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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Arriving in Tacoma at the Thea Foss Waterway.

Arriving in Tacoma at the Thea Foss Waterway.

I made my first Single-Handed trip in Sea Eagle, taking the 50′ (LOA) Nordhavn from Olympia to Tacoma without crew. The trip went smooth as silk, with both un-docking and docking accomplished without the use of thrusters or help.

The most interesting part of the trip was riding the Ebb Tide north. The 35 mile cruise normally takes more than 5 hours (averaging 7 knots with long no wake zones at either end). This time, even though I was only running at 1700 RPM (~ 7 knots), my average speed was 9 knots, thanks to the ebbing current and I arrived in only 4 hours.

Radar passing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  Notice the Speed over Ground!

Radar passing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Notice the Speed over Ground!


By the time I cruised through the Tacoma Narrows, my SOG (Speed Over Ground) was more than 12 knots (see the photo to the right)! At 1700 RPM, the average fuel burn rate is 3.5 GPH, so I only consumed 14 gallons of fuel (aka 2.5 NMPG). The fast currents give the autopilot a work-out as they keep swirling the boat around, but it sure makes the trip economical. 😉

Launching Nordhavn 47 Sea Eagle

Launching Nordhavn 47 Sea Eagle

After a week of sitting on the hard, with a freshly painted bottom, new zincs, fresh coolant, a clean and shiny waterline, it was time to drop Sea Eagle back in the water. Unfortunately, Mother Nature seemed determine to foil out plans. The wind was howling 25-30 knots, but was predicted to fall.

We slung up the boat (it looks weird to see your Nordhavn Four Wheeling along the pavement), and dropped her in when it appeared there was a lull. However, as soon as she was out of the slings, the wind started shrieking and it tall all hands to get the boat back under control and safely to the loading dock. GULP!

Buffed and painted propellers.

Buffed and painted propellers.

I jumped in, fired up and pulled out as soon as it was safe to do so. The boat was listing due to the shrieking winds, which made pulling into the guest dock at Swantown kind of entertaining, but we managed. There was no yelling, no bumping and no bruised egos. All I have to say is Thank Gawd for thrusters!! 😉

Now, where did I put that checkbook…

Sea Eagle goes four wheeling in the yard at Swantown Boatworks.

Sea Eagle goes four wheeling in the yard at Swantown Boatworks.

Haul Out at SwanTown Marina in Olympia, WA.

Haul Out at SwanTown Marina in Olympia, WA.

Spring is almost here and it is time for Sea Eagle’s annual haul-out. Getting the boat lined up and into the lift on a blustery day was “entertaining”, but I made it work. Having a bow and stern thruster is a little bit like cheating. 😉

It has been two years since the hull was painted and 4 months since I dove the bottom and cleaned her. As you can see from the photos, the paint is in great shape (Petitt Trinidad Black). There are bare spots along the keel where the previous owner bumped the bottom (shallow slip), so I am putting on two fresh coats of pain.

The Keel Coolers look good, and need new zincs and so do the props. See the photos below.

Keel Cooler for the main engine.  Zinc anodes need to be replaced.

Keel Cooler for the main engine. Zinc anodes need to be replaced.

Propellers on Sea Eagle are in good shape after two years.  Both are missing zinc anodes.

Propellers on Sea Eagle are in good shape after two years. Both are missing zinc anodes.

Sea Eagle snug at Swantown Marina.  You can just see the Capital Dome behind her.

Sea Eagle snug at Swantown Marina. You can just see the Capital Dome behind her.

Sea Eagle made her first trip to her home port of Olympia this weekend. The weather was very wet and windy from a large Winter Storm rolling in from the Pacific Ocean, but it was toasty warm in the PilotHouse! 😉

The switch to Daylight Savings Time meant leaving Tacoma an hour before sunrise in order to catch the flood tides down to Olympia, but running at night during a blustery rain storm is a fun challenge. Swantown is a very nice Marina all the way down at the South end of Puget Sound. Not a bad place to spend a wet winter weekend!