Jim Cress

First “New” Nordic Tugs 26 to Splash Next Week

Nordic Tugs 26 Almost Ready for Launch.  Photo:  Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

Nordic Tugs 26 Almost Ready for Launch. Photo: Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

Nordic Tugs officials confirmed yesterday that the first “new” Nordic Tugs 26 will leave the factory in Skagit County, Washington, before the end of this month and splash into the cold waters of the San Juan islands for its first sea trials.  The NT-26 was the original Nordic Tug, produced from 1980 until 1997, and the company decided earlier this year to restart production, given customers’ focus on economy and fuel efficiency.  The “new” NT-26 shares enough with its ancestors that Nordic Tugs decided to simply resume hull numbers from the original production run.  Therefore, this first new NT-26 is numbered as hull 173.

The New Nordic Tugs 26 Nears Completion.  Photo:  Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

The New Nordic Tugs 26 Nears Completion. Photo: Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

Standard power on the boat will be a D-3 Volvo Penta diesel, rated at 110 hp, although a Cummins QSD-115 HO diesel, rated at 115 hp, is an option.  Cruise speed for the NT-26 will run from 8 to 12 knots, with an estimated top speed of 15 knots.  More photos of the NT-26 under construction are available at the Great Lakes and Mid-Gulf states regional Nordic Tugs dealer, Bay Breeze Yacht Sales, in Traverse City, Michigan.

The New Nordic Tugs 26 Main Deckhouse Under Construction.  Photo:  Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

The New Nordic Tugs 26 Main Deckhouse Under Construction. Photo: Bay Breeze Yacht Sales

In other Nordic Tugs news, the company is expected to announce next Monday the executive replacement for former President Jim Cress, who died in a motorcycle accident last month.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by Tom in Boats

Nordic Tugs 37 Owner Invents Wave Slap Preventer

Nordic Tugs 37 Sea Mischief, with her wave-slap preventer deployed

Dick and Mable Seymour loved their Nordic Tugs 37 Sea Mischief, but there was a quirk that bothered them. When at anchor, the hard chine of the hull, close to the bow where it crossed the waterline, would sometimes create a rhythmic slapping noise from the waves in the anchorage.

While many other owners either don’t notice it or don’t mind it, the Seymours decided to do something about it, creating what they call the Wave Slap Preventer, a device designed to restore quiet at anchor.

Here is the project as described by Dick Seymour, on the NorthEast Nordic Tugs Owners Association website:

“In response to the wave slap noise that is characteristic of Nordic Tugs and many other hard-chine boats, I attempted several solutions. These included small fenders linked end to end and swim noodles alone. I found it impossible to hold any stand-alone devices like these in place under the chine.

These are key pieces of the wave slap preventer made by a Nordic Tugs 37 owner.

Therefore, I had my canvas man make up two panels of sailcloth with integrated pockets for two swim noodles. The top picture shows the two panels laid out flat. The pocket for the swim noodles is also visible. A second picture of the end of the swim noodle pocket shows the size and fit for the two swim noodles in each pocket. The end of each pocket is “tacked” down so that the noodles won’t slip out, but can be easily detached to remove the noodles if desired.

The two panels are connected together with three small lines that slip under the bow when the Wave Noise Preventer is deployed. These lines are sized lengthwise to keep the pockets tightly snug under the flat chines right at the water line. The panels extend about 2 1/2 feet forward and aft of the point where the waterline meets the chine.

Detail of the wave slap preventer for Nordic Tugs 37

The combination of the swim noodles (in their pockets) tightly against the flat chine and the sailcloth on either side of the pockets hold the Wave Noise Preventer in place and stops the noise generated by small wave slaps on the chine. It does take two people to “scoot” the Wave Noise Preventer into place and secure it tightly.

“The sailcloth panels each have 6 grommets for the connection lines that slip under the bow as well as the lines that attach to stanchions on the deck which hold the Wave Noise Preventer in place. The panels are 5 feet 8 inches long. This length accommodates standard length swim noodles. Each panel is 18 inches wide on the bow end and 24 inches wide on the aft end. The pockets are on a slight angle from bow to stern with the stern end down about 4 inches or so on the sailcloth panels.

I did a formal sea trial of the Nordic Tugs 37 with the late Jim Cress, former president of Nordic Tugs.  The NT-37 is a nearly perfect liveaboard cruiser for a couple, with its spaciousness and seaworthiness.  You can read that review here.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by Tom in Boats

Jim Cress, CEO of Nordic Tugs, Dead at 62

The late Jim Cress, seen here in early 2008 while piloting the N-37

The late Jim Cress, seen here in early 2008 while piloting the N-37

Jim Cress, the affable president and CEO of Nordic Tugs, died Saturday, October 18 of injuries received in a motorcycle accident. His death was announced by the company this week. 

Born on May 13, 1946 in Chicago, Ill., 62-year-old Cress joined Nordic Tugs in 1989 as sales manager. He left the company in 1993 to start SkipperCress Yacht Sales, Nordic Tugs’ northwest dealer. Always passionate about Nordic Tugs, Cress and a small group of investors purchased the company on Dec. 13, 1996, and he has served as the company’s president/CEO for a majority of the past 12 years.

Cress enjoyed boating, motorcycles and sprint cars, but his main passion in life was his family. He leaves behind family members including his wife Stephanie, three sons, Jeff, Allen and Steven, along with three grandchildren, plus many friends and coworkers whose lives he touched.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 25, 2008, at 2:00 pm at Christ the King Community Church in Mount Vernon, Wash. In lieu of flowers, the Cress family requests that memorials be made to a favorite charity in Jim Cress’s name.

“Jim was passionate about Nordic Tugs, and this came through in all aspects of his lengthy career with the company,” stated Nordic Tugs founder Jerry Husted, who retired in Dec. 2007. “He was a lively person – always exuberant, but at the same time showing a great deal of humility, and this combination of traits matured into amazing leadership qualities. Jim was a fun guy to be around, and I’m proud to have been associated with him in the boat business. He will be sorely missed by all of us.”

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by oceanlines in People

The Nordic Tugs 37 Reviewed

Looking Forward in the NT-37 Salon

(As Originally Published on Mad Mariner)

ANACORTES, WA – Directly inspired by the working boats of the Northwest, Nordic Tugs – and its popular NT-37 model – have become a sort of icon for the trawler lifestyle. There may be other brands and boats that are better known, or some that better exemplify “fast-trawler” capabilities. But there is just something about a tug that draws a crowd at the dock.

Not long ago I was among that crowd, joining Nordic Tugs President Jim Cress on a skip through the various straits and passes of the San Juan Islands near here. It was easy to see the appeal.

Nordic Tugs generally – and the NT-37 in particular – are fast becoming cult boats, driven by a company that creates highly-functional cruising vessels with distinctive style. There are hundreds of Nordic Tugs in service, and the first boat ever built – an NT-26 called BeeBee – is still on the water. The first 37 was delivered in 1998 and hull number 200 will be shipped in late June.

They are not cheap. A new 37, fully outfitted, costs about $500,000, though there are certainly more expensive boats in this class and used models can shave up to 40 percent off that price, depending on the vintage. But that money buys a stridently economical craft – still capable of 18 knots – that is fitted with hand-crafted teak throughout and all the tools necessary for long-term cruising.

A typical NT-37 package includes a full Raymarine electronics suite, a Steelhead 600# davit and a teak and holly sole throughout. It includes diesel heat (air conditioning in warmer climates), as well as a choice of propane or electric stove and a choice of generators from Onan or Northern Lights. Models with the optional flybridge cost more.

One thing that cannot be bought is the level of support available in the Nordic Tugs community. Many owners belong to regional owners associations, which are far more active than many others. One rendezvous here last year drew roughly 75 tugs. Continue reading →

Posted by Tom in Boats

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. Continue reading →

Posted by Tom in Boats, People