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Return to Norway

It’s an unusual day when you get up in the morning to start a short coastal cruise, and end up making a 2.5-day crossing of the North Sea to an entirely different country. Given the current world situation, Norway was number one on our list of desired destinations, with its excellent hiking and abundance of…

Loch Laxford

We very much enjoyed our month in Stornoway. It was wonderful to be fully fueled and provisioned again, with the bottom painted, the zincs replaced and the insurance survey complete, and we were looking forward to some relaxing cruising with our generator now back in full operating condition after replacing the cylinder head. Our first…

Stornoway Haulout

The Stornoway slipway is a big commercial railway that can lift boats up to 50m long and weighing up to 850 tons. The railway cradle uses three pairs of hydraulic support arms to hold boats in place, making for an efficient lift process. Once the vessel is in the correct position, the arms are simply…

Replacing 12kW GenSet Cylinder Head Part II

  This installment of our maintenance series picks up from our previous video, where we removed the defective cylinder head from our Northern Lights 12kW generator and ended with the engine in pieces on the floor. In this third part of the set covering the low power output issue with our generator, we install the…

Stornoway Projects

The replacement parts for our failed generator arrived from the US into the UK two days after we reached Stornoway, but got stuck in the UPS system for another eight days. While we waited, we completed some other projects, including finishing off the wax job we’d started at the Isle of Gigha. We also arranged…

Provisioning in Stornoway

We spent our first few days in Stornoway busily reprovisioning the boat. After six trips to the grocery store, sometimes twice in one day, we still had a few more items to purchase. But our list was down to a half page from three. We also topped up our propane and engine oil supplies, and…

Lead-Acid Battery Lifetime

Batteries are complex electro-chemical devices and sensitive to operator mistakes and charging system configuration errors. Just a couple of deep discharge cycles can lead to early failure. Long periods without fully charging can reduce the capacity of a battery bank. Equalization (extended charge periods at controlled high-voltage charging) can partially reverse some of these effects,…

Replacing GenSet Cylinder Head Part I

  In the previous installment of our maintenance series, we diagnosed lack of power output on a Northern Lights M843NW3.3 12KW generator with 6,700 hours of use over 10 years. We concluded the #3 cylinder exhaust valve seat had failed. In this second part of the series covering the low power output issue with our…

Stornoway Arrival

When we arrived in Stornoway, Scotland on June 9th, we stepped ashore for the first time since departing Portland, UK on March 22nd. While we were looking forward to revisiting Stornoway, surprisingly, neither of us was desperate to get ashore. The same versatility that made Dirona a comfortable and safe home for us over the…

Valve Seat Recession

About four weeks ago, our generator suddenly went from normal output to having far less power. Instead of the 10+ kW it normally produced, it could only generate 7 kW. We worked through the Northern Lights diagnostic procedure and concluded we had a valve or valve seat problem on #3 cylinder exhaust. The steps we…