the boats at both the La Rochelle and
Paris Boat shows. We are also setting up
an agent in Australia.
BIC: I see you can fit four boats in a 40’
container, but it still must be expensive
to ship halfway round the world.
KJ: Not really. In fact shipping boats
across North America is a greater
NorseBoat Founder Kevin Jeffrey
(left), and Fiberglass Production
Manager Jamer Buote, outside the
company’s new facility in Lunenburg,
sic lines, and power boaters who use a
NorseBoat as his or her tender. We have
customers all over NA including unlikely places such as Idaho, Missouri, Kansas
and Alaska. Most customers are price
sensitive, although we have sold some
boats as tenders to large yachts. Some
are downsizing from larger, more complex, boats.
BIC: You offer your boats in fibreglass,
wood and what you call “hybrid”. How
do you see demand splitting up for each
KJ: The majority of sales are fibreglass
boats, and knowing that it would be the
most popular, this is the construction
method we started with. However, as an
editor for Wooden Boat magazine said,
"the NorseBoat deserves to be made out
The new NorseBoat 12. 5 sailing &
rowing cruiser is based on proven traditional lines blended with distinctively NorseBoat concepts. This boat has
an innovative underwater shape for
high performance and an extremely
shallow draft with the boards up. The
NorseBoat 12. 5 can serve as a yacht
tender, a sassy high-performance day-sailer with classic lines, a mini camp-cruiser, and it is light enough be
transported on the top of a vehicle.
BIC: Do you sell all your boats directly in
the North American market?
KJ: We have a few dealers in key sailing
areas, but with a relatively small production rate we don’t have the margin for a
dealer network. As we increase volume
and drive down costs, we will be able to
use dealers. We use a system of owner
representatives – customers who enjoy
promoting the boats and offer sailing trials to prospective clients.
BIC: How does the owner representative
concept work in practice?
KJ: As one owner put it, “you can’t be an
introvert and own a NorseBoat.” All you
have to do is sail or row it, or even park
it in a visible spot and it draws a crowd.
Owner-agents provide local sales support in return for commissions on sales.
Sometimes we send them customers
who want to see or sail a NorseBoat, and
sometimes the owner-agent brings a new
customer to us.
BIC: Do you have a “typical” customer or
do they run the gamut?
KJ: Cruising sailors downsizing, sea
kayakers moving up, daysailors who
want a high-performance boat with clas-
of wood." Several years ago we developed a modern wooden version of the
NorseBoat that could be prebuilt at our
yard or supplied as a kit for amateur
construction. Our latest offering is a
hybrid NorseBoat, which has a glass hull
from our production glass boat and
wood interior and deck from our all-wood boat. This model has been really
popular, and in many ways it offers the
best of both worlds.
NorseBoat is now introducing a 12. 5
version, designed by Nova Scotian, Laurie
McGowan. The new boat has a traditional hull shape with innovative NorseBoat
concepts. The 12. 5’ is a more nimble boat
suitable for smaller bodies of water, or as
a yacht tender. Like the 17. 5, the
NorseBoat 12. 5 is available professionally built or as an easily assembled kit for
This month, Kevin and his team (see
sidebar) are moving into their new
Lunenburg shop. With a backlog of orders,
it’s going to be all hands on deck to meet the
demand for the 17. 5 and the new 12. 5. ●