expedition cruising

New Boat Video: Protector 38′ “Tauranga” Adventure Boat

Protector's new 38' "Tauranga" Expedition Boat

Protector's new 38' "Tauranga" Expedition Boat

I just got back from the 2010 Newport International Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island, and the most spectacular ride I had there was on Protector’s new 38′ “Tauranga,” a tough, seaworthy boat that can handle the roughest seas and outrace anything on the water that isn’t a dedicated go-fast.  This boat is a slightly modified derivative of the 38′ SL and it’s got all the features of a classic Protector.

Protector also had its cool new 20′ Jet at the show, but I couldn’t get out on it in the rain with all my camera gear.  We’ll get a test ride aboard that one soon and report on it here.

Here’s a video interview I taped with Protector as we headed out of Newport Harbor for a test run.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KECuS9ArDu0

During our test ride around Narragansett Bay, the weather was turning sour and the winds had already begun to stack up the waves at the mouth of the Bay. The chop was 2-3 feet just outside Newport Harbor, but rounding the point at Castle Hill, they stood up to about 4-5 feet, with the occasional 6-footer thrown in.  With the Yamaha 350 hp monsters all spooled up, and the boat running better than 40 knots into the wind and sea, we did manage to launch off a couple of waves. The deep vee of the rigid bottom tempers the landing but the strong Hypalon tubes ensure you’re not gonna ship any water.

Protector 38' "Tauranga" Bow View

Protector 38' "Tauranga" Bow View

Protector 38' "Tauranga" Foredeck

Protector 38' "Tauranga" Foredeck

Twin Yamaha 350 hp Outboards on the new Protector 38' "Tauranga"

Twin Yamaha 350 hp Outboards on the new Protector 38' "Tauranga"

When we turned back up the bay and rode with the wind and seas, we hit nearly 50 knots and the ride was silken. While it doesn’t corner quite as sharply as its smaller sister, the 28′ Targa, you better hang on when the wheel goes hard over. While it handles rough water with aplomb, you can take it right onto the beach. It only draws 18 inches. Okay, don’t take it too far up the beach, it weighs enough so that you will need the motors to back off, but still, it would be the perfect expedition tender for any large yacht with the deck space and davit to carry it; or a great coastal explorer for a couple in the Northeast or Northwest.  I’d love to see the owner of the first Nordhavn 120 take this aboard as his large tender.  What a perfect combination!

View of the new Protector 38' "Tauranga" Expedition Boat

View of the new Protector 38' "Tauranga" Expedition Boat

View Aft from inside the Protector 38' "Tauranga"

View Aft from inside the Protector 38' "Tauranga"

We’ll have more on this boat as the details come out of the company, so stay tuned.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Performance Powerboats, Powerboats

Pacific Expedition Offers Zeus Pod Drives for PE60 Catamaran

Pacific Expedition Yachts PE60 Expedition Power Catamaran

Pacific Expedition Yachts PE60 Expedition Power Catamaran

Pacific Expedition Yachts will offer Cummins Mercruiser Diesel Zeus pod drives on its PE60 Expedition Class Power Catamaran. The first hull with Zeus drives is already under construction at Pacific Expedition’s Astoria, Oregon shipyard, with delivery expected later this year.

Here’s how Pacific Expedition describes the decision to offer the Zeus drives:

The PE60, equipped with twin Zeus 3000 series pods coupled to QSC8.3-liter 600-hp engines, uses the intuitive joystick for docking and other slow-speed maneuvers, fundamentally changing the ability to control the large power catamaran with safety and confidence in the most challenging conditions. From offshore running to slow speed docking in crowded marinas, the Zeus system provides tremendous confidence and control to the owners of these large luxury yachts. It all but eliminates the fear and potential for damage that often accompanies operating a yacht with conventional inboard engines in tight quarters. The system also offers unmatched speed and economy in a vessel of its size.

CMD is “very happy to have partnered with a leading innovator in the emerging expedition power catamaran market,” said Richard Newman, CMD’s director of sales. “The Zeus system is a great match for the PE60. We believe this combination will be a game-changer in this category.”

“We are excited to work with Cummins MerCruiser Diesel in offering this kind of revolutionary technology to our clients on what we feel is one of the most exciting boating platforms to come along in some time,” said Patrick Meyer, partner with Pacific Expedition Yachts. “At over 60 feet long and 25 feet wide, a PE60 cuts an intimidating path. However, the Zeus system from CMD offers a new level of sophistication and control to our expedition power catamarans. This results in very comfortable and safe operation of our large yachts with little stress or anxiety by the owners,” he added.

Meyer told OceanLines he believes shaft drives are still a valid option for the PE cats because of the inherent maneuverability of a twin-engine boat with such wide spacing between the engines. Although PE did not disclose the price of the Zeus option, it’s safe to assume that the Zeus drives are more expensive than a standard shaft and prop arrangement.

New Model Lineup at PE

Pacific Expedition also recently announced a re-focusing of its model lineup, with the main offerings the PE50 and PE60. When the company first started, it was offering a 45, 55 and 65. The customer feedback has been such that the most demand was for a PE50 and a PE60. A smaller “Coastal Expedition” (CE) 47 is also offered for those who don’t need the room or extreme range of the PE series.

The current PE60 was derived from the original PE55 as a result of customer interest in having more space available aft of the salon bulkhead. The PE50, however, was a fresh design that took the basic beam and layout of the PE60 and put it into a smaller form. PE said it didn’t want to stretch the original PE45, because it was designed with a beam a couple of feet narrower than the new PE50 and PE60.

You can download the specs for the PE50 here.

And you can download the specs for the PE60 here.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Engines, Industry News, Passagemaking News, Powerboats, Technology

A Philosophy of Adventure

John Marshall's Nordhavn 55 Serendipity - Photo Credit: CJ Walker

John Marshall's Nordhavn 55 Serendipity -- Photo Credit: CJ Walker

The following paragraphs were written by a dedicated cruiser and passagemaker, John Marshall, who is the owner of a particularly beautiful Nordhavn 55 — Serendipity.  John has expressed his view of one of the biggest opportunities for cruisers — the ability to get extremely close to elemental nature, yet be able to retreat to the warmth and comfort of home, courtesy of his luxurious expedition yacht.  I thought John’s writing was particularly eloquent and asked him if we could share it with OceanLines readers.  He agreed and here it is, together with a gorgeous photo of Serendipity at wide-open-throttle, taken by John’s brother-in-law, CJ Walker. By the way, I saw John’s description on the Yahoo Nordhavn Dreamers message board.  It’s a fascinating mix of owners and potential future owners, well-run by chief moderator (Dreamer in Chief) Callum McCormick.

———-

by John Marshall
Nordhavn 55 Serendipity

 The remarkable thing about cruising on a Nordhavn is that we can go to  truly isolated places and enjoy nature in its rawest, most primal and  most beautiful forms, and still have every comfort of home. Sometimes when I step outside the warm, bright confines of my boat at  night and stand out there just listening to the wild, with the boat  completely silent beneath me, the contrast of inside to outside gives  me goose bumps. Inside is 5-star elegance, warmth and light and every  comfort known to man. Outside is the wild; the cold, primal,  uncompromising wilderness. It’s a very bizarre but wonderful kind of  transition that occurs in seconds when I step out the door, allowing  me to savor as much of either world as suits my mood at the moment. I’ve often turned off the TV after watching a movie with the HD plasma  screen and room-shaking sound system delivering a performance that’s  as good as any theater, and gone out on deck to find myself standing  in that absolutely silent wilderness, without another human being  around for tens of miles, and sometimes no road or settlement within a  hundred miles. An untouched and trackless wilderness of wolves and  bears and uncaring nature barely a hundred yards from where I stand on  deck. A place where often enough, neither my VHF nor my Satcom nor  cellphone or any other communication device can establish contact with  another human being. A place where we are truly and completely on our  own. 

It’s this strange mixture of perceptions and images and sensations,  both modern and ancient and primal, that carry me away every day we’re  out cruising these northern waters. I’ve journeyed many places in the  world, I’ve lived in far-away lands for many years, traveled in RV’s,  backpacked through the Rockies, climbed many peaks in my younger  years, and the closest analogy to this feeling was when I was an avid  backpacker and could carry my “house on my back” — a snug tent and  warm sleeping bag. Inside my tent, reading a book with a flashlight, I  was largely protected from the elements that might be raging outside.  Yet one step outside my tent, and the wilderness I had to walk through  to get back to civilization was uncompromising. There was no 9-11 to  call if I got in trouble. No one to help carry me off the mountain.  Many times, no one who even knew where I was. 

What is common between wilderness cruising in my Nordhavn and those  earlier backpacking days is that despite all the comforts and the  gadgets, you can’t let yourself forget that you are on a little boat  in a big sea and a deep wilderness far from anyone who could help you,  and that piece of chain that leads to the bottom is never completely  secure. 

On a boat, we are always voyaging, even when we’re anchored in a snug  cove. We might turn off the DVD and shut down the cappuccino maker and  go to the comfort of our warm bed, crawling under the down blankets  for a quiet night, but toss in 40 knots of unexpected wind, fog and  driving rain at O-Dark-30, and combine that with a dragging anchor,  and that DVD and the plasma TV and every other gadget suddenly becomes  a completely meaningless toy. 

Now its engines and rudders and windlasses and working on deck in the  violent conditions and you are suddenly a seaman fighting the cruel,  uncaring sea for your very survival, just as sailors have done for a  millennium. 

We have awoken more than once from being cradled in 21st century  luxury to find ourselves in the midst of such an adventure, and only  our skills and courage and those of my mate or crew will take us to  safety. As master of the vessel, there is no one else for me to turn  to, nobody to call, no source of knowledge or experience other than  what I already possess. 

I truly believe that its adventures and unexpected challenges like  these that keep us alive and young at heart.

Which is why I so love the adventurous kind of cruising.

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Copyright © 2009 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Destinations, People