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Nordhavn Building Blocks

December 11, 2008

By Jeff  Merrill

My kids have grown up exposed to boats and the sea; they have their own sailboats and have accompanied me on a few short Nordhavn trips.  Jonn, who is 11 and a Lego fanatic, is always putting together something new – a car, a plane, a flying car, a marina…Lego bricks are a great toy for an imaginative kid.

A few months back I brought Jonn home an unneeded CAD profile of a Nordhavn 68 which he promptly colored in yellow and “christened” Always Friday II (after his favorite Nordhavn 55) and taped it up to the wall in the play room.

A couple of weeks ago on a Friday afternoon after school, he announced to me he was going to make a Nordhavn 68.  He has Lego parts from countless sets and I’ve seen him assemble the kits to perfection and also mix and match pieces to create some pretty cool forms before, but my jaw dropped when in less than two hours he showed me what he’d snapped together – a widebody, dry stack rendition of one of our biggest sellers.

At Nordhavn  we pride ourselves on being technologically current. We’re pretty savvy with computers and have a great website, a huge server with megatons of information and our design and engineering department uses the latest and most sophisticated CAD software like 3-D modeling.

And yet at the same time we are fairly old-fashioned and traditional.  You’ve got to appreciate our conservative approach to our fundamental promise of building world class long range passage makers designed and built to safely deliver our owners across the oceans of the world.

So I chose to use this Lego model as a representation that simple is good, and a healthy  imagination can keep you on a path to living your dreams. Jonn has ambitions to be a boat designer.

Last month Jonn crewed with me aboard a Nordhavn 68 on a seatrial so he got the chance to really walk a 68 and somehow he combined that couple hour cruise with the drawing on the wall to create what is, as far as I know, the world’s first Lego Nordhavn 68 (another first for PAE).

Naturally I took the Lego 68 to work as kind of a “show and tell” and for over a week it was parked in a position of prominence just outside of PAE vice president Jim Leishman’s office where we usually have an encased model Nordhavn on display. When Jeff Leishman, Nordhavn’s Chief of Design, saw it he toyed around with it for a bit and gave his nod of approval.

So in a world that has seemingly been stood on end and with a lot of concern and uncertainty, I submit this as a reminder that our basics are solid, and the fundamentals will interlock brick by brick.  They may not offer naval architecture in our local sixth grade, but sometimes inspiration can come out of the (deep) blue.



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