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  • Odda Arrival

    The town of Odda, at the head of Norway’s second longest fjord Hardangerfjord, has been a ...

  • Sunnhordland

    The Sunnhordland district of Fjord Norway includes the mountainous islands and waterways just ...

  • Fonnabu

    After getting closer and closer to the Folgefonna Icefield with each hike, we finally reached ...

  • Sundal

    Sundal has been a major tourist destination since the mid 1800s, when people flocked to the ...

  • Eldoy Islands

    From the summit of Tysnessata, the complex group of islands we could see along the northwest ...

  • Gripnesvagen

    Gripnesvagen is a beautiful, nearly land-locked anchorage at the north end of Tysnes with a ...

  • Husnesfjorden

    We enjoyed the anchorage below Hovlandsnuten so much that we spent a third night there. After ...

  • Melderskin

    The summit of 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin has a spectacular view east to the Folgefonna ...

  • Hovlandsnuten

    Hovlandsnuten soars 2,385ft (727m) nearly straight up along the east shore of the island ...

  • Olsfjorden

    While we were rounding the world in Dirona, so too was the oil rig Polar Pioneer, including a ...

  • Matersfjorden

    Matersfjorden is one of the wettest regions in the country and in 2005 received 8.8 inches (223 ...

  • Mjelkhaug

    The five-hour return hike to 3,300ft (1,005m) Mjelkhaug is a combination of two other hikes: a ...

  • Kattnakken

    The large TV tower atop 2,375ft (724m) Kattnakken on the island of Stord was a common sight as ...

  • Siggjo

    1555 ft (474m) Siggjo on Bomlo was prominent in the skyline north of our anchorage at Karihavet ...

  • Moster

    According to Norse legend, the first Christian church in Norway was established on the island ...

  • The Case of the Missing Oil Leak

    An engine seldom “just gets better”—close to never—but our generator was leaking ...

  • Ryfylkefjordane

    Ryfylkefjordane, the Ryfylke fjords, lie between Stavanger and Haugesund in the southern ...

  • Haugesund

    In early August, we returned to a very different Haugesund than the one we’d visited in ...

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

    Could your water maker HP pump problem be an issue with the start capacitor? I thought start capacitors generally failed in a way that kept the motor from starting at all, but perhaps that’s a place to look?

  2. Sverre says:

    From last weeks journey, stavanger to Kristiansund

    https://youtu.be/oOZRUklxBZc

  3. Rodney H Sumner says:

    James; Did you secretly installed another couple of main engines? :) 14.62 kts for a displacement hull is very impressive :) :)

  4. Alec Peterson says:

    Do you adjust your ‘time to charge the batteries’ voltage as the batteries age, or do you leave it the same for the life of the bank?

    • MVDirona says:

      It’s an adaptive system. Generator start is triggered by the max voltage over the trailing 15 minutes. Generator stop is triggered by the average battery acceptance current dropping to less than X amps.

      • Alec Peterson says:

        How do you select the max voltage you use? Is it based on the Lifeline technical manual specs or do you measure it?

        • MVDirona says:

          We exploit the fact that SoC meters are quite accurate if you configure them to the correct capacity battery bank (you know what a bank capacity is when new), ensure the batteries are fully charged and then use the SoC meter on the first discharge to get voltage to SoC ratios. Another approach is the 20 hour voltage to SoC table in the Lifeline Technical manual that is pretty accurate as well.

    • Jerome De Kock says:

      Wow, thanks for sharing your life. I was looking at youtube and I saw this boat for sale. It was a Nordhavn. After abother few videos I came upon your vide ehere you prepared Dirona for the Atlantic crossing. I downloaded all your videos and saw what it takes ro run a boat your size. I specially liked the Day loo as I have looked for it on othe Nhs and found nothing. And I fell in love with that lifestile.
      Thanks again for sharing

      • Yes, it has been and continues to be a great experience to see the world and essentially live for weeks or even months in different countries all over the world. Thanks for the feedback on the videos and the website.

  5. james says:

    hi I’m watching a webcam in bergen norway and the bow of dirona is just in view on the right side and if it’s ok with james/jennifer I would like to know the day and time dirona is leaving bergen as I would like to see dirona pass thank you

    • MVDirona says:

      That’s great that you could see us on the webcam on our way into Bergen. We’ll be here until at least Monday morning Norwegian time but we may stay longer. We haven’t yet decided. We just fueled up this morning and will do grocery shopping today and tomorrow so we’re working through the provisioning work that we need having not taken on supplies since Stornoway Scotland.

      Sorry we can’t be more precise on exit times. All we know at this point is we’ll be hear until at least Monday morning.

  6. Sean Evans says:

    Just became a subscriber to your YouTube channel…WOW! Incredible channel!
    P.S. Love the maintenance/repair segments:)

    Cheers
    Sean Evans

  7. Sverre koxvold says:

    https://www.facebook.com/560776878/posts/10157162214851879/

    Just leaving Stavanger to bring Fridtjofen to Kristiansund. Fetching Haugesund tonight. Perhaps will meet en route.

    • MVDirona says:

      I hope the weather is better where you are. We’re seeing frequent gusts to over 50 kts all day in this fairly sheltered area and the highest we saw was 58 kts earlier today.

  8. André Sannes says:

    Hi guys!
    This is the guy with a trawler in Litlebergen that spoke with you earlier on Youtube.
    I´m very curious of the place you anchored up today 1 okt. I have never been in their because of the depth. So i would be very very happy if you posted some pictures from the place and tell me how it was to anchor there. Always wanted to go in there to hike the mountains. It´s a remain of a little farm up in the mountain side there. I would be very happy to see some pictures her or on youtube from the place. Best regards André

    • MVDirona says:

      Great to hear from you again. Yes, this is a really interesting anchorage. Mountains towering over us on three sides, multiple water falls, and several hikes possible. Yesterday we hiked to the top of the southern face and we might do another hike today. The tracks we hiked will go up right away and we will post pictures of the area. We’re running 3 weeks behind our trip so it won’t happen right away but it will happen.

      As you noticed, the anchorage is quite deep. We anchored in 97′ (30M) on 340′ (104M) of rode. And, as it happens, we’re seeing wind storms in the area right now. Over the last day, we’ve been seeing winds in the steady 20 to 30 kts range with gusts as high as 46 kts during that day yesterday. Last night, the winds were a bit stronger and we saw one gust to 58 kts. Given we’re in a fairly sheltered location, it’s surprising to see the winds so high. But, no complaints. This is an amazingly beautiful anchorage and we’ll certainly stay and enjoy it for at least another day.

  9. Rodney H Sumner says:

    Hi

    Any thoughts yet on your winter plans?

    • MVDirona says:

      We’re thinking of another 3 weeks here in Norway and then working our way south to Scotland. From there we will make the decision on the basis of the current world health situation and either head south to the Med or stay in the Scotland area. We do plan to cruise most of the winter this year.

      • Joaquin Hervada Sierra says:

        Jennifer, James, I have been following your site for a while and am glad to hear that you are still considering Spain. I don’t know if you have many Spanish followers or contacts; if you need input please feel free to reach out. I live in Madrid but regularly sail in both the Atlantic (Galicia) and Med (eastern coast and Balearic Islands). Keep up the excellent site and travels!

        • MVDirona says:

          Thanks, that’s very kind of you to offer to help us when we head south and spend some time in Spain. We’re looking forward to enjoying some time there and, as much as we love the natural beauty of northern latitudes, short days and cold weather will eventually chase us south :-).

  10. Steven Legrand says:

    Just watched the pto replacement video.
    Nice presentation both video wise, audio, and narration. Makes for very interesting and educational video.
    Thanks you guys!

  11. Robert Poulin says:

    I discovered your site recently, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to make a video on the financial aspects. It is not a question of your personal information, but an order of magnitude on the purchase and maintenance of a boat of your size as well as the budget to plan for a circom. Thanks

    • MVDirona says:

      It’s hard to cover the finances given the variability of use. In 10 years, our main engine has seen 11,000 hours and the generator 7,000. Most people use the systems less. Our main engine has only had injectors in all these hours. That’s unusually little. Our generator needed to have a cylinder head replaced and that’s more than I would expect in those hours on average. Some work needs to be done frequently and is easy to budget for and other work is only a once a decade sort of thing. It all conspires to make providing financial guidelines challenging.

      But, with all those caveats, I think you are right that we could offer some thoughts on what to expect — we’ll give the problem more thought. Thanks for the suggestion.

  12. Trond Saetre says:

    Cool to see you got in the local news paper. Seems to be pretty accurate written, except for one thing. According to the journalist, your longest passage was an impressive “6000 mil,” which is 60.000 kilometer = 32.397NM. Nordhavn set a new world record in range :) Way to go, Dirona!

  13. Stuart Martin says:

    Hi James
    I just saw the post about your wrist or thumb injury but i think it was dated Aug 27.
    How is it doing?
    I recently retired from my specialty as a hand surgeon. There are a number of different fractures and ligament issues that can result at the base of the thumb and in the wrist from a fall like that. Proper radiographic imaging is very important and subspecialty consultation can be important. The required treatment varies widely depending on the specific injury and is largely focused on preserving future function and decreasing the arthritis risk going forward.
    Please feel free to contact me privately at smartin@mcmaster.ca or 905-902-2686 if you wish to do so.
    All the best
    Stuart
    MV Bluenose
    Nordhavn 60

  14. Chris Barber says:

    Hi James

    Could you point me to your post on adding the second bilge pump to your main sump please. I searched and could not find it. BTW while I was searching I came across a photo of your main DC interconnect featuring two Mastervolt 500 connectors and a Mastershunt. Love that stuff. I already have a Mastershunt in my system and I did not realize until today how useful those four-tap interconnect gadgets are, so I just ordered one and will likely get more once I see how they integrate into my system. I always thought they were just a piece of copper in a green box (i.e. a typical name brand money grab), so how much can you possibly communicate about that over the network? :) In reality they are a great way to get four fused taps in a very compact space with fuse blow monitoring. How cool is that?

    • MVDirona says:

      Yes, exactly as you said, we use a Mastershunt to measure DC current and then we extend the Mastershunt DC bus using two Masterbus DC Distribution systems. That allows measuring up to 500A of flow into or out of the batteries and provides numerous DC taps.

      The second bilge pump addition was covered here: https://mvdirona.com/2017/12/alarms-at-115am-follow-up/.

      • Chris Barber says:

        thank you, exactly what I was looking for. What are you using for a float switch to turn on the Rule 3700? I also need to replace my existing main bilge float as it gets stuck on once it triggers and will not turn off at low water. I’m going to replace that jabsco pump disaster at the same time with a whale like you did.

      • Chris Barber says:

        Only thing I don’t like about those Mastervolt devices is their choice of hardware. They use those awful allen head bolts. In all my kits of allens I cannot find one that seems to fit that socket correctly. Every other piece of electrical connection gear in this boat is a hex head bolt. So I replace all their hardware with hex heads which unfortunately have to be metric. It’s not that I am against metric, but I am definitely against having to carry multiple sizes of tools to do one single job. And they definitely did not anticipate anyone connecting 4-ought cable lugs to those things. They don’t fit. I don’t know what they were thinking but any cable on my boat that is part of a 500 amp rated circuit is definitely getting 4-ought. I have had to grind off the noses of the lugs and shave off the extraneous plastic molded ridges in front of the terminals on the mastervolt gear to fit the lugs on the terminals.

        But I just received my DC interconnect and it looks great (other than the above caveats) and it is going to save soooooo much space in my DC fusing and distribution!

        • MVDirona says:

          I actually don’t mind the hex head connections but agree that the system is too tight mechanically and I’ve had to trim the plastic covers to clear larger connections. Small is good but 20% bigger with more connection clearance would make sense. But, as you said, it does save space overall and produces a fairly organized solution when you are done.

          • Chris Barber says:

            Are you using the CZone version of the shunt and getting its data on N2K? Can Maretron see it? My first MasterShunt that I put on the house battery is not a czone; I didn’t understand enough about czone at the time and ordered the plain one, but now I’ve got two of the czone versions coming and it appears that czone is essentially N2K. Is that right? People really need to stop reinventing things and coming up with all these different flavors of things…

            • MVDirona says:

              Our system was done back in 2010 and, back then, the CZone part was not an option so we used the standard Mastervolt shunt in the build. When I wanted to read amperage we installed a DCM100 to get programmatic access to the current flow. We essentially don’t use the Mastershunt at this point. Mastershunt with CZone can produce NMEA2000 so that’s a cleaner solution with less parts. Another option is to use the DCM100 and delete the Mastershunt.

              • Chris Barber says:

                I’ll go with the Maretron sensors if I have to, but I like the integrated battery SOC, etc, that I get from the MasterShunt. I have a MasterBus touch screen display on that network and it’s really nice, all my MV gear is there, one stop shopping. On the other hand the DCM100 coupled with N2KView does provide a nice SOC solution… I’ll let you know how it goes with czone and N2K when I get the new shunts installed. I’m using them initially on my bow thruster battery where I need a solution that will do 600+ amps. That takes two MasterShunts, which does not make it cheap!

                • MVDirona says:

                  Makes sense. I wouldn’t have bought the Maretron DCM100 if I had a NMEA 2000 producing Mastershunt. Your choice is less expensive and a cleaner choice.

                  A minor point on the SoC meters, I’ve tried Mastervolt, Xantrex, Maretron, etc. and they all count amps and so all suffer from the problems: 1) overall bank capacity is entered as a config parameter but it is actually falling from day one until you replace the battery bank rather than a fixed value. This means that 50% charge on your SoC meter is slowly going to actually be 40% charge after some time and it’ll go lower than that. And 2) if you count amps out, and count amps in and estimate the amount lost to battery inefficiencies (Peukert constant) which is what they all do, you get a slight error on every discharge cycle until fully charged again. This slight error is additive over time and will keep getting worse until the system is brought back to a 100% charge to get the error reset. The combined impact of these hard to predict error rates limits the accuracy of SoC meters. But, just as a broken clock is right twice a day, a SoC meter will never look wrong if you have no way to check it.

                  It doesn’t really seem to be that hard a problem so I’ve also written several SoC meters myself that don’t suffer from all of the problems above but they still weren’t awesome.
                  It’s a harder problem that it looks. In the end, I have quite a few SoC meters on Dirona and yet don’t use any of them and around 5 years back, I stopped even bothering to show SoC on any of hte displays on the boat.

                  • Christian Gnass says:

                    HI James, interesting. I am presently looking at exactly this same scenario on my Sabre 42 Hardtop Express , where I installed a German brand SoC, and that shows the same weaknesses as you are describing. I came to exactly your conclusions as well, it seems that these influence factors of the real world are hard to overcome, so the SoC’s are not as good a tool as I would have expected. All the best, in (so far) quite healthy Norway!

                    • MVDirona says:

                      Exactly! And, yes, it’s great to be Norway. Lots of natural beauty, very lightly populated with nice people and very little COVID-19. We’ll be leaving in a few weeks but we’ll plan to be back.

                  • Chris Barber says:

                    I totally agree. It is a truly vexing bit of engineering. I’ve worked in companies populated with teams of incredibly bright people and have seen first hand the results of the “how hard could this be” syndrome. They didn’t do very well at it either. I think it’s mainly entertaining eye candy at this point. If you keep a mental adjustment factor running to compensate the numbers over time, and you know what you’re doing, you can probably figure out where your batteries really are. You or I could do this, and some others, but not everyone.

                    Also, as I understand it, the Peukert coefficient is meant to put a curve on the discharge rate according to the actual amperage being drawn. The higher the demand, the less effective capacity you have. So the 200 AH batteries are only 200 AH at the 20 hour discharge rate, and not so much at the 10 or 5 hour discharge rate.

                    Some new monitors that I have looked at , like the MasterShunt, also introduce a separate coefficient called the “charge efficiency”. I don’t know what math they are doing with it exactly but I believe they are attempting to compensate what you pointed out as “a slight error on every discharge cycle”. But even with this, the documentation still tells you the thing needs to be reset to 100% every so often, just like you said.

                    • MVDirona says:

                      Yes, I largely agree. And, as much effort that gets spent on reducing the “small error on every discharge cycle” an even bigger source of error is a 1200Ah battery will age to become a 1000 Ahr bank and 50% of 1200 is very different from 50% of 1000. After conditioning, a bank will regain some capacity. It’s changing all the time. I suspect that the reason why many people have SoC meters that they really like is they have no redundant data point telling them how for wrong it really is.

                  • Chris Barber says:

                    Well I put my CZone shunts in and connected them to my main N2K network. The devices automatically connect to either MasterBus or CZone/N2K according to which cable you plug in. They each come with an adapter cable with a N2K micro at one end and the RJ45 MasterBus at the other end.

                    It was a disappointing experiment. N2KAnalyzer sees nothing recognizable coming out of the shunts. They are on the network but are not producing standard PGNs. Only some proprietary (obviously CZone-specific) data messages. I would have thought that DC current and voltage would have appeared in standard format.

                    But they still work fine on Masterbus and now I have full voltage and current and temperature monitoring on my bow thruster battery bank within my Mastervolt network.

                    • MVDirona says:

                      That kind of sucks that the industry still insists on using proprietary data formats even when using industry standard bus protocols like CANbus. I wanted to turn Mastervolt chargers off/on and so I hacked Masterbus sufficiently to be able to turn off/on and set amperage output but it really should be easier.

                      Given that’s it’s nicer to have everything on the NMEA2000 bus so you can set N2kview alarms etc., I would still be tempted to add a Maretron DCM100.

                    • Chris Barber says:

                      Researching this further I found another Mastervolt interface buried in the depths of their remarkably difficult to navigate website (although not as bad as Victron) which is specifically described as an N2K interface, not CZone.
                      https://www.mastervolt.com/products/masterbus-interfaces/masterbus-nmea2000-interface/

                      Searching the web for this thing I found a few posts talking/asking about it and few offering it for sale at extortion level prices. I found a used one on some random web site in the Netherlands. Can’t hurt to ask, so I emailed them about it. Only one place on line actually claims to have a new one available, in stock, ready to ship. $580. One place that lists it, but has no inventory, claims they will only sell it to NMEA or ABYC certified installers!

                    • MVDirona says:

                      We have one of the Masterbus to NMEA2000 interfaces and I know of one other installed. They lock up every 2 to 6 months and need reboot. Just need to disconnect both the NMEA and Masterbus lines to force a restart. Otherwise they work but they are primitive. They feel like a prototype that just never got finished. Clumsy to configure but otherwise they do work. I think I paid around $100 for it but it’s been 10 years.

                    • Chris Barber says:

                      Sounds like my Simrad IS42 display. It locks up about once every two weeks! So I guess I can establish a new branch power circuit with a special switch on the instrument panel labeled “devices that lock up and need to be power cycled”!!

                      Oh well, I just took an expensive chance on the one in the Netherlands. Was def more than $100 but at least I didn’t have to pay VAT! Wish me luck that I receive it and it works!

                      What kind of arrangement do you need to configure the interface gadget?

                    • MVDirona says:

                      The setup is clunky but not complex and it’s done using Masteradjust.

                      You may feel differently than I but my first rule with any of these small, fairly low cost electrical devices is I won’t deploy them without a spare in stock. My thinking is I don’t want to screw around trying to figure out the problem. If a Maretron or other small electrical device fails, I always have the firmware configuration backed up and so I can quickly just switch devices. Some would argue that I have a bunch of spares I may not use but wasting time on flakey and possibly faulty equipment.

                    • Chris Barber says:

                      Ok, I have the MasterAdjust software, so that should not be a problem. I normally agree with you on the spares thing, but this particular device is nearly impossible to find, and stupid expensive. I’m lucky to have found one. If it does what I want then great, but it’s not mission-critical. If it fails then I will more than likely take an entirely different approach to getting the data. I paid enough for this gadget that if it does fail I am certainly not throwing that kind of money down that hole again.

                      One thing is for sure: Victron is totally killing Mastervolt in their embracing of open protocols, ease of inter-protocol translation, etc. I plugged one cheap adapter into the VE bus and all my inverter data was on the N2K network. It cost under $100.

                    • MVDirona says:

                      100% agree with this “One thing is for sure: Victron is totally killing Mastervolt in their embracing of open protocols, ease of inter-protocol translation, etc.” Both companies produce good products but this one point makes me favor Victron more and more each year.

                    • Chris Barber says:

                      Me too. If Mastervolt chargers weren’t so damn good I’d go Victron all the way. A Nordhavn friend of mine is in the design phase of all new AC/DC electrical system and I’ve given him everything I’ve learned from doing mine, and referenced all the stuff from Dirona, and he’s going with Victron inverter/chargers and all the jewelry. I think he’s going to be really happy with the system.

                    • MVDirona says:

                      When we configured Dirona 10 years back, Victron chargers weren’t great. They have come a long way over the last 10 years and, if we were to commission a boat today, we would consider an all Victron electrical design.

  15. Evan Bauman says:

    Congrats on being featured on the back cover Nordhavn advertisement on the Oct 2020 issue of Power & Motoryacht!

  16. Colin Rae says:

    Hi Dirona,
    What sort of depths are you anchoring in, and what sort of scope do you typically use.
    Thanks, Colin

    • MVDirona says:

      We’re currently anchored in 50′ and the previous 4 were 70′, 84′ and 70′. Over the last month, we’ve done as low as 18′ and as deep as 100′ with 30′ to 50′ being fairly common. In less than 30′ we like 5:1 and seldom use less when in shallow water. In 50′ we’ll typically use around 4:1 and deeper than that 3:1 works great but we typically are closer to 4:1 and sometimes 5:1. We are unusual in liking more rode out than many but we’ve weather through winds as high as 60 knots at anchor and, in 21 years, have never felt the need to get out of bed and check the anchor or stand anchor watch.

      The deepest we have anchored was in 146′ with 3.4:1 but it would have been comfortable with less rode.

  17. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    Your “missing oil leak” photo reminded me of a conversation I had with a Marine Harrier pilot at an airshow years ago.

    I had asked if a hydraulic leak on his aircraft was a problem. Without batting an eye and with a completely straight face his reply was “only if it stops”

  18. Olle says:

    Hi! Hope you’re having a great time in Norway! I’m still working on the model of the Nordhavn 52 and I could see on pictures that your funnel stack and the mountings for the radars and antennas are quite different compared to the drawings and pictures I have of other Nordhavn 52’s, I do recall you told me something about it being custom when I visited you, but what was the story of it? have there been several different versions? It looks to me in the pictures that yours is a bit more straight and I can see heavy duty hinges on it so I guess you could lower it in order to do maintenance to it yourselves?

    Best Regards!
    /Olle

    • MVDirona says:

      Hi Olle. Great haring from you. Your model accurate matches the newest Nordhavn 52s. When the Nordhavn 52 was first drawn and built it came with the stack you see on Dirona. Later they moved to using the same stack used on the 55/60 series and that’s what you’ll see on all the more recent 52s. Your model accurately matches the most recent design.

      The large hinge allows the stack to be lowered for reduced air clearance but we’ve never done it. Dropping the stack requires unbolting the exhaust pipe, needs a crane to ease it back, and there needs to be enough slack in the wires heading up the stack. It’s nice to have the capability if we ever really need it but it’s a big operation. When the boat was shipped to North American from China the stack was in the down position so it has been used once.

      • Olle Sköld says:

        Thanks for the clarification! I have not been able to find a scale side view of your version (which I actually prefer the looks of to be hones, those big boomerang shaped radar mounts looks a bit weird. :) You don’t happen to have a scale side view of your version that shows the proportions? It doesn’t have to be detailed, just showing the proportions as it’s super hard to judge from pictures unless they are in perfect perspective from the side.

  19. Arto says:

    Hello,
    while you are in the area a comfortable hiking or biking target can be recommended from Sunndal to Bondhusvatnet, please check: https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/hike-to-the-bondhus-glacier-bondhusdalen/5053/
    Best regards

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