There have been at least two obvious fads in powerboats recently: expedition yachts and picnic boats. Expedition yachts are intended to venture far beyond the usual constraints for powerboats and are, in a word, designed to head offshore and cruise far and wide. Picnic boats, on the other hand, are weekenders based on traditional lines that provide comfortable accommodations for a couple and perhaps kids or another couple as guests.
The Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot falls into the space between those two categories. Essentially, it is a picnic boat for real boating enthusiasts. It has the "drinks-six, eats-four, sleeps-two" philosophy of a picnic boat, yet it's capable of extended voyaging that could take you around the world without much effort.
Smallest and newest in the line of Nordhavns that have redefined the concept of long-range power cruisers, the 35 Coastal Pilot is an absolute delight. Slide into a marina with this yacht and you can expect to fend off the curious left and right. It is, in a way, the nautical equivalent of cruising a drive-in restaurant in a Ferrari. With it's no-nonsense styling that leans heavily on the commercial upright style, it stands out in a marina of look-alike Euro-styled cocktail cruisers like Mike Tyson at a debutante ball.
Drawing on the heritage of bigger ocean-crossing Nordhavns, the 35 Coastal Pilot has a semi-displacement hull that may not be designed to cross oceans, but it's certainly one of the most capable mini-yachts available. In the words of the builders, it is intended to "safely, comfortably and economically deliver two people across the water away from civilization with all of the necessities they would require for weeks at a time." It meets that charter admirably.
Hitting the Highlights
The hull has a soft-V entry with a deep forefoot that transition into a full-length keel with an aperture for the propeller to provide protection for both steering and running gear against accidental groundings. Full bodied at the waterline, the 35 carries its beam well aft and, with round bilges and soft chines, has minimal rolling.
Power is a 350-horsepower Yanmar diesel that pushes the 35-footer easily at 12-13 knots with fuel consumption of about 1 mile per gallon. This gives the boat a range of 440 miles in about 33 hours. Slowed to a comfortable 7 knots, that range stretches to a remarkable 1,950 miles.
The layout is simple and effective, with the pilothouse set well aft to provide a low profile and low center of gravity, as well as an uncluttered foredeck. The pilothouse combines helm and salon, making it the social center while underway or at anchor. The aft deck is remarkably spacious (this is a 35-footer, after all) with room for chairs and a table, and a transom door leads to the integral swim step.
The helm has superb visibility in all directions and has room for an array of electronics both in the console and in an overhead panel. An L-shaped dinette is to port, serving both as a lounge and dining area.
The interior arrangement is split level, with the galley just down from and open to the salon. Complete with all the usual appliances, it is comparable in size to the galleys on larger Nordhavns, making it a comfortable and spacious area. There is room to install a stacked washer/dryer, and there is ample pantry space for food storage. To starboard of the galley is the head, which features a comfortably large stall shower and Jabsco electric toilet.
Forward, a stateroom takes advantage of the full beam and has a "home-sized" island berth (6 feet, 6 inches long and 5 feet wide), settee, and more than enough bureaus, drawers and hanging lockers for extended cruising. With built-in nightstands, a teak-and-holly sole and 6 feet 5 inches of headroom throughout the cabin, this is truly the master suite.
Because you can't control the weather, the deck layout of the Nordhavn 35 is designed and built for security. Comfortably sized side decks lead forward and are protected by high bulwarks topped by 30-inch double lifelines. The high forward freeboard is intended to make the 35 dry. But in big seas, the oversized freeing ports and scuppers get rid of water quickly. The anchor well is recessed, and an electric windlass is standard.
The pilothouse roof is designed to carry the tender and, in conjunction with the standard mast and boom, makes launching easy. A crow's nest is an option not found on many yachts, but it makes sense on the Nordhavn 35, both for entering harbors and simply for looks.
Construction is solid, with all hand-laid fiberglass woven roving and a balsa core above the waterline. The cabin sides are cored with Klegecell foam for stiffness and low weight.
Because the Nordhavn has an overall keel-to-cabin-top height of less than 13 feet 6 inches, the yacht can be cost-effectively moved by truck. That opens up the possibility of cruising Alaska in the summer followed by winter in the Caribbean without having to either cruise the full distance or load the yacht on a freighter. And, with its big-boat features and capabilities, it should appeal to the experienced yachtsman who is tired of the effort and financial commitment needed to maintain a larger yacht.
Base price (as of Fall 2000) is $349,000. You'll probably want to add items such as a 5.5kW Northern Lights generator ($11,900), Cruisair air conditioning ($12,900) and the crows' nest ($1300).
Add an array of electronics, install your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet and you're ready for some serious adventuring. Just remember to order a full set of charts for the world because you're likely to need them with the Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot.
|Length at waterline||33'4"|
|Displacement (half load)||22,400 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||480 gallons|
For more information
Pacific Asian Enterprises
34179 Golden Lantern, Suite 101
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2398 fax