Category: Boats & Gear
Created: Friday, 16 April 2010 21:59
Written by Charles Doane
Legend has it the idea for this unique pocket cruiser was born round a campfire in Baja California in the early 1970s as two brothers, Dean and Stan Wixom, speculated on alternative modes of exploring Baja and the Sea of Cortez. They were on motorcycles, had tired of the dusty ride, and thought a small, but truly ocean-worthy cruising sailboat on a trailer might be a better way to travel. Dean later queried several yacht designers, but the only one who thought such a craft feasible was Lyle Hess, who allegedly took only a few minutes to sketch out the basic concept of what became the Nor’Sea 27.
Wixom built hull number one in a makeshift plant in Southern California in 1977, then three years later built himself a boat (hull number 77, as it happened) and sailed off over the horizon in it. His new business, Heritage Marine, he sold to Bob Eeg, who renamed the company Nor’Sea Marine and has continued building Nor’Sea 27s ever since. To date over 450 have been launched and many believe it to be the most seaworthy cruising sailboat in its size range.
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