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August 27, 2012

Look out for number one
The owners of the very first Nordhavn ever built are looking to pass on the legacy

What’s it feel like to own a piece of cruising history? For Patrick Mouligne, the owner of the very first Nordhavn ever produced, “it’s been a thrilling experience.” But does the thrill come from owning the legendary hull that launched the long-range cruising phenomenon or is it a byproduct of the adventurous, inspired, soul-building life Nordhavn ownership tends to provide?

Mouligne will emphatically nod toward the latter, though there was a certain sense of pride that came with taking over the reigns of the premier Nordhavn. One might call it a risk to invest in a model’s first hull (let alone a brand’s first hull!), but the kinks – if ever there were any – were well worked out with Nordhavn #1 by the time Mouligne bought her in 2006. And he’s assuredly extended the life of his N46, called Frog Kiss, with countless improvements.

Amongst the work Mouligne has put into Frog Kiss the past six years include upgrades to most of the key electronics including radar, AIS, chart plotter and autopilot. Necessary fixes were made to plumbing and mechanical systems. They also recently added a large bunk in place of the sitting bench in the guest room plus a large closet in the master stateroom, giving them a huge boost in storage space.

An avid sailor up until his purchase of Frog Kiss, Mouligne and his wife, Christine, who hail from near Newport, RI, decided to pursue powerboating when the rigors of sailing began to wear on them. They wanted to continue to visit far away places so they set their sights on a trawler, and quickly narrowed the list down to Nordhavn. “I was immediately attracted to the boat (at the time called Gannet) because she was a Nordhavn, the only true offshore cruising powerboat that I would consider switching [to] from sailing,” says Mouligne. The couple stayed true to their promise of passagemaking with trips up and down the East Coast as well as to Bermuda. After shipping the boat to Europe, they explored extensively throughout the Med. Since purchasing Frog Kiss, they have put 5,284 hours on her engine, having gone approximately 32,000 nm. “Her engine is just now broken in!” laughs Mouligne. She now sits in Turkey and is completely set up for European cruising.

She is totally outfitted to meet any European specific requirements. They are able to hook up to 110 or 220 volts, 25, 30, 50 or 60 amps. Plus she’s got a passarelle, Med-moor equipment, European propane tanks, and even a multitude of guide books. “You name it, I believe we have it,” said Mouligne. “It’s been four years of trial and error.”

After six glorious years of ownership, the Moulignes have opted to put Frog Kiss up for sale, a reluctant decision if ever there was one. “Between my last boat and Frog Kiss, we have been cruising pretty much full time for the past 10 years,” he said. “But Chrissy is ready for a change.” The beauty of Frog Kiss is that the boat was built as a 60-cycle boat which makes it ideal for an American or European who is interested in cruising either location without having to worry about obtaining the necessary adapters and equipment. Right now the couple is debating bringing her back to the States in November and wintering in the Bahamas. But they also admit to being flexible in where they will keep the boat if a serious buyer – from either side of the pond – had a specific request in delivery location.

She was put on the market earlier in 2012 under the management of Ben Sprague, based in the Northeast office, and Neil Russell, sales manager for Nordhavn Europe. Russell said the interest generated in Frog Kiss has as much to do with her place in history as it does her being an exceptional cruising yacht.

“Frog Kiss - just by the nature of what she represents - has generated great interest here in Europe both from potential buyers and also dreamers alike,” said Russell. “They realize she is truly a piece of maritime history being the first hull of the famous Nordhavn brand that has lead to the development of the trawler yacht section of the pleasure boat market. With her recent price reduction, extensive list of equipment onboard and being fully hydraulic (equipped with thrusters, etc.) – unusual for an N46, I think she represents excellent value and will carry her new owner safely and to any destination they may wish to go whether that is local or distant shores.”

In the mean time, the couple is happy to keep busy on the grand dame of Nordhavn. Says Mouligne: “I love feeling totally comfortable and safe days and nights cruising on this small ship. This boat can do at least what Nordhavn says she can – more than we ever expected. The Med waters are a much tougher place to cruise than I ever thought. Frog Kiss handles it very easily.”

Having been based in New England for so long, Frog Kiss has certainly proved she can manage the often unpredictable waterways from Cape Cod to Maine as well. The yacht’s Rhode Island-based sales representative, Ben Sprague, suggest that Frog Kiss is the perfect boat for the Northeast. “Our local waters offer a hybrid of cruising with plenty of opportunities for off shore and coastal travel. Frog Kiss easily adapts for whatever the situation requires – without ever abandoning the commitment to comfort and safety.”

And if a buyer doesn’t present himself in the near future? “If we do not find the right buyer, we will keep Frog Kiss and cruise ‘only’ four to six months a year,” said Mouligne. “You know, that would not be too bad!”