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  1. James says:

    Happy new year James and jennifer and to all readers of mv dirona blog

  2. James says:

    Merry Christmas James and Jennifer and to all readers of mv dirona blog

  3. Eric Patterson says:

    James thanks so much again. You have provided so much value to our boating. I’m not that smart but I have a methodical way of figuring things out. You saved me days or weeks.

  4. charles bowker says:

    Wow ! just found your site and love it – I have a workshop At the Royal Cape Yacht club in Cape Town and recently installed a John Deer 6068TFM in a 50 ton wooden yacht ( yes its old – but very nice )
    The agents, dr google etc cannot tell me the colirifier connections – so I went for the normal before and after the coolant pump – it didn’t work – bugger !
    I see in one of your videos one connection (with a yellow shutoff valve ) where I also took a feed – but where is the other connection?
    The boat is called The Impossible Machine and is about to do the cape to rio race – owner Ard Mathews – it’ll be on the internet if you want to take a peek
    Any help would be gratefully received !
    ps im also not young – 73 haha

    • Sounds like a fun project. On the 6068, there is a plug giving access to the coolant circuit at the back of the cylinder head on the exhaust side. This is likely a plug in your current install but you can replace it with a 90 degree fitting and a hose barb. This is the hot water source (inlet) for your hot water heater. on the other side of the engine (intake side) you’ll find a direct fitting on the water pump. Likely it too is a metal plug in your current install. That’s the outlet for your hot water heater. Good luck with your project.

  5. Dan says:

    Hello James and Jennifer,
    I like the technical articles and videos you put out. I operate a vessel that has recently been repowered with 3 John Deere 6068’s as propulsion engines. I was wondering where you sourced the filler neck adapter and coolant expansion tank for your main engine. I have noticed that in the earlier posts with the Deere you have the factory filler neck with cap on the coolant reservoir and have since updated it to an adapter with hose running to an aluminum expansion bottle. We currently have the factory set up and the small barbed fitting that protrudes from the neck is too close to the flange to get a hose on. I have considered making an adapter but if an off the shelf component is available that would make things easier. I apologize if this is already covered in one of your posts, I browsed through and could not find it mentioned. Thank you!

    • Hi Dan. The reason we moved away from the standard location for the coolant reservoir cap is the water heater heat exchanger is above the filler cap in our application and you really want the cap to be the highest point in the cooling system. So I put on a small bottle above the normal cap location and installed the Deere spec cap there. The aluminum bottle is Amazon sourced: On the Deere header tank I changed the filler neck adapter with a hose barb adapter using standard Deere parts. They supply the engines both ways and the parts department can get you the Deere header adapter with a thread for installation of piping or a hose barb.

  6. Gregg Testa says:

    I know I have asked you this before but update how’s Spitfire doing?

    • Thanks for asking. Spitfire is definitely showing his age being lighter than he used to be and less stable on his feet. But, generally, he’s still as much fun as ever. Still chases around the apartment and sleeps with us every night. For 19 years old, he’s still doing super well but there is no hiding from the fact that he’s getting very old for a cat.

      • Remy Romano says:

        I would have never guessed he was 19. How does he like being on the water, has he ever been seasick?

        • MVDirona says:

          He’s behaved like a kitten his entire life. All that has changed is he spends more of his time sleeping. He rarely gets seasick but he does really slow down when it gets rough and, when he does get sick, it’s a warning to us that Jennifer will not be far behind. He’s close to as durable as we are.

  7. Keith Harvey says:

    Hi James and Jennifer (and Spitfire)

    It is great to see that you are still cruising.

    I thought of you guys today when a memory popped up on my Facebook page reminding me of the Great Storm of Richards Bay. It is difficult to believe that it was 7 years ago. I must say that we have not had anything similar before or after that in the 15 years I have lived in Richards Bay.

    Richards Bay is coming up in the world since you were here last. We have been selected as a stopover for the Clipper around the World Yacht Race and Fortune Global 500 company Wilmar is building a palm oil processing facility, while a TiO2 plant is in final planning stage. We also have an investor getting enviro approvals for a 800MW floating wind farm. As you (unfortunately) found out (and I did not know), we apparently have some of the best offshore wind in the country (to go with a fast current, that you first alerted me to).

    Keep well

    • Hey it’s great to hear from you Keith. Congratulations on attracting more industry to Richards Bay and it’s nice to hear that the the Clipper race will be doing a stop-over in Richards Bay. We enjoyed ours. Continued success into 2023!

  8. WEI LIU says:

    If it turns out to be OK, then it’s a very good design, but I think you’ve been well-proven before it comes out again, thank you.

  9. WEI LIU says:

    Hello, Mr. James Hamilton.
    The physical distance between AZs is described in Invent 2020 – Infrastructure Keynote with Peter DeSantis. A physical distance of many kilometers can avoid the impact of tornadoes and earthquakes. However, it is difficult to evaluate the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes. The impact of earthquakes of different severities varies. Even a large earthquake affects more than 100 km. It is difficult to avoid the earthquake zone completely in some areas. To ensure that the delay meets the requirements, the distance between the two AZs cannot be too far. Therefore, the selection is contradictory. What do you think about this?

  10. WEI LIU says:

    Dear Mr. James Hamilton,
    I have a question for you:
    For data center cooling, AWS always adheres to the air cooling mode. That is, heat pipes are used to extract heat from the CPU to the data hall. Finally, the air cooling mode is adopted because it does not cost much to reconstruct data centers, or cloud services do not need to use CPUs with such high power density. However, as the CPU power increases, will the current air cooling mode or liquid cooling be used to solve the heat dissipation problem in the future? Instead of the heat pipe, the CPU heat is exported and then converted to air cooling.
    If liquid cooling is used, which cooling mode will be used, such as CPU cold plate, single-phase immersion liquid cooling, and dual-phase immersion liquid cooling? What are your views on the development and evolution of these cooling modes?
    We look forward to your reply. Thank you!

    • You are right, power density in some systems is approaching the limits of efficient air cooling systems. Today, we’re still all air cooled but we expect we’ll need liquid soon. Immersion systems make service complex so I wouldn’t go that way unless other alternatives couldn’t be made to work. The likely next direction for us will be liquid to a cold plate with either a 1 phase or 2 phase coolant with 2 phase being the most likely choice.

      • WEI LIU says:

        OK, thank you very much for your reply. In addition, is AWS making some technical reserve and research on this issue? When is it expected to apply and release some research results?

        • I don’t think we’ll publish the work but we often will discuss some of our approaches to infrastructure problems at Peter Desantis’ Keynote at re:Invent. No firm plans at this point.

          • WEI LIU says:

            I’m very glad to have your guidance,thank you. I read the AWS re:Invent 2020 – Infrastructure Keynote with Peter DeSantis. I’ve learned a lot. However, I’m confused. For example, I put lithium batteries into the cabinet. Although the capacity of each lithium battery is reduced to 5 kW, the damage radius is greatly reduced, but the number of lithium batteries is much larger and closer to the server. If the battery runs out of heat and causes a fire that can also destroy the server, it is ultimately chosen because the chances of running out of heat are very low? Or are there some measures to avoid it?

            • We believe it’s a good design and now, with several years of experience in thousands of racks, we can confirm it’s performing very well.

              • WEI LIU says:

                If it turns out to be OK, then it’s a very good design, but I think you’ve been well-proven before it comes out again, thank you.

              • PETER XIE says:

                Hello, Mr. James Hamilton:
                In the recent burning accident of UPS lithium batteries and lithium cars ,the security of lithium batteries is disputed by all. How to deal with such risk when lithium batteries is used close to servers in the equipment room?

                • Any energy storage device by definition stores energy and, when energy is stored, there is risk of uncontrolledly energy release. This risk exists for all forms of energy storage whether fuel (e.g. gasoline), fuel cells or battery storage systems. There is nothing unique to Li-ion batteries. Well designed battery systems with redundant safety systems produce excellent long term safety results in data centers or even in mobile applications like cars where the risk profile is far higher.

                  • PETER XIE says:

                    thank you for your reply!
                    For lithium batteries used near data center servers, if effective isolation is achieved through redundant configuration and safety protection of infrastructure, even if there is 99.99% reliability, there will still be a possibility of failure according to the concept of design for failure. The upper-layer business (servers and applications) must be required to deploy multiple AZs or HA. Is there a better way to deal with it?

  11. Eric Patterson says:

    James, I was going to post this on nog but thought I might get a simpler answer from you. I am using your maintenance spreadsheet and I noticed you extended the recommended time and hours on the primary and secondary fuel filter. My first question is do you consider the primary being the dual racor or the primary engine mounted filter. My second question is your opinion that using the racor ahead of the engine mounted filters extends the service intervals for the engine mounted primary and secondary. And if my assumption here is correct you consider the tertiary the secondary on the engine.

    • I use manufactures specs for all hours except fuel and my recommendation is to use manufacturers specs for everything. On the fuel side, I run very fine 2 micron primary filters (off engine RACOR 900s) for a wide variety of reasons ( Using small filters means they can only do 200 to 1500 hours and they most common range is 500 to 800 hours. We run more than that in a year so the longer calendar time on the fuel filter changes doesn’t really come into play. I change them more than once per year.

      My recommendation is to use the manufacture specified interval and that’s what I do on oil and oil filtration but, on fuel, I just about always change on the pressure gauge indication rather than time.

      • Eric Patterson says:

        Okay, great that was my original plan. Thanks for publishing the spreadsheet, we were offered the Vessel Vanguard and initially have used but I like the easier format of your spreadsheet and the fact that I don’t need to be online to use it.

  12. Eric Patterson says:

    James, I heard you considered size for marina access, etc when selecting the N52. Lynn and I are currently considering moving from the N60 to the 68. Do you think that would cause significant limitations while cruising in Europe? We anchor quite a bit but slip when we need to return home.

    • What we have done in our two boat purchases is to buy a boat that is big enough that we really don’t expect to grow out of it over the next decade — basically it has be big enough to meet our immediate needs and we don’t want the overhead of moving up every 2 to 3 years. But, on the other hand, there are advantages to smaller boats so we aim to get the smallest boat that will meet our needs. If we were to buy a boat today we would go with an N60 or an N68 and we might lean towards the N68 even though that will restrict anchorage choice somewhat. We have had times where we could get into a marina where larger boats can’t. But the number of times we were able to get a slip with our N52 but wouldn’t have been able to do in an N68 aren’t that many and I think we would have been fine in a N68. I doubt it going bigger will limit you much. It’ll cost more to buy, more to operate, but I doubt you would find marina space limitations materially worse than our N52. We draw 6’7″ and need 29′ of air draft so not much difference there. It’s rare where you can’t find 16′ more feet.

  13. Chris Reynolds says:

    Hello, Jennifer and James;

    It looks like you’re enjoying your summer. Jen and I are getting serious on our boating goals, and are soon going to purchase a ‘mobile cottage’ in the Vancouver area to travel to, and use throughout the year. Due to our travel benefits as airline employees, this is a pretty great opportunity for us. It helps with the current itch, but also the experience required for the future live-aboard and circumnavigate goals.

    Could I get your top picks for guidebooks ‘must have’s’ for the area? I started researching Waggoner, being highly regarded and you guys wrote an edition, but I’m curious from a start small on weekend trips out of the area, to quickly progress to seven to ten day adventures. We are able to leave the future boat in a location and travel back to it.

    From guide, to charts, to physical maps – we’d appreciate your advise. We love all things paperless, but also LOVE a good physical map, so open to any suggestions you might have time to offer.


    • Chris,

      Sounds like a great plan. The Waggoner guide is the one we use most heavily for cruising the PNW. It’s updated annually so is quite current and covers from South Sound to Alaska. We also quite like the Dreamspeaker series for specific areas. They will be less current, but they have put out newer editions of some guides.

      Enjoy your travels!

  14. Tim Morrow says:

    I have not seen any reference to ‘Spitfire’ lately. Is She/He still with you?
    Enjoy your descriptions of the cats’ reactions and antics

    • Spitfire the mighty does indeed remain with us. He’s got 19 years behind him and requires special food and his balance isn’t what it used to be but, yeah, he continues to be playful and fun and still tucks in with us every night. We’re behind in our postings to the web site but he turned 19 this month and we’re aiming for making 20! Thanks for asking.

  15. Phil Parent says:

    Cheers, James. I’ll be updating it with the actual transcripts thru March. Hope you can tune in.


  16. Phil Parent says:

    Hi James
    Ran into a colleague of yours (Jorke Odolphi) at an Amazon Function in Queenstown tonight and he mentioned your site. I’m working on something similar. If you get a chance, check out my site about a bike/thumb/sail adventure from 1976/1977. I’d be keen to get your feedback. By the way, loved your photo w/ Jennifer. Cool.

  17. MJ Lasky says:

    I’m new to your posts, and found it quite informative! True appreciate you posting and also providing the xlsx template to build my own Ships Log. Just bought a GB 32 and the record keeping /log books were not provided. Starting from scratch. And 1st power boat. Yes, rookie captain. So, much appreciated! All the best to you, Captain of the Jag-Shark! Channel Island Harbor, Calif. (PS, also had a diesel pusher, Class A based from Portland OR. A 34′ Safari. Used during covid/plandemic to stay effective. Good times.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the blog and good luck with your Grand Banks in the Channel Island area. If you get a chance to take your boat further north, you’ll love Pacific North West boating. You could explore for a decade and never go to the same anchorage twice.

  18. James says:

    Nice views from the campsites

    • Your so right. We’ve boated in the Pacific North West for a couple of decades and the boating is truly world class. What we didn’t know is the mountains inland were equally impressive. We’re getting a completely different perspective of the same region and really enjoying it.

  19. Alec Peterson says:

    I recall a comment you made about air circulation in your aft lazarette, and I’m curious: Did you actually setup air intakes/exhaust from the lazarette, or did you just circulate air within the compartment? Asking because your engine room air intake/exhaust setup has so much care given to water intrusion, and I’m curious if you or Nordhavn did something similar for that space.

    • Hey Alec. Yes, the Laz does have external air provisions with forced air. Their is a pickup at about 4′ above the cockpit floor and the exhuast is out the same vents used by the engine room. The laz cooling system isn’t super well engineered and doesn’t flow much air. But the air volume is large and the heat load is only moderate so the system was sufficiently effective to keep the electrical equipment well within their continuous operating range with the exception of the 120V inverter. I found it was derating way below it’s spec due to localized heating. This is mostly a Mastervolt cooling problem rather than a Nordhavn Laz cooling deficiency. More detail here:

      • Alec Peterson says:

        Got it. We’re currently experiencing the warmest weather yet on our boat in Desolation Sound, and certainly putting the electrical system through its paces. Nothing is shutting down due to heat yet (as you said the Victron inverters are tanks and we haven’t had any issues yet) but just thinking ahead. My laz doesn’t have any circulation and no air intakes that I can find, so pondering what work I might want to do there…

  20. Chris Reynolds says:

    Hi, James and Jennifer
    I hope you are enjoying the summer.

    Embarrassingly, I have just discovered the ‘Egret’ blog and their epic voyages. Coming across, and thoroughly enjoying the post below, have you considered cruising to Brazil in the future and destinations such as Parque
    Nacional Marinho dos Abrolhos?

    I ask this question selfishly as we will thoroughly take advantage of your blog guiding the way across the world.

    All the best,
    November 4, 2006

    The past 24 hours had a few treats and a weather surprise. After the boys did their research they found enough space in the freezer for one more fish. Out went the baits then yes, ho hum, another 20lb dolphin…again! The boys had to stop fishing…again. The Egret crew had fresh dolphin for dinner…again. Tough duty folks. Later in the afternoon we saw a whale leap out of the water five times, tail and all. BIG splash. That is big stuff for the Florida and Colorado folks. While we are talking about swimming critters, we are approaching one of the best fishing areas in the world. The area is the Vitoria – Trindade Seamount Chain. We will do a separate short story on this area.

    Egret also hit another milestone with 4600 trouble free engine hours 2 hours before the anchorage. Egret’s little Lugger has never missed a beat, EVER. She has the original injectors with all running exhaust manifold temps within a few degrees of each other. Perfect!!!! (a cold or cooler cylinder means an improper spray pattern = less combustion = time to change the injector.)

    We didn’t mention previously that after putting a rebuild kit into the watermaker high pressure pump and upgrading the hose that blew once again we can make water at will. From a 500 lb. burst pressure hose we have upgraded to an 8000 lb. burst pressure hose (now standard from Matrix). All is well again with that issue.

    With the relatively short 600nm or so jaunt to Rio (600nm trek seems like child’s play these days after the twenty day crossing) we left in good weather and a surmised promise of trade wind seas. We copy OMNI Bob, Egret’s weather router, on our Voyage of Egret writings. Bob taught us another lesson. What we thought and reality are sometimes different. Egret was sailing into a nasty low coming of the coast further south. Bob took the imitative and sent the weather forecast copied below. With this sage advise Egret is taking the smart approach and will hide out in Mary’s choice of the Arquipelago Dos Abrolhos. This is a national park and a large diving location off the coast of Brazil surrounded by reefs. No matter where the wind shifts there is an excellent anchorage. As the low moves off the coast we will again head south. Our next planned stop is the island group ninety or so miles south of Rio.

    In six to eight weeks the weather and seas associated with this low may be acceptable but as of now we have the time to relax and enjoy the park what every contributor to the cruising guide gave 5 stars. We will delay this Voyage of Egret to give you the exact lat-lon location of the anchorage so you may zoom down and see the anchorage and surrounding small islands/reefs on the Google Earth feature displayed on this website.

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