Cross an ocean in a small cruising powerboat? No problem—if you’ve got a Nordhavn 41 under your deckshoes.
Some 20 years ago, Nordhavn—the West Coast passagemaker-builder—put a tough, salty little beauty on the market that was a true couple’s boat. I liked the single-stateroom 35 Coastal Pilot from the first time I saw her and, thanks to my salubrious gift of gab, convinced Nordhavn principal Jim Leishman to loan me one for a couple of weeks. The plan was simple: Take the boat from Miami Beach over to Bullocks Harbor in the Bahamas and from thence down through the Berry Islands—which I’d never visited before—and then make the open-water jump to Nassau. All in the interest, you understand, of marine journalism.
As you’d imagine, many adventures (and a couple of Power & Motoryacht features) ensued, although the only seriously bad weather we encountered occurred the first night out, not long after we’d hit Great Bahama Bank. Eight- to 10-foot headseas, and the rousing conditions they created on board, kept everybody wide awake that night, clinging to a favorite handhold for hours. And yeah, the ride was sporty enough but hey, the boat was small, the seas were big and, when I think about it today, I don’t remember having a single qualm concerning seaworthiness. My confidence in the 35 was total, not only while we uproariously crossed the bank, but later on when we were 30-some nautical miles from Nassau, topping huge swells in Northeast Providence Channel, a vast stretch of ocean literally thousands of feet deep.
Time flies, no doubt about it, and just a few months ago, Nordhavn put another tough sea trekker on the market, the Nordhavn 41. Although the company maintains that they developed the boat to replace the storied, globe-trotting Nordhavn 40, I still see a hint of the old, sadly discontinued 35 Coastal Pilot in the 41’s profile. I have no trouble imagining that this new vessel might very well convey the same sense of total confidence I got from her progenitor, whether under sporty conditions or in truly vast, deep expanses of water.
As proof of concept, I offer two entries from the 41’s standard equipment list, the first describing the hull-to-deck joint. Not only is the thing reportedly sealed with Crystic Crestomer 1152 urethane acrylate (a Lloyds- and DNV-approved product used to bond bulkheads, stringers and engine beds as well as the hull-to-deck joints of offshore workboats), it’s also glassed over from the inside with two layers of mat and woven roving and then mechanically fastened with 5/16-inch stainless-steel bolts on 6-inch centers. A gutsy, resilient connection, worthy of the CE Category A Certification that Nordhavn touts for the boat.
Then there’s the powerplant—twin, 75-hp Kubota, mechanically-injected turbo-charged diesels marinized by Beta Marine in the U.K. Kubota’s been manufacturing simple, bullet-proof tractor and genset engines for years, and the fact that the 41’s are mechanical (as opposed to electronic) means that, with an uncomplicated set of tools, repairs can be effected by the average Joe in the midst of the open sea where chances of getting parts and service are slim to none. Moreover, although they’re certainly not the most environmentally responsible engines on the planet, the Kubota’s are efficient. At a top speed of 9 knots, Nordhavn reports a fuel burn of 8.9 GPH at 2800 revs and a range of 922 nautical miles. Throttle back to 6 knots, and the reported burn is just 1.6 GPH with a whopping 3,383 nautical mile range. Sure, currents and weather are not factored into this rose-colored data, but even so—the 41’s powerplant has obvious ocean-crossing potential.
The fact that the boat’s offered with a double- and single-stateroom layout (with a large, shower-stall-equipped head, plenty of drawers and lockers and a walk-in closet) is, in a sense, unusual. Some 40-somethings these days, after all, have three staterooms. And although the company says the double is the star of the show so far, I personally think the less-conventional single makes more sense, especially since the salon will sleep a pair of people on port and starboard settees. The 41 is the perfect couple’s boat, in my opinion, just as the old, single-stateroom 35 Coastal Pilot was.
Options are, in a word, sparse. In fact, beyond making a stateroom choice, the aforementioned standard equipment list covers just about everything this side of a tender, a watermaker and maybe a grill. Otherwise, the basics include ABT Trac stabilizers (with hydraulics spun off one of the mains); a Side-Power bow thruster; a full Garmin electronics package; a four-man Revere cannister-type life raft; two sets of duplex Racor 500s; Delta-T blowers; fiberglass fuel and water tanks; a big Victron Energy inverter; a total of six Lifeline 8D house batteries; a Lofrans windlass (with ground tackle) and a 7-kW Onan genset. Frankly, going through the entire complement is sort of like reading a summary of all the top-shelf, mainstream marine brands on the market today.
Nordhavn 41 Layout Diagrams
The price for all this sweetness and light, so attractively wrapped up in a stout, compact, ocean-crossing package? According to Nordhavn, you’ll pay $740,000 for delivery to the East Coast, $785,000 for West Coast delivery and $710,000 if you decide to take possession at Nordhavn’s construction facility in Turkey and thereafter cruise the Med for a couple of months before running the boat to her new homeport. And yes, these numbers are just a tad more imposing than the ones I remember from the old 35 Coastal Pilot, but then again, the 41’s potential is just a tad more imposing as well.
Nordhavn 41 Specifications:
Displ.: 43,300 lbs.
Fuel: 900 gal.
Water: 300 gal.
Power: 2/75-hp Beta marine 85T diesels
Cruise Speed: 7 knots
Top Speed: 8 knots