Miss Miranda is for Sale

Update 9/22/2021

Miss Miranda is listed with Devin Zwick at Nordhavn Northwest in Anacortes. Devin can be reached at 949-633-4244 and devin.zwick@nordhavn.com.

The boat is listed on both Nordhavn.com and Yachtworld

We bought Miss Miranda in 2017 planning to cruise to Alaska and then South to Mexico and beyond.  In preparation, we did extensive maintenance and upgrades over multiple visits to Philbrooks Boatyard.  Our goal was to make a safe, reliable, comfortable and self sufficient cruising boat able to be at anchor indefinitely.  An important part of this effort was to have a “Ready for Sea” Inspection by renowned Nordhavn systems expert Steve D’Antonio, who spent an entire day aboard Miss Miranda identifying any issues that would impact the goals outlined above.  This set of observations formed the basis of the maintenance work done at Philbrooks, while our own knowledge and experience drove the many upgrades, described in a section below. 

We completed our bucket list journeys, travelling to Southeast Alaska in the summer of 2019, putting over 3500 NM on Miss Miranda and then continuing down the Pacific coast in the fall of 2019.  We joined the CUBAR rally to Mexico and spent two seasons cruising the mainland Pacific coast and then the Sea of Cortez.  We returned to the US in June of 2021 having put an additional 7000 NM on the boat and were preparing for more cruising in the Pacific Northwest in the coming seasons.  Fortunately for the buyer, we have had a change of plans due to Gwen’s professional commitment leading to relocation and lack of time for long cruises.   For that reason, we are selling her and hoping that she will find a home with another adventurous cruising couple. Please see the description below.

Miss Miranda has just come out of the yard (Friday, 8/10/21) at Pacific Marine Center here in Anacortes, where she had the bottom and running gear painted, zincs replaced, the keel cooler cleaned and the main engine coolant changed.

Price is on request. If you are interested, please complete the Contact Form at the bottom of the post.

Miss Miranda – 2000 Nordhavn 50 Hull #12

Main Engine Hours: 3865+
Wing Engine Hours: 132+
Generator Hours: 2658+


This is the two Stateroom layout with Owner Stateroom amidships. The cabin sole is teak & spruce. There is a TV locker over a 5-drawer dresser in the starboard corner.  Hanging lockers and drawers are on either side of the Queen-sized island berth, while bookshelves are above the berth.  Above the bookshelves are two opening portholes, with a privacy curtain.  LED lights are mounted overhead and there are LED reading lights on each side of berth.  There is extensive drawer storage under berth on each side and at the foot – total of 12 drawers.

There is a large mirror on the forward bulkhead with a vanity light over bookshelves and counter surface.  Two DC circulating fans provide cooling. To starboard, a door leads to the private head and shower with medicine cabinet and mirror, LED lighting overhead, porthole with privacy curtain and shower compartment with bench and handheld shower; head is aft of the shower.

The guest cabin is in the bow with ensuite head and shower, with full size berth, and desk with swivel chair to starboard that can be used as computer station.  There is a hanging locker forward to port and generous drawer storage under the berth.  There are extensive lockers, drawers and bookshelves to starboard, and the cabin has a teak and spruce sole.

The main Salon has teak & spruce sole, covered with Soundown insulation and an edge-bound carpet.  There is an L shaped settee to port with up down table, overhead handrail and hanging locker aft starboard corner.  There is a Stressless chair with ottoman to starboard next to the built in TV/entertainment cabinet.  Storage locker with two drawers and surface is to port forward of the settee.  Generous storage beneath the settee and wine/bottle storage behind settee cushions.  Bookshelves and magazine rack forward to starboard.  Hunter Douglas shades for all salon windows.  The salon also has two DC circulating fans that often keep the space cool enough to minimize the use of air conditioning.

Climate control is provided by a four zone Webasto Hydronic Heating system (2010) with Everhot water heater plus four zones of Cruise Air reverse cycle heating/air conditioning (well tested in Mexico!).

Engine and Machinery

  • Main Engine Lugger L06108A2 Dry exhaust 3865+ hours
  • Racor 900 duplex fuel filter manifold filter on main engine
  • Yanmar 3JH3E 34HP wing engine 131+ hours
  • Northern Lights 12KW genset
  • 2658+ hours
  • ABT/Trac 220 Stabilizers
  • Reverso Oil change system for main engine, transmission, generator and wing engine
  • SS fuel manifold system (newly fabricated in 2018)
  • Fuel transfer system with separate Racor 900 filter and new Walbro pump on a timer
  • 12HP ABT Bow Thruster, 24 V DC – 4 stations
  • Mathers electronic Controls – 4 stations
  • 120v AC and 12V DC lights in engine room
  • Fireboy fire suppression system
  • Extensive engine room cooling system with delta T intake fans in engine room and delta T extraction fans in the stack, all controlled by separate breakers

Domestic Systems

  • Sea Recovery 800 GPD watermaker with remote control including auto backflush, (new membrane 2021) – approximately 550 total hours on the watermaker, about 50 on the new membrane
  • CruiseAir AC system/4 compressors
  • Webasto Hydronic heating system including Everhot hot water system, with 4 separately controlled zones
  • Asko Washer and Dryer.
  • 350 gallon domestic water capacity in 4 tanks controlled by a manifold.  Jabsco DC pump and pressure accumulator
  • 75 gallon separate drinking water system plumbed into forward tank with its own filter and pump


The galley features a quartz counter with bar above between the galley and salon.  Above is cabinet storage with custom dishware storage mounted below.  LED lights are on the underside of upper cabinets.  There is extensive storage both under this counter and forward between the range and refrigerator.  More prep counter space is here as well as cabinets behind and above.

Large storage cabinet above the refrigerator.

  • Broan trash compactor
  • SHARP Carousel convection/microwave oven (new 2019)
  • Garbage disposal
  • Culligan drinking water tap and filter M VS316.
  • Force 10 LPG stove and oven
  • Frigidaire freezer/refrigerator w/ice maker (new 2019)
  • Two drawer Sub Zero freezer (compressor replaced in 2019)
  • Moen faucet with extendable wand (new 2019)
  • Double sink
  • Ceiling mounted DC circulating fan

Pilot House

The pilot house is the happy place to be underway.  It is four steps up from the salon and galley.

  • Stidd Helm Chair
  • L-shaped raised settee and table behind helm (settee completely redone in 2019 with Stamoid)
  • Large storage locker to starboard adjacent to settee.  This contains a safe.
  • Book/Manual shelf and cabinets on starboard side
  • Counter and binocular storage above bookshelf.
  • Extensive three panel helm station with three panel overhead valences for navigation and systems monitoring (equipment described below).
  • Defroster fans (new in 2019)
  • DC circulating fans, two forward and one in aft port corner
  • AC and DC electrical panels
  • Stainless steel destroyer wheel
  • Chart storage in the area under the raised settee.
  • Port side storage drawer and locker.
  • Large center hatch above with screen
  • Sliding doors access both side decks
  • Opening windows on both sides
  • Window aft to boat deck at port aft
  • 6 Panels of windshield with mullions between
  • 4 windshield wipers with separate delay controls

Electronics and Navigation

We rebuilt the Navigation system, using the best components of the previous system and making strategic upgrades to provide full redundancy for offshore operations.

  • Furuno 1913 64 Mile open array radar with stand-alone display
  • Furuno DSRD4-NXT digital radar, integrated with Nobeltec TimeZero (new 2019)
  • Simrad AP20
  • Autopilot with 4 control stations and dedicated steering pump
  • Furuno Navpilot 711C backup autopilot with completely independent steering pump and fluxgate compass (all new 2019)
  • Furuno fish & depth finder FCV 585 (rebuilt in 2018)
  • Twinscope interphase sonar/DS
  • Furuno GPS 300 (new in 2019) and Furuno RD 25 instrument display
  • VHF radio ICOM M127
  • VHF radio with MMSI and DSC ICOM-M604
  • Vesper XB-800 AIS with integrated GPS (new 2017)
  • Airmar 200 weather station
  • Navigation PC, Apple Mac Mini, running Rose Point Coastal Explorer, connected to 12” touch screen display (new 2021) in front of helm. (new 2018)
  • Navigation PC, Intel NUC, running Nobeltec TimeZero, connected to 21” display on starboard PH panel.  (new 2018)
  • Rose Point NEMO Nav data multiplexer supplies navigation data to BOTH PCs via Ethernet connection. (new 2018)
  • Maretron DSM 410 displays NMEA 2000 data (new 2019)
  • Maretron NMEA 2000 monitoring includes: (new 2019)
    • Fuel flow, consumption and economy
    • DC power systems status
    • Generator power status and load
    • Engine room temperature
    • Wind speed data
    • Navigation data
  • Carlisle and Finch Searchlight with motor control
  • Exhaust temperature gauge for main engine
  • Exhaust temperature alarm for wing engine (new 2019)
  • Bilge counter (new 2019)
  • Bow thruster control
  • Windlass control
  • Fireboy control
  • High water alarm

Electrical Systems

We made extensive improvements to the electrical system to allow for extended time at anchor while minimizing generator run time.

  • 110/220V – 60hz AC. 12 and 24volt DC.
  • Forward port & aft starboard shore power connectors. 50 Amp connector for house power and dedicated additional 50 Amp circuit for Air Conditioning if needed.
  • Magnum MS2812 Inverter/charger
  • Square D inverter bypass switch in pilothouse.  Magnum Remote control panel (with Battery Monitoring option) in pilothouse.
  • Mastervolt 24V charger for starting batteries (new 2018)
  • 2 Victron 100 Amp Auxiliary chargers (new 2019)
  • 12 KW Northern Lights Genset ( 2891 hrs )
  • 24 volt 40 amp alternator on Main engine
  • 12 volt 170 amp alternator plus Balmar controller on Main engine (new 2017)
  • 3 solar panels (on pilot house roof) with 3 Victron MPPT 100/30 controllers tied into DC electrical system (new 2019)
  • 10 Firefly carbon foam house batteries, 1100 Ah total (new 2019)
  • 2 Lifeline starting batteries
  • 1 Lifeline Generator/wing battery
  • Extensive AC and DC power utilization monitoring with Maretron and Magnum monitors

Deck and Hull

Our major focus here was at anchor safety and stability.

  • Airtex 1500LD davit
  • Two Forespar “flopper stopper” at anchor stabilization systems, port and starboard side (new 2019)
  • Viking RecYou 4 person liferaft, canister, mounted on boat deck (purchased new 2019)
  • Two large deck boxes on boat deck
  • Starboard cockpit door & custom portside cockpit door
  • Cockpit cabinet/locker with steering control station, sink with extendable hot/cold shower wand, and storage drawer/lockers.
  • Swim ladder with emergency (from the water) deployment system
  • Stern anchor mounted on swim platform
  • Man overboard retrieval system including lifeline and a custom block and tackle system
  • Raw and fresh water spigots in starboard cockpit locker
  • Two propane tanks (recertified 2021) and propane controls in port cockpit locker.
  • Sunbrella awning over cockpit
  • Swim platform with removable staples
  • Sarca Excell 137 lb anchor (new 2019)
  • Maxwell 3500 windlass
  • with 450′ 3/8″ chain
  • Maxwell remote control with chain counter
  • Bow pulpit modified to include SS anchor chain keeper and anchor lock down system
  • Fresh & salt water washdown in forward starboard side of Portuguese bridge
  • Large bow locker forward of Portuguese bridge


  • 12 foot AB euro with
30 hp Tohatsu outboard with electric trim, Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter (new 2018)


  • Port and Starboard Portuguese Bridge controls
  • Cockpit Control Station
  • Buell Air Horn
  • Fire extinguishers (6)
  • Flares
  • Downrigger; Scotty
  • Pot Puller
  • Crab pot (2)
  • Prawn pot (2)
  • Fishing equipment
  • BBQ (Dickenson)
  • Charts: Olympia to Sitka, Pacific Coast and Mexico
  • Williams-Sonoma stoneware set in custom racks in galley
  • Maintenance records and service manuals are on the vessel
  • Receipts available on request for maintenance and upgrade work


Maintenance and Upgrades

We had all of our major maintenance and upgrade work done at Philbrooks Boatyard in Sidney, BC.  We visited the yard three times in 2018 and 2109 with a long list of projects in order to make Miss Miranda a safe, reliable and comfortable long distance cruising yacht, investing well over $200,000.  We have listed below all areas of the boat that have had maintenance or upgrades during our ownership.  As you can see, all the critical systems have been addressed.

Engine and Mechanical

Main Engine

  • Rebuild injectors – 2018
  • Replace coolant pump – 2018
  • Add coolant collection bottle – 2018
  • Upgrade 12V alternator to Leece Neville 170 Amp – 2018
  • Add Balmar Max Charge Regulator – 2018
  • New exhaust elbow – 2019
  • New exhaust blanket – 2018
  • New muffler and blanket – 2021

Keel Cooler

  • Clean and repair leak – 2018

Main engine shaft

  • Replace PSS seals – 2018
  • Check cutlass Bearing – 2018
  • Check prop balance – 2019

Fuel delivery system

  • Fabricated new fuel supply and return manifolds to replace original, leaking manifolds – 2018
  • Inspect fuel tanks, clean if needed (not necessary) – 2019
  • Replace leaking port tank sight tube – 2019
  • New Racor 900 fuel manifold for main engine – 2021
  • New fuel lines, Racor to main engine, manifold to Racor – 2020
  • Maretron fuel flow monitoring system – 2019
  • Fuel system pressure tested (no leaks) – 2021

Wing Engine

  • New V drive – 2019
  • Replace raw water pump – 2018
  • Replace circulation pump – 2018
  • Replace engine mounts – 2018
  • Rebuild wing engine prop hub – 2018
  • Align wing engine shaft – 2018
  • Replace wing engine wet exhaust hose with silicone – 2019
  • Install wing engine exhaust cutoff valve -2019
  • Install exhaust temp alarm – 2019
  • Replace Cutlass Bearing – 2019
  • New Tides shaft seal – 2019
  • Re-align wing engine – 2019
  • Replace all raw water hoses – 2019
  • Replace prop shaft – 2019


  • Install circuit breaker box – 2019
  • Replace heat exchanger – 2019
  • Replace exhaust elbow – 2019
  • Replace injectors – 2019
  • Replace raw water pump – 2020


  • Service hydraulics – 2018
  • Clean heat exchanger – 2018
  • Replace TRAC panel and servo controller – 2019
  • Replace TRAC power supply – 2019
  • Rebuild actuators – 2020
  • Change hydraulic fluid – 2020
  • Replace failed solenoid
  • New stabilizer water pump – 2021

Bow Thruster

  • Replace coupling – 2019

Domestic Systems

Water Maker

  • Cailbrate Salinity meter – 2018
  • Rebuild high pressure pump – 2019
  • New membrane – 2021

Air Conditioning

  • Replace Sea Strainer – 2018
  • Replace circulating pump – 2018
  • Replace seawater hoses – 2018
  • Replace raw water intake elbow – 2019

Water heater

  • Install new Seaward 11 gal hot water heater – 2018
  • Replace hydronic hoses to heater with exhaust rated hose – 2019
  • Replace heating element, zinc, temperature sensor, high temp shutoff – 2021

Hydronic Heating system

  • Full service, filters, fluid, injectors, etc – 2018
  • Replace Webasto motor – 2019

Heads/holding tanks

  • Replace heads with Tecma Silence plus – 2017
  • Replace duckbill valves – 2019
  • Add charcoal filter to vent line – 2019
  • Add spare macerator discharge pump (offline) and rebuild kit – 2019

Deck and Hull

Flopper Stopper system

  • Install Forespar flopper stopper poles, port and starboard, along with all rigging and with “flop stopper” lightweight aluminum plates – 2019


  • Installed chain counter/remote Control – 2018
  • Lubricate/service windlass – 2019


  • New Sarca Excell 137 lb Anchor – 2019
  • Install chain retainer, anchor retainer – 2019
  • New delrin anchor roller – 2019


  • Service davit and motor – 2019
  • Replace leaking hydraulic lines – 2019


  • Replace rudder bearing – 2019
  • Replace tiller arm bolts with Grade 8 yellow zinc – 2019
  • Add a second steering pump, replumb hydraulic lines to switch between pumps – 2019
  • Rebuild steering ram – 2019

Cockpit and decks

  • Repair chips in non-skid – 2019
  • New gasket for lazarette hatch – 2019
  • New gas struts for bow deck locker – 2019
  • Rebed swim platform staples – 2019

Electronics and Navigation

  • Replaced obsolete Nav Computer with DC powered Intel NUC, running Nobeltec TimeZero – 2018
  • Added a second Nav Computer – Apple Mac Mini with 12” touchscreen monitor running Coastal explorer.  Completely redundant – each computer can run the boat. – 2019
  • Rationalized the Navigation data input from multiple NMEA 0183 devices using a Rose Point NEMO gateway.  Data from all Nav sources shared on dedicated hardwired network. – 2019
  • Installed NEMA 2000 Network and Maretron monitors for critical systems – fuel flow, AC power consumption (generator), DC power consumption, and engine room temperature. – 2019
  • Added new Furuno DSRD4-NXT Digital radar.  Integrated with Nobeltec TimeZero to allow radar overlay on Nav chart. – 2019
  • Installed Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with GPS.  GPS data made available on Nav network for redundancy. – 2018
  • Installed a completely redundant Autopilot system with Furuno Nav Pilot 711c, Furuno fluxgate compass and dedicated steering pump.  Both Nav computers can run this autopilot if the primary fails – 2019
  • Replaced GPS receiver/antenna with Furuno GPS 300 – 2019
  • Added an iPad as a third Nav computer, gets Nav data over wifi network.  We added this because it had the most accurate charts for Mexico – 2018
  • Furuno FV585 fish finder sent to Furuno for rebuild – 2018
  • Installed new temp/depth/speed transducer – 2019

Pilot House

  • Installed defroster fans – 2018
  • Settee: Reupholstered with Stamoid and replaced cushions– 2018
  • Installed DC circulating fan – 2019
  • Installed Iridium GO and external antenna – 2019
  • Installed long range cellular data modem and external antenna – 2018
  • Rationalize Pilot House dash and instrument panel, moving stabilizer, EGT and spotlight controls to overhead and navigation equipment to center dash
  • Replaced weather stripping on PH doors – 2019


  • Install new bound carpet and Soundown insulation – 2018
  • Settee: Reupholstered with Ultraleather and replaced cushions– 2019
  • Install DC circulating fans – 2019
  • Refinished table – 2019


  • Replace faucet with Moen extendable wand model– 2019
  • Replace subzero freezer compressor – 2019
  • New refrigerator – 2019
  • New convection/microwave oven – 2019


  • Installed DC circulating fans – 2019

Electrical System


  • New Mastervolt 24V charger for engine start/windlass/thruster batteries – 2019
  • New Magnum BMK battery monitor – 2018
  • New 12v DC Ammeter – 2018
  • 10 new firefly carbon foam house batteries – 2019
  • New Blue Seas master battery switches – 2019
  • Two Victron 100 Amp chargers – 2019
  • Three solar panels (710 watts) and 3 Victron mppt controllers – 2019
  • Rewired Bonding system – 2018
  • Replaced interior light bulbs with LED throughout – 2018


  • Replaced main panel ship’s service selector switch.  This addressed a major safety problem with shore power leakage current found by Steve D’Antonio during the ready for sea inspection.  It turns out that the AC system as built DID NOT match the design drawings – there was no provision to bring the generator neutral to the selector switch.  It required replacing the original 2 pole switch with a 3 pole switch.  After the repair – no leakage current. – 2019
  • Added a circuit breaker for the generator output.  Another safety issue discovered by Steve.  Original installation did not include this breaker.  – 2019

Maintenance reported by previous owner


  • New Stabilizer seals (ABT)
  • New Bottom paint (Sea Hawk) New Zincs
New Propspeed; all running gear
  • 2015
New Lifeline batteries (all)
  • Delta ”T” 9 inch fan (2), engine room input


  • New inverter; Magnum MS2812
  • New 24V alternator
  • Rebuilt 12V alternator
  • New 12V external regulator; Balmar
  • New davit cable
  • New windshield wipers and controls
  • Rebuilt windlass motor
  • Rebuilt HVAC circulating pump


  • All new sanitation hose and valves

Best laid plans ….

After some late night and early morning detailed weather reviews, we cast off the lines and headed out toward the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Neah Bay.

The condo and slip in the rear view mirror

The weather was beautiful and calm and it looked like we would beat the northerly winds by heading west out the Strait.

Well, the gods, or maybe the furies, are not smiling on us today. Or maybe they are by having us face this engine issue before we are out at sea.

Only a mile outside of the marina the engine showed very significant RPM decreases. This only had to happen a couple of times for us to make the decision to turn around and head back and figure out what the heck is going on.

So we are back in our slip. Larry and Steve spent the day going through all the easy to fix and diagnose items like fuel filter clogs, taking the fuel flow monitors out of the circuit, etc. We thought we might have fixed it and took the boat back out to trial it, but the spontaneous RPM variations continued.

We will be making a trip to the yard for diesel work rather than down the coast over the next few days.

More to come as we figure out what the situation is.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Robert Burns

Back to the Boatyard

They were expecting us at the boatyard. No valet parking however.

We are here in Sidney, BC waiting to meet with our project manager for our final visit to Philbrooks before heading South down the Pacific Coast. We planned this visit earlier in the year, knowing that we could not get all of the work done before taking the boat down to Seattle for Opening Day in May. Therefore, we prioritized the work we thought needed to be done before Alaska and that which could be done afterwards. And, of course, we knew that unexpected items would turn up on our Alaska trip…. and man,were we right about that.

Waiting for her “spa days”.

The work list contains a mix of preventive maintenance items, repair or replace items, and a number of upgrades. Here are some of the things we wanted to do specifically related to cruising in Mexico:

  • Solar panels. We are adding about 1000W of solar on the pilot house roof. We had originally hoped to have these in place before heading to Alaska, but they got bumped to this visit.
  • Flopper Stopper setup for at anchor stabilization. We have heard that many of the anchorages in Mexico are exposed to swell and thus quite rolly. The flopper stopper is a rig consisting of a pole that swings out from the port side of the boat with a line that goes down to a plate deployed into the water. The plate has slats in it that allows it to sink easily, but not rise, thus minimizing side to side rolling. Many Nordhavns have this setup.
  • Interior DC fans. We do have four zones of Air Conditioning on the boat (which is one of the preventive service items) but we want to minimize our use of it, because it requires either running the generator or being connected to shore power. Therefore, we are going to place 8 fans in the salon, pilot house and staterooms with the goal of maximizing air circulation.
  • Sun Shade for the boat deck. When we put the dinghy down, there is a large amount of usable space on the boat deck. We will rig a sun shade to maximize the use of the space.
  • A second autopilot system. We already have redundant GPS, Chart plotters, and radar. We think it is also important to have a back up for the autopilot.
  • Replace galley refrigerator and convection/microwave oven. We planned to replace the refrigerator, which is a 20 year old domestic refrigerator and a real energy hog. We did not anticipate replacing the convection/microwave until the beginning of this trip, when the touch panel of the existing unit failed. It mysteriously started working again, but just to be sure, we will replaced it while we can.
  • Upgrade the engine room cooling system. Engine room cooling has been an issue with many Nordhavns. With a dry stack exhaust system, there is a lot of heat that needs to be removed via air circulation, and without proper circulation, the engine room can get quite hot… sometimes hot enough to impact the reliability of some components. The typical specification is that the engine room temperature does not exceed the outside air temperature by more than 20 degrees. We don’t meet that goal even operating up here in the Pacific Northwest, with very cool seawater for the keel cooler and low ambient temperatures. So, we are going to follow the lead of other Nordhavn owners who have installed extraction fans up in the stack to pull the hot air out of the engine room. We will also replace one of the existing blowers that failed on our Alaska trip.
  • Haul the boat out of the water and look at our propeller and bottom paint and do any service required. We didn’t hit any ice or logs of significance so we believe the propeller is in good shape but want to be sure.
  • Maybe… figure out a stern anchor solution. We have heard that a stern anchor is somtimes helpful in open anchorages in order to keep the bow pointing into the prevailing swells. We have a spare main anchor (a Fortress SX-55) that we have used once as a stern anchor, but the time taken to assemble it and drag the rode from the foredeck storage box makes it very inconvenient to use as a stern anchor. It would be nice to figure out a way to have a smaller anchor that is easy to deploy from the back of the boat.
When the boat is hauled out it is in a cradle like this. The first time we came to Philbrooks we actually stayed for a night in the boat when it was in this position! A bit tricky climbing on and off.

I think that does it for the “planned” work. Some of the repair or replace items that came up on our trip North include:

  • Patch the tube on the dinghy. We were in Prideaux Haven going to our favorite swimming hole and preparing to anchor the dinghy next to a large rock. The rock had numerous oyster shells that were exposed at low tide, and we drifted into one that made a two inch gash in the tubing.
  • Replace the motor on the diesel heater. We rarely use the diesel hydronic heating system in the summer, but needed it on one 40-something degreee morning in Alaska. Of course, it didn’t start. Some great support from Sure Marine Service in Seattle helped dignose the problem, which was the motor. The diagnostic tool? A rubber mallet. “Start the system, and rap the motor with a rubber mallet. If it starts up, you know you have a bad winding and the motor needs to be replaced.” Yup.
  • Replace the Furuno GPS. We have three separate GPS sources on the boat including this older Furuno GPS, which connects directly to a Furuno RD-30 display unit to show speed over ground, position, wind data, etc. When we were crossing Cape Caution on the way up to Alaska, the GPS stopped transmitting data… of course when the seas were up and the boat was moving around quite a bit. No big deal to switch to another source for the NAV equipment, but time to replace the old unit. I elected to replace the receiver only and still have it connect to the RD-30, and from there the NMEA bus.
  • Replace the generator injector pump. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post and actually got a replacement pump sent into Petersburg. However, the fuel leakage had decreased to an acceptable level, and seeing that a miscue in removing or replacing a connecting clip would have serious consequences, I wimped out and elected to have Philbrooks do this.
  • Add delay switches to the windshield wipers. This one sounds odd, I know. The boat has four wipers, one across each piece of the pilot house windshield. The wipers are needed for rain, obviously, but also for clearing salt spray in boisterous sea conditions. Each of the wipers has a separate 3 way switch for off, low, and high speed. In all but hard rain (which we had plenty of in Alaska), the low setting is still too high. Thus, one will be constantly switching the wipers on and off. Trivial, but annoying when running in crummy weather. We should have done this before going to Alaska, but it was only when we got up there that I realized just how much of an annoyance this was, and how easy it is to fix. Just add $$.

After a full day of meeting with the various departments at Philbrooks, everyone has a good idea of what needs to be done, enough so that we have established a tentative pick up date… September 13th. If all goes well we will take the boat back to Anacortes, load it up and start heading South on September 20th.

Final Departure Preparations

Saturday, June 1. That is a date that we have been focused on, literally, for years. It is the day we take off for Alaska, but also the day that marks a transition for us to more of a cruising lifestyle. We semi-jokingly call it our gap year. And now that day is less than a week away.

Our countdown App.

The last month has been crazy busy. Since we picked up the boat at for Opening Day weekend at the beginning of May, we brought the boat back to Philbrooks (on Mother’s day), attended a two day hands on Diesel training class at Northern Lights in Seattle, picked the boat up and returned to Anacortes. This past weekend Gwen and Miranda took our dog McGee down to his retirement home with Gwen’s parents while I chipped away at a long list of tasks.

Boatyard final update (for this round)

We brought Miss Miranda back to Philbrooks after Opening Day to have the wing engine shaft re-installed and to have some issues that we encountered (see https://mvmissmiranda.com/2019/05/10/lessons-in-boat-patience-technical-stuff/) addressed. The wing engine shaft was a bit of a saga – it was pitted (with corrosion) and had to be replaced. It was sent to “the” person in BC that makes custom prop shafts back in April. Unfortunately, it was made improperly the first time around and had to be redone. It was shipped just in time to be re-installed before we were to leave for opening day, but the coupling was (temporarily) lost in transit. Now everything is back in place, and the wing engine works much better, and importantly, the dripless shaft seal (the original issue) is now actually dripless. I described most of the work we were having done in an earlier post(https://mvmissmiranda.com/2019/04/20/boatyard-update/). I view this visit to the yard as making sure that we were up to date on the required service on all of Miss Miranda’s key systems. We will be going back to the yard upon our return from Alaska for some additional work to prepare for cruising to Mexico.

Parts, tools, and supplies

We have gotten quite used to living in a world where almost anything we might want can be delivered to our doorstep in two days or less. The story will be different when we are underway, to some extent in Alaska, and from what we have heard, really different in Mexico (at least as far as boat parts go). So, we have been compiling lists of tools, spare parts, and supplies, benefitting from the knowledge of other cruising Nordhavn owners as well as what we have learned in various training classes.

A small sampling of supplies…

Of course, all of this stuff has to go somewhere. I spent the past weekend organizing storage space in the engine room and lazarette to hold all of this stuff, and have a pretty good inventory spreadsheet to keep track of it. I feel that we are well equipped to address most of the likely issues, and the trip to Alaska will be a good, long shakedown.

I just changed the oil on the main engine, but we will put enough hours on the engine (and the generator) this summer to require an oil change while up in Alaska. That means that we need to carry enough oil for at least one change (6.75 gallons for the main engine) and the means to collect the used oil – a couple of empty 5 gallon buckets. It’s no problem to carry enough for one complete change, but I’m not sure where we would fit enough for, say, two complete changes.

Dual Nav computers

Miss Miranda came with a computer-based chartplotter navigation system. Last year we replaced the aging tower computer with an Intel NUC and installed both Coastal Explorer and TimeZero plotting software. I wanted to have a second nav computer for redundancy, so over the winter installed some new navigation equipment that would make this possible:

  • First, the Rose Point Nemo gateway (https://www.rosepoint.com/nemo-gateway/) takes all the data from our navigation equipment and makes it available over an ethernet connection, which allows it to be shared with multiple computers. In our previous setup, each Nav data source (e.g., GPS, autopilot, depth sounder, wind instrument, AIS) had a separate cable that plugged into a USB port on a single PC.
  • Second, the Furuno digital radar (https://www.furuno.com/special/en/radar/drs4d-nxt/) also makes data available over an ethernet connection, and can be used with multiple computers running Nobeltec TimeZero.

I originally used a laptop for the second computer, and placed it on the port side of the pilot house… pretty much the only place it would fit. I liked having the ability to run a different plotter program and display different charts, but didn’t like having to look over my left shoulder to see the display. I recently bought a 12″ touchscreen monitor and repurposed an old Mac Mini to see how that would work. I am using a RAM mount to position the monitor in front of some unused space on the pilot house dash panel directly ahead, and so far, I like the way it is working out.

Two nav computers in the pilothouse. The small one on the left is the touch screen running Coastal Explorer, and the large one on the right is running TimeZero. The green on the right is the radar overlay.

My plan is to test this setup while we are cruising this summer, and mount everything more permanently if it works well. I will use the touchscreen monitor to run the routes (in Coastal Explorer) and will use the larger monitor to show the radar overlay in TimeZero.

This week is all about provisioning and getting ready to take off for two and half months. Saturday morning, we drop the lines and start the journey, ready or not!

Boatyard Update

Miss Miranda has now been at Philbrooks for a couple of weeks, working through a long list of maintenance items and upgrades that we have compiled over the past year.  Many of the maintenance items came as a result of a Ready for Sea inspection by Marine Guru and all-around good guy Steve D’Antonio.  The upgrade list was driven by how we think we will use the boat for the next couple of years.  Here’s what shows up as complete on the work order so far.

Main Engine

  • Shaft seal.  The shaft seal keeps water from entering the hull at the exit point of the propeller shaft.  There are generally two types, which are referred to as “stuffing boxes” or “dripless seals”.  I have the latter, which are supposed to be, as the name would suggest, dripless, meaning no water enters the bilge from the seal.  That is true, as long as they are installed and aligned properly.  Steve’s inspection revealed that these seals were leaking, even after having been replaced when we were in the yard last year.  Furthermore, they were not type Steve preferred, as they are sensitive to the alignment of the prop shaft.  After some discussion back and forth, Philbrooks is replacing a suspect part on the existing seal and asserts that it will address the issue.  By the way, the whole stuffing box/dripless seal topic is another one of those that generates near religious fervor.  Personally, I just want the things to work as advertised.
  • Exhaust leak.  Miss Miranda has what is called a “dry exhaust” system, meaning a muffler and exhaust pipe that goes up and vents out of the top of the stack.  What that means is that the (very hot) muffler and exhaust pipe run right through the engine room, and is therefore insulated with a special blanket.  Ours was of an old “bandage” style, and needed replacement, which we had done in November of last year by Ballard Insulation in Seattle (highly recommended).  Well, the guys at Philbrooks noticed that the initial section of the exhaust, a 90 deg elbow that leads from the turbo up to the muffler, was leaking.  Good catch by them, and they fabricated a replacement.

Wing Engine

The wing engine is a small Yanmar diesel that has a speparate shaft and folding prop that is to be used as an emergency “get home” engine.  It is a critical piece of safety equipment, but is not run very often, and frankly, has been a bit of a pain in the ass from a maintenance perspective.  We had work done it it last year, with more to be done (and redone) this year, hoping to make it the reliable backup that we can depend on.

  • Shaft seal.  This one is getting replaced with the Tides style recommended by Steve D.  We could never get the PSS seal to work properly in spite of having it adjusted several times after it was replaced last year.
  • Shaft.  It turns out that the wing engine shaft has some pitting (corrosion) which means that it needs to be replaced in order for the Tides seal to work properly.
  • Motor mounts and alignment.  The mounts were replaced last year, but were too soft.  Replaced and motor to be (I hope) properly aligned.
  • Raw water hoses.  The hoses that supply sea water for cooling the engine are original, meaning that they are 20 years old and long past due for replacement.

There is more to be done on the wing… they just haven’t completed all of the work yet.

Generator Maintenance

We thought we would need to replace the generator exhaust elbow, as it showed signs of leakage during Steve’s inspection.  It turns out that the leak was from the heat exchanger end cap.  Good news, as this is a relatively minor fix.

Miscellaneous Mechanical

  • High water bilge pump.  We have a second pump located above our main bilge pump that is intended to help dewater the boat in case of a leak.  We switched it out for a larger capacity pump and added an alarm.
  • Rudder bearings.  Rusted, needed to be replaced.  There is a removable deck plate over the rudder post that allows emergency steering via a tiller in the event of hydraulic steering failure.  When the deckplate leaks (ours did), the bearings eventually rust.  The additional new piece of equipment to be installed is a tupperware bowl to cover the post…


  • Battery replacement/upgrade.  We are replacing the Lifeline AGM batteries (last replaced in 2015) with Firefly Carbon Foam batteries.  The principle advantages of these batteries are ability to withstand deeper discharge, tolerance to partial charge cycles and longer service life.  We think they will work well for extended cruising off the grid.  Along with this, the battery boxes in the lazarette will be reconfigured, and we will recover some valuable storage space.
  • Upgrade charge capacity.  Our exisiting battery charging system was woefully undersized for the size of the battery bank, at 125 Amp/hr for 1500+ Amp/hr capacity.  We are adding:
    • Two Victron 100 Amp chargers.  This will give us a peak capacity of 325 Ah, which will help us recharge the Fireflys quickly while running the generator.
    • About 750 Amps of solar panels.  We hope to get roughly 200 Ah per day of charging from the panels, which is a bit less than half of our daily consumption.   This will reduce the daily generator run time while at anchor.
  • Replace the original 24V engine/thruster battery charger.  It is mounted under the master berth and is very noisy, as well as not having the right charging profile for the AGM batteries.  We’re replacing with a Victron.

Reupholster Salon Setee

We were very happy with the work Philbrooks did on our pilothouse setee last year, and the 20 year old salon setee is well past due.  We used Stamoid fabric for the pilothouse, and really like it for it wear resistance and ease of cleaning.  Unfortunately, the color pallete is pretty limited, so we decided to use ultraleather for the salon.

There is a lot more work in progress, and we are still hoping for completion by May 1st, in time to head down to Seattle for Opening Day.

New Anchor

Anchoring technique and equipment is a topic near and dear to crusing boaters, and is one that can become something like a religious or political conversation – people have very strong views.  For example, Trawler Forum has an entire forum set aside for Anchors and Anchoring, with over 19,000 posts.  What we know about the topic is that we don’t like our CQR anchor, and have had a number of problems, both with setting and dragging, with the last one having us leave an anchorage at 3 AM to find a better spot.  So, high on our Philbrooks list was replacing the CQR with something bigger and better.  I am a member of the Nordhavn Owners Group, which is a wealth of information on all things related to owning and operating Nordhavns.  Consulting the group, it seems clear that the preferred replacement anchor is the ROCNA.  It has a long track record, and is reported to set quickly and hold really well.  The downside is mostly around how the anchor actually fits on the bow roller and stays in position.

I’ve decided to do something that may be a bit heritcal, and am going to experiment with a SARCA Excel, as I mentioned in a previous post.  I’m working with Chris from Ground Tackle Marine, who happens to be located right near Philbrooks in Sdiney, BC.  He sent me a couple of pictures today to show me the initial fit, and I like what I see.


Here it is sitting on the bow of the boat.  It is certainly not obvious from the photo, but it is a “size 13”, weighing about 140 lbs.  It seems to fit really nicely on the pulpit and roller.


Here is a shot looking at how it connects to the windlass. The bar at the end of the anchor is called a flip link, and basically causes the anchor to get into the right position to stow when it comes over the bow roller.  It serves the same purpose as an anchor swivel (another one of those topics that will generate endless arguments).  There is a chain stopper under the bar, positioned to evaluate fit.  However, I don’t think we will wind up going with that setup.  Instead we will have a short snubber line that has a loop to go around the windlass and a chain hook that we will use for setting the anchor.  We will use a turnbuckle setup to secure the anchor when underway.  I’ll show some pictures of those when they are installed.

The to-do list

We have a bunch of things on our to-do list, between the renovations on the condo, getting the boat ready to go into the yard and getting ready to cruise to Alaska and beyond. We had our post-it notes with the tasks on flip chart paper before we moved out of the house, but we’ve improvised on the boat, using the aft salon window. We’ve grown addicted to the satisfaction of crossing off a task, and sometimes we (OK, I) get upset when we do something useful that is NOT on a sticky…