By Rich Armstrong
March 2003 SOUNDINGS
“Reprinted with permission from Soundings Publications LLC.”
In summer 2004, more trawler yachts will cross the Atlantic within 60 days than have done so in the last 60 years, according to Pacific Asian Enterprises, sponsors of the first Nordhavn Atlantic Rally.
Thirty or more of the boatbuilder’s Nordhavn trawlers are expected to make a 3,700-nautical-mile passage from Rhode Island to Mallorca, Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea, via Bermuda and the Azores.
“Every Nordhavn owner we’ve talked to so far says they want to participate,” says Jim Leishman, a principal at PAE.
Leishman says the cruise-in-compa-ny is another effort by PAE to show off the bluewater capabilities of its trawlers. Last year a Nordhavn 40 with a rotating crew of employees completed a circumnavigation.
For the trans-Atlantic crossing the fleet will run in convoy, with one escort vessel in the lead and another following the fleet. The owners of two Nordhavn 62s have volunteered for escort duty.
On board the escorts will be support teams of PAE employees and associates. Using high-speed RIBs, they’ll be able to quickly reach any vessel needing assistance.
“An engine could overheat, a water-maker could fail,” Leishman says. “We’ll be ready for any eventuality.”
The escort vessels will carry emergency fuel reserves with boat-to-boat transfer capability, and they’ll be able to provide towing if needed. The escort crew will include a diver for underwater inspection and repairs, as well as an emergency-medicine specialist.
There will be daily roll calls and daily weather briefings for the fleet, and designated VHP and SSB frequencies will be monitored around the clock. PAE shoreside staff at Bermuda, Azores arid Mallorca will assist owners with government formalities, provisioning and refueling, and will organize parties and other group activities.