By Jan Klintegaard
Ed. Note: Jan Klintegaard discovered Nordhavn 46#24 in 2015, two years after it had broken free of its mooring in the Super Typhoon Yolanda. The boat sat neglected for years, but Klintegaard saw life in the boat – in what it once was and what it could be again. He and his partner set out to rehabilitate the N46, a three-year effort that culminated in the ultimate labor-of-love story.
I left Denmark in my 48 foot sailboat “Anaconda” in 2001. I built it all myself, looking at the Swan 46, launched in 1986. I did almost two circumnavigations in this boat, close to 200,000 nautical miles. I was a sailor through and through.
In the Philippines, my partner Laura Foster and I sailed around for some years and saw this Nordhavn many times on a mooring outside of Coron, Busuanga in the Northern part of Palawan. It was abandoned and never moved. I knew the Nordhavns and this model and started asking around for the story of the boat. It was washed up in the mangrove bushes in the 2013 Typhoon Jolanda. Here it lay on the side for more than half a year, half full of water, so all lower parts like the engines were submerged. We were allowed to inspect the boat and got interested in restoring it.
After negotiations we bought it for a very low price and towed it to a shipyard, Pinoy Boat Services, in Carmen, north of Cebu. We spent close to three years restoring it. The engine, wing engine and generator were taken out and the engine room totally ripped apart, all tanks out – water and diesel. It was a serious job. Also there were termites surrounding the starboard bathroom. All engines were slowly rebuilt. Many bulkheads, floors and much more were replaced. During the work we fell in love with it and had to make a big decision. Which boat do we want to keep? We chose the Nordhavn and sold the sailboat. After that decision we wanted to make it special, based on our experience and incorporate some of our passion for sailing into her.
We added an 11 meter mast on the foredeck. With the main and genoa, we carry about 40 square meters of sails. We added a mast came from one of our friend’s steel boat, the only part (other than the hull) to survive a massive fire. (He later bought my sail boat Anaconda so both of our boats live on under one another’s watch.) We added a bowsprit to make the genoa bigger, and a pole for our furling screecher, about 40 m2. We made an anchor well hatch, reinforced the foredeck around the windlass
and reinforced the deck for the mast with a pole down to the keel. The Pilothouse roof was extended on both sides so the pilot house is more dry when it rains. We added a hatch just above the steering place for fresh air.
All floors from the steps from the pilot house to the end of the saloon were replaced and all floors in the whole boat are now with Teak
Decking Caulking. The foreward cabin was emptied completely in order to get the water tanks out and three new stainless steel tanks put down. An underwater window was installed in the bottom starboard side of
the foreward cabin, under the step. The small water tank under the main cabin was replaced with ballast to compensate for the mast. All water damaged parts, under the windows and other places were replaced with new plywood with teak veneer. All white
Formica walls were replaced. All headliners were renewed or reupholstered. Two diesel tanks were totally rusted and discharged. We decided to make four 500 liter tanks instead of the four 1000 liters, because we need less fuel with sails. That gave us a lot of storage room in the engine room, so I could extend the bathroom into the engine room and make the bathroom one big workshop with a vice and a press drill, table grinder etc.. Very functional and we keep the toilet to ourselves when other people sail with us.
The door to the engine room is now much bigger and makes it easy to enter the engine room. All the engine walls with insulation were replaced and storage closets built. In
the engine room we now have stored our table saw, a planer, a TIG welding machine with an Argon tank and a big tool rack stored. All varnished surfaces in the whole boat were stripped from varnish and revarnished 10 layers. It took Laura almost a whole year to acomplish this. On the stern we build a big integrated platform with storage hatches in the floor. It extended the boat four feet and is perfect for swimming and diving as well
as easy access on and of from the Dinghy. We made a new door in the middle of the stern to easily access to the plarform and in starboard side of the platform we made a compartment for our dive compressor. We have 10 dive tanks in a rack in front of the pilot house. All our dive equipment is stored in two big fiberglass storage boxes with seat cushions we made and installed on the boat deck. Mask and fins are a ventilated box in front of the mast on the foredeck.
On top of the boat deck we made a huge Bimini awning covering the whole boat deck. So now the dinghy can not be stored here except on passages when we take the awning down and use the mizzen sail. The dinghy is now hanging under a SS arch as davit, when needed. A big solar panel is mounted on top of gthe arch, that can be
lowered down and up with an electric winch. We do not need so much diesel. After my circumnavigations I know we can get diesel everywhere, so no problem. We made a huge engine driven watermaker in the engine room that puts out 400 liter/hour. We still kept the five floor hatches to the engine room.
When the boat was almost ready after two years, a mechanic’s error with the gearbox bearing replacement resulted in a huge repair. We had to take out the engine and up to a professional engine refurbish company. Total rebuild again. It cost $10,000 USD including the shipping of parts from the US. A new head is heavy. It took half a year to get this repair done. We looked at other engines to buy and replace the John Deere, but everything we read about John Deere was good and the best engine for low rev traveling.
But at last, in the spring off 2018 we were sailing and we enjoyed the boat full time. We had many good sails under only sail, specially downwind. Very quiet and wonderful sailing.
In January 2020, we hauled out and noticed the Malaysian fishing boats with fin keels on both sides. We decided to do the same. We added fin keels 3.00 x 0.50 m to each side, made of fiberglass. They made a big difference. The heavy rolling stopped so now it is much more stable and comfortable. I feel there is no, at least not much, difference in the speed of the boat, so we are very happy with this decision.
After a month on land, we headed for Brunei to stock up with diesel for a good price. But unfortunately the whole world shut down in March and we are still here, a few days before Christmas 2020. But Brunei has been a nice experience.
When all this is over we will return to the Philippines and do some paintwork and mount another window hatch on the boat top deck to give more wind in the salon, close to the pantry. After that, we will return to the Pacific which we love. We will not do charters, but occasionally take people onboard on the bigger legs, or people who love to dive.