Paul Tortora

Nordic Tugs Owners Rendezvous in Connecticut

The NENTOA Nordic Tugs Flotilla in Essex, CT in 2010 - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

The NENTOA Nordic Tugs Flotilla in Essex, CT in 2010 - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

If you’ve never been to an owners’ or manufacturer’s or dealer’s rendezvous, you’re missing a great part of the cruising lifestyle. Last weekend’s Northeast Nordic Tug Owners Association (NENTOA) 2010 Rendezvous in Essex, Connecticut, is a great example of how they work and why they’re such a wonderful experience.

The New Nordic Tug 39 Arrives - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

The New Nordic Tug 39 Arrives, Captained by NT CEO Andy Lund - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

NENTOA works closely each year with major sponsor Wilde Yacht Sales, the Essex-based Nordic Tugs dealer for the northeastern U.S. NENTOA is an active owners’ group and working with Wilde, they solicit support from industry sponsors and put together a long weekend program. In this case, which is typical of a well-planned rendezvous, the program had a nice mix of social and “educational” activities. Special guess this year was Nordic Tug’s new CEO Andy Lund, who talked about what’s new at the company these days. He skippered the brand new Nordic Tug 39 all the way from Michigan to the rendezvous. Pretty unique.

I asked Paul Tortora of Wilde Yacht Sales for a rundown on the weekend. Here’s his summary. I’m going to ask the couples who made presentations if they would share them with us here on OceanLines. So come on back to see those.  Here are Paul’s comments:

NENTOA Rendezvous Participants Talk Outboard Motors - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

NENTOA Rendezvous Participants Talk Outboard Motors - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

First day is pretty much reserved for arriving and settling in, getting your registration packet, socializing with other owners and culminates with a ‘Rum Party’ followed by a ‘Pot Luck Dinner/Barbeque’ and then a presentation by the owners of Seamantha ( John & Paulette Lee) who have spent the past year traveling on a Nordic 42, and another presentation by Celebration (Brian & Ellen Clarke) who took their Nordic 37 down to the Chesapeake from Essex, CT. Each set of the owners gave a presentation on their trip and experiences including photos and music.

NENTOA Nordic Tugs Rafted at Hamburg Cove - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

NENTOA Nordic Tugs Rafted at Hamburg Cove - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

Second day was filled with workshops like engine maintenance by Cummins, boat maintenance by Ben Wilde, electronic session presented by Bill Jones of Raymarine, ‘Going Green With Solar Panels’ & Vacuflush Maintenance by Phil D’Anato of Ship Shape, ‘Whats New At Nordic’ presented by Andy Lund (CEO of Nordic) and some other workshops like ‘Crafts on Board’ which was tailored for the Admirals aboard. The neat thing about the workshops this year is that we added several hands-on workshops which were a huge hit. They included ‘How To Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher’ where each attendee got to practice PASS – pull the ring, aim, squirt, side to side. Also Man Overboard drill presented by Bill Boyer and Deploying a Floatation vest which was demonstrated in the pool by Dick Seymour. This day ended with a formal dinner reception featuring steak and swordfish, open bar and then a raffle featuring some great prizes that include overnight stays at Brewers and Essex Island Marina, handheld VHF radios, Maptech Guides and more.

Part of the NENTOA Nordic Tugs Parade - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

Part of the NENTOA Nordic Tugs Parade - Photo Courtesy of Paul Tortora

Third day was a presentation by Herb Nickles & Wendy Shepherd on their trip on a Nordic 32 – boat name is Snorri. That was followed by a parade on the CT River (all the individual shots of the boats where they are running) and then a raft-up in Hamburg Cove (pictures of boats on moorings, with dinghies, swimming).

The next morning (Saturday), 7 boats departed for a two week Tug Tour from Mystic to 5 ports in MA and then back to Block Island and Greenport, Long Island as the final destinations. Another group of approximately 9 boats went on to do the coast of Maine. (Editor’s note — This is one of the real benefitsof buying from an active, interested dealer like Wilde — these co-hosted rendezvous and group or flotilla cruise opportunities, which are really helpful if you’re a new boater or not used to longer trips.)

Farthest boat this year was from Michigan which was the brand new Nordic 39 at display at the Rendezvous and will be at our docks for the next month for viewing, sea trials and of course is available for purchase. That boat was brought here by Andy Lund himself (not often you see a president of a company roll up his sleeves and spend 14 days bringing a boat to its destination — really gives him an opportunity to test their design changes and interact with people IMO). Second farthest distances this year were from Barry Shapiro & Suzanne Claus on Spray (Nordic Tug 37) and they came from Nashua, NH while Richard and Shirley Righter of Keene, NH brought their Nordic 32 named Olive. We did have owners come from Guezpn, Ontario but they came by car as their boat is currently in the Turks and Caicos.

I created a gallery of some of the photos Paul sent along. You can see it here. Some of the picture sizes are rather large, which is good if you want to look at details on the boat, not so good if you have a slow Internet connection.

We’d like to hear about other rendezvous that took place this summer (or are still planned; we’ll help you spread the last-minute word). Drop me a line here on the Contact page or in the comments to this story and we’ll follow-up with you. Thanks to Paul Tortora and Ben Wilde of Wilde Yacht Sales for the photos and roundup.

Copyright ©2010 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats

First Look: Nord Star 31 Patrol Photo Shoot

Editor’s Note:  These photos by Allen Clark of Photoboat.com are part of our extended photo shoot for a detailed sea test and review of the Nord Star 31 Patrol.  The review will be posted here on OceanLines later this week but the photos were so stunning we decided to get some out for you to enjoy.  You’ll have to wait to read all the details, but suffice it to say this is one truly exciting boat.

Nord Star 31 Patrol in CT River No-Wake Zone -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Nord Star 31 Patrol in CT River No-Wake Zone -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

In the shot above, photographer Allen Clark from Photoboat.com has caught us returning from our sea trial in Long Island Sound, outside the mouth of the Connecticut River.  We were hosted for the review by Paul Tortora of east coast dealer Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, CT, and John Uljens, President of Nord Star USA, the boat’s U.S. importer.  The Nord Star 31 Patrol is one of four Nord Star Patrol models, ranging from 24 to 40 feet, built by Linex-Boat Oy in Finland.  We’ll discuss their detailed pedigree in our review later this week, but they are true Sport Utility Vessels (SUVs), and can serve many roles very well.  Be sure to click on all the photos here to see them in expanded formats.

Stern Quarter Shot of the Nord Star 31 Patrol Accelerating -- Photo:  Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Stern Quarter Shot of the Nord Star 31 Patrol Accelerating -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

This is a dramatic shot of the 31 Patrol accelerating away from the photographer.  The boat has a 370 HP Volvo D-6 diesel with a DuoProp sterndrive that really gives you a kick in the pants when you want it to.  We saw a top end speed of around 33 knots with three people and three-quarters fuel aboard, but we got to that speed in only a little over 10 seconds, which is quick.  The Volvo diesel is also happy to putter along at 8-10 knots, sipping around 3 gallons per hour.  Even at 22 knots the boat doesn’t use more than about 10 gallons per hour of diesel.  It is a sterndrive, however, and you have to keep in mind the specific characteristics of that kind of propulsion.  In some ways, it’s similar to jet drives in that you have to use thrust to enhance a turn; something not always intuitive to folks who normally rely on rudders alone.  The truth is, you get far better performance when you can direct thrust — hence the popularity of azimuthing drive pods these days.  In fact, largest model in the line, the Nord Star 40 Patrol, comes standard with Volvo IPS pod drives.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo:  Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

This shot shows the pilothouse best, with its reverse windshield rake and nearly constant sheer line.  There are beefy sliding doors both port and starboard.  The helm is on the starboard side and has fantastic sight lines; the helmsman never losing sight of the horizon ahead even during sharp initial accelerations.  You can see the small flybridge topside here, covered with canvas because we didn’t intend to use it in the windy, rough conditions on the Sound that day.  It will hold three adults and has complete instrumentation, normally networked with the pilothouse helm units.  You can also see the bimini canvas over the aft cockpit (not deployed of course).  On the Nord Star, this canvas can completely protect the aft cockpit and with the diesel heating available on the boat, provide a cozy, expanded living space in cooler weather.  New England and Northwest boaters are really going to like that feature.  You can also see the bowthruster, a surprisingly powerful Side-Power unit that makes close-quarters maneuvering a snap.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Idling Along the Waterfront -- Photo:  Allen M.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Idling Along the Waterfront -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Hard chines on the modified-vee  hull keep the Patrol 31 nice and stable at idle speeds around the docks.  Here the boat is quietly sliding upriver past the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT.  The deep and very wide sidedecks, along with tall stainless rails make for a safe and secure environment for linehandlers and sunbathers alike.  Look for our full review of the boat later this week, in particular, we explore the way it handled a typically unpredictable sea-state and wind combination on the eastern part of Long Island Sound.  We checked out the RPM and cruise speed numbers, tested its handling characteristics in pretty rough seas and gave it pretty thorough workout. 

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats