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July 11, 2017
Final thoughts on the delivery of Nordhavn 55 Rainbow Chaser
After 26 days and 3,300 nm, Rainbow Chaser successfully arrived at her new homeport of Cabo San Lucas July 2. The primary motive for the trip was a change in location for the brokerage boat, which was hard to access at its previous slip in the Caribbean, but it ended up as a prime example of how enjoyable a long passage on a Nordhavn can be.
Bolstered by gorgeous weather the majority of the trip, Capt. Devin Zwick, the Nordhavn salesman who also has the listing for Rainbow Chaser, led a crew of three on a delivery cruise spent fishing, reading, watching movies, and enjoying a little exploring along the way. Plus, they did their bit of ocean conservancy with a marine animal rescue at sea! Sounds like tough work, right? But, as Zwick points out, aside from its obvious means, it serves as a way to better connect with his customers: to fully understand the appeal of globetrotting by boat.
The first leg of the trip, an 1,100 nm passage from Santa Lucia to Panama, was actually masquerading as a shakedown of sorts, given that Rainbow Chaser had sat in her berth unused for more than a year. After a couple of false starts due to some hiccups with the radar, the crew righted the ship and arrived without further issue in Panama. “It’s remarkable that after sitting for so long, she basically picked up right where she left off,” said Zwick. “We got the electronics issues sorted out in Panama, and the rest of the trip was great. She rode like a dream.”
A layover in Colon was extended due to scheduling issues with the Panamal Canal Authority, so the crew seized the opportunity to do a little exploring of the area including a hike through the jungle to Battery Mower (an old military installation, part of Fort Sherman) and did some fly fishing in a mangrove.
After completing the always interesting event of traversing the Panama Canal, the crew embarked on Leg 2 of the delivery, a 2,200-nm passage from Panama City to Cabo San Lucas. Midway through the trip, just south of Acapulco, they tracked the back of a tropical depression for about 500 nm, which left them with an abundance of great fishing. They reeled in a few 40 to 50 lb. Dorado, and with crew member Matt Pehkoff a bit of a chef in his own right, enjoyed delicious, gourmet meals.
Humming along contentedly, more than a dozen gorgeous sunsets in their wake, Zwick spotted a sizeable something floating in the water. It turned out to be a giant mess of commercial-long line fishing gear with hooks and about 30 floats. Upon closer inspection, the crew noticed a half dozen turtles that had gotten wrapped up in the mess and were struggling to survive. The weather was nice enough that they were able to stop, back the swim step up against the tangle, and cut all the turtles loose. They secured the “rat’s nest” of gear up onto the swim step and disposed of it when they got to Cabo.
Eighteen non-stop days at sea later, and Zwick secured Rainbow Chaser into her new slip, the place she’ll call home for the foreseeable future – until a new buyer comes and snatches her up. A bushed crew did some additional exploring – mostly having to do with surveying cervesas and relaxing on the beach - after tidying the boat up to be inspected by her current owner. The next day Nordhavn’s media director, Doug Harlow, flew down and conducted a photo shoot of Rainbow Chaser, in order to complete the full marketing package on her. Zwick is enthusiastic about the boat and expects it will sell soon. The current owner loved her but wants a bigger Nordhavn, said Zwick. “She’s been very well maintained and the owner has spared no expense in making her ship shape. I think that was evident in this delivery - any issue that presented itself was fixed right away.”
For Zwick, the steps taken to make the Rainbow Chaser as accessible to as many potential buyers, to making sure she’s in top form, is all part of the job. And even though he was only on shore six of the 26-day delivery, he said it was the type of trip that any cruising couple would have really enjoyed. “The gorgeous sunsets, the delicious meals made of freshly caught fish, the gentle motion of the boat and the intrigue of being in the middle of the ocean insulated by a safe, comfortable, seaworthy boat…the feeling can’t be beat,” he said, adding. “Probably with a few more stops scattered in there, this was the type of trip that gets people hooked on seeing the world by boat. On a Nordhavn.”