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Nordhavn 50 Offshore Training Delivery


Offshore Underway

Nordhavn 50 Offshore Training Delivery from Vero Beach, FL to Southport, NC. 400+ miles.

In June of 2020 Jeff met with Neil and Kathleen Donohoe to join them on a multi-day non-stop training cruise from Vero Beach, FL to Southport, NC.

The Donohoe’s purchased this Nordhavn 50 (unlisted private sale) through JMYS in November 2019. At that time they planned to keep the vessel in Vero Beach, FL for the first half of 2020 and then move north to fulfill their insurance latitude obligations which started in July.

This video is an attempt to capture some of what we saw, learned and discussed, while sharing this mini-cruise with others who may also be interested to find out more about what it is like to travel offshore and do your first overnight passage.

One of the commitments the JMYS team loves to honor is spending time with our clients well after the sale to join them for a couple of days coaching, instruction and training. This is a favorite part of our job, but doesn’t always happen due to timing conflicts with scheduling and weather.

We blocked off the third week of June months in advance, well before the Covid-19 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. As the date to book flights and confirm the trip drew near, we all agreed that it was safe for Jeff to travel across country, the boat was ready and, more importantly, Neil and Kathleen were keen to head offshore and test their sea legs on a long continuous run.

There is always a bit of anticipation for the unknown and for many trawler owners there is trepidation about traveling at night…it seems scary, until you try it and see you CAN do it. Jeff has traveled many nights at sea and enjoys sharing many of the skills he has learned providing a firsthand, on-the-job experience to our clients.

Neil and Kathleen had practiced locally to prepare for heading offshore which really helped. When one of them was on watch or had the duty for an engine room check it was familiar, just a little bit different bouncing around. Night watches may have seemed intimidating before actually doing them, but both Neil and Kathleen have much more confidence now. Successfully arriving after running for 94 hours straight removed any doubts of whether they could handle this or not.

The “perfect” offshore passage is boring…everything works, there are no exciting moments or break downs, it’s simply a matter of doing time to connect the ports. This trip wasn’t boring or exciting, however the seas were lumpier than forecast. It was uneventful for the most part, but a great educational experience (watch and see).

Hourly pilothouse reports and regular engine room checks become routines that help fill the time and keep you in tune with your vessel. We all filled in the checklists, completed the inspections when it was our turn, and each of us found our own rhythm – gaining insights and awareness not only with the boat. You can also learn a lot about yourself when you travel away from land.

Tactically we went too far offshore and overshot the Gulf Stream push. This reduced our course adjustment options so when it got rough our only choice was to slow down. The second day was just plain uncomfortable, and Jeff didn’t even break out the video camera because he was lethargic and unmotivated to film.

The Nordhavn 50 ran smoothly and we got into a groove that would allow us to keep running for days. It gets a little bit old and soothingly monotonous, but the countdown to arrival is a mix of “finally” and “shoot, it’s too soon”.

Arrival morning was timed for daylight and slack tide and we knew we were getting close when our phones started beeping to alert us of missed calls, texts and emails (that part of civilization is easy to ignore when out of range, but also meant we had to set aside time once ashore to catch up).

The Donohoe’s did a lot of research before making their decision to purchase. We reviewed several brands and models before finding this Nordhavn 50. The previous owners, Clayton and Deanna, maintained her in excellent shape and were ideal sellers. 50-05 was previously known as “Tivoli” (read it backwards).

It was a fun trip and now Neil and Kathleen are positioned to explore at will, linger if they like it, and check out new and exciting locations on a whim secure in the knowledge that they know how travel by trawler.

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Jeff Merrill | mobile +1 949.355.4950 (call or text) | email:

Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales, Inc.