47 — By Capt. Bill Pike
— March 2003
|The Nordhavn 47 refines the passagemaking genre, and then some.|
Prior to writing up a boat test, I normally put in a day or so on the phone, bird-dogging details. Are the brand names and engine designations on the specification sheets I've been given correct? Have I got a solid understanding of the builder's construction methods? Were there any performance foibles that need amplification?
Doing this stuff is rarely unnecessary. But occasionally, a manufacturer will proffer a collection of spec sheets and technical material that's so spot-on, there's no need for preliminary phone work. This invariably puts a special kind of smile on my face, the same kind that arose recently when I cracked open the owner's manual for the Nordhavn 47, a two-stateroom, single-engine trawler from Pacific Asian Enterprises (P.A.E.).
Talk about thoroughness. A preliminary section on law enforcement hit everything from radio procedure to boating safety. A construction summary described laminates, the hull-to-deck joint, and lots of other nitty-gritty items an owner bent on understanding, maintaining, and making passages aboard a yacht would want to know. Then came the good stuff--approximately 150 pages dealing with engineering and auxiliary systems, complete with detailed specifications, maintenance suggestions, and diagrams. Before I was halfway through, I was sold--a manufacturer capable of creating such a manual would simply have to be one helluva manufacturer.
And indeed, I found this to be the case during the actual test of the 47 some months ago in southern California. What had first impressed me about the boat was her bow, which I was obliged to confront head-on while lugging test gear down the dock at Dana Point Marina, not far from P.A.E.'s offices. The thing was huge. In fact, it was so huge--so high and so broad--that it simply dwarfed the bows of larger boats nosed up on either side, one a strapping 60-footer.
Going aboard, I immediately cranked our single 174-hp Lugger LP668T diesel, energized the 9-hp Sidepower bow thruster, took an appreciative look around the teaky wheelhouse, and breathed an interrogative sigh--something was missing. Partly because passengers were gabbing distractingly nearby, but mostly because mechanical noise is so seriously attenuated on the 47 thanks to a two-inch-thick layer of fireproof Technicon foam that blankets the whole interior of the engine room, I could hear no appreciable engine noise. I had to glance at the tach to confirm the Lugger was running!
Another singular characteristic announced itself as I began backing the 47 out of her slip--unlike most single-screw boats, which tend to back to the right or left, depending on the direction of propeller rotation, the 47 moved straight aft. "Left-hand-turning propeller, Jim?" I asked P.A.E. rep Jim Leishman. I was puzzled about the lack of a starboard bias.
"Yeah," replied Leishman, "but the full keel tends to keep `er on track going astern, and a low shaft angle reduces prop walk."
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.