By Jeff Merrill
September 12, 2006
There is something just right about a summer Sunday afternoon party – it’s the perfect time to get out of the house and get down to the dock of the Bay! On June 25th Doug and Elaine MacMillan, the proud new owners of Nordhavn 5509 “Moxie” hosted a group of 70 friends and family for a gala celebration.
As seems to be a recurring theme, this event was the culmination of a long, well-thought out process that began way back at the 2004 Miami Boat Show when I first showed Doug and Elaine our concept drawings for the 55. Back in February, 5509 arrived at our docks in Stuart, Florida and after commissioning, outfitting and training it was time to bring her home to the Chesapeake.
The trip north was a fun adventure for three couples: Doug and Elaine and friends, Charlie and Elizabeth Hamilton and Jack and Marilyn Freese. It was exactly three days, three hours and 30 minutes according to Doug with only a couple of unexpected “thrills” and mostly a great first trip to stretch out Moxie’s legs and get acquainted with how powerful a Nordhavn 55 can be in open water.The arrival on the Chesapeake started a countdown of less than six days to get ready for the christening so Doug stashed all of the manuals that he had been reading and the group carefully stowed the evidence of the trip north and got Moxie into her party dress.
After several days of organizing and cleaning up loose ends, the weekend finally arrived and on Saturday Doug and Charlie brought Moxie across the river to tie her up for the next day’s festivities. The River Walk restaurant has a mini public marina located at the foot of the Coleman Bridge in Yorktown, VA, which is an historic waterfront city. (Site of a pivotal Revolutionary War battle where the French fleet held off the English fleet denying Cornwallis his desperately needed supplies forcing the British general to surrender to Washington, which won the war and determined who’s face would appear on the one dollar bill…)
Sunday more naval history was to be made as over 70 guests enjoyed hors d’ouvres and an open bar. Daughter Heather Hofacre and granddaughter Alexandra (the princess extraordinaire who rivaled Moxie for top billing) were on hand to see the christening of the Moxie, Doug & Elaine’s seventh boat and first power boat!
After greeting guests individually and making sure the party was moving along swiftly, Doug and Elaine strode up to the foredeck for a brief intermission. Doug thanked everyone for attending, talked a bit about how this day had finally come to be and also explained the name Moxie which most of us know as an adjective for someone who has “a lot of spirit and a lot of guts”. The word moxie actually found its way into our vernacular as the brand name for a soda pop still made in Massachusetts and historians confirm that the beverage was at one time more popular than Coca Cola. Doug and Elaine selected the name to grace their boats one night while watching a first-run episode of “Cheers” several years back in which barmaid Carla referred to a feisty patron as having a lot of moxie. The name stuck, and this is the MacMillans’ fifth Moxie.
The crowd on the docks included people who had flown in from Seattle, Arizona, Philadelphia and other assorted destinations – hey, if Doug throws a party, you go! And those who know Doug well know he likes to have a little bit of fermented grape juice on hand (5509 sports an awesome wine storage locker which contains over 100 bottles – well at least it did before the party). Doug didn’t want just any off-the-shelf chandlery champagne bottle used to honor his new yacht so he selected a prized bottle from his home cellar, scored the glass to assist in the shattering and stuffed it into a nylon with a rope leash - just in case. After Elaine made a valiant effort to smack this bottle over the bow, Doug made sure that the second whack was a gusher and Moxie was officially welcomed by Poseidon.
Boat tours, toasts and laughter followed with lots of handshakes and hugs. Moxie will be a ‘floating cottage’ in Doug’s description, which will home base in the Chesapeake during the summers and then travel south to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean during the winter months.
To Doug and Elaine, many thanks for switching over from sail to power and selecting the Nordhavn 55 to be your new waterfront cottage. May your crew always have a smile on their faces, and the wine locker always have at least one more bottle!
Jeff Merrill is a salesman at Nordhavn Yachts Southwest in California. You can get in touch with him via email: email@example.com.