I once helped deliver a Nordic Tug 42 Flybridge from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The trip occurred in November and featured cold, wicked weather, thanks to a hurricane called “Wrong Way Lenny.” I drew two conclusions from the extravaganza that are relevant here. First, the construction and engineering of the 42 made her a fine coastal cruiser, with capabilities well beyond the mean. And second, while the lack of an internal stairway between her flybridge and interior was merely inconvenient in good weather, it was dicey, dicey, dicey in bad—I mean, on those black howling nights, in that outrageous sea state, with boarding seas nixing visibility from the pilothouse, the occasional trip from the upper helm station, back along the boat deck, down the after ladder into the cockpit, and from thence into the restorative warmth of the saloon, often gave new meaning to the old saw: “One hand for yourself, the other for the ship.”
The new Nordic Tug 44 Flybridge, which replaces, and is a considerable refinement of, the 42, looks like an even better coastal cruiser than her predecessor, in terms of construction and engineering—I was deeply impressed with all the sweetly fabricated, Made-in-the-USA details, among them a schematically installed engine-room electrical system; a steering compartment featuring a rudder shelf made of solid stainless steel, with thick, welded rudder stops; and a set of through-bolted engine mounts that were worthy of a destroyer.
But frankly what impressed me most was the clever design and yachty finish of the interior stairway that connects the flying bridge and the interior: That stairway is as easy to negotiate as its residential equivalent, and absolutely unobtrusive. A new and unusual, convenience enhancing, safety-improving design feature? Yes, especially when the weather goes south.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.