Nordhavn 86 (Part 2)

The pictures I posted yesterday, of the Nordhavn 86, attracted a far amount of comment – as they should. It’s an incredible boat.


One email yesterday referred me to a message board, where someone had posted a message that I thought really captured the spirit of the Nordhavn 86:


“…I somehow like that little Nordhavn yacht. It has charm and an aura of adventure…


I’m not sure I agree that it is a “little yacht” … but, certainly I agree with the rest of that comment.


To those who haven’t read the comments: click here, and read the comments at the bottom of the page.


Thank you to everyone who commented, both on my blog and via email!


Personally, as much as I like the color of the 86, and of the dark blue hulled Nordhavns, this whole (or, is it hull?) topic reminds me of a trivial pursuit question that I once had. The question was “What is the ultimate thirst quencher?” and the answer, which I didn’t guess, was “Water.” Sometimes, simple is good. I once saw an article that talked about the btu requirements to cool a dark-blue hulled boat versus a white-hulled boat, and the difference was huge. I wish I had saved the article so I could quote it. Unfortunately, I can’t give accurate information, but I do remember that the btu difference for cooling was very significant. I doubt the color of this 86 is anywhere near as difficult to cool as a dark-blue hull would be, but it’s probably well ahead of what a white hull would be.


On a semi-related topic, I shouldn’t admit this, but I chuckle a bit when I think about my prior boat, which was painted completely black by its current rock-star owner, who this summer probably caught on that, as “hip” as it might look, black has certain flaws when sitting at the dock during a muggy New York summer.


Several people; on my blog, on message boards, and in my email, commented on the anchoring setup on the 86. Most positively, but a few with concerns. Perhaps someone could clarify the concerns, because I don’t understand them. The dual anchor setup, which I copied for my boat, is a great idea. One person posted on a message board that they thought the anchors would be pounded by the waves, and slow the boat down. Perhaps I’m missing something, but this isn’t something I’ve ever seen as an issue. The anchors sit high enough off the water that it is rare for the waves to come over the bow, and when they do, which does happen, the shape of the bow pulpit doesn’t seem to make much difference, or at least none that I’ve noticed. As I said, perhaps I’m naïve on this issue, but I read everything posted, and still don’t get the issue. The dual bow-anchor setup seems awesome to me.


One message board posting I read seemed biased towards anchors that launch from the sides of the bow. This has always seemed awkward to me. Often when pulling the anchor, it comes up packed with seaweed. With the side-bow anchors, you can barely see the anchors. How do you know if they are packed with crud when reeling them in? How do you knock the crud off? Obviously, there is something here I’m not seeing.


The one area where I might have done things differently than the 86 owner is to have considered putting two different types of anchors. I carry a Rocna, and a Fortress, whereas the 86 appears to have twin CQRs.


I’ll close by commenting for a second on my boat. Today was a “big-deal” day. Today was the day when the shipping company was supposed to let me know whether or not they could transport my boat.


For those who haven’t followed the whole soap-opera, I’ll give a brief summary:


Over the past five months, I have been given three different shipping dates, all of which the shipping company has missed. As you can imagine, my conversations with the freight company have not always been pleasant, and my hands are somewhat tied as to what I can, and should, say. To make a long story short, I’ve been assembling a delivery crew, who can bring the boat north from Costa Rica to Seattle. The freight company, which has already been paid in full, today asked to be given a “fourth chance,” and that they “may” have a boat for me in a couple of weeks. As I said, I cannot comment, however, the old saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me three times, and ask for a fourth try….then ….” comes to mind.


3 Responses

  1. Ken,

    Knowing the subject of opening up the Nordhavn fourm has been discussed, and that the preference of the owners is to keep it private, helps me to gain a valuable perspective. Through your explanation, I now appreciate that a valuable funtion is served by keeping the fourm private.
    Nordhavn owners are generous to make their websites available to armchair passagemakers and they are the best reading in terms of adventure and technical know-how. In fact, you also make your manuals and engineered drawings available for study, which is very cool/excellent. Thank-you for sharing and for taking the time to explain the history of the fourm.


  2. David:

    There was a lot of discussion last year on the Nordhavn board about opening it up to the public. It wasn’t Nordhavn that wanted the message board kept private — it was the owners. There was quite a vigorous debate with some owners for making the board public, and others wanting it kept private. Ultimately, the decision was made to keep the board private, as it has been for a decade. Someone pointed out that we have a VERY successful group, that we all find extremely useful,, and why do we want to “mess with success?” That made a lot of sense.

    Other concerns mentioned:

    – The owners like the idea of having a place where they can speak candidly without worrying about what they say coming back to haunt them.

    -The kinds of questions an owner has tend to be different than a prospective owner.

    -There was concern that we might get 100s of “newbie” questions cluttering the board.

    There are plenty of alternate ways for interested persons to learn about Nordhavn’s boats:

    Nordhavn’s sales people are very good about getting prospective customers answers to their questions. They can hook up any prospective buyer with existing owners to answer questions, and I know of a few cases where sales people have helped broker “ridealongs” where a buyer rides along on a passage.

    Nordhavn’s owners tend to be very opinionated about their boats, the systems and boating in general. Mine is only one of many blogs. Nordhavn has a list of owners websites on their site. There are also several message boards which have really good info.

    As to my boat and the problems shipping it north: Your comment summed up my thinking (“Arrgghhh!”). Oh well… I need to figure out what I can and can’t say, but I have much I’d like to say on the subject.

    -Ken W

  3. Ken,
    AAAARRRRRRRhhhhhhh….you must be pounding the wall when you think about the yacht transport company. I know you’ll encourage Jeff to write if you send him.

    Is there a fourm that is open to aspiring Nordhavn owners that I am missing? I have seen one with Yachting and another with Power and Motoryacht, and have understood there is a closed Nordhavn fourm for owners only. I feel that given the quality of the Nordhavn, it would help sales to allow aspiring owners to read an owners fourm, however I can understand not wanting unsolicitated responces from the general public. I am always curious to follow a thread to more insight into systems design and engineering with the Nordhavn.
    I saw the video of your previous boat pianted black and it really didn’t work very well. They must have blisters on their feet.

    Good luck and Thanks,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be the first to know when

the game releases!

Plus, receive special insider, behind the scenes, sneak peeks and interviews as the game is being made. Don’t worry. We will not spam you, and we will not flood your box with too many emails.
 — Ken Williams

Credits     |     Video produced by: Rock Steady Media     |     Teletype photo: Arnold Reinhold     |     PDP-11 photo: Trammell Hudson