First and foremost, the Nordhavn 46 is a true-blooded, full displacement design. Detailed benefits of a full displacement hull can be summed up in three words: seakindly, seaworthy and efficient. Capable of running in very rough seas in any direction, her gently-curved chine and ballasted hull form deliver a soft, comfortable motion. There are no harsh, snapping motions characteristic of a hard chine, semi-displacement hull. Instead, she presents a more natural, friendly shape to unfriendly seas. Her seaworthiness can be utilized to great advantage, as her efficiency through the water requires only l00 hp to maintain cruising speeds of between 7.5 and 8.5 knots

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Every decade or so a yacht is designed that is extraordinarily successful by all measures. Lines and proportion are wonderfully pleasing, while at the same time highly functional. Aesthetic attraction is universal, performance is exemplary, and the ideal balance between subjective and objective qualities is achieved. One design having all of these characteristics is rare, and it invariably becomes a classic by which others are measured.

In the highly specialized world of oceangoing, recreational power vessels, the Nordhavn 46 has achieved the legendary status of a modern day classic. Born from the driving passion of the founders of Pacific Asian Enterprises, P.A.E., the 46 was from the very beginning a design that broke the marketing and styling rules of the day. Challenging the popular trends of the marine industry for light, go-fast boats, the Nordhavn 46 immediately attracted an ardent following of sailors and power boaters who shared a common desire to travel the oceans of the world.

Many had read Robert Beebe's Voyaging Under Power and were searching for their ideal passagemaker. Others had simply become tired of the discomfort of voyaging under sail and the dependence on fair wind and good weather. The P.A.E. team, already developing and marketing the beautiful, oceangoing line of Mason sailboats, saw this opportunity and introduced the Nordhavn 46 to the enthusiastic response of experienced cruisers.

What may have seemed like a cult following at first has grown to a worldwide family of boat lovers who enjoy the comfort and simplicity of voyaging under power. From the very beginning, the Nordhavn 46 has stood out from all other "trawler yachts.'' There was nothing on the market that could compare with its offshore ability, economical operation and luxurious accommodations.

In production for over ten years, the Nordhavn 46 has continued its position of prominence, benefiting from hundreds of innovative refinements inspired by owners cruising throughout the world. Interior layout details have been finessed to increase the boat's level of comfort and convenience. Superior systems have been developed and engineered for improved dependability and performance.

New materials like fiberglass fuel tanks, vinylester resins and Divinicell cores have been used to increase the life expectancy of components. Engine room sound insulation materials have been upgraded; new, quieter mufflers are being used; and even engine air intakes have been designed to be quieter. The dry exhaust system has been suspended to mechanically isolate it from the rest of the boat, and by extending it to the top of the mast, the exhaust is quieter and cleaner. Fine-tuning the prop specifications has resulted in a more efficient, quieter ride at all speeds.

And because today's modern cruising vessel depends more and more on electrical accessories and appliances, the Nordhavn 46's electrical system has undergone a series of upgrades. All wiring is done with fully tinned, marine grade wire and an easy-to-see, custom designed AC/DC distribution panel is installed in the wheelhouse. A heavy-duty inverter system is now standard, as is a foolproof charging system for all battery banks.

Detail after detail, the Nordhavn 46 has enjoyed the benefits of its popularity among cruisers who have collectively helped to make each one a better, more refined version of the original. Of course, a true characteristic of a classic is its everlasting quality and long term popularity. Jeff Leishman, the 46's naval architect, and the rest of the P.A.E. team, continue to be delighted at the ever-increasing popularity of this vessel.What specifically is the reason for this timeless acceptance? It's really quite simple.

The Nordhavn 46 delivers on its promise to safely, comfortably and economically take owners and their families, even those with modest boating skills, anywhere in the world. No other production boat, sail or power, has experienced as many successful circumnavigations or ocean crossings as the Nordhavn 46. And while not all owners plan to take their 46 around the world, they cruise in confidence, knowing their boat has the ability to safely cross oceans. Even if they don't have such ambitious plans, they know their Nordhavn 46 can take them across the bay, down the coast, through the canal and across the stream.


As a result of this modest power requirement, her low fuel consumption provides an ocean-crossing range of nearly 3,000 nautical miles. Even for coastal cruising, this freedom from having to find fuel every few hundred miles is a great comfort to captain and crew. From the beginning of the design phase, P.A.E. wanted this vessel to be easily handled by two people, yet include accommodations for at least two more.

An LOA of over 45 feet was agreed upon as an ideal length for accomplishing both goals; and judging from the robust sales of the 46, this length is ideal for many cruising couples and families. She functions as a comfortable home with a level of luxury that keeps all aboard perfectly happy for long, extended stays. And her maneuverability, stability and well-thought-out deck layout make docking and anchoring simple tasks for two people to perform.

At first sight, the Nordhavn 46 gives the impression that she not only is capable of going long and far, but that she enjoys challenging seas. Indeed, she is a boat with a strong personality. Certainly, part of the attraction many sailors and traditionalists have for this vessel is her salty, romantic appearance, especially given her classical overhangs and slightly narrowed stern. But her appearance is also a function of her seakindliness and offshore friendly interior. She performs as impressively and confidently as she looks.

To begin with, the 46 strikes a good balance between initial stability and period of roll. While some trawler enthusiasts like hard chine for increasing initial stability, the Nordhavn 46's more rounded bottom contributes to a less "snappy'' movement while at sea. And while the natural roll motion of the 46 hull is quite gentle, it has been found that the added weight of stowing a dinghy and extra gear up on the boat deck dampens the motion to an even more comfortable rate. Some owners have even added a foremast with a crow's nest which has a positive effect. To understand this phenomenon, think of the harsh motion of a sailboat at sea without its mast. Add the weight of the mast, and the rate of acceleration and deceleration decreases, resulting in greater comfort. The 46, with cruising gear stowed properly, is a beautifully balanced vessel.

For overall stability, the 46 benefits from over 4,800 pounds of ballast in its keel. To provide additional stability in difficult sea conditions, most owners select either a passive stabilizer system (paravanes or "flopper-stoppers'') or active fin stabilizers controlled by hydraulics and an electronic gyro sensor. Either system has proven to be highly effective, reducing roll by as much as 90%. A Nordhavn 46 equipped with stabilizers is capable of crossing any ocean. Directional stability is enhanced by its full length keel, and, with the help of the slightly tucked-in stern, the 46 rides down swells as if on rails.

One of the more striking characteristics of the Nordhavn 46 is its high Displacement/Length Ratio. At 383, it is a function of extra-heavy scantlings, or construction details, contributing greatly to her ability to punch through heavy head seas without suffering from deceleration. When comparing boats, buyers should carefully consider displacement as well as length, as it is an important measure of seaworthiness and overall value. At 60,000 pounds, the rugged Nordhavn 46 is heavier than most 50 to 55 foot boats.

Adding to the advantages of her heavy displacement, the reserve buoyancy of her high bow allows her to proceed in extreme conditions when other boats have to return to port. Indeed a Nordhavn 46 has been observed outpacing a l00-foot-plus semi-displacement motoryacht against high winds and 15 foot head seas. In the case of full displacement designs, "heavier'' is better, and in certain sea conditions, actually faster. The owner of a new Nordhavn 62, the big sister to the 46, said of his first Nordhavn voyage, "This was the fastest voyage I ever made in the slowest boat I've ever owned.''

Contributing to her seaworthiness and sure-tracking in heavy wind conditions is her low A/B ratio (Above Water vs. Below Water) of 2.3:l. This indicates that she has almost 50% of her total area below the waterline. Commercial fishing trawlers, with very little space above deck for accommodations, approach A/B ratios of 2 or under. Many of today's popularly styled "trawler yachts'' have ratios exceeding 4, which should give cause for concern if ocean voyages are being considered.

With all their glass windows and exposed cabin area, they are vulnerable to high winds and boarding seas. The Nordhavn 46, with its relatively low freeboard and low cabin profile, presents a small surface to the elements. In keeping with the Nordhavn's offshore capability, its saloon and pilothouse windows are designed to accept heavy-duty storm plates when anticipating extreme conditions.

The Nordhavn 46's hull form has proven to be efficient, seakindly and seaworthy. With several circumnavigations and many ocean crossings being achieved by owners with modest boating skills and physical strength, this vessel has a track record to support a high level of confidence by her captain and crew.


The Nordhavn's serious, capable look on the outside is carried through on the inside with a layout designed to provide both comfort and safety at sea. This is no floating condo that is best left at the dock when the weather turns bad. Instead, every detail, from properly positioned handrails to heavy-duty door hasps and locks, is carefully designed for safety at sea. To begin with, all windows are extra heavy, tempered glass, and all window and door frames are built to withstand boarding seas.

Optional storm shutters can be installed on the main saloon windows in preparation for severe weather conditions. Non-skid steps with night lighting add a nice touch, and rounded corners on furniture and cabinets show extra thought. The 46's center of attraction is the wheelhouse, which has a real sense of purpose about it. Located where sea motion is minimized, its wrap-around windows and angled equipment console provide excellent visibility for driving the boat.

This is the command center of the ship, with all engine controls, electrical panels, navigation gear and communications equipment installed in logical, easy-to-use fashion. Behind the helm, a raised settee with a table provides the perfect spot to keep watch and catch a bite to eat while underway. For those overnight passages, there's a watch berth above the settee, which also serves as an extra berth in port.

Standing at the helm, looking out across the bow in rising seas, and knowing the trustworthiness of her diesel engine, the captain is assured that he has the power to go just about anywhere in this well-found ship. But making the captain happy is only part of the Nordhavn's job, as the P.A.E. design team well understands. The comfort of the crew is just as important if life aboard is to be a happy, shared experience. Refined using valuable input from owners, the Nordhavn's interior is at the same time luxurious and functional. Starting with the galley, she provides the conveniences of a home kitchen.

There's ample room to equip her with a separate refrigerator and freezer, a trash compactor, gas or electric stove top, oven and microwave oven. With generous counter space and an optional pass-through to the wheelhouse, preparing and serving meals, even while at sea, is an easy, enjoyable task. The location of the galley also allows the chef to enjoy the views and join the festivities in the main saloon.

Here, a number of different arrangements are available, but the saloon typically features an L-shaped settee, dining/cocktail table, an entertainment center and one or two comfortable reading chairs. The settee becomes an extra berth, and some owners choose an arrangement that provides a convertible double. The center of attraction shifts from the wheelhouse to the saloon once this ship reaches port, and the large, opening cabin windows and aft facing cockpit door give the area a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and openness.

The protected cockpit extends the living area to the outdoors, where there's room for two chairs and a small cocktail table. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset while grilling the catch of the day on the barbecue. Going below and forward, the Nordhavn 46 is available in either of two basic layouts. Plan "A" has the owner's stateroom with private head midships and a guest cabin with head forward. The advantage to this layout is that the owner's berth is located where there is minimum motion while at sea.

Plan "B" locates the owner's stateroom and head forward and features a double-sized island berth. The guest stateroom with twin berths and an adjacent head is located midships and typically includes a full-sized writing desk. The advantages to this layout are that the owner's stateroom gets the best ventilation at anchor, and the guest stateroom can function as a den or office when guests are not aboard. Either layout has room for the installation of a washer/dryer, which has become a very popular option with today's cruising couples.

Overall, the Nordhavn's interior strikes a fine balance between luxury and functionality. For pure aesthetics, the craftsmanship and beautiful teak woodwork are without par and showcase the highest level of skilled labor. The finest materials are used throughout, including mar-resistant countertops, teak and spruce cabin soles, tough, resilient tile floors and the very finest hardware and fixtures. Doors, hatches and windows fit perfectly; the teak is beautifully finished in satin varnish; tables are securely mounted with proper backing plates; light switches are conveniently located; ceiling liners are attractive and easy to clean; and lockers are lighted inside and lined with cedar wood.

The closer one looks, the more one finds a keen attention to detail and appreciation for what works at sea. In fact, the best part of all this beauty is that it is as functional as it is attractive. When a Nordhavn 46 arrives in port after a long voyage, it doesn't take forever to get her interior shipshape for new arrivals and guests. Throughout the voyage, everything is already where it needs to be, traffic patterns make sense, guests have their privacy, the bright heads are easy to clean, the galley is well organized with room for plenty of extra supplies, and the engine room encourages regular maintenance checks. Arriving on a Nordhavn 46 is definitely a different experience. Having been treated to the luxury of such a well-designed, dependable passagemaker, the captain and crew are rested, relaxed and ready for their next adventure.


Beneath the wonderfully unique personality of the Nordhavn 46 lies a vessel built to such heavy scantlings and high standards that her performance not only stands out today, but she will continue to deliver outstanding performance for years and years. Because she's built to cross oceans, she's built to last a lifetime. The basic hull structure is made of solid fiberglass. Vinylester resins are used in the first laminations below the waterline to resist water penetration. Heavy-duty transverse and longitudinal stringers are glassed to the hull to provide strength and rigidity. Divinicell is used as a core material in all vertical cabin structures, and end grain balsa core is used in all horizontal surfaces for added strength.

The deck-to-hull joint is fastened with stainless steel through-bolts on 6" centers using 3M's 5200. A l l/4" thick solid teak cap rail provides a beautiful, solid finish. The 2" diameter stainless steel prop shaft drives a 28" 4-bladed bronze prop, and the 2 l/4" stainless steel rudder shaft controls the rudder made from l/2" stainless plate. The rudder assembly is protected and strengthened with a massive bronze rudder shoe. On deck, starting forward, the massive stainless steel, double anchor roller is custom made to handle a l00 lb. CQR anchor plus additional, lighter ground tackle and mooring lines.

The dual capstan windlass leads chain and rode beneath a huge locker which is accessible from a commercial-type storm hatch on deck. This cavernous below-deck locker will stow dock lines, fenders, extra ground tackle and more. Anchoring, even on a pitching foredeck, is a safe, secure task thanks to the heavy-duty safety rails and sure footing of the molded non-skid. Moving aft, the foredeck includes three opening hatches for the forward stateroom, which provide excellent ventilation, especially at anchor.

Two dorade vents provide additional ventilation below, even in bad weather. Following the tradition used in building over 300 Mason sailboats, P.A.E.'s Nordhavn 46 is perfectly comfortable in most instances without air conditioning. A heavy-duty door opens the Portuguese Bridge, which offers a safe, secure place to stand watch. To port, a stairway leads up to the deck house where the dinghy is stowed along with a deck box for extra gear. A spar and boom system is used to effortlessly launch the dinghy.

Many owners enjoy sitting up on the deck house while at anchor, enjoying the view from this ideal height. The roof of the pilothouse is the perfect location for antennas, a radar dome, spotlight and a life raft, and it is finished in non-skid to allow safe access. Some owners have specified a remote steering station above, while others have ordered the 46 with the optional flybridge. Although most 46s are built without the flybridge, some owners have preferred this for coastal cruising where they can enjoy driving the boat outside in fair weather.

From the Portuguese bridge, the starboard side deck continues past the main saloon aft to the cockpit. Along this path, the crew enjoys protection from the seas with extra high bulwarks and the added security of stainless steel handrails that are through-bolted along the entire length of the cabin. Blue water quickly finds itself overboard thanks to the large scuppers along the decks and in the cockpit.

All cleats, hawseholes and chocks are highly polished stainless steel, custom made and designed to properly secure the boat in any docking situation. A large, robust swim platform makes boarding easy through the transom door, and an optional stainless steel swim ladder adds a nice touch. Additional, sheltered access to the boat deck from the cockpit is convenient via the beautifully made stainless steel ladder with teak steps.

So much thought and attention to detail goes into each and every Nordhavn 46, that it's only possible to fully appreciate it by seeing one in person. Upon close inspection, the flawless fiberglass work, the polished stainless steel fittings, the heavyduty doors and windows and the overall sense of quality will be clearly evident. Once the engine is started, one immediately appreciates the heavyduty insulation and construction scantlings. There's no rattling of hardware, loose doors, or ill-fitting windows. Instead there's a quiet sense of confidence that comes from a well-built, rugged ship.


The dependability of today's diesel engine, coupled with the many benefits of a single screw design, have made the decision to build the standard Nordhavn 46 as a single engine vessel an easy one. To begin with, the single engine is quieter and produces less vibration than twin engines, and the cost of annual maintenance is reduced. In a single-engine installation the propeller and shaft are protected by the keel from accidental grounding or floating debris, whereas twin engine installations expose the shafts, props and rudders to damage.

And, of course, one engine consumes less fuel than two engines, increasing the vessel's cruising range. P.A.E., in recognizing the importance of the Nordhavn's engine, specifies the commercially rated Lugger L668D diesel with a heavyduty 3-l reduction gear. This power plant is designed to run and run, mile after mile, hour after hour. The two arguments against single engine vessels are "get home'' emergencies and close docking maneuverability. In the first instance, the dependability of the Nordhavn's Lugger diesel engine is legendary.

These engines have been known to run in excess of 20,000 hours without major service, and unless there is a fuel problem or cooling system failure, there is very little that can go wrong. P.A.E. has addressed these two areas by designing a foolproof fuel management system and eliminating the problems of a raw-water cooling system. In over ten years, nearly l00 single-engine Nordhavns have been cruising throughout the world, and there has never been a reported incident of a main engine failure causing serious concern. To reduce the possibility of a water cooling problem, the salt water system with its through hull, strainer and raw- water pump has been replaced with a dependable keel cooling system.

This completely enclosed, fresh water system allows no salt water to enter the boat or the engine. Instead, the water from the engine is circulated through a heat exchanger and cooled in the externally flush-mounted keel cooler. Gone forever are the problems of clogged strainers and failed raw-water pumps. This intelligent approach to cooling is carried through to the engine's exhaust, where a dry system is used.

Exiting the engine, the exhaust gases travel up a heavily insulated and mechanically suspended pipe that ends far above the deck at the top of the mast. Not only does this design minimize the smell and noise of exhaust fumes from entering the boat, it eliminates any possibility of water entering the engine through the traditionally installed exhaust hose. This attention to detail and smart engineering add to the overall dependability of the Nordhavn's main power plant.

However, for those owners who want to eliminate all potential anxiety of cruising far from home port with one engine, the vessel is offered with an optional "wing'' engine that features its own electrical system, fuel supply, shaft and propeller. This low horsepower diesel engine, usually 27 hp, is capable of running the boat at 5 knots, assuring the captain the ability to get to port.

To answer the concern of maneuverability with one engine, an optional bow thruster gives the captain sure control in tight docking situations. It has been found, however, that with practice the Nordhavn 46 can be maneuvered using its prop wash against the large rudder as well as using the prop's natural tendency to walk the stern sideways at idle speed. If an owner has operated an inboard sailboat, he will have little problem docking a Nordhavn with or without a bow thruster.

The Nordhavn 46 engine room is a model of flawless planning and engineering. To begin with, the main engine is located low and on centerline, adding to the natural stability of the ship and allowing plenty of room to work around it. All surfaces are painted and insulated with heavy-duty foiled and leaded foam, and all insulated surfaces are shrouded with aluminum perforated paneling for a clean, shipshape look.

A stainless steel fuel manifold system, designed by P.A.E., is clearly marked, fuel tank sight tubes are easy to see and recessed for safety, and filters are easily changed even when underway. Two fuel tanks totaling l,000 gallons are made from molded fiberglass and then glassed to the hull for added strength and years of trouble free service. They feature large inspection plates for interior access and cleaning, as well as baffles to reduce the noise of sloshing fuel. The 46's engine room is designed to encourage routine maintenance and frequent inspection of machinery and systems. Neat, organized, well-lighted and with room to work, it provides a safe, welcoming environment.

LOA45' 9"
LWL38' 4"
BEAM15' 5"
DRAFT5' 5"
Displacement Full Load60,000 lbs
Water Capacity280 gal.
Fuel Capacity1,000 gal.

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