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  1. Foster says:

    I was reading about the Great TV Repair of 2017. I was going to install one on the Quo Vadimus and now I’m happy I didn’t. I don’t have your patience, hour three would have started with the sound of a sawzall firing up.

    What did you do as far as cable management to make sure it does not happen again? Once you had it apart was there a way to create access ports to get into it if you have to again?

    • If I have a tough situation like I did with TV lift, my goals is to come up with a solution so it doesn’t happen again. In this case I need two things: 1) a solution so the wire doesn’t get tangled up in the gears again, and 2) some means of servicing the lift when it gets stuck since it’s certain it’ll eventually happen again perhaps due to some other problem.

      On avoiding the wire getting run over again by the gear set, I’ve shortened the wire and use a bungy to keep tension on it towards the center of the TV away from the gears. I think that one is well solved. Where I don’t have a good answer is how to make the system mroe servicable if it fails or jams up again in the down position. The recommendation from the manufacturer is to take a sawzall to the TV base/motor assembly and cut off the gears. Once that is done, the assembly can be removed and replaced. This will work in most cases but its a $2,000 solution. And, if the system fails in the very bottom position, I can’t see a way to cut the gears out. If that happens, the only solution I can come up with is 1) break the TV to get access to the bolts behind the TV or spend a day doing what I did of making special tools to remove the bolts without damaging the TV. I suppose it would aloso be possible to drill into the teak work with a hole saw but I would rather break up the TV than cut up the permanently installed teak work.

      If I were intsalling one in the future, I wuold make sure that there is a provision for service without unreasonable difficulty.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        You have a lot more patience than I do. Once up I would have removed the top teak, cut a set of holes in the top of the TV box for future access and then used velcro to put the teak back on top.

        • I hear you Timothy but pulling the top off the box only gets you access to the box that surrounds the TV. You certainly can drill through it which will get you to the TV. But, without the TV out (or broken up), the 8 screws holding the TV box to the lift platform aren’t commming out. With patience or without it don’t see a solution that doesn’t get those 8 screws out and, if the TV is in, they are not accessable from above.

          • Drew says:

            Will the TV fit out the bottom of the cabinet if it was stuck in the down position (perhaps with the doors removed)? How much room do you have the mount in the back? My TV mount has two strings you can pull the will tilt the TV down to access behind the TV which would allow enough room to either unscrew the TV, unscrew the lift, or whatever you need to do. I know they also make quick release VESA mounts but I have only seen them for monitors, not large TVS, and I’m not sure how you would access the tab to release the TV.

            • Thanks for the ideas Drew. Unfortunately, the TV is far larger than the forward opening so it’s not comming out the front and its not possible to unscrew the TV in the down position. With modifications to the top, it might be possible to use your idea of using a quick release mount. On this model, the top cover would need to be removable as would the top of the TV box. Then it would be necessary to release the TV and lift out the top.

              A variant of that approach that I like is to make the decorative top removable and then put in 6 holes in the top of the TV box to allow the 6 of the 8 screws that old the TV box in to be removed. If I only use those 6 and not the 2 under the TV, I think it probably would be possible to release the assembly using this approach. Good idea.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            After a couple of beverages: I would take the teak top off, then cut the top off the tv box at the butt joints. Screw 1″ square dowels on each inside of the box of wood (and maybe a couple on the back) so the cut out top would sit back level. I would then remount the cut top with a couple counter sunk screws into each dowel. Then velcro the teak top back on the top of the box covering the hole and the “whole mess” I would have made out of the TV box. πŸ™‚

            • I think that would nail it. If I used 6 screws instead of 8 to hold the TV box on to the base (two are directly under the TV screen), then I think the approach you outline would work well. The only part I’m not sure about is the 2 scews under the TV but I’m about 90% they would be accessible from above through holes in the top of the box. Nice solution.

              • Gary says:

                I’m just amazed in a Nordhavn, that the “thing” is manufactured in such a way as to require the destruction of something to fix the other thing. Notwithstanding your legendary resourcefulness, trying to do it in a seaway a thousand miles from anywhere means I guess you don’t have TV until you get somewhere else. πŸ™

                • I largely agree — equipment installations should be designed for service. If we were to build another boat, I would ensure we had a good solution for the TV lift. The ideas below from Drew and Timothy would be ways to get my existing desig more servicable.

                  Because space in boats is at such a premium and boat purchases are usually made on the basis of what was “stuffed in” rather on whether or not it’s actually servicable. As a consequence, many manufacturers end up “building in” equipment. After 8,500 hours, rounding the world, and fixing just about everything that needed fixing myself, I would say that Nordhavn does pretty well by this measure when compared to other manufacturers. There will always be service tasks when you wonder how any human being can possibly service the item and these situations are super annoying but, from my perspective, there haven’t been that many on Dirona.

                  • Rod Sumner says:

                    Cautionary note: I have found that bungee cords under constant tension loose their elasticity and become weak, thus losing their ‘pull’.
                    Maybe another entry into the maintenance schedule “check TV bungee’!

                    • Yes, bungees do fail and so would need to be checked. I ended up shortening up the coiled cable that runs from the bottom of the TV up to the TV base where the motor is housed. This coiled cable is now pulled a bit more as it approaches the top and the coil takes up the slack as the TV goes down. This puts slightly more load on the cable and there is risk that the coil will not continue to be able to take up all the slack as the TV lowers years from now. But it looks like it’s working fairly well and the load on the coiled cable seems very small. It is likely a long term solution.

  2. Rod Sumner says:


    Can you repair the mother board?

    PS Now in NZ not missing Niagara Falls winter at all!

    • I’ll bet you are enjoying being down in New Zealand. What a great country. Hope you get a chance to visit Fiordland.

      The motherboard is technically repairable but, from my perspective, with a new board at $160, it’s not ecnomically efficient to service it.

  3. Tim Connolly says:

    Welcome to Daytona Beach – your arrival brought back great memories. My mother-in-law lived in the condo’s that pass to port on your way into Halifax Harbor. Great view looking north and south on ICW. Spent many a day watching boats come and go. That was 25 years ago. Hope it is still as nice as it was then.

    • It is a great area but, for an ocean going trawler, there’s not much water here. Last night we saw 6’7″ and we draw 6’7″ :-). Can’t beat the scenary and the weather though.

      • Tim Connolly says:

        Yes – running the ditch in FL can be “interesting”. I always feel like I’m in deep water when I see 10′ on the gauge.

        • Don H says:

          Is the Great Loop completely doable with the N52? I know you have the hinged mast, but I thought the draft was too deep on the N52.

          What sort of issues have you had so far, if any?

          • The great loop has a low bridge in Chicago that limits air draft to 19’1″. Dirona’s stack can be folded down but to do that requires a crane and every wire that runs up the stack has to have a service loop in it to allow the bend. I’m sure some don’t at this point but, technically, with a bunch of work, Dirona could slip under the bridge and technically could do the Great Loop.

            The only issues so far has been thin water. We haven’t touched bottom on the ICW but have gotten close several times. If you look closely at the track, you’ll likely see we have gone back and forth looking for deeper water before continuing at a few locations. But, other than thin water and needing to time some of the bridges that only open on schedule, no issues on the ICW.

            • Timothy Daleo says:

              Halifax Harbor looks like a sweet spot to dock for a few days. Nothing to see but municipal buildings around there? Do you at least get a view of the smaller planes in approach? Surrounded by coastal cruisers?

              • Yup, we are surrounded by coastal cruisers in a very nice marina. A bit thin on water but that’s the norm in Florida. We are here for the World of Outlaws dirt track sprint car racing at Volusia and the Dayton 500. We also plan to head down to the Miami Boat show while we are here.

                • Tim Connolly says:

                  You continue to bring back memories James – started my “FL Career” right across from the speedway’s main entrance at GE Simulation & Control Systems – visual systems for flight simulators and US Navy ship controls. (No longer there) Big benefit of that location, spending lunch hours watching NASCAR drivers dial-in their unpainted cars in the weeks leading up to the races…for free. Could literally stand right by the fence at the finish line. Amazing view. The twin qualifier races are always exciting.

                  BTW – if you are going to continuing south on the ICW, there is a gentleman on activeCaptain who goes by the handle Bob423. He’s in a 42′ Beneteau sailboat who does extensive exploration and writing about what he finds along the way. Here is his blog –

                  ” Cruising Tips” on the left side could be of interest including downloadable tracks from his trip south this year. He weather Hurricane Matthew at St James Marina, NC so his data is very recent.

                  • It sounds like you Daytona Beach job was an ideal work location. Access to the beach, great weather, and walking distance to Daytona International Raceway. Kind of cool.

                    Thanks for the tip for going further south on the ICW. Our current plans are to head north again after Daytona Beach. On this trip, we’ll probably run offshore and head to somewhere in the Boston to Newfoundland area. We’re not sure exactly where at this point, wherever it is, that will be our jumping off point to head to Northern Europe.

                • Drew Hunter says:

                  Are you going to be able to check out Cochise while you are there? Curious as to your thoughts on the FPB brand. I believe the Dashew’s are around Ft.Lauderdale.

                  • Yes, we do plan to visit Cochise while here. After spending a really educational day at Circa Marina, the yard in New Zealand where FPBs are built, we’re looking forward to seeing the finished product.

      • Ross Clarkson says:


        I noticed you said Dirona draws 6’7″. The Nordhavn website says the 52 draws 5’11”. Does Dirona have a different hull configuration? (or is it just all the extra electronics weighing it down ;))

        • We live on Dirona and have no house or storage box so there is no question Dirona is carrying a lot. We also have a massive number of spares further increasing our load. Our anchor is on the high side of average and we carry a 100′ more chain than standard and all of it is slightly heavier. Thereis no question, we are on the high side of average and it wouldn’t surprise me if we were the heaviest of the entire 47/52 series.

          However, even with all those caveats, given that we weight more than 110,000 lbs, I suspect the 90,000 lbs and 5′ 11″ draft spec for the N52 is optimistic.

  4. Timothy Daleo says:

    Florida, woo hoo! Are you on a mooring in St. Augustine? There was a loaded 40′ Nordhavn named Chinatsu Tiffany and I got to see last March. This 55′ in Brunswick must have been the next their next boat!

    • We are on anchor in a nice little spot with a great view of town. We’ll probably head in tomorrow to explore a bit.

      I just got the last nagging issue fixed on my open source router project so I’m in good spirts. The last issue was completely unrelated to the router — the nav computer NIC was dropping massive numbers of packets when under load. Changed it and all is rock solid and throughput is excellent. We now have a Netgear R7000 running DD-WRT serving the boat. In this configuration we have 3 WAN ports so WiFi, Cell, and the KVH V7 satelite connection are always there and always available. We have a mobile app that allows switching between any of the three and we’ll later implement automatic fail-over between them.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        I am always so impressed that you and Jennifer can do so much of your own software and hardware customization and upgrades. From NMEA to networking to communications you always have the latest and most robust systems and equipment on a personal yacht. I hope someday you write a book on preparation and provisioning for powerboat ocean crossings and include a bunch of chapters on all that you do.

      • Michael, N40 Coracle says:

        Good news about the open source router.

        Couple of questions:
        (1) What is an “NIC”?
        (2) What happens when you are away from the boat and there is no cellphone connection, either at the boat or at your location? One of the reasons I am hoping to use Iridium is the global coverage. With a fixed satphone on the boat and a portable one in my pocket I am hoping that I will always get the message if the boat shouts for help. Of course there are costs involved in having two satphones but it still looks like the best option for us. Even in the UK we have found ourselves at anchor with no cellphone connection on the boat, and when we go hiking we are often outside cell coverage. Does my approach make sense to you?

        • That’s the approach we take: keep the boat connected rather than trying to have the boat monitoring system connected on a dedicated system. Our connction choices are WiFi, Cell, or Satelite. The plan works as long as the satelite system you are using can provide general IP connectivity just as you get with WiFi. This is what we get form our KVH V7 mini-VSAT system. Our Iridium system doesn’t provide general IP connectivity and instead provides a restricted, very low speed link where only their special email system can connected. This won’t easily work for your application but any system that allows systems on your network to send email will work fine in your application.

          You were asking about Iridium. We don’t have a fixed mounted iridium system which might offer direct ethernet connectivity but the base station based Iridium systems might. You need something where you can set up the system and leave the boat with it staying connected and your boat lan on the internet and able to send email. Easy to do with WiFi, Cellular, and our V7 sat system.

          A NIC is a Network Interface Card. This is what computers use to connect to ethernet or Wifi. A better name is a network controller since the network interace card is seldom a PCIe plugged add-in card these days. It’s usually just components on the computer motherboard. The computers attachment to the boat network wheether wired or wireless if often called a NIC.

  5. Timothy Daleo says:

    I see you rode the GA/FL border for a bit. Submarines across the way?

    • Yes, you can see the buildings of Kings Bay Submarine base from where we are anchored. We took the tender over there and took some pictures but the light was poor and Navy security maintains a fairly wide exclusion zone so the general public can’t get much closer than the ICW channel that passes the base. We would love to see a big Boomer escorted in or out but there have been no movements during our stay in the area. However, we did go the Submarine Museum in nearby St. Marys.

  6. Timothy Daleo says:

    I have never had a USCG inspection while underway. Did they call you on the radio as they approached and tell you to continue at the same speed? I assume they had no issues with Dirona.

    • It’s the only time we have been boarded while underway. Once before we were inspected in the Seattle area at anchor. The only other boarding was in Australia and it was again at anchor.

      In this case they radioed us and asked when we were last boarded and send they wanted to put a crew on board. I asked if they wanted us to pull off the channel and they said they would just do it where we were in the channel and underway. As you can see from the video they managed to do this without even touching our boat.

      As you guessed Timothy, no issues were found.

      • Steven Coleman says:

        Hello James,

        Does your camera when looking backwards give a “mirror” view?

        That was rather confusing as it looked like they were running up your port side and yet they appeared to board on your starboard. Same thing on the pickup.

        • Yeah, I thought the same thing about the video transitions Steven. The reason the camera is set up as a mirror view is for boat operation. We could reverse the view when editing the movie but then the on-screen time stamps are reversed as well since they are put on by the camera.

          I’m not 100% sure that the mirrored view really is the best view for docking. It seemed slightly more intuitive when I installed the camera but not fundamentally better. I’ll try changing the camera to non-mirrored and see how that works from the helm. It actually might be the better choice.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            I would be curios if you like the normal camera view for docking. I added a regular HD camera when I did the engine cameras and the electronics upgrade. I have only backed in once so far and my brain was ok processing the view. The reverse image cameras from Raytheon and Garmin are $400-$500 on Amazon and a lower resolution but with a small 10″ monitor ( ) it probably would not be much a difference. Does Dirona have full res cameras and does it matter?

  7. Michael, N40 Coracle says:

    I am very excited to see your post about the new Netgear router which can connect via WiFi, Cell, or Satellite. Do you think the same hardwear and software would enable connection via Iridium instead of mini Vsat if a suitable interface with Iridium is available? As you may have noticed from the Owners Group there are some owners who are wondering if a boat monitoring system can be built which uses Iridium when that is the only connection available.

    • Our approach to alarming and reporting of alarms via email is exaclty the one you are contemplating. Peter Hayden mentioned the same things: rather than buying an alarming systems that needs a dedicated connection, why not just use the connection already on the boat? That is exactly what we do. Before leaving the boat for an extended period, we make sure the boat is well connected so we get any and all alerts.

      That approach works fine and requires no special hardware. The downside is you have to remember to do it and it takes time.

      We would like to make it super easy to switch connections and potentially even automating the switching of connections. The platform we are experimenting with is a Netgear R7000 router running an open source protocol stack called DD-WRT with custom routing in support of mulitple concurrent external (WAN) connections. This configuration does allow quick manual switching of external connectivity and it would support Iridium as well as it supports our WiFi, Cell, and KVH mini-VSAT.

      The good news is that the approach we are working with does indeed achieve those goals. The downside is there are connection drops every few hours and faults when network taffic levels are high. However, it works so well in achieving our multi-WAN goals that we are willing to put up with some other issues. And the more we like it, the more we invest in finding solutions to the stability issues or at least better understanding them. It’s a work in progress.

      • Michael, N40 Coracle says:

        This is excellent – if you are willing to share your thoughts as you make progress I’m sure there will be many who want to follow your lead. I am going to concentrate on two things. First, I want to follow the Pendana II experiment from the Owners Group using Z-Wave for sensors, WiFi matrix, and controller. My motive here is that I don’t want to pull wires through our 12 year old boat. I’d rather replace small batteries in sensors once or twice a year. I already do that with our smoke and CO alarms. Then I need to find the right Iridium interface. Our boat already has an Iridium antenna. The reason I want to use Iridium is cost, and there will be others with the same motive, but there will be some who will prefer Iridium because they want guaranteed global coverage for remote monitoring. Just to make it clear, I am not in this for business. I just want to find something that works for our boat and I’m happy to share if I succeed. BTW the Pendana II system uses a Peplink router but he sounds less than happy about it. Let’s hope your Netgear+DD-WRT combination can be made to work reliably.

        • Drew says:

          The folks from Technomadia ( have a very detailed site about this sort of thing; here is the link The are currently testing mobile routers which would use mobile WiFi (or MiFi as they call it) when available, then switch to various cell phone providers (since they are RV focused (although they are boat shopping now)) but I don’t see why it couldn’t interface with any type or mini-VSAT or whatever with an Ethernet cord. Just thought you might be interested in their research into mobile routers and cell boosting antennas. I just started reading through their site so I am still learning a lot.

          • Thanks Drew. You are right that what they have done with their commercial product is a good part of what I want. What I’m trying to do is essentially what the the developers of the product you reference have done. Peplink is another leader that does much the same things (and a lot more). Arguably I should just use a commercial product but I’ve gotten interested in figuring this one out.

            Unfortunately, I’m learning that one of the reasons these mulit-way commercial products are so expensive is it requires a fair amount of understanding and work to get it all figured out. I’ve not given up yet but have to admit that what I have built really isn’t (yet) a great solution.

  8. Rod Sumner says:

    Communication question: Do you use an Internationa; SIM card for your mobile phone? If so which one?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Rod. We’ve never come across an International SIM deal that is as inexpensive and fast as getting a local SIM. Most have data more expensive than local. Some only work at 2G. The upside of international SIMs is you don’t have to go in and get a SIM but, in all locations we have been, that’s just 5 or 10 min and that’s has been our approach so far. I’m told that you can’t get a SIM in some countries in Europe without a local address. The only place where we have seen that restriction was Australia and they were OK with us using the Marina.

      In the countries we have visited thus far, using local SIMs has been the better choice. We’ll learn about Europe next year.

  9. Timothy Daleo says:

    Are you about ready to make the Georgia run?

    • The weather is looking good to leave tomorrow early morning (1/25) and that’s the current plan.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        It looks like a 100 mile trip down there. 14 hours total maybe with the current against you?

        • The route we plan is 89 nm. We figure we should be able to average 7 kts. Some sections are shallow with shifty shoals so we’ll need to be careful and slow through those sections but 7 kts seems reasonable. Figure about 13 hours. We would like to get in before nightfall so we’ll need to use very early, run a bit faster, or both.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            I forgot to set GE back to nm. I should caught that πŸ˜‰ I look forward to seeing you on the move again. I hope you, Jennifer and Spitfire are doing well. More submarine visits in your future?

            • I have not immediate plans for submarine visits but we always take every opportunity we can get. However, while down in Daytona, we hope to catch up with Michael who was responsible for me gettig the opportunity to spend some time on the USS California.

              We should be underway just shortly past 5am tomorrow.

              • Timothy Daleo says:

                It looks like you got an earlier start than expected? Safe travels in the final leg!

                • Yes, we decided to leave early to have some time to pick up a load of fuel when we arrive. We’re down to 340 gallons at this point having not filled since we arrived back into the US back in September. It’s amazing how long a tank can last.

                  We set the alarm for 3:50 this morning and, hard to believe, but we were underway at 3:59 πŸ™‚

                  • Timothy Daleo says:

                    Great move on leaving earlier than planned. It looks like you are just about there. Safe docking at the Landing and for a clean full fueling for Dirona!

  10. Steven Coleman says:

    Well, I hope you are in a good spot the bad stuff seems to be all over you two right now.

    • You’re so right Steven. We have seen several massive electrical storms and seen wind gusts to 31. We have a nice tucked away anchorage in Hilton Head NC that is working out great. Our plan is to do the 1 day trip to Brunswick GA in the gap between this weather system and the next.

  11. Spence Huffstetler says:

    James, a friend recently turned me on to your site, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures around the world. Charleston is an amazing place, and I hope you enjoyed your recent time there. As you make your way south, I thought I would suggest my favorite place in all of the country, Cumberland Island, Georgia. You may have seen it already, but if not, I can’t suggest it enough. The King’s Bay naval submarine base is right across the intracoastal as well.

    Happy traveling and thank you for sharing pictures and information from your journey.

  12. Tim Kaine says:

    That section of the dock sure did get crowded. I guess it is to be expected since that area is still good for boating even in the winter. However I did not expect to see it so crowed all the time.

  13. Steve Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    Glad to see you two are enjoying Charleston.

    I have to ask as I’ve been wondering about it for sometime. I’ve read a lot about putting exhaust socks on for various reasons (all of which make perfect sense), but I’ve always wondered why people didn’t simply install a rain cap?

    I’m sure there is a reason, I just can’t figure out what it is. They seem to work well for construction equipment, over the road truckers and we even had them (just bigger) inside the exhaust stack on my ship during my Navy time.

    Is there an advantage I don’t grasp with a sock you have to put on and take off over something that’s automatic? I’ve used the “flappers” and even a tin can with a rock on farm equipment all my life and never had a problem with water rusting an exhaust.

    Obviously you’d want something better looking than a tin can but some of the automatic rain caps are rather nice looking and well made.

    • I share your curiosity on the topic and, like you, I’m super interested in simple solutions that can be automated. In asking boat builders, why not just put a flap on the exhuast as used in construction equipment, I’m told the noise of the flap touching down at lower engine speeds. If you go to a construction site and watch equipeent that is near idle, you’ll see the exhaust flap is way low and bouncing off the pipe in a distictive clacking/dinging noise. Boats spend a lot of their time at low engine speeds so this is reported to be a problem.

      A secondary concern is binding up due to weather and lack of use on a recretional boat. I find myself thinking that the issue of noise and binding up can be solved using thoughtfull engineering and modern composits. For example, a carbon fiber flap would be quiet.

      Another approach that is far from perfect but still fairly effective is to angle the pipe out and cut the end such that rain has to be considerably off verticle to go down the pipe. Some will dribble around and this is dealt with by putting 3 cuts in the bottom of the pipe right near the opening so any that does make into the pipe, still leak out. This technique is deployed on Dirona and seems to work fairly well.

      My focus then swung around to “is it really needed?” The fact that fisheran and commercial boats use tin cans suggests that it is worth doing but I just did nothing for 4 years and it never accumulated measurable water at the drain and rarely sooted the decks. We’ve seen torential rains and not found anything measureable in the pipe but it’s clear that, in worst case conditions, it would fill the exhuast so we have started to cover the end of the exhaust when the boat sits for a while.

      I’m naturally curious so I’ve experimeneted a lot with when it soots and when it doesn’t. Sometimes, when covered, it still drops some soot. Usually when covered, it does not. If run hard for 10 to 30 seconds before stopping and then covered, it almost never leaves any soot. When just covered but not run hard, it’s improved by seems more likely to sooting.

      My conclusions: 1) enigineering a flapper that is not annoying would take some work and experimentation but it certainly looks like a solvable problem (sooting is just not a bad enough problem for me to go after it at this point), 2) running hard before stopping to clear the pipes makes a big difference, 3) avoiding rain or condensation in the pipe, makes a very big difference, and 4) there is risk that a monsoon could fill the engine (unlikely given exhaust opening design but the downside is sufficient large that it’s probably worth covering the exhuast).

      • Steven Coleman says:

        I have to admit I never thought about the noise when the engine is at idle, and yes I have known them to stick in the open position on equipment that doesn’t get used much.

        Soot when burning fossil fuels is always a byproduct of inefficient combustion so your practice of running up the engines is going to deal with that whereas a rain cap or sock will have no effect on that particular problem.

        Anyway thanks for the answer.

  14. Tim Kaine says:

    I can always find your boat by those gray sat domes now. πŸ™‚

    You went on anchor for awhile. Can you elaborate on what was up?

    • I see you are right. Even though we have moved further down the dock, we are still visible in the marina web cam.

      We didn’t head out to anchor. Just did a quick loop from the head of the dock to the new position further down. We were scheduled to leave the middle of last week but we are enjoying it here and requested to stay longer and the location for the remainder of our stay is down the dock a ways.

  15. Michael, N40 Coracle says:

    I’ve been scouring your blog to try and see what Dirona’s flybridge instrumentation looks like. I found a reference to a Maretron DSM250 monitor ( but nothing else seems to have been mentioned. I know you use Maxsea a lot for planning and also for displaying ARPA targets ( and I wonder whether you have a VDU on the flybridge that repeats the Maxsea information, or do you have a flybridge plotter that can switch to a Maxsea view? My reason for asking is that we have to refit our N40 instruments this year and I’m finding it hard to decide what to put on the flybridge.

    • Hi Michael. Down below in the PH, we run a navigation computer with 2 19″ displays with Maxsea and Furuno MFDBB also with 2 19″ displays. We also have 2 pilots and 2 VHF radios.
      Our equipment in the flybridge can be seen here:

      We have a Furuno MFD8 to display the Furuno Chart plotter and RADAR data. We have the DSM250 to show the Maretron NMEA2000 data but we now mostly use an Android system running n2kview and display the same screen up top as we have down below. Up top we have 1 VHF radio and a remote for one of the radios down below so we have two VHFs up top as well. There is a remote head for the autopilot as well and it can control whichever pilot we are currently using. We sometimes use an Android device displaying Google Earth (if there are no charts) or Navionics charts (augmenting the CMAP charts we also use) up top as well.

      Generally we only use the flybridge helm for 1) when entering dangerous waters such as uncharted reefs where the visibility from higher up gives a better view into the water, 2) in beautiful areas when we’re sightseeing near to shore such as in Alaska along the glaciers, and 3) on really nice days where we just want to enjoy being outside or even a meal underway up top.

      • Michael, N40 Coracle says:

        Thanks James. I didn’t know that Furuno Chart Plotters could output their screen displays to non-Furuno screens. That’s not something the Furuno dealer is likely to suggest! But the message seems to be that you can access all your data from the flybridge one way or another, just not in quite the same way as you do in the Pilot House. I guess the DSM250 can only show a fraction of what’s on the 19″ Maretron “Under Way” display your regular readers are familiar with.

        • Right. The DSM250 can only show 4 data points so it’s only a tiny subset of the data shown on the other display. But I have Android devices running Maretron N2kview that show all the data that is down below and I often just bring this up to be able to show all the same data. We still use and like the Maretron DSM displays. I use a DSM150 to show the 4 tank levels in the engine room when for use when I tranfer fuel. I have a DSM250 on the aft helm and another at the PH. And we have a DSM150 showing inverter and generator draw and some warning lights in the galley.

          The Furuno MFDBB is a black box version of the Furuno MFD that displays on standard screens. In our case I have 2 19″ displays showing the Furuno data. For screens we use Lenovo 19″ displays. Up top on the FB we use an MFD8 to display the data directly on a built in Furuno display.

          We repeat any one of the 4 screens in the pilot house (2 displaying nav pc data and 2 displaying Furuno MFDBB data) down to the Salon and to the MSR. This allows us to have access to all the PH data in the salon or MSR. Normally this display is repeating the N2kview screen but sometimes it’ll be on chart plotter or RADAR.

  16. Foster says:

    Looks like snow coming your way. I was looking back at past posts, most of the voyage has been in nice to exceedingly hot weather. You had some cold days in Baltimore. Is this the first real snow you’ll have on Dirona?

    • Yes, we have seen snow on Dirona in the past. This one is from back in 2012 and you can see a cat on a nearby boat out exploring the layer of snow:

      The snow predicted for later today will be the first we have seen on Dirona since 2012.

      • Foster says:

        Hope you made out OK, I see that the weather got really cold there. Love the tour of Charleston that you’ve been on. We were there 18 months ago and had a great time. I’m guessing the Bay Street Biergarten is different in January, when we were there the courtyard was full of people playing games.

        Stay warm!

  17. Tim Kaine says:

    The original Yorktown was actually sunk during the “Battle of Midway”

    • This Yorktown in Charleston is safe from sinking. The water line goes up and down as the tide comes in and out which strongly suggests that it’s actually on the bottom at least on lower tides :-).

  18. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    Well, from your personal tracking I’d say you two cram a lot of sightseeing in on your visits to various towns.

    I do hope it’s not really that accurate though, if it is you either walk a lot on the freeway, or drive a lot on the sidewalks. πŸ™‚

    • Steven, we try hard to walk on the sidewalks and drive on the freeway rather than the opposite but, hey, when in Rome, do as the Romans :-).

      The track you were looking at does actually have an explaination. It’s us riding our bikes all over town. The freeway bridge has a 1 lane protected area for pedestrians and bikers so it’s not as dangerous as it looks. Our routes throughout the parks and town were a combination of city streets and walking/riding paths.

      • Karen Mosher says:

        Nice shots of the Market Pavilion, which we enjoyed too. Although I was a bit anxious about falling into the pool after a couple of their delicious cocktails.

        • Yes, totally. We loved the view and ambiance from the Pavillion Bar on top of the Market Pavilion. We felt kind of lucky to even find it. As we were riding our bikes into the downtown area I just happened to look up and notice the roof top resteraunt. Jen’s instant answer was “that’s where I’m going!” We had a great time.

  19. Tim Kaine says:

    Took a screenshot from the webcam at the dock. Was way bigger then the snapshot you get from that camera.
    Hope the new year brings you many more great stories to share.
    Keep Floating!! πŸ™‚

  20. Jamie says:

    What better way to bring in the New Year than cruising! Fantastic. Have a great 2017 James Jennifer and Spitfire and thanks again for letting us share in the journey.


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