One of the newest Nordhavns to be delivered was officially introduced to the world this past weekend with a jubilant and fun-filled christening party, hosted by her owners Chris and Eileen Roehrig at their home port in Oyster Bay, NY. A not-quite-raucous gathering of hearty tug boat captains and other salts of the New York Harbor helped the Roehrigs celebrate the dedication of their gorgeous Tugnacious, Nordhavn 76 hull #26. My wife and I flew up from Florida last Friday afternoon, excited to be among the 60 or so revelers in tow (pun intended…more on that later) and soaked up the lively atmosphere. Eileen described Tugnacious as “bodacious” and boy, is she ever – accommodating the whole group of us on board.
The name Tugnacious…an unusual name, for sure, but totally fitting. The word is an homage to the tug boat business Chris has been a part of the past several decades as both a captain and owner of a boat towing company. His Nordhavn 76 reminds him of the boats he spent a lifetime working on: salty, stout, workhorses. Unable to completely dismiss tug life out of his system, he and Eileen now will be able to spend their retirement aboard their new luxurious “tug”.
I’ve known the Roehrigs for well over two years now – from the time they signed their contract – and worked with them as project manager over the course of their build. Stories of the rigors of life in the arena of Hudson River tugs and tows abounded. Many on the guestlist came from Chris’ world and were clearly impressed with his choice for a pleasure yacht. Naturally, they spent as much time admiring the machinery and the massive engine room as they did enjoying cocktails on the exterior decks. The saloon and galley were filled with patient invitees waiting to snag gourmet snacks created by two Nassau County farm-to-table chefs.
The party was in full force and if you didn’t stop to think about the cause for celebration, the significance of it all might easily have been overlooked. Chris and Eileen have dedicated the last 20 years to working hard in their jobs and as parents, but it was all building to a moment, this moment. With their two grown children looking on, Eileen made a heartfelt speech about the new chapter in their lives Tugnacious was about to usher in. Trying to keep his emotions in check – probably for fear he might get heckled by his equally boisterous tug colleagues – Chris nonetheless gave a poignant toast to his yacht, the culmination of a lifelong dream.
After the speeches and a gift exchange, Eileen ceremoniously smashed the champagne bottle over the bow and officially christened Tugnacious. The time has come for the Roehrigs to once again conquer the Hudson River and, certainly, beyond.