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General questions & comments
  1. Eric Patterson says:

    Also as you may have noticed the train is not really used by anyone but workers of other nationalities and “white” person certainly not. It’s just a class thing. You will notice the taxis in Dubai are generally low cost also but will not pick up non UAE or worker foreigners. Dubai as you most certainly ave noticed is about one thing… money! Just a thing about Dubai. I have skied at the mall and it is fun but the snow is very granular and the rental gear marginal. But was fun to say I did it.

    • Dubai and the UAE, in general, is a pretty unusual place where all work that is visible to a visitor (and perhaps all work period) is done by teams of foreigners. Many construction projects run three shifts a day with huge teams on each shift and not a single local in sight.

  2. Eric Patterson says:

    I was wandering why more cruisers don’t use a hydraulic power pack (electric motor driven) in lieu of mounting off the genset or wing. I spoke with the Northern Lights fellow and he said he is not particularly fond personally of mounting Hydraulics off the Genset. I was thinking with a VFD you could convert the 1PH to 3PH (just seams so much more reliable, albeit you do loose some efficiency with transmission, etc) and assuming you have a backup genset or in the case of Dirona the extra on the main. How does Dirona get Hydraulic Power?

    • On Dirona, Hydraulic power is proeduced by identical pumps on the Wing and the Main engines each of which is capable of running the system. Underway the stabilizers are run by the main engine, when in close quarters, the thrusters and windlass are run off the wing engine since the main is at idle. But, either engine can run the system so, if the main fails and we run off the wing, we still have stabilizers. And, if the wing fails and we’re only on the main, we still have thrusters and windlass available (but the main needs to be brought up off idle to use them fully).

      The design you describe of running the hydraulics off of a 3 PH motor that is is fed by the generator through a VFD is used on ABT STAR (Stabilization At Rest) so it certainly works. In all the examples we’ve seen the main engine still has a hydraulic pump PTO so the hydraulics can be run directly when it’s running. I can’t think of any reason why you couldn’t run through the electric motor all the time — it’s a continuous rated system. The only downside is the rather large loss of efficiency when converting rotating energy to electricity and then converting that to hydraulic power. Direct drive is considerably more efficient.

      On most Nordhanv’s the crane is hydraulic and driven off a hydraulic power pack rather than the boats hydraulic system. This is a simple design but does suffer the inefficiencies of multiple conversions. Since it’s only used for short periods, it’s simplicity wins over efficiency and the double conversion system works fine. An alternative I looked at was using the boat hydraulic system to drive the crane but they aren’t that easy to interface and my conclusion was the hassle wasn’t worth the trouble and we use the standard electric power pack to drive the crane.

      • Eric Patterson says:

        Excellent thanks! The hydraulic option you chose seems smart and I’m going to speak to Nordhavn about that option.
        You are correct about loosing efficiency with an electric power pack. One more quickie. So Dirona uses hydraulic thrusters? I am sure you are aware of the new Side Power Pro series which uses a proportional drive system on the DC with analog signal which also allows you to press a button and “HOLD” the position of the boat. Pretty slick and it connects into the NMEA Backbone. I don’t think this was available when you built Dirona and I don’t like the “sound” and lack of throttling on standard DC thrusters.

        So… Would you opt for these instead of hydraulic thrusters knowing this?

  3. Panay Georgio says:

    Hey there kids , so I found you guys from the nordhavn website I was looking at the dirona she’s beautiful James you and Jen must be having a blast .
    I’d like to do the same some day with my wife also not quite ready yet , tell me how is the 52 in ocean passages ? I like the bladder idea I quess that’s really the only way to get maximum range right ? How do you guys like the John deer as oppose to the lugger ? What’s the difference .

    • The 52 is good for a comfortable 2,500 nautical miles so you don’t really need fuel bladders. This is not a computed number but a real on the ocean number — it can do this in ocean conditions. With fuel bladders the range is stretched out to a real world 4,000 nautical miles.

      Both the Lugger and the John Deere are marinizations of the John Deere agricultural/industrial engine. Both have great reputations. We went with the Deere because we wanted the 266 HP available from the John Deere 6068AFM75. The Lugger is a great engine but we wanted more than 163 HP with an intermittent rating. The 266 HP John Deere is now the standard N52 power plant.

      Our John Deere 6068AFM75 now has 10,200 hours and it’s been wonderful. The engine is bright, white, and shiny. After 10,000 hours it’s not leaking oil, it never has consumed any oil, and it continues to run perfectly. What I find amazing is it’s never consumed any parts. Even the coolant pump is original. It’s a good, solid, under-stressed, and super reliable engine.

  4. Eric Patterson and Lynn Coy says:

    Noticed your in the Arab region. Lynn and I are planning a 3-4 week trip in Jan-Feb in the Arab and Levant regions. Lynn saw you holding the falcon and is so jealous! Anyway Cheers! I put a post on NOG on boat naming. Basically I was wandering how you two came up with the name and do you think it’s beneficial to have as short of a name as possible? We are stumped!

    • The criterion of selection was that it be reasonably easy to pronounce and spell, be unique (so that 50 other boats didn’t have the same name), and that reflected our locality in the Pacific Northwest and also our sport of cold-water scuba diving. The name didn’t necessarily need to be short, but we wanted it to be easy to say and understand on the radio. More on the name is at https://mvdirona.com/Dirona/AboutDirona.htm

      Jennifer

  5. Aymeric says:

    Hello both of you. I hope everything is going fine.

    During this rainy sunday, i was wandering in yachtworld web site and i saw a few nordhavn with 2 engines, same engines… on a 57 with 2 lugger 325hp, one with 2 cat 3126 6 in line 420hp with 11.5knots cruising and so on…

    when you moved from bayliner to nordhavn did you ever looked closer to twin engines boat or you were already main + wing convinced ?

    For you, why some buyers go twin and some main + wing ?

    have a nice stay in holland, we go on summer holidays every year since 15 years in South holland (zeeland: Vlissingen, Middelburg, veere, goes, zeeriekzee, yerseke, etc…) and we really enjoy this country with our 3988.

    love your articles each time i receive a mail news. you describe everything so well that you should have a couple of pages every month in the English Motor Boat Magazine & Yachting magazine.

    best wishes

    • Yes, we absolutely did consider a twin engine configuration. I larger boats, I would definitely select two engines. But, as the boat sizes drops down below 60′, single engine designs seem to win out for us. In smaller boats, the additional space that twin engines require reduce the fuel load that can be carried and shorten the boat’s overall range. In larger boats there is plenty of room for fuel but in smaller boats, the additional space required for twin engines reduce the boats range below what we want. Twin engines are just a small amount less efficient than singles as well so, for our usage, in boats less than 60′ single engines seem to be a better choice with longer range. If were to go with a larger boat, it’s highly likely we would go with 2 symmetric engines. I particularly like the application of two John Deere 4045AFM85 in many newer Nordhavn 60s. The 4045AFM85 is the Tier III emissions, 4 cylinder variant of our Deere 6068 that has served us so well over the last 10,000 hours.

      • Aymeric says:

        My father and I often speak about how boats should be. he is for twins and i prefer main and wing and big outboards for the recreationnal market but that’s not the point we are interested in.
        For me, the way Elling made their e6 is very interesting. they put a volvo 900hp and 75hp wing. the boat has a range of 3500 at 10knots, a full speed of 21.5 and a fast cruising between 15 to 18. i know it is not the kind of range nordhavn owners are looking for but i think it’s a good way to motorize boat from 40 to 60 feet. And i think the holland yards “think” their boats, how owners will use them. like tony Fleming.
        when you see that our cummins didn’t missed once in 21 years, a main and a wing should take a bigger part of the market in displacement and semi displacement boat.
        after 10000hours on one engine, why would you go for two ? what are the reasons two twin engines should have advantage over main and wing on a displacement hull ?

        Nine years ago if nordhavn made a 52 with two 4045 or single 6068 with same range, what would have been your choice? and why?

        • You asked “after 10000 hours on one engine, why would you go for two?” We put 4,100 hours on the twin Cummins in our previous boat without issue and 10,100 hours on the single Deere in this boat also without issue. So your question could be “with 18,300 hours having never seen a failure, why deploy more than a single engine?” I agree with you that diesel engine failures are rare but they do happen. We have all seen an over-the-highway truck at the side of the highway. Diesel engine mechanics continue to earn excellent livings even though their patients are well built and last long. I really like redundancy.

          We really do want to have two engines capable of moving the boat but we could have gone for two symmetric engines or a main and a wing. Due to space limitations and range considerations, we went with a main and a wing and we’re quite happy with the overall configuration. If we bought another under 60′ boat, we would make the same choice next time. If we bought a larger boat where two symmetric engines could be installed without giving up range, we would probably do it and you asked why we would go with twins.

          For redundancy reasons, we have already decided we are going with two engines so the only question left is should they be the same (twins) or asymmetric (main with a wing). If we ignore space, range, and efficiency considerations, the advantage of twins is the backup engine is actually running rather than waiting to be started. The second engine in a twin engine configuration has 1/2 the horsepower and, running at higher than normal load can continue to run the boat at normal or very nearly normal speeds. If we drop back to our wing engine, we’re down to 40 hp engine with a continuous rating that is probably closer to 25hp. It works well, it will move the boat at over 4 kts, it’s safe, but it would be far from ideal in heavy seas.

          There are lots of arguments for and against asymmetric power configurations. We selected an asymmetric design on Dirona for space, efficiency, and range gains. I’ve also seen it used by ice breakers and military boats to allow massive power to be applied when needed and then to fall back to efficient operation when the extra power isn’t required.

          • Aymeric says:

            you’re right, 40hp, 4 knots with 2 meters in the nose and 3 knots of tide must not be very funny, you never sink on a sunny flat day… Everything is theory until you’re out there…

            one day, a big net around one propeller, force4/5: you don’t dive, you go home on the other engine. it took six hours at 7/8 knots at 1600rpm. Sure with a wing, it could have been more difficult…

            do you know if nordhavn ask the owners of twin to always run on 2 engines ou they could alternate?
            i red a few years ago an article about an owner who wanted to drive on one engine and he had to make modifications on the transmission to make it cool because the propeller on the off engine turn with the speed and get hot.

            do you have in mind a bigger one with redundancy ?

            • Twin engine boats can run with a single engine but, as you read, the limiting factor is usually the transmission. Some transmissions can be run indefinitely with freewheeling, some transmission manufactures allow freewheeling for up to N hours at which point they recommend running the other side, and some give transmission temperature limits above which they recommend shifting to the other side. Some operators I’ve spoken with chose to lock down the prop shaft to avoid freewheeling entirely but most don’t and just follow their transmission manufacturer recommendations.

              When we had twin engines we tried running single engine for a few days but ended up not finding the small gains worth it and we were able to get very good fuel economy at low speeds with both engines in use. I’m sure we could have gotten a tiny bit better but I ended up just preferring to have them both running.

              You asked “do you have in mind a bigger one with redundancy?” We feel like we have the redundancy needs covered by the wing engine and we continue to really like the Nordhavn 52 so don’t have a near term plan to move to a bigger boat.

        • Eric Patterson and Lynn Coy says:

          James, sorry to double post but I just wanted to add don’t forget both the engines at the same time are drawing from the same source unless you opted for (2) day tanks… I bet that is what YOU would do.

          • That’s a good point Eric. A day tank doesn’t really work very well for us unless it’s upwards of 60 to 80 gallons and we do like having a day tank and using it like a day tank with explicit transfers to the tank through filtration. So with twins, we would either need to give up the extra security of the wing fuel tank or need space for two at least medium sized day tanks. Some recent builds on the larger Nordhavn’s have elected to delete the wing tank entirely on the argument that fuel problems are very unlikely on boats that run a full day tank protocol and only transfer fuel to the day tank through filters.

            From my perspective, it’s a perfectly reasonable option to give up the wing tank and run both engines on the same day tank. The wing tank does provide some additional security but, with a good sized day tank for the rest of the boat, the probability of problems that would have been avoided with a separate wing tank are fairly small. I probably would be comfortable with the single day tank layout if going to twins.

            • Eric Patterson says:

              It’s interesting that really between the 6090 Standard and the 4045 is only about 2″ (I noticed the bore is only 10mm smaller so makes sense). I’m curious is there a fuel usage compromise with twins? Also, do you think with twins you could consider elimination of a stern thruster? Just out of interest I’m going to have them send me a CAD of the standard layout with twins. Lot’s of fun thinking about these things.

              • Yes, there is a slight loss of efficiency in twins over a single. Twins have the drag of two sets of props, shafts, and machinery in the water and the second engine will add some parasitic losses as well. Because these boats are heavy and draw a lot of water, I would keep the stern thruster even with twins but many would argue it’s unnecessary.

                As well as looking at the CAD drawings to make the decisions, you should ask about fuel capacity as well.

      • Eric Patterson and Lynn Coy says:

        I don’t know if I agree on your idea on the twins on the 60. I would venture you’ve been in the engine room on the N60 but even with the smaller footprint I think it would be a squeeze to be able to get adequate access to the mains. The 63 (I think that the model) to me with the larger beam is the start of twins. Of course they put larger in coastal boats all the time but who cares your gonna get a tow anyway and your always close to your home yard. I have spent about 3 hours laying about in the N60 engine room to the frustration of my wife and salesman and I can’t see it but I know they do it just not that often. I love the boat and I can’t imagine needing anything larger for a cruising couple for sure.

        • The point where twin engines fit without access/range sacrifice is certainly open to debate. The 60 might be better done as a single. I was on N60 Jupiter with two John Deere 4045AFM85s and I liked the access to everything and it looked like it would work to me but I agree it’s close.

          • Eric Patterson says:

            I gotta say I just looked at the video on the Jupiter and you may be correct. Looks like the mirrored some of the critical components and being able to walk down the middle vs. the sides of the engine might be easier. Not real sure how they handled the tankage as I cannot make that out. But if you reduced the width and increased the length (of the tanks) you could probably get some access to the other sides. They could also increase the size of the forward tanks of the utility room as they didn’t expand that area as we are forcing us to move things forwards. Jupiter spent alot of money in the pilothouse for sure from what it looks like. Nice boat.

            • It looked great from my perspective but, as you said, the key question is how many gallons is it able to carry? If they haven’t had to give up tankage, it’s a nice looking solution.

  6. Julie Gibbons says:

    Hello from Campbell River, BC. First, thank you for your interesting, informative and thoroughly enjoyable website, I have followed you since your travels on your previous boat.

    We need to replace our aging chart plotter that came with our boat and will return to a PC based system. On our prior boat we used Nobeltec and I have been looking at the new Time Zero. Can you elaborate on your reasons for choosing Time Zero and have you been happy with that choice? I did look into Coastal Explorer but it requires an annual update ($99 US) to maintain BC tide and current information. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the feedback Julie. We used Nobeltec for more than a decade and generally liked it. Our only big complaints with Nobeltec where it does crash occasionally and, when it does, it usually looses most of the recent track. Annoying but not debilitating. When making the decision between all the options open back in 2010, we elected to go with TimeZero mostly because it can share chart data at no extra charge with Furuno NN3D and supports integration with Furuno including RADAR overlay. The ability to share chart data with Furuno means that you can buy charts once and have them available redundantly on two different systems on the boat. This gives us the redundancy we want without forcing us to pay double for chart data. When you cruising large parts of the world, chart data costs can be material.

      Had we not chosen TimeZero, we likely would have stuck with Nobeltec. With the subsequent acquisition of Nobeltec, the choice wouldn’t have mattered and we would ended up on TimeZero no matter what. Overall TimeZero is more stable than Nobeltec and the largest weaknesses of TimeZero have been addressed since the acquisition of Nobeltec and we find the newest version to be quite good.

  7. Stephen Paine says:

    Hi James & Jennifer,
    I’m just starting planning a Maretron monitoring network for N6315 and am wondering if you were able to install your own (very comprehensive!) system using micro NEMA2000 cabling?

    • Either will support the CANbus physical link used by NMEA2000. At the time and probably still, Maretron recommended a midi backbone and micro drops and that’s what I elected to use. More recently when I did the much smaller NMEA2000 system on the tender, I went with micro everywhere. The advantage of larger cabling for the backbone is you are less likely to experience voltage drops or signal integrity problems over long cable runs. The advantage of the smaller micro-cables is cost.

      Generally it’s not difficult to debug devices on a properly installed CANbus network. It gets more complex if there are signal integrity or voltage drop issues so I lean slightly towards using the large micro cabling for the backbone of bigger networks.

  8. Eric Poulsen says:

    James, am interested in the Heatstrip for the cockpit of N47 Segue II. Could you advise the model and size of the unit that you’ve installed.
    Regards

    • Heatstrip sells into many markets and has both 50hz and 60hz systems available and is available in many voltages. It seems that the heater itself is a simple resistive load so the only difference between the 240V 60hz and 50hz system is the plug fitted to the end. We bought the 1800W unit that they sell into the Australian market and replaced the plug with a marine plug of a higher current rating and better waterproof characteristics.

      More details are up at: https://mvdirona.com/2018/04/heatstrip-patio-heater/.

  9. gary gordon says:

    James, now that Dirona is taking the winter off, are there any things you do to winterize her and/or the engines, fuel, oil, etc?

    • We chose to keep the boat always operational so really don’t change anything as we head into winter other than to drain the hoses on hose bib outside the boat so they don’t freeze and crack. Other than that, it’s just business as usual without any changes. Because we live on the boat, the interior is heated if we are on the boat and, if we are off the boat, we still use a greater than freezing set point (around 42F).

      If we were in a really cold climate where there were long periods of sub-freezing weather, we would put valves on the external water connections to allow us to drain the water out of the pipes that feed any external hose bibs. This is on my list but hasn’t yet been done and probably won’t need to be for the weather conditions we’ll see in Amsterdam.

  10. René Bornmann says:

    Hi, I read that you will spent about 4 month in Amsterdam. Then I can highly recommend to also visit Haarlem, take the train from Central Station, it takes only 25 minutes to get there. From Haarlem Central Station to the center is only 5 minutes walk. Most of the houses are about the same age as the houses in Hoorn and Enkhuizen.

    I might step by one day to meet you but will obviously let you know in advance. I work close by, Hotel The Dylan.
    Best,
    René

  11. Eric says:

    Could you elaborate on Dutch VAT. How would VAT be applicable to a foreign flagged pleasure vessel briefly visiting Dutch waters?

    • Independent of how long the boat is in Dutch waters, if the boat doesn’t leave the EU during an 18 month period, the VAT becomes due. The visiting Dutch officials collected ownership and original purchase documentation showing the invoiced price in preparation for assessing VAT if that were to become necessary. Of course, our intention is to not allow the boat to be in the EU for 18 consecutive months.

      • Eric says:

        Thank you and very good to know.

      • Jan Pieterse says:

        If you stay longer than the 18 month period you will have to cough up the VAT but then when you leave you can get it back.
        Just as you can get the VAT back you had bought a boat in Europe and took it for your use to the US ( and then pay the State Sales tax where you register the boat)

        • As Jan said, you certainly can get VAT back on equipment brought into the country on temporary import and then later exported. We’re doing that for the pallet of equipment we brought in via sea freight. However, if the boat crosses the 18 month consecutive in the EU, it no longer qualifies for temporary import and VAT will be due on the entire boat. It will not be refunded on exit from the EU.

  12. Christopher says:

    If you haven’t already, next time you’re in a Dutch grocery store get some speculoos spread (Lotus brand is good, but the others will also be fine). Spread that sucker on toast. It’ll change your life.

  13. René says:

    Please make sure tou don’t leave the Ortliebs on the bike, they will be gone instantly. Same goes for the bike, look it to a pole or somthing sturdy, otherwise it’s gone.
    I am around for some 20 years in Amsterdam and bikes are still high on the list of thieves.

    • Thanks for the advice René–we’ll be careful.

      And thank you also for recommending we visit Hoorn and Enkhuizen–we really enjoyed both. If you feel like dropping by and seeing the boat, let us know.

      Jennifer

  14. Evan Bauman says:

    James – I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Amsterdam over the past 3 decades working for Shell. Check out the NL Museum Card (https://www.museumkaart.nl/). We’ve used this in the past and it is excellent value. It’ll get you into most museums in the country for free and a reduced price for many others. You can purchase it at a participating museum and it’ll be good for 30 days. Then you need to login to the site and fill out the form to have the permanent card (good for a year) mailed to you. Only addresses in NL are accepted so hopefully you can receive mail at the marina.

  15. Cliff H. says:

    I’m interested in the options when replacing diesel engine oil, since 250-hour intervals can add up. Obviously recycling is desirable and facilities are probably easy to find these days, but I understand that some owners burn waste oil in their fuel, apparently after filtering it? Are there systems to make this do-able? Would burning oil in fuel apply more to older (read: “less finicky”) engines? Does Deere have a position on burning used oil? Or do you?

    Fair seas.

    • At a distance, this sounds like a wonderful idea and I know it has been used in commercial applications in the past. However, modern high pressure common rail engines have very low tolerance to fuel problems, emission standards won’t allow it, and modern oils are very carefully designed with special additives to prevent burning (they are getting better and better at making high quality lubricants that burn very poorly). Engine oil recycling is a more environmentally sensitive approach and most manufacturers including Deere don’t permit burning used crankcase oil.

      The approach we take is to have 5 pails of 4 gallons (20 liters) with 4 full of clean oil and one empty. We can pump into the empty one and fill from one of the full containers. This allows us to do 3 main engine oil changes and 2 generator changes while out and when we return to shore, we need to pour off the used oil, discard the pails, and buy new ones. It ends up being a fairly simple approach and allows us to operate with less chance of fuel system problems.

  16. Michael Cero says:

    Where are your comments on replacing the black water gage tube?

    • Good question and I will eventually loop back with the full story of what works and what doesn’t and what I’ve learned over the years. The quick answer on this one is “unsuccessful” — so far I’ve tried just the ultrasonic sensor (there were no focus tubes available at that point), the first generation focus tube, and this enclosed full length focus tube. I’m a bit surprised in that the latest full length, fully enclosed focused tube looks like a very nice solution. It’s better than anything I’ve tried so far but it’s still not a reliable solution. It probably works 60% of the time. What I plan to try next is a completely different system that has been getting good reports. On my next trip back to the US, I’ll be getting: 1) Maretron Submersible Pressure Transducer 0 to 1.5 PSI (PTS-0-1.5PSI-01), and 2) Maretron FPM100. I use pressure sensing for the fuel measurement and I’m super impressed with the accuracy so I know this will work well. What I don’t know is what life expectancy the pressure sensor will have. I’ll report back but I’m optimistic that this one will deliver the stable, reliable results for which I’ve been looking.

      • Evan Bauman says:

        James – I use the same Maretron components to measure the levels in my diesel tanks. The only snag I ran into was when using two of the transducers on one FPM100, the reading on the second transducer blinks in and out. Maretron tech support diagnosed as a problem in the FPM100 firmware. They will fix in a future version. Fuel level does not change all that quickly so having it blink out for a second or two every now and then not a problem. Expect it will be much less of a problem for the black water tank!

        • Chris Barber says:

          I like Maretron’s gear in general but they really seem to have a bit of a QC problem with their firmware. I recently bought a MBB-300 black box control head and after weeks of continuous crashes they finally agreed to have it back on warranty. Basically as soon as they got it back, they said, “oh, look, we loaded an entirely wrong firmware on this when we manufactured it” Face-palm.

          I’ve spent a huge part of my career building embedded compute systems that ingest massive quantities of analog-to-digital data. There is really not any rocket science at the level of what Maretron is doing. It’s just not that hard.

          • I hear you Chris and have also seen the odd quality control issue as well. I forgive these issues mostly because Maretron allows very nice automation systems to be built at a tiny fraction of the cost of they systems popular in super yacht applications. They are good value and so I can afford to have a spare on board. With a spare of everything, it’s super easy to work through issues but there clearly is a cost to stocking all the spares. Even doing that, it seems like good value to me.

            • Chris Barber says:

              On the same page with you, James. I really don’t see any alternatives that offer the features, flexibility, and scalability that Maretron serves up. BTW as I write this I am on a N50 heading south on the US east coast. First time underway in open water on a Nordhavn and really loving the boat. Although I admit to becoming completely incapacitated by seasickness the first 12 hours out, I certainly do not blame the boat for this 🙂

              • Lots of solutions for sea sickness both medical and otherwise so don’t let that stop you. The other solution is the one that sail boaters learn quickly, don’t run into the wind. Weather that won’t be a problem on the stern causes big pitching and sea sickness in some when on the bow.

                • Chris Barber says:

                  Thanks James, we eventually made it to the Bahamas and the ride from Charleston, SC to Great Abaco was beautiful. The gulf stream was a non-event; winds calm and seas nearly flat. What’s surprising to me is that, as you said, the head sea was more sickening than a following sea. I’ve been sailing for nearly 20 years and have always felt worse in a following sea on my sailboat. On this trip on the N50 it was the head sea that got me. We left Beaufort, NC on an ebb tide opposing the wind and it was horrendous – of course, no surprise there, but it was not my decision to leave at that time. Only my decision to go along with it. I think one experiences a much different motion in an aft-cockpit sailboat as compared to the relatively forward and high pilot house of a Nordhavn.

                  • The motion is different and in different boats. Generally, even in boats that are comfortable running to weather, it’s still not a common choice. There is something to be said for having the weakness all going into the weather since it’s always slower and less efficient as well as less comfortable in this hull form.

        • Yes, we also use the FPM100 and pressure transducers to read my 4 diesel tank levels and I’m super happy with the setup. We’ve never had an issue with the system and it’s remarkably accurate. I have never seen any gaps in the FPM100 transmissions but I do periodically see N2kview have a guage go blank for a second or so. I don’t really notice or mind the issue but it sounds like a similar issue to the one you are seeing.

      • Eric Patterson N60-81 says:

        James, I was thinking about this and in oil water separators which see turbid water with foaming which can cause issues with ultrasonic sensors, we use continuous read analog level sensors. We buy from a company FPI and you can get both 4-20ma and 0-10 VDC options. You can specify the materials of the tube and float and length span, etc. The only issue I can see if interference between the tube and float over time but just use a M12 connector and pull it out monthly or so. I have used pressure transmitters as you said but the issue here is you must have access to the bottom of the tank and the orifice can become clogged. While you could use a gauge protector you risk accuracy although you could span it yourself. I would use a dwyer 628 with M12 connector once again. About $80 and they last forever. I also thought that technically the density of the grey and black water could vary depending upon usage, etc. Overall I think the float I mentioned above is perfect. What input does the Maretron accept?

        • Generally my take is it shouldn’t be that hard a problem to measure black water levels but, at this point, all I’ve learned is ultrasonics aren’t an especially good choice. Because I have had excellent accuracy with pressure sensors in level sensing applications, I’ve ordered the parts to try that next. If I don’t get the results I like on that approach, I’ll go with the 4-20ma version of your recommendation. Thanks for passing on your experience Eric.

  17. Doug Miller says:

    Here is a small interesting article about the Seajacks Scylla that you saw in Cuxhaven.
    https://www.offshorewind.biz/2018/09/03/seajacks-scylla-loads-first-deutsche-bucht-steel/

    Thanks for your blog. Have been reading it for a few years now.

    • Good article. The wind farm build they are doing will be 33 wind turbines of 8.4MW each for a total of 277MW. The big crane on the Seajacks Scylla is lifting 1,100 ton pile sections. Pretty impressive. Thanks for the referenced article Doug.

  18. Gary Ryals says:

    Your blog is extremely helpful. I thought I read somewhere that you had added a system to use saltwater for flushing toilets but I was unable to find a blog post on it. Can you send me to the write post or provide some details on the saltwater flushing system? Did you have Nordhavn do the work or get it done after commissioning?

    • We have Tecma Silence Plus units and they are truely amazing. In nearly 10 years of live aboard work, they simply never cause problems and never get plugged. Tecma are really amazing. We have both presurized salt water and freshwater so our original design was to put a valve into the inlet line that would allow us to run off of either source. Nordhavn did the research and said the Tecma really wasn’t designed to be run on salt water and it might shorten the life of some components. We thought it over and didn’t elect to put the valve in but, of course, we could add it later if we wanted to try it. We also planned a Y-valve to allow them to be plumbed directly overboard when operating off shore.

      In retrospect, neither idea seems that useful to us. We have never felt inclined to run the outlet directly overboard and we have never felt the inclination to save water by running them on salt water. With a 415 gallon freshwater tank and a 25 gallon per hour water maker, we never feel so short of water that we feel like flushing the toilets with it. And, with an excellent black water pump out system and a fairly large tank at 120 gallons, we don’t feel like going in and switching the Y-valves when operating off shore. The system always flushes on freshwater and always into the black water tank.

      • Chris Barber says:

        So you can pump your black water tank overboard when offshore?
        -thx, Chris

        • No, it’s not practical nor legally required to store the black water when off shore. Their are legal restrictions against throwing plastics overboard but not black water. We sort and compress all of our garbage for return to shore-side processing facilities but don’t carry the black water back.

          • Chris Barber says:

            Good to know the Nordies are built with that in mind. Some smaller boats, like my current one, can only switch the discharge from the head between overboard and tank, but whatever is in the tank is staying there until you get back to shore. That kinda sucks. Of course one could redo the plumbing design to pump out of the tank but although I’m a huge DIY person, that’s the kind of project I’d rather not get involved in!
            Thanks again -Chris

            • It’s worth checking around the tank looking for hoses. Most boats are built with both a pump out hose that goes up to the deck fill and second hose that goes to a macerator/pump and then overboard. It’s possible you already have a solution in place. Certainly worth checking for that first.

  19. Stephen Walker-Weinshenker says:

    looks like the file for your ‘k’ line picture got corrupted.

  20. René says:

    https://www.varendoejesamen.nl/en

    Hi James, you can visit the site and you will see that you can enter the Staande Mast route much earlier than Harlingen. It also brings you to Leeuwaarden, worth visiting!

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