Form and function were both important, so early in 2003 Kevin collaborated with Chuck Paine & Associates in Camden, Maine to design the hull shape for the NorseBoat 17.5 Sailing & Rowing Cruiser. The result of that collaboration is a boat with a true pedigree, one with stunningly beautiful lines and enough innovative details and features to earn the reputation of the “Swiss army knife of small sailboats.”
Sea trials for the first NorseBoat 17.5 were held in the Florida Keys in late February 2004. Her performance exceeded expectations on all points of sail as well as in the rowing mode.
As if to illustrate her abilities and potential, in March 2004 NorseBoat 17.5 hull #1 came in “first in class” (sailboats) in the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, a gruelling 300-mile coastal expedition race from St. Petersburg, Florida to Key Largo. In 2005 the NorseBoat team again won the Everglades Challenge, this time first overall and setting a new course record.
The NorseBoat reputation for adventure sailing & rowing has steadily grown. In 2007 a retired couple from Idaho travelled over 1200 miles on their NorseBoat 17.5 down US river systems from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Mobile, Alabama. In the summer of 2009 a 2-man team of Royal Marines from the UK sailed, rowed and when necessary dragged their NorseBoat 17.5 1400 miles through the arctic’s legendary Northwest Passage. A team of Aussie’s once again sailed and rowed a NorseBoat 17.5 through the arctic in 2013.
NorseBoats have also received high praise from the boating industry. In 2004 Sail Magazine chose the NorseBoat 17.5 for their prestigious Best Boats award. The NorseBoat 12.5 earned that award in 2008, and the NorseBoat 21.5 won the award in 2011.
In May 2009 eight NorseBoats participated in La Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan in Brittany, France, a four day festival-style event with over 1000 small boats. The number of NorseBoats attending and the camaraderie of the owners and crew was evidence that a NorseBoat community was indeed forming!
NorseBoats are built by Kevin Jeffrey and crew in his solar-powered shop on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes. NorseBoat’s ambitious product development program has ensured they remain a marine industry leader in innovative, traditional watercraft.