I have never been so happy with a decision as I am with my Nordhavn – especially knowing the boat can handle much more than I could.

OceanStar, Nordhavn 40’

Interview with the Captain — Wayne Cichanski

 About the Boat

Why did you choose to buy a Nordhavn and what else did you consider?
A Nordhavn has always been the dream. The proven reliability and ocean-worthiness is a staple within the brand. For me personally, I never thought I could afford one, so I looked at so many different motor yachts and actually never looked at a Nordhavn. I wanted something I could do coastal cruising with and had a very comfortable livability. I had a large sailboat and learned very quickly that it is NEVER warm on the water. Every passage was always in the elements and it was never a comfortable cruise – not to mention going sideways took a bit of getting use to. So I knew I wanted some enclosed space in order to drive the vessel from. Now I fell in love with the Mikelson 50’ due to a 17’ beam and huge indoor living space and a cockpit to die for. However you could only drive it from the flybridge which was disconnected from guests, elevated high in the air and was not temperature controlled. Then also learning about conventional power plants and having two high horsepower engines and the level of maintenance in changing out after coolers & heat exchangers just put that into a whole arena that I did not want to be a part of. This lead me to look hard at boats with a dedicated pilothouse and single engine propulsion. I wanted the efficiency of my sailboat but the comforts and luxury of a power yacht.

So my search continued (which turned more into an obsession lol). In addition to the Mikelson, I looked at the Selene 53’ and the 40’ model as well as a Symbol 55, a Helmsman, a Seahorse and a Fathom. Loved the Flemmings but price was a restriction so I never seriously considered it.

I had looked at the Nordhavn 40 from the outside here in San Diego and actually passed it up originally. It reminded me a bit of a commercial fishing vessel with the large paravanes (which I did not understand at the time – but now LOVE). I was also concerned that the N40 would not be large enough as I already had a 40’ and this was going to be my forever boat. Who knew that once I got on board that this little ship was HUGE! It seriously dwarfed the living and interior space of any of the large boats I was looking at but yet packed in this small 40’ footprint. I was in love the instant I stepped on board! Everything was just what I wanted! I had a nice large table for sitting down, I also had a large lounge area across from it where I can relax and watch my upgraded 42” tv lol and the galley was amazing. This big wrap around U shaped galley that has big windows and 270 degree views of the water. Going down stairs I had an extra bedroom for guests that included a nice built in washer/dryer, a dedicated enclosed large shower and a huge master stateroom. The pilothouse was amazing. Large, comfortable seating and a work area with two dutch doors to port and starboard Then it was topped off with a walk in engine room that was so clean I could eat off of the floors, gravity fed fuel and water systems and a lugger 135hp engine with a dry stack exhaust. Once I learned about the mechanics, I was sold even more. Having a dry exhaust and closed keel cooling system meant that there is NO salt water that circulates through the engine, no after coolers, no heat exchangers and no impellers. This means less corrosion, less maintenance and a longer life of my power plant. I was told the engine has no idea it is on a boat, it thinks it is sitting on a factory floor – which I love! Then to make it even better I have a secondary “wing” engine also known as a “get home” engine. In case there is a failure on the primary, I have a secondary I can fire up to get me home or to the nearest port.

If all of that was not enough, looking at the lines of the Nordhavn with the dedicated pilothouse and reverse raked windows is just simply badass. I get compliments on any dock I end up. I have never been so happy with a decision as I am with my Nordhavn – especially knowing the boat can handle much more than I could. Lastly, what I love the most is that as much as I have learned over the many years of boating, I am no where an expert and do not know everything I should. What is great about Nordhavn is that they have answered all the questions that I do not even know to ask! Plus James Leishman at Nordhavn has been simply amazing before and after the sale. It truly is a family within the Nordhavn owners group that has welcomed me with open arms.

What boats have you previously owned?
I have owned small 20’ run about boats, a 26’ & 28’ express cruiser (yes two-footits is real), a 35’ carver mariner and a 38’ hunter sailboat and now my N40

What are the features you like most about your boat?
Oh my, everything! I love the dedicated pilothouse that is only a few steps away but provides the perfect connection and disconnection that you would want. I spend a ton of time lounging on the large sofa area watching tv or even going to the upper deck to lounge outside.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
Since I have to single hand the vessel (until I find that first mate that wants to join me) backing up is a bit of a challenge without being able to see the stern.. So I am installing cameras with LCD screens in the pilothouse. I also plan to add an anchor line counter so I know exactly how much chain I have out. Upgraded electronics would be great because I am a techy type of guy but so far there is no strong argument why I should do that lol

Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating organizations?
Currently I do not, but have been considering it for the reciprocity on the transient slips

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
No big challenges at this time. I am not a mechanic so I wanted a boat that I did not have to become one to operate it. I am learning at a rapid pace but also have comfort that this is designed with low maintenance in mind.

Who first introduced you to boating?
I always grew up fishing and boating with my Dad on lakes and rivers from the lakes of Minnesota. As I got older I would see these large yachts and just be hypnotized by them and wondering what the owner did for a living that could afford something like that lol. So then it became a passion and goal. I have been drawn to the water as a peace of mind for as long as I can remember.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Nordhavn like yours?
Do it! You won’t be disappointed. I have never met anyone that said “I sure wish I did not buy a Nordhavn”. In regards to price, I would offer this – after I factored in the maintenance of another yacht vs this as well as trying to upgrade something to get it to what this has, this is often more affordable. There is a reason that Nordhavn is known as the best long range cruising trawler.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
Haha well there is always a story. In my past I had “Final Obsession” which I thought was good until the next boat I got was named “Final Final Obsession” lol. So what I wanted in a name was something that can easily be heard over the VHF radio, easy to understand and that I am not embarrassed to say. I was also motivated by all of these wonderful YouTube channels like Freedom and Mermaid Monster. So, OceanStar seemed to fit and I could have social profiles that were “Cruising OceanStar”. I ended up falling in love with the name and then I designed the logo for it which was simple and conveyed my love for the ocean.

Any recent boating-related purchase you’ve been enjoying (e.g. product/tool/equipment etc)?
I recently have invested in all of the cordless Makita tools. I know it sounds silly but I have always enjoyed wood working and building things So I have a mobile folding workbench that I keep on the upper deck and then all of my tools which has been fun. One item that I love is my Traeger Grill. I have one that sits on the back deck and is simply the best grill in the world to BBQ on 🙂

Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
There are a handful of apps I use that I am sure everyone does, such as: predict wind, anchor watch, navionics, windy, tides near me

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about OceanStar!