The boat that almost wasn’t is one of Nordhavn’s best yet
P.A.E. is celebrating the long-awaited arrival of the Nordhavn 68. The aft pilothouse-featured boat is another design success from Chief designer Jeff Leishman and is being hailed as one of the company’s most brilliant designs.
“She is stunning,” said P.A.E. president Dan Streech. “This boat is absolutely one of the most gorgeous Nordhavns we have produced to date.”
The N68 uses the same hull mold as her smaller sistership, the N64, yet her look is completely different. Modeled after the popular “salty” style of the 62, her design actually evolved per the influence of Ken Williams, who happens to be the owner of the first 68.
Williams and his wife Roberta, purchased their first Nordhavn, a 62-footer called Sans Souci, in 1999 and put thousands of miles on her cruising up and down the West Coast and throughout the Med. Sans Souci also served as a leader boat during the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. The Williams loved Sans Souci and were considering a remodel of her to better suit their needs. Ultimately, they wanted a stand-up engine room, greater overall interior volume, a flybridge and more exterior deck space – in essence, an over-the-top remodel that was virtually not possible. So they sold the 62 and placed an order for a new Nordhavn 64. But as they lay out the interior of the 64, they started feeling nostalgic for the lines of their 62. “I can’t justify this, but we really liked how the 62 looked,” said Ken. “We asked P.A.E. if it were possible to do the 64 as an aft pilothouse version. We liked the ‘cool factor’ of the aft pilothouse look.”
Initially, P.A.E. rejected the request because it would require too much altering of the deck molds. This sent the Williams into new boat limbo. They considered ordering a new 62 instead, went to other boat builders to see what was out there and in the end wound up back at Nordhavn to cancel their 64 order. But P.A.E. re-examined the Williams’ needs. “Being high profile people and long-time customers and friends of PAE, we felt compelled to design the perfect boat for the Williams,” said Dan Streech. Thus, the aft pilothouse Nordhavn 68 was born.
Although the 68 is fashioned from the same hull mold as the 64, Williams likens the boat more to that of a slightly smaller 76 based purely on looks and roominess.
It’s obvious much thought was put into this design, said Williams. And, in fact, it took more than two years after the concept was introduced to finalize plans, construct molds and complete production of the first hull. But Williams says his wish for a new Sans Souci was worth the wait. “Nordhavn has definitely outdone themselves on this boat.”
Streech and the rest of the company are glad they listened to the Williams, despite being resistant to the idea of the 68 at first. “Not only did we keep our friends Ken and Roberta in the PAE/Nordhavn family, we added a gorgeous new model to our line of Nordhavns.”
The 68 is available for inspection by appointment. If you are interested in getting an up-close look at Nordhavn’s latest genius design, contact your salesman or local sales office.