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Sushi, Sake, and a Nordhavn 64

By Amy Zahra

The christening of Nordhavn 6404 was unlike any other launch party held at the Dana Point docks before. Sure it included lots of PAE staff, friends and family of the owners and good food and drink. But that wasn’t Jimmy Buffet emanating from the stereo. It was the sound of a single booming drum. And some of the party goers were dressed in robes. Hmm…what kind of fete was this anyway?

It was a Japanese-themed christening party in tribute of the brand new Nordhavn 64, Samurai. Owners Richard and Ann Rinaldi developed an affinity for the country of Japan and its culture after living there for two years and decided to incorporate the style into their brand new boat.

Stepping on to Samurai, the appreciation for Japanese tradition is readily apparent. Avid collectors of Japanese antiques and woodblock prints, the Rinaldis filled their boat with various finds from over the years. “We find this aesthetic comfortable and relaxing and it has worked out very well for us,” said Richard Rinaldi.

When it came to naming their boat, Samurai seemed the natural choice. “The translation of the word samurai is ‘to serve a master,’” Rinaldi said. “We think our Nordhavn 64 will serve us well.” Especially when the seas and skies are not so friendly.

It was an epiphanous moment that lead the Rinaldis to Nordhavn and Samurai. Ann, who hails from Erie, PA, and Richard, a New York City native, were both accomplished sailors and had spent many years sailing up and down the East Coast and even Europe.One particularly frigid, rainy and blustery November day, the couple – bundled up in fowl weather gear and attached to lifelines in the cockpit of their 64-foot schooner – were headed to the Caribbean when they passed a trawler. “We were cold and miserable,” Richard recalled. “I looked over and there was a person in the pilothouse in short sleeves drinking a cup of coffee, and BINGO… I saw the light!”

In 2000, Richard retired from a six-year stint at Dell Computer as Vice President of worldwide service operations so the couple could continue cruising to far-off places. Now they will do so from the comforts of Samurai’s huge saloon, cushy stateroom and roomy wheelhouse. Aside from Samurai’s unique theme, one of the reasons she seems so inviting is the overall decorating palette and choices Ann Rinaldi made in stylizing her. In fact, Samurai was so beautifully done that other owners requested Ann’s assistance with trimming out their own boats. And PAE opted to use Samurai in a photo shoot to promote the magnificence of the new Nordhavn 64.

Back on the docks, sushi and sake were being thrown back with abandon and even PAE’s president Dan Streech, adorned in Japanese robe, took a ceremonious turn at the drum. Before the celebration, the Rinaldis discussed their immediate cruising plans with excitement.At this time they are cruising northwestern Canada and the Inside Passage and later this year they will head back down the coast to participate in the FUBAR Rally in November. They’ll continue south but are unsure if they will turn left or right at the canal.

No matter which way they decide to go, we are sure Samurai will treat her masters well.



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