After departing Ensenada, Mexico on March 12, Nordhavn 55 Tesoro headed almost 3,000 nm southwest to the Marquesas Islands, arriving in Hiva Oa 17 days later. It was the 161st documented ocean crossing by a Nordhavn, over a stretch of Pacific Ocean that Nordhavn president Dan Streech calls among the most “dramatic” passages there is. A route comprised almost entirely of open ocean, Streech emphasizes: “There is no plan B on this passage. A sturdy, reliable boat and proper preparation are essential to its success.”
Dozens of Nordhavns have attempted the route and each one has been successful because Nordhavns are purpose-built especially for trips of this nature. More commonly tackled by sailboats where range is not an issue, the remote passage from North America to the South Pacific requires motoryacht owners to be conscious of fuel burn. Tesoro’s owners, Joe Salomone and Patti Shaw, kept a detailed fuel burn log to illustrate how the Nordhavn 55 handled the especially long route.
Tesoro holds 2,310 gallons of fuel in her 4 integral tanks. Additionally, the owners carried 510 gallons of fuel in bladders. Traveling at an average speed of 6.9 knots, Tesoro burned an average 4.28/gph and arrived with 21.8% fuel reserve left in the tanks alone. (The reserve was 36% when factoring in the bladder-stored fuel.) See the detailed report here.
The fuel burn figures reveal nothing out of the ordinary, that is, they confirm what Nordhavn’s teams of sales, design and engineering experts already know: running at displacement speeds allows a full displacement boat to run efficiently and affords the range required of the world’s longest ocean passages. What Salomone and Shaw’s carefully curated performance log does not demonstrate is the importance of having a boat with systems and structure that is built for long distance travel. “What’s impressive is the overall design and engineering of Nordhavns allows them to safely carry so much fuel and then remain securely stable as the fuel is burned off,” Streech said. “At the same time, boats need to be intelligently laid out, have sensible storage planning and be welcoming and comfortable in order to make two-and-a-half weeks at sea a viable option. No seatrial or data tracking will substantiate the significance of this. It can only be proven through experience, which Nordhavns have many times over.”
With Tesoro’s crossing, the Nordhavn mileage calculator inches toward 8,000,000 nautical miles. It’s a testament to the boats and the owners who own and operate them and so not to be lost in this report is Salomone and Shaw, themselves, who scrupulously planned and prepared for the journey. With limited boating experience, they spent the last two-plus years getting ready to embark on their dream voyage aboard their 15-year-old N55. And while many many Nordhavns have succeeded in completing the same ambitious route before them, the achievement is no less a celebration of their will and spirit. “If it was easy, you would see many Nordhavn competitors (making the passage), but you do not,” said Streech. “Go to a very remote island such as Hiva Oa and if you see any powerboats that have gotten there on their own bottoms, they will pretty much always be Nordhavns. We are proud of that.”