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Old 10-17-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 768
In Search Of Nordhavn #3

The following post is provided to assist others who may be thinking about purchasing a used boat and may learn a thing or two from our journey. My name is John and my wife (Maria) have been fortunate to have owned many boats over the past 30 years with the last two boats being Nordhavn trawlers. We have written a small book about our live aboard experience and written a few magazine articles. We enjoy sharing our experiences with others in hope they can learn from our mistakes and experience great times on the water.

Unlike our first two Nordhavn trawlers this will be our first used boat. After 30+ years of boating we never purchased a large (above 30 feet) used boat and the journey so far has been interesting to say the least. While we prefer not to post specifics about the boat since the deal is not complete and anything can cause us to reverse our decision, I do want share our process as a learning experience.

After finding the boat (a story within itself which I plan to write about later) we finally scheduled a visit to see the boat with the owner present. Our Nordhavn representative (and good friend) Jeff Merrill and I spent a good 30 minutes in the engine room alone and walked away feeling we had found a diamond in rough. I can say with confidence after spending over a year looking for our next boat. One rule of thumb of I use when looking at any boat or boat design is that if the engine room is not clean and provides easy engine access then its best to keep looking. I could not imagine considering a boat that doesn't offer true engine room access through a dedicate engine room door regardless of the size. Opening up salon floor boards every hour to perform engine room checks spells poor design in our book. Not trying to offend any owners or designers but honestly where is the thought process for safe cruising which should include hourly engine room checks. Some may say I'm overkilling the importance of engine room checks but when you grew up around airplanes and flying, safety becomes first nature.

Next step in the process is to schedule and perform a sea trial and haul out inspection. I found it interesting that some people will not pay for the haul out and rely on an in the water inspection alone. We will pay extra to pull oil samples from all appropriate machinery to make sure everything is running as designed and been well cared for. The buyer normally pays for the haul out, inspection and an insurance amendment to cover this process. When we sold our last boat I paid for the extra insurance but this time around the owner is asking we pay for it which I agreed. Total cost of these items will be around $1.5K. A small investment when you are serious about purchasing any boat.

My next post will include how the sea trial and inspection went followed by the next steps in the process. I hope this is helpful to others. If anyone would like to contact us directly please feel free to do so at

John T. (N4050 & N4061 - in search of N3)
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