Out of the mold

Our next boat came out of the mold a few weeks back at the South Coast Marine shipyard in Xiamen, China. The yard is efficient in moving the big molds and hulls around. The time between the first picture and the last in the first set below is less than an hour.




The interior has begun to take shape as bulkheads are installed. The bottom photos show the port-side fuel tank. The forward section of the fuel tank, with a gap below, is an extension that gives the Nordhavn 52 an extra 100 gallons per side over the 47.




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10 comments on “Out of the mold
  1. Reports from current owners suggest that 10HP thrusters for and aft on 47s is quite adequate. I suspect the same is true for a 52 but we have no experience yet. All more HP gives you is the potential to help you in close quarters docking situations in worse weather conditions. Mostly personal choice.

    James Hamilton

  2. Rusty says:

    James –

    Thanks … that all makes sense and I can see the advantages of your approach. Are there any unique advantages of having the extra power one can configure with hydraulic thrusters? I see you are going to have 18 hp ones while the typical electric thruster setup on a N47 is 9-11 hp.

    Sorry for all the basic questions … I have only small boat experience so I’m trying to educate myself by reading books and visiting blogs to learn about real life experiences.

  3. That is the potential downside. If we were to use the main engine, the problem is that the two 18HP thrusters draw more power than it can supply at idle. Having to run the main engine at higher RPM doesn’t work well during docking. Alternating between prop maneuvers at low speed and thruster maneuvers at higher speed would be clumsy. So, using the wing works well in this configuration and has the upside of having the wing engine used more frequently.

    You are right that the wing engine should be brought up to full operating temp at least once at end of day if it is started that day.

    James Hamilton, N5263

  4. Rusty says:

    James –

    As you mentioned using the wing engine to run the thruster hydraulics will mean that it is used on a regular basis. That is clearly a good idea, because otherwise the wing engine will only be used for testing or if there is a problem with the main engine.

    But does the relatively short run time required for this task present any problems for the wing engine? I have read that diesels like to be run under load and reach their regular operating temperature so that the oil does not get full of contaminants. Is this something to worry about? Thanks ….

  5. Hydraulics are definitely more expensive than electric thrusters on any boat. Most folks argue that unless you are using the boat daily in commercial use, it’s not worth it. For most usage, electric thrusters will outlive the boat. And for any but the hardest use, they are unlikely to cut out. However, hydraulic thrusters are technically better and will be longer lived under heavy use. They come in much larger sizes and can be run continuously without problem. The question for all of us is “do we need it”? Most feel electrics are fine and very serviceable and some argue that they don’t need thrusters at all.

    I can’t say that hydraulics are better value than electric thrusters but they were worth the extra money for us. I very much doubt we’ll regret the decision.

    Rough numbers they will be somewhere between 1.75x and 2x the cost of good electrics. Putting thrusters on a 52 (or a 47) is far less expensive than putting hydraulics on a 55 but will be more than electrics no matter what model you are looking at.


  6. Rusty says:

    James –

    I like your approach of using the wing engine to power the hydraulics for the thrusters. In the Nordhavn Dreamers blog a recent discussion outlined that adding hydraulic thrusters for a N55 required an upgrade to the main engine which made the option very expensive compared to standard electric thrusters. Does using the the wing engine keep the cost comparable to electronic thrusters on an N52 or is it also much more costly.

    Thanks …

  7. Thanks for the comment Rusty. If you aren’t already talking to a salesman at Nordhavn, I strongly recommend Jeff Merrill from the Dana Point office. Even if you aren’t ready to buy, he’ll be more than happy to help. He worked with us for 6 or 7 years before we placed our order.

    James Hamilton

  8. Tom, Nordhavn’s do indeed have a wing engine option and most are purchased with one. Ours will have a 40HP Lugger L844D wing engine driving its own shaft with a folding propeller. The wing also runs the hydraulic bow and stern thruster and the windlass ensuring that its run frequently and is always ready to go.

    James Hamilton

  9. Rusty says:

    Thanks for the photos and info on your new N52. I am hoping an N52 is in my future too so I find the your posts very interesting.


  10. Tom says:

    I thought I posted this on your post about the engines, but maybe I messed up the captcha. Does this Nordhavn come with the wing engine option? If so, are you going to get one?

    It is looking really amazing!

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