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Old 11-14-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
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Mooring comfort, Grand Banks vs Nordic Tug

Hi Everyone,

I have owned a Grand Banks 32 woodie (1971!) for the past 16 years. It's been a great boat but we're in our 70's now and spend 80% of our time aboard just hanging out on the mooring, taking in the ever changing scenery in Narragansett Bay RI (Newport area). We use it as our little summer cottage on the water, but these boats are notoriously rolly and with heavy shipping traffic passing a quarter mile away we tend to get slammed with some serious wakes that have us hanging on for dear life at least a couple of times in the course of a weekend. We're getting too old for this so I'm looking at the Nordic Tugs 32. I love the layout of these boats as they appear to be more roomy than the GBs, not to mention that we would welcome having the creature comforts that come with a much newer boat (looking at 2000ish vintage NTs). It would change our boating lives for the better in many ways, but still, mooring comfort is high on the list.
I understand that hull design is a major factor in stability. I do believe there are differences in the two boats we're talking about here. Our GB32 is, without any doubt, the rolliest boat in our mooring field, hands down!
We would like also to do more local cruising than we currently do with the old woodie. I'm a bit nervous about going too far from home with a 50 year old boat. I've got health issues and getting stuck or floating adrift in a dead boat scares me more than it did a few years ago.

Considering the above, will we be happier with the Nordic Tugs 32 than the GB32?

Looking forward to your comments,

Tom K.
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Jamestown, RI
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:27 PM   #2
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I have watched several Nordic Tugs while at anchor and in my opinion they are very rolly polly.
My opinion.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:33 PM   #3
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Think you will miss walk around deck.
But 32 tug is modern, has more interior volume,
fiberglass hull and way less leaks...
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:47 PM   #4
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Hi Tom,
I have no experience mooring or anchoring with a GB for comparison purposes
As far as Nordic Tugs go (at least the 37), the biggest issue for us is "bow slap". Sometimes it can be very annoying, most often, not a big issue. This problem is solvable with some fibreglass work in the bow area. Several owners have successfully done this, but it is not cheap (several thousand $).
NT's don't like "beam seas" much, like most semi-displacement boats. So, if where you anchor (or moor) is subject to large wakes on the beam, that could be a problem (at least for comfort). Personally, I would look for a different location to anchor where I could avoid large wakes (or waves).
I have never been in a mooring field or anchorage where we were subject to regular large wakes, and always look for a location where the fetch is small. Never had a rolly experience when at anchor, except once when a "speed boat" left the anchorage at "warp speed" fairly close by. He sent everyone in the vicinity for a ride, a very popular fellow!!
The main reasons we went with a NT over a GB was maintenance (or work). I did not want the "extra" (comparatively speaking) work of all the exterior wood, screwed down teak decks, etc. I find I have enough to occupy me without all of that.
Sorry for long answer, so here is the "Cole's Notes" version. If the location you now moor is important and will be subject to large commercial traffic wakes, I don't think you will see a "huge improvement" with the Tug. IMHO to achieve that, you will need a boat that has "stabilization" like "flopper stoppers"? I have never seen that on a NT. The other option is find a more protected location
Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:06 PM   #5
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Jamestown is very open and close to traffic. A move to Wickford or Bristol might give you a more stable anchorage albeit at higher cost (and probably a waiting list.)

Moving up in length and weight will decrease rolling. Any hard chined flat stern will be rolly.

I understand your concerns about breakdowns but SeaTow can be on scene quickly during the week. A solid anchor will keep you in position until they arrive. If you don't have a reliable windlass you might think about updating.
Install handholds everywhere.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:37 PM   #6
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All boats want to remain flat to the water surface.
When the water surface tilts (a wave face) the boat tilts to remain flat to the water. Weight and round hull shape is what you need to roll less. A heavier boat wont respond to waves as quickly so the waves may pass before the boat rolls.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:02 PM   #7
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If the weather up there is more conducive to being more inside than the GB and you just want what the tug offers in that regard, ok. But that is a lot of money to spend only to find out there is no appreciable difference in the roll at mooring. The dynamic roll period underway may well be different, but not greatly at mooring. Why not try flopper stoppers on a with a boom out about eight feet? I had one on my GB42 which helped.
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Old 11-14-2020, 03:58 PM   #8
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My avatar shows Weebles at anchor with a flopper stopper out. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options commercially for these. Forespar makes a device that's okay. Anchorages in many of our cruising grounds are subject to wake or swell.

22 years ago, we moved up from a Willard 30 to a Willard 36. Definitely noticed an improvement due to heft, but not enough that we could dispense with flopper stoppers.

Bottom line, you may have a lot of good reasons to move up from a GB to a NT. At-anchor stability is unlikely to be one of them.

Peter
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Old 11-14-2020, 04:57 PM   #9
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The Grand Banks 32 is hard chined I believe....same as our GB 36. A hard chine will give you more initial stability (less roll) then a round chine. Granted when it rolls hard you will get a snap roll as opposed to a gentle roll. On a given weekend there is a lot of wash that comes through Newport and also across the passage in Jamestown. Not sure if a Nordic Tug will solve your problem. Although it may have more modern creature comforts.
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:04 PM   #10
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I would look at some of the flopper stopper options. There are multiple ones on the market. Even without a boom to put them farther out you should see some improvement. If you donít get enough roll reduction then maybe look at a boom to get it out from the boat. The boom just makes it more work to deploy and recover the stopper. Maybe go one size larger and not have to use a boom. But if you are like me and always looking to buy a new boat, then go for the NT. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:25 PM   #11
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Not enough difference to make that change. Now if you want a new boat?...fine. But you are not going to notice any improvement and there is a chance it will be worse.
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:31 PM   #12
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Moving the boat to a quieter mooring would be my choice. Can you just go anchor out somewhere for the weekend? Make a trip of it. One answer is get the bow into the wakes. Maybe put out a second anchor off the stern so that the bow is into the oncoming wakes? Or make a bridle. What if you buy this new boat of whatever kind, and it rocks just as bad or even worse? The problem is the wakes spacing depends on the boat making them. You could roll slightly on a sportfishers wake and get slammed by a runabout or vice versa. I'm used to so many wakes blended together that I look for no wake zones to anchor if possible. But that still is not a certainty.
PS. Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
All boats want to remain flat to the water surface.
When the water surface tilts (a wave face) the boat tilts to remain flat to the water. Weight and round hull shape is what you need to roll less. A heavier boat wont respond to waves as quickly so the waves may pass before the boat rolls.
In aviation, there is such a thing as "static stability" and "Dynamic stability". Static stability is the initiat tendency of the vessel to return to its previously settled state. Dynamic is that it actually does return to its previously settled state.

A boat with hard chines will have more static stability than a rounded hull with no chines. This is the reason why so many "trawlers" have semi planing hulls with hard chines. They don't roll around as much as a rounded full displacement hull. Their initial "tendency" is to remain settled due to the flotation that hard chine provides. So I will disagree with your statement. A round bilge boat will initially roll more than a hard chine boat. Now the behavior after the roll starts is different. A hard chine boat has a tendency to snap back whereas a round bilge boat will roll back and forth and find its settled place again. They obviously will both settle. The round bilge boat will settle in a more predictable rhythmic manner.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:58 PM   #14
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We have also found moorings around Jamestown can toss you around due to boat traffic and also depending on wind direction. We Anchor in Bissle Cove or Kickimuit for a calmer stay other option is anchoring up the salt pond as it’s a no wake area. I agree having the walk around area is nice when going to the bow. NT would give you more amenities and is a nice craft
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:02 PM   #15
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Nordic Tugs were finalists in my boat selection. They lost because of lack of walk-around decks.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #16
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Perhaps the OP was talking about at the dock tie up?
At anchor a stern tie or stern anchor to keep you pointed into oncoming waves will help.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Nordic Tugs were finalists in my boat selection. They lost because of lack of walk-around decks.
Hey Mark. I totally understand this is personal preference. I just want to chime in that I would take a full-width salon over walk-around decks in a heartbeat. PH doors give great access forward. A few steps through the salon is a small price to pay given the greatly enhanced living space.

Again, different strokes. Just wanted to provide a counter opinion. There is no right choice here, just what compromise to endure.

Peter
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:38 PM   #18
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I totally agree on the full width salon vs the walk around. Great post everyone....Thanks to all! Plus the pilothouse as compared to the helm station on the GB? My primary motivation for looking for a new boat is to upgrade to a modern era craft. The GB is bare bones, no frills, but yet has served us well over the years and is a great boat in rough weather, rock solid.
Every boat is a compromise unless you are able to have one custom built.
They are both hard chined semi-displacement hulls and for all intents and purposes appear to be identical in profile at the stern. There may be other, less obvious reasons why the GB is so rolly. For example, her dual 120 ga. fuel tanks, one on either side of the CL amidships, are nearly empty, maybe 20 gallons total in each, tops. It's entirely possible that if those two tanks were filled with fuel, at say 7 pounds per gallon, that would put another 1400 pounds of ballast below the COG, which could be all it would take to dampen the rolliness considerably. Just sayin. Hadn't thought of that until I started typing.....I think I'll try it if I still own her her next season.
Yes, I would be bummed if the Tug turned out to be equally as bad on the mooring as the GB, but with all of the other upgrades in creature comforts (more living area!) I think then that we could look at it while cast in a different light, if you will.
We've tried two other moorings in Jamestown with pretty much the same results. We stayed at Brewer's in Wickford which was totally protected and totally boring.....we left after one year there. 8 years at Kingman's in Red Brook Harbor, again totally protected but a three ring circus due to the destination restaurant that is adjacent to the marina.

We love what's called "The Dumplings" that are the distinct rock outcroppings that define the Jamestown location. Very scenic and brimming with bird life, kayaks, paddle boarders, and fisherman. It's almost never boring there. Always something to see it seems.

Any thoughts on the fuel thing?

Tom
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:50 PM   #19
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Adding fuel will likely help but I agree upgrading for amenities is nice. We have a nice slip in Warwick with a great view down the cove w no boats behind us so if we stay at the dock itís not lame. Since we have to work we head out on weekends and have a few great spots.
Have you tried to make friends w someone w a mooring at Potters Cove this is a no wake area but can be a bit of a party zone on weekends July and august. Also S Kingston YC has moorings as entrance of wickford harbor which are protected and decent. Not sure of availability but have transient rented them
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:57 PM   #20
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You could also look on Sakonet river. Friends have a mooring near the bridge there is heavy current but no wake. Easy access to bay and out to open seas. You can kayak to pirate cove.
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