By Barbara Lippert
You may have heard of the MTV reality series called Pimp My Ride, a show where viewers receive complete customized overhauls of their dilapidated cars with features such as hydraulics and personalized paint jobs. Well, consider this nordhavn.com’s version of the show. OK, let’s face it, a Nordhavn pretty much comes pimped out to the max with the latest and greatest in electronics, fixtures, machinery, woodwork, craftsmanship, and the like – and the owners tend to keep them that way – so we’re not talking about a complete overhaul of the boat per se. But what the owners of Nordhavn 57 Thor have done to their yacht is probably as close to hot rod flair as any Nordhavn is ever going to get. Call it Pimp My Bulb, owners Bill and Kay O’Meara, in preparation for their participation in the FUBAR Odyssey, had the paint job of their 57’s bulb – adorned in bright orangey-red flames – refreshed for their leisurely jaunt down the coast of Southern California and Baja, Mexico.
The flame paint job concept was actually initiated about 15 years ago by Bill and Roni Grady, who had purchased a Nordhavn 50, as a means of poking fun at their 7.5 knot cruising speed. “It was just an idea we thought of,” recalls Bill Grady. “Slow boat – fast looking flame!” Knowing they had a souped-up bulb leading their charge felt pretty cool, so when they bought their Nordhavn 57, there were no questions about whether or not the new boat’s bulb would also feature the retro flame look.
Fast forward to 2010, the Gradys took delivery of their brand new Nordhavn 68, Zorro. But that’s where their pimped out bulb story ends. “Sad to say the 68 does not have a bulb, even after our request!” laments Bill. Nevertheless, they still feel cool in their gorgeous navy blue hulled N68.
Meanwhile, Thor’s current owners, the O’Mearas, have taken on ownership of the flamed out bulb with pride. Somewhere along the line, the bulb had been painted over to match the rest of the brick red underbody, but after the O’Mearas saw a photo of the original bulb in all its glory, they knew they had to re-incarnate the look. In fact, their FUBAR crew member, engine specialist Bob Senter of Northern Lights, had always referred to Thor as “a hot rod of the sea” because of the boat’s efficiency and performance, which made the paint job even more fitting. Taking the hot rod theme one step further was sales rep, Barbara Lippert from Nordhavn’s Northwest sales office. At the FUBAR bon voyage dinner in Long Beach, CA last month, Barbara presented the O’Meara’s with a set of custom foam dice to hang from the pilothouse windows. Said Barbara: “No respectable pimped out bulbous bow yacht could be complete without a set of big fuzzy dice.”
Throughout the course of the FUBAR, the fleet encountered some heavy seas causing the bow to rise and fall thus revealing to all the sweetly modified bulb Thor was hiding underwater. “It was a continued topic of conversation amongst the group,” notes Kay O’Meara. “The comments from the other boaters along the way provided a source of enjoyment.” Kay also surmises that while the bow has always attracted dolphins, the flames seem to be even more of a magnet now with scores of pods having accompanied them on their ride down to Mexico.
The N57’s performance numbers have been well established, but the question remains, did Thor leave the rest of the slow-moving group of trawlers in her wake as she headed for her ports-of-call? Not exactly. But she did get there in safety, comfort, and of course, style.
Barbara Lippert is a sales representative based out of the Nordhavn Yachts Northwest office in Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at email@example.com or 206-223-3624.v