Nordic Tugs 49 Will Fill the Gap


Rendering of the new Nordic Tugs 49

Rendering of the new Nordic Tugs 49

BURLINGTON, Wa. – In the 1990s, a 32-footer was the best seller in the Nordic Tugs line. The company added a 42 when it was time to expand – and learned a lesson in the balance.

“It became apparent that the 10-foot jump in size was too much for some of our customers,” said Jim Cress, president of Nordic Tugs. A 37-foot model was created to bridge the gap.

It was similar thinking that led to the development of the new Nordic Tugs 49, the latest addition to the trawler-style model line, which is still under construction at the company plant here. The 49 is designed to bridge the gap between the 42- and 54-foot models. “We did it again,” said Cress, laughing as he told the story. “We launched the 52″ [now the 54] and created another 10-foot gap.”

The 49 has two cabins, with the master amidships. Still, the company has high hopes for the 49. I got a good look at Hull No. 1 at Nordic Tugs factory here last week, where systems are still being installed. The hull has a beautiful merlot shade of deep red gelcoat, not a traditional Nordic color but still very attractive. And that was not the only thing worth seeing.


The 49 of the model name refers to the boat’s LOD (Length Over Deck), a measure favored by Cress, who says it more realistically represents the size and volume of a boat. Given the nearly plumb bow of the Nordic hull, that figure is also nearly the waterline length. LOA (Length OverAll) is just more than 52 feet. The boat’s beam is just more than 16 feet and the draft is a relatively shallow 3 feet, 11 inches. That’s not bad for a boat expected to weigh about 45,000 pounds.

Tankage includes 800 gallons of fuel, 300 gallons of fresh water, and 60 gallons of capacity each for black and gray water. Gray water tanks are required for inland use in many areas and having them built in makes it easier to stay “green” – and legal.

The original designer of the Nordic Tugs’ hull, Lynn Senour, had passed away before the 49 was put on the boards, and a new hand was required to draw the hull. After interviewing several different naval architects, Cress said he chose Howard Apollonio to ensure that the hull for the 49 would be the most modern and efficient possible and that it would integrate well with the traditional Nordic Tug styling.Tom TrippPort side view of open hull on the factory floor.

Apollonio’s design retains the traditional semi-displacement approach taken with all the Nordic Tugs, but refines it with a prop tunnel that helps to reduce draft, making the 49 suitable for shallow-water gunkholing. This passagemaker’s hull is slippery enough at slow speeds to keep fuel burn down and flat enough aft, with enough power inside it, to run in the high teens when more speed is required.

Main and Lower Deck LayoutsDOWN BELOW

The 49 is a two-stateroom boat with the queen-sized master below and amidships and a guest cabin forward. Two heads, equipped with separate showers and VacuFlush toilets, feature teak cabinets and Corian countertops. The guest cabin also houses the standard combination washer-dryer.

The living space aboard the 49 will feature the hallmark teak woodwork that graces all the Nordic Tugs. This wood is sanded and hand-rubbed with oil by a dedicated team at the Nordic factory until it shines the way the customer wants it.

The salon sports teak cabinets, with a pop-up, 26-inch HD flat-panel television display to port. An L-shape settee with a built-in table and an extra chair are to starboard.

The galley is an efficient U-shape, just forward of the salon on the main level and comes with a dishwasher, icemaker, microwave, 4-burner stove/oven combination and a full-size refrigerator/freezer. A propane-fueled stove is an option, as is a trash compactor.


Step up into the pilot house and settle into a Stidd helm chair. The dash will hold two big display screens, and if you want to use paper charts there is a full-size chart drawer to port, just underneath the chart table. The thought of not having to un-roll a chart to use it is compelling, and having them all flat in one drawer also makes it a lot easier to find the one you need quickly. Nice touch.

The Nordic Tugs’ pilot houses are the epitome of good design. Visibility on all Nordic models is very good. Three large Diamond Sea Glaze windows, each with its own variable-speed, pantograph-style wiper/washer, help you see what is in front of you.

The sliding doors on either side of the pilot house enable the helmsman to step out to grab or throw a line when single-handing the boat and rear-facing windows and a wide-open look down into the salon give you a chance to monitor what’s behind the boat.

Nordic believes in equipping its boats for reliability and the systems are typically over-sized. In the engine compartment, for example, the Cummins QSM-11 diesel will benefit from two massive Racor fuel filters and a fuel polishing system is available.

Cress said most of the boats delivered today are coming with fuel polishers. Another favorite option with Nordic buyers is dash-mounted vacuum gauges for the Racors, enabling the captain to catch a filter that has become clogged.

Interior view of Nordic Tugs 49 Hull No. 1 In Burlington, where Hull No. 1 is being built, the deckhouse is in final fabrication in an adjoining area of the factory and should be ready for mating with the hull in the next few weeks. The connection is a shoe-box type, with the deck fitting over the hull, and the entire assembly then bonded and screwed.

Nordic took the somewhat unusual step of building some full-size mockups to test various interior options. I walked through the galley mockup while Nordic executive Bob Shamek explained how the company evaluated various possibilities. Shamek said they even went so far as to draw a full-scale outline of the deck design on a factory floor to “walk” through the placement of key features.

The first 49 will make its debut this summer, in time for some of the key trawler-related events and rendezvous that have been scheduled.

Copyright  ©  2008 Thomas M. Tripp

Posted by Tom

Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines LLC, the publisher of OceanLines and founder of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . .