Seattle Boat Show/Nordhavn Weekend

Seattle Boat Show/Nordhavn Weekend

Whew!  What a weekend.  The “Great Seattle Boat Show” weekend is always a fun one for us – something we look forward to much as others likely look forward to Christmas morning.  We love wandering the aisles of the show, looking for things on our “list,” walking aboard vessels on Lake Union and seeing friends who come out for the show.  It’s the gathering of the tribe of boat nuts.


This is on N63 Peregrinations, but one of the options that we are looking at…
The Simrad Follow Up


Last year we were shopping for nav system “stuff” with the help of Larry from Emerald Harbor.  We weren’t planning to do the giant project for a few years, but alas, we did as evidenced by the gleaming Furuno screens now residing in the pilothouse.  This year we are looking for new auto pilots (again with Larry’s help), an updated Waggoner Guide (our smallest purchase for sure), a new sea kayak that is meant for NW waters vs. our existing warm water sit-on-top-kayak, and we are considering trading out our dinghy.  Hours of fun!


Alison’s kayak – what shall we name it?  The rep suggested “Don’t Flip Over”…



The weekend started with a fun gathering on Red Rover of friends Dale and Glenda (of N43 Serenity) down from Alaska for the show, and some local peeps with extensive Alaskan knowledge – Sam, Laura and Kevin of Slow Boat fame.

On Saturday morning, we hosted our first Nordhavn Dreamer open house.  What fun!  I think we might have to do that again.  We decided to have a little dreamer open house after a lot of banter on the Nordhavn Dreamer Groups (a message board of sorts) about the Seattle Boat Show, people traveling to see Nordhavns (only one in the show) and a long story about wife “eye rolling” around this Nordhavn thing.  Well that eye rolling commentary got me going.  If you’ve read this blog you know that I have no intention of being “the Admiral” (I call myself the Deck Boss) and that I was actually the one who said, “hey let’s live on this boat.”  Enough with husbands saying their wives are rolling their eyes already. So….we had an open house.  With mimosas of course.  It’s Boat Show time of year – celebrate! We had 11 guests all of whom were so delightful to chat with.  Some of them even left exchanging contact information with one another.  Completely consistent with the Nordhavn community that is a big part of owning this boat.  We love our boat to distraction and talking about her with other Nordhavn enthusiasts?  Nothing more fun than that!


Boat Show Mimosas!
Lively Nordhavn conversations!
Lugger Lovers!
Zoe and her Rocket!


Saturday afternoon was spent wandering the indoor show.  We went to one Boat Show University class but found that perhaps we were more graduate student level boaters.  More wandering.  And a new kayak purchase – an Eddyline Skylark that will be perfect for exploring the bays and inlets that Red Rover brings us to.  Surprisingly I opted for the blue hull (not red?  Gasp) and will pick up my new boat and Werner “Puget Sound” patterned paddle at the end of the show.  So excited!

On Saturday evening we went to the Nordhavn owner’s event at the Seattle Yacht Club Elliott Bay outstation, hosted by PAE.  Now Kevin and I are extroverted introverts.  We don’t traditionally do well in large parties and tend to run and hide.  But our friends Tom and Linda (N57 Meridian) and Dale and Glenda (N43 Serenity) were going to be there as well as Scott and Brad from Emerald Harbor who we think are the bees knees.  So we figured we’d be ok.  We walked up to a building with almost 100 Nordhavn owners in it.  Amazing.

The event was fun!  In fact, Kevin was probably one of the last owners there.  I dragged him out as Dan Streech (President of PAE, which is the parent company of Nordhavn) was plugging in a vacuum cleaner.  (Hello, he is behind the vacuum?  I love that – a president title and not above helping with clean up.)  I have to say, we have wanted to meet Dan for many years, ever since we became Dreamers.  We first watched the Nordhavn North Atlantic Rally (NAR) video back in 2008(ish) and learned about Dan and his partner in PAE, Jim Leishman.  And we were hooked.  Big time.  I think we’ve watched that video over 50 times since then. Most recently last week sitting on Red Rover. Seriously.  So meeting Dan was just fantastic.  He is as honest, down-to-earth, interesting, kind and knowledgeable in person as he comes across in the video and his interactions on the Dreamers and owner’s sites.  What a pleasure.  He probably thought I was a little silly as I told him all of this but he did give me a hug, so apparently I wasn’t too nutty.


Anyways, we talked to other owners, the ever- incredible-Lugger Bob (who had previously spent a day on our boat, in our engine room), our friends at Emerald Harbor and some of their spouses for the evening.  It went too quickly. What incredible, smart, interesting and down-to-earth people.  It felt like talking with people we’d known our entire lives.  It’s all about a shared passion – these amazing world-traveling trawlers.  But I think it is also about a personality type that lives behind the boat owners – people who are curious, thoughtful, kind and not hung up on themselves.  I mean these are people that own boats that are valued from over $500K to many millions of dollars.  But that doesn’t matter.  These are real people who are open and wonderful.  It was amazing.  We can’t wait to go to the PAE 40th anniversary party in Dana Point in April.




Navigation System Upgrade

Navigation System Upgrade

It has been a while since I first started the demo work on Red Rover’s electronics.  I am just now posting the install/completion story, not that we just finished it up, but we have had our nose to the grindstone working to prepare for our trip to Alaska.  I am starting this story while having a cup of coffee in the pilothouse looking out over the marina in Ketchikan.  Looking back over the last week of coming up the west coast of Vancouver Island from Seattle, we appreciate the upgrade more than ever.  Our first outing with the upgrade six weeks ago was definitely information overload vs what we had before.  But now as me are getting a handle on what we can pull up when it is needed, we truly understand the value of the tool we’ve just brought on board.  The other reassuring thing that I am noticing (again) is how many of the commercial/charter ships in this harbor have Furuno equipment installed.  No kidding, at least 95% of what is mounted is Furuno.  Reassuring on the choice of manufacturers.

Once I had 90% of the old equipment removed, Brad with Emerald Harbor Marine had a fairly clean slate to start working.  He first set out to clean up the power runs and pull new power for all the new equipment.  He also tidied up the 120v power that was behind the dash.

I cannot say how impressed I am with the knowledge Brad has about boats.  I learned just an immense amount of things from the time spent working with him.
New power block for Red Rover’s audio system
120v circuit all cleaned up.
NEMA 2000 Backbone going in.  The black NEMA cables to the right are what I used to install the Fusion audio system last year.  The two systems are completely separate.
I wanted to put the Xantrex inverter panel up on the upper dash so I needed to splice the cable, the only way to do so was cut and crimp 25 very small wires…
Audio power!
So many cables but really so many less than what was there…  and they are becoming so organized!
The power source for the 12kw radar and the AIS class B box mounted under the port side cabinetry
Zoe, holding down the fort.  She can’t wait for the electronics to be installed!
So many boxes, cables, parts and everything else!
The first vision of how it will look…  getting excited!
These are my .25″ black PVC test panels that I routered out to make sure all my patterns were correct.  Just a few slight adjustments were needed.
Do they fit?
Brad ad Scott with Emerald Harbor lit up the two TZT2 MFDs while I was at work…  what a pleasant surprise!
Really starting to understand what we are going to have…
Upper dash.
Flybridge dash just before I completely tore it apart…
All the old dash panels back at my shop.  I used each one to pattern new dash plywood panels.
Old panels next to the new oversized plywood rectangles blanks.  I affixed the old to the new and used a hand router to trace route new blanks.
Once the new blanks and the plastic laminate was glued up, each panel was put on the CNC router table and the holes for the equipment cut out.
I love my tools at work…
All dash panels – ready to go to Red Rover for install!
Test fit the panels – some needed just a little adjustments…
Ok, now we are getting somewhere!  Don’t mind a few fingerprints…
Are you done yet?  I want to go somewhere!
This VHF eventually made it’s way up to the flybridge as the white vhf up there was too much to handle.  A new IC-M602 when in it’s place for our main PH vhf.
We originally had two FI-70 displays ordered but decided to add two more.  I am glad we did as we use all of them underway.  I have room to add two more as desired above the vhf.
Mount for the vhf.
Wire rope was used to hold up the upper dash when it is open.
The FI-70 needs only a NEMA cable for power and data.
Lower right dash panel ready to go in…
The audio cable mess is now all cleaned up!
So tidy!  Such a difference from what we found when we first opened up the dashes.
More tidy cables!
Behind the port side lower dash.
The Maretron engine data conversion box is in the upper middle of the photo.  This dates the engine data and pumps it into the NEMA backbone
The new mast to hold the satellite compass, all around light and the Maretron weather station.
The new mast with equipment mounted up.
Ready to go up!
Getting ready to install the new mast.  New LED boat decks lights are installed.  The IP camera is ready to be mounted too.
Looking good Brad!
35 feet up?  No worries!
Dashes taking shape!
The 19″ center screen and the one on the right are ELO Touch screens and the other two are the Furuno MFDs.
Backside of the one of the Tankwatch displays.
I found the drawings for the original equipment build, circa 2005.
Alison wouldn’t allow me to install these antennas…
Ready to head up to Everett to haul out.  Two new transducers will be installed.
Wow, nice to see it come back together!
On the way to Everett, we had the autopilot loose data from the chartplotter many times.  We originally opted to keep the autopilots as it was thought they would integrate ok with the new equipment.  A different NEMA 2000 to 0183 converter was installed (Actisense) which cut down the errors by 95%.
On to Everett.
The Furuno TZT2 MFDs can show a multitude of information in single/split/three screen views…


Zoe assumes her position in the corner and Brad bathes her in love…
I thought we’d be done with this project by now…
Haul out at Everett.


Just shy of 130,000 lbs.
Port transducer access…
Come on out…
Mind over matter…
Port side ducer removed.


Starboard side ducer going in…
There is some fiberglass…


Let the sealant cure and some bottom paint time!


Flybridge dash nearly complete.
Main dash panel backside.  They came out to do final wrap ups and ready to go back in.


So clean!





Now we’re talking!
Sea trials included Autopilot adjustments.
This is our Samsung tablet that picks up a wifi connection from one of the two TZT2s…  The downloaded app allows you to view and control the MFD remotely.  I was able to have this next to me in the stateroom while I was resting and others were on watch.
The wiper control unit – I had to take off 15 wires to install the unit in the dash and then put the wires back on…  don’t mix them up!
This was Saturday morning just after we departed for Alaska.  We’ve really enjoyed them on our trip.
Night view of the electronics…  they were dimmed even further for night visibility.
Upper dash as it looks today.


Lower dash as it is today.

To wrap up, I am glad that I was as involved as I was for this upgrade.  I learned an huge amount about wiring, Red Rover’s hidden areas, the electronics packages inside/out and what modern day navigation equipment is all about.  I enjoyed the work and look forward to using/learning more about our new tools as we explore SE Alaska.

I would also like to give a shout out to Larry, Brad and Scott with Emerald Harbor Marine (again).  They were more than open in allowing me to assist with the project.  They gave great advice throughout the project.  And what was stellar was I received multiple calls/texts/emails from each of them leading up to our Alaska departure as well as communications from them during the trip seeing if we needed anything, had questions or any issues.  I have no doubt that they would bend over backwards to assist us with anything that popped up (with the new system or any other issue that could arise).  We will be updating the autopilots sometime after we return to Seattle, probably early winter.  This should be a pretty straight forward project compared to what we just completed.