By Ben Sprague & Dave Balfour
Calling all Nordhavn owners! Mark up that shiny new Nordhavn calendar and save these dates: July 16-20, 2008. These are the days when Nordhavn Yachts will hold its first-ever Rendezvous at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI. It will be a great opportunity for Nordhavn owners to assemble in one of New England’s most beautiful cruising grounds for five days of camaraderie, education and general Nordhavn hob-knobbing. The advance planning done by PAE Director of Marketing Jenny Stern and Nordhavn Yachts Northeast Office Manager Paula D’Andrea resembled the “quiet phase” of a major capital campaign with space reserved, sponsorships arranged (Yachting Magazine and Atlass Marine Insurance to name a couple) and over 20 boats expressing strong interest in attending – even before the event was formally announced. Currently, the interest level has grown to well over 30 boats, and after today we expect to watch that number jump even higher.
The venue chosen for the inaugural event is the site of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, founded in 1878. Brothers John Brown Herreshoff and Nathaniel Green Herreshoff possessed backgrounds in commercial boatbuilding and steam engineering, but the company became famous for the large sailing yachts it designed and built. Most notable among these were seven of the largest sailing sloops ever constructed, between 1893 and 1919, five of which went on to successfully defend the America’s Cup, contributing to the longest winning streak in sports history. The Herreshoff Marine Museum has an unparalleled collection of its vessels, half models of all its original designs and provides the home for the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. More information can be gleaned from www.herreshoff.org. The museum is located minutes by foot from the center of historic Bristol, RI which boasts the oldest continuously held Fourth of July Parade in the Country. A walk North along Hope Street with its red, white and blue-striped center divider will take one past historic homes, antique shops, boutiques and restaurants.
The Nordhavn Yachts Northeast Office is located fifteen minutes from the museum and can be reached by proceeding South along Hope Street and over the Mount Hope Bridge (funded by the Haffenreffer family who owned the Herreshoff Company during the war years) connecting mainland Rhode Island with Portsmouth at the northern tip of Aquidneck Island (Newport being situated on the southern end). Nordhavn Yachts’ R.I. office will serve as base and Command Center up until Registration Day (Wednesday) of the Rendezvous. Jenny and Paula will be able to answer any and all questions Nordhavn owners might have in preparation for this exciting venture. During the Rendezvous they will be joined by Jim Leishman and other staffers from the Dana Point, CA headquarters of PAE.
The schedule for the five day fete is still being finalized but boats will begin arriving for registration on Wednesday, July 16th, which will be followed by a Welcome Cocktail Party that evening. Thursday is free for participants to tour scenic Bristol (downtown is a short walk from the museum) or Newport, a 35-minute drive. Friday will feature seminars by “Lugger Bob” Senter followed by a Summer Barbeque under the tent on the museum grounds overlooking the docks, mooring field, Hog Island and Poppasquash Point. Saturday will start with Continental Breakfast followed by seminars on a range of topics relevant to the care and feeding of Nordhavns and their crews; seamanship, damage control, a life raft primer and fishing are among them. Saturday night will feature cocktails, dinner and dancing in view of traditional wooden sailing craft and classic offshore cruising trawlers majestically moored together along the historic waterfront. Sunday will begin with a Bon Voyage “All American Breakfast”, more engine room tours with Lugger Bob and the close to what promises to be a memorable event.
A special website section outlining details of the Nordhavn Summer ’08 Rendezvous has been set up which allows participants to submit their registrations electronically and also gives them an easy reference when planning their trip to Rhode Island. Click hereto check out all the great happenings scheduled for the Rendezvous (or visit the the link under the Community button on the navigation bar).
So, mark those calendars (call Paula, Jenny, Dave or Ben if you still haven’t got your Nordy calendar) and make plans to come join the fun with or without your Nordhavn!