A Quick Update From Land!


It’s killing me!

Hard to believe but it has been almost three weeks now since I was last on Pendana and, in three words, it’s killing me! I have long wondered how some folks find it possible to leave their boats for long periods of time. While it makes a great deal of sense I must admit to preferring to have my boat close and as such, have the ability to head off to the marina for the day to either take her out or simply potter around – as those of us with boats know, there is always a list of jobs that need attending to.

Talking about lists I am in the process of finalising my work list while back in Sydney for when Pendana departs Whitsundays and heads to the Gold Coast later this year. The Gold Coast is where Pendana will be lifted out of the water (at Gold Coast City Marina in Coomera, “GCCM”) with military precision and placed on hard. 

Pendana comes out of the water on an annual basis so things like thru hulls can be properly inspected, prop-speed applied and a general inspection carried out to make sure all is in working order. Funnily enough there are thousands of boat owners who don’t take their boats out on an annual basis and while I am sure they have their reasons, it may be hard to prove to their insurance company that the vessel was properly maintained in the event of total loss. 

The list of works Pendana will have done, at this stage, looks something like this:


1./ Fix missing teak corner on rear deck (on lazeret).

2./ Fix missing corking where necessary. 

3./ Fix fibreglass area around anchor winch.

4./ Fix small crack on main foredeck.

5./ Find two light fittings for upper cockpit seating area – wiring done yet no lights.

6./ Fix one panel of roof lining in Pilothouse above office desk.

7./ Fix all panels of roof lining in FWD cabin.

8./ Fix/replace torn fly-screen netting in main hallway.

9./ Reseal master shower screen to remove soap scum build up (the dirt is in the silicon, hence replace silicon seal).

10./ Replace mirror in main on-suite as it has silvered. Note this was replaced 18mths ago and has gone bad yet again?

11./ Steam clean carpets inside.

12./ Replace vent hatch seals over helm chair, office desk in pilothouse and master cabin as they leak slightly in heavy rain.

All of the above jobs will be managed and performed by the very talented Mr Andrew Giese from ADG Marine. Andrew is a shipwright with skill and talent far beyond his years. What I like about Andrew is he gets the job done without any fuss or bother and his exacting standards means the job is always spot on. Some of you may remember Andrew was the lead guy when Pendana had an ABT Stern Thruster retro fitted to her structure. Note sure how we would have managed if not for Andrew’s exacting standards. Andrew is flown all over Australia to do work on boats and I am eternally grateful that he has agreed to complete the above list of work. Having someone like Andrew on board makes a huge difference to the end result.

13./ Replace coolant – main engine and two generators. (On The Water Sydney).

14./ Replace HYD Oil (On The Water Sydney).

15./ Change oil in TwinDisc gearbox (On The Water Sydney).

16./ Check cutlass bearing/ Prop speed/Anodes (Watsons Engineering).

17./ Re-stuff shaft packing gland (Watsons Engineering).

18./ Replace seals on Trac-Stabilizers – Stella Marine (Nu Sins). 

19./ Replace seal on bow thruster (Nu Sins).

20./ Fix Seal on water maker pump (Nu Sins).

21./ Replace all toilets to electric flush (SeaBreeze – Colin/Jason).

22./ Replace lift wire on tender (Mark James).

23./ Investigate and rectify salting on exhaust tube (Mark James).

24./ Design anchor hold mechanism (Mark James).

25./ Check all through hulls (Mark James).

26./ Re antifoul bottom (Seahawk Biocop TF) (Seahawk Australia/GCCM).

You will notice that many of the people I use are the same, time and time again. I have been told that I run Pendana very much along the same lines as much larger boats – meaning that, I use the same people all the time. There are many reasons for this approach but most importantly I believe that by using the same folks all the time, not only do you develop a meaningful relationship with them, but it also allows them to develop a far greater knowledge of Pendana and her systems which ultimately results in reduced costs for me and a sense of ownership for them, a win win, all round!

For example, next week I am flying to the Whitsundays to visit Pendana and do a few odd jobs. Primarily, I need to replace a seal on my main engine exhaust and while I could possibly soldier on and do this myself I have chosen to ask the team at On the Water Sydney (onthewatersydney.com) to help out. Matt, the owner said no problems at all, as such, I will be flying Dean up to the Whitsundays from Sydney next week to take care of said seal. No doubt the seal will be replaced in all of about 15 minutes but having Dean complete the job takes away all the things that could possibly go wrong if I employed an outsider. The value in having people who know your boat, look after your boat on an ongoing basis and who feel a sense of ownership, cannot be underestimated.

minor oil leak on Pendana Nordhavn 62

Photo above shows a slow oil leak from said seal, which will soon be replaced.

I realise flying someone up to do this job is probably overkill and I realise that any marine mechanic could probably do the job but I simply refuse to let anyone into Pendana’s engine room without properly vetting them. Why? Well, there are many things well intentioned people can do which can end up costing a small fortune to rectify if they get it wrong. My insurance against mistakes is using the same guys all of the time rather than taking any risks with someone new.

So, all in all there are some twenty-six jobs requiring attention and I would expect that Pendana will be on hard stand at GCCM for a few weeks while this is all taken care of. It seems crazy that there is no facility to do this work in Sydney but that is the case. What GCCM offer is truly remarkable and I would suggest that it is truly a world class facility in its own right. Next time you have your boat lifted from the water ask yourself this? Who is lifting my boat? What experience do they have? When where the straps last inspected? With GCCM you can relax knowing that these guys are truly at the top of their game and in my opinion, the only option in Australia when it comes to heavy lifting.

The main purpose of this year’s lift is so Pendana can have new bottom paint applied. The Seahawk Biocop TF she currently has on her bottom has lasted incredibly well over the past four years (yes that’s right, FOUR YEARS) and if the truth be told I reckon we could easily get out another year out of the paint. That being said, I am going to have new paint applied as I am a huge believer in pre-emptive maintenance. For example the seals on my stabilizers are not due for replacement for another two years but as we are now at year five and because the stabilizers are without doubt one of the most important parts on Pendana I am having them done early. Likewise, the bow thruster seals are changed every two years without fail, and thru hulls checked annually. To this point in time I have never lost a day’s boating due to a maintenance or mechanical issue which I put partly down to my proactive management of all things Pendana as well as, the incredibly high build standard of the Nordhavn PAE product.

Regarding the head replacement (toilets) when I was helping with the delivery of Last Mango with James Knight in Brisbane earlier in the year I noticed that Last Mango had some very sexy heads that unlike ours, which require a pedal to be pushed to execute the vacuum flush system, theirs simply required the user to push a button. As such, we have just about decided to replace all heads aboard Pendana to these electric flush models pending quote and a little further investigation.

old heads

Pendana’s current heads.

The new heads


Pendana’s new heads with push button controls!

Next week I will be back on Pendana with another list of odd jobs to complete least of which is having the seal replaced on the exhaust joint to put an end to the oil leak. I will also be testing out the new Armstrong tender ladders (photos to come) and I plan to also finish detailing my much loved Caribe DL15 tender, which I must admit is looking a little dirty and unloved. Then there will be dusting, dusting and more dusting .. for anyone who owns a boat knows that for some crazy reason dust seems to be attracted to boats like bees to honey. It is a never ending job! It is unlikely I will get to take Pendana for a spin around the islands as it is requires a minimum of two people to operate and with Claire and the girls staying in Sydney due to school I will have to remain marina bound. Doesn’t really matter anyway as pottering on a boat, in the very beautiful Abel Point Marina with the sun beating down on me is really no hardship at all!

Abell Pont Marina

Abel Point Marina

Later this week I will be attending the annual ‘Sydney Boat Show’, Australia’s largest boat show. I am attending in the capacity of author. Ridiculous I know! Boat Books Australia who distributes “From Family to Crew” here in Australia, have asked me to come along on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to help out with sales. Not sure what I can do but whatever it is I will gladly lend a hand. So unlike all other boat shows I have been to, I will have to actually get my hands dirty and do a bit of work!

Remember that “From Family to Crew” with over 300+ pages, more than 150+ colour photos and with the foreward written by Ken Williams (Nordhavn guru and all round nice guy) is available via http://www.pendanablog.com, http://www.boatbooks-aust.com.au/ or https://www.createspace.com/3945639 

From Family to Crew Book Cover

I have added a few videos of Pendana running at night – they can be found at the following links.



Pendana Nordhavn 62 at night


and just for the hell of it.. my idea of a total nightmare and the reason Pendana won’t be going to the Med anytime soon. The whole idea of med mooring is somewhat of a mystery to me and in the video link below shows you how hard it can actually be. This chap did incredibly well in what were difficult conditions. My idea of a total nightmare!

Remember if you want to see a particular part of Pendana all you have to do is drop me a message and I will add it to the list.

Finally, Nordhavn have just completed the construction of their first super yacht, Aurora a 120ft goliath. Aurora and her crew are taking her on her own bottom from Hong Kong to Vancouver which will take around 25 days in all. You can follow her voyage at http://www.nordhavn.com/models/120/delivery/index.php, well worth checking out!

Aurora Nordhavn 120

Aurora in all her glory!

That’s all for now, safe travels


4 thoughts on “A Quick Update From Land!”

  1. James (PENDANA)


    Steve thanks for the heads-up..will make sure I read your comments to our TRAC guys here in Australia prior to him commencing the job!

    Thank you for your comments.


    SUBJECT: Stabilizer Seals


    Regarding the replacement of your TRAC stabilizer seals, I would agree with you on the early treatment. However, although we had the pros at TRAC company do the seals in 2009, in a haulout in 2012 for a bottom job we noticed an oil leak coming from the starboard fin. Turns out that in the replacement in 2009 the first of the 2 seals that are replaced per side was turned on its side and the technician either did not notice or chose to ignore the issue and slide home the second seal on top of the new one that was turned sideward.

    To TRAC’s credit, in the inspection by another qualified technician at our 2012 haulout, they admitted to the error and credited me with all new parts for both fins thus replacing all seals once again. That was a 500 item here in the States.

    As to why the seal turned on its side, the seal is slide along the fin shaft and up into a hole which is very hard to see the inside of without some substantial contortions on the mechanics part. However, they admit this happens on a reasonably frequent basis and they try to “feel” the seal to confirm accuracy. To TRACs credit their system uses two seals as a belt and suspenders approach. But there is always this one glitch to pay attention to when reinstalling the seals.

    What to watch for after you are back in the water:
    1. A slight oil slick along side the boat starting at about the fin level.
    2. A gradual drop (very gradual) in the back-up oil reservoir attending to each fin. Suggestion: You might mark the oil level ( with tape or marker) of your reservoirs before you re-enter the water to have a gauge to measure usage.

    Such leakage is not likely to show up for sometime since the new seals will be doing their job quite well. If you should go through a bit of bad weather when the fins are more active than usual (which was what happen to us offshore returning from Chesapeake Bay to S. FLorida) that may cause the overuse of the seal and thus the leak.

    Just a heads-up. Nothing to loose sleep over.

    Duchess, Krogen 58, Vero Beach, FL.

    Steve & Sandy Bruckner

  2. James, look at Sealand’s M series vacuum pumps. It’s what I have on my boat, and has been (thus far) trouble free in seven years of usage.

    The M series is made for charter boats and ferries that see lots of use. It seems to be able to digest about anything without clogging.

    I’m not a fan of fixing toilets — so, talk to sealand and get whatever they have that is “industrial strength.”

    -Ken W

  3. James (PENDANA)


    Ken, thanks for teh heads up, will be speaking to them this week at the boat show so will be sure to mention and enquire about the M series. That said our current system has been pretty good – the than the odd duckbill valve requiring replacement the system has been solid. Nonetheless will discuss with them the M series as suggested.


  4. James (PENDANA)


    Ken, I didn’t actually realise but I already have the M series Sealand bronze goliath of a pump and you are right works great!! No doubt the reason we have had very few problems. The reason for going to electric flush model is that it will remove the angst guests often have when coming aboard, basically same vacuflush system just different heads with electronic flush control rather than using the foot pedal method.

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