Anacortes, WA is a
wonderful sea town and a true gateway to boating heaven. This past weekend
marked the fourth year for PassageMaker magazine’s
TrawlerFest – a celebration of the cruising lifestyle. Nordhavn is a
national sponsor, has been since the beginning, and we participate in all four
TrawlerFests held annually around the country.
Cap Sante Boat Haven in Anacortes is a good sized marina
with modern floating docks and the venue attracted 66 trawlers for the hundreds
of aficionados who signed up to take
this all in. People fly in from all over the US and Canada to partake in this
festival and all those attendees I spoke with were excited to have so much
trawler access and information packed into three short days.
Don Kohlmann, the
Nordhavn Northwest sales manager brought up the glorious Nordhavn 62 Windflightfrom Seattle. She is hull 36 and
though she has an accepted offer, we
wanted to have her available for viewing to show what an amazing job the Ta
Shing yard can do in building a beautiful yacht. The Nordhavn 62 model has
come to the end of her production run, but Windflight represents all that a
potential buyer would want to see on a new 64, 68, 72 or 76. Don sold Windflight to her original owners and has just helped to deliver to this couple a brand new Nordhavn 68.
Barbara Lippert, the
Nordhavn listing agent for the Nordhavn 43 Navigator was her usual charming self greeting
all who came aboard with a smile and good humor. Navigator is a flybridge
43, and truly represents all of the best features a buyer is looking for in
this size Nordhavn. We are seeing a lot of interest in this size, and if you would like to learn more about your
choices, click on this article I
recently wrote:Nordhavn 43 article.
Rounding out our
sales team for the weekend, James Leishman and I flew up from Southern
California on Wednesday. James just sold the Nordhavn 47 Gaarden Partylast week,
and in fact, we had this N47
scheduled for display at the show and he sold it out from under us (which is
great!) and fortunately Barbara was able to quickly recruit Navigator.
start out with a wide selection of seminars and on Thursday I gave two talks,
“Purchasing a Trawler” and “Enjoying your Trawler”. It is always a pleasure
for me to meet with a group of folks who are about to embark on this wonderful
way of life, and the large, enthusiastic audience asked a lot of good questions and left for the docks
tuned up on what to look for.
The docks are open
from 10 am – 5pm and there were actually two other Nordhavns on display,
a 35 and a 60, so there was a good
variety of our brand to inspect. Several other Nordhavn owners brought their
boats (much more fun to come by water than by land or air) and among those who
I ran into during the weekend were: Cecil and Sheila Rhoades on the Nordhavn 55 Rhapsody,
Marty and Linda Ellison on the 55 Tenacious and James and Jennifer
Hamilton on their Nordhavn 52 Dirona. While all three of these
couples call the PNW home, special recognition should be given to John Graham,
the captain of the Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer Nordsail One who trekked up from the
Mexican border to make the event. A highlight was making the right turn into
the straight of Juan de Fuca and flying the spinnaker to charge into town.
Nordsail One was on display and represented by Voyages Northwest, a wonderful charter group based in Seattle that operates a
fleet of Nordhavns for charter. The Motorsailer is one of VNW’s
most popular attractions. (If you would like to know about chartering a
Nordhavn contact Doug Smith through their website
– www.voyagesnw.com). In fact their most active charter, the
Nordhavn 47 Sandstone, was at the docks the first day as part of a charter; pretty cool to attend a day of TrawlerFest and
then head out to the San Juan Islands while all of the other trawlers are tied up in Anacortes.
Barry Kallander, who started SeaKits a few years ago
after he purchased a Nordhavn 40 (the company recently changed its name to Wheelhouse Technologies) was also
a seminar presenter and had a booth in the vendor tent. Barry owns the
Nordhavn 40 Commander (available for charter summers in New England –
contact www.boatbookings.com). Barry gave a seminar, “Practical
Considerations for Spare Parts Outfitting” that was very popular with the long
range passagemaking trawler owners.
At Friday night’s dinner (the dinners are a blast and a great
way to unwind and dine at the end of a long day) I sat with James and Jennifer
Hamilton and we were joined by Don and Sharry
Stabbert of the famous Northern Marine 75' Starr.
The Stabberts joined the GSSR fleet of
three Nordhavns last year while the gang was in Japan and though they don’t own
a Nordhavn, we count them as part of our extended family, not only for their
buddy boating and long friendship with many Nordhavn owners, but also because
many Nordhavns call their marina the Salmon Bay
Marine Center home and our tight knit community enjoys so many shared
experiences. Other Nordhavn “pals” I connected with included: Jeff Sanson of Pacific Yacht Management, Larry Schildwachter of Emerald Harbor Marine (who helped us with deliveries), Steve D’Antonio who taught at TFest U, gave
talks and prowled the docks, Bob Sweet – author of Powerboat Handling Illustrated from the US Power Squadron, Denis and Mary Umstot who are working on the 4th edition revision of Voyaging Under Power, Ed Cox, organizer for this year’s FUBAR
Rally (seven Nordhavns are signed up) and the omnipresent “Lugger Bob”
Bob Senter who gave classes, poked around in engine rooms and always has time
to share his advice.
Saturday morning presented
a little bit of a conflict – wish I could have been in two places at once.
Don Kohlmann joined a Naval Architect and Boatbuilder Roundtable moderated by
the always entertaining Chuck Hawley of West Marine (Chuck used to be the
official TrawlerFest master of ceremonies back in the early days and it was
great to see him back on the scene) - at the same time James and Jennifer
Hamilton gave a very intriguing talk about their cruise to Alaska last summer
aboard the Nordhavn 52 Dirona. I sat in on the Hamilton
talk joined by new Nordhavn 40 owners Jeff and Denise Johansen (with their
daughter Emily) and we marveled at the beauty of Alaska. (The Johansens and I were up on Kodiak Island,
Alaska last week for the sea trial and survey of their N40 brokerage purchase
– watch this site for an article about that experience).
Nordhavn owners passed through our boats and strolled along the docks during
the three day event including: Bill and Arline Smith of the 62 Autumn Wind which is available for sale (thanks again for dinner Wednesday night!), Don Weippert of the 55 Lili Pad, Stan Heirshberg of the 50 Crossroads, John and
Sandy Henrichs who just sold their 64 Tiger, Gary and Shari Rogowski from
the 35 Sanctuary, Jef Appel former
owner of the 55 Enterprise and though I didn’t see him, Ken Williams
from the 68 Sans Souci also made the rounds.
It was also fun to
see a few of the Nordhavn Dreamers (nice to meet you Jimbo and thanks for your
post on the Dreamers group).
We had three days of
sun and then the rain returned during the final hour Saturday, but by then we
were all headed up to the tents for the closing cocktail reception. We all
celebrated when Cecil and Sheila Rhodes won the coveted Ocean Navigator award
for being the couple who travelled the farthest to attend the event.
I’d like to thank all
of our friends at PassageMaker for another outstanding event. Great job of
organizing all of the multi-layered logistics and the fantastic promoting developed a large attendance of boats on display, equipment
in the tents and enthusiastic crowds eager to learn more about trawlers. I had
several wonderful visits with future Nordhavn owners and
we all met some great new prospects. The interest in Nordhavns continues
to gain momentum and sales of new and used Nordhavns is becoming increasingly
busy with spring arriving and summer boating plans getting organized.
The next Trawler Fest
is scheduled for October 6 - 9 in
Baltimore, MD and then the last one for 2011 will be in San Diego, CA November 10 - 12. So, block out your calendar
and make reservations for those fall dates now – it’s a great way to stay
informed about what is happening in the Trawler world. For more details on these events go to www.trawlerfest.com.
In the meantime, this spring/summer cruising season is here now – get out
on the water and enjoy time aboard!