Adventures in Dirona

Nordhavn trawlerIt's all about the adventure and the story for boating authors and explorers James and Jennifer Hamilton of Seattle, Washington. For years they harbored a dream of complete flexibility and leaving at a moment's notice to go off the beaten path, traveling to unusual places. That dream was realized on the M/V Dirona, a 15.8 meter (52 ft) Nordhavn yacht the couple now lives on permanently.

After living on a 12-meter (40 ft) trawler for a year, James and Jennifer grew to enjoy the live aboard lifestyle and decided to sell their house and car to take permanent residence on a Nordhavn 52 yacht. Aboard their boat the couple is able to dwell in all the comforts of home with the safety, security, and range to travel far and wide.

"Since this is our only home, having a washer, dryer, and dishwasher is important to us," James says. "We love cruising secluded locations, so having sufficient space for items like a generator, large freezer, and life raft matters to us."

The Hamiltons plan to go the distance with their Nordhavn. "The Nordhavn is very seaworthy; it carries a lot of fuel, and it is a proven world cruiser. They can — and frequently do — cross oceans, and many have circled the globe," James says.

And to travel the globe, the Hamiltons were looking for a strong, fuel-efficient engine to lengthen their range.

James also likes the engine's efficiency. "Although some people don't want an electric engine, I do. The efficiency of an electric, high-pressure common-rail engine is very attractive to us. It also has the added benefit of being better for the environment. The engine is quiet and doesn't smoke at cold start."

All of these benefits add up in their home on the open water. The Hamiltons designed and built their Nordhavn to have all of the comforts they required for a future retirement home without sacrificing the ability to cruise long distance.

Lately, the couple has set their sights on Dutch Harbor, Alaska, home of the fishing fleets. Jennifer Hamilton also wants to head south to visit Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave in Grytviken, South Georgia, in the Antarctic.

"We wanted the ability to go anywhere in the world without constraint," James says. "Now we have that flexibility, and when we decide to retire we'll be able to leave the next day."

We wanted the ability to go anywhere in the world without constraint.

James Hamilton
Seattle, Washington