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Old 09-23-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
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Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Hi All,I am currently looking at purchase of a Nordic Tug 26 with the following engine: Yanmar Diesel 4JH2-DTE 88HP.
This particular vessel is currently cruising the great lakes, so no tides and low currents. The owner says he runs with a usual cruising speed of 7 knots and a max of 9 knots.
I am shopping for a family cruiser for the San Juans and Desolation sound here in the PNW. Low speed is fine but I am a bit concerned about dealing with tides and currents with a max speed of 9 knots. There are lots of Nordic tugs on the west coast and most seem to have a few more HP.


Any thoughts? It's a great looking vessel otherwise, but I am not keen to buy something and immediately repower..
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

The NT 26s of recent are with 110 to 115 Hp Volvo or Cummins. IMHO, an NT 26 that cannot do 14 knots is not a good buy - the*whole premise of the NTs is they can scoot when necessary.*
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Trust me, there are lots and lots of trawler style boats in Washington, British Columbia and Alaska that get along just fine at 6, 7 or maybe 8 knots.* I have a 33' trawler with a single 117 hp Volvo Penta engine.* She does 7 knots regularly and uses only 2 gallons/hour.* She has been from Puget Sound all the way to Glacier Bay Alaska with no problems.* She regularly does Deception Pass between Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands, Dodd Narrows, Seymour Rapids, and the Yucultas.*

The secret is to time your passages of the major narrows for slack water or go with the current and get a nice little kick.

Most CHBs, Marine Traders, Sundowner Tugs, Krogens, Lord Nelson Tugs and Norhavns are not much faster than 8 knots on a good day with no wind and no current.* Relax and enjoy the ride.

And you can't beat a good Yanmar engine.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:08 PM   #4
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

There is nothing wrong with a Nordic that can only do 7-8K. I too deal with currents and passes with an 7-8K boat. Haven't been to Alaska but have dealt with most of the other passes. And what about all the sailboats. that cruise this area and can do even less speed?. They don't stay home.
The older Nordics were fitted with a small engine to be economical . If the slow Nordic is suitable and you like it, it could be a good boat.

A slower boat simply means that you must do more planning and run a better con.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:59 AM   #5
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

IF the boat could do 14 K or what ever your "ideal" tide stemming speed , you would be running 1gal per mile , 1 mile per gallon.

A pain if that 5K current is against you as you pay for the water pushed aside , so the cost of 1 mile over the bottom will be even higher.

Tide table , FREE , from the local bait shop, will save BIG!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

A decent underpowered NT will cost you maybe $75 - 90K. NTs in general are in the upper end of the used $$ bracket, they have a catchet. If you want to forego the NT's basic sales and design philosophy of 14+ knots when you you need it, that vessel may not sell on the west coast. The 26s were dropped because they were selling poorly due to being underpowered and overpriced. The new 26s are not underpowered. But NT is, they are in dire financial straits.*As an aside, the 26 and 32 NTs have a really snappy roll at anchor. Worse than a similarly sized Searay - yes I've been on them.

For the same money you can get a**30' to 34'*trawler designed for going slow.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Quote:
aaronupnorth wrote:" Low speed is fine but I am a bit concerned about dealing with tides and currents with a max speed of 9 knots. "
There are a lot of 7-9 knot boats cruising the waters of the PNW and doing it
sucessfully but I'm in agreement with your above statement. My own boat is a 9
knot boat and I often wish she cruised in the 12/15 knot range. At 7-9 knots you
have to "sail on the tide" or wait for slack in many cases. At 12/15 knots, your
schedule can be more flexible.

*
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Sunchaser,I hope your'e not offended by this but I think your'e a bit foggy on the design intent on the Nordics. The original NT 26 had a 36 hp 3 cyl Volvoand couldn't go over 7 knots. I used to go right past them with my 25' Albin w 34 hp. This stupid "go fast go slow" BS is purely a marketing gimmick. A planing hull needs to be light and NTs aren't light. The original 26 w 36 hp should have been a displacement hull. Stupid. Like the 36 and 42 GBs w single 120 hp. They should have been a displacement hull too.*Most Nordics are an 8 to 10 knot boat (depending on length) and pushing them to 14 is stupid.
The design intent is to make money.
The bottom line frequently dosn't design good boats.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Aaron:
each of Eric, Step and Tom have a valid point of view re the NT.

The premise of your post seems to be that currents in Puget Sound, Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait (the Salish Sea) require more speed than you will get with a 9 knot boat.

Not true.

The fastest currents in the area are only 7 or 8 knots at peak spring tides.
Most of the time, either the current is with you(if you pay attention this can always be the case) or are much less than that. You can, however, get through any pass, even with the current against you at close to peak flow, if you are careful and persistent, at less than 9 knots.

The only pass that I know of in the area that is faster, the Skookumchuk, that guards Sechelt Inlet, can run to 14 or higher, so you don't want to go their at anything but slack water, regardless of the top speed of your boat. I have transited that one in a sailboat, with a 6 knot maximum.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:30 PM   #10
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

aaron...,My 25' Albin had a top speed of 10.5 knots w a 34 hp Yanmar. That should tell you how inefficient the Nordic 26 is. The JH Yanmar engine is very good * * .... has (as far as I know) a bullet proof reputation. Only reasons I didn't put the 55 hp JH engine in my boat is that it was too much power and I like the 54 hp Isuzu engine even more. My opinion of the 26' NT is that it's just too short and heavy for the type of boat it is. If you want to go 12 - 15 knots then get a 15 knot boat and go 12 - 14 knots.
To directly address your question I can't think of any GOOD engine or GOOD boat that isn't GOOD for the PNW other than a sail boat. There are places where the tide runs 4 knots (correct me if I'm wrong) like out in front of Friday Harbor but you don't need a special boat for it. Another place to get slowed down very significantly is out in front on Anacortes. In practice the tides and currents just are'nt a problem that's enough of an issue to buy a special boat for. UNLESS * *... you just have'nt got any patience at all and then you should look at the Camano Troll or similar boat.
But if I were you I'd look at Taiwanese Trawler being very careful about boats with water damage to the decks and cabin.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:55 AM   #11
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies!
I think I may get on a few other boats I before purchase based on that advice. It's important for me that the boat is easy to use and safe, and also that it 'seems' easy to use for my wife also. I think she will probably have more fun if we don't have to spend time calculating everything meticulously based on tide tables (which is exactly the sort of thing I personally like to do, but I digress..).
With regard to the Taiwanese Trawlers, I am a bit leery because there seem to be so many potential hull issues.
Initially we had looked at a new 27 foot Ranger tug, thinking a new boat would be simplest but after reading some questionable reviews, and looking at how buyer friendly the used boat market is we decided to look at used vessels.....but it's a more complex market, so all of your advice is much appreciated!
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Hi there Aaron...I'm not sure whether you were asking for further thoughts on a PNW cruiser, but I'll jump in anyway!
Of course, everything depends on how you intend to use your boat, but some things to consider:
Bill Garden, a rather well know Naval Architect, has stated on a number of occasions that in his opinion the ideal sized boat for a couple with occasional guests for cruising the PNW/BC coastal waters is 32 feet. As we happen to have a 32 footer I guess I'd have to agree!
There tends to be a lot of rain in these parts so a covered (at least an overhead) aft cockpit makes life much more comfortable, especially for those moments when you're boarding or offloading the vessel.
Something that is important to consider is whether you wish to spend much time at anchor. If so, you should consider how much 12V power you would use, and depending on where you are, the size (and/or type) of the holding tank. Those could well be the limiting factors on how long you stay put before you head off to charge your batteries and empty your holding tank. (A typical head discharges about a gallon a flush.)
We happen to really enjoy our flying bridge to the point where I'm usually up there in any weather that we'd go out in. The view is the best, and it really comes in handy for spatial awareness when you're anchoring or docking. But it is not for everyone.
There are many other factors to consider, but I thought I'd throw those thoughts out, and I'm sure others will add more comments if you are interested.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:33 PM   #13
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

A fast (faster than hull-speed)*trawler?* That's a contradiction.* Nordics are semi-planing hulls disguised as*trawlers.* The Nordic group in my area typically cruises at 10 or 12 knots, whereas a true, medium-sized*trawler would move at 6 to 8 knots.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Conrad,I agree. Right around 30 - 32' seems to be the perfect size. Most folks may not agree.
Everyone seems to like what the've got not wanting to look like fools. And of course everyone's got their own agenda and special needs that aren't so special cause everyone's got them ha ha. Many boats like a Commander 30 or an American Tug is much bigger than average and usually requires much more power to drive. Other boats close to 40' may not be as big but will be narrower and be easy to drive. But your'e right. Bigger and there's a whole new world of problems and smaller just is'nt nearly as capable.


markpierce,
If you asked 1000 average boaters across the nation to name a trawler yacht more than any other would probably say Nordic Tug. Well, over 90% of trawlers have semi-displacement or semi-planing hulls. To say it's a contradiction is a contradiction in itself. The Sea Dory is advertised as a "trailerable trawler". I have no idea what's "trawler" about it! The word trawler is a buzz word that is vogue and sells products just like the word "sport" sells pick ups and SUVs. But Nordic Tugs are the genuine article not the least bit disguised. If I had one, and the time, money and energy to do it I'd modify the stern into a displacement hull and repower it w 55 to 75 hp. Do you think that would make it more of a trawler Mark? The Camano Troll is a very fast, flat and light hulled boat that looks every bit a trawler but in my book it's not. But I'll bet everyone on this forum that has one considers it a trawler and 80 - 90% of the rest of us probably do as well.
A yacht dos'nt have to be a wannabee passagemaker to be a trawler. On this forum and elsewhere I'm sure there's a wide range of what's considered a trawler and my opinion of what a trawler is, is a bit more like yours than most folks here but I think everyone here considers the NT a trawler.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:16 PM   #15
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:


... If you asked 1000 average boaters across the nation to name a trawler yacht more than any other would probably say Nordic Tug. ...
That's OK.* I'm used to holding minority opinions, but I'm in the "same boat" as Chapman:*"In general, a cruiser that does not have sufficient horsepower to get into a planing mode is known as a TRAWLER.* ...**There are available so-called "fast trawlers" capable of speeds up to 25 knots, but the term is really an oxymoron and incorrect."

No offense was intended.* Nordic tugs,**.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:28 AM   #16
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Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Fuel consumption rates*appear to increase steeply with boat speeds above displacement-hull speed.* For instance,**my boat's*designer George Buehler estimates the boat's*fuel consumption with the four-cylinder Deere diesel to be 0.5 gallons per hour at 6.75 knots, 1.2 GPH at 7.6 knots, and 7.5 GPH at 9.0 knots (as if the little engine had 150 h.p. to reach a*9-knot speed).* I'm curious what the fuel-consumption-rate curve is for faster-than-hull-speed trawlers like the Nordic Tugs.

-- Edited by markpierce on Monday 27th of September 2010 01:31:34 AM
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:42 AM   #17
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

"I'm curious what the fuel-consumption-rate curve is for faster-than-hull-speed trawlers like the Nordic Tugs."


Usually they suck .Ending with a huge hole in the water , huge wake and under 1 nm/Gallon.

The only way to go fast is with a genuine plaining boat , where the resistance drops off , after going over the "hump".

12-1 LB ratio , come Cats or Tris go fast with out plaining , but in the small sizes their ability to carry a cruising load is suspect.

One of the old Bertram Moppies would be a good rough water quick boat.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:10 AM   #18
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Quote:
FF wrote:
"One of the old Bertram Moppies would be a good rough water quick boat."
.......and wet as hell!

*
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #19
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Oh...the 31 Bertram * *....what a boat. Yea Walt * ...your boat may be wet as hell if you went that fastTo specify what a trawler is you've got to first identify the elements of what makes a yacht a trawler. It all started (I think and partly assume) when somebody noticed heavy cruisers were a bit like North Sea Trawlers. They were heavy (of course), were very sea worthy, salty looking and had enough range to be underway for several days (probably more like weeks) and of course slow. I include a picture of a boat that was, most likely, built before folks started calling heavy cruisers trawlers. It was a stupid thing to do but it stuck. I don't think anyone today would call a Camano or a Ranger a heavy cruiser. I think that's where we came from * * ....HEAVY CRUISER. Not mpg cruiser, or fwd slanting pilothouse windows
cruiser or just plain underpowered cruiser. The bottom line is/was weight, mass, displacement. I don't think you need to be extremely efficient, or have fwd slant windows, or tug boat funnels to be classed as a trawler. But if it's not heavy it's not a trawler. Does anybody agree/disagree that the most important element of what makes a yacht a trawler is displacement? If not * *....what is.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #20
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RE: Appropriate engine for Pacific Northwest cruising?

Eric:

Great photo of a boat I wouldn't mind owning myself. I love the lines!
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