If you’ve never been to an owners’ or manufacturer’s or dealer’s rendezvous, you’re missing a great part of the cruising lifestyle. Last weekend’s Northeast Nordic Tug Owners Association (NENTOA) 2010 Rendezvous in Essex, Connecticut, is a great example of how they work and why they’re such a wonderful experience.
NENTOA works closely each year with major sponsor Wilde Yacht Sales, the Essex-based Nordic Tugs dealer for the northeastern U.S. NENTOA is an active owners’ group and working with Wilde, they solicit support from industry sponsors and put together a long weekend program. In this case, which is typical of a well-planned rendezvous, the program had a nice mix of social and “educational” activities. Special guess this year was Nordic Tug’s new CEO Andy Lund, who talked about what’s new at the company these days. He skippered the brand new Nordic Tug 39 all the way from Michigan to the rendezvous. Pretty unique.
I asked Paul Tortora of Wilde Yacht Sales for a rundown on the weekend. Here’s his summary. I’m going to ask the couples who made presentations if they would share them with us here on OceanLines. So come on back to see those. Here are Paul’s comments:
First day is pretty much reserved for arriving and settling in, getting your registration packet, socializing with other owners and culminates with a ‘Rum Party’ followed by a ‘Pot Luck Dinner/Barbeque’ and then a presentation by the owners of Seamantha ( John & Paulette Lee) who have spent the past year traveling on a Nordic 42, and another presentation by Celebration (Brian & Ellen Clarke) who took their Nordic 37 down to the Chesapeake from Essex, CT. Each set of the owners gave a presentation on their trip and experiences including photos and music.
Second day was filled with workshops like engine maintenance by Cummins, boat maintenance by Ben Wilde, electronic session presented by Bill Jones of Raymarine, ‘Going Green With Solar Panels’ & Vacuflush Maintenance by Phil D’Anato of Ship Shape, ‘Whats New At Nordic’ presented by Andy Lund (CEO of Nordic) and some other workshops like ‘Crafts on Board’ which was tailored for the Admirals aboard. The neat thing about the workshops this year is that we added several hands-on workshops which were a huge hit. They included ‘How To Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher’ where each attendee got to practice PASS – pull the ring, aim, squirt, side to side. Also Man Overboard drill presented by Bill Boyer and Deploying a Floatation vest which was demonstrated in the pool by Dick Seymour. This day ended with a formal dinner reception featuring steak and swordfish, open bar and then a raffle featuring some great prizes that include overnight stays at Brewers and Essex Island Marina, handheld VHF radios, Maptech Guides and more.
Third day was a presentation by Herb Nickles & Wendy Shepherd on their trip on a Nordic 32 – boat name is Snorri. That was followed by a parade on the CT River (all the individual shots of the boats where they are running) and then a raft-up in Hamburg Cove (pictures of boats on moorings, with dinghies, swimming).
The next morning (Saturday), 7 boats departed for a two week Tug Tour from Mystic to 5 ports in MA and then back to Block Island and Greenport, Long Island as the final destinations. Another group of approximately 9 boats went on to do the coast of Maine. (Editor’s note — This is one of the real benefitsof buying from an active, interested dealer like Wilde — these co-hosted rendezvous and group or flotilla cruise opportunities, which are really helpful if you’re a new boater or not used to longer trips.)
Farthest boat this year was from Michigan which was the brand new Nordic 39 at display at the Rendezvous and will be at our docks for the next month for viewing, sea trials and of course is available for purchase. That boat was brought here by Andy Lund himself (not often you see a president of a company roll up his sleeves and spend 14 days bringing a boat to its destination — really gives him an opportunity to test their design changes and interact with people IMO). Second farthest distances this year were from Barry Shapiro & Suzanne Claus on Spray (Nordic Tug 37) and they came from Nashua, NH while Richard and Shirley Righter of Keene, NH brought their Nordic 32 named Olive. We did have owners come from Guezpn, Ontario but they came by car as their boat is currently in the Turks and Caicos.
I created a gallery of some of the photos Paul sent along. You can see it here. Some of the picture sizes are rather large, which is good if you want to look at details on the boat, not so good if you have a slow Internet connection.
We’d like to hear about other rendezvous that took place this summer (or are still planned; we’ll help you spread the last-minute word). Drop me a line here on the Contact page or in the comments to this story and we’ll follow-up with you. Thanks to Paul Tortora and Ben Wilde of Wilde Yacht Sales for the photos and roundup.
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