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.