Founded in 1974 by two young sailing enthusiasts, Nordhavn Yachts is known for producing smaller motoryachts capable or crossing vast distances. In 2002, the Nordhavn 40’ was celebrated as the smallest production powered vessel to circumnavigate the globe. Since then, Nordhavn has continued to be at the cutting edge of design, innovation, and seaworthiness. Popular among expedition yachters, Nordhavn has achieved the most circumnavigations of any other yacht firm in the world. Nordhavn specializes in cruising boats and expedition and offshore trawler yachts in a range of different sizes sure to satisfy every budget and cruising agenda.
Nordhavn Yachts developed out of the friendship between Jim Leishman and Dan Screech in 1973 while they were working at a yacht dealership in Dana Point, California. A year later, Jim and Dan opened their own brokerage with the help of Joe Meglen, another friend, a venture that would eventually develop into Pacific Asian Enterprises. The group got its start importing Taiwanese Transpacs, later developing their own models of sailing yachts in collaboration with shipyard Ta Shing Yacht. The trio’s engineering and boat maintenance backgrounds allowed them to work closely with the shipyard to improve and ensure the quality of the boats, which they worked on personally alongside the Taiwan builders.
This was the catalyst for a new strategy that was reflected elsewhere in the marine industry: Jim, Dan and Joe would develop, design, and oversee the production of new models from start to finish. This new approach enabled PAE to create its own line of sailboats in partnership with talented naval architect Al Mason. Mason was a natural choice: he trained under John Alden, who had designed the Malabar VII, a 40-foot yawl the Leishman family had sailed on for a year after Dan graduated from college.
With the help of Mason and the president of Ta Shing, Jim and his friends would produce their own model, the Mason 43, before either of them was 30. The Mason 43 was a roaring success, the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership with Mason that would produce 132 sailboats over the next decade. But this was just the beginning: in 1978, Jim’s brother Jeff Leishman joined the firm. A true prodigy, Jeff was involved in design work for PAE before he was out of high school, aided by a natural genius for drafting and drawing. By the time Mason retired in the late 1980s, Jeff had completed his naval architecture degree from the Yacht Design Institute and joined the firm full time.
Nordhavn was born when Jeff and Jim discovered the work of Robert Beebe, a US Navy captain who theorized that small displacement power boats could cruise long distances. Everyone knew it was possible, but no one had done it – not until the Nordhavn 46 was launched. Inspired by Beebe’s theories, the Nordhavn 46 began as Jeff’s senior project, which was so innovative that PAE’s original shipyard contractor refused to build it, blinded by the commonly held belief that offshore cruising could only be achieved by sailboats. Jeff and the team fought tirelessly to realise the project, deeply convinced that a 46-foot powerboat built for long distances would be the salvation of the declining cruising sailboat industry. They were right. Once realized, the Nordhavn 46 – so named for its resemblance to North Sea fishing trawlers – was immediately met with fanfare from Beebe enthusiasts and Mason loyalists alike.
Since then, Nordhavn’s innovative approach, informed by a genuine user-focused loved for sailing, has continued apace. Variations on Jeff’s original design have continued to be produced as new models ranging from the original 40-footer to a 148-foot superyacht. All vessels feature Category A stability.
In 2002, Jeff and his team boarded the legendary Nordhavn 40 and embarked on a PAE-crewed 26,000-mile circumnavigation. The Nordhavn 43 is the result of all the lessons learned on this journey, a new and updated version of the earlier model. PAE has expanded the interior space, added three feet of water line length, and increased the fuel capacity by 300 gallons to improve the vessel’s range. Comfort and living space are also a priority – perhaps a result of living on the smaller N40 for 172 days – with a master stateroom and two guest cabins. The wheelhouse, too, is expanded here, with space for a large helm chair to maximize the captain’s comfort on long expeditions. A spacious saloon has been designed to provide lounging space for up to eight guests across its port and starboard settees, which can be used to sleep extra guests. True to its roots, the Nordhavn is built for world cruising, with a maximum speed of 8.5 knots and an ocean-crossing speed of 7 knots – perfect for any intrepid navigator.
This stout 52-foot trawler has been designed with serious seafarers in mind. Form and function are completely merged in this vessel: the reverse pilothouse windshield will swiftly deflect waves and spray, the tough lead ballast in the keel will allow the boat to right itself even in the worst conditions, and the sturdy windows are made of 12 millimeters of tempered glass, ensuring exceptional watertightness. Though the boat itself is built like a tank, the interior prioritises comfort and liveability, fitted out with warm, dark wood. The Nordhavn 52 has a few layout options, with two or three cabins, making it perfect for family and friends. The 165-horsepower Luggar engine and wing engine for emergencies makes the Nordhavn 52 the ideal choice for carrying out long cruising expeditions in safety and comfort.
One of PAE’s latest offerings, the Nordhavn 80 proves once again that the firm is at the cutting edge of yacht design. Created in combination with Vripack, a forward-thinking Dutch design and naval architecture firm, the Nordhavn 80 is sure to attract a new generation of yacht owners while retaining its universal appeal. Inspired by the Scandinavian concept of hygge, a unique sense of comfort and chic coziness, the result is one of the most modern, stylish interiors ever seen in a yacht. Sophisticated, white floor-to-ceiling wainscotting throughout the interior gently contrasts with the light hardwood stairs and cabinetry, perfectly complimenting the generous natural light provided by large hullside windows. More traditional, dark wood options are available too. Four staterooms and a two-person crew cabin ensure ample space for long voyages on this immaculate superyacht. But the Nordhavn 80 isn’t just a pretty face: with twin 375 horsepower John Deere engines and a fuel capacity of 4810 gallons, it is more than capable of handling the sea with grace and force.
How to Buy a Nordhavn Yacht
If you’re interested in purchasing a Nordhavn yacht, a Staten Island Yacht Sales professional can assist you in your buying needs. All employees are trained to identify as many ways as possible to improve your experience when purchasing a Nordhavn yacht. As a 100-percent customer-driven business, SI Yachts delivers every time.
How to Sell Your Nordhavn Yacht
Staten Island Yacht Sales has the experience and the product knowledge to sell your Nordhavn yacht. Selecting the right full-service brokerage firm when selling your yacht improves the likelihood of a seamless and timely transaction. Listing your Nordhavn with SI Yachts, you can be certain it is in the hands of dedicated professionals. Over 50 years in business, our devoted Sales Professionals work attentively to provide you with first class representation.