35 Coastal Pilot — By Capt. Bill Pike — December 2002
|Part 2: The point was to simply create the best turnkey boat possible and make her a perfect cruiser for a couple.|
Around midnight on our crossing I decided to grab a nap, while the rest of the crew stood wheel watches. Thanks to unobtrusive but effective courtesy lighting, going below was no sweat, despite the motion of the boat. Working from one solid handhold to the next, I descended the stairway to the lower deck, then continued forward, proceeding between the U-shape galley to port and the shower-stall-equipped head to starboard. I then entered the only stateroom, an ample master that was especially inviting at the time. The decor is straight-up nautical: off-white Formica-covered bulkheads accented with varnished teak trim and cabinetry. There's a bureau to starboard, with teak fiddles on top, a couple of nightstands on either side of the queen-size berth, and a raft of hanging lockers lined with fragrant camphor wood. Extracting a Louis l'Amour western from my sea bag, I hit the rack, flicked on the reading light, flicked off the main and courtesy lights, and quickly read myself into a snooze.
We enjoyed fine weather and uneventful bliss for the rest of the cruise, all the way to Nassau, although there's one aspect of the trip that underscores the virtues of the 35's galley. Because we made a host of friends during our two-day stay at Great Harbor Cay Marina, we threw a party on the eve of our departure, inviting a dozen people. The focus of festivities was a feed of deep-fried snapper, black beans, and yellow rice, with dinner rolls and attendant salads and sides, all whipped up in our U-shape galley. The success of the party was in large part due to a step-saving layout, a raft of Corian countertops, a big double sink, and a standard oven-equipped, three-burner Seaward propane stove installed in a restaurant-style, stainless steel-lined alcove, sliding Diamond Sea Glaze window (with screen), 6.8-cubic foot Nova Kool reefer (with freezer on the bottom), and range hood darn near powerful enough to suck pots off the stove.
Lake Worth may not be as exotic as the Bahamas, but it is protected, generally calm, and marina-fringed, a great venue for gauging both the maneuverability and the performance of any boat. On the first score, I was much impressed with the 35. Thanks to a large rudder, gutsy Sidepower electric bow thruster, and the propulsion oomph inherent in a large, diesel-powered, four-bladed prop, I quickly confirmed an earlier impression: laying alongside a dock with the 35, pivoting in a fairway, backing into a slip, or accomplishing virtually any other boathandling chore is pie-easy. I kid you not--at one point, I literally drove the 35 backwards into a marina by simply maintaining sternway and steering with the thruster.
The 35's engine room, a well-lit place with kneeling headroom, is loaded with commercial-grade features, two of which stand out. The first is a smart, user-friendly fuel system. It starts with two heavy-duty, saddle-type, sight-gauge-equipped, welded-aluminum tanks (with baffles and large inspection plates) that gravity feed into a low, daytank-like, welded-aluminum "fuel-supply reservoir" forward of the engine on centerline. It's workboat-like, but extra plumbing adds pizzazz. Supply and return lines for engines and the optional genset and attendant valves are plumbed into and out of this reservoir, so uneven fuel loading is precluded, and an easy-to-see sight gauge can be used to directly measure fuel burn.
The second feature is safety-related. In addition to a whopping, belt-driven, 8-gpm ITT Jabsco 36600 bilge pump with high-end, magnetic Ultra Sr. float switch, there's a backup Edson manual pump with a 30-gpm capacity and an easy-to-get-at handle. Besides being 32 inches long for extra leverage, the handle winds up inside the boat, when installed through a small hatch in the sole of the dinette area. About the last thing you need in an emergency is exposure to wind and seas.
Of course, there's just one problem with building and outfitting a boat the way the 35 is built and outfitted: moolah. With a base price of $369,000, this salty little coastal cruiser is undeniably expensive. Indeed, according to the folks at PAE, keeping costs low was not a big priority in designing and building the 35 Coastal Pilot. The point was to simply create the best turnkey boat possible and make her a perfect cruiser for a couple. Fondness and familiarity tell me they've succeeded, and then some.
Pacific Asian Enterprises Phone: (949) 496-4848. Fax: (949) 240-2398. www.nordhavn.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.