pocket tugs

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.

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Editor’s Note — This is a preview of a longer piece I wrote for Yachtworld.com.  I write a monthly boat review for Yachtworld/Boats.com.  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.
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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 First introduced more than 30 years ago and withdrawn in 1997, its 2011 incarnation features a smart Cummins QSD 115-hp diesel and has a range of about 150 NM on its 75 gallons of fuel, cruising at 8 knots.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

Nord Star Offers New 24 Offshore Model with Outboard Power

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star USA and Brewer Yacht Sales will be showing a new Nord Star 24 Offshore model from the Finnish boat builder at the New England Boat Show in late February.  The boat features outboard propulsion but retains the salty pilothouse looks of its sister ships in the Nord Star Patrol line that runs all the way up to 40′.

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

The 24 Offshore with outboards features a vee berth forward and seating for up to six in the pilothouse.  I’ve written before about the Nord Star line — I tested both the 26 and 31 — and I think they’re worth a good, long look.  The design and construction are to hardy commercial Finnish workboat standards, and the systems and features are first-rate.  This new outboard version of the 24 will offer a little more mechanical simplicity, as well as below-decks storage, for an owner who prefers an outboard solution, rather than the standard Volvo diesel.

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

I don’t have the specs on the outboard choice(s) yet, but in the images you see with this story, taken from the company website, the boat has been fitted with a sizeable Honda, probably the 225, which is built around a 5.6L V-6.  Maximum recommended horsepower would be around 250, based on the listed 200 kW.  I noticed that the listed beam measurement of 8′ – 9″ means that it would require a special trailer permit in most of the United States, but they’re simple to get and frankly, with a weight of just under 3 tons withOUT the motor, you’re not gonna just drag this around behind your Civic.  It does mean, though, that you can probably store it in the backyard or driveway in the off-season.

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

If you can visit Boston in late February, you’ll see this boat at the New England Boat Show.  You can download a basic brochure on the inboard-powered 24 model here

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star 24 Offshore
Specifications

IMCI CE-B OFFSHORE  
Total length 7,8m (25’6”)
Total width 2,7m (8’9”)
Hull v-angle (stern) 18,3
Height in main cabin 1,88m (6’2”)
Transportheight (with cradle) 2,95m (9’7”)
Max. recommended nr. of persons 6
Max. recommended
propulsion power
200 kw
TANK SIZE CHART  
Water 50L (13 gal)
Septic 47L (12 gal)
Diesel 240L (63 gal)
LOADING  
Max. recommended loading 600 kg
(1323 lb)
WEIGHTS (avarage)  
Weight (without engine) 1900 kg
(5732 lb)

 

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

2011 Ranger Tugs Rendezvous Set for Sept. 9-11

Ranger Tugs Gather at a Recent Rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington

Ranger Tugs Gather at a Recent Rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington

Following a successful 2010 owners’ rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington, this past September, Ranger Tugs has announced that the 2011 edition will take place September 9-11, 2011, again in Bremerton, at the Port of Bremerton Marina. Some 42 Ranger Tugs attended the fleet gathering this year, up a third over the previous year.  Ranger Tugs are among the most popular smaller cruising boats and we’ve written extensively about them here on OceanLines.

David and Maureen Baker, owners of the Ranger 29 Karma, served as the event’s volunteer organizers this year, and helped convince owners and enthusiasts from as far away as Virginia to attend.  Several Ranger Tugs owners trailered their boats to the area and launched locally for the cruise to Bremerton. In addition to the typical social events, organizers hosted MER Equipment, an area Yanmar dealer and service center, for a demonstration of some basic maintenance techniques on the Yanmar diesels that power Ranger Tugs.

Organizers hope to continue to grow the Northwest-based event, and more information about it is available on the owners’ website, TugNuts. As of this writing, there have been approximately 1,000 Ranger Tugs delivered.

While some East Coast owners will travel to the factory-sponsored event in Washington, northeast dealer Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, Connecticut, plans a regional rendezvous in Essex.  We will publish more information on that event separately here on OceanLines.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

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

Nordic Tugs Production Re-Starting

Starboard running shot of the new Nordic Tugs 39

Starboard running shot of the new Nordic Tugs 39

News this week from Nordic Tugs, Inc., that it has re-started production after a three-month hiatus during which most of the operational employees were laid off.  Bob Shamek, who heads sales and marketing for Nordic Tugs, said workers were being recalled as the production processes ramp up.

View of the pilothouse and expanded helm of the new Nordic Tugs 39

View of the pilothouse and expanded helm of the new Nordic Tugs 39

The company has a number of boats on order from its dealer network, including some for its newest model, the NT-39, photos of which are shown in this piece.  The Nordic Tugs line now includes the 26, 34, 39, 42, 49 and 54.

Salon aboard the new Nordic Tugs 39

Salon aboard the new Nordic Tugs 39

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Powerboats

First Look at the New Nordic Tugs 39


The new Nordic Tug 39

The new Nordic Tug 39

Nordic Tugs’ latest model, the 39, will be making its East Coast, U.S., debut next week at Warwick, Rhode Island, Trawlerfest, so we thought it was a good time to give you the details on this boat. While it is the same hull as its predecessor, the NT-37, the NT-39 has significant changes topside, and several new standard features. From the company:

“Nordic Tugs President and CEO Andy Lund described the new vessel as an evolutionary advancement developed to offer a better cruising experience. “We began with an enormously successful design, and then contacted our many Nordic Tugs 37 owners for their feedback on how we could improve it,” he said, adding that many of
the features offered in the new 39 are in direct response to customers’ suggestions.”

Nordic Tug 39 Interior

Nordic Tug 39 Interior

The 39 is still very obviously a Nordic Tug; the classic pilothouse lines remain, but the look is updated with larger pilothouse and salon windows that make the boat look larger. Obviously, these also brighten the interior and improve visibility. Gone are the thick windshield mullions of the original Nordic Tug pilothouse, with only thin strips dividing the panels into three.

Nordic Tug 39 Helm

Nordic Tug 39 Helm

The inside of the pilothouse sports a new, wider helm dash that will accommodate big-screen electronics – an extremely welcome change. The captain also gets a standard Llebroc chair for more comfort on longer runs.

Nordic Tug 39 Salon Looking Aft

Nordic Tug 39 Salon Looking Aft

In the brighter, more open salon, there is a new, long U-shaped settee with “enhanced cushioning” and a pull-out berth like on the 37. The optional overhead-mounted flat-screen TV is opposite the settee, which is nice, since it means everyone on the settee can actually see the TV — not always the case in many salons. The galley now has a Force 10 electric cook top, Sharp convection-microwave oven and top-loading freezer as standard features. There’s also a new Dutch door and two larger sliding windows — all by Diamond Sea-Glaze — in the salon.

Nordic Tug 39 Guest Cabin

Nordic Tug 39 Guest Cabin

Below deck, the guest cabin features a pull-out lower berth that serves as a settee during the day, and a wide bunk at night. The head has been re-designed and now sports a Tecma toilet, a molded shower stall with bench seat.

Nordic Tugs has switched to all-LED lighting for its 2011 models, including interior lights from Imtra, which the company says it chose for their warmer tone. The LED lights use about one-fifth the electricity required by halogen lamps and produce considerably less heat. The boats also now feature LED nav lights, which can last 10 times longer than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Another move that really modernizes the Nordic Tugs line is the incorporation of a full Mareton NMEA 2000 network, extending from stem to stern, and including the engine room, helm station and signal mast.  According to Nordic Tugs, “the network offers “plug-and-play” installation of electronics, gauges and equipment ranging from chart plotters and rudder angle indicators to ultrasonic tank level indicators, depth sounders and the GPS. The system is compatible with the most popular electronics brands for display on the Maretron monitor at the helm.”

Nordic Tugs and Wilde Yacht Sales of Essex, Connecticut, will have the new Nordic Tug 39 on display at the Warwick, Rhode Island, Trawlerfest from July 15-17.  Wilde has supplied a nice brochure on the new boat here.

Nordic Tug 39
Specifications

LOA                             40′ (with anchor roller)           12.19 m
LWL                             37′ 4″           11.4 m
Beam                           12′ 11″         3.9 m
Draft                            4′ 4″            1.3 m
Power                          Cummins QSB 380 hp diesel         283 kW
Weight (dry)              22,600 lbs           10,273 kg
Weight (full)              26,000 lbs           11,793 kg
Fuel                            320 US gal                1,211 L
Range (approx)        1,000 nm @ 8 knots; varies with load and conditions
Fresh Water             144 US gal         545 L
Black Water               32 US gal          121 L
Grey Water                 9 US gal            34 L

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Powerboats

The New Ranger Tugs 27

The New Ranger Tugs 27

The New Ranger Tugs 27

Ranger Tugs has introduced its new R27, an all-new boat that combines many features of the R29 with the extended sport cockpit of the latest R25.  Introduced at the recent TrawlerFest in Anacortes, Washington, near the home of Ranger Tugs, this trailerable tug is going to be an attractive option for cruisers who want as much flexibility as possible.

Interior of the new Ranger Tugs 27

Interior of the new Ranger Tugs 27

Chesapeake Ranger Tugs has an early incentive base price on the new R27 of $149,937, which includes a remarkable number of standard features that would normally be options. These include bow and stern thrusters, Garmin VHF, stereo, windlass and electric head.  Have a look at the complete list here.

Helm and  forward cabin of new Ranger Tugs 27

Helm and forward cabin of new Ranger Tugs 27

A “Chesapeake Edition” from CRT includes air conditioning, 2.5kW generator, macerator, Garmin 5215 15″ touch-screen chartplotter/GPS with radar, sonar and autopilot, an anchor package, a Bimini for the cockpit and a “Cruise Kit” which is basically the Coast Guard-required equipment.  See the details in this brochure, which includes the price.

Enclosed head aboard the new Ranger Tugs 27

Enclosed head aboard the new Ranger Tugs 27

The photos you see here were provided by Chesapeake Ranger Tugs. Chuck Wistar, who co-owns the dealership with his wife Andrea, said the new Ranger 27 will be at his dealership early this autumn and will make its East Coast debut at the Baltimore TrawlerFest.  Wistar also said that the first customer to step up and order the new R27 will get a spectacular deal on the price. That’s gonna be impressive since the published price (see above) is already pretty reasonable for a diesel-powered boat with these kinds of options and with an expected lifespan measured in decades before it needs major refit.

Another interior view of the new Ranger Tugs 27

Another interior view of the new Ranger Tugs 27

We will have some more photos to share with you soon.

Ranger Tugs 27

Specifications

Length Overall
27′ 1″ 8.1 m
Beam 8′ 6″ 2.6 m
Draft 26″ 0.66 m
Displacement 6,200 lbs. 2450 kg 
Fuel Capacity 100 USgals. 379 ltrs
Water Capacity 40 USgals. 151 ltrs
Holding Tank Capacity 30 USgals. 114 ltrs.
Engine Yanmar 180 hp
Efficiency 3MPG @ 21ktsw

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Powerboats

North Pacific 28′ is an Affordable Pocket Trawler

North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse Rendering

North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse Rendering

Here at OceanLines we get an enormous number of visitors looking for information about some of the smaller trawlers out there; boats like the Ranger Tugs 25 and 29, the Nordic Tugs 26 and some of the other “pocket tugs.”  The North Pacific Yachts 28′ Pilothouse is another example of these cozy cruisers, but one that won’t melt your wallet and might be just the thing if you need a truly trailerable vacation boat.   The hull of NP28-01 is in the mold now and is scheduled for delivery to Seattle in August.  It should make its first public appearance at the Seattle Boat Show.

The NP28 is the third boat in the North Pacific lineup and it carries on the company’s 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 $165,000.  The only thing you need to add to that base configuration is electronics.  The boat comes standard with a single 130 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.

Interior Configuration of the North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse

Interior Configuration of the North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse

The boat has two bunks forward, a convertible in the pilothouse, and one in the salon.  According to North Pacific CEO Trevor Brice, “The NP28 seems to appeal to a much more broad customer range (than the larger trawlers).  We’ve had people who are looking at the NP28 as their only boat and others who own larger yachts but want the flexibility to enjoy cruising elsewhere when it is off-season where their larger boat is located.”

You can optionally upgrade the toilet to a Tecma unit from the standard manual flush and you can add a 3 kW genny.  The propane stove, however, and a 20 lb. tank and locker are standard so you don’t need electricity to cook with.  You can save $3K by deleting the Espar diesel furnace, but odds are you would do that to add $4K worth of reverse-cycle air conditioning and then you’ll want that genny.

Initial performance estimates indicate the boat should be capable of speeds up to 14 knots.  Fuel burn at 6 knots will be about 1 GPH, while at 12 knots it should be somewhere around 6 GPH.  With its 100 gallon fuel tanks, the NP28 has a theoretical range of 600 NM.  Even at top speed, it will have a range well above 200 NM.  Either way, that’s anywhere from a couple, to several days of comfortable cruising without worrying about refueling.  There is also 40 gallons of fresh water aboard and the 160 amp alternator on the engine will charge even a huge house battery bank in short order.

With its 8-foot, six-inch beam, the NP28 is truly trailerable.  While it’s not a show-stopper for some folks, boats like the Nordic Tugs 26, at 9-feet, six inches, do require a special trailering permit in nearly all U.S. states.  According to Brice North Pacific has identified a number of trailer manufacturers who can supply a suitable trailer, but has not specified a vendor because of the wide variation in personal preferences for trailer features.

In short, the NP28 looks like it’s going to provide some real competition to similar-sized boats in the Nordic Tugs, Ranger Tugs and other “pocket trawler” makers’ lines.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats