Nordic Tugs 26

Five Pocket Trawlers for Consideration

Call them pocket-trawlers or mini/pocket-tugs, the North Pacific Yachts 28’ Pilothouse, Nordic Tugs 26, Ranger Tugs 25SC, Minor Offshore 25, and Rosborough RF-246 have hardiness and efficiency in common.

The terms “pocket trawler” and “pocket tug” don’t really have precise definitions, yet both connote a small, salty vessel that’s probably a jack-of-all-trades and won’t break the bank. In that sense, the labels work, and in this article we take a look at five popular pocket trawlers to consider if you’re looking for a capable small cruiser under 30 feet.

Editor’s Note — This is a preview of a longer piece I wrote for  I write a monthly boat review for Yachtworld/  The sites have a large, and growing collection of features, mostly written by dedicated marine journalists (like me!).  The full article at Yachtworld has more detail about the boats, specs, prices and photos.

Nordic Tugs 26

The rejuvenation of Nordic Tugs 26production three years ago was cause for celebration among the Nordic Tugs faithful. First introduced more than 30 years ago and withdrawn in 1997, its 2011 incarnation features a smart Cummins QSD 115-hp diesel and has a range of about 150 NM on its 75 gallons of fuel, cruising at 8 knots. Top speed is about 14 knots.

North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse

The North Pacific Yachts 28is the smallest boat in the company’s lineup, and it carries on the philosophy of providing maximum value for the dollar. Built from a new hull design by Karl Stambaugh at an experienced yard in China and well-equipped right off the delivery ship, a new 28 will run you about $177,500. The only thing you need to add to that base configuration is electronics. The boat comes standard with a single 150-hp Cummins QSD diesel, bow thruster, windlass with anchor, chain, and rope rode, raw water washdown, teak and holly floor and hand-rubbed teak paneling and cabinetry. All the sliding windows have screens, and curtains are even provided.

Ranger Tugs 25SC

In 2010, Ranger Tugs modified the design of its popular 25SCto increase the size of the cockpit (“Sport Cockpit”), but taking some room out of the deckhouse. It was a good idea because it makes the cockpit truly useful now and ensures good access to the standard Yanmar 150 -hp diesel. The R25 has always been one of the most popular of the Ranger Tugs line. Its classic “tiny tug” lines draw visitors at the dock, and the company insists on a high level of standard equipment.

Minor Offshore 25

Finland has a generations-old tradition of producing hardy, all-weather and all-season cruising boats. Two of these brands are now available in the United States; the Nord Star line and Minor Offshore boats. (See our recent reviews of the Nord Star 26 and the Nord Star 31.) For this roundup we chose the new Minor Offshore 25.

The Minor Offshore brand is imported to the U.S. by Skarne Marine, in Milford, CT. The look of these boats isn’t so much tugboat as it is military or government patrol boat. In fact, many are sold for just those purposes. But they work as a great all-weather cruising boat for a couple or a small family, too. The 25 has a fully enclosed pilothouse, wide sidedecks, a decently sized cockpit, and a huge swim platform.

Rosborough RF-246

Rosborough is a family company, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that builds a feature-packed cruiser for the rough North Atlantic waters that the company’s government and military customers operate in. Interestingly, Roseborough’s RF-246 sedan-style cruiser (also available in a Custom Wheelhouse configuration) can be powered by either outboards or a sterndrive. The hull features a full-length 9” keel for directional stability. The beam is 8’ 6” and the overall length is 25’.

To see all the specs, more details about the boats, as well as some photos, see my original piece on Yachtworld here.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats
A Whole Lotta Nordic Tugs To Look At

A Whole Lotta Nordic Tugs To Look At

A lineup of the Nordic Tugs Models at Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, CT

A lineup of the Nordic Tugs Models at Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, CT

If you live anywhere in the Northeast U.S. and have wanted to get a good look at a Nordic Tug, you’ve got several great opportunities. I’ve tested a 37 in the past and loved it. It’s a great coastal cruiser that will take care of you if the seas come up. It’s being succeeded by a new NT-39, which you can read about here. Several of the models make good Great Loop boats and I would happily live aboard a 42. 

Anyway, here’s what you can look forward to this summer.  First off is a special “Tug Fest” at Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, Connecticut, this coming weekend, June 19-20. Wilde will have all Nordic Tugs models currently in production, except for the 49, including the recently re-born NT-26. I noticed in their used boat inventory that they’ve got several nice boats, including a flybridge 37 and a flybridge 42.  Some of the old purists don’t like the flybridge on the Nordic Tugs, but I love it. I think it looks like a salty old captain’s cap. By the way, this year is the 30th anniversary of Nordic Tugs.

If you miss the Tug Fest at Wilde this coming weekend, you can see some of the boats at the upcoming TrawlerFest July 15-17, at the Greenwich Bay Marina in Warwick, Rhode Island. Incidentally, if you go to TrawlerFest, make sure you drive over to Oakland Beach and pick up some authentic Rhode Island clam cakes (fritters). They are unlike anything you will ever eat (hint — they actually have clams in them!).

From July 28 to July 31, Wilde will help host the Northeast Nordic Tug Owners’ Association’s 9th Annual Rendezvous and Cruise. NENTOA is an active group with some great cruising blogs linked on its website, along with good information about some owner modifications to their Nordic Tugs.  After the rendezvous, the NENTOA group will begin two cruises — a two-week venture from Essex to Boston, and a three-week cruise to Maine. The cruises have been a huge success in recent years and all those Nordic Tugs cruising together makes for quite a sight.

I’ll update OceanLines readers on other Nordic Tugs events around the country in future posts here. If you know of some, or if you’re with some of the other NTOAs, let us know!

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power

Nordic Tugs Offers Horsepower Upgrade for June Orders of NT-26

Nordic Tugs 26 Starboard Running Photo

Nordic Tugs 26 Starboard Running Photo

Nordic Tugs said this week it was offering a free upgrade from the base Volvo D-3 110 hp diesel on its NT-26 model to a 150 hp Cummins Mercruiser QSD2.0.  The company says the upgrade represents a savings of $6,000.  Nordic Tugs has normally offered the 26 and 32 with Volvo engines and the larger models with diesels from Cummins.  An industry source said the Cummins offer on the NT-26 does not represent a permanent switch from Volvo to Cummins at the smaller end of the Nordic Tugs line.  In fact, the free upgrade is available only for new orders placed and confirmed by June 29.

Nordic Tugs said also that Cummins was also offering a discounted upgrade to the optional Vessel View Digital Pan for $900.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats

The Price of a new Nordic Tugs 26

Nordic Tugs 26 Starboard Running Photo

Nordic Tugs 26 -- Photo: Paul Johnson, Nordic Tugs

Now that the new (old) Nordic Tugs 26 is in production and on its way to dealers, it’s time to have a look at how it turned out and what the price is.  We’ve got a nice photo gallery for you in this story that should give you a good idea of how the interior came together, as well as a current spec sheet and base price listing from one of the largest Nordic Tugs dealers, Wilde Yacht Sales, of Essex, Connecticut.

There is no question that buyers will be attracted to the NT-26.  It’s trailerable, diesel-powered and will comfortably host a couple for extended weekend and vacation cruising.  Nordic Tugs made the interior very light and easy on the eyes to enhance the feeling of spaciousness and the design speaks to functional simplicity.  There is a nice little galley to port in the deckhouse, with a wet head and v-berth forward and below.  There is room for 4 people to overnight with the settee topside converting to a double berth.

The boat has classic Nordic Tugs lines — as well it should, since it was the first model in the line.  See our original story on the re-launch of this model for more of the history.  Nordic Tugs debuted the boat at the recent Seatte Boat Show after it had been in for its initial sea trials. The standard engine is the Volvo Penta D-3, rated at 110 hp.  Nordic Tugs has kept up the standard of equipment and finish on this boat.  An example is the Diamond Sea Glaze windows and doors that are standard.  Initial tests suggest a cruising speed of between 8-12 knots, with a top end around 15 knots.  You can see the specs on the Wilde Yacht Sales boat HERE.

Oh yeah, the price.  the Wilde-configured boat has a base price of $187,500, which is for a nicely outfitted boat that needs only some basic electronics to start exploring.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats

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

Return of the Nordic Tugs 26

Nordic Tugs said last week it will re-introduce its very first model, the Nordic Tugs 26.  The classic 26 made its original debut at the Seattle Boat Show in 1980 and was last built in 1997.  “The Nordic Tug 26 is as popular today as it was in the 80s.  We consistently receive inquiries about whether we would consider building the boat again, and with the current state of the economy, we’re seeing a shift in consumer interest from our larger to our smaller models,” said David Goehrin, Nordic Tugs executive vice-president/COO.

Rendering of the New Nordic Tugs 26

Rendering of the New Nordic Tugs 26

Nordic Tugs has been exporting to the European market for the last year and the company believes the “new” 26 could be popular there, too. According to Goehring, “The Nordic Tug 26 is the ideal size to navigate the shallow canals and low bridge clearances in Europe.”

Nordic Tugs is offering special pre-build pricing on the first models, but declined to disclose the suggested retail price.  For reference, a used 26 from the last year of production, 1997, which appears to be in very good condition externally, is listed on for $115,000 in Dana Pt, California.  Even older 26s have held their value remarkably as well.  A 1982 edition is listed for sale at $75,000.

A Vintage Nordic Tugs 26 Cruises

A Vintage Nordic Tugs 26 Cruises

The “preliminary” specifications for the new-build 26 include:

  • LOA                     26′ 4″
  • LWL                     25′ 2″
  • Beam                     9′ 6″
  • Draft                       32″
  • Power                    110 HP Volvo Penta D-3 Diesel
  • Weight (dry)      6, 800 pounds
  • Fuel                        75 gallons
  • Fresh Water            40 gallons
  • Black Water            20 gallons
  • Gray Water             auto-sump
  • Sleeps                     4

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by oceanlines in Boats