Engine room cooling

Engine room cooling

Excess engine room temperatures are hard on the equipment and tough on the people. Engine room checks end up less detailed and, if you need to do emergency service, it can become a safety problem. We are all sufficiently motivated to want lower ...


69.1 degrees

We bought an ocean-capable boat not because we were convinced we would round the world, but because we wanted the flexibility to be able to go anywhere in the world if we wanted to. We bought a strong boat not because we were convinced we needed ...


A more flexible power system for Dirona

A little over a year ago, we worked our way south from Fanning Island, Kiribati towards Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. We were on a long, fuel-constrained run where we would cover 2,600 nm without fueling. For most of the trip, we were ...


A helping crane

Our next-door neighbors, Mark Mohler and Christine Guo of Nordhavn 62 Gray Matter, recently upgraded their davit to support hydraulic power-rotation. The base came off in two pieces, but is much easier to put back together at the shop. The ...


Another Nordhavn 52 is born

Earlier this week, Nordhavn 5267 arrive into Brisbane from Xiamen, China on board the freighter AAL Hong Kong. Owners Natalie and Oz Bestel watched from the chase boat and shared these pictures of the delivery. The offloading reminded us of ...



When we traveled from Fiordland to Stewart Island earlier this month, we rounded Southwest Cape, our first of the five great capes. The other four are Southwest Cape, Tasmania; Cape Leeuwin, southwest Australia; Cape of Good Hope, Africa and ...


The Economics of Sea Freight

We love Whangarei. It’s a beautiful town, we enjoy the restaurants, and we have the primo spot in the Town Basin Marina in front of Reva’s restaurant. Another advantage of Whangarei is you can get great service work done at ...


Dirona Fuel Manifold

Nordhavn delivers an unusually complete fuel manifold with far more flexibility than most production boats. In fact, the manifold is sufficiently complex that some new owners can find it difficult. More than once, I’ve heard of an owner ...


Battery thermal runaway

One of our eight Lifeline AGM GPL-8DL batteries recently went into thermal runaway, and we’ve had a few questions on the nature of the problem and why we chose to replace the full house battery bank. The lazarette smoke/CO alarm had gone ...


On the hard at Norsand Boatyard

Last Friday we hauled out at Norsand Boatyard in Whangarei, New Zealand for bottom paint, zinc replacement and other minor work. This was the first time Dirona has been lifted on a rail-trailer, where the boat is pulled ashore while it rests on ...


From Hawaii to French Polynesia

We arrived in Baie de Taihoae on Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, 31 days and 2,550 nm after leaving Honolulu (trip log map). We had stopped at Palmyra Atoll and Fanning Islands for 11 days, for a total of 20 days at sea. ...


In pursuit of a dry bilge

We’ve always maintained our boats with minimal bilge water and kept the bilges clean so the engine room doesn’t smell. We check the bilges as part of our regular engine room checks, so we can spot water leaks right way if the level ...


Fuel for the crossing

Dirona carries 1735 gallons of diesel for the main engine: 835 gallons in each side tank and 65 gallons in the day tank. (We also have a 10-gallon supply tank for the auxiliary engine). Although 1735 gallons would have been fine for the roughly ...


Hilo to Honolulu

Last weekend we arrived at the Waikiki Yacht Club in Honolulu after a week-long cruise along the Kona Coast and the leeward shores of Maui and Molokai. We had a great trip–lots of exploring, diving and relaxing. But as good as that cruise ...


On Refrigeration

When we were deciding on equipment for the 52, one of the things we considered was replacing the standard Sub-Zero 700TCI refrigerator/freezer with one that is more energy-efficient. Home appliances, with self-defrosting freezers and ice makers, ...


Organizing the smaller spaces

For us, one of the keys to living comfortably in the small space of a boat is to reduce clutter and keep our frequently-used items easily accessible. Reducing clutter isn’t just for appearances–it also means we can leave the dock on ...