I thought a few boaters would appreciate a little insight into how the only ever Nordhavn semi-displacement boat performs off shore. Last week Mary and I felt comfortable enough with the new boat to take her outside for a short run in open ocean to see how she handled. Up to now all our runs have been within the bay as we continue to test systems and watch booth the stuffing box temperature and cooling system which we had completely gone through. One thing I learned a long time ago is to respect the ocean and not to rush yourself.
The following is from a post I provided to a couple of experienced boaters looking into the N35 as their next boat.
Yesterday was our first off shore trip with N3522 and she exceeded our expectations (even Mary's). I knew from day one that coming off a fully stabilized boat would be interesting but planned to use a little more speed to off set the effects. Well I was very close. Yesterday we had 15 knot breezes and a confused sea with 2' chop combined with 3' swell. We ran with the tide as we exited the long channel then headed south towards Mexico in open ocean. Not bouncing or spray. We made a very larger 1/2 mile circle to feel the waves on all sides. She handled head seas like the N40 with a gentle motion and less "pushing or shouldering" the water while still moving along at close to 8 knots. we took the occasional spray but never needed to use the windshield wipers due in apart to the pilothouse being set back. We intentionally kept her from getting up on plan since that's not how we want to run her. Traveling 7-8 knots is flying for us and the perfect speed for comfort and distance. The Yanmar runs about 2100RPM to achieve those speeds while 2400RPM is he sweet spot providing an extra 1/2 knot.
Beam sea was about 3' at about 6 seconds (that's a little close) and resulted in some roll but nothing serious. I would guess around 10 -15 degrees. The motion was soft and the period was not very long, she felt more like a full displacement hull than our hard chime fishing boat which was very nice. A slight change in course direction took care of the roll which is one tactic we would use if we on a long trip. Bottom line is nothing can replace active fin stabilizers in a full beam sea but they come with a cost and not practical on any boat under 40'. We also noticed on our two N40's we didn't need the $50K stab's about 50% of the time. We found that if we took the seas on the quarter bow everything was comfortable. We then experienced seas from behind which provided a slight push. The nice thing about having a little more speed range is the ability find that perfect blend of speed versus wave pattern. I can remember being pushed around with beam seas on the N40 and the boat squatting which we never enjoyed. With the N35 we never felt that even when being overcome by a 4-5 foot swells caused by a large sportfishing boat over taking us. We are sold on this heavy and solid hull. The boat was light (half load) and I expect the handling to get better with full fuel and water. Even at full load we do not expect her to push very much water due to her hull design. Once again I think PAE got this boat right, only I would do differently is to install a smaller engine and not worry about doing 12 knots and burning diesel.
We were fortunate to have the famous Lugger Bob aboard two weeks ago and put the boat through her speed range to help identify the sweet spot as well as listen how much better this hull rides and responds compared to the earlier boats (up to hull 11) that had a few issues with top end speed.
One of the reasons we decided on the N35 was the quality that comes with the Nordhavn line of trawlers and we are not disappointed. While no boat is perfect we feel fortunate we stayed with Nordhavn and found this diamond in the rough. Every time we step aboard and look at the fit and finish on this nine year old boat we feel like she was just delivered from the factory, this says something about quality. Hope this helps a few people in their search and act as a benchmark to measure other boats.