Oil change and filters 101…

As the 1st mate on R Lil’ Ship it seems that every cruise we take, no matter how long or short, I always learn something new about our Nordhanvn 40, cruising in general or boat upkeep. It’s actually quite humbling how much I really don’t know and we have been boating as a couple for about 14 years.

When we first started boating, I became a Vessel Inspector for the Tacoma Power Sqaurdon. My husband insisted it was the best way to learn about boats while getting exposure to the variance systems and options owning a vessel presented. Of course he was right and it did give me a sense of comfort as we stepped up in various motor vessels of size and capability. For those of you new to boating, I highly recommend reaching out to your local Power Squadron as they are a wealth of knowledge and support. They provide many educational courses from the basics to Advanced navigation and pre-COVID they offer monthly rendezvous.

Now that we own a Nordhavn, I am certain that we have one of the safest, capable and stoutest blue water boats out there! We have been in some crazy sea conditions and R Lil’ Ship is a power horse. This weekend we took it out to a local yacht club in crazy weather conditions and she kept us comfortable, warm and safe. That is probably not something We would have felt comfortable doing in our previous boats.

Very soon R Lil’ Ship will be hauled out to give her a little tender loving care. We will be having the head hoses changed out, hydraulic steering maintenanced, main engine flushed along with a number of other minor needs. However, before doing this, my husband insisted it was time to change the oil and time I learned how to do that so I could help him! In our last boat, I remember watching movies all weekend while he tirelessly performed this task over 2-days, so I was not really looking forward to it!

Piper seems to be interested in oil changes too!

As it turned out, the Reversco system for oil changes on a Nordhavn makes this job a breeze… well, kind of! Aside from banging my head and scraping my knee, it wasn’t so bad. We removed all the old oil, added fresh oil and changed out the main engine filter, generator filters and wing engine filter in about 2.5 hours. I don’t know how many spouses know how to read a dip stick, but this was a first for me! I now also understand why my husband wants me to save all the plastic grocery bags. They are great for wrapping the old filters up in before you remove the filter. I’m pretty confident that next time, I could probably do this task by myself so that’s a serious testament to the ease of this task.

I’m learning a lot of other things about our boat, from docking, taking the boat out, engine checks, setting courses and learning our system. So far I would say this task was by far the easiest to learn. Now all I need is my own pair of coveralls!

Categories: Puget Sound Boating

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