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Recent general comments and questions (view all)
  1. James says:

    Happy thanksgiving James and Jennifer

  2. Patterson Eric says:

    Kind of made me laugh on the garbage disposal. Without a doubt you are a very intelligent person. On the disposal I thought isn’t that something every person has experienced? You added humanity to yourself. Glad you are having so much enjoyment in your return to land based living. btw, I shared the exercise with Lynn as she is an exercise nut and she really appreciated your post.

    • I guess I’m proof that not everyone has encountered a garbage disposal jamming and knows they can free it up with an Allen key wrench :-). Somehow we’ve managed to have a disposal for 11 years and never needed to rotate the drive motor to free it up. There is no question that it was quick and effective.

  3. Hello M/V Dirona crew. Thought you might be interested that we met a few new Nordhavn owners at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat show. One couple just recently received theirs and we met another that placed an order at the show. We also met four future Maritimo owners all specing their new boats with our new line of Scania US EPA Tier 3 Recreational engines. I believe three owners will be getting the M55 with twin 900hp DI13 and one will be the M64 with twin 1,150 hp DI16. All destined for the USA for the first time. Also, I am leaving the marine engine market to lead our industrial engine efforts in North America. My successor is Dave Hughes at dave.hughes@scania.com should you have any questions for us. I have enjoyed following your blog through the years and wish we could have caught up when you were in San Antonio. I know Dave is scheduled to attend the Pacifica Marine Expo in Seattle Nov 18- 20 if you have some interest in the workboat show. Booth 1431 at Lumen Field Event Center. All the best!, Al

    • Good hearing from you Alberto and all the best in your new industrial engines role at Scania. We probably will drop by Pacific Marine Expo and, if we do, we will drop by and say hi to Dave Hughes.

  4. Patterson Eric says:

    James and Jennifer, I have a deep respect for all you have done on the boat and maintaining a blog while doing so. It just feels like task after task getting the boat ready and at night reading operational manuals, building logs and departure checklists, safety, maintenance, etc. I will say it brings purpose to life for sure. After having overnight guests on the boat recently that in itself brings a complete set of additional circumstances as everyone is eager to help often creating havoc while docking, etc. Lynn and I have a routine just the two of us that works well and add in additional persons can easily break your routine, lol. So many lessons learned. We’ve decided to not be overly gracious with invitations, especially while sailing.

    • I know what you mean about it often being easier to land the boat without “help” than with it. We try to go nice and slow and not appear to be in a rush or in need of help. For the most part people are happy to offer but mostly seem fine with us just saying “we’ll be fine.”

      All the best in your adventures on your new boat. You’ll soon be past the steep part of the learning curve.

  5. Patterson Eric says:

    Roasting pan comment made me think about the boat. You are right, a new kitchen is a daunting task as is the whole boat. The first 3 days or so I was completely overwhelmed. Now that we are close it’s fun now. btw, picked up the non contact voltage tester and the rangefinder, both seemed like good ideas. Gonna try heat shrink for the circuit breakers.

    • Having the breakers marked makes the system WAY easier to manage and it’s super easy to always have everything in the proper setting for all boat operating modes. As you know, we often get up early and are underway before 5am. We aim to be underway in 10 to 12 min from waking up and, to do that without mistake, the boat has to be super simple to operate.

  6. Greg Wheat says:

    Some years ago you provided me the a copy of the best boat maintenance spreadsheet which I have used on my boat since. I have recently downsized from a cat to a smaller monohull and reset the spreadsheet. Unfortunately the colour rendition has disappeared. Would you mind if I sent you the spreadsheet so you can check the formula for me.
    Cheers Greg.

  7. Eric Patterson says:

    James, I think I remember a post where you had employed colored markers on the circuit breakers (on the circuit panel) on Dirona. If so where did you source those? By the way, took delivery on Lyra. Great first trip, so happy. Trip was perfect in that at about 3am off watch the stabilizers failed and awoke to crashing sounds with everything moving around in cabinets, etc. and alarms from the helm. As Nordhavn was with us at the helm with Lynn I quickly got up and spent the next 3 hours diagnosing the entire hydraulic system. Determined the LP side solenoid was not opening and after swapping the working HP side, restored the stabilizers. It eventually failed also. Well turned out someone at ABT had shipped the unit to the factory with 12VDC solenoids so they were overheating after about 10 hrs of time. ABT shipped a pair to Ensenada and it was a 5 minute fix! Anyway, so glad it happened, allowed me to really dive into the hydraulic system, granted at 3am with 5-7′ seas off the beam wasn’t ideal.

  8. Al King says:

    Thanks for bring us along on your adventures! When your adventures continue will you look at Nordhavn again or go with another builder?

    • MVDirona says:

      We remain pretty big Nordhavn fans and it’s absolutely amazing the amount of adventure and fun per dollar that boat has delivered so we’ll definitely be highly predisposed to another Nordhavn. We knew the original owners of N60 Jupiter and really liked the choices they made. We have several friends with N68s and they are simply incredible boats. We also have a friend building the first N71 and that project is looking very interesting as well. It’s super hard to predict where we will end up 12 to 24 months out.

      • Christian Gnass says:

        I think if you want a new 60 – 70 foot Nordhavn in 12 to 24 months, you may have to place an order tomorrow, if not yesterday … :-)

        • Yes, you are right. Nordhavn sales are on fire right now. They have a good product at a time when people are really valuing freedom and flexibility. It’s a good time to be in the RV or boat business and the good players are really doing well.

          • Christian Gnass says:

            I‘ve worked in the leisure marine business for nearly 40 years, with my own companies. Being 68 now, I have sold my companies, nothing left, and I am happy I did this at the (for me) right time. However, people actively working in this field today, have a good business development potential, better than what I had. But that‘s fine. All the best, Christian

            • I’m far from an expert on the leisure marine industry but it looks challenging. It seems like a cyclical industry and one where it’s easy to get over-extended and not be able to ride through a few years of less vigorous sales. Some operators have the discipline to operate successfully for many years but it seems like there are always a large number of new businesses arriving and others failing out.

              • Christian Gnass says:

                Yes, correct. My way to handle this was, after 20 years of having been a company owner in the leisure marine business, to start a new activity – with a line of my own brand, super yacht sun awning products. Super yacht in this case meaning 200 feet plus boats. Textile awnings, up to (my largest) 440 square metres of area, on deck 7 of a 154m boat, approved to be used in 120 knots of apparent wind. In other words: hurricane proof. Including a supporting structure of 220 mm diameter high gloss mirror polished stainless steal tubes, more than 100m running length of tube, for this single project. Good business. Very demanding, but successful. I sold it when I turned 62. Plenty of time now for my – different world – 47 foot LOA personal boat … :-)

                • I’m now the same age you were when you retired. I’m still enjoying work but I’ll eventually join you in retirement.

                  Your project on a 154M boat sounds like a big one. But, I guess, pretty much anything you do at that scale is going to be big and challenging. That’s a pretty massive boat.

                  • Christian Gnass says:

                    The interesting thing with that job was that the awning was kind of dome shaped, with the centre about 750mm higher than the outer shape. That made it behave like an aeroplane wing. If exposed to 120 knots of wind, it would create a lift force of about 40 metric tons, I don’t remember the exact figures. Anyway, it was a real challenge to design an awning structure, but also to get the ship structure, to accept this kind of lifting force. Nice job. I loved this business. One out of about 20 in the past years. But being retired now is also a good development …

                    • Christian Gnass says:

                      … one of about 20 JOBS in the past years ,,,

                    • That does sound like both an unusual project and an engineering challenge. A structure that large will produce a vast amount of lift in even light winds so I don’t doubt that making it able to operate without damage through a hurricane was an interesting engineering project.

        • Patterson Eric says:

          Christian, try 36 months+ btw there is a really well thought out interior new 68′ here now. Makes you think… But, larger than the N60 things get much more tricky for marinas, etc. We just built a N60 and at least with my wife and I it is the perfect boat all around. A boat is a work in progress always, and you always see things you would do different. We took a simple approach inside with just a few changes and I spent most of my time carefully considering mechanical side. Right now I am in the trying to break in systems with varied loads, etc and hopefully exposing issues before we do our first passage.

  9. Dick Sherlock says:

    James and Jenn:
    We were tied up along side you In Seattle on our navy blue Tartan 3400 sailboat when you departed Seattle and had an interesting chat about your upcoming “trip.”.What a trip and what tremendous blog you provided. Even though we are sailors we have followed it for all these years. Well done and all the best in your future endeavors!

    • MVDirona says:

      It was a bigger trip than we could have possibly expected and it’s fun to get your note from someone like yourselves who essentially saw both ends of trip and saw the blog along the way. Thanks for virtually joining us on this adventure and thanks for the feedback on the blog.

  10. Edmund vonAllmen says:

    Welcome back to Seattle and congratulations on your new role. I’ve been enjoying your posts for many years. It is inspiring. The PNW has amazing culture even if it has just started to open up again. Hope to see you out and about exploring. Cheers!

    • MVDirona says:

      It’s great hearing from you Edmund. It’s been a long time. Thanks for the welcome back to Seattle. Jen and I are both really enjoying being back.

  11. Eric Patterson says:

    Just noticed you are selling Dirona. Good luck with your future endeavors. Lynn and I are aboard N6081 Lyra as I write. Getting a boat ready is not to be underestimated. Wow! I am a little overwhelmed!

    • MVDirona says:

      Great news that your N60 is getting close to cruise ready. It was 12 years ago that Dirona was at that point and we remember it well. It feels a bit daunting but the best cure for that is to get out and use it. You’ll both find and fix the remaining rough edges and gain confidence with the boat.

      Our plan is to spend a couple of years in Seattle on our urban adventure before heading out to do more world travelling. All the best on your adventures with Lyra.

  12. James says:

    Beautiful sunset over bainbridge island

  13. Richard Ross says:

    Thanks for many years of the best boating blog on Youtube. I will miss Dirona.
    Best wishes on your new job.

    • MVDirona says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We’ll miss Dirona as well but, so far, we’re enjoying our urban adventure in downtown Seattle.

  14. Gary says:

    To us followers, this clearly is the “worst day” of the Dirona log, the day of the sale for most of us! But, we all understand and have enjoyed the escape and collaboration with you all and each other on this trip who this the journey of a lifetime is just that, the journey.

    To most of us, learning how to get fuel, air or “life” filters delivered to anyplace, anytime is one thing BUT lifting the engine head of the spare generator is completely beyond my intellectual tool kit in terms of patience and fortitude….I tip my hat to all of readers, contributors and you both for relentless positivity. Jeff Bezos or any of us could do no better, than having you both along for any epic journey!

    • MVDirona says:

      Hi Gary. You have been following the blog for quite a while. Thanks for coming along with us and thanks for the comment. It was an amazing adventure but, you are right, there was also a gentle sprinkling of challenges along the way. On the more difficult challenges we worked together and found, if we worked together, approached the problem systematically, and had patience, they are all solvable. Even the generator engine overhaul, which felt big at the time, was really only $2000 in parts and a day of work for Jennifer and I. A tiny price to pay for 11 years of amazing experiences. We feel super lucky.

  15. Dave Redknap says:

    I receive your email update every week and always envy your life style. Today, having received your latest email I am in a slight state of shock, and actually feel quite disappointed that you have decided to sell MV Dirona. Completely non of my business, but strangely I feel quite sad!!
    Best wishes in the future. Dave

    • MVDirona says:

      We are excited about starting the next adventure but we we’ll also really miss Dirona as well. What a lifestyle and what an adventure it has been. However, we fully expect that we’ll be back boating after a couple of years on our Seattle Urban Adventure.

  16. James Alexander says:

    I feel like a toast to Dirona and the end of your adventures in her, and to all your future adventures are in order. You two have been exemplary teachers in different ways in that I have appreciated being a student to learn what I could along the way. Cheers!!!

    • James says:

      well said james alexander the mechanical videos by James Hamilton are better then the mechanical course’s I took in collage/university

    • MVDirona says:

      Thanks for the kind feedback. A big part of the trip has been passing along some of the adventure and what we have learned. We both appreciate your comments.

  17. Bruce Bremer says:

    I knew it! The new job comes with golden handcuffs. Ah, well I really enjoyed following your adventures on Dirona. I saw her at the dock in Charleston and then she was gone. Now I know why. Best of luck to you both.

    • MVDirona says:

      Nah, no gold and no cuffs on this decision. Just a super interesting set of things to work on. From our perspective, our next couple of years in Seattle is just all part of the adventure. We’re looking forward to it and to whatever we decide to follow it with.

      Thanks for the feedback on the blog Bruce.

  18. Christian Gnass says:

    HI James, with regards to our earlier discussions. I‘d like to give a final comment about my alternator / regulator upgrades for my Sabre 42 Hardtop Express, and its twin Yanmar engines (2x 12V/235A Electromaax alternators, 2x J10 serpentine belts, and 2x Balmar MC614 regulators, plus Balmar Centerfielder II). I am absolutely happy and very impressed with the result. On the anchor for 24 hrs, if I then start the engines, 75 minutes of running the engines at 1400 rpm brings my batteries from 55% back to 100% charge level. Amazing. Running the engines at about 1400 – 1500 rpm gives me near 300A positive charging current. That is at Balmars lowest possible „belt load manager“ level – I could probably increase this by more than 50%, if I set the Balmar regulators to a higher level – but I don‘t need to do that. No temperature problems at all – neither with the batteries, nor with the alternators. Absolutely a game changer. I hardly need to run my 11kW generator anymore, I now just start it for cooking and oven usage – or in case I rest at anchor for multiple days without starting the engines.

    The only challenge I had was to align the belts properly, so they don‘t show fluttering / vibration problems. Although I requested manufacturer support, I received zero help from Electromaax. That actually gave me severe problems, but I could sort them out myself. The way out was to design and install additional belt pulleys, so the belt span distances were reduced.

    Not sure whether this still is of interest after your 180 degree life change within a few days, but I thought I‘d post this, others may be interested. Anyway, good luck and success for your „new life“ without boats – Best Regards, Christian

    • Nice work on a big project. It sounds like your results have been excellent. You now have a “spare” 5.5kW generator always available whenever you are underway. It’s a great configuration and the very similar configuration we run has worked very well for the last 8 or 9 years. Thanks for the follow-up posting.

  19. WILLIAM DOMB says:

    Welcome to our backyard. We’re on the inland side of Peanut Island when you came through the inlet.

    Going to be here for a while? Couldn’t quite tell. Is Dirona here or are you visiting on another yacht?

    regards
    bill and ellen domb
    M/Y Activated Eau

    • Peanut islands looks like a wonderful spot. We have boated past your home but we weren’t on Dirona on this trip past. That was Jay Flaherty and Crew of Yacht Tech bringing Dirona to their offices in Florida. We’re out in Seattle right now.

  20. Rodney H Sumner says:

    Jennifer and James: Have been putting of this post for a while:
    1. Congratulations on your new position. It looks very challenging so you should thrive
    2. I have always been impressed with your posting of photos, along with detailed notes. Your discipline to do this is remarkable!
    3. The latest photo at Sam’s Tavern shows a wistful looking Jennifer – is she missing Dirona? :)

    Needless to say I have enjoyed your blog for many years. Hopefully it will continue in some form.

    Best wishes and many thanks

    Rod Sumner

    PS What do I replace my morning Dirona ‘fix’ with?

    • Thanks Rodney from both Jennifer and I. You have been a long term partner on our around-the-world cruise and it’s always good to hear from you. We expect we’ll continue to blog but the adventure will be a smaller one for the next year or so.

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