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November 1, 2012

FLIBS - Nordhavn Owners Party and Distance Pennant Awards
By Jeff Merrill

The 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) will be remembered most by the passing of Hurricane Sandy which spread wind, rain and havoc (one vendor tent collapsed, full moon tides invited the Atlantic Ocean to board main coastal driving route A1A and air travel in and out of the Fort Lauderdale/Miami airports was dramatically compromised).

2012 Baltimore Trawler FestBut the extra effort and perseverance that show goers needed to muster were well worth the wait when they made it out to the B dock at the Bahia Mar to be greeted by the Nordhavn team. A special thanks to the three owners of the boats on display, the 47 Miro, the 56 Motorsailer Kindred Spirits and the Nordhavn 68 Rest Assured. This provided an excellent mix of our product line. Miro, our smallest boat on display had a steady crowd of viewers. Kindred Spirits stood tall and was a beacon for sail boaters in the forest of trawlers – the not-quite-former sailors looking to cross over, who may be tempted to stick with travelling by wind. Without doubt, Rest Assured dominated the show – a statement that was underscored by the scores of attendees who marveled about the boat being in a “class by itself” and the best trawler yacht on display.

The Nordhavn team came out in full force for FLIBS 2012, led by PAE president Dan Streech, Nordhavn’s Chief of Design Jeff Leishman, along with his wife Nancy. Also on hand were Jenny Stern, marketing manager and head of our Rhode Island office; Andy Hegley, sales manager of our Southeast sales office in Florida; Ted Robie, salesman in Florida and Robin Braathe the Florida office manager; Dave Balfour and Ben Sprague, both salesmen from Rhode Island, Paul Hutton, a salesman from the California office; Trever Smith, the 120 and 86 project manager and his wife Kari, my wife Pam who flew out and helped with registration, our multi-talented webmaster/graphic designer/videographer Doug Harlow in attendance to shoot video tours of the three boats and capture the night’s festivities; and all the way from England, Neil Russell, manager of Nordhavn Europe.

2012 Baltimore Trawler FestWe were also pleased to have four dignitaries in from Ta Shing, our Taiwanese factory which built the lovely 56 and 68 we had on display. Tim Juan, President, Roger Chang, Chief Engineer, Douglas Deng, project manager, and Jessica Wu, executive assistant and head of purchasing.

On Friday night we hosted our annual gathering of Nordhavn owners and special guests. The weather prediction was for high winds and rain, but we dodged that and had a comfortable, fun filled evening. I did my best to get the attention of the devotees by welcoming all in attendance, thanking them for their loyalty to Nordhavn and then, along with Dan Streech, arranged for photos of various owners to celebrate the miles run on their trusty vessels.

A couple of years ago we started the Distance Pennant program to recognize significant milestones and to honor the Nordhavn owners who have travelled thousands of miles on our sturdy trawlers.

Of the nearly 500 Nordhavns built, we have over 300 Nordhavn owners who have registered miles. Our cumulative total of known Nordhavn miles is now over 4 and a half million miles!

2012 Baltimore Trawler FestIn this total we have a record 8 Circumnavigators. Every ocean has been safely crossed, and today you can find a roaming Nordhavn in about every port in the world.

Jeff thanked the owners in attendance and asked for their continued participation and encouraged all to update their mileage totals twice a year. We are very close to 5 million and every day Nordhavns are at sea rolling up more miles!

We are very fortunate to have such a loyal group of owners and I would not be surprised to see Miro, Kindred Spirits and Rest Assured sailing off soon under the guidance of new captains who have already been Nordhavn owners.

A special thanks and spotlight needs to be shown brightly on Scott and Mary Flanders from the Nordhavn 46 Egret. They may very well be our most visible Nordhavn owners with their fantastic blog and non-stop promotion of the Nordhavn brand. It is always a nice surprise to see them in Fort Lauderdale because you never know where they will be next. Scott and Mary, who now have an estimated total near 72,000 miles including their successful and wildly popular adventure. (I didn’t think to bring a pennant larger than 50,000 miles so we had to improvise with two pennants to take their photo).

2012 Baltimore Trawler FestAll Nordhavn owners are encouraged to keep sending in photos of their boats in beautiful locations for possible inclusion in future Nordhavn calendars. Speaking of which, the 2013 calendar is at the printers and will be available for purchase soon on our website and might make for an ideal gift.

After a fun (and challenging) corralling of many owners for photos we called it a day and prepared for the weekend which generally brought much better weather.

We are seeing a surge in sales as many buyers who have put off purchasing during the previous couple of years are now realizing that time is passing them by and the oceans are calling them for adventure. Our Nordhavn brokerage stable is filled with incredible values and beautiful boats in all sizes and price points. To keep up to date on the latest, please visit the brokerage section of our website.

As we approach the closing months of the year I’d also like to let you know that we have several new Nordhavns being commissioned at our sales docks. Please call your Nordhavn sales contact to set up an appointment if you would like to get aboard (especially if you missed the show). Right now we have two gorgeous 68s (both a forward pilothouse and aft pilothouse) at our Southeast office in Stuart, Florida and a 60 being commissioned at our Southampton, England office. Soon our Dana Point Southwest office will receive a Nordhavn 52, 60 and 63. In addition to California, England and Florida, all of our offices worldwide – Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Seattle, WA, Queensland, Australia have Nordhavns available for you to view.

By the time you read this show will be over and hopefully everyone will have made it safely home – the wake and surge of Sandy was felt for days (including cancelled flights for company personnel) and we were all feeling pretty lucky with our inconvenience compared to the destruction that hammered the states to the north of Florida.. The FLIBS is truly an international event and we had clients from Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America and Down Under converge for the event. The next big international show in Florida is Miami in February; we hope to see you there!




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