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December 29, 2009

Here’s to a perfect ’10!

The end of the year is always magical to me.  Knowing that I’ve worked the last day in the office, that my new calendar is ready to be tacked up (the 2010 Nordhavn calendar naturally!) and that my goals for the coming lap around the sun are being outlined get me excited to cross the starting line for the next round.  Usually I gobble up a stack of special edition magazines (especially music periodicals) as I’m a sucker for those top 10, year end, best of lists.  Surely for almost all of us the last week of December between Christmas and the New Year is a special family time with holiday good will, decorations and sweets, a feel-good buzz that affords a reflective look behind to see the current year trailing in our wake and bridges the anticipation as we look ahead through the clear windows of the pilothouse to the horizon of the coming year.  The fact that it is the end of the decade, the end of the “naughties”, was initially lost on me, the “aughts” (should haves?) or whatever we are going to call this 10-year chunk went by in a blur and I suspect that is one reason I take comfort in a product that travels at hull speed…when you take your time you can enjoy the ride on the way to your destination.

New Year’s resolutions are fun to consider…more exercise, less over indulgence, increased time with family and friends…it’s that annual ritual to take stock, think about what is important and firm up some direction for what is coming.  Most people reading this are in the “afternoon hours” of their lives and even though there are many good years left before bedtime it’s not too early to start making reservations for how you want to enjoy the evening.

The liveaboard cruising lifestyle, taken in weekly doses or as a full time cure provides a quality of life that is as rewarding as it is fulfilling.  How do you dip your toe into the shallow water to begin preparations? Why not make 2010 the year you book that charter on a Nordhavn or agree to sail as crew aboard a Nordhavn for a coastal trip?  Maybe signing up for a diesel engine class or studying coastal navigation to sharpen your skills?  Vow to spend some time offshore, away from the dock and enjoy the Milky Way - best viewed miles from land - and rejoice in the satisfaction of a sunrise that punctuates the end of an overnighter.

Armchair cruising and surfing the internet to chase down information will help get you ready. Join the Nordhavn Dreamers Group on Yahoo and meet Nordhavn owners and those who hope to someday become Nordhavn owners. Crack open Circumnavigator magazine – there are now four issues in the series and I’m sure you will find something new and interesting with another read even if you have already devoured them cover to cover in the past.  And on the subject of reading, there are some great new books you should consider buying: John Torelli’s Life is a Journey: Why Not Live It Aboard A Trawler, David Schramm’s Jenny’s Journey and Ken Williams’ latest, The Great Siberian Sushi Run. I’ve read all three and highly recommend them. Also, be on the look-out for a huge Nordhavn book event in 2010 – the part one publication of Eric and Christi Grab’s circumnavigation aboard their Nordhavn 43 Kosmos. (Ed. note: while you’re at it, sign up for the monthly Nordhavn e-newsletter.)

We roll into '10 with the benchmark Dow Jones in five figures (hopefully back to stay) and lenders ready to bankroll financing.  The Great Recession is over (that’s what the media tells me and it’s something I want to believe).  There is buoyancy in the boat buying market that had been hiding underwater for much of the past two years.  The typical holiday halt that we have experienced for years didn’t happen this year. From November through December, usually our slowest time of the year, we have signed an incredible six new build contracts for Nordhavns…and almost as many used Nordhavns have received offers or closed in that same time frame.  It is well known that the boating business is a leading indicator of the economy, both on the way down and on the way up. Makes sense. You don’t really need a boat like you need a house, food, etc.  A Nordhavn is a luxury purchase, a reward, an unnecessary acquisition…but a perfect magic carpet which will allow you and your family to spend time together and “sea the world”.  Hey, you can’t take it with you, so why not take it along with you?

There are a number of boat shows coming up – check the Nordhavn calendar section of our website and block off a few days to come step aboard and meet with our sales staff to see first-hand how a Nordhavn will fit into your plans.  The January Lake Union Boats Afloat show will have the Nordhavn 57 Bagan on display – come see what a Northwest Passage icebreaker looks like. There are also upcoming shows in Stuart, FL, Dusseldorf, Germany, San Diego, CA, plus a TrawlerFest in Ft. Lauderdale and before you can say Valentine’s Day it will be time for the Miami International Boat Show so it’s not too early to begin making plans.

In 2010 we will see part two of the Great Siberian Sushi Run with an expected leg including a return to Taiwan, to the Ta Shing yard in Tainan, where all three of these Nordhavns were built.    We also hope to surpass 3.5 million miles in our Distance Pennant Program.

We all know timing is everything and I hope that as you read my ponderings you reassess your station in life and are not only thankful for what you have already done, but are enthusiastically planning for what is yet to come.  They also say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  Whether your idea of cruising involves pine trees, icebergs and looking for bears or palm trees, sandy beaches and running barefoot, a Nordhavn will get you there safely and you will savor every moment underway.  

My wish for you and your family in 2010 is that you cast off and get to breathe a lot of salt air, with warm winds and smooth seas.  Here’s to a perfect '10!