Nordhavn Changes Over the Years

While we realize our readers are anxiously awaiting part two of Duet’s refit, in the meantime we thought we would provide some pictures of various Nordhavn models over the years. This gallery was developed during the search for Duet, and focuses on the 50 versus other models, as that is where our search was directed. What is of particular note, at least to us, is that, despite all the changes, the latest Nordhavn is still obviously a Nordhavn, and you can easily identify the common DNA in every model.
 
When we first started looking for another boat, we discussed, in nauseating detail, what we liked, and didn’t like, about our 46. The 46, along with the 62, are probably the most “famous” Nordhavn models built to date. When we got our 46 in 2000, there were very few on the East Coast, at least where we were. Everywhere we went, someone came by to ask about her. What was she? How far could she go? What were the funny poles on the sides? At least we didn’t get asked, as a PAE delivery team once did on a 62, “what kind of research are you doing?”
 
So we had some ideas about how we wanted our next boat to look. Many folks have said that a lot of what boating is about is the romance of it, and that starts with how the boat looks. Some folks like the speedy look, others the woody nautical look, still others the tramp steamer. We have often admired a Colin Archer double ender, but wouldn’t own one, due to the maintenance the “look” requires.
 
Since we acquired our 46, Nordhavn had introduced several generations of new models, first the 50/57, a contemporary depature, which some folks liked and some folks didn’t. Second, the 40, that small tank which went around the world in slightly more than 80 days with scarcely a hiccup. Third, the 47 and 55, which have now evolved into the 47/52 and 55/60/63 series, and are the most successful models introduced so far. Finally, the “big” boats, the 64/68, the 72/76, the 86 and the 120. 
 
Somewhere in there the 43, a refined version of the 40, and the obvious successor to the 46, appeared. All of these later generation models had one thing in common, they were taller. This allowed more luxurious accomodations, as well as larger tankage and other refinements, but didn’t compromise seaworthiness.
 
As part of our search for a new boat, we assembled a series of pictures of various models in close proximity to one another, which our readers might find interesting, as they illustrate how things have changed.
 
Below is the famous 46, Salvation II, which circumnavigated with her intrepid owners, Jim and Susy Sink, shown next to the beautiful 50, Flat Earth. Flat Earth has traveled many miles throughout Alaska and the South Pacific with her owner Phil Eslinger, who took this picture. For us, this is a seminal picture, as it is effectively the old Duet next to the new Duet.
 
 
 
Then we have a photo from what was an impromptu rendevous in Mexico, of the N43 Serenity (whose crew took this picture), the 46 Blue and the 50 Sally G. Sally G was previously owned by Dick and Gail Barnes and was named Ice Dancer. The Barnes have cruised over 80,000 miles on their two Nordhavns, this 50, and the 57 Ice Dancer II.
 
Like us, the folks who own the 50 Sally G previously owned the 46 Sally G. So we are not alone in owning two Nordhavns. Actually there are quite a few folks who have owned two, some have owned 3 and a very few, 4. We never say never, but we think we will probably stop at two.
 
 
 
 
Finally, and this picture has occasioned more comment than any other that we have found, below are the N55 Cloudy Bay and the N50 Crossroads. Crossroads is Hull #1 of the 50 series, the picture was taken by Stan Heirshberg, who owned her at the time. The changes in the newer generation are clearly visible. The 55 is 5 feet longer, 2 feet wider and over 15 tons heavier.
 
 
 
 
As with anything else, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and every Nordhavn is beautiful, not only to her owner, but to all those who see her on the water.