Seven years ago, Nordhavn 46 hull #24 lay on its side, half-submerged in the mangroves of Coron Bay off the Philippines, a victim of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Her engine room was consumed in water and her hull covered in muck. She sat like that for six months before being righted, pumped out, and brought back to her mooring in Busuanga, where she was effectively left for dead.
For two years, Jan Klintegaard, a Danish sailor and marine surveyor, had sailed the northern part of Palawan in his custom replica 48-foot Swan sailboat, passing by the wrecked N46 more than a dozen times. With each passing
he became more intrigued with the boat. He knew right away it was a Nordhavn. “Once you learn about Nordhavns, you can instantly [recognize] them,” he said. A lifelong boater and former member of the Danish
Navy, Klintegaard came upon his first Nordhavn – a 62 – while on a job in Seattle back in 2003. Despite being a sailor his whole life, the Nordhavn 62 spoke to him. It had the look of home, he thought. And the word Nordhavn, while typically associated with Norway, is the name of a section of Copenhagen; from the Danish, it translates to “North Harbor”. There was a connection. But he was a sailor.
Prior to going to Seattle, Klintegaard was in the midst of his second circumnavigation. He and partner Laura Foster had left Denmark and were enjoying the warmth of Southeast Asia. They were in no hurry to complete the circle so they stayed cruising, diving and exploring the island countries in the South China Sea. As they made yet another pass by the 46, Klintegaard told Foster he was going in to have a closer look at the abandoned ship. Despite the dirt, the gelcoat scratches, and the decayed interior, “it had a look about it,” Klintegaard said. He saw that there was no structural damage to the hull other than some gelcoat repairs needed to the port side of the bow. It begged to be brought back to life.
Klintegaard began the mission of tracking the owner down. It belonged to a Frenchman who had agreed to receive the Nordhavn as part of a settlement years prior. After speaking to the owner, Klintegaard became pointedly aware that the gentleman had no boating knowledge and very little interest in the 46. The only hours put on the boat during his ownership were when it was brought from its previous owner’s berth in Manila to the mooring in Busuanga.
Klintegaard negotiated to purchase the boat at a low price, once he explained what kind of investment it would take to restore it to working condition. He then hired a lawyer to get the ship’s papers in order and transfer the registration from The Philippines to Denmark, no small feat.
Klintegaard and Foster knew they had a huge job ahead of them, but Klintegaard, who had completely built his sailboat, the Anaconda, was up for it. They brought it to a yard in the Philippines, hired a carpenter and spent 12 hours a day, every day, working to revive the boat. The engine room had sat in 3 feet of mud for years so the majority of the work was spent there. The main and get home engines and generator were re-
built, new water tanks and diesel tanks were fabricated, the sole in the entire saloon and forward cabin which had been ravaged by standing water and termites had to be re-constructed, bulkheads were replaced. It was a slow process. Most of the aluminum parts had corroded and replacements needed to be ordered from the U.S., which added additional delays. At one point, Klintegaard recalls sitting in the lazarette and looking all the way through the boat to the anchor well. “I learned the boat down to the smallest detail,” he said. Sometime during all the painstaking labor and effort, the unthinkable happened: the sailboating couple fell in love with the power boat. “I am a monohull sailor,” he said. “I never thought about a power boat and Nordhavn was too far from my bank account. But this boat opened my eyes.”
About 10,000 man hours and three years later, work was finally finished and Klintegaard and Foster made the difficult decision to sell the sailboat and resume their cruising lives on the Nordhavn 46. They christened her
Anaconda II after his beloved sailboat. ”During the years you get more need for being comfortable, so the Nordhavn is a perfect choice,” he said, quickly adding, ”still being a sailor.”
Admittedly, Klintegaard misses his old boat, not surprising given he spent 30 years living aboard her. But he incorporated a number of modifications to the Nordhavn, such as the addition of an 11 meter mast and main and genoa sails, so he continues to have a sailing lifeline. The N46 displaces 60,000 lbs, but in 25 knots of wind, she can cruise at 5 knots. Between the sails and the addition of solar panels which supplies power via the regulator and inverter, the boat is extremely efficient.
All told, the initial total investment into the boat topped $100,000, and he keeps adding things like the recently installed active stabilization system. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Klintegaard and Foster chartered the boat out to try and regain back some of the expense. With the addition of SCUBA gear, compressors and tanks to Anaconda II’s equipment list, the couple found success catering to dive groups. Itineraries were typically contained to the Philippines, Borneo, and Brunei, where the boat is currently located. Klintegaard estimates he’s put about 6,000 nm on her but they haven’t been able to leave Brunei since March. Thankfully, there is still a demand for charters, mainly from expats unable to return to their home countries, so they are able to maintain an income.
When restrictions lift, they will resume the charters, hopefully with broader itineraries, but only for a short time before they go back to their circumnavigation – to be continued on the N46. “I love the Nordhavn and it will be my home for many years to come.”