April 1, 2010
A treasure trove of early Nordhavn history
By Jeff Merrill
Rare and out of print…original Nordhavn brochures are now available!
It may not seem like it, but there actually was a world before the internet and the Nordhavn brand rolled out back in the “good old days” when eye contact, hand shakes, land line telephone calls and boat show tours were our best forms of sales promotion …along with an incredibly well done series of product brochures.
PAE has been a leader in just about every aspect of the marine boat selling business and our brochures of 10 plus years ago set the standard for the industry and many long time Nordhavn enthusiasts still SAVE and SAVOR these marketing masterpieces. The cost to prepare and print brochures is not appropriate in our green new world…we have found that digital images on CDs and our Circumnavigator magazine series can do so much more than an individual pamphlet focused on one model that, in reality, was dated as soon as it came off the printing press.
These old brochures are also, on the other hand, timeless. The copy still reads true, even though the gear and equipment featured in the photos is no longer the latest. We also stumbled a bit in our accuracy and one reason that we have not until now posted our wonderful old brochures is that we did not want to misdirect someone intentionally into making a purchasing decision based on an inaccuracy, like an miscalculated draft or over rated tankage. So, after a little bit of soul searching (and avoiding our lawyers) we are posting these cherished collections for historical reference only and with the caveat that “objects in the mirror may be larger than they appear”. Please read these pieces for general reference and personal enjoyment only.
“WARNING – PAE/NORDHAVN ADVISES THAT DETAILS, DIMENSIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS MAY BE OUT OF DATE AND THEREFORE CURRENTLY INNACCURATE. PLEASE VERIFY FACTS”
One of the beauties of the internet is that details can be quickly corrected and many a sharp eyed Nordhavn reader has brought a slight hiccup to our attention which we greatly appreciate and hurriedly fix. Not so with the old days of brochures. The draft of the Nordhavn 50, for example, is published as 5’2” when in reality (depending upon load) it is closer to 5’10”. Our project managers for all Nordhavn designs (those retired models and those still in production) take great care to update our specifications and we do our best to publish the “latest” information on our website.
Only a handful of each printed brochure remain scattered throughout the back closets of our offices world wide, mostly because they have been replaced with more modern marketing vehicles, but reading them again (or anew if you weren’t a Nordhavn fan ten years ago during their zenith) is like seeing an old friend after a long absence, there is some tremendous writing and descriptions that are worth sharing.
The Rosetta Stone was our original “Full Line” brochure which described the Nordhavn philosophy and proudly introduced our line up of Five Full Displacement Nordhavns: the 40, 46, 50, 57 and 62. This cleverly designed brochure included a lot of wisdom from Beebe/Leishman’s Voyaging Under Power (introducing A/B ratio and other formulas, etc.) and also had a “pocket” in the back to insert an individual product brochure. I can remember mailing these out along with specifications and options pricing (would love to have the pricing back from the old days). We could mail off a pretty thick package that would delight the recipient with plenty to peruse and enjoy. (Postage was also at a much more reasonable rate back in those days as you may recall).
Our current “Full Line” brochure gets updated annually as we add to and revise our product line. The current gatefold gallery of Nordhavns available to order shows 15 models (the new 63 isn’t even depicted) and only two models have survived from the original five: the 40 (in mark II version) and the 62 (the boat the design that just doesn’t want to quit). All of the hype and hoopla so well crafted and included in the original full line is gone in the gatefold edition, to make room for a photo, layout and dimensions of each design.
We have retired four Nordhavn models over the years; the 35, 46, 50 and 57 and though we don’t build them any more, they continue to prowl the planet and are much sought after in the brokerage (used boat) market. You can study all of the Nordhavn offerings by going to the brokerage section of our website (click here http://www.nordhavn.com/brokerage/index.php ). If you are looking for one of these great Nordhavns it is our hope that the old brochures will help with your hunt – and don’t forget to involve your Nordhavn sales contact as the expert advice from our staff is a critical compliment to your getting the best Nordhavn buy for your money.
The original “BIG” brochures series has given way to one page flyers with an artist’s rendering on one side and a basic equipment outline on the other. The “meaty marketing maestros” of yesteryear are gone and in many ways replaced with pictures worth thousands of words and our masterpiece Circumnavigator magazine and two DVDs – “Welcome to Nordhavn” and “The Nordhavn Atlantic Rally”. We are also developing new marketing tools like our “On Watch” series of newsletters to introduce new models like the 75EYF expedition yacht fisher and the MS56 Motorsailer.
With the Nordhavn brand now over 20 years old, we have established a history that is very interesting to aficionados. After all, some of our younger Nordhavn fans weren't even born when the first Nordhavn 46 was delivered. The historical reference material of a top marine brand (or any top brand for that matter) is invaluable to enthusiasts. Case in point: just a few weeks ago, the original Nordhavn 35 brochure was up for bid on eBay. Not meaning to defeat speculators who have protected their originals for many years (some people just have to hold it in their hands), or ruin someone’s would-be cottage industry of auctioning old Nordhavn marketing materials, but we’ve resurrected (most of) them for everyone to enjoy. Just remember that there are typos and mistakes which we have left as originally printed – the content is still well worthy to review. (One other note, several of the brochures were created with a “foil” style text affect that doesn’t present itself ideal for scanning. But the representations are readable.)
Please browse our individual models on the website to locate each original brochure. “Big” brochures were created in various evolutions of print for the following models:
The * indicates one of the “first generation” classic brochures.
These brochures were all designed with a back page pocket that could carry multiple single page “onion skin” inserts of interior layout choices, machinery arrangements and other details - he kind of important supporting documentation that these days we now send out via email in the form of a DWF or PDF image.
It is safe to say that the days of the model-specific brochure are gone at PAE. Time proved these works of art just too costly to produce and as sales propaganda they have served their role. The masses of cardboard boxes filled with brochures fresh from the printer that used to fill our warehouse have dwindled down to a few coveted copies remaining.
Remember, there are flaws and inaccuracies in each of these brochures so please get in touch with your Nordhavn sales contact to review the “facts”. Consider these gems as historical reference literature to supplant your knowledge and understanding. With that “warning” we now invite you to enjoy a passage through time to a world where brochures were the dominant marketing device.
Jeff Merrill is the original project manager of the Nordhavn 35 and is a sales representative for Nordhavn based in our Southwest office. He is now the curator of the Nordhavn online “museum” If you have an old Nordhavn brochure that you don’t see in our “vault” please mail it to PAE to Jeff’s attention or scan and email to him and we’ll get it posted. You can reach Jeff by cell phone – 949.355.4950, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter – merrilljeff.