Nordhavn Yachts is a classic tale about two young mariners who spent their early years crossing oceans in small yachts, but their ambitions and accomplishments grew into an yachting enterprise. Jim Lieshman, crewing on his family’s yacht, had sailed from California to Hawaii. Dan Streech had cruised for a year on his family’s 54’ Alden yawl. Later, they met Joe Meglen and soon after they formed Pacific Asian Enterprises, importing CT boats, and Transpac 49s, from Taiwan. In those early days of Taiwan production, boats needed extra effort to reach Western-world quality standards; so all three men worked with their crews to bring the boats up to par. They raised quality levels; eventually importing and selling 35 Transpacs. By 1977, ready for the next step, they presented a plan to their builders: The developer – PAE – would own the molds and tooling while the Taiwan builder would deal exclusively as their sub-contractor. In spite of popular opinion and rejection by yachting magazines, their direction was a “tugboat” shape reminiscent of North Sea Trawlers. The guys named the new line of yachts… Nordhavn, which is Norwegian for North Harbor. They negotiated with a new builder, Tsai Wan Sheu, South Coast Marine in Tapei, Taiwan for production. While sailing cruisers at first turned up their noses to the new concept, ocean voyagers quickly saw this approach as a promising new concept. After all, most wind-sailors also used diesel power a large percentage of their miles, motor-sailing. That was the beginning of an international marketing effort, and orders began flooding in for Nordhavn Yachts. This led to new models, new worldwide dealerships, and a new builder: SCM Xiamen China, which has delivered the new Nordhavn 55. Other models, like the Nordhavn 40, have made the Around the World trip as a 27-week voyage, with successive crews of company employees. Today, Nordhavn’s line of yachts ranges from 35 to 85 feet, with plans to build a new 50’ trawler-style, motor-sailor. Nordhavn enjoys a growing community of loyal yacht owners and repeat customers.
Nordhavn Yachts New 63' TrawlerThe Evolution of the Expedition Review by Judy Waldman The Nordhavn 63 is the convergence of two yachts; the Nordhavn 55 and Nordhavn 62. Each of these passagemaking yachts share the same purpose and capabilities while offering a different profile and presentation. Nordhavn heard the calling for a yacht with the features of the 55, but with the salty styling that put Nordhavn on the map. The 63 isn't a hybrid, but a trawler with its own identity, and one that carries the Nordhavn birthright. The creation of a new model was not initiated with the 63, as Nordhavn had successfully morphed their 72 to a 76, but more closely replicated was the change from the Nordhavn 64 to the aft wheelhouse 68. The history of the Nordhavn 55 is a significant starting point, but let’s go astern to the beginning of the beginning with the brains behind the brawn. The story is well known by now of Jim Leishman and Dan Streech starting out as partners building Mason sailboats in the 1970s and 80s under the PAE (Pacific Asian Enterprise) nameboard. Jim’s brother Jeff, after completing his naval architecture degree, joined the team in the 80s and helped the partners cross over to what is affectionately known in the sailing world as “the dark side” with the introduction of the Nordhavn 46. The rest of the story is bottom lined by mentioning the trawler manufacturer that has built more trawlers, more models, made more ocean crossings, completed more circumnavigations... and the compass needle only points to Nordhavn. Yes, there are other quality ocean crossing fiberglass trawlers, but Nordhavn holds the records on numbers for sales and aggregate miles. For a more detailed history, read YF's review of the Nordhavn 55.
For many cruisers, a trawler is the ideal yacht. It combines the features of comfort, safety, ease of handling and sea-kindliness, whether long range or simply a weekend outing. Tradition plays a major part in trawler design, for these vessels are patterned after a tried and true formula of centuries. While they may not complete visually -- for some yachting aficionados -- with the ever-sleeker trend in race-boat speed and cat’s-eye windows; for stability, toughness, and brawny good looks, their beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Welcome to Nordhavn’s hunky and handsome 55.
The latest to come from Nordhavn is the N41. Essentially it is the new and improved N40 which the company likes to highlight because one of the N40s has the world record for the fastest circumnavigation by a production powerboat. Nordhavn is using this experience; the capability and popularity of the N40 and reinventing it, arriving at the N41.
While it is no secret that Nordhavn is working on the new N80 model as renders and information have been available since mid-2018, the yard used the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) to ensure greater traction and coverage. The N80 is a bridge between two key models in the Nordhavn line-up, the N76 and N86. Vripack is working with Nordhavn on this one and should result in a fruitful American-Dutch collaboration.
The first unit of the new Nordhavn N100 line has been delivered as announced by the builder. Her name is "Serenity" and she is a close relative of the popular N86/96 models. This N100 is a custom built yacht for this owner so we will see if other owners follow suit for this particular model. Serenity is currently engaged in her shakedown cruise in Mexican waters a week since delivery.
Nordhavn is introducing the new N80 which will be the perfect bridge between the N76 and the N86. It will be more than manageable for owners who are comfortable at that size bracket. The first hull is expected to be ready in 2019 as tooling has already begun according to the builder. "For some, an 86 is just too big," said vice president Jim Leishman. "At 80 feet, this boat will be that much more manageable."