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Lugger diesel -- on John Deere block -- powers Nordhavn 40

Jan 1, 2003

A story in the November/December 2001 issue of Ocean Navigator stated that the Nordhavn 40 trawler, which has begun its circumnavigation, was powered by a John Deere diesel. This is only partially true. The engine is actually a six-cylinder Lugger, based on a John Deere block, explained Kurt Hoehne of Northern Lights/Lugger, based in Seattle.

The following is a full explanation of the Nordhavn propulsion system, quoted from the company's website: www.nordhavn.com:

"The Nordhavn 40 engine room houses the main propulsion engine, fuel tanks, fuel management system, an optional auxiliary "wing" engine and the AC generator. At the center of it all is the John Deere-based Lugger six-cylinder diesel engine that has proven to be one of the most reliable marine engines ever produced. Indeed, these Luggers have been known to run over 80,000 hours between overhauls. (A typical two-year, around-the-world voyage requires between 5,000 and 6,000 hours.) A foolproof fuel management system utilizing a two-gallon supply reservoir allows fuel to drain into it from the bottom of each of two 460-gallon molded fiberglass tanks. The reservoir allows water and heavy contaminants to be collected and drained off before ever reaching the main filters. A water alarm is included in the reservoir, and a sight gauge allows easy, l5-minute consumption tests, insuring accurate fuel management. All but one gallon of diesel fuel of the total 920 is isolated, and the rest will drain free-of-air into the reservoir, despite the motion of the vessel. The fuel tanks are securely fiberglassed into the hull and have l8" by l8" inspection plates and removable baffle panels, so a man can easily access every inch of the tank's interior for cleaning and inspection. The construction of these tanks eliminates corrosion, dramatically reduces condensation, adds to the vessel's rigidity, reduces noise, and they'll last the lifetime of the vessel.

"Although the reliability of single-engine installations has been proven by scores of successful circumnavigations, some owners may wish to opt for an auxiliary "wing" engine. This "get home" package features a totally separate 27-hp diesel engine with its own independent electrical system, separate l0 gallon day tank, transmission, shaft and propeller. This engine will drive the vessel at 6 knots in calm weather (3 to 4 knots in difficult conditions) and will maintain an electrical charge to the house system.

"To further enhance overall reliability, P.A.E. has incorporated a keel cooling system and dry exhaust for the main engine. These two systems eliminate the raw water thru-hull, hoses, strainer, heat exchanger, vented loops, raw water pump, associated belts and hot, noisy exhaust hoses. The engine is cooled through a series of tubes recessed in the hull, totally eliminating any salt water from entering the engine. Instead of a traditional wet exhaust system, a specially engineered dry system exits the exhaust high above the upper deck, greatly reducing noise and fumes. Because the vessel is expected to run for days at a time, every effort has been made to reduce vibration and noise. Indeed, the level of noise from the engine measured in the wheelhouse or main saloon is actually lower than that of a quiet conversation. On a Nordhavn 40, the loudest noise heard is often the sound of the water rushing by outside.

"The AC/DC distribution panel utilizes high-quality, marine-grade components. All wiring is color coded to ABYC standards, and sizable conduits are provided for future installations. All galley and head AC outlets are GFCI type. Thru-hulls are bonded and tied into the l2-volt system, as is all hardware below the waterline. Two large zinc plates are also tied into the l2-volt ground system."