This weekend, Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) will reach a historic milestone with the launch of the 600th Nordhavn. N68#42, built by PAE’s partner factory Ta Shing, will splash at An-Ping Harbor in Taiwan It is a phenomenal event given the incredibly tepid reception of the very first Nordhavn, 46#01, more than three decades ago. Since then, Nordhavns have become a cult favorite around the world, garnering multiple fan sites, being featured in movies and books, coveted by famous celebrities and international royalty. Through it all, the ownership group who have been there since that very first boat – Dan Streech, Jim Leishman and Jeff Leishman – have grown in experience and knowledge of what works and doesn’t work and what will make each subsequent Nordhavn better than the last. But essentially, they remain the same, hardworking and steadfast in their commitment and belief in the Nordhavn brand.
Dan Streech, president of PAE, takes a look back at how things have changed – and stayed the same – from the first to the 600th launch.
Q: Did you ever think back in 1989 when the first N46 was launched that you would ever reach 600 Nordhavns launched?
DS: No idea at all. We had a gut feeling that the N46 would do exactly what we predicted and intended with its performance but had no idea that it would change the world of boating. It must be remembered that in 1989, so many of the building blocks of modern cruising did not exist. It was commonly believed that the only way you could get to Papeete was by sailboat. This was a time before common use of the internet, way before you got your first e-mail account, before GPS, before computers and chart plotting aboard boats, before sine wave inverters and of course, before social media provided the easy communication that binds the Nordhavn world of owners together and gives them comfort that they are not alone in their dreams.
Q: What are you most proud of over 600 hulls that spans 32 years of boat building?
DS: That we have achieved this without interruption though thick and thin of wars, recessions, taxes, tariffs, and many many challenges, and have stayed true to our mission of building the best boats that we possibly can. That we have operated our business in a safe and responsible way and kept our customer’s money safe and have delivered beautiful boats which retain their value and are beloved by people around the world. Many companies didn’t make it. We did.
Q: Has the process changed since that first Nordhavn?
DS: Fundamentally, no, at first glance. However, Nordavns in 2022 are many times more complex than they were in 1989. The levels of skill and expertise required on the PAE side and the Builder side are much greater. The business side of building Nordhavns in 2022 is also much more complex, as we do business in countries around the world and must understand so much in terms of regulations, compliance, taxes, titles, insurance and delivery protocols.
Q: What is the overall feeling in the company about this achievement?
DS: Quiet pride.