Part 1 - Finding N57-26

"Buy this boat. Don't dick around and lose it, she's a good one."

N57-26 Fresh off the boat - 2002

Finding N57-26
It's rare, but every so often one does get lucky and everything falls into place. You see a boat that pokes you right in the imagination, producing a weird sensation that somehow justifies overriding the cognitive process of reaching a rational decision. In your gut, you simply know it's gonna be great. — so, to hell with all those annoying sensible thoughts, you go for it.  
Well, here we were, standing on the seawall at a marina in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, sussing out this, rode hard and put up wet, N57 and I'm having one of these moments. In my head, my inner speak was spouting off something like, "Buy this boat. Don't dick around and lose it, she's a good one. Buy this boat!" and at the same time my faint, almost imperceptible, better judgement was calculating the possibilities; then I turn and see that look in Melonie's eyes and instantly realize... it's a done deal.

Favoring intuition over reason, we bought it — and lucky for us, she's proven to be exactly what we'd hoped for.

We're now in the 14th year of our relationship with N57-26.

Mel and I have always mused that boats, like creatures, have personalities and yeah, I know, it's not rational to project human qualities onto inanimate objects, nevertheless, we like to think of Istaboa as a kind, forgiving, sweetheart of a boat. We're lucky to call her ours and we treat her like family; better probably.

This is the story of N57-26 - Istaboa.
It will be long, but there are plenty of pictures, and by the way, if you find this boring, it wasn't written for you.

In the beginning

N57-26 was built in 2002 for Nordhavn in the Ta Shing - Taiwanese yard. She was 26 of the 38 N57s that were built.
Shipped to Dana Point, California to be commissioned, then handed over to her first owner, N57-26 was christened "Teralani". That owner took her through the Panama Canal and up east coast to New Jersey. As Teralani she became a long range passagemaker; as Istaboa she has a led a somewhat different life.

The Reveal
We happened on her in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl and quickly realized that we'd found our boat. Andy Hegley, then a young fledgling Nordhavn sales guy, called me to advise an excellent example of the 57 may soon be up for sale and he convinced me this particular boat was worth taking a quick flight down to Palm Beach to check out. The 57 Nordhavn was always at the top of my list of great boats and Andy was right, it didn't take much poking around to see she was indeed a good one.

We'd just sold our 62 Offshore, a much larger, more complicated boat. The Offshore was a beautiful vessel, but she was a diva, and one that demanded a lot attention or there would be hell to pay.  For our next boat, we were shooting for something simple with a better attitude. I liked that this N57 had only a single engine, one generator, and a single bank of inverter/batteries; half the maintenance of what I was accustomed to, less weight meant less draft (5.5'), and she'd burn a small fraction of the fuel as the Offshore. The Nordhavn's slower speed was going to be an adjustment, however it wasn't going to burn 140 gallons per hour of diesel so we figured we would adapt.
Mel liked the galley with it's Thermador commercial gas range and Sub Zero fridge. Fewer staterooms and only 2 heads would make life more manageable too. We really liked what we saw and it was now, unofficially, on the market.
Over dinner and drinks that evening with the now unlikely pair of fellows, Andy Hegley and James Knight, we told Andy we liked the boat and before the night was over, in principle,  — we shook on it.

To make a long story short, the next day a deal was worked out, we sea-trialed out Lake Worth Inlet in steep breakers, and the rest is history. The best boating decision we've ever made.

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