The Last Entry

Greetings all!

A lot has happened since my last blog update…

Our GSSR group shipped a full shipping container of boat parts to Japan. To my complete amazement the parts arrived in perfect condition, on time, and with no customs issues or import duties. 




Roberta, Shelby and I will depart for Osaka Japan on April 7th, to begin this year’s GSSR cruise. We will spend a couple weeks in Osaka, doing provisioning, and getting the boat ready for departure.

Some boat preparations have already begun…

I asked Jeff Sanson, of Pacific Yacht Management to go over and prepare the boat for this season’s cruising. Last year, we had amazingly few problems, and I’d like to keep it that way. Jeff has now been in Osaka for about a week doing all the work.

To ensure that this will be a trouble-free year, I asked Jeff to swap every belt, thermostat, hose, air filter, fuel filter and zinc on the boat. With four diesel engines (the two mains) plus two generators, this is a big project. He’s changing the oil on all engines, and checking out all systems. He’s also swapping all of the toilets to a newer model. (A job I’m happy to be 4,000 miles away from!) Much of this work didn’t need done, but I like the idea of starting the season with an ‘essentially new’ boat.

Image untitled9.jpg

I’ve been speaking with (and back-seat driving) Jeff daily via Skype video chats.






 Image swivel.jpg

Jeff installed my new anchor, and it fit perfectly. I asked him to drop and raise it a couple of times, so that we can verify that it comes across the bow pulpit smoothly. No problem. One of my blog readers suggested I try adding a stainless steel swivel, which turned out to be expensive, and huge, but appears to have been a great addition. 




Image looptemp.jpg

Here’s a picture of a sensor I had Jeff install on the loop for my air conditioning (and heating). Last year there many times when I couldn’t diagnose problems with the chilled water a/c system. I was constantly climbing into the lazarette to figure what was going on. This will make life a lot easier.

And as expected, there have been a few negative “surprises”…

Boats like to be run. Leaving them sitting for long periods of time is hard on the boat, and I knew that getting everything going again was not going to be fun. 




Image sanssouciwaterlinemain002.jpg

When Jeff started the main engines, water immediately sprayed from the water injection exhaust elbows. Apparently they had rusted out in the off season. New ones were shipped from the US and have already been installed.

Jeff took the boat out for a test run yesterday, and discovered that it was impossible to get the engines past 1500 rpm. Neither Jeff or I can figure why. He sent a diver under the boat, and the props seem clean. The engines should go up to 2100 rpm, and, when sitting at the dock, they do. My guess is that it is nothing more than the engines having sat for six months and just not in the mood to be run. Or, the bottom was dirtier than we thought. 

We spoke to both Lugger (who made the engines) and Twindisc (the engine throttles and transmission). Neither had any great ideas for us. We are sending a diver under the boat to clean the props and will do another test run today.



Jeff mentioned that the seachest, and the raw water strainers, were totally clogged with barnacles. We haven’t pulled the hoses yet, that connect the through-hulls and the sea chest, but I’m expecting that they will be totally packed with crud.



I’ve always described myself as a “warm water cruiser” but there are some definitely head-aches associated with cruising in warm water, and clogging of the raw water system heads the list. At the suggestion of another Nordhavn owner I bought some super-expensive blue silicon hose to replace the current hoses. We’re also putting copper into both my sea chest and strainers, because allegedly that helps.

On a different topic…

We’ve continued working on getting our dog Shelby into the various countries we’ll visit. To my complete surprise there is now a very real possibility that she can enter Hong Kong without Quarantine. It means lots of paperwork, and more testing. It is also problematic, in that she would need to stay on the boat throughout our visit to Taiwan. We’ve already made arrangements to send someone to Japan to babysit her, and rented an apartment for a friend to watch over her. So.. I’m not sure what will happen. We’re working through it and suddenly optimistic that she can stay with us.

Anyway.. this is my last post to the board. It’s time to restart my blog, and start blogging to the huge group. In just under two weeks Roberta and I will be back on the boat, and the fun will begin. Most of you are already registered on so you don’t need to do anything to continue receiving the blog. I’ll send out a “first blog entry” early next week kicking off the GSSR 2010. If you have friends who you think might want to receive the blog, this is a good time to register them yourself at, or encourage them to go register. It should be an amazing year.


In some ways it will be a simpler, easier, year. But, it is not without challenge. We’ll be in an area that it highly technical, with challenging tides and currents. In the coast guard guide it said that nearly half of all marine accidents happen each year in Japan’s inland sea, where we’ll be in the next few weeks. Currents are tides are a huge factor, and whereas I’m accustomed to these from cruising the Pacific NW, we’ll be dealing with a scarcity of information. There is no nice neat tide/current book I can pick up at West Marine. We’ll figure it out, but I’m sure we’re in for a few surprises.


Thank you everyone for reading my interim blog over the past few months. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! 

Ken Williams

Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci

And, for my books->


PS The GSSR will have four boats this year.The 70′ Northern Marine, Starr was originally scheduled to be with our group, but got a late start. Instead they took a southerly route, to Hawaii, and are headed to Japan via the Marshall Islands. If you haven’t been following Starr’s blog, you are missing a very interesting story. Starr is currently “stuck”, with mechanical problems and waiting for parts to reach them, on a little inaccessible island, in the middle of nowhere. Check out:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be the first to know when

the game releases!

Plus, receive special insider, behind the scenes, sneak peeks and interviews as the game is being made. Don’t worry. We will not spam you, and we will not flood your box with too many emails.
 — Ken Williams

Credits     |     Video produced by: Rock Steady Media     |     Teletype photo: Arnold Reinhold     |     PDP-11 photo: Trammell Hudson