By Gregg Mansfield
Nor-Tech 5000: Powerboat Profile
Nor-Tech 5000: Big V-bottom makes big-impression.
Nor-Tech’s sales and marketing manager Terry Sobo seemed almost apologetic when he talked about bringing a boat to the Big Buck roundup that had more than 250 hours of use. Sobo explained that the Nor-Tech 5000 was less than a year old and the owner, Bob Barnhart, loves to participate in poker runs. Other than a couple of small scratches in the paint, the boat looked like it had only a fraction of the time on it.
Barnhart epitomizes performance boating—a boater who spends lots of time on the water. The 5000 is also a testament to Nor-Tech, which built a triple-engine V-bottom that can rack up the hours.
Measuring nearly 52 feet, Barnhart’s boat is usually at his home on Florida’s Marco Island. We doubt he’ll find many swells around his house that would challenge the nearly 9-ton boat.
That was the case when we took the $810,000 brute for a performance evaluation off Sarasota, Fla. The twin-stepped-bottom boat leaned nicely in turns and smacked through swells without jarring the driver or passengers.
The owner went with triple blown 850-hp motors built in-house by Nor-Tech. Drives were the expensive but reliable No. 6 units from Mercury Racing, with five-blade lab-finished 17 1/2″ x 32″ propellers.
With some 2,500 horsepower under the hatch, it delivered the strong performance numbers we expected from it. With the engines turning 4,000 rpm, the boat was running 77.7 mph. Add an extra 1,000 rpm to the motors and the boat runs 90 mph.
Top speed for the 52-footer was 96.5 mph on Sarasota Bay. The speed was a couple of ticks slower than the manufacturer estimated, but the 90-degree day might account for the drop in speed. Regardless, a 17,000-pound boat that runs near 100 mph always will be impressive.
The offshore boat came fully loaded, and with an extra-deep cockpit, passengers will feel assured when running at speed. Passengers sitting on the ends of the rear bench can hold on to the elliptical grab rails built into the gunwales.
The owner opted for a side-by-side bolster at the helm with seating on the rear. Guests who claim the rear bolsters can opt for a bench seat or flip up the pad and lean against it while the boat is moving. The bolsters included stainless grab rails for passengers to hold.
When the boat isn’t moving, passengers can watch a movie on the flat-screen built into the bolster’s backrest. They also can spread out on the large upholstered pad over the engine compartment and enjoy the sun.
Around front, the bottom cushions for the driver and co-pilot raised and lowered electrically. The dash was fairly expansive, with the Livorsi Marine gauges clustered on carbon-fiber panels, and a Garmin 2010 GPS in the center of the dash. Nor-Tech separated the Livorsi throttles and shifters, placing the throttles to the left to allow for a throttleman.
The boat was equipped with a five-person intercom system, but most people probably won’t use it because the wind noise was minimal when running at speed. Also in the cockpit on the port side was a small wet bar with a sink set into a carbon-fiber top and an ice chest.
Entering the cabin from the port side, anyone under 6 feet could stand up without hitting his head. That kind of headroom is typical for a sport cruiser but not on an offshore boat built to break the century mark.
The V-berth could sleep four people and was done in black velvet with a leopard print. The leopard-print trim was on the outside of the berth and carried through to facing lounges, which were done in ostrich skin. The tan color was a nice contrast in the cabin. The owner wisely opted for air-conditioning, considering the boat spends most of its time in sunny Florida.
A small galley with a carbon-fiber countertop was on the port side and included a sink, and a Norcold refrigerator. Other notable items in the cabin were the enclosed head with a porcelain commode, standup shower, sink and stowage. The buyer also had a 20″ Sharp Aquos flat-screen television installed in the cabin.
For this Nor-Tech 5000, the hour meter was the only telltale of the boat’s age.
Editor’s note: This article was part of a roundup that ran in the August 2004 issue of Powerboat magazine.
Nor-Tech 5000 Specifications
|Engine/Horsepower||(3) Nor-Tech 850 SC/850|
|Propellers||Mercury five-blade 17 1/2″ x 32″|
|Top speed at rpm||96.5 mph at 5,300|
|Price as tested||$810,000|
|Contact information||239-567-5030, www.nor-techboats.com|