Owner: Jim & Marge Fuller
Boat: "Summer Skis"
Type: Nordhavn 43-09
Nordhavn 43-09, Summer Skis, arrived in Stuart on June 3, 2005. It was
originally scheduled to be delivered in April. The April date was an
estimate given to us when we signed our contract in ‘03.
I drove to Stuart from our home in Rhode Island arriving on June 5th
with a number of items to be installed during the commissioning
process. Upon arrival in Stuart, I found the boat to be in acceptable
condition, considering that it had just arrived and had traveled
nearly halfway around the world.
From day one the staff in Stuart were busy going over their check
lists that occupied many pages of a three-ring binder. Their
dedication to "doing it right" was evident from the outset. When
necessary, I was consulted and asked to participate in decisions that
would affect the aesthetics of the finished product.
I had to return to Rhode Island on June 13th to take care of routine
business. Prior to leaving my salesman, Ray Danet, and John Hoffman,
the commissioning manager, sat down and agreed on a course of action
and time table to complete the commissioning in a timely manner that
would allow us to have the boat in transit to Rhode Island within
the timeframe that was acceptable to my insurance company due to the
approaching hurricane season. It was agreed that Marge & I would fly
back to Stuart on July 5th and we would complete the commissioning
process. In the meantime, we had coordinated with Larry Smith
Electronics to have ALL of the electronics installed while the PAE
commissioning team was doing their job. This aspect of the process
could have been a nightmare. Fortunately, Jon Thaw of Larry Smith and
the PAE staff in Stuart have a good working relationship. They worked
well together and with the use of the internet, we were able to
accomplish over 90% of all tasks that required owner participation.
Once Marge & I arrived on the scene, the PAE staff put us to work to
accomplish those tasks that needed on site owner involvement. Between July 5th & 13th, they (PAE & Larry Smith people) were working 10 to 12-hour days to meet the schedule that we all were shooting for. On
July 11th & 12th we did PAE sea trials which included some "driving
lessons" for both Marge and myself. On July 13th Jon Thaw and myself
brought Summer Skis to Vero Beach for provisioning in anticipation
of a departure on the 16th of July. During the run from Stuart to
Vero Beach, Jon and I went through the electronics and what I did not
understand, I knew where the book was for additional advice. This 5-
hour trip was a very steep learning curve, but invaluable.
As we approached the departure date I had requested, I received approval from PAE to have a member of the commissioning staff "ride along" for a few days. Rick Gerard was the person that we selected and was a "God send" as a confidence builder to one who has never owned a
powerboat over 18'. Rick took us through an oil change, spotted a
potential problem in the steering assembly before it became a
serious problem, and was all in all a great help and crewmember. We
did an overnight from Palm Coast to Charleston which gave us the
confidence and experience to run extended passages overnight.
Marge & I left Charleston and did the ICW the balance of the trip to
Norfolk and then the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Jersey coast,
Long Island Sound and home to Tiverton, RI. The entire trip took 19 days, covered 1531 Miles. WE DID NOT HAVE ANY MAJOR PROBLEMS!!!!!
The commissioning staff in Stuart is to be commended for completing
the job on time and correctly.
We did have 2 small oil leaks that were manageable. Larry Smith
Electronics staff completed their project on time and under budget.
Summer Skis in now on her mooring in the Sakonnet River and ready to
take her place in a couple of boat shows as she returns to Florida
for a winter of cruising in the Bahamas and the west coast of
If all goes as is currently being suggested, we will travel in
company with some other Nordhavns from Florida to Bermuda to Newport
in the spring of ‘06. This idea is being worked on by Ray Danet in
Stuart and if there are any interested owners or others that want to
crew on this trip, please let Ray know: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. This trip is in the formative stages so we have not made any definitive plans yet.
In closing, both Marge and I have the highest praise and respect for
the PAE staff in Stuart for getting Summer Skis commissioned on time
and correctly the FIRST TIME. To run a boat this complex for over
1500 miles with only 2 minor oil leaks is a testament to John
Hoffman's staff and their dedication to delivering a quality product.
The cooperation between PAE and Larry Smith Electronics is also a
statement that when properly coordinated outside vendors can work
together with the builder.
Again, thanks to Ray, Geri, John, Rick and the entire staff at Nordhavn
Jim & Marge Fuller