Nordkyn Design - Featured Articles
Transverse Stability, Part 4: Sailing Yachts at Sea

Transverse Stability, Part 4: Sailing Yachts at Sea

This article follows Transverse Stability, Part 3: Dynamic Stability Part 3 of this series dealt with changes in transverse stability taking place once a vessel starts travelling through the water. This article discusses the way the stability of sailing yachts can be challenged at sea as a result of wave action. Wave action doesn’t reduce […]

Protection and Management of Marine Lithium Battery Banks

Protection and Management of Marine Lithium Battery Banks

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. This article discusses the protection of lithium battery banks in the context of marine installations. A previous article detailed the design […]

Electrical Design For a Marine Lithium Battery Bank

Electrical Design For a Marine Lithium Battery Bank

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. Integrating a lithium battery bank on board a vessel introduces a few additional constraints and challenges that don’t exist with lead-acid […]

Assembling a Lithium Iron Phosphate Marine House Bank

Assembling a Lithium Iron Phosphate Marine House Bank

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. Here, we detail the hands-on process of building a lithium battery bank from individual single prismatic cells. There is more to […]

Practical Characteristics of Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Cells

Practical Characteristics of Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Cells

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. Batteries are about voltage, current and capacity first and foremost. This article discusses the performance characteristics of lithium iron phosphate cells […]

Lithium Battery Banks – Fundamentals

Lithium Battery Banks – Fundamentals

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. Hundreds, if not more, of research papers have been published about lithium batteries, as well as numerous books. Still, a lot […]

From Lead-Acid to Lithium: New Battery Technology for Power on Board

From Lead-Acid to Lithium: New Battery Technology for Power on Board

This article is part of a series dealing with building best-in-class lithium battery systems from bare cells, primarily for marine use, but a lot of this material finds relevance for low-voltage off-grid systems as well. The development and mass-manufacturing in recent years of large-size lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles and grid-tied electricity storage has made […]

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Too Fast on the Run

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Too Fast on the Run

This article is a follow-up from Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas published some months ago. It has since become one the most read items on this site. While the original article applied to most sea-going monohulls, the following discusses more specifically fast modern hulls, or yachts in very fast following seas, such as can […]

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Upwind Sailing, Windage and Resistance

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Upwind Sailing, Windage and Resistance

With tropical cruising becoming increasingly popular and accessible in the last 2-3 decades, trends have developed in outfitting yachts for ocean cruising. Some of these trends that originated from sailing in moderate settled weather areas have resulted in significantly increased risks when a vessel is caught in severe conditions. Many of today’s cruising yachts, whether […]

Collision Avoidance at Sea: AIS Alarm Project

Collision Avoidance at Sea: AIS Alarm Project

AIS, for Automated Identification System, is probably the most remarkable safety improvement in decades for small craft offshore. The little project presented here involved designing and building a simple, very low power alarm system to keep an AIS watch at sea. Collision Avoidance at Sea Avoiding undesirable encounters with ships in mid-ocean has always been a […]

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas

This article deals with some of the physics involved when a yacht is running before the sea, especially in heavy weather when waves are long and their front faces become steep. Yachts running in heavy weather and following seas face challenges that are very dependent on the characteristics of the design; the ability of the crew […]

LED Lighting on Board

LED Lighting on Board

One of the largest technological differences between fitting out the sloop Yarra in the early 1990s and launching the Nordkyn design in 2010 was the transition from halogen to LED lighting. The performance and quality of LED lights was evolving so rapidly that I literally deferred purchasing light fittings until the last moment.The following sums […]

Marine LED Lighting: Regulated and Unregulated Lights

Marine LED Lighting: Regulated and Unregulated Lights

There are lots of LED light fittings out on the market within a very broad price range. One can readily distinguish two classes of LED lights: Current regulated: those light fittings usually accept a wide range of supply voltages. Unregulated: the light must be operated close to a nominal voltage only. In order to operate […]

Essentials of Wave Theory

Essentials of Wave Theory

Wave theory is quite extensive and complex, but only a very small amount of knowledge about waves is essential to sailors to anticipate the risks that can arise from waves for small crafts. Waves are generated by the wind. There is a relation between fetch, wind speed and the maximum wave height that will result over […]

The 1885 Presto Hull Design

The 1885 Presto Hull Design

The Presto design was developed by Commodore Munroe in the 1880s on the US Atlantic Coast. The boats sailed up and down the coast some distance offshore and were confronted by the frontal weather systems and the influence of the Gulf Stream found in that part of the world. The first time I came across […]

Building Your Own Boat

Building Your Own Boat

Over the years, I have come across many private boatbuilders and projects. People broadly subdivide into two categories: builders and sailors. Sailors are those who have sailed quite extensively before and build a boat as a mean to go back to sea again. Those achieve very high rates of completion and usually keep to acceptable timeframes; […]

The Cost of Yacht Building

The Cost of Yacht Building

Yacht building costs break-down in material costs, labour and some ancillary costs that don’t contribute to the final product, but can’t be eliminated either, like leasing space or equipment. There are different ways of undertaking the construction of a yacht, but the basic cost components remain the same, the difference is the extent to which […]

Inverted Stability: Once Upside Down

Inverted Stability: Once Upside Down

Inverted stability applies when a yacht remains upside down. It is a rare, but not unknown event and one situation where some understanding of yacht design and stability can become of crucial importance at sea. Two main scenarios lead to capsize: Loss of the keel or ballast Yacht rolled by a breaking sea and remaining […]

Transverse Stability, Part 3: Dynamic Stability

Transverse Stability, Part 3: Dynamic Stability

This article follows Transverse Stability, Part 2: Stability Curve and Knock-Down Energy If you are looking for information regarding the stability of monohull yachts hit or capsized in beam seas, the subject is treated in the next part, Transverse Stability, Part 4: Sailing Yachts at Sea. In the case of monohulls, regardless of the type […]

Marinised Truck Engines in Pleasure Boats

Marinised Truck Engines in Pleasure Boats

The starting point is always the same: marine engines tend to be expensive, second-hand automotive or transportation-type diesels can be obtained for very little due to over-abundance of supply… Both are seemingly doing the same, converting diesel fuel into mechanical power – and noise – and look so similar in nature that the temptation is often […]