dock empty. We tied up Sea Eagle to this very nice public facility and were stunned to find out that it is FREE! Wow! How often does that happen?

We walked up to the Tides for a late lunch and quizzed Kelie (our server and local school teacher) about good places to eat in Gig Harbor. She pulled out the map and gave us a local’s opinion on the best restaurants in town.

In the dripping morning fog a Kingfisher stops by Sea Eagle.  She made a good fishing perch.

In the dripping morning fog a Kingfisher stops by Sea Eagle. She made a good fishing perch.

Later that night we walked up to Brix 25 and had one of the best meals that I have eaten in decades! If you’re in Gig Harbor and want the best food that you can find, head up to Brix 25, you will not be disappointed.

We also met a couple of hard core divers in a 53′ Navigator that tied up on the dock with us. Sharing a bottle of wine with them made us realize that we knew a lot of the same people in the dive community and had been to a lot of the same places over out dive careers. We will no doubt hook up with them in the future for some cruising and diving!