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Friday, December 29, 2017

N6837 Basics

Our Nordhavn 68 will be hull number 37, so in common shorthand, N6837.  Here are basic specs, and some of the things that we have done differently.  Later posts will dig into this in much more detail, but for now we can cover the basics.
  • First I should say that our prime objective was to optimize for how we use the boat 90% of the time.  That means the salon, galley, master stateroom, master head, pilot house, and engine room.  Other space matters, but not at the expense of the primary space.  We had to remind ourselves of this a couple times during the process, and will probably have to do so again before we are done.
  • We picked the wide-body, or asymmetric layout.  That means there is a walkway down the stbd side of the boat, but not the port side.  Instead, the salon extends the full width of the boat on the port side.  The alternative is a walk-around, or symmetric layout where there are walkways on both sides, and a correspondingly narrower salon.  The walk-around is convenient for boat handling on the port side, but we have an alternate solution to that challenge that you will hear about in a minute.  Recalling the prime objective, we felt that more space in the salon was more important, so wide body.
  • We are going with the aft pilot house configuration.  Almost all the 68s are aft pilot house, but there are a handful of forward pilot house variants.  Again, it's about optimizing for the primary space that we use day in and day out.
  • Once again we are going with a single main engine plus wing engine.  There are lots of good arguments in the twin vs single debate, and I don't think any right answer.  We have had both, and each has its benefits over the other.  For us, a little more space in the ER, plus a little better fuel economy leading to longer range were the deciding factors.
  • This time we are going with wet exhaust rather than dry.  Like with twins vs single, there are lots of good arguments in favor of both.  On the 68, we prefer to sacrifice ER and laz space for exhaust piping rather than interior space, so decided to go wet this time.
  • Like on the 60, we are adding the extended swim platform.  We use the 60 platform extensively for kayak launching and temporary storage, and want to do the same on the 68.
 We are also doing a few things that are deviations from the norm.  Some are just important to us personally in how we use the boat, and others I think represent trends in the boating industry that are destine to be the new norm in time.
  • We are building a large inverter system (13kw) that can carry large loads, and can do load assist and load leveling for a generator.  This allows for smaller generators than are normally used since the inverters can aid in powering short-term loads that otherwise exceed the generator capacity.  This allows the generators to be sized for sustained heavy loads rather than momentary peak loads.  It also allows for a wider range of appliance use while underway and at anchor when a generator is not running.
  • We will be using Lithium batteries for the house battery bank.  LiFePO4 batteries, to be specific, with the exact brand and capacity still to be determined.  But I am certain these are the future for house banks, so we are taking the plunge.
  • The 68 normally does not have any direct access from the cockpit up to the pilot house level deck.  To get up there, you either go through the interior and out a pilot house door, or you walk around the starboard side walkway up to the fore deck, then back through to the Portuguese bridge and around to the deck.  It's not really conducive to quickly walking the port side of the boat for various boat handling operations.  A narrow body boat with walkway solves the problem, but you don't have that on a wide body.  Our solution was to borrow from the 60, and add a staircase from the cockpit up to the pilot house deck.  With that, you can walk the whole length of the port side without having to stop and backtrack around the other side of the boat.  The staircase also creates a large storage locker which is very useful.
  • The fly bridge on the 68 is normally accessed from the interior of the pilot house up a flight of stairs.  Instead we wanted exterior access.  So we have another exterior stair case (open this time) from the PH deck up to the fly bridge.  This also opens up a bunch of space in the PH.
  • Initially we had a captain's cabin behind the PH, but we found ourselves struggling to make space for the cabin, and struggling to make space in the PH.  Then we remembered the prime object.  When underway, the pilot house is like the proverbial kitchen in a house - it's where everyone gathers.  What we really wanted was a spacious, comfortable pilot house with great visibility.  So we ditched the cabin and opened up the pilot house.  There is still a day head and a little jump bed for reading and napping, but that's all.  And we now have neatly 360 deg visibility which is a huge bonus for taking in the sights.
  • For the main engine, we are going with a Scania DI-13 instead of the more common John Deere.  More on this later, including the other alternatives considered.
I think those are the highlights.  More to come over time....