By Connie Cassinetto
Nordic Tug 42: Sea Trial
Nordic Tug 42: Little Toot grows up.
People take one look at a Nordic Tug and suddenly get very sentimental — and a little giddy. Maybe it’s those old memories of “Little Toot” rushing back — or maybe it’s just that this boat looks like a whole lot of fun.
The Nordic Tug 42 stands out among other pleasurecraft — not just because this boat looks different from anything else in the marina, but because of its high overall level of quality and its solid cruising ability.
Nordic Tugs are designed with an eye toward exquisite craftsmanship, as well as practicality for the long haul. The new 42 succeeds on both counts, while offering a cruising experience that is reminiscent of another era.
The 2002 Nordic Tug 42 is brand-new, but it retains the traditional tug-style lines that all Nordic Tugs offer.
We tested a new 42 — with a turbocharged 450 hp Cummins diesel engine — in Alameda, Northern California at Ballena Bay Yacht Brokers, the Nordic Tugs dealer for California. The boat’s owner, Glenn Edens, and his friend Robin Rove went along for the ride.
Dealer Lenard Lee walked us through the boat, explaining the attention to detail that Nordic Tugs puts into each of its models. Nordic Tugs are designed to appeal to power boaters who are concerned about economical fuel consumption, but also want a boat that can handle long-range cruising in style and comfort.
Back in 1979, Washingtonians Jerry and Jim Husted and Gail Davis built the first Nordic Tug — a 26-footer — and it made its debut at the 1980 Seattle International Boat Show. It was an instant hit, and paved the way for a full line of seaworthy, tug-style cruisers.
Today, all Nordic Tugs are still built in Burlington, Washington. However, the line now includes boats from 32 to 52 feet in length — all of them well equipped for extended adventures on the water.
Nordic Tugs’ new 42, designed by Lynn Senour, features a redesigned pilothouse and a more comfortable interior. The goal was to give the 42 a high level of liveability to equal its cruiseability.
The boat as tested carried a retail price of $509,047. However, a more basically equipped boat will cost $449,000.
Designed for Efficiency
We boarded the 42 through the portside transom door, entering a roomy cockpit. A draining deck box offers ample storage for lines and other equipment — and fenders are easily stowed in a built-in storage area in the transom.
All traffic areas feature molded skid-resistant ivory fiberglass decks. Wide, rail-protected walk-around decks provide ready access around the boat.
You can enter the 42 through your choice of three doors. Two sliders open into the pilothouse (to starboard and to port) and a cockpit door opens into the saloon. Diamond Sea Glaze constructs all of the boat’s doors and windows.
Speaking of windows, you can’t help but notice that the 42 offers a 360-degree view of the sea through its 16 windows — nine of which are in the pilothouse (two are opening windows with screens), plus seven in the saloon (three are opening windows with screens). You’ll never miss any views in this boat — and it makes docking that much easier.
Another great feature that makes docking maneuvers much simpler is the boat’s standard 8 hp Sidepower bow thruster, which comes with a convenient joystick control.
The Nordic Tug 42 is designed for fuel efficiency — and when it comes to fuel consumption, the boat’s standard single 450 hp Cummins diesel engine and the optional 635 hp powerplant both pass efficiency tests with flying colors. The 42′s top speed, with the standard engine, is 17 knots. It cruises comfortably at 14 knots — and at a slower cruise speed of 9 knots, the 42 burns less than 3 gallons of fuel per hour.
The 42′s semi-displacement hull offers a combination of good, reasonable speed and solid ride. The hull is of hand-laid fiberglass construction with a full keel to protect the rudder and the propeller. Hard chines prevent rolling motion.
A 13 foot, 10 inch beam and a full keel keep the boat well centered. It glides along easily — and we could barely hear the purr of the engine from the pilothouse, even at wide-open throttle — 17 knots, at 2,800 rpm.
Our sea trial ride was comfortable and quiet, giving us the opportunity to chat and enjoy the panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. The boat performed nicely at a cruising speed of 9.2 knots (at 1,400 rpm), and we still made good time through the Bay.
At 9.6 knots (at 2,000 rpm), our test boat (equipped with the standard 450 hp engine) consumed about 4.5 gallons of fuel per hour.
Built for the Long Haul
The 42′s roomy saloon can easily accommodate the whole family or a large group of cruising buddies. A 6-foot-long settee is placed to starboard, where a teak table with drop leaves can accommodate a crowd for dinner or appetizers. This dinette converts into a double berth for overnight guests.
A smaller settee — ideal for a smaller-group conversation area — is located to port. Storage cabinets are provided both to port and starboard, and a large U-shaped counter offers additional dining and storage options.
The 42′s spacious step-down galley provides a deep, double stainless steel sink, a three-burner electric stove with an oven and broiler, and a large refrigerator/freezer. There is ample stowage in the galley for an extended cruise, and the boat is pre-plumbed and wired for an optional washer/dryer in the passageway that links the cabins.
In the forward stateroom, you’ll find two hanging lockers and a queen-size walk-around berth with stowage beneath. The midcabin stateroom has a double berth, a built-in desk and bookshelves.
The 42′s pilothouse helm station offers an expansive teak console with plenty of room to add a full complement of electronics, in addition to the Cummins instrument panel. Enclosed circuit breaker panels are easily accessible, abaft the captain’s station. Two overhead storage compartments can hold a large collection of charts and supplies.
This pilothouse is exceptionally roomy, even with a large settee (which offers stowage under and behind) and a chart table. There were five adults and a dog in the pilothouse when we tested the boat, and we still had more than enough room for another five people.
Four house batteries and two separately connected starter batteries power the boat’s electrical system. An optional 5.5 kw Northern Lights generator was installed on our test boat. (A 5 kw Onan is standard, and a 12 kw model is optional.) The generator is well insulated with a sound shield, so it won’t wake up guests or neighbors anchored next to you.
Two tanks hold 500 gallons of fuel, and a pair of additional tanks holds 200 gallons of water. A 45 gallon waste tank is located in the keel area.
The 42′s standard head system, with separate heads located in the stateroom and near the guest cabin, is by Jabsco. An optional package offers VacuFlush heads.
The engine compartment is roomy and offers excellent headroom for working belowdecks. However, the only access to the compartment is through a saloon hatch.
The engine catwalk, located on the starboard side, offers easy access to the Racor fuel filters. A ladder drops down, so there is no need to jump down or do gymnastics when climbing out.
A hinged door separates the engine compartment from the battery storage and generator area. The engine room is well insulated, keeping the saloon relatively quiet while the boat is under way.
Nordic Tugs has put together a very attractive package in the Nordic Tug 42. The expansive windows and finely crafted teak interior create a feel of New World luxury, while the Old World style and craftsmanship carry forward the history of Norwegian nautical lore.
This is a boat that the whole family will enjoy cruising in. It provides both the reliability and the comfort needed for a long cruise. The classic lines are a joy to look at, and the construction provides a ride that is smooth and stable, even in rough weather.
|Fuel capacity||500 gallons|
|Water capacity||200 gallons|
|Props||28 x 30 four-blade bronze|
|Maximum power||450 hp Cummins engine|
|Base price||with 450 hp Cummins diesel||$449,000|
|Price as tested||$509,047|
Performance (with standard 450 hp Cummins engine)
|Top speed||17 knots|
|MPG at 9 knot cruise||3|
|Fuel cost for 100 miles||$66.67(a)|
|Range at 9 knot cruise||1269 miles|
(a) based on a fuel price of $2 per gallon
Questions for Your Dealer
Can the builder install a larger refrigerator?
All teak interior, galley counters and saloon table with Karadon tops, Heatercraft forced-air heat, electric three-burner stove with oven, Ritchie compass, Onan 5 kw generator, Teleflex hydraulic steering, radar reflector in removable stack that gives return signature equal to that of a 75 foot steel vessel, Diamond Sea Glaze doors and windows.
Hand-laid fiberglass hull with a full keel to protect the rudder and propeller. A heavy-duty stainless steel shoe protects running gear. Glass-encapsulated foam stringers give extreme hull stiffness and include fully glassed limber holes to allow drainage to the lowest point, where it is picked up by pumps. Watertight sections in keel minimizes danger of flooding, in case of keel damage.
Years in business: 23
Number of employees: 126
Boat lines: Nordic Tug
For More Information
Nordic Tugs Inc.
11367 Higgins Airport Way
Burlington, WA 98233
West Coast Dealers
Skipper Cress Yacht Sales, Anacortes, WA; (800) 201-9622; www.skippercress.com
Ballena Bay Yacht Brokers, Alameda, CA; (510) 865-8600; www.ballenabayyachts.com