Featured Nordhavn: N7202 Shear Madness
I'm pleased to announce that Nordhavn 7202 is this month's feature! A huge thank you goes out to Kathy Clark for taking the time to partipate in the feature and for sending over some of the best pictures I've had the pleasure to include on this site thus far!
Why Nordhavn and why an N72?
We are former sailors and switching to a trawler took a little time for us. When we sold our 56-foot Oyster sailboat in 2007, we fully intended to buy another sailboat. But a very good friend from NZ convinced us to at least look at a trawler and we went aboard a Nordhavn at the Annapolis boat show. That got us thinking about all the pros and cons. The idea of a snug, warm pilothouse, the amount of living space, not constantly on a heel when underway, and hydraulic stabilizers eventually won! Since we want to do expedition cruising we wanted a larger boat to allow for another couple to easily accompany us and to provide added safety for the more remote locations.
Did you look at other Nordhavn's prior to making the decision to buy/build SHEAR MADNESS? If so, what other Nordhavn’s did you look at?
We looked at the 55 initially but were more excited about the 68. At the time there were no used 68’s on the market so we pursued a strategy of finding the best available used boat, which turned out to be 7202 in early 2010.
If you could change one thing about SHEAR MADNESS or add something that you saw on another Nordhavn, what would you change and why?
The only complaint I have is the small outdoor eating space. The table in the flybridge is OK for cocktails but fitting more than 4 for dinner is a challenge. Bradley would also extend the tender deck fully over the aft cockpit. This would both increase the room on the Tender deck for storage and access, while also providing sun and rain protection to full aft deck.
On the other side of this same question, what is your favorite thing about SHEAR MADNESS?
Her comfort and range. We can go more than 4000 miles which allows us to go anywhere in the world. We also value the strong friendships we are building among other Nordhavn owners of all sizes.
If you ever decide to upgrade, what would be your first choice and why?
This is our last boat, unless we win the lottery. That’s not likely to happen since we do not play! We plan to cruise on Shear Madness until we either get tired of cruising or get too old.
Do you have a favorite destination you've been with SHEAR MADNESS? What made it special for you?It would have to be the summer of 2014 when we traveled north to Labrador, Greenland, and Baffin Island. Many things made it special. First, we cruised with another boat, a Nordhavn 68. We greatly enjoyed the company of our friends and it made the trip much less stressful. The challenge of navigating through ice and fog was intense and having another boat to discuss strategy with was helpful. The beauty of the region was amazing! Icebergs, glaciers, fjords – just incredible. And the abundance of whales, seals, and the 18 polar bears we saw in Labrador was unmatched by any previous adventures. Our second favorite destination was Tasmania, which we circumnavigated on our previous boat.What is the longest single voyage you have undertaken? Did you do anything special to prepare for this particular voyage? If so, what did you do and why?Our longest non-stop voyage was about 1100 miles from Florida to Rhode Island. We had four people on board and it was a smooth passage. We fully serviced the boat and performed extra checks of engines, generators and other systems on board. We have a good routine for multi-day passages. During the day, we have 4-hour watches, with 3-hour watches at night. We perform hourly engine room checks which everyone is trained to do before departing. We monitor the weather closely and use satellite tracking devices to communicate our position to a shore-based support team who have written instructions to follow in the event of an emergency or if contact is lost for a period of time. Bradley has also crossed both oceans in sailboats, with the Atlantic trip 16 days and the Pacific several months in total.
What is your biggest worry when you are at sea?Weather and running out of coffee for Kathy and chocolate for Bradley. Seriously a hydraulic line failure, because that is not something we could most likely fix at sea. We have extremely limited access to some of the runs. And, while we carry extensive spares, we do not carry enough hydraulic oil (6 to 8 five gallon buckets) to refill after a major failure.
What about when you are at anchor?Weather really is our primary concern. We have seen the weather go from 0 to over 40 knots in a matter of minutes, with no warning and clearly not predicted by any of the five models Bradley uses. When we set the anchor, an old salt taught me early on, anchor chain in the locker does no good. We always put out more chain than called for, so we can sleep easy and take trips away from boat with confidence. We are usually more concerned with other boats in an anchorage dragging so always keep an eye on our neighbors when the winds pick up.
What do you think has been you biggest mistake during your ownership of SHEAR MADNESS?Deciding to stay at a marina on the Potomac River in August, 2011. The marina was fine, but a nasty little thunderstorm came through and we sustained a bad lightning strike which fried most of our electronics. Fortunately, there was no structural damage and a potential fire source was caught early and disabled. Our 2048 Amp hour battery bank was back feeding via hydraulic Alternators which were heating up the controller but fortunately that was caught before any further damage was done.
What about your biggest triumph?Recovering from the lightning strike. We spent 5 months at Jarrett Bay boat yard in NC, replacing all electronics, battery chargers, inverters, and more, then another few months in FL. It took us about a year to fully return to cruising mode. We now have an incredibly equipped, expedition caliber boat which we understand well enough to take to the most remote places on earth.
Now that you have owned SHEAR MADNESS for a few years, what would you say is the best advice you could give to a potential first-time Nordhavn owner?
Nordhavn’s are incredible boats and will take good care of you. Don’t be intimidated – at first glance they are complex, but each system can be understood with time and patience, even for non-engineers, like us. Second, figure out what you want to do with the boat, and than purchase the right boat to meet your objectives.
Who are the owners of SHEAR MADNESS? Please tell a little about yourself.
We are retired business people just trying to enjoy our health and leave a trail of smiles as we wander the world.
Who in the boating world has made the biggest impact on you?
For Kathy, my older sister first introduced me to the cruising lifestyle and from my visits to her in the Caribbean I knew that seeing the world by boat was the way I wanted to do it. Bradley has also had a huge impact. While I was a boater from youth, I do not know if I would have purchased an ocean crossing boat without his influence. For Bradley, there were two women who taught him a huge amount about boating when he first started racing sail boats. Louise Burke and Lynda North, both very gifted and knowledgeable sailors who could out sail most people I know. And without a partner like Kathy I could never have considered this. And without Dan Streech and Jim Leishman, who founded PAE, we would still be on a sailboat, so we owe a lot to them!
ShearMadness72.com was recently named as the Blog of the Month by Nordhavn.com. Congratulations! It is easy to see why it was chosen. Your blog is an excellent representation of what Nordhavn is all about.
Thanks. Our blog is at ShearMadness72.com and we also have a Youtube channels with lots of videos about the cruising life at https://www.youtube.com/user/nordhavn72
For my last question, let's have a little fun: You are CEO of PAE/Nordhavn for a day with full authority and any decisions you make are guaranteed to be completed - what would you do?
PAE is a great company and they build strong functional and beautiful boats. There are two things I would do as CEO for the company. First, I would require that every employee, including administrative, accounting and marketing employees of the company spend at least one week a year on a Nordhavn underway or at anchor. This would keep employees in tune with all that their customers go through and would help build relationships between the company and the boat owners. Second, I would require that supervisors and managers involved in the actual construction of the Nordhavn’s spend one week a year performing maintenance on older boats with their owners – such as replacing air handlers, chilled loops, hydraulic hoses or some other task where they would acquire and understand the critical importance of good access to every hose, wire and piece of equipment on their boats.
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