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New Nordhavn 120 Off Japan, Canada-Bound


The new Nordhavn 120 No. 1 is now off the coast of Japan after having been launched by the South Coast Marine factory in Xiamen, China, and having undergone successful ocean trials. The 120 has been under way for 10 days since leaving Hong Kong, her only stop.

The crossing to Vancouver is expected take approximately 25 days with an arrival to Vancouver in the latter half of August.

According to Pacific Asian Enterprises, the builder of Nordhavn yachts, the decision to deliver the 120 on her own bottom was due to the sheer mass of the vessel and “economic factors.” PAE Vice President Jim Leishman says his goal

Brett and Jeff Leishman stand watch on the bridge of the Nordhavn 120. Jeff Leishman is Nordhavn's lead designer.

Brett and Jeff Leishman stand watch on the bridge of the Nordhavn 120. Jeff Leishman is Nordhavn's lead designer.

is to make a quick and efficient passage running as fast as possible using the same classic fuel management practices used by the crews on board the Nordhavn 40 during the Around the World voyage (as well as by hundreds of other Nordhavn owners during their own long passages).

After paralleling the East Coast of Japan, the plan was take a more easterly course after reaching 35 degrees north. But the latest communication from Leishman indicates the route will be more northerly than planned. Here’s Leishman’s report:

We’ve had some unsettled weather the past couple of days with moderate wind and seas from the southwest and west but at the same time a current against us that at times has approached four knots. This is not only drawing our progress down but has caused an otherwise modest sea to be steep and at times uncomfortable.

I think we have been experiencing a counter current of the Kuroshio flow – a flow of water northbound up the coast of Japan – much like the Gulf Stream. A counter current in our general location is illustrated within our Sailing Directions Enroute. We’re hopeful to leave this adverse current behind soon as we progress northward.

Furthermore the gale that has been developing to the Northeast of us is dictating that we divert slightly to the west and hug the coast of Japan to stay inside of its disturbance. The recommendation is to travel a more northern route near the Southern Kuril Archipelago and pass the island of Attu to starboard - then direct towards Dutch Harbor. While this route seems out of the way it actually is not and more closely follows the great circle route out of Hong Kong. We had originally hoped to stay south of the Aleutians and take advantage of the east setting currents but now the weather planning suggests a more northerly route.

Stay tuned for more reports. Meanwhile follow the voyage by visiting