Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Circumnavigator goes interactive

A digital edition of the 2010 issue of Circumnavigator now is available. Click here to read it online or download to your desktop.

A digital edition is quite an improvement over a PDF version of the magazine.

One of the significant advantages of the digital version is that all links to websites are active. Just hover your cursor over a website address anywhere in the magazine and you'll see the URL appear. Just click on it and away you go.

The other neat thing is that the Contents pages are interactive.

When you have the digital edition open on your screen, try out the menus across the top—Contents, Pages, Archives et al—to experience the full power of the medium.

The digital edition will enable us to introduce video clips and sound in future magazines—a feature that will be included in the 2011 issue that will appear in the fall of 2010.

Earlier editions will soon be digitized and available here and at

There are no plans to end the print edition anytime soon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A fourth Nordhavn for adventurer-filmmaker Sprague Theobald

No sooner had Sprague Theobald (right) completed his transit of the Northwest Passage with Bagan, his faithful Nordhavn 57, when he placed an order for hull #3 in the new Nordhavn 63 series.

He told us he loves the 57 but with further adventures in mind, he needs a larger boat so he can have a dedicated video editing studio aboard. PAE is designing the space into the new boat.

The 63 will be the fourth Nordhavn Sprague has owned. After the way the 57 came through when ice crunched all around her for days, there was no question in Sprague's mind about where to shop for his next passagemaker.

Bagan is for sale in Seattle while from back home in Newport, Rhode Island, Sprague is in discussions with several television networks about the documentary he shot while in the Arctic.

Visit Trawlers & Trawlering for a report on his great adventure. Check out the trailer for the upcoming film on Sprague's own site. Watch for the next Circumnavigator for a full feature on the transit by the first production powerboat.

That's a rendering of the new 63 in our banner above. We cannot tell you how much we look forward to sea-trialing this beauty from the board of Jeff Leishman at PAE.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Passion endures

Eight of the 13 Nordhavns at the Southwest Rendezvous raft up in front of Dana Point Yacht Club.

The economy may be down but the passion for all things Nordhavn continues to run high.

More than 200 owners and would-be owners showed up for last weekend's Southwest Nordhavn Rendezvous in Dana Point, California, where PAE is headquartered, for a program of featured presentations, seminars, boat tours, vendor displays, eats and drinks.

It was great to make new friends and renew acquaintances such as Jim and Susy Sink, first to circumnavigate in a Nordhavn, Eric and Christi Grab, the newest circumnavigators in a Nordhavn, Sprague Theobald, who transited the Northwest Passage with his Nordhavn last summer, and Ken Williams, who led three Nordhavns across the North Pacific from Alaska to Japan this year.

Go to for more photos and a report on the event. See also the commentary on the rendezvous posted by Ken Williams on his blog.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sound advice for Nordhavn Dreamers

Judy and Milt Baker cool off in mid-Atlantic while en route to Europe.

If you're interested in someday owning a Nordhavn, you should join Nordhavn Dreamers, a Yahoo discussion group started by Callum McCormick.

Circumnavigator senior contributing editor Milt Baker recently posted a message that everyone with Nordhavn aspirations should read and heed:

Circumnavigators Lin and Larry Pardey have spent their lives living and cruising in small boats. They got it right when they said this in one of their early books:

"Go small, go simple, go now!"

Cruising in a Nordhavn is terrific, a truly wonderful experience. But it isn't necessary or even desirable to wait until you can afford a Nordhavn to go cruising. Buy a smaller, simpler boat as your "learning boat," and spend time fixing her up, maintaining her, and, most of all, gaining experience cruising her. If you buy a quality brand in good repair to start with, your efforts will be repaid many times over and you'll gain the experience to (a) pick a better Nordhavn (new or used) when the time comes, (b) become self-sufficient operating and maintaining your Nordhavn, and (c) truly enjoy your cruising your Nordhavn far and wide.

Judy and I bought our first yacht, a Tupperware 22-footer, more than 30 years ago. Since then, we've owned a three sailing yachts and four motor yachts and have cruised them near and far, a total of over 100,000 miles. We've made just about every mistake a cruiser can make but we've enjoyed the trip and it's been a great and learning experience. By the time we could afford a Nordhavn we had a well-defined and tightly focused idea what we wanted in an ocean-crossing power boat and how it ought to be outfitted. Since taking delivery of Bluewater four years ago, we've tested her on intracoastal, coastal and offshore passages, cruised the Bahamas and the Caribbean, crossed an ocean, cruised the Eastern Seaboard and the Mediterranean, and four years later are still happily cruising the boat six months a year. We've put about 22,000 miles and 3,300 engine hours on her and we look forward to a lot more.

In case the message of this little sermon isn't clear, let me be succinct. Don't wait for the perfect boat because it exists only in your mind. If you cannot afford a Nordhavn, buy another good yacht that you can afford, then get out there and start cruising. Do that and you and your admiral will likely learn a great deal and enjoy the experience. If you do enjoy it like so many of us do, you'll find a way to work your way up to larger, more capable yachts. If you don't, you're not out much money!

But if you don't get out there and do it sooner rather than later, you're putting the whole dream at risk. So get moving!

--Milt Baker, Nordhavn 47 Bluewater, Hilton Head Island

The Nordhavn 47 Bluewater was the lead boat for MedBound 2007 organized by the Bakers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Northwest Passage challenge under way

The Nordhavn 57 Bagan is being prepared for an attempt on the Northwest Passage.

When you read Sprague Theobald's candid blog, you sense the challenge of transiting the treacherous Northwest Passage is well under way--even though he hasn't left the dock yet.

Worries are many, sponsorships are few, expenses are mounting, there are lists for the lists of things to do before departure on June 15 from Newport, Rhode Island. Relentlessly, Spraque and his crew are pushing forward, preparing his Nordhavn 57 Bagan for the Northwest Passage and circumnavigation of North America.

Here's where to follow the great adventure as it unfolds. A Q&A interview with Sprague appears at Trawlers & Trawlering.

If you're anywhere near Newport, the official Nordhavn send-off party will take place at Goat Island on June 12, 7-11 p.m.

The upcoming edition of Circumnavigator will be going to press soon after Bagan departs for the Arctic, so our feature coverage of the voyage will appear in the following issue.

Bagan is going to have company in the Northwest Passage as there are six yachts in all aiming to transit the top of North America this summer. Only two, Bagan and Polar Bound, are motor vessels.

David Scott Cowper
Polar Bound
Custom 48-foot trawler yacht (power)

Tommy Cook
Capt’n Lem
Corsair F-31 UC (sail)

Cameron Dueck
Silent Sound
Amor 40 (sail)

Eric Forsyth
Fiona (sail)

Mark Schrader
Ocean Watch
Custom 64-foot cutter (sail)

Blake August, a Circumnavigator contributing editor, is tracking all participants in Northwest Passage 2009 in a thread at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Second Nordhavn Yachtfisher arrives

You can taste the anticipation in the air in the editorial office at Circumnavigator magazine. We are less than 60 days away from spending time at sea aboard the revolutionary new Nordhavn 75 Expedition Yachtfisher!

Hull #1 is shown above in Newport Harbor, California, starting one of many sea-trials needed to get all systems working on a new yacht such as this beauty.

Meanwhile, on the right coast, Hull #2 has arrived, as reported by PAE's Jennifer Stern:

The second Nordhavn 75 Expedition Yachtfisher arrived from the factory on March 10 and was offloaded at Port Everglades in Miami and brought up the coast to our Southeast service yard in Stuart, Florida.

Despite the interior being covered in cardboard and minus all the electronics, rods and other specialty items her owner ordered up for her, the EYF drew slack-jawed gazes from those watching on land as well as from fellow boaters who passed her by in the water.

“The boat is just amazing,” says Nordhavn vice-president Jim Leishman, who rode hull #1 in San Diego. “You can look at pictures of her and tell that she’s a pretty boat. But nothing beats seeing the Yachtfisher in person. The impression you get stepping on her and seeing her with your own eyes is not justified by a photo.”

Luckily for fans of the EYF, there will be ample opportunity to climb aboard and check out the revolutionary long-range yachtfisher in the flesh. The powder blue-hulled #2 boat will make its public debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, March 26-29. Leishman—the EYF is his brainchild—will be in Palm Beach at the Nordhavn display (Slip 217) fielding questions about the new launch. He’ll be joined by his brother, Jeff Leishman, Nordhavn’s Chief of Design, and the one responsible for creating the gorgeous lines of this remarkable boat.

For those who can’t make it to the east coast, there’s opportunity to see the Yachtfisher at the forthcoming Open House slated April 25 at Nordhavn’s Newport Beach, California, office. The Open House is by invitation only, so be sure to contact PAE in order to secure your invite.

Nordhavn has taken what it does best—build long-range luxury expedition yachts—and incorporated all the fishing features and rigging found on tournament sportfishers to create a yacht that can truly go after any fish in the world. An enormous fishing cockpit, dual 60-gallon bait wells, a 35-cubic-foot deep freezer, plentiful gear and tackle storage, and all the rod holders and rigging a deep-sea angler could ever want top a long list of fishing features.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kiwis greet Egret's intrepid crew

Egret and New Paige, shown at left, were joined by Southern Star at the gathering of Nordhavn faithful in Auckland.

More than 70 guests gathered at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland to greet world travelers and Circumnavigator contributors Scott and Mary Flanders recently.

The party was not only an opportunity to congratulate the Flanders on completing the final leg of their two-year journey on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, that started September ’06 in Gibraltar, it was the chance for Kiwis to extend a warm welcome to the couple whose adventures they have been tracking on the Web, and actually pick their brains in person about voyaging the world aboard a Nordhavn.

Hosted by Nordhavn’s Australian affiliate office, the day brought together cruising enthusiasts and boating media alike—all who wanted to find out what it's like to pick up everything and just go. Until now, fans have had to rely on the Voyage of Egret blog to glean their information about the traveling couple.

With the picturesque Auckland Harbour as a backdrop, the day began with a slide show of the Flanders’ various stops which guests took in while nibbling on hors-d’oeuvres. Afterward, the guests of honor were introduced and talked plain and simply about what it is they’ve done, how they went about doing it, and how anyone in the crowd gathered there that day could embark on the same path.

As an added bonus, Nordhavn 55 owners Roger and Joan Allard—along with daughter, Kimberly—were also on hand to field the group’s questions. The Allards, also global cruisers, tag-teamed with Egret to New Zealand since both landed in Tahiti last June. The Allards spoke about communication with the real world, maintaining and enhancing relationships, and in Kimberly’s case, how to manage education.

As questions shifted toward boat operation and performance, the party migrated down to the docks, where a visual could really be had. Here guests were treated to a virtual history lesson of Nordhavn by climbing aboard the 46, the first model of the line, then stepping on to New Paige, light years ahead in design, systems and space utilization and flow. A third Nordhavn, the 47-foot Southern Star owned by Peter and Angela Mott based in Auckland, provided the gathering with still another comparison. Many commented on the generous size of the N47, as she lay alongside Scott and Mary’s earlier model Nordhavn 46.

As the afternoon drew to a close, many attendees exchanged contact details, and offered Scott and Mary and the Allards true New Zealand hospitality as they continue to cruise the pristine waters of a beautiful country.

From the left, Scott and Mary Flanders; Roger, Kimberly and Joan Allard; Peter and Angela Mott.

In the next edition of Circumnavigator, Scott and Mary will report on island-hopping across the Pacific from Chile to Tahiti on a route seldom followed by powerboats. In the last edition, Kimberly Allard was featured in a story on families who have owned more than one Nordhavn.