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  1. Philip Jones says:

    Hi James and Jennifer.
    I’m trying to import gear into Turkey, for our N57, Beyond Capricorn 1. i cannot find a freight forwarder willing to handle what they consider a small shipment. I’m keen to bring this gear in ‘duty free’ if possible so need to go the full customs/duty, ‘vessel in transit’ route, so can’t use DHL or FedEx.
    I know you have had items shipped around the world., would you mind sharing your contacts/freight forwarders.
    Thanks,
    Phil

    • We last used Intervracht (https://www.intervracht.nl/en/) to bring a pallet from the US to Amsterdam. The contact information there is sales@intervracht.nl. They did an excellent job for a good price and we’d happily use them again. They are a Netherlands-based company, so if they don’t do Turkey, they might be able to give you a reference. Or you could try Rotra (https://www.rotra.com/) which is the US-company that Intervracht dealt with to handle the Seattle pickup and transport.

      We actually had trouble finding a freight-forwarder for this pallet as none of our previous contacts from shipping to Aus/NZ were interested. We had found a Netherlands customs broker already and asked them for a recommendation for shipping the pallet and they recommended Intervracht. So you might try that if you don’t have luck any other way.

      Jennifer

  2. Matija says:

    Hello guys,how are you? really enjoying reading articles and adventures on this lovely boat. I have one technical question,regarding “blowby” test that you have done in the past when CCV filter was clogged,i have similar tester,on which units you have measured blow by?

    inHG,or inH2O?,bit confusing me that part..Thank you so much!

    • Different engines may use different crankcase pressure units but, on our John Deere 6068AFM75, the max crankcase pressure specification is listed in inches of water. So we set the manometer to show inH2O. We expect the maximum pressure readings of less than 1 inch of water and I typically see down below 0.2 inches of water when the RACOR CCV is in good condition. Of course, a key factor here is the engine is in good condition. As an engine wears, there will be more blow by and, as wear gets more serious, the volume can exceed the volume the RACOR CCV can handle and the crankcase pressure would then go up even with a new CCV element.

  3. Hey Hamiltons. Been reading your blog on and off for a couple years now, and we are actually going to be shipping our boat out east to spend next year doing the Great Loop, working full time in the process, so digging back through your tech history and general working-aboard-a-boat tips have been great.

    For our trip, I’m working on setting up our own blog, and completely failing to find anything either out of the box or requiring minimal modification for a map control (from the top of your blog) even vaguely as useful as yours. I dug into your source code a bit and it looks like you guys came to the same conclusion (back in 2012) and wrote a pile of your own code. I’m actually wondering if any of that is in a state that could be reused (even if I need to write my own KML-dumper in some fashion that it reads from) and you’d be willing to share it? :)

    Either way, thanks for keeping up on the blogging! Always fun to read about your adventures.

    • Years ago, we had a request to make the system available through the retail channel. At first glance this sounded exciting but we both come from a commercial software backgrounds so we both started think through what this would really mean. It would be massive amounts of work just to remove the dependencies on other software and hardware systems on board. And, once that was done, even more work to support it. Our eventual conclusion is we possibly couldn’t charge enough to cover all that work and we would rather spend our time at work making money or on the boat having fun enjoying our travels.

      The system is the product of 20 years of accreted features, changes, improvements, language changes, hardware updates, and it’s grown over time without focus on supportability, portability, or any thought of ever being deployed elsewhere. We will open source useful parts of the system that can be separated like the custom network router code but most of the system won’t see use beyond our boat.

      For the boat tracking map, I recommend using a commercial offering with embedable maps like Spot or Delorme.

      • I figured the map system was probably super integrated with the rest of your boat craziness. :) I had to ask, though. I’m currently using the embedded map with our Inreach, but it’s miserably bad and I’m going to definitely need to write at least a simple KML data transformer to make it less useless on the blog site. I’ll probably end up with a system just as tightly-knit as yours to service our blog in the end, though. Given that I already have a full time raspberry pi pulling data off N2k on the boat, I’ll probably just end up exporting that to the blog…

        • David said “Given that I already have a full time raspberry pi pulling data off N2k on the boat, I’ll probably just end up exporting that to the blog.” Yes, that’s exactly what we do on Dirona. We have all data pulled from the N2k bus every 5 seconds to be acted upon. A subset of that data is exported to show track data. If you already have a Raspberry Pi reading the data off the N2k bus you are a long way down the path. Well done!

  4. Bruce Bremer says:

    That aqueduct is fascinating! I wonder about those wind turbines- how long does it take for them to recoup their cost?

    • The investment recovery recovery time on a wind farm is dependent upon a wide variety of features from size of the turbine, scale of the farm, cost of the lease, turbine cost, the price of renewable power in the region, the weather at the turbine, possible tax benefits, service costs, etc. It’s really complex. I’ve seen credible claims in the 5 to 7 year range some claims that were far faster. But what I can say with certainty is that wind farm investments are currently skyrocketing so it’s clearly profitable.

  5. Steven Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    I can’t find the post I am thinking of but, didn’t you have a leak on that hose once before? I just remember it was a hose clamp on something that was also difficult to reach.

    Is there any way to replace that hose or part of it putting the clamps in a more reasonable spot to reach?

    Tied up in a Marina is probably about the best place you’ll ever find to work on it.

    • Yes, you’re right this is the second time I’ve gone after this one. The first time was right after the work was done where these hoses leaked on first use. I tightened them up and that was the end of it for 3 years. Now that they are tightened again, if it’s like other heavy coolant hoses I’ve worked around, I suspect I’ll not see more leaking but, since two of the clamps are excessively large and are now done up all the way, I may have to go back in there. Probably not and, given how hard it is, I really hope not. I think it would be close to impossible to new clamps on there installed and taking the hoses out would require draining the antifreeze and I suspect the hoses would need be replaced since, more often than not, they need to be cut off. I’m hoping we’re done with this one until the hoses need to be changed 7+ years from now.

      Clearance in this area is truly challenging and even removing the hoses is surprisingly difficult due to low clearance and the use of very large stiff hoses.

  6. John Hammond says:

    Hi James –
    Did you have any gunk around the check ball and seat in the Racor’s? This puzzled me for quite a while. I was shocked what was collected around the ball — debris from construction (FRP tanks).

    • No, there wasn’t any build up on the ball but all the fuel on our system first passes through a 25 micron RACOR FBO-10 so all the ugly stuff gets caught up in that first filter. We’ve found everything from pieces of metal, rust, and even a cockroach in the FBO-10. The RACOR 900s are downstream from there so mostly catch asphaltenes and other finer debris missed by the first filter.

  7. Rodney H Sumner says:

    Hi James
    Greetings from cold and snowy Niagara Falls, ON. Have you ever considered using a battery tender to cosset your new tender batteries (just realized the pun) during a cold winter with little use? I always use them when leaving my cars for a long time. Many sizes are available on Amazon. Also Happy Thanks Giving

    • A battery tender (trickle charger) is a good option but force you to run power up to the tender and plug it in. Not a show stopper but the approach we take is to just turn the battery switch off so the battery has no parasitic discharges and then once every 6 months we charge both the primary and the spare battery and test them. On this model, we usually get 4 years from a battery. I would prefer to get more but 4 years isn’t bad so we don’t worry much about it.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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