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Old 05-15-2016, 08:54 AM   #1
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American Tug 395 "Test Drive" video!

We publish much of our lives on YouTube! This is a short little video of the delivery of the American Tug 395 to Essex CT last week for the boat show there.
It was a perfect day to hitch a ride!
Bruce
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=OWQ_IOsb2Rg
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bruce B;
It was a perfect day to hitch a ride!
Nice little video, thanks. Confirms my preference, at least on that boat, for full length side rails.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #3
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Nice little video, thanks. Confirms my preference, at least on that boat, for full length side rails.
Hard to tell from the video, but the deck narrows past the Pilothouse door. I just can't tell by how much.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:00 PM   #4
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I used to own a 2013 AT 395. It was an absolutely amazing boat, by far the best I have ever had out of 13 boats over 45 years.

The hull design is perfect. It had unparalleled sea keeping abilities for a 39 ft boat, yet also outstanding performance. We had a 480 hp Cummins, and the boat would cruise at any speed from displacement to 17 kts, and topped out at 21 kts.

The construction quality and attention to detail were also amazing. Going aboard any American Tug, and any Chinese built boat, side by side is an eye-opening experience. Crawl through the bilge and machinery spaces of the AT 395, see how the wiring and plumbing is done to commercial standards, and it's hard to settle for anything else afterwards.

The one and only thing the boat did not have, and our reason for selling it, was walk around side decks. I'm in the camp of walk around side decks being a non-negotiable must have (I'd rather give up some interior space in exchange for being able to get anywhere on the boat in a hurry for line handling). We had the optional full length side railings, and the side decks aft of the pilothouse just weren't quite wide enough for my size 12 feet to negotiate. At about a 4 in wide deck, my feet just didn't fit (at least not if I was in a hurry).

We had the boat for 2 years, and absolutely loved it. We're not likely to ever have one as nice as that again.

But, during one docking, my size 12 foot got caught in the side railing, and I tore the meniscus in my knee, necessitating surgery and removal of half the meniscus. It broke our hearts, but I just didn't want to risk tearing what's left of the meniscus and needing a knee replacement.

I tried to cajole American Tug into modifying the deck house to make the side decks aft of the pilothouse the same width as forward. But, I guess sales of this incredible boat are strong enough that most buyers either don't care about side deck access, or have smaller feet than I do.

If you don't need walk-around side decks, I don't think there is anything else that comes remotely close to the AT 395 in that size range for a combination of seaworthiness, performance, and build quality. I've been looking for our next boat for the past year, and after owning an American Tug, nothing else measures up.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:05 PM   #5
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The one and only thing the boat did not have, and our reason for selling it, was walk around side decks. I'm in the camp of walk around side decks being a non-negotiable must have (I'd rather give up some interior space in exchange for being able to get anywhere on the boat in a hurry for line handling). We had the optional full length side railings, and the side decks aft of the pilothouse just weren't quite wide enough for my size 12 feet to negotiate. At about a 4 in wide deck, my feet just didn't fit (at least not if I was in a hurry).
That is what I was trying to get at. Rails on a side deck that are too narrow can actually be less safe than no rails. Depends on the deck size. IMO, the AT 395 owners should simply count on not using those side decks as a pathway fore and aft.

I was very interested in side decks, I ended up choosing a boat that has none.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:22 PM   #6
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Once again. while arguing rails/ no rails, we never on our tug traverse bow to stern on our at/34/6 via the 6 inch side rails. the saloon[or salon]--- i don't know] is always a safe passage. that said,, all of us in the trawler world know that every thing on any boat is a compromise , I prefer having the space on the inside of my boat as opposed to the outside--- just one persons OP -- STEVE AND TINA
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:32 PM   #7
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Are these the ones built in LaConner WA?
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:00 PM   #8
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That is what I was trying to get at. Rails on a side deck that are too narrow can actually be less safe than no rails.
After what Nick said, I have to agree with you Dave.
They might as well have gone full width with the salon as that portion of deck is pretty useless, to me anyway.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:13 PM   #9
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After what Nick said, I have to agree with you Dave.
They might as well have gone full width with the salon as that portion of deck is pretty useless, to me anyway.
Not entirely. Both the NT and AT under 40' designs have a narrow side deck that can be useful. However, they aren't anything that you would want to use whil under way or coming into a dock. They do have great hand holds with the lower rail on the boat deck. Truth be told, when my adult son looked at those the first thing he said was "I don't want you or Mom ever trying to use those to go forward."

The AT 395 has very easy access through the salon and Pilothouse from the cockpit to bow. So if the side decks are too narrow to be practical, why put rails on them to make them effectively narrower?

Now, if you move up to something like the NT 42, you have very usable side decks.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:34 PM   #10
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I get it: at boat shows, it's cavernous interior spaces that sells boats, not the width of side decks. At the Seattle boat show earlier this year, the boats with full-width salons with no side decks at all were getting lots of compliments from spouses, and probably subsequent sales.

When I look at a boat, the first thing I check is deck access - width of decks, railings, how I can get around the boat, at any time under any conditions. Second, the engine room and machinery spaces. Interior cabin size is last on my list.

I know I'm in the minority. It's just my wife and I, we don't carry guests or family so we don't care about maximizing interior square footage. I care far more about ease of handling a boat, which for me means safe walk-around side decks are a must.

Given how many boats have full width salons, and how few in the 40-ish ft range have full side decks, I know I'm an anomaly.

The AT 41 has full width side decks, but it's not for us, both because it doesn't have the performance of the AT 395 (we like the ability to cruise at 16-17 kts when we want to), and because it's out of our price range.

The Nordic 42 has the side decks and performance I'm looking for. But, so far every used Nordic 42 I've looked at, I've found (using a moisture meter) what I believe is extensive wet core in the boat deck (salon roof). All the ones I've seen had developed cracks at the base of the aft pilothouse bulkhead where it forms a 90 deg angle with the salon roof, and I think water entered through the crack and saturated the upper deck core - not a repair I'm willing to get into (and a new Nordic 42 is likewise out of my price range).

Oh well... the search continues (unless enough people ask Tomco to build the AT 395 with wider side decks, but I'm not holding my breath for that).
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dhays;
The AT 395 has very easy access through the salon and Pilothouse from the cockpit to bow. So if the side decks are too narrow to be practical, why put rails on them to make them effectively narrower?
I'll check back in October to see how the salon is holding up to soggy people sloshing through.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:30 AM   #12
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I'll check back in October to see how the salon is holding up to soggy people sloshing through.
Good point. I will have the same issue as there are no side decks at all by the saloon on my boat.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nick14 View Post
I used to own a 2013 AT 395. It was an absolutely amazing boat, by far the best I have ever had out of 13 boats over 45 years.

The hull design is perfect. It had unparalleled sea keeping abilities for a 39 ft boat, yet also outstanding performance. We had a 480 hp Cummins, and the boat would cruise at any speed from displacement to 17 kts, and topped out at 21 kts.

The construction quality and attention to detail were also amazing. Going aboard any American Tug, and any Chinese built boat, side by side is an eye-opening experience. Crawl through the bilge and machinery spaces of the AT 395, see how the wiring and plumbing is done to commercial standards, and it's hard to settle for anything else afterwards.

The one and only thing the boat did not have, and our reason for selling it, was walk around side decks. I'm in the camp of walk around side decks being a non-negotiable must have (I'd rather give up some interior space in exchange for being able to get anywhere on the boat in a hurry for line handling). We had the optional full length side railings, and the side decks aft of the pilothouse just weren't quite wide enough for my size 12 feet to negotiate. At about a 4 in wide deck, my feet just didn't fit (at least not if I was in a hurry).

We had the boat for 2 years, and absolutely loved it. We're not likely to ever have one as nice as that again.

But, during one docking, my size 12 foot got caught in the side railing, and I tore the meniscus in my knee, necessitating surgery and removal of half the meniscus. It broke our hearts, but I just didn't want to risk tearing what's left of the meniscus and needing a knee replacement.

I tried to cajole American Tug into modifying the deck house to make the side decks aft of the pilothouse the same width as forward. But, I guess sales of this incredible boat are strong enough that most buyers either don't care about side deck access, or have smaller feet than I do.

If you don't need walk-around side decks, I don't think there is anything else that comes remotely close to the AT 395 in that size range for a combination of seaworthiness, performance, and build quality. I've been looking for our next boat for the past year, and after owning an American Tug, nothing else measures up.
Wow Nick!
Bummer about the knee...
I asked about the railings in another thread and I have slowly come to the conclusion that there is no simple answer!
We have dock buddies that own a down east style lobster hull that scares the s&!T out of me due to its tiny side decks...and they have no access to the bow from the cabin! Minimal handholds, tall cabin and those side decks all combine to make me hesitate moving forward on that boat even when it is at the dock!

The American Tug 395 seemed like a cake walk compared to that boat.

Nice to hear the glowing reviews otherwise. I have read about concerns with the NT roof before this too...

We were thrilled with our little 25 plus mile "cruise" on the AT 395 and we are at the precipice of committing, so-to-speak...

I have no illusions about moving along those side decks. I have no problem moving through the salon to get forward. If a salon on a boat can't stand up to wet boaters...there is a larger issue! I am leaning toward no rails now, as sometimes the illusion of safety can be more dangerous than the reality but we will head back to the boat we looked at for a careful look before deciding...
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:16 AM   #14
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Generator trick I haven't mentioned before. Thar us a 110v outlet that is only powered from generator or shore power. (Similar to water heater and ac). We use this as a charging station for phones computers and power tools.
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