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"Rugged trawler launched by PAE"
The 40-footer 'bristles' with capability
By George Kolesnikovs


Ten years after launching the first Nordhavn 46, PAE Yachts Builders has started production of a brilliant, new 40-foot passagemaker that represents all that Jim Leishman and his associates at PAE have learned about successfully voyaging under power.
Sixty-three examples of the 46 have been launched. One 46, Jim and Susy Sink's Salvation II, became the first production trawler yacht to circumnavigate the world. Many other 46s are voyaging far and wide.

Additionally, PAE has launched 12 of its flagship, the Nordhavn 62, eight in the new Nordhavn 50 series and seven of the Nordhavn 57. PAE knows boats, you can safely say, even without mention of the 250 blue-water sailboats it has produced in 25 years of doing business out of Dana Point, Calif.

The Nordhavn 40 looks more workmanlike than any of its sisters in the PAE family. Indeed, it resembles a workboat more than any other trawler yacht. Nevertheless, the 40 exudes a certain charm, a flair that's most appealing.

The workmanlike look contrasts dramatically with the world-class yacht finish that becomes so obvious at closer range. The fairness of the glasswork and the quality of the hardware is outstanding, testimony to the computer modeling and tooling, and the terrific working relationship that has developed between PAE and the Pacific Seacraft factory in Fullerton, Calif., where the 40s are built two at a time.

Out on the open Pacific, with winds gusting to 36 knots during our Catalina cruise, one could see how tonnage works wonders-how the shape of the 40 gives it a comforting grip on the water. The 40 displaces 41,000 pounds at half load, 50,000 when fully loaded for passagemaking. Running beside a 46 in a confused sea of two to three feet, one could observe how much more stable the ride is on the 40, with fuller sections aft and flat transom, is the way to voyage.

Power is furnished by a Lugger L668D, a naturally aspirated, six-cylinder diesel that employs the venerable 414-cubic-inch John Deere as its base engine. The Lugger is mated with a heavy-duty Twin Disc transmission running 3:1 reduction and can handle three times the horsepower that the Lugger will produce. Cruising speed of seven to eight knots requires only 55 to 60 horsepower at 1,800 rpm. The engine is rated at 103 horsepower at 2,300 rpm. Jim Leishman clearly loves the 668: "We have purposely derated the engine to its lowest continuous service rating, so its only producing one horsepower for every four cubic inches of cylinder displacement. As a result, in more than 60 boats that we've launched with the 668: we have had no catastrophic engine failures"

In PAEs experience, engine problems stem mainly from fuel problems: clogged filters or water in the fuel or difficulties with cooling. On the 40, the 920-gallon fuel system is elegant in its simplicity and straightforward in operation and maintenance. Jim Leishman again: "We really worked to come up with a system that is user friendly, that no one will have difficulty operating even under the worst conditions."

The wheelhouse is centrally located on the boat with great lines of sight in all directions and well protected behind the eight-foot-high bow and Portuguese bridge. The wheelhouse layout provides ample dashboard space for a galaxy of electronics, with space above the line of sight for smaller instruments.

The saloon and galley on the 40 offer more space than on the 46 as they extend the full width of the vessel. Headroom dimensions in the engine room are equal to the Nordhavn 50 with five feet available.

This degree of quality, pedigree, and all-weather, tran-ocean capability comes with a price tag of $429,000 for the base boat. Add a 27-horsepower Yanmar get-home engine, paravane stabilizers, a few other options, and the electronics of your choice, and you are looking at an investment of $500,000 in a 40-foot boat, albeit one that is as close to being the perfect passagemaker built for two as has ever been launched.

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