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Nordhavn Atlantic Passage 2017


Atlantic-crossing boats of the NAP reflect on
their big-time achievement

All are now exploring the Mediterranean and Europe

With the Nordhavn Atlantic Passage (NAP) wrapped up, marking another five successful Atlantic crossings for Nordhavn, the crews are now getting on to the reason they made the trip in the first place: cruising around the Mediterranean. For most, the Med is unexplored territory so the prospect of seeing this part of the world for the first time is exhilarating. Nordhavn 55 Moxie is currently underway to Mallorca, Spain, where N52 Aleoli has been docked for a few days. N60 Relish is now in Malaga, in Spain, Nordhavn 57 Jura in Falmouth, England and N55 Angela in Morocco.

For these five boats, crossing the Atlantic Ocean together was a thrilling – and reassuring – way to get to Europe from the U.S. Each of these boats was more than capable of doing the journey solo, but it was simply more practical to do it in a group. “While I normally advocate cruising alone when coastal cruising, I do feel that group passages across large open bodies of water have a number of distinct advantages,” said group leader Bernie Francis who crewed on board N55 Angela. Well over a hundred Nordhavns have crossed oceans, so there’s a certain confidence that is afforded a Nordhavn owner embarking on a transatlantic passage. Still, it’s a venture not to be taken lightly. A poll of NAP 2017 participants revealed stress levels that typically accompany an ocean crossing were far less for a variety of reasons, though most importantly, due to a feeling of increased safety. “While underway there are more eyes constantly scanning the horizon during the day and monitoring radars at night,” said Francis. “All watching for any possible interactions with objects…increasing the safety margin dramatically.”

Francis also points out the cumulative knowledge that comes with more brains being involved that are aware or have experience with certain electrical, mechanical, medical or other issues.

“Pasagemaking under power over large bodies of water is limited to a small corner of the motoryacht market,” said Francis, with Nordhavn being the leader. “I feel long range group passages will become more common and will be one of the avenues that will allow more owners to experience a long open ocean passage in safety, confidence and with greater peace of mind.”
Long range passages can get a bad rap for the multiple days it requires a crew to be confined to their boat at a time, (most of the NAP boats traveled just under 4,000 nm), the NAP crews confess to having made the most of their crossing:

On Relish, crewmember Rick Riordan reports a poll of all onboard reveals:

...the favorite parts were learning so much about the boat in a very short period of time - out of necessity, but also because of all the knowledge sharing;  part two of that was realizing just how reliable and capable these boats really are;
…the least favorite parts were the facilities at St. George’s and Horta; and the occasional boredom at sea (but we’ll take bored over too much excitement of the wrong kind any day);
…one lesson learned is that you really want to tackle a crossing with 4 crew members; 3 is a bit taxing; and 5 is too crowded (Relish is a 60-foot Nordhavn).
...overall the crossing experience qualifies as a “bucket list” accomplishment.

On N55 Moxie, Peter Arniel agrees about the group crossing experience. “The existence of the fleet made for a very different experience. The leadership of Bernie and the combined expertise of the owners and crews made for a much more assured transit than would have been otherwise.”
… Crew morale was heightened by the camaraderie of the group, with as many as 18 members for the longest leg. (Leg Two – Bermuda to Horta, 1,818 nm)

… Weather was good, but luck played a hand with that. On Moxie, we cooked dinner every evening except two or three. Seasickness was limited to feeling lethargic, and nothing worse.

… Arrival in ports of Bermuda, Horta and Gibraltar was cause for celebration, but not as much as anticipated. Everyone was too tired to get too worked up; sleep sounded better! Still, as the accomplishment soaked in, the feelings were more of satisfaction than excitement.

… The boats all performed well. There were issues on each, but no failures, other than Moxie's satellite communications.

Congratulations to the NAP boats. We at Nordhavn are proud of the accomplishments of these and each and every one of the other 100 Nordhavns that have crossed an ocean. Final trip stats are as follows:

Leg 3 Azores to Gibraltar
Total nm.: 1153.8 nm.
Number of Days: 6 days 9 hrs
Total Fuel: 822 gals.
Ave speed: 7.5 knts
This leg of the passage had 2 days of current with us and 2 days of near calm conditions before encountering heavy seas over a 24 hr period. Water temperature increased 7 degrees F. between Horta and Gibraltar.

Ed. Note: The two boats, Nordhavn 47 Roam and N50 Tivoli, that departed Florida with the other NAP boats are still in Bermuda and currently enjoying the America’s Cup races.

Click here for more news on the NAP.


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