A 40-foot powerboat will depart Dana Point, Calif., in November,bound for Hawaii, in what will be the first leg of its voyage around the world. The vessel is a stock Nordhavn 40, designed and built by Pacific Asian Enterprises of Dana Point, and will be circumnavigating the globe as a publicity tour.
The 40-footer, the company’s smallest model of long-distance powerboats, will be piloted in three segments by the company’s partners. Jim Leishman, PAE vice president and the voyage director, will take the vessel and four crew from California to Singapore; Dan Streech, PAE president, will be captain for the leg from Singapore to Gibraltar; and Jeff Leishman (Jim’s brother), the firm’s resident yacht designer, will deliver the vessel from Gibraltar back to California via the Panama Canal.
Because recent hostilities against the United States might require a change of itinerary, the vessel may voyage around the Cape of Good Hope instead of venturing through the Suez Canal, a decision that would add 1,000 miles to the trip but would be in tune with favorable wind and currents.
Having the company’s three owners aboard for segments of the circumnavigation is in keeping with the company’s philosophy, according to Jim Leishman. "The people in this company always take part in whatever we do; they always have, and our hands-on experience allows us to know the boats intimately." The company’s management believes this experience will pay for itself in knowledge and promotional value. The fuel bill is anticipated to be under $10,000 – derived by figuring three miles per gallon, overall distance of 24,000 miles, and an average cost per gallon of approximately $1. Much of the vessel’s equipment has been donated by companies interested in being associated with such an adventure. Furthermore, the vessel has been pre-sold to an owner who will receive it following a complete reconditioning at a reduced rate but with full warranty coverage. The naturally aspirated John Deere diesel will have an estimated 4,000 hours upon return, according to Leishman. He said the engine does not typically need an overhaul until at least 20,000 miles.
This trip is seen as a necessary step in publicizing the viability of long-distance powerboats, an activity that has gained in popularity in recent years. "We see this as a big, expanding market," Leishman added. With the increased efficiency of diesel engines, long-distance powering is now comparatively priced with sailing. "If you took one of our Mason 44s around the world, a new suit of sails could easily cost $10,000, which is what we’re paying in fuel."
The vessel departs Nov. 1 and will likely return to the United States in time for fall boat shows in 2002.