Mickey and Snow Smith

Mickey and Snow Smith

As the original owner of the mighty Pendana, then Discovery and being a bit of a nautical guru that you are, how did it feel taking Pendana/Discovery for her very first run?

It was exciting! My very first run was from Fort Lauderdale to Stuart Florida.

What makes Pendana, or should I say Discovery so special?

She is the only Nordhavn 62 were there are more changes than there are specifications.

So how many pages of modifications did you have Nordhavn make to the original spec?

There were nine pages of modifications I made to Pendana/Discovery before the contract was signed. I might also add she was the most expensive Nordhavn ever built to come out of the yard at that time.

Discovery at rest in the Bahamas

Local kids pile aboard!

What do you believe are the three most important modifications that you made to Pendana that to this day you feel were absolutely the best?

Firstly, the engine! The Cummins N14 is a powerhouse of an engine and while it looks kind of agricultural it is the engine to have. This idea to use the N14 came from an Aussie named Jim Wallis who owned a fine Nordhavn 62 named Atlas which from memory was hull #10. Secondly, there is no balsa material in the core of Discovery/Pendana anywhere and, I do mean anywhere as it is all closed cell foam and finally, there is no non-skid on Discovery/Pendana anywhere. If you have ever knelt on non-skid before you know that this is a huge plus.

Why did you choose a Nordhavn?

I was sailing for a long time and basically in order to stay on the water with my family we needed to upgrade from sail to power and to something decidedly more comfortable. A very capable condominium on the water concept is what we went for!

What was your cruising highlight on Discovery/Pendana?

Getting stuck in the Bahamas!


The Bahamas is very shallow and it’s all sand so getting stuck in the sand was a highlight.

So you think that was the highlight and not a low light?

You see, I now know how to dig that boat out of a sand bar.

Seems Mickey might have a thing for sand!

Did you, in your past ever travel with animals on board?


I understand that Nordhavn were so impressed with what you did with Discovery/Pendana that they offered you a job. Is that correct?

No. I had been giving them free advice for a long time as do a lot of owners of Nordhavns. For example the bustle on the 62 came from the owner of hull #8 whose name escapes me. Anyway, I finally decided I could do something for Nordhavn to really add value so Dan and I spoke and before I knew it I was working with Nordhavn. So that was the start of something very fun.

So, how many hulls were you part of during your time with Nordhavn?

I was with Nordhavn some seven years and during that time I did some 250 hulls in all.

Why did you leave Nordhavn?

Ahhhhh the recession of 2008 hit and as I had trained the guys at Nordhavn and at the yard I was just getting a wee bit bored so decided to leave.

In your pre boating life what did you do?

I have never been without a boat however, before I joined Nordhavn, I was with Intel Corp for about 16 years and prior to that I was an Engineer with General Motors (research team) with my job being to hand in two reports a year! What a great job that was!

Mickey Smith at Hoover Dam

I understand that when you were with Intel Corp you used to be Ken Williams (San Souci N68) account rep when he and Roberta were running Sierra. Is that right?

Yep that’s right.

So have you got any stories you can tell us about Ken from back then?

Yep. Ken Williams taught me how to dress. I had come from Florida where a shirt, suit and tie was how we did it on the east coast but apparently not in Seattle. I remember Ken coming into a meeting dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt. I learnt fast and followed Kens lead and never looked back.

It’s said, that you taught the Messiah, James Knight from YachtTech everything he knows, is that true?

Well….argh…… everything? No, I am sorry, not everything but pretty darn close!

If there was one thing all Nordhavns owners should know what would that be

Look after your engine and do not skimp on maintenance.

Do your maintenance or the Pacific Knights will come and get you!

If there is one thing that irritates you what would that be?

Nothing, really nothing springs to mind. Oh hang on, drivers in the left hand lane, now, they irritate me!

Mickey Smith is a current member of the Pacific Knights – pictured here on his Harley Breakout

Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems?


Would you describe yourself as more a hunter or gather?

Hunter. Definitely a hunter. I am an adventurer.

Mickey and Snow on yet another adventure

Why did you name Pendana, Discovery?

Because that is what all my boats were named. When you are on a good thing stick to it. Interestingly Jim Wallis also called all of his boats Atlas. I believe Atlas is for sale now in Australia for those who may be interested – LINK HERE

SIDE NOTE: Atlas is for sale in Australia and she is a great example of these long-range little ships. An interview with Atlas’s current owner Mr Craig Brent-White can be found HERE

What other names did you consider?


What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made on the water?

Trying to keep a schedule! We took our sailboat from Fort Lauderdale to Wilmington North Carolina and got our butts kicked in the Gulf Stream. Never have a schedule on the water, never.

What are you afraid off?


What’s your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why?

The photo below of Atlas in Bequia, Saint Vincent.

 Mickey, tell us something about yourselves that nobody knows?

Like that’s going to happen!

So you are now living in Hawaii. Why Hawaii?

Because it’s just about as far away from everything as you can get.

What do you love about the place?

The climate, people are generally nice and it’s just a new adventure.

Mickey and Snow on the beach in Hawaii

What do you hate about it?

The climate, people and its small! Four hours on my Harley and I can go right around the island of Oahu.

And finally, what’s next for you?

I will figure that out when we get to it but maybe, just maybe India. Both Snow and I really want to travel and we are toying with the idea of going to India. Maybe we might end up in Italy as we both love Italy. Look, the bottom line is, I will know when I know!

Mickey and Snow pay a visit to his old boat!

Thank you very much for your time and thank you for doing such an amazing job spec’ing out Pendana!

Good luck!

Proudly bought to you by: Pendanablog


3 thoughts on “Mickey and Snow Smith”

  1. SUBJECT: Re: Mickey and Snow Smith
    James, the photo of Discovery at rest in the Bahamas is actually Atlas in
    Bequia, Saint Vincent. Oops.
    Thanks for the interview mate.

    REPLY>>> Error corrected. Not sure where I got that from!!

  2. SUBJECT: Re: Mickey and Snow Smith
    What an odd pairing. A biker, a hot chick and a 3 million dollar boat (I””m
    Thanks for the interview 🙂
    R. Stacy
    On Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 9:01 AM, http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM <

    *Ronnie Stacy *
    Cell: (408) 826-9200
    Fax: (866) 596-6871

  3. SUBJECT: Re: Mickey and Snow Smith
    Hello James:
    Would you know of the additional changes made to his/your boat besides the three (3) that he mentioned? Also, was it your understanding that his changes made it to the other N62s?

    >>>REPLY>>>> good question, been trying to get the list out of Mickey for years!! Will see if Nordhavn have something in their files.

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