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  1. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,
    You noted that you had found a source for your spherical rod ends however, as I watched your video did that really pan out?
    If it didn’t I’m wondering if the tiller arm has enough material to safely drill it out for a 7/8” bolt?
    I can find all kinds of 7/8-14 female rod ends in the static 46,000 and up static load range, but none with ¾ I.D. ball.
    If the tiller arm could be drilled to accept a 7/8” bolt then look at a McMasters-Carr catalog. I don’t know if that would cause issues down the road if you replaced the cylinder, especially with another brand.

    • The tiller arm would be 100% fine with 7/8″ of inch bored out and that would allow a standard 7/8″ hole with 7/8″-14 TPI RH rod end to be used. And, having done that, it would be easy to get a stronger and more durable part than original. My current leaning if I can get a good price on the original equipment part, is to just stick with that approach. But, failing that, boring the rudder arm would be far superior than other options. Thanks for the good suggestion.

      • Steven Coleman says:

        I wonder if it’s a custom made product. If that’s the case your only chance might be to call someone in the industry.
        http://www.aurorabearing.com/index.html. The worse they could do is refuse to help you in which case, you are still at square one.

        • Yes, you are right. Every aspect of this part is identical to a standard 3/4″ rod end except that a 7/8″ hole was bored and threaded rather than a 3/4″ but all external dimensions are identical. I did ask FK Bearings if they would be willing to take a 3/4″ part and do a 7/8″ hole but it looks like they probably aren’t going to answer that query. I suspect it’s not very interesting to them to do a custom run of 4.

          I did find a source of the Sea Star Solutions Part (the steering component manufacturer) for “only” 2x what it is worth so, if I don’t find anyone willing to do a custom part, I’ll probably buy 3 or 4 from Sea Star.

  2. Hans Leemans says:

    I looked at your most recent Video and realized that you filmed this just a few miles from my home. Welcome in The Netherlands.

  3. Paul Wood says:

    I did a wee bit of googling regarding that steering part you require here’s what came up. It looks like Teleflex is now SeaStar Solutions. I did find this company that may have it in stock? The part you require looks to be a special order part.

    https://www.seatechmarineproducts.com/capilano-hc5378-inboard-ba-200-11-tmb-rod-end-ball-joint-hydraulic-boat-cylinder.html

    They ship internationally, too.

    • Nice find. That is the entire hydraulic cylinder assembly and rod end and, in this case, I need only the rod end (spherical joint). However, I will tuck away your find since it’s, by far, the best pricing I’ve seen on that component. Thanks very much for doing that research Paul.

      • Ron Sykora says:

        James,

        Would you please put the part number for the rod end on the NOG when you find it? Thanks in advance,

        Ron
        N4711 Moonrise

        • The part number is Sea Star Solutions part #HP6165 7/8 -14 UNF with 3/4 hole. There are a tiny number of suppliers of parts with this dimension and none are good enough quality to justify using them rather than the standard Sea Star part. The nicest solution would be to bore out the steering arm and going with a Rod end with 7/8″ hole with 7/8″-14TPI RH thread since these are common. However, thinking through options, I’m probably just going to order a few of Sea Start Solutions #HP6165.

          Be aware that N5263 is using Sea Star Capilano steering which is different from the Teleflex steering system used on older Nordhavn 47 so these part number may not help you. I believe that newer N52 have returned to the older steering system due the Capilano being hard to bleed although it is believed to be slightly stronger.

  4. Doug Miller says:

    Hi James,

    An interesting little video concerning a collision between a Norwegian frigate and a tanker which happened near Sture, where you were last September. It’s an interesting watch. http://webnodesvideostorage.blob.core.windows.net/asset-cddb1644-12d0-4601-b5df-3989410802fd/003-RAPPORTFILM-HELGE-INGSTAD-HAVARIKOMMISJONEN-LANGVERSJON-ENGELSK_H264_3000kbps_AAC_und_ch2_128kbps.mp4?fbclid=IwAR0IxKDcSEpGYp8uBrp8csn_mSOeSQOgeChAbM0KR4tAihsYWU9xVrMLPM4

    • The accident was super interesting, the report on the accident was super interesting, and Jennifer and I went through the video yesterday and I strongly recommend it. A surprisingly large number of mistakes were made particularly on the naval boat. Overall, having been in that exact area at night I will say the combination of large amounts of commercial ship movements, the backlighting of shore (especially when operating in commercial/industrial areas), and fish boats operating can make it challenging.

      The one recommendation that wasn’t made that I think would be worth considering is adding VTS lanes to the area. There appears to be enough traffic to justify the use of lanes and they can help when there is a lot of commercial traffic in an area.

  5. Foster says:

    Winter is setting in for your area, you posted that some places close at the end of October. What’s your winter plan? I’m assuming you head south to France?

    Thanks!

    • It is starting to get cold. I just got up and Amsterdam is dark with the city just coming to life. It only 44F (6C) out there so definitely cooling. In Amsterdam, we are far enough south and in a big enough center that everything stays open all winter so our plan is to stay here for the winter. Next year, we’ll head south but, for now, we’ll enjoy Amsterdam and places easy to get to from the great train and air service here.

      • Foster says:

        OK, as I sit on the Chesapeake about to be plunged into 18-22F temps it surprises me that it really doesn’t freeze in Amsterdam. You are so far North of us, I guess the warmer winds off the Equator help. Hope I haven’t jinxed your January.

        • Temperatures aren’t bad here — we’re currently in 47F but, of course, winter is still setting in. Last year there were 4 to 6 days in a row below freezing but not enough that the larger canals froze. But, some years they do get enough consecutive time below freezing to see some surface ice so it’s possible that we might see some but there is usually enough water movement on the river to stay open.

  6. Torbjörn Curtsson says:

    Hi James and Jennifer, have you written some story regarding your blue LED light that I can see on many pictures? Outside your wheelhouse. Brand and mounting? Thinking to do the same on my Minor 27. Regards Torbjorn

  7. Tom Reed says:

    Hi James

    I’m hoping that you can help me with a question about your bow roller lubrication system. I understand that you’ve drilled longitudinally down the centre of the bolt, but please could you clarify how many holes you’ve drilled laterally to bring grease out to the bolt surface? Is it only a single hole around the mid-point of the bolt or did you drill several at different positions along the bolt? If you’ve got only a single hole, have you had any problems with grease not spreading itself along the full length of the bolt?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Tom Reed
    M/V Alchemy, N7202

    • Hi Tom. We drilled a single hole down longitudinally down the center of the bolt that was threaded for a grease fitting and then a single hole through the middle of the bolt radially. Since there radial drill hole goes straight through, there is technically 2 radial holes. More detail and pictures here: https://mvdirona.com/2014/04/lubricating-the-bow-roller/. All the best.

      • Tom Reed says:

        Thanks very much for this James. We’ve had our bolts done as per your description and it works perfectly! I was worried that having a radial hole only in the middle of the bolt wouldn’t allow the grease to spread along the full length of the friction surface, but it seems to work fine. Thanks again.

        • Glad to hear it’s working. It’s a nice, simple change but really seams to work well. We hit it with grease every 6 months and it’s been in use for close to 8 years without any issue. I expect the solution will do well on your boat as well.

  8. Olle Sköld says:

    Hi! I saw your picture of the police car. I cannot really tell the country letter on the license plate but it looks like an S, and in Sweden we have a public register where you can search information on all vehicles just by typing in the registration and I get that it should be a Ford Excursion XLT. It is owned by a private individual and was imported to Sweden as recently as September this year. The thing is that in Sweden you can own a car that looks like that as long as you don’t have the blue lights on it, and from what I can tell from the picture the light rack on the roof has been removed. There is a place in Stockholm where you can rent special cars, and they actually have an old chevy US police car from 1964:
    http://www.hyrspecialbil.nu/files/IMG_4344.jpg

    • I’ll bet you are right and the truck really is a retired King County (Seattle) Transit Police vehicle. I looked through the vehicle selection at the link you included and it ranged from a purple 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood to a 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air Police car. Kind of cool.

      We love learning about what’s behind what we see — thanks for passing along the explanation.

  9. Bernie Andersen says:

    Hi Guys! What a journey you’ve been on exploring the world in the last 10 years or so! Very Impressive indeed. I’ve have been peaking at your site off and on since you hit the rocks in Bornholm, DK. I’m Bernie and I’m a Dane. I’ve been living in the US since 1989. In 2019, I spent 6 months’ time in Seattle, WA exploring and enjoying the atmosphere to learn and see if area Seattle resembles Scandinavia the most. I must say, there’s a lot of similarities! I’ve been traveling the world over the years, but you guys definitely peaked as world explorers. I can only imagine how fulfilling it has been traveling the world on a Nordhavn! Anyway, I’m headed to Copenhagen in a couple of days. I will grab my bike when I get over the there and head towards the harbor hoping to get a glimpse at the famous Dirona before you leave the area. if not this time around, maybe when you hit the shorelines of Seattle again :-) Wish you all the best exploring the rest of the world. -Bernie

    • Copenhagen is a wonderful city. We’ve really been enjoying it here and would certainly be comfortable here over longer periods but, on this stop, it won’t quite be a week. When you get back to Copenhagen, drop us a note (jrh@mvdirona.com) and, if we are still in town, we can show you around the inside of the boat as well.

  10. Gunter says:

    Hello James and Jennifer,
    I just saw your very interesting video “Tour of Nordhavn 52 Dirona” with information on the Lenovo control system. It’s been very valuable for my own boat project but unsuccessfully searched the internet for details. Where can I find more specs on your website?

    • We probably should write up more detail on the control systems but this 2018 article is a pretty good start: https://mvdirona.com/2018/04/control-systems-on-dirona/. You specifically asked about Lenovo gear. We use Lenovo L1900ps monitors spread throughout the boat and, in the pilot house we use night running covers on these monitors: https://mvdirona.com/2010/05/night-running-monitor-covers/. The central navigation system computer that runs the nav software and all central control system software is a Lenovo ThinkStation Tiny P320 covered about 1/2 down on this page: https://mvdirona.com/2018/09/trondheim-projects/.

      Most of the control system software running on the central windows system is custom built software that: 1) collects all data from the NMEA2000 bus and stores in a relational database (RDBMS) every 5 seconds, 2) collects data 5 Raspberry Pis (RPIs) doing digital input (off/on) and stores in the RDBMS every 5 seconds, 3) screen scrapes some key equipment like the satellite communications systems where the data isn’t exposed through any programmatic interface and stores that data in the RDBMS every 5 seconds, 4) puts all key data not already on the NMEA2000 bus onto the bus for display by Maretron N2kView (this is wonderful commercial software that we use to display and report on all operational data on the boat, 5) pushes data to the mvdirona.com website for real time reporting on the boat position, weather, fuel remaining, etc. 6) monitors all equipment state for 100s of alarm or warning condtions that are shown on N2kview, emailed to us both, and displayed as warning lights in the ER, and 7) support external communications allowing us to log in and see boat system state, change boat system state, and view other facilities like the video cameras.

  11. Musko Base photo says:

    I am Kuo Ming Chen, The editor in chief of Defence International. In recent molitary news, they say the Musko Base have reopen. If we write the news on our monthly, that is a monthly, now is No423. Can we use the photo you take and note your name on it? We published on Taiwan, Taipei

  12. Peter & Pia Moller says:

    Dear both.
    We have followed your trip. We hope you are visiting Copenhagen next on your way south. May we recommend “Nyhavn” inside Copenhagen Port, right at the center of Copenhagen. We have ourselves a coastal cruiser and also want go cruising, just in smaler scale, like Europe, not trans Atlantic. It would be great if you had the time and possibility to spend a short time for a visit. Heating and other issues of living aboard a motoryacht in wintertime has great interest. Please let me know if you have time for a coffee in Copenhagen.

    Further if you need help of anykind during your stay in Copenhagen, please let me know

    Best regards

    Pia & Peter

    • We are currently enjoying Helsingor and will be visiting Copenhagen for around a week starting tomorrow. If we can find a place we like in Nyhavn, we’ll be in there as you recommend. We’re always interested in talking about boats so feel free to drop us a note at jrh@mvdirona.com if you feel like dropping by or meeting somewhere. Thanks for the offer of help while we are in the area.

  13. L-H K. Arvedsen says:

    I’m impressed at how much detail you get from the various places you visit. When you were in my town, and all the other places.
    One little thing – The SAR boat that you saw in Skagen is named from the person depicted in the statue “The Rescuer”
    That person is believed to be the model for this painting in this famous painting: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Den_druknede.jpg

  14. Gregg Testa says:

    Your tender is in and out of the water quit frequently and wondering how’s the boom holding up since the refit.

    • The overall mechanical portions we worked upon have remained solid and trouble free. We did develop more remote control problems where the hard wired pendant failed for what I think is the 5th time. The pendants are quite unreliable whereas the rest of the electrical system is simple and very reliable. We eventually gave up and re-engineered the remote operation and, for just under $600, have wireless remote operation: https://mvdirona.com/2019/02/steelhead-wireless-remote/

      It works well, seems very stable, and we continue to have the hard wired pendant for backup. The rework that you read about at https://mvdirona.com/2018/04/crane-rebuilt-remanufacture/ was massive. Days of tedious and kind of depressing work. The net result seems pretty reliable but it took days of working full time to get to this point and there were multiple different design faults that needed to be corrected. The interference between the linear winch and the boom it operates within is the only issue where I expect it’ll return to causing us trouble eventually. There are all new parts in there now and it’s lubricated but that problem will eventually return. It’s just a matter of time. The crane extension problem was the use of a direct aluminum-to-aluminum friction surface in the early cranes. This has been corrected in subsequent design updates and we corrected it in ours by sanding away enough material to allow space for an anti-friction surface. This is what they have done on the newer cranes and from what we have seen so far, I think it’ll be an effective fix. I would expect that the adhesive used to hold the anti-friction surface to the boom and boom extension will fail eventually so the longevity of this fix is directly related to the quality of the adhesives used and materials preparation during adhesive application. I suspect it’ll go 5+ years and I’m hoping for 10 but that’s a hope and it’s really hard to know up front.

      I have many ideas on how basically that same crane could be manufactured by Steelhead to be much more reliable and last longer but that’s not really an option on a crane in the field. Still, I’m optimistic that the changes we made will have a good service life and we’ll not be back in there anytime soon. I admit I continue to look longingly at Palfinger commercial kuckle boom cranes: https://www.palfinger.com/en-us. They are much more flexible, have more reach, have excellent service records in rough commercial use, but would need some work get looking good enough for this application.

  15. Tom Andersson says:

    Hi
    I am a reporter at the local newspaper at Laesoe, and took a picture of your nice boat lying all alone in the harbour. The Stars and Stripes are a rare sighting at Laesoe. I would actually just hear a little about your impressions on the Island…
    Feel free to call me at my cellphone +4542742032 or write me at tom@aogj.dk

    Best regards and all the best onwards

    • Hi Tom. We really enjoyed visiting Laesoe. We did an electric car tour of the island and had particularly good stops at the salt plant, looked around the airport a bit and, visited Byrum where we toured town and climbed the Hansen Tower. The views from the tower out over the island were great. Of course, we also went to Gammel Osterby where we watched the video on the Seaweed house construction techniques and visited Hedvigs Hus Museum. We also spent a few hours in Osterby Havn where we walked the commercial fish boat docks, spent some time in the boat repair yard, and stopped off at Sailors Pub to relax over a drink and enjoy the view out over the harbor. For dinner we both had a excellent Lobster dinners at Hotel Havnebakken enjoying their marvelous view out over the harbor.

      It was an excellent visit and we particularly appreciate the help from Alex Rasmussen, the harbor master, who was super helpful and personally delivered to the boat a map of the island and other information on places worth visiting and let us know that electric cars were available for renting. It was a fun visit. We’ll drop you a note as well.

  16. Chris Barber says:

    Re: The grey wire on the generator… I once spent 45 minutes with a logic analyzer cabled up to troubleshoot a cpu mother board to determine that there were no eproms installed…

  17. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,
    Reading about your sea-fire system got me wondering, if you were worried about an emergency situation where you might need to either cut a wire or jump terminals, why not pre-position jumpers with Molex connectors and Molex connectors on the wires you might wish to cut?

    That way in a stressful situation you could just plug the connectors together or pull the connectors apart.

    • Yes, that would be better and perhaps the best answer, if I think the SeaFire system might dual fault, is to put the SeaFire bypass on a switch. I already have an emergency override switch that disengages most automation and puts the boat into all manual mode. I’ve never used it but the idea is, if there is an automation failure, make it easy to return to manual mode. I could put the Seafire bypass on the same circuit with an 8 pole double through relay.

      I gave it careful thought and decided that the risk/benefit didn’t justify the effort. I did decide to label the circuits since it makes the system easier to work on. On this one, the override circuit isn’t complex but it would require 18 wires with 36 connections in an obnoxious place to work and I ended up concluding the odds of the SeaFire triggering and the SeaFire override failing wasn’t very likely. But reasonable people could disagree on that point. Thanks for passing on your suggestion.

  18. Thomas Boekenbrink says:

    Forgot to mention one thing on Sweden: if time allows, check out Stenungsund. There‘s a hotel called Stenungsbaden Yacht Club. It‘s not a yacht club anymore but it’s a beautiful location and food there is great. They also have a very nice spa – just in case you want a break from stressful ( ;-) ) boating. If I recall correctly, they have a jetty where you can moore Dirona directly in front of hotel. Have been there on business and dreamt of returning one day with my Nordy…..;-)

    • We appreciate the advice on things to see. In this case, we’ll probably head directly to Skagen Denmark from where we are up near the Norway border so won’t likely make that stop on this trip.

  19. Thomas Boekenbrink says:

    James,
    We don’t like the crowds either

    Two simple rules for Croatia ( which is the favorite boating spot for Italiens, Austrians and Germans – all can be very noisy party people at times…..):
    1) avoid July and August. We went there last week of August and first week of September. There is a significant decline in those weeks.
    2) avoid the coastline. There are some nice cities like Split and Dubrovnik but the further you get out to the islands the more quiet it gets.

    For the crowded time, probably Montenegro or Albania as they are not yet that developed (that‘s what people say – have not been there yet). Or – greek islands. Have been to Greece several times (not boating) and love the islands. Not so crowded as Croatia and stunning with lots of sandy beaches (bays) which you don‘t have in Croatia. Croatia is all rocks.
    If you want any more details, just let me know.

    We are planning to cruise the Stockholm Archipelago next year.
    Would love to get some tips from you two.

    All the best,
    Thomas

  20. Thomas Boekenbrink says:

    Dear Jennifer and James,
    I love to read your blog. Great information – thanks for sharing all this!
    We‘ve had first contact on the dreamers site in 2017 when I recommended the Caledonian canal (I‘m sure you had this already on your list :-) – BTW – I‘m still chartering but not one of those crash-skippers that you‘ve encountered there ;-) )
    Since you are already in Europe – what are your next steps? Is the Med already in your focus?
    In the meantime we did some more (baby-)steps towards out dream: 2018 PNW gulf islands from Nanaimo to Victoria BC in a Bayliner and this summer Croatia, again in Bayliner. Very different but we loved both.
    If your plans allow – try the Croatian Islands. Beautiful area to cruise and nice climatic conditions from May to September. People is a different story but subject to everybody‘s own experience…. ;-)

    Looking forward to reading the upcoming news!

    All the best
    Thomas

    • We appreciate you passing on ideas for us in the Med Thomas. We do plant to go next year but our interests will be to go to less busy areas and Croatia has been looking like a very good candidate. I’m not in love with the boating in the massive crowds experienced in the busiest areas of the med during the summer. Hopefully with some skill and some advice like yours, we’ll find some of the less crowded places during the busiest parts of the year.

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