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May 12th, 2014

The 2014 Southwest Rendezvous: an event fit for a Nordhavn owner

If ever there was a Nordhavn owner who was unsure what being part of the Nordhavn community was all about, it would have served them well to attend the 2014 Nordhavn Rendezvous in Dana Point, CA last weekend, where they’d have been swathed in a cornucopia of fun, camaraderie, education, laughs, food, drinks, and loads of PAE love, all capped off by the most gorgeous three days of weather anyone could ask for. PAE’s new headquarters provided a most perfect locale to hold the event with picturesque water views of Dana Point Harbor and the surrounding marina enveloping the office building, which, notoriously was the prior site of several different restaurants. When PAE took it over in 2013, the bar, lounge area and outdoor patio footprints were left intact and on this first weekend in May, these spaces were positively buzzing non-stop with owners milling about, either catching up with other owners, quizzing PAE staffers on various topics, taking a break between seminars, or catching some rays with a coffee or bloody Mary in hand.

By the time the waning hours of Sunday afternoon rolled around, most of the over 150 Nordhavn owners had said their goodbyes and were moving on – many via boat,travelling northward to Anacortes for the forthcoming Trawler Fest, while others had flights to catch back East, to Canada, and other parts of the globe – sated and happily spent with the activities and excesses of the Rendezvous. A huge 3,000-sq-foot tent erected in front of the building provided the setting for nearly 200 owners, PAE staffers, vendors and distinguished guests in attendance to enjoy scrumptious buffet lunches and dinners, entertainment and ceremonies.

While the focus of every Nordhavn rendezvous is camaraderie and owner appreciation, a secondary – and very important – theme of the weekend was the celebration of Nordhavn milestones. On Saturday evening, PAE vice president Jim Leishman addressed the crowd with a poignant speech about the magnitude of the “NAR effect”, not only on the Nordhavn brand, but on those who took part as well. By the end of the trip, all involved in the Rally were seasoned cruisers – whether or not they started out that way – all under the watchful eye of the world following the group online. “No summer of my life has been more rewarding,” Jim told the audience. “WE had accomplished what had never been done before. Eighteen motoryachts across over 4,000 miles of open ocean – from Florida to Bermuda, to the Azores and into Gibraltar. We departed each departure point and made each of our three arrivals within minutes of a schedule that was planned out six months prior to leaving Ft. Lauderdale. Everyone had a ball, we had very few significant problems that couldn’t be easily handled, there was no conflict, everyone helped one another and, without exception, we all became close friends.”

Each of the Rally participants who were in attendance received a print of an oil painting by a painter commissioned by PAE who captured the famed shot of the boats coming into Gibraltar as well as some note cards featuring the same painting.

Everyone kept asking the same question, what will PAE do as a follow-up to the NAR? Jim Leishman hinted at a Pacific Rally crossing from Dana Point, CA to Hawaii…stay tuned!

On Sunday afternoon, just after the delicious bon voyage lunch, several more Nordhavn owners were recognized, this time for the miles they’ve travelled on their Nordhavns. As part of the Distant Pennant Program, Nordhavn owners log their itineraries and miles covered, and in 5,000 nm increments are given pennants displaying the miles they’ve put under their keels. Since the program was launched in 2008, our owners have amassed nearly 5 million miles.

All tallied, this was PAE’s biggest and most elaborate Rendezvous and it will be a benchmark by which other rendezvous – including future Nordhavn gatherings – are measured.“We at PAE are in a state of happy and satisfied exhaustion this week as we look back on the wonderful Rendezvous weekend,” said PAE’s president Dan Streech. “Any time that you get two or more Nordhavn owners together, it is a party…put more than 100 together and you are guaranteed to have a SUPER NOVA party. My sincere thank you to the wonderful Nordhavn owners who traveled to Dana Point from near and far to participate in the seminars, dinners, tours, dancing, speeches and general conviviality that was the theme of the weekend. My thank you also to the PAE staff who labored so hard to make the event a success.”