Choosing a New Muffler and Removing the Old One

…continued from the Exhaust Wrap and Exhaust Leak (and Muffler) post. Here is what the muffler looked like when we took the exhaust wrap off:

Eric wanted to replace the old muffler with a stainless steel one. He contacted Nordhavn to see if the same muffler was made in stainless steel. It was, however, it was $1,400 vs $400 for the carbon steel version. But the bad news was that, while it wouldn’t rust as quickly as the carbon steel one, the stainless steel one was still prone to rusting, too. Hmmm… that didn’t sound good.

Eric talked to a few people and found out that Continue reading Choosing a New Muffler and Removing the Old One

Exhaust Wrap and Exhaust Leak (and Muffler)

In early 2010, we knew we had an exhaust leak. Also, the shiny metallic coating on our exhaust wrap in the engine room was starting to disintegrate, regularly shedding small silver fragments all over the engine room.

Eric knew getting the exhaust wrap off to look for the leak would be be messy, since it was falling apart. Getting it back on would be difficult and even messier. We decided it was time to replace the wrap, and hired a professional to remove the old wrap, measure and fabricate new wrap, and install it. While the wrap was off, Eric could inspect the system and make the repair.

Rather than Continue reading Exhaust Wrap and Exhaust Leak (and Muffler)

Engine Mounts (and Main Bank Alternator)

Last April (2011), we took Kosmos into a local boat yard, Driscoll, to have some work done. The two rear engine mounts had worn out, causing some vibration, the main house alternator was nearing the end of its life, and the a through-hull needed a new barb. Driscoll was supposed to replace the two back engine mounts, rebuild the alternator, and fix the through-hull. The work took two days. Christi was onboard all day both days, holed up in the pilot house working on The Unexpected Circumnavigation Part 2. Since the mechanics went in and out of the engine room through the hatch in the living room, they usually didn’t see her. But she heard them come and go, and heard every noise they made in the engine room, including their conversations. She noted exactly how many workers there were and how long they worked for. The labor hours totalled 11.

When the work was completed, Eric inspected it. The mechanics had forgotten to tighten one of the bolts on the engine mounts! And the alternator was not the same one they had taken to rebuild! The mechanics immediately tightened the bolt as Eric requested and apologized for the oversight, but both argued with Eric about the alternator, insisting it was indeed ours. For a good fifteen minutes, they swore up and down that Continue reading Engine Mounts (and Main Bank Alternator)

Moisture and Mold Issues

When Kosmos was brand new, we were paranoid about developing a mold problem. After all, mold was a common issue on boats and we were traveling in the tropics, where the warm, moist air was a mold haven. But we made it all the way around the world without ever finding mold. (Well, there is one exception, when some sheets got wet and moldy after water got into a storage compartment located under a window).

Our first “real” experience with mold came in early 2010. In October of 2009, the weather turned especially cold and damp (by San Diego standards) and stayed that way through the spring. Around Thanksgiving, we started to notice occasional drops of water on the forward stateroom floor. Our immediate assumption was that the hatch was leaking. The next time we washed the boat we ran lots of water over the hatch, but it was water tight.

We paid more attention to where the water was coming from and noticed the drops were forming on the headliner. Oh no! Did we have a hull leak? Soon after, a storm blew in that brought heavy rain for a few days. We watched like a hawk, but there were no more drops of water during the rain as there were on days when there was no rain at all, so clearly it wasn’t a hull leak. We were baffled. If there was no leak, where were the drops of water coming from?

Eventually we realized that it was Continue reading Moisture and Mold Issues

More About Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation


Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People covering Australia to Oman is now on sale! Read the first few pages on Lulu’s “preview” feature and read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here (starts on page 18)!

Jeff Merrill wrote an extensive book review for the Nordhavn.com site.

Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Just like Part 1, the book is very different from the blog. Here are a few of the differences between the two:

  • Prologue: Picks up where the Prologue of Part 1 left off. It focuses primarily on the research we did as we planned for our journey and addresses the majority of the questions we were most frequently asked.
  • Several new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • Many details have been added that were best left undisclosed while we were still on the journey (sometimes we didn’t want our parents worrying about us; sometimes we didn’t want to incriminate ourselves!)
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

People have also asked us why we broke the series up into four books instead of only three. We had very different experiences in each of the four world regions, so it was best for each region to have its own volume.

  • In the South Pacific, Part 1, we spent most of our time in sparsely populated areas communing with nature. And we did a lot of rough sea time, learning about boating the hard way.
  •  In Asia, Part 2, we were mostly in densely populated areas building cultural bridges. Our sea experiences were also different from the Pacific, with both our best and worst passages occurring in this region.