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Old 12-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
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City: St. Lucie VILLAGE -NOT- Port St. Lucie!!!!!
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Nordic Tugs?

Question: I know very little about these boats other than what I've read in advertising. I have the opportunity to market a 2006 model 39' twin stateroom with single 380hp QSB Cummins (I like the electronic engines!). They seem rather pricey for their size vs other marques quite larger-much less the same size.
My sole 1st hand "word of mouth" about these boats came from the owner of the 54' Mare Cat I sold years ago. He mentioned that he had previously owned one, and it's hull was lots thinner than he expected. He learned this after hitting something and the hull cracked open and he sold it as salvage. That was pretty much the sole extent of his "product knowledge". He HIT something so that's NOT the boats fault I know, and it's not steel, so don't hold his statements against the boat. I would suspect that was a 2000 model or thereabouts. Any changes between early and later models?

Is there anything I should know about these boats? Any latent defects?
They obviously aren't "tugs", and short of a faux stack I see nothing else that could put it in that category. I would hate to get as far as a survey and discover a deal killer.
I don't want to waste my time if these aren't something people are actively chasing. Are they, and why? I figured you trawler folks probably have a wealth of knowledge on these boats? I thank you in advance.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Vessel Name: LUCKY US
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There a very well built boat. I don't know of any latent defects but as long as it's been maintained properly, you should find no major issues with the Nordics. I looked at many of them when shopping for a boat. We ultimately went with the AmericanTug but the Nordic was 2nd on my list. They too we're built on the Lynn Senour design and make for great all round trawler.

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Old 12-24-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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City: Calgary
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Vessel Name: Blue Sky
Vessel Model: Nordic Tugs 42 Hull #001
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Last spring we purchased hull #1 of the Nordic Tugs 42 model. Ours had been in charter service for most of its life (it was built in 1995) and so I would say has had a harsher life than most. Whereas we had to do some significant upgrading due to some less than informed "repairs" that had been done over the years, the fundamentals were and are sound. At every turn as we tackled the work needed, we were impressed with the original design and build quality.

From our experience, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Nordic Tugs.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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City: EC FL
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I would not own one

Read the Southeast Nordic tug owners mailing list.

A wealth of info here -

Sentoa mailing list by date Skip the first entry, seems to be a test.

Mike
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #5
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City: Kenai, Alaska
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Very well made, finished down to fine details with a great support network for owners. My best friend has a 32 with the 220 turbo Cummins, averages 1 gph at around 6 knots, and it is capable of speeds in the 12-14 knot range, nice if you have a short weekend or nasty weather to outrun. Fairly high windage in my opinion, and the 1 gph is hard on the engine if you do it too much (gets sooty). I would expect the much newer 39' is also overpowered, but I love the full walk out back door onto the rear deck. That's the one thing I hate about most small trawlers, climbing up out of a hole to get on the back deck.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
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Doug,
I love the 32 Nordic but would want one w a 55hp Yanmar JH. Yea I know it's not a FD hull but my standards are slack now that I'm well into my 70s.

You say "one thing I hate about most small trawlers, climbing up out of a hole to get on the back deck" ..... Just get a Nomad w a raised aft cabin. Could put two more fuel tanks and an extra engine in the hold that the raised cabin makes.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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IMHO, I second Juksey's comments on the Nordic being a well-designed, well-built boat. Lynn Senour is a well-known designer who had a particular expertise with semi-displacement hulls (Nordic and American Tug). I can comment from personal experiences of having owned two Senour American Tug boats over the past 13 years (a 34 and 39) on the nice balance of excellent rough water sea-keeping abilities plus performance (4 mpg at displacement speeds when you want economy, but the ability to get speed in the upper teens if you need it). Neither the Nordic nor the American Tug are true 'blue water' passagemakers, they're not a boat for crossing oceans, but they make for great coastal cruisers.

I've looked at many Nordic Tugs over the years, and have ended up buying two American Tugs, but it's mostly been just a personal preference. Every Nordic I've seen seems to be solidly built, well above average in terms of hull thickness.

The only design problem I've seen in the Nordic's (which was pointed out to me by a broker who knows the boats extremely well) is a tendency for stress cracks to form at the base of the aft pilothouse windows, at the 90 deg turn where the aft pilothouse bulkhead structure meets the boat deck. I've personally seen a number of Nordic's where water intrusion along that crack resulted in extensive moisture penetration into the boat deck balsa core. I've also seen several boats where the crack was repaired, but the moisture in the core was not.

Nordic's may be more expensive than other boats of similar size, but, like with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and I think the quality is worth it. Other than the possibility of boat deck water intrusion, they're a solid boat.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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I had no idea Willard's existed, looked at Sundowners and Nordic Tugs, didn't really like the engine size or windage on either. My ideal is most closely fit by my "new" Willard, low windage, low center of gravity, extreme efficiency, and a walk out back door. My friend with the Nordic 32 wanted me to buy his boat so he could move up, but I really didn't think I could afford to maintain it on my fixed income.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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The Coot's rear exit means climbing out of only a small "hole" but has the benefit of providing an extra seat at the table and less windage.

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Old 12-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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City: St. Lucie VILLAGE -NOT- Port St. Lucie!!!!!
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Thank you all. Very enlightening. Don't see many down here in Florida. It's odd how buyers in Florida will balk at the price of a fully equipped yacht, but apparently don't think twice about paying as much, if not much more for a similar sized outboard powered center console with zero amenities. I guess because there's so many resorts now with hotel rooms, there's no need to stay onboard in the Bahamas, Mexico, and Caribbean, OR they just come home every night. The slow fuel efficient yacht market here is slow, whilst the fast boat is, well- moving fast. Time seems to be more a valued commodity than money. I'd heard rumors of the cracking in the pilothouse and coring issues. Wanted to clarify if it was true. Thanks again.
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
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City: Watch Hill RI
Vessel Name: Puffin
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 32/34
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As an NT 32 owner of 8 years, as a general comment, the boat is well built and engineered. The fiberglass, stainless and interior teak is all first rate. With a semi displacement hull, the boat is overpowered (270 hp) to hit it's 18 knot top end, but with 8-9 knot cruising, with occasional high-speed runs and WOT "to blow things out", I've averaged 1.5 GPH over 8 seasons.

As far as the comment on "a tendency for stress cracks to form at the base of the aft pilothouse windows...", it's really an issue with the joint at the base of the pilothouse where it joins the salon roof, the caulking will deteriorate over the years and can leak. The fix is to remove the caulk, and re-caulk. Some have used standard caulks like Sikaflex, or flexible epoxy like West's G/flex, or even windshield polyurathane caulk. I check that caulk line periodically, and on my boat, it's held up.

My personal pet-peeve on Nordic Tugs is the hard-chine hull. We hang on a mooring, and anchor out when cruising, and the bow slap at anchor is diabolical. I, like other owners I know, filled in the chines to eliminate the slap.

John
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