Nordhavn 43 — By Richard Thiel —
Part 2: But engineering is only half of the story. Travel around the world and you learn the value of comfort; on the 43 the two are not mutually exclusive.
Even with the wing engine and genset, there’s a remarkable amount of space in the engine room, which is accessed from either a watertight door leading forward to the owner’s stateroom or a cockpit hatch. Like all openings, both are heavily gasketed, not only for watertight integrity but to reduce sound levels, along with the copious acoustical insulation. Also quieting things is a 3.79:1 reduction ratio that turns the 32-inch-diameter prop more slowly, reducing vibration. Indeed, the 43 is eerily quiet. At 66 dB-A at WOT, my maximum decibel-meter reading exceeded the level of normal conversation by just 1 dB-A.
But engineering is only half of the story. Travel around the world and you learn the value of comfort; on the 43 the two are not mutually exclusive. Take the saloon. It’s slightly offset to port, which creates an 18-inch starboard side deck leading from the cockpit to the Portuguese bridge and around to a six-inch-wide port-side deck that takes you back to the cockpit; both side decks are protected by high bulwarks and rails. This saves a foot and addresses that perennial conundrum: walkaround decks or a roomy saloon? Here you get both, plus a saloon and galley on one level to minimize missteps in a seaway. Two settees grace the saloon, a large L-shape one aft and to starboard and a smaller couch to port, which is better for watching the optional 17-inch plasma TV in the forward starboard corner.
The galley is forward, to port, and U-shape for safety, with the after leg providing a serving area that complements the L-shape settee’s dining table. There’s plenty of stowage here but limited counter space that could benefit from a filler for the big double sink. Among the standard appliances are a trash compactor, microwave oven, and two drawer-style Sub-Zeros. Also standard—and a direct result of the circumnavigation—is a five-cubic-foot top-loading freezer beneath the TV.
The heart of any bluewater cruiser is the pilothouse, and this one is laid out with a single pedestal helm seat, room for plenty of electronics (none are standard), port and starboard 16-inch-wide watertight Dutch doors (the top half can open independently of the bottom), and superb visibility forward and to either side. Two features belie the 43’s ocean-spanning heritage. Aft, an elevated benchseat with table allows four to sit comfortably and watch the helmsman and water. Beneath are chart drawers, while aft and above is a 6'4" off-watch berth. Half-inch-thick tempered-glass windshields, two with hefty, articulated Imtra wipers, are relatively small for strength, but the lower third flips open on two of them for ventilation. So in conjunction with the Dutch doors, you can have plenty of breeze here without resorting to air conditioning—and the genset.
A starboard companionway leads down to the accommodation level, dominated by a nearly amidships master with athwartship bed and en suite facilities. The bunk-equipped guest stateroom is forward and to port, with another head and shower in the forepeak. As with the rest of the boat, there’s plenty of beautifully done teak and lots of stowage. Here and everywhere aboard the 43, you feel like you’re on a much larger boat—except for one place: the cockpit, which is just 4'8" deep. On some boats that might be a major criticism, but not here. After all, lounging around the cockpit is not one of the things that circumnavigators generally do.
Pacific Asian Enterprises ( (949) 496-4848. www.nordhavn.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.