There is nothing quite so convincing as actually stepping aboard a Nordhavn to appreciate all of the design and equipment features you have read about, and a few dozen Nordhavn enthusiasts from all over the western United States (AZ, WA, OR, NM, UT, NV and more) enjoyed a beautiful January sunny Saturday in Dana Point to inspect five Nordhavns presented in a casual “Open House” environment.
This reservations-required event proved to be a fantastic opportunity to see a broad mix of Nordhavns – various sizes and diverse vintages – a true mix of history showing, among many things, how well Nordhavns age and hold up not only to the elements, but to value and pricing over time. Each of these magnificent Nordhavns is also listed for sale in the brokerage market so it was a perfect chance to do some serious shopping.
The “grand dame” award has to go to Saumlaki, hull number one of our Nordhavn 62 series. Saumlaki has rich history of travel and a number of owners have enjoyed taking her command. She has been back in Dana Point for the past few months, offered for sale and it is truly remarkable to walk through. You can really appreciate how well she has been preserved – a testament to her stewards over the years as well as to the beautiful building practices and craftsmanship of the Ta Shing yard. Saumlaki has to be one of the best combinations of most-boat-for-the-money of all the passage makers on the market today. If you want to know more about Saumlaki or any of the other boats on display please click on the links.
I was pleased to be stationed aboard Island Magic, Nordhavn 43 #1 (It’s an interesting contrast to see the evolution of our brand from the first 62 to the first 43 which followed more than 10 years later.) Island Magic has an innovative forward cabin layout that provides three single berths and she is also a flybridge model with both active fin and paravane outrigger stabilization. With just over 2500 hours she is seasoned and ready for more adventure. She has travelled on the east coast, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and also explored the US west coast. Island Magic is one of my listings and on this weekend day I brought my 13 year old son Jonn to help me manage the crowds (and got some nice compliments from the people he was giving a tour to while I ran up to the check-in desk). Jonn has spent time aboard Nordhavns with me over the years and his presence on this day was one of many of the extended Nordhavn family who were pitching in to help make this such a fun experience for our visitors. Island Magic is the lowest priced 43 on the market – an outstanding value!
The Nordhavn parking lot was set up with a tent, tables and chairs and started with coffee and donuts/bagels, then chips, dips and sandwiches. Naturally we had a lot of product literature available to browse – all four Circumnavigator magazines, the Welcome To Nordhavn and Nordhavn Atlantic Rally DVDS, plus all individual model flyers – so you could have a little snack while digesting product facts and figures before going down to the docks for more on board study.
Back on the docks we had the Nordhavn 55 Phoenix and Motorsailer 56 Ata Marie on either side of Saumlaki making for a very impressive display row – admired by all of us on the docks and coveted by harbor passersby on stand up paddleboards and slow moving skiffs.
Ata Marie is hull number two of our Motorsailer series. She has cruised down to Mexico and back and was part of a trade/loan to give the owner of the 56 that was “totaled” when she was dropped on arrival a replacement boat while we built him a new one. I think our Motorsailer is the most “honest” sailboat on the market. She has the requisite mast and sails like a sailboat should have, each with furling, but more importantly she is a wonderful power boat with excellent visibility in the enclosed pilothouse AND outside in the forward sailing cockpit. So many sailboats have plenty of wind and yet keep their sails stowed and routinely power along. Ata Marie is available for sale/sail, you will need to add a tender and then you can take off. One of the attendees whom I met aboard Island Magic, told me he was here for the Motorsailer and his goal is to buy one and circumnavigate the world without refueling – a great promotional idea and a concept that, with a little bit of patience on light wind days, could become a reality.
Phoenix is a beautiful Nordhavn 55 twin engine design. She is hull #24 and has traveled up and down the US west coast. All of the largest Nordhavns are twin engine models, and the 55 is the smallest Nordhavn available with the twin engine option. Phoenix has a very nice layout forward that (like Island Magic) allows for three to easily sleep forward. She has an excellent equipment package, has been well maintained and might have had more activity aboard her than any other Nordhavn on display during the Open House.
The big star of the show is the gigantic Nordhavn 75 EYF Audrey’s Dream – the ultimate fishing machine. She is hull number one as well (wow, three hull number ones and a hull number two available for sale and for viewing on the same day!). Audrey’s Dream looks brand new. She has a beautiful cherry interior with gorgeous mosaic tile floors and brightly colored Guy Harvey signature custom carpets. The layout of cabins and use of space is incredible. For the dedicated water sportsman who wants to fish and dive in the most exotic coves and remote anchorages you there is not a more outstanding trawler.
So, what did people think of this event? Everyone I talked to while aboard Island Magic was having a ball. There were no lines, no crowds and since each boat was staffed with a sales rep and a project manager there was a wealth of easy information to tap into. Here’s a thank you email from visitor Mike Rankin to event organizer Amy Zahra: “My wife and I had a blast today. She really enjoyed herself as she doesn’t attend these events with me often. I will say that it’s regular boat shows that she will not attend with me because they bore her to tears. This was a totally different experience for both of us and I must say a feather in your cap for coming up with this idea. She now understands why I am a Nordhavn Dreamer and believer and she is now your latest convert.”
Also in the mix were a number of current Nordhavn owners, many who love an excuse to talk boats and some, (who knows?), may be shopping for their next boat! I met and talked with a couple who own a 35, another couple who own a 40, and in addition to Dan Ahearn and better half, Whitney, who own Island Magic, I spoke with Eric and Christi Grab – who circumnavigated in their 43. There were a lot of other Nordhavn owners who were prowling the docks.
Among the celebrities on hand were Jeff Leishman (the designer of all of the Nordhavns) and Bob Senter “Lugger Bob” from Alaska Diesel Electric maker of Lugger engines and Northern Light generators. We had members of our accounting department, product management, commissioning, marketing, and sales teams – really all aspects of PAE – on hand to help out.
Following our December Open House in Florida, this California edition confirmed once again that people interested in Nordhavns really enjoy seeing a wide assortment of our boats in one place. More than one person I spoke with at both events commented how surprised they were with the size and features of the boats they inspected; there are some things that plans, drawings and photos just can’t quantify, for instance, how well you fit, how easy it is to reach and see things. There is no substitution for getting aboard and using your own senses to confirm space and placement. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to step aboard a Nordhavns closer to your home.