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Old 06-02-2022, 09:31 AM   #1
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Recommended Nordhavn over 55í to 70í

Hey…

I’m used to a high quality coastal cruiser (twin, low decks etc) which I love but as I move slightly bigger I’m thinking of other alternatives now (my friend decided to keep the larger model of mine which I was supposed to buy).

Nordhavn’s started intriguing me seeing so many in British Columbia/Alaska, my current cruising ground.

What’s your preferred model in the 55’ to 70’ range?
Criteria/issues:

1. I don’t want it too old, so relatively new or new enough that age doesn’t matter. I can update electronics.
2. Able to be handled by a couple or indeed single handed except perhaps around docking which I don’t do that frequently.
3. Less vertical is better though I have no issues with mobility
4. Tender launching ease. I don’t love the idea of launching off the bow.
5. More open layout. The feel of the salon is important more elegant is better. Windows/visibility are important.
6. Good outdoor space for relaxing/eating.
7. Able to place a small hot tub! (Have used a relatively shallow bath tub style set into a lazerette on the aft deck in a hatteras and it was magical)
8. The more quiet the better.
9. Height. Hmmm. My boat house door is 25’ foot clearance, but over that the antennas etc would need to fold or i keep it outside
10. Draft. Don’t care as much but I’m currently 5’. Hate for draft to limit me too much.

Uses: currently between Broughtons and Alaska, but I’m tempted to head to the east coast.

I need to tour more of these.

I’ve watched videos and the 64 and 68 which looked nice. Salon does feel more constrained on these.

Any guidance?
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Old 06-02-2022, 09:42 AM   #2
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Height and draft will both be potential concerns with anything large in the Nordhavn family. Especially height. Most of them are pretty darn tall, particularly with a dry stack. On the East Coast, both of those are even more likely to become limiting.
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Old 06-02-2022, 10:16 AM   #3
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The N57 is quite a bit older than you're looking for, but because the flybridge was tucked aft of the pilothouse roof, the N57 is probably the lowest air-draft model PAE built in their portfolio, though anything with a dry-stack is going to be challenged. Misses most other tick-boxes on your list.

Will be interested to see where you land. Ken Williams - another 'serial Nordhavn' owner went to a GB60 when he decided his cruising would become more coastal than transoceanic. Boat is Loop-ready, and he designed a hot-tub in.

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Old 06-02-2022, 03:26 PM   #4
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There is a huge difference in the interior openness between an aft pilot house 68, and a forward pilot house 64 or 68. Same with respect to outside living space. The 68 is also a much better sea keeping boat vs 55/60. Not sure how it compares to a 63 which is an aft pilot house 60 (same hull for both boats, but different top sides and interior layout)

With an aft pilot house you need to launch the dinghy off the forward deck, but you will adapt. Everyone does. I suspect all will flunk your 25í height goal.

The 68 is also much quieter and much better equipped. Not that the 55/69/63 are any slouch - far from it - but the 68 is another distinct step up. We are VERY pleased with the 68.
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Old 06-02-2022, 04:16 PM   #5
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Thanks twistedtree.

I’ll focus on the 68 then, and try to find one to look at in the PNW. I saw a video of one for sale a year or two ago and it did look impressive. As you stare, it will have to stay outdoors! I may well just stay with a bigger coastal cruiser, but at the same time I should definitely consider other brands.

Since you are happy with yours, you’d still make that same decision?
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Old 06-02-2022, 05:08 PM   #6
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Thanks twistedtree.

Iíll focus on the 68 then, and try to find one to look at in the PNW. I saw a video of one for sale a year or two ago and it did look impressive. As you stare, it will have to stay outdoors! I may well just stay with a bigger coastal cruiser, but at the same time I should definitely consider other brands.

Since you are happy with yours, youíd still make that same decision?


Yes, Iíd make the same decision again. There are times when the extra speed of a Fleming would be nice, but itís rare. And for me the extra space and range of the N greatly outweighs it. Even if you donít ever cross an ocean, itís an exceptionally comfortable way to travel and be off-grid for extended time. In the past 2 months we spent 2 nights in Pt McNeill, 2-3 nights in Ketchikan, and just left Cordova after one night. Otherwise we have been totally off-grid, so to speak.
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Old 06-03-2022, 11:10 AM   #7
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As others said, I doubt you'll get anywhere close to 25' air draft. We're a wet exhaust 62 and our air draft is still 30'.
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:56 AM   #8
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Yes, Iíd make the same decision again. There are times when the extra speed of a Fleming would be nice, but itís rare. And for me the extra space and range of the N greatly outweighs it. Even if you donít ever cross an ocean, itís an exceptionally comfortable way to travel and be off-grid for extended time. In the past 2 months we spent 2 nights in Pt McNeill, 2-3 nights in Ketchikan, and just left Cordova after one night. Otherwise we have been totally off-grid, so to speak.
Still ponderingÖ

Are there any complaints about the verticality of the Nordhavn? Steps?

Or docking?

Has anyone made it so for seasonal storage in a boat shed the mast etc can be lowered to less than 25í?
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:06 PM   #9
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Still ponderingÖ

Are there any complaints about the verticality of the Nordhavn? Steps?

Or docking?

Has anyone made it so for seasonal storage in a boat shed the mast etc can be lowered to less than 25í?

We have no issues with the verticality of our boat. It's three steps down to the master stateroom, 3/4 flight down to lower level % engine room, one flight up to the pilot house. I'm not sure if you could reduce that in any appreciable way with a different layout. Probably some, but I expect it would be with other compromises. For example, boats like a Fleming without a separate pilot house typically have a shorter flight of stairs up to the helm. But then you don't get a separate, or as large a pilot house. Your call which matters more to you. Frankly, without stairs, I'd get even less exercise while aboard, so the stairs do have that benefit.


Docking is a breeze, and in many ways the deeper and heavier the boat, the easier it is. Good thrusters make it easier, no doubt about that. I'm a fan of hydraulic so they have unlimited duty cycle, plus they are generally more powerful to begin with. Mine are about 40hp each. The biggest issue docking and maneuvering in tight quarters is visibility. From either wing station you have excellent visibility down that side of the boat, total bow visibility, but I can't quite see the swim platform. And you obviously can't see the other side at the same time. In most docking situations that's excellent visibility for everything you need. But in tight maneuvers, you will need a spotter for the blind spots. What works well for us it to have my wife in the cockpit where she has eyes on the stern, and on the off-side quarter. I've spun the boat in a slip & fairway where there was max 2-3' of clearance at any given time, and we didn't smash anything. The trick it to have good spotters, but that was an unusual situation.


There have been a few boats built with articulating stacks or other upper structure. How easier or hard it would be to modify will depend greatly on the specific boat.
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:09 PM   #10
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Still ponderingÖ

Are there any complaints about the verticality of the Nordhavn? Steps?

Or docking?

Has anyone made it so for seasonal storage in a boat shed the mast etc can be lowered to less than 25í?

Oh, I should also say that there are some layouts where to get to the forward accommodations, you need to go up to the pilot house, then down to the forward area. Some people complain about that. Our 60 was like that and we didn't think it was a big deal, but others seem to.
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:36 PM   #11
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TT, what are some general, overall observations comparing your present (new) NH to the one you had before it, now known as Puffin Quest I believe.
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:37 PM   #12
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Take a look at a 63 when you have a chance. The layout avoids the stairs through the PH that is common in the 55/60. It also has a helm that fits 2 helm chairs, and a full head/shower in the PH that adds to the usability of the small cabin up there.

Iím with TT on the ease of docking. Once you learn the boat, its easier than any of my (smaller) prior boats. We do the same program of me on the dockside wing station, wife in the cockpit as a spotter through our headsets. Easy peasy.

The tender launch setup from the foredeck is a non-issue once you try it. Its different than an aft boatdeck, not better or worse.

Canít comment on the height other than we are at 35í air draft, including antennas. Has yet to be an issue for us after 4 years and lots of miles. On the draft issue, pros and cons are what you already know. The deep hull is very stable in seas and at anchor. Shallow draft is better in skinny water. We spent one season in the Bahamas and only scuffed the bottom twice. Had a great time and had a few nights of wind on anchor when you couldnít have paid me to trade places with the SD boats bouncing around nearby. If you want to travel the ICW, choose another boat with a shallower draft.

The difference between size and volume of a 60/63 and a 68 is huge. It it larger in every dimension and a big step up from one to the other. Take a look at both and you will see.

FWIW, we considered a lot of options and literally could not be happier with our 63. Once you look at the choices you are considering, the best fit for you will likely be clear.
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Old 07-30-2022, 05:44 PM   #13
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Take a look at a 63 when you have a chance. The layout avoids the stairs through the PH that is common in the 55/60. It also has a helm that fits 2 helm chairs, and a full head/shower in the PH that adds to the usability of the small cabin up there.

Iím with TT on the ease of docking. Once you learn the boat, its easier than any of my (smaller) prior boats. We do the same program of me on the dockside wing station, wife in the cockpit as a spotter through our headsets. Easy peasy.

The tender launch setup from the foredeck is a non-issue once you try it. Its different than an aft boatdeck, not better or worse.

Canít comment on the height other than we are at 35í air draft, including antennas. Has yet to be an issue for us after 4 years and lots of miles. On the draft issue, pros and cons are what you already know. The deep hull is very stable in seas and at anchor. Shallow draft is better in skinny water. We spent one season in the Bahamas and only scuffed the bottom twice. Had a great time and had a few nights of wind on anchor when you couldnít have paid me to trade places with the SD boats bouncing around nearby. If you want to travel the ICW, choose another boat with a shallower draft.

The difference between size and volume of a 60/63 and a 68 is huge. It it larger in every dimension and a big step up from one to the other. Take a look at both and you will see.

FWIW, we considered a lot of options and literally could not be happier with our 63. Once you look at the choices you are considering, the best fit for you will likely be clear.

I agree with all of this. Also know that some 60s are built with a layout similar to the 63, eliminating the up/down and gaining a 2 seat helm. On the 60 it compromises the size of the master stateroom a bit, but I think is overall a better layout. None had been built that way when we built our 60, but it now seems to be very common.


As Guy says, the 68 is MUCH bigger. It's really rather shocking, or was to me, considering it's really only about 5' longer. The N60 is the same hull as the N63, and is closer to 63' than 60'. Our 60 was actually 65' for the hull with the extended swim platform. The extra beam adds enormously to the volume. Where a 60/63 weighs in around 110-120k lbs, a 68 is 200k lbs. I don't know how much it resonates with others, but I see the 60/63 as a big, small boat, where I see the 68 as a small, big boat. It's space, but it's also equipment and general outfitting. You can build up a 60/63 very nicely, and we did, but on a 68 the niceties are all standard equipment. The extra space is a big part of why we changed.


We also find the aft pilot house layout more straight forward and effective for our use. Plus it's more comfortable sea keeping being further aft at the helm.


Then there are other things we took the opportunity to change, some of which could start their own debate. We switched to wet exhaust and heat exchanger cooling. The dry exhaust was loud and messy, and although I hate changing impellers, at least I can do them from inside the boat vs diving to change keel cooler zincs and clean the cooler tubes. We also got rid of the curved pilot house glass. The distortion drove my wife crazy, which drove me crazy. All our glass is now flat, and distortion free.


Take a look at my blog from late 2017 to early 2018. I did one or more posts detailing all the reasons. The change was a big project and had us boat-less for 5 years which is a long time, especially as you are getting older. In fact, that was the biggest thing in the "Don't change boats" column. But it was worth it, and thankfully nothing bad happened to either of us over the 5 years. And we are now starting to wind down what has been our best (and longest) cruising trip ever.
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Old 07-31-2022, 11:00 AM   #14
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Setting aside price, what’s the negative of going to the 68 over the 60/63? Basically same amount of dock space. In terms of handling probably the same? More maintenance?
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Old 07-31-2022, 11:59 AM   #15
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Setting aside price, whatís the negative of going to the 68 over the 60/63? Basically same amount of dock space. In terms of handling probably the same? More maintenance?

More maintenance. More boat to wash. Our LOA is 71' which makes dock space a bit harder to find. We also anchor further out in anchorages to have enough swing room. I discovered, for example, that Cap Sante in Anacortes doesn't have any long term space for boats over 65'. Only short term transient space is available, at short term transient rates. Also, haulouts are very limited. The only place in the Seattle area is Delta. Otherwise it's Anacortes, Bellingham, or Pt Angeles.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:15 PM   #16
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Bowball have you seen both in person? The difference between a 60/63 and a 68, is massive. @tanglewood, what was the LOA on your 60 and how did it compare to the LOA of a 60 without the extended platform? Our 62 is basically 69' LOA, and despite the only 2 foot of LOA difference, tanglewood dwarfs us. The marina where Tanglewood's at more or less told me i was too small for them.

Ignoring price (which is significant) there is more maintenance and more systems.

One other note, cap sante actually maxes out at 66'. Still doesn't help either of us and they are quite strict about over length.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:19 PM   #17
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Just to add, i think what you did by eliminating the curved glass was a great idea. Drives me nuts on our boat when trying to look through binoculars.

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I agree with all of this. Also know that some 60s are built with a layout similar to the 63, eliminating the up/down and gaining a 2 seat helm. On the 60 it compromises the size of the master stateroom a bit, but I think is overall a better layout. None had been built that way when we built our 60, but it now seems to be very common.


As Guy says, the 68 is MUCH bigger. It's really rather shocking, or was to me, considering it's really only about 5' longer. The N60 is the same hull as the N63, and is closer to 63' than 60'. Our 60 was actually 65' for the hull with the extended swim platform. The extra beam adds enormously to the volume. Where a 60/63 weighs in around 110-120k lbs, a 68 is 200k lbs. I don't know how much it resonates with others, but I see the 60/63 as a big, small boat, where I see the 68 as a small, big boat. It's space, but it's also equipment and general outfitting. You can build up a 60/63 very nicely, and we did, but on a 68 the niceties are all standard equipment. The extra space is a big part of why we changed.


We also find the aft pilot house layout more straight forward and effective for our use. Plus it's more comfortable sea keeping being further aft at the helm.


Then there are other things we took the opportunity to change, some of which could start their own debate. We switched to wet exhaust and heat exchanger cooling. The dry exhaust was loud and messy, and although I hate changing impellers, at least I can do them from inside the boat vs diving to change keel cooler zincs and clean the cooler tubes. We also got rid of the curved pilot house glass. The distortion drove my wife crazy, which drove me crazy. All our glass is now flat, and distortion free.


Take a look at my blog from late 2017 to early 2018. I did one or more posts detailing all the reasons. The change was a big project and had us boat-less for 5 years which is a long time, especially as you are getting older. In fact, that was the biggest thing in the "Don't change boats" column. But it was worth it, and thankfully nothing bad happened to either of us over the 5 years. And we are now starting to wind down what has been our best (and longest) cruising trip ever.
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Old 07-31-2022, 04:49 PM   #18
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Bowball have you seen both in person? The difference between a 60/63 and a 68, is massive. @tanglewood, what was the LOA on your 60 and how did it compare to the LOA of a 60 without the extended platform? Our 62 is basically 69' LOA, and despite the only 2 foot of LOA difference, tanglewood dwarfs us. The marina where Tanglewood's at more or less told me i was too small for them.

Ignoring price (which is significant) there is more maintenance and more systems.

One other note, cap sante actually maxes out at 66'. Still doesn't help either of us and they are quite strict about over length.
Enbarassing to say I havenít seen either in person up close actually. Just watched lots of videos. Within two years Iíll be upsizing from my current 55í coastal cruiser, and initially I thought I would stay in the same brand but go to 65í (which fits in my boat shed) but as I think about expanding my cruising range Nordhavnís seem worth a very serious look. I need to find out where to see both so I can narrow my attention to the appropriate Nordhavn model. The price difference Iím sure is significant but not the primary driver here as finding out the best fit. The 68 may be too large I fear. At that size I might want to carry a full time crew person?
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Old 07-31-2022, 05:54 PM   #19
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Enbarassing to say I havenít seen either in person up close actually. Just watched lots of videos. Within two years Iíll be upsizing from my current 55í coastal cruiser, and initially I thought I would stay in the same brand but go to 65í (which fits in my boat shed) but as I think about expanding my cruising range Nordhavnís seem worth a very serious look. I need to find out where to see both so I can narrow my attention to the appropriate Nordhavn model. The price difference Iím sure is significant but not the primary driver here as finding out the best fit. The 68 may be too large I fear. At that size I might want to carry a full time crew person?
I think the decision will be much easier after you've been on both models. The difference in interior volume is huge, as others have mentioned. The 68s also tend to have more redundancy and equipment. All the 68s I know of have two generators, most have two water makers, two dinghy's (big and small), full hydraulics, chilled water AC, and on and on. It's a BIG boat for single handing, but possible. I know a guy who extensively singlehanded an N76 and it worked for him, but he's now downsized to a smaller boat.

I've spent about a month on an N60, and in many ways it feels like a bigger version of my 50. A great boat, but Peter hit the nail on the head when he said the 60 is a big small boat, and the 68 is a small big boat.

I'm on a 77' single screw trawler right now, a little narrower and longer than an N68 and probably smaller inside. Even with remote stations and hydraulic thrusters at each end, running a boat this size alone is hard. Lines and fenders are big and heavy, we need two 50 amp shore power cables, and it takes a bit of time to move around the boat. Even with remotes, there are blind spots, so having at least one spotter is super helpful when maneuvering in tight places. There's no muscling the boat around to adjust lines like you can probably do with your Fleming or I can do with my N50 (or even an N60). And there are a LOT of systems to to take care of and a lot of boat to keep clean.

No doubt, the bigger and heavier boats are more comfortable at sea or in a rolly anchorage. The motion tends to be gentler, but it can still be uncomfortable.

We buddy boated with friends on an N76 for a little while in the Sea of Cortez and I can't think of any situations where they enjoyed a smooth, easy ride and we got beaten up. We bounced around more than they did, but going into 5-foot chop wasn't fun on either boat!
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Old 07-31-2022, 06:54 PM   #20
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Bowball have you seen both in person? The difference between a 60/63 and a 68, is massive. @tanglewood, what was the LOA on your 60 and how did it compare to the LOA of a 60 without the extended platform? Our 62 is basically 69' LOA, and despite the only 2 foot of LOA difference, tanglewood dwarfs us. The marina where Tanglewood's at more or less told me i was too small for them.

Ignoring price (which is significant) there is more maintenance and more systems.

One other note, cap sante actually maxes out at 66'. Still doesn't help either of us and they are quite strict about over length.

Our 60's registered length was 64.5'. That excludes the pulpit & anchor, but includes the extended swim platform. I think I used 67' or 68' as the LOA for moorage. On the 68 I use 71' as the LOA, but that could be off by a foot or so. I haven't done an exact measurement - just eyeballing it from dockside, then measuring along the dock.
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