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Old 09-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Nordic tug 37 vs American tug 34?

Are there any owners here with experience with either of these two boats? I am told the AT34 compares more to the NT37 then the 32. Both look salty, I am also told they share designers on the hull. Cockpit seems small on both, at least from studying many pics of brokerage boats.
I am also told that the NT hull was designed from the get go to be a recreational hull, Whereas the AT hull was a commercial design.. Not sure of the true pros or cons of this for a "coastal" cruiser...
Any experience shared of these boats would be greatly appreciated, I came here to read and learn!
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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The big difference is wide and short or long and narrow. I much prefer the NT myself but that's 100% opinion. But it appears to me that the Nordic tugs throw far less of a wake and seem to be more efficient but it could be that AT drivers just go faster ??? We passed many ATs when we had our little Albin and got slammed. Very steep close coupled waves. But most all the time wide boats are much more comfortable but at a cost. Also w the cost of moorage what it is a short boat may save more in moorage that the narrower boat will save in fuel. Maybe not even close either. But the real question is which one do you like best?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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I don't think you can go too far wrong with either. Both are well built, literally miles from each other. Lynne Seynour designed both hulls and the AT founders used to work at NT. They both have active owners group, and you would be welcomed on either list to ask questions. SENTOA.org for NTs.

They both have facebook presence as well.

If you are really serious, it would be worth flying to Seattle (or Bellingham) to go visit both builders.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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The CEO of Nordic Tug resigned in 2000 and took the head engineer and general manager with him to start TOMCO Marine Group and build the American Tug. He had discovered a hull mold originally designed as shrimping boat by Lynn Senour (a well know west coast marine architect), purchased it and set out to build a better overall boat.

There is no question in my mind that he and his team succeeded both by comparison of the end product and the fact that Nordic has temporarily suspended operations and AT is actively building boats.

While there are many similarities in design layout, there are many important differences which take advantage of the lessons learned while working at Nordic. While both are well built and very seaworthy, the AT is more stylish, roomier, and has many better thought out interior and exterior design features.

It is true the AT 34 (now called the AT 365) is a good match with the Nordic 37 except it doesn't have the second small state room. If you are looking for a couple's offshore cruiser it is hard to beat. There is also now an AT 395 with a second state room, a roomier cockpit and a chair in the salon which exceeds the Nordic 37 in all respects.

I sound like a commercial, but you asked for opinions and these are mine. Contact me if you would like more of the same.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Ford vs Chevy with both having loyal followings. The condition, deal and previous care will tell the tale. This spring I toured the AT build site, good guys and product but the fact they are more flush than NT is of little importance for a used vessel.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:24 AM   #6
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One of my clients has a NT37 and I was very impressed with her when I went aboard the first time. Good sight lines from the pilothouse. Solid bulletproof boat. Cockpit might be a bit roomier then you might think.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Laker View Post
...and the fact that Nordic has temporarily suspended operations and AT is actively building boats.
They suspended operations from 31 Aug 2010 to 14 Dec 2010, and the AT guys have been talking about their demise ever since.

In fact, there are two 34s on the construction floor and one being laminated in the mold right now.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
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To me both are oxymoron boats , huge engines for high speed that is almost never used , that costs fuel burn at displacement speeds.

For displacement cruising the hull is not great , a 300hp engine running 35hp is less than optimum.

If you want a speedy motorboat , there are many others that cost far less and offer better accomidations.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:32 AM   #9
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thanks for all the replies thus far! Larry, yes the intention is to be a liveaboard for just 1 couple. occasional guests for docktails, but no overnights. boat will stay at a marina, not a mooring.
i am curious of the specifics when you say "offshore cruising". the boat seems to be more of an inland cruiser.. I certainly am not plannig a transatlantic passage, but would want a boat, say, if i left from south florida, run with the gulfstream and fish the boat all the way up to georgia, then make my westerly turn to come home. this means i would be at sea for a couple days, displacement speeds only, and with a "descent" weather window, of course... therefore, i really want a salty ride, that can take sea if if gets a little rough... I realize this boat is not a KK or a nordhaven, but it's seaworthiness and ability to make 300-400 mile coastal passages off the coast is very important to me.. am I looking at the wrong boats in either of these 2 models, or do I need to stay more focused on a KK39? i have plenty time to make a decision and research/learn about these boats, but want to have the right foundation for my needs so i don't find myself regretting my decision to buy the wrong boat and then have to sell it. i need to be be no more than around 300K, maybe 320K max.
the NT37 or AT34 seems to be well within the range, the KK is marginal. but out of experience and from reading, it seems I would be better off to wait a little while longer to scrape up more $$$$ to get what i really want/need, any thoughts on this?
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:34 AM   #10
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ATs are not meant to do trans-oceanic voyages, but they can run offshore (within say 50 mi) easily with careful planning and reasonable weather.

They are built in Washington State and many cruise up to Alaska and the offshore islands. Several have gone south to Southern CA and at least one went on through the Panama Canal through the Caribbean and is planning to do the loop. I know of a couple that went over to the Bahama Islands. Many are located on the East coast, the Chesapeake and the sometimes challenging waters of the Great Lakes as well. I am leaving to do the Great Loop and have no concerns about crossing Lake MI, crossing the Gulf or running outside the ICW when possible.

Yes, the engine is more than you need for displacement speeds, but when you want to outrun weather, have a medical emergency, want to catch a bridge opening, or get through the swells coming out of a channel, the extra power is quite comforting. Plus I don't believe there is a low speed penalty (6kts @ 1 gph, 7kts @ 1.5 gph, 8 kts @ 2.3 gph and admittedly steadily up from there on to about 16 kts @ 16 gph).

I don't know the KK 39 well, but it seems to be a considerably different boat for comparison. More ocean capable and limited to displacement speeds? Maybe someone else can help here.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #11
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The American Tug has a centerline walk-around forward berth while the NT has an off-set berth. Climbin' over someone to go to the head is not somethin' I wanna do.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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The NT 32 has an off-set berth (undesirable) but the NT 37 has a walk-around similar to the AT 34.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #13
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Helmsman 38 pilothouse

Please do yourself a favor! I also looked at a AT34. My wife and I looked for 4 years and found a Helmsman 38 Pilothouse Trawler. I am not beating my chest here BUT PLEASE look at it. The web site is Waterline Boats (distributer). I think you will thank me!!!
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:42 PM   #14
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I was waiting for this thread to creep! We just bought a North Pacific 39. Also worth checking out.

Thanks Jwinner!

Rob

p.s. will change my avatar soon
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:40 PM   #15
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We tied up in Bath NC a while ago and met a couple with one of these:
N37 Exterior
I have no clue how it compares cost-wise or performance wise with the AT or Nordic, but it was a pretty cool boat. They're full-time cruisers, and the accommodations (galley, salon, sleeping quarters) were really nice.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1976mako20 View Post
I certainly am not plannig a transatlantic passage, but would want a boat, say, if i left from south florida, run with the gulfstream and fish the boat all the way up to georgia, then make my westerly turn to come home. this means i would be at sea for a couple days, displacement speeds only, and with a "descent" weather window, of course... therefore, i really want a salty ride, that can take sea if if gets a little rough... I realize this boat is not a KK or a nordhaven, but it's seaworthiness and ability to make 300-400 mile coastal passages off the coast is very important to me.. am I looking at the wrong boats in either of these 2 models, or do I need to stay more focused on a KK39?
In my opinion you can, with good planning, and with keeping track of the weather inroute, make any passage that is within the fuel capacity of your boat, provided that you are no more than 24 hours from a safe harbor at any given time should the weather forecast and or conditions change for the worse.

I would say that not only about your boat, or my boat, I would say it about pretty much anybodys boat.

Some of the full displacement crowd will tell you that you cannot take your semi displacement boat out of protected waters. That is just pure fiction. There is no demonstratable reason that you cannot take your boat anywhere as described above with prudent planning.

If you want to get a KK or a Nordhavn, thats fantastic! They are great boats! If someone tries to convince you that you need one for serious coastal cruising, that is just not true, and I can prove it, not only through my direct experience, but through the direct experience of cruisers that have documented their extensive journies via their blogs.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:47 PM   #17
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In my opinion you can, with good planning, and with keeping track of the weather inroute, make any passage that is within the fuel capacity of your boat, provided that you are no more than 24 hours from a safe harbor ...
Isn't that the definition of a coastal cruiser assuming one has current/timely forecasts?
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:26 AM   #18
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Isn't that the definition of a coastal cruiser assuming one has current/timely forecasts?

Yes, of course it is.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:48 AM   #19
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I think the NT/AT choice is very much personal preference. We know people with both makes and each of them is very happy with their choice. Some of it will be configuration preferences. Some of it will be aesthetic preferences. For this type of boat I find the NT line very nice, even the models with flying bridges. I find the AT line to be awkward and somewhat bloated looking, aesthetics that are not helped by the reverse raked pilothouse windows which, as I've stated previously, ruin the lines of any boat they are applied to in my opinion.

I agree with Eric in that NTs seem to move through the water relatively easily while the ATs I've observed underway seem to kick up more of a stir. Whether that's significant or not I have no idea.

The AT34 makes very smart use of its interior volume. But it's always amazed me how much difference a few feet in length can make in a boat. The GB32 vs GB36 vs GB42 vs GB46 for example. In each case the length is only going up in increments of 4 or 6 feet but the difference in layout and space is far greater than the number of feet would imply.

So given the choice presented here and my own design and aesthetic preferences there is no question I would choose the NT37 over the AT34.

However I would not select either one if my objective was to live aboard full time. I think both of them are too small for my idea of a liveaboard.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #20
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1976mako20,

If you have come here to read and learn, I suggest you take jwinner's advice (post #13) and look at the Helmsman 38 (http://www.helmsmantrawlers.com/38-pilothouse/) AKA Mariner Seville 37 Pilothouse. I'm very familiar with the AT34 and NT37, both built in my area, and I wouldn't consider for a second to trade my boat for either of these. I'll give you a couple of reasons:

Compare the pilothouse. In my boat I have a L shape settee that has a useable table. Perfect place for morning coffee with a nice view outside. This is the second "L" settee, the other is in the salon. I don't know if you like to sit up straight when reading a book but as the AT34 and NT 37 only have one "L" settee, either you or your wife is not going to be able to semi recline when reading your favorite book. My boat also has room for a recliner for a third place to recline on the boat, something neither of these boats have. My wife likes to recline in the salon and I like to do same in the pilothouse. Its like having 2 separate rooms.

The pilothouse on the Helmsman 38 is comparable to that of a boat 10 feet longer with the "L" settee, nice size table and has a very comfortable helm seat that you could sit on for hours.

Access to the engine room is either through a door in the second head or through a hatch in the pilothouse. While it is crawl room only, checking the engine while underway is very simple using this door. The AT34 and NT37 engine room access is only by lifting a hatch and while the hatch is open the engine noise comes into the boat and it is a hole for someone to fall though. There is very little increase in noise in the pilothouse when my engine room door is open.

Oh, and the second head. Did I tell you there is a second head off the salon for guests or the wife if she doesn't like that you never lift the toilet seat? Nice to have.

Access to the huge flybridge (which is standard) is off either pilothouse side door with real stairs to get up there rather than a ladder that takes away from the cockpit.

My boat has been to Alaska 2 years ago and we made it from Seattle to Ketchikan on one tank of fuel. According to my log, that was 982 nm. We cruise at 1600 RPM and make about 7.5 knots burning 2.4 gal/hr and we carry 400 gallons of fuel.

All this room comes at a cost of not having walkarounds however my previous boat was a Defever 45 pilothouse that had great walkarounds but we quickly learned to just go through the boat to get to the cockpit. It is also very easy to exit the boat from the pilothouse side door with a mid-ship line.

On all our cruises in the 4 years I have owned this boat, we constantly have people coming up to us on the dock admiring the boat and wondering who the manufacturer is. They all say the boat is very big for only 37/38 feet.

Just to make it clear, I have no affiliation with Helmsman, I just think the boat is so much better than every other boat in this size range. The Krogan 39 is the one exception and I would trade my boat for one if it had stabilizers.

Just one more thing to avoid confusion, the Helmsman 38 was first produced under the name Mariner Seville 37 Pilothouse so if you are searching Yachtworld, use both names. The Helmsman name is about 2 years old.

Hope this helps more than confuses...

Ron
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