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Old 05-07-2015, 07:57 PM   #1
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Are Nordic Tugs worth the money?

I've been searching for my "dream boat". Which I thought was my last boat! Anyway, I'm sort of focusing on the Nordic 32 and the Mainship 34. Given equal years and engine hours, the Mainship is substantially less money. For a 2004 Nordic 32, you will spend around $180K - $200K. A 2006 Mainship 34 can be had for under $150K. My use would be on the ICW for my 1st year of retirement and after that Charellet Harbor in Fla. We will make several long range cruises per year. I like the Cummins engine better than the Yanmar. I like the engine access in the Mainship. The sette area is a little nicer on the Mainship. Fuel economy, I think, is about the same. I'm wondering about reliability and comfort.

Looking forward to some thoughtful comments.
Thanks
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like you may have answered your own question based on your preferences for some of the Mainship's features.

Nordic Tugs are great boats, very well made, and well suited to the waters in this region (which makes sense given that this is where they were designed and have been built since then.

I don't know anything about Mainship quality or longevity so can't offer any comments on them other than to say that unless one is buying a brand new boat, the value of a boat lies at least as much if not more in the way that boat was operated and treated by the previous owner(s) than in it's newbuild quality.

For what my wife and I do and hope to do with a boat in the PNW, we would take the Nordic Tug over the Mainship despite the disparity in price, assuming equal condition and history for both of them. But what we like and want in a boat has no bearing on what someone else might want and like.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:18 PM   #3
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The few Nordic Tug owners I've met personally seemed to be pleased with their boats.


Three Jeans (home port Pittsburg) was the first boat calling for an overtaking pass (Coot is slow, a true trawler, while Nordics are faster). We met up in Petaluma:


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Old 05-07-2015, 08:18 PM   #4
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Like everything in life...what is it worth to you?

My trawler has already steamed nearly 10,000 miles with minimum expense added for around $60,000.

sure I am slowly adding $30,000 in improvements and repairs...but they could have been postponed or ignored for these trips. Plus I am a liveaboard so some have been pushed harder.

Buy what you think will do the job, what you like and what you can afford. I
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:29 PM   #5
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In the range of hull types (FD, SD & Planing) I think the Nordic is a SD hull closer to FD (but not close .. but closer than most trawlers) whereas the Mainship is closer to a planing hull. The NT is not wide and I think the Mainship is. Higher CG on the Mainship with more windage. I'm guessing the NT has a slower motion more typical of fish boats and the Mainship probably has a rather quick motion that can be tiring on the water.

The NT has my vote as it looks to be more efficient and seaworthy. Real shy on the glitz but closer to the trawler concept. The Mainship probably has more room.

Most people think galley up or down is important and other things like that. To me the hull is #1 hands down. That's the main reason I have a Willard.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:37 PM   #6
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Nordic Tugs have semi-planing hulls and can be driven in the 13-15 knot range pretty easily. Have no idea how their efficiency compares to Mainship but I certainly do not consider a Nordic Tug to be "closer to a displacement hull." Not when I've seen them zipping along like they can. Even Nordic Tug at one time in their advertisements referred to their boats as "fast trawlers." Maybe they still do.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:39 PM   #7
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Eric, your hull is a full-displacement hull similar to a sailboat and not anything like a semi-planing hull of a Nordic/Arctic Tug hull.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:46 PM   #8
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Similarly-sized Nordic Tugs potentially have nearly twice the speed of the full-displacement Coot (which also has a small fraction of the horsepower and fuel need.)
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:51 PM   #9
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"Is boat X worth an increased price over boat Y"

That is really not possible for any of us to determine, since its so personal.

Both the boats you mentioned seem to have similar operating limits, IE they are both Coastal Cruisers.

They are both about the same size, probably with very similar features. I would imagine that they both have approx the same ongoing maintenance requirements.

If you are approaching this purely logically then the best boat is the one that gets the job done and has the lowest lifecycle costs. But boats are not a logical decision for most of us.

I do not know what other opinions you'll get here but you have really asked an unanswerable question.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:36 PM   #10
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But then these are pleasure boats so the best boat is always the one we like the most.

Assuming all other things are equal .. and they never are.

The OP could fly to Juneau AK and rent the NT. And I'm sure the Mainship is availible too. Charter boat services seem to favor NT and GB in the PNW. That must say something both boats being pricy. Evidently they think the're worth the money.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:00 PM   #11
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Are Nordic Tugs worth the money?


Of course they are! My NT is my eleventh boat in my lifetime and none of my previous boats can compare in build quality. NT's are built by boat builders who know what they are doing.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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I owned a Mainship 34T for several years and have looked extensively at the NT32, so here is my take:

The Mainship is BIG and roomy. It has a huge flybridge and its main cabin is big given its 14' beam. The forward cabin is ok, but a bit sparse. It will safely cruise at 12 kts but no more for decent engine life. The Yanmar is a good engine but admittedly the Cummins is one of the best, but not a deal maker/breaker IMO.

The NT32 is built better, it just looks it. I think they come with the Cummins 330 hp version so it may be a bit slower than the Mainship. Seems like the forward berth is a Pullman which wouldn't cut it for me. If you prefer pilot house steering to flybridge steering then maybe it will work for you.

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Old 05-07-2015, 10:52 PM   #13
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FWIW, members of the boating club we belong to bought a new NT32 several years ago. They have cruised it extensively, including a trip to SE Alaska and back. They just recently moved up to an NT37, feeling that the NT32 was just too small for their needs (they have grandchildren who are apparently coming of an age to go boating with them).

If interior space and berth accommodations are a consideration for a buyer, the NT32, as well designed and well built as it is, may not be as ideal from the user-space aspect as the Mainship 34.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:55 PM   #14
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If you lean more toward the NT 32 you wish to check out the Eagle 32.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:16 AM   #15
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My question would be are you willing to pay 4x or 5x the fuel bill to go 12K as you would spend going 6K?

Especially in the AICW with speed zones , or Looping with a 6 klick speed limit in lots of Canada.

Why pay for, maintain repair a 330hp engine when operating at 2-3 gph , 30-45HP?

If cruise speed is a goal , a sport fish will do 2x the speed with the same MPG.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Most people think galley up or down is important and other things like that. To me the hull is #1 hands down. That's the main reason I have a Willard.

Just using Eric's comment as springboard for a "different strokes" comment:

I looks at the hull as a platform for the features I would interact with on a daily basis. So I interact with our master berth configuration, with the stairs (not a ladder to the flying bridge, with the split head/shower, with the relatively useful galley, with the swim platform that's suitable for carrying our dinghy, etc.

I seldom interact directly with the hull -- aside from annual haul-out/checkup/wax and wax/bottom paint if necessary, etc.. Naturally, it's important that it's well designed for its intended purpose, and a decent ride in most sea states is welcome, but otherwise I'm not too worried about it.

Some pay much more attention to eking out that last drop of fuel efficiency, but the difference between 4 or 5 or 6 or7 GPH -- to me -- is insignificant. In another thread, folks might see that I pay way more attention to the difference between 7 GPH and 30 GPH.

Anyway, I can't comment on NT or more recent Mainship build quality. The Mainship we had ('87 34' Mk III) was very reasonable... but I cared more about the features we wanted in a boat.

-Chris
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:05 AM   #17
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If you lean more toward the NT 32 you wish to check out the Eagle 32.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:21 AM   #18
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From my 3 liveaboard experiences I have learned that dreamboat and the best suited for my needs are rarely the same.

As I already pointed out, manufacturer loyalty can steer you in the wrong direction way too often.

Some people who really have serious cruising miles under their belt finally realize they should have a sailboat instead of a trawler and vice versa. So really knowing what you want or need can be elusive to even the most experienced.

If those are the best two boats for your needs, then most people I know fall into 2 categories. First is where they have so much money, either boat plus upgrades doesn't make a dent in their discretionary spending. Second is where it will impact them and they are almost always better off buying the less expensive boat and setting aside the difference in cost as outfitting, upgrading and operating funds.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:20 AM   #19
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I owned a 42' Nordic Tug for 5 years. I was very pleased with it. The workmanship, materials and handling in rough seas was suburb. It was extremely quiet underway unlike every Mainship that I have ever been aboard. Solid as a rock.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmist View Post
Are Nordic Tugs worth the money?


Of course they are! My NT is my eleventh boat in my lifetime and none of my previous boats can compare in build quality. NT's are built by boat builders who know what they are doing.
I agree 100%. I've been through every nook and crany on our boat and am still amazed at the build quality. I can't comment about Mainship, as I've never been on one. Would I buy another NT? In a heartbeat. You will pay more up front, but you will get much of that back when you sell, assuming you keep it in good shape. Keep in mind that the NTs are semi-custom. Just the interior woodwork alone on our boat took a lot of time and skill.

EDIT: One other point is that NT factory support in my experience has been amazing. We bought our boat used, but the factory has been there whenever we have questions, even going so far as to pull the specific wiring diagrams for our boat to assist us when we were upgrading and adding some electronics. Again, I cannot speak to other companies.
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