Monday, November 8, 2010

Ode to the Southern Cross

There are nights at sea when all you want to do is see the sunrise. Nights when you just hold on waiting for the next wave or blast of wind to shake your world. You just want it to end.

Then there are nights like tonight. There is no wind. The Pacific lives up to its name. The Milky Way blazes and is repeated in the surface of the sea. The horizon disappears as sea and sky blend into one. Any slight movement in the water—whether the slicing of the water as the boat drives forward or just the ripples on the surface—set off a light show of pixy dust. Countless microscopic critters glow and sparkle with any movement in the sea setting off their bioluminescence.

Everything is alive and glowing, yet all is at peace on the sea.

These are the nights sailors dream of. This is why we bash into head seas and put up with hanging onto to anything within reach just to get a cup of coffee or make it to the head.

Tonight, the Southern Cross is right in front of us near the horizon. Yes, the autopilot and GPS are taking us straight south to New Zealand, but it is easy to imagine the early sailors following the heavens on nights like this.

There is nothing around us that the sea doesn't provide. No boats on the radar no distant lights. As far as we can tell, there is not another person within hundreds of miles. It is so dark that the slightest light from our boat can break the spell, so I dim down the instruments and turn off the running lights. Now, the world around us seems to explode with pinpoints of light in the heavens and deep into the sea.

Ahead are the distant guiding stars. Behind us, our wake glitters and sparkles showing us we have been following a magic path. Soon, the first glow of the rising sun will break the spell. Luckily, these are the nights we remember.

—From the blog of Nordhavn 6409 Oso Blanco

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Nordhavn 120 emerges from mold

It's still two years from the launch of the first Nordhavn 120 but excitement took its first uptick last week when the hull was released from its mold at South Coast Marine in Xiamen, China, one of PAE's two partner factories in Asia.

Garrett Lambert, a Circumnavigator contributing editor, is conducting interviews about the 120 at PAE for the next edition of the magazine. Here are three excerpts:

PAE president Dan Streech: “The Nordhavn 120 will compete on the world super-yacht market with second-to-none quality, style, and pedigree. This boat will never be sold as a ‘bargain’, not even as a ‘good boat for the money’ or as a ‘best value boat’, even though it is all of those things. Rather, this boat will be presented as uncompromising from start to finish. Put more succinctly, she’s way, way over the top.”

Naval architect Jeff Leishman, her designer: “She’s not your typical 120-foot yacht. With her 28-foot beam she’s much closer to a 150-footer in weight and volume. And carrying 18,000 gallons of fuel, she’s a serious ocean-going expedition boat, yet she possesses the luxury of harbor cruisers.”

Project manager Trever Smith: “The Nordhavn 120 is all ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) certified. . . she’s a big, heavy, comfortable displacement hull boat with no inherent noise. She will provide a totally different feeling from semi-displacement boats in the same way a Rolls Royce distinguishes itself from lesser cars. Technically, she’s a different project than any other Nordhavn since it’s the company’s first cored hull, which produces more strength with less fiberglass. We hired an external structural engineering company to produce the lamination schedule. Similarly, we had an outside firm style the interior. Very contemporary, and very, very high end. She’s a proper 120 with no corners cut.”
For more photos of the birth of the N120, click here to reach

Monday, August 9, 2010

Failure isn't an option for this 13-year-old Nordhavn

Steven and Carol Argosy of the Nordhavn 62 Seabird (photo) are one of three Nordhavn couples who have buddy-boated from Alaska to Hong Kong via Russia and Japan in what they have dubbed the Great Siberian Sushi Run (GSSR).

On a two-day passage from the southernmost islands of Japan to the Ta Shing yard in Taiwan where the three boats were built, Steven reflected on what it means to be voyaging the world in a Nordhavn. Here's an excerpt from his blog:

Nordhavns are built to cruise in the most unimaginable conditions safely, but it doesn’t mean that it is perfectly comfortable and that we look forward to it or enjoy it. Sometimes you just get caught in the stuff even though the weather was supposed to be clear. Those are the times I am glad to be in a Nordhavn.

On long passages, you can encounter simply miserable weather for days at a time. Head seas with 25-30 knot winds may not seem like much when you are doing a 3- or 4-hour passage, but over a period of four or five days, the 7- to 10-foot seas that go along with that can wreak havoc on a lesser boat—not to mention the crew. For instance, after a day or so of constant pounding, cabinetry can start to deteriorate, drawer fronts fall off, refrigerators loosen from their mounts and all hell can break loose. Other things, like deck hardware, fittings and even your anchor mounts start to fall apart and windows can fail. Big “picture windows” in the pilothouse are great at the dock, and show well at boat shows, but in the real world, waves can hit and smash the ¼-inch glass flooding the pilothouse, pretty much dooming the boat.

There are a few manufacturers that are making big claims about their boats, but none of them can match the 4-million ocean miles that Nordhavns have gone. One in particular has been very vocal in criticizing Nordhavn, touting a new boat that they are producing as a better passagemaker, but without a single mile under its hull. Go figure. Like Dan Streech, PAE’s president, says, “Talk is cheap.”

I can tell you from experience that this 13-year-old boat has been pounded for days on end in simply awful conditions without a single structural failure. So, there!
Seabird has been traveling in the company of Braun and Tina Jones aboard the Nordhavn 62 Grey Pearl and Ken and Roberta Williams aboard the Nordhavn 68 Sans Souci.

Ken, as he is such a prolific blogger and author, is often see as the GSSR ringleader but the fact is that Roberta was instrumental in making the adventure happen when she sold Carol on the GSSR concept after Braun floated the idea. The next day, Ken and Steven learned from their wives that they were taking their Nordhavns to Asia via the Aleutians.

The inspiration for the GSSR comes from the experience of John and Veronica Kennelly who crossed the North Pacific via the Aleutians in the Nordhavn 62 Walkabout with their three children in 2007.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No getting away from Nordhavn

There seems to be no getting away from Nordhavn no matter where you travel.

Rebecca Crosgrey took a holiday from her work as Assistant to the Editor of Circumnavigator magazine and toured the Canadian Maritimes by auto with her husband. They were strolling the pier in Halifax when, lo and behold, two Nordhavns came into sight.

Chip and Kay Marsh with the Nordhavn 40 Beso and Jim and Marge Fuller aboard Summer Skis, a Nordhavn 43, (above photo) were pulling into port for a few days while on a cruise of Nova Scotia. After greeting the two Nordhavns and helping with lines, the Crosgreys continued on their way—but saw no more Nordhavns.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Commissioning Eliana, Nordhavn 76 # 17

The photo shows how the helm station aboard Nordhavn 76 Eliana looks 10 days into the commissioning process at the PAE docks in Dana Point, California. We'll post another photo when the work has been completed.

Eliana's owner, Rick Heiniger, is providing updates on the commissioning and answering questions on his informative blog. It's a must-read for anyone planning to purchase and commission a new Nordhavn.

Eliana will be featured in an upcoming Circumnavigator on account of its outstanding interior designed by Scott Cole of Ardeo Design.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Four Nordhavns jump the Pacific

One of the nicest jobs at Circumnavigator magazine is keeping an eye on the blogs of Nordhavns out there are voyaging the world. There are many excellent blogs maintained by Nordhavn owners but one of our favorites is Cruising with Oso Blanco written by Eric and Ann Bloomquist about cruising with young son Bear.

Eric and Annie have a way with words, and a sense of humor, that has us looking forward to each new post about life aboard Oso Blanco. We first encountered the Bloomquists when Bear was a toddler. Then the first Oso Blanco was a Nordhavn 40. As Bear grew, so did the Nordhavn, with the second being a 47. Bear now is eight and the third Nordhavn is a 64. That's Bear shown with a friend in the Marquesas.

Click here for Annie's post about swimming with sharks in the Marquesas in French Polynesia after a non-stop passage of 15 days 20 hours covering 2,714 nautical miles from Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. That's Oso Blanco anchored in paradise in the top photo. (Click on any image for a larger view.)

Two other PAE trawler yachts made the same passage—billed as Pacific Puddle Jump by Latitude 38—this spring:

Another, Nordhavn 46 Emily Grace, made a longer passage to the Marquesas, steaming 2,905 miles from Galapagos in 21 days.

Coincidentally, the magazine we're currently working on—Circumnavigator 2011 that will be out in September—has been labeled the adventure edition. You could say Nordhavn is just another way to spell adventure.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Zulu leads the good life aboard Kanaloa

Zulu, the first Norfolk terrier to circumnavigate the world under power, has learned to write. His first newsletter, It's a Wonderful Life, is a charming account of how much Zulu enjoys the cruising life in the South Pacific aboard Kanaloa, the well-traveled Nordhavn 46 owned by his parents, Heidi and Wolfgang Hass.

Click here to download the newsletter as a PDF.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

See Nordhavn in Miami

One of the best boats shows in the world takes place in Greater Miami from February 11 to 15. Actually, there are two shows—and Nordhavn will be on display at both events.

At the Miami International Boat Show, Nordhavn will show a Nordhavn 47 (photo) in Slip 318 at Sealine Marina. At the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, Ramp 16 on Indian Creek Waterway at Collins Avenue, you'll be able to see the new Nordhavn 75 Expedition Yachtfisher and the venerable Nordhavn 62.

In Miami, Nordhavn will unveil its all-new design for a contemporary-styled 78-foot luxury passagemaker. Dan Streech and Jim Leishman, co-founders of Pacific Asian Enterprises and creators of the Nordhavn make, will be on deck.

See you in Miami!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stylish new 78-footer from Nordhavn

You’re in the market for a world-class, travel-anywhere motor yacht, you appreciate a boatbuilder with deep expertise in engineering and proven prowess on the oceans of the world, but you can’t quite get your head around the industrial-grade, expedition-look of Nordhavns?

Pacific Asian Enterprises has just the boat for you: the stylish Nordhavn 78, a new design that fuses ocean-crossing capability with European styling in a pretty passagemaker. Click on the above image for a larger view.

“This design will appeal to a whole faction of clientele who tend not to prefer the traditional expedition-type look of a Nordhavn,” says Jim Leishman, PAE’s co-founder. “The N78 will evoke a contemporary European feel without losing the dynamic of being a Nordhavn.”

Key to the design is the emphasis Jeff Leishman, PAE’s chief designer, has placed on outdoor living, starting with the flying bridge. The new 78 will feature a Jacuzzi, wet bar, barbecue and a large open deck area perfect for entertaining. Meanwhile, the foredeck—a typical lounging hotspot on most European boats—has been designated the ideal outdoor “chilling space.” The cockpit of the 78 has been opened up, too, to further enhance entertaining possibilities.

The Nordhavn 78 will come equipped with twin 425-horsepower engines, have ocean-crossing capabilities with a range of 3,000+ miles and superior fuel efficiency. The interior will feature an updated, modern design aesthetic that includes sumptuous owners’ accommodations and two superb guest rooms all with en suite heads, as well as crew quarters and off-watch quarters.

Although the lines of the new 78 will have a European flair, PAE feels the yacht will appeal to international and American markets alike. “The beauty of this design is that it’s a Nordhavn, so you’ve got comfort and confidence while under way, but the benefits will be realized when you’re not passagemaking,” notes Nordhavn Europe’s Philip Roach. “The added elements will really allow you to enjoy your time on board once you’ve arrived.”

The first 78-footer will be launched in 2011. For additional information, visit and watch for a full-blown preview in the next Circumnavigator.