Jim Leishman and Dan Streech met in 1973 while they were working at a yacht brokerage dealership in Dana Point. When the brokerage closed in 1974, Jim, Dan and Joe Meglen started a brokerage, importing Transpac Yachts from Taiwan. Pacific Asian Enterprises started.
PAE made their big name in sailboats when they hired Al Mason to design the 43′ sailboat. The 43 was a success and the M63, M53, M53cc and M33 followed.
Stretching their wings, the PAE team designed the a N46, a new kind of powerboat, similar to the proven style of the North Atlantic fishing trawlers. They chose the name Nordhavn after randomly picking a name off a map in the office one night. Hull #1 N46 shipped in 1989 and it was quickly recognised that another success was born.
Soon after, PAE’s second Nordhavn design, the now legendary N62 was delivered. Hull #1 was sold to an Indonesian industrialist and delivered to Singapore on her own bottom in 1993 by Jim, Dan and Dan’s son Trevor. The “golden 90s” commenced soon after the luxury tax laws in the US were relaxed. Soon after, the N50 was built by South Coast in 1995 – and the N57 was built by Ta Shing in 1996.
The last Mason was built in 1995. I am told that the molds (moulds in UK) were stored for another seven years with the remote possibility that they would be put back into production. They were finally destroyed in 2002 to make room for more Nordhavn production. More recently, Ken Williams managed to take a picture of the N62 molds, propped up against the wall of the factory with weeds and grass growing over them. They will no have the same demise as the Mason molds.
Modern history is continuing to write itself. The NordhavnDreaers group started in late 2008 after PAE had made a solid name in the super-heavyweight trawler class. Today’s catalogue speaks for itself.
PAE’s (Nordhavn) main corporate site is housed here: