Cruising Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa

Much has been written about boating on the St. Lawrence River—mostly mis-informed or outdated information, as we soon learned. In summer of 2023, we cruised the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Montreal and the Ottawa River to Ottawa, and we are pleased to report the entire trip was a delight. We completed the American Great Loop in a clockwise direction and crossed our wake at the Statue of Liberty in late June 2023 aboard our Nordic Tug 32, Bessie. With a comfortable and economic cruising speed of 8 mph, the Nordic Tug can also attain 16 or 17…
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Comfortable Cruising on a Nordhavn 68

Comfortable Cruising on a Nordhavn 68

Many of us who cross oceans on rough-going sailboats often wonder what it would be like to undertake voyages in comfort and style while maintaining a good turn of speed over the water at the same time. After all, crossing oceans doesn’t have to be painful or complicated. Hence the choice of a larger, faster, more comfortable motor yacht. If you are ready to invest in a vessel that provides for all your passage-making requirements while keeping you comfortable while on the high seas, consider the Nordhavn 68, by Nordhavn, a builder of high-end luxury motor yachts in Dana Point,…
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Re-galvanizing chain

Re-galvanizing chain

t is the economics of re-galvanizing chain that makes it an attractive alternative to purchasing new chain, as it can cost half as much or less than replacing it with a new length of galvanized links. This is why it is our preferred method for dealing with anchor chain that has reached the point of starting to rust. Galvanizing performs one function and that is preventing the steel links from rusting. Evidence of rust can range from being so slight that only a surface patina is evident, to the opposite extreme where severe rusting and pitting is present. However, re-galvanizing…
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Cruising power

Cruising power

While there has never been a perfect boat, a few have come pretty close, and the Nordhavn 57 is one such vessel. With 40 hulls delivered, the 57 was retired and production was halted in 2006. During the summer of 2004, I had the opportunity to put the 35th 57 through her paces. Named Atlantic Escort, we led an 18-yacht fleet consisting of 15 Nordhavns and three other capable trawlers across the Atlantic Ocean from Ft. Lauderdale via Bermuda, the Azores and into Gibraltar.  The fleet was composed of Nordhavns as small as the N40 Uno Mas to Crosser, a…
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Land versus water

Land versus water

If you own a power voyaging boat, you know that one of the hardest things to do is finding somewhere to keep it. If you’ve just bought a boat, or are thinking of buying one, you also know that finding a slip is ridiculously difficult. And if/when you do, be prepared to pay at least $25 per foot per month and probably more. Much more. I was recently quoted $1,900 a month for my 57-foot boat. I’ve been on the wait list at six different marinas for more than five years…and I’m still waiting. They all have the audacity to…
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Retracing Cook’s path across the Pacific

Retracing Cook’s path across the Pacific

That if you had a life-long urge to explore the Pacific Ocean, following in the footsteps of a favorite explorer like Captain James Cook? Power voyager Peter Niederreiter has just such an inclination and he and wife Melitta recently voyaged from Mexico to the Marquesas aboard their Nordhavn 52, Fortuna Star. Let’s follow along on the first leg of their Pacific journey.  Peter had a career as an eye surgeon but always traveled the world, often accompanied by Melitta. They were so committed to travel that they both obtained pilot licenses and flew all over Europe. They were determined to…
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Watermaker considerations

Watermaker considerations

Watermakers have become such a common piece of gear on a power voyaging boat that it seems just about any unit will do. Some buyers take this idea to heart and will purchase their watermaker off the internet based solely on price. The reality, of course, is that there are factors in making sure the watermaker you choose is the right one for the type of voyaging you do. And those factors are not immediately apparent until you start to delve into the subject.  According to Larry Schildwachter of Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle, which sells and installs watermakers on…
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Understanding and Choosing Chain

Understanding and Choosing Chain

At the dinghy dock the other day, a cruiser, clearly frustrated, was grumbling, “I bought all of this chain and I just can’t get it to work in my windlass!” Unfortunately, we hear laments like this all too frequently, but it doesn’t have to be. For voyagers looking to get the right chain the first time for their power voyaging boats it’s helpful to understand chain manufacturing standards, grades, sizing, and when necessary, its fitment to a gypsy. First off, if a windlass is not involved then just about any chain can be used as long as it has the…
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AC raw water failure avoidance

AC raw water failure avoidance

Most marine air-conditioning units rely on seawater for their operation. The pumps and plumbing associated with these systems can pose a significant flooding threat, one that is exacerbated by the sheer volume of hose that is required to plumb the average cruising vessel’s condensers. For these and other reasons detailed below, HVAC raw water systems benefit from close scrutiny.  Air-conditioning 101 Air conditioning systems aboard most boats rely on raw or seawater to cool down pressurized, hot refrigerant after it leaves the system’s compressor. Via a heat exchanger or condenser, the seawater absorbs heat from the refrigerant, heat that has…
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The critical role of bonding systems

The critical role of bonding systems

“It’s the result of a bad ground!” How many times have you heard this when someone is evaluating a corrosion or electrical problem? But what exactly does that mean, why is it important and can it really be the cause of so many of these issues? In my experience, while it can be the source of a problem, this is a fallback phrase, used when folks really aren’t sure what the problem is or how to evaluate it.  If it’s corrosion related, then whoever is making this pronouncement should be able to draw a diagram representing the scenario, and that’s…
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