[Kensblog] The first pictures are here!

Our very first picture of the new boat?
Greetings all! It has been twenty years since Roberta and I had a summer where we weren't living on a boat. Sans Souci (our Nordhavn) sold quickly and our new boat won't be delivered until next Spring. It feels strange being stuck on land. I regularly monitor several boating blogs and discussion groups, but haven't participated in any of the discussions recently. It feels like I am now outside the boating community looking in. That said, Roberta and I wanted this. We've talked for a while ab...
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[KensBlog] Boatless in Seattle

The three GSSR boats
Greetings all! They say the two happiest days in a boaters life are: 1) The day they take delivery of a new boat 2) The day they sell the boat I can confirm the first of these sayings, but am struggling with the second. Sans Souci, our beautiful Nordhavn 68, now has a new owner. We are proud that Sans Souci's reputation, extensive upgrades and amazing condition allowed her to sell so quickly, but sorry to see her go. The closest analogue to this mixture of sadness and joy would be when we se...
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[KensBlog] Many decisions to make

Greetings all! For those of you who may have missed my last blog entry, the quick story is that Roberta and I have listed Sans Souci for sale and are in the process of ordering a new boat. The quick reason is that we are planning to cruise 'the Great Loop' (an inland journey on America's rivers). We chose our Nordhavn 68 as the best possible boat for ocean crossing and now we're building a boat that is built for a completely different flavor of cruising.   We're now deep into the process of or...
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End of an era, Start of an era

Sans Souci
I have some very bizarre news. Roberta and I have listed Sans Souci for sale ! Why? you might ask… The quick answer is that after completing a semi-circumnavigation we’ve been struggling to think of where we want to go next. We’ve cruised our way through over twenty-five countries and have come very close on a couple of ideas. We joined the Waikiki Yacht Club in anticipation of taking the boat to Hawaii, and then had trouble finding moorage. Weird as it sounds, a marina in Hawaii accepted us,...
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Current Blog Article: [Kensblog] The first pictures are here!


The Garmin system is capable of displaying instrument readout such as speed and position inside Vlog videos. I've seen it on a few sailing Vlogs. In moderation, it's very informative.

 rcrogers6  5/20/2019


As a Swede, Volvo is always the right choice.

 Simon  4/15/2019


Hey Guys, 

what a great update, I'm so excited for you both and look forward to reading about all the new adventures with the new boat. 

Perhaps you might consider  Ireland and the UK for some cruising. We've got some great places you could visit. 

I wasnt one bit surprised Sans Souci sold so quick, I'm sure the new owner was a regular reader and knew how well cared 

for she was and knew they are getting a great vessel.

 shamrockstampsrob  4/4/2019


---Reply posted by admin on 4/4/2019

Greetings! Roberta and I are definitely hoping to cruise Ireland. We've never thought about the UK...

We will be in Ireland all of August and will check out the cruising opportunities and marinas while there.

Thanks! - Ken W

Ken, and Roberta,

Thank you for the update your exciting news and your usual sage remarks.  I have long been a fan of GB and several decades ago shared a 54 which was a brilliant machine, but then along came Nordhavn.  What to do? 

Clearly, there are different strokes for different blokes and as I get older and less active I am leaning towards a GB, mainly because there are fewer stairs :) and the lower level of complexity to which you aspire also means less crawling around in spaces, something becoming increasingly difficult.

As an Australian I am a bit, no actually a lot biased, :) as there is a lot of "Australia" in the new design and living on the West Coast, a very rough lee shore with incessant strong SW winds, frontal conditions and very few readily accessible harbors and the ability to "run for the hills" is very attractive rather than slugging it, out albeit in robust Nordahvn safety, is very attractive.  The same lack of harbors or marinas up the coast from Perth and the long distances involved almost demands a turn of speed when it turns unpleasant which it is mostly on this coast except for a few months.

I watch with intense interest in the evolution of your exciting new boat using your extensive experience, which from all accounts is revolutionizing this market segment.  GB will learn a lot from your experience.

 ggaunt  4/3/2019


---Reply posted by admin on 4/4/2019

I smiled when I read your comments, "GB will learn a lot from the experience". 

We are the purchasers of the 15th GB60 and I'm in frequent communications with the purchaser of the 14th boat. He's ahead of use by only a few months. Like us, he plans to live on the boat for months at a time and is giving Grand Banks a LOT of recommended changes. I think that between us and him GB is learning what it means to build a boat meant for long-term and long-range cruising

One thing to remember is that today's GB is not yesterday's GB. They were effectively taken over by the Palm Beach boats team, who abandoned most prior GB designs. They come from the go-fast world of cruising boats and don't really understand the trawler market. They've been tremendous to work with and are eager learners, and I suspect that many of the "changes" we are making will benefit future GB owners. 

Exciting news about new boat progress. I live near GB headquarters in FL and see GB 60's running frequently -- they move through water with grace and speed. Your GB 60 sounds like it will be immensely comfortable. I disagree with decision to go for straight shafts instead of pods -- one of my sons has a Palm Beach 50 with pods and they are really efficient and smooth. I think in many ways they are easier to repair than shafts -- just pop off a damaged pod and bolt in a new one. No need to realign shafts. Other friends own Sabres with pod drives and the reliability and performance has been terrific. 

One thought about navigation equipment -- I've equipped two of my boats with two different GPS brands that employed different charting software. It can be very helpful to see a tricky channel in both Garmin Blue Chart and C-Map for example. Not all charting software incorporates Explorer chart details that are crucial in the Bahamas. I had a Garmin GPS go blank in a very shallow, tricky area on Florida west coast and was saved by having a second Raymarine GPS that kept me in the channel.

Looking forward to reading about more equipment decisions and construction progress.

 admin  4/3/2019


---Reply posted by admin on 4/3/2019

That's interesting feedback on the pods. I ruled them out pretty quickly. I would LOVE to have the extra range associated with pods. They also free up space in the engine room. I don't see me switching to them at this point in the process .. but .. I'll try to have more of an open mind on them.

As to chart plotting - I will have TimeZero running on a small PC as my backup. I'll feed it as an extra video input to the Garmin system so that I can display it on one monitor while Garmin's radar and chart plotter is on the other. As you said, there are times when maps from one company offer much more detail than from another.

Thanks! - Ken W

---Reply posted by admin on 4/3/2019

PS A Palm Beach 50 with pods would be a VERY fun boat. We test drove the PB55 and were sold on it. If the GB60 runs anywhere near as well, we are going to love the new boat.

If you are going to run the Genset mostly, why not use that to heat water for showers etc using the cooling system interchange??

And  also the main engine cooling interchange when under way?? Lanny

 aquarico  4/2/2019


---Reply posted by admin on 4/3/2019

Good question! I did think about that, and the buyer of the boat just before mine is doing so. In fact, the water heater I am buying is pre-plumbed for heat exchange and could easily be set up to do so.

The quick answer is: I probably should do heat exchanging, but I'm not.

I'm trying to keep the boat as simple to own and maintain as possible. There would be extra plumbing required to grab the heat from the generator. Specifically, I'd need a heat exchanger on the generator exhaust, then I'd need a circ pump to recirculate the water, and then piping to send the hot water to the tank.

It's actually not that much, and could be done. But .. then when you start thinking about the details the decision gets a little tougher. There are four engines; port main engine, starboard main engine, 12kw genset and 20kw genset. Do I run plumbing to all four? Or just the ones closest to the hot water tank? 

I ultimately decided that to keep the boat simple I'd just use a plain old 40 gallon hot water heater. I googled and the average American shower consumes 18 gallons of water and takes 8.2 minutes. I'll have 40 gallons of hot water at 140 degree temperature. This should cover four or five showers at a minimum (or, some very long showers). I'll have both a 1kw and a 3kw 240v heating element, so if the water gets cold I can reheat it quickly.  No plumbing required (for heat exchanging).

This is one that wasn't an easy decision.

-Ken W