Minor Offshore has a New 28′ Cruiser

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser

The Minor Offshore brand of Finland-built patrol/cruiser boats has introduced a new 28′ model that strikes a good balance between affordability and size — all packaged in a hardy, family-ready cruising boat.  Represented in the U.S. by Skarne Marine, of Milford, Connecticut, the Minor Offshore boats could eventually become major players in the small-to-mid-size cruising market.  These are tough, seaworthy boats meant to be used and they’re built to be economical to operate and maintain.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Looking Forward.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Looking Forward.

The 28 features two cozy, double cabins and an enclosed head compartment.  There is a compact galley with a two-burner stove and sink with hot and cold water.  There are some nice standard features on this boat, including a bow thruster, which will be helpful to those who aren’t proficient yet with a sterndrive around the docks. A Raymarine C120W chartplotter is also standard, along with power trim assist, interval wipers, remote-controlled searchlight, auto trimtabls, defroster, stainless steel keel protection, adjustable passenger seat and teak interior.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.  Interior Seen Through Sunroof.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Seen Through Sunroof.

I really like the sunroof on these boats; mainly for the way they open up the interiors and offer abundant fresh air from a source up and away from any incidental spray.  Another thing to note is the kind of utilitarian detail on these boats.  The rubrail, for example, is a beefy, thick rubber that runs around the entire boat.  These boat builders understand that in the real world, boats bump into things — docks, pilings, other boats — and as pretty as a nice stainless insert is, it’s gonna get scratched, and worse, scratch whatever it hits.  This kind of practicality seems to be a feature of the Nordic-built boats I’ve reviewed lately.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser at the Dock. Note Rubrail Visible at Transom

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser at the Dock. Note Rubrail Visible at Transom

These are all diesel-powered boats, using Volvo engines.  The 28 comes with a D4-260 Duoprop as the standard engine, but can handle up to a D6-370 single, or twin D3-220s.  The base engine will still drive the boat to 30 knots and at a 25-knot cruise should still get nearly 3 nmpg.  With 83 gallons of fuel aboard, you could cruise for days on a typical trip around coastal waters without having to refuel.  As with all sterndrives, you need to learn how to use thrust from the Duoprop to help you in a turn; the drive unit itself being something of an undersized stand-alone rudder.  The standard bow thruster will serve as a set of suspenders while you learn how to use your belt.

Running Shot of Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.

Running Shot of Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.

The Sarin family, has been building boats for three generations now in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. The Minor Offshore line is considered an all-season line by its builder. I suppose with short summers and long, dark seasons, that would be a necessity.  I didn’t look the word up in a Finnish dictionary to be sure, but the company claims the “Minor” name of the line comes from the family’s humility. They are clearly NOT minor boats, and are certified to the CE offshore B standard, which is just plain nasty weather — a sea state of waves up to 4 meters and wind of 40 knots.

(An aside here — the actual CE Category B refers to the Beaufort Scale number of 8, which is a full gale of 40 knots, and also refers to a wave height of up to 4 meters. Curiously, the Beaufort Scale suggests that wave heights at a wind speed of 40 knots could be from 5.5 meters up to 7.5 meters, about 25 ft.  So the CE category standard refers to a sea state that is actually lower than what is expected at the standard’s wind speed.  Odd.)

I like the idea of a steel-reinforced keel; it would likely come in handy in my rocky-bottom home waters of Long Island Sound.

We’ll be testing the Minor Offshore line as soon as the weather warms up enough here in New England to splash the boats.  In the meantime, check out the Skarne Marine website and take a gander at the specs.

Minor Offshore 28

Length over all 27.1 ft Engine rec. (single) 225-370 hp
Hull length 25.2 ft Engine rec. (twin) 340-440 hp
Beam 9.4 ft Top speed range 30-42 kn
Draft 3.1 ft Fuel consumption (25 knots) 0.27 gal/nm (est.)
Displacement 3.52 tons Maximum cruising range/time 305 nm/12.2h
Overall height 12.9 ft Maximum load 2204 lbs
Height above WL 9.8 ft Ce category B-Offshore
No. of cabin seats 6 Base Price (excl. shipping)  —  $190,881.
Berths 4 Est. Shipping and import duties — approx. $12K
Fuel tank 83.15 gal  
Water tank 26.4 gal  
Septic tank 10.5 gal  
Battery 2×100 Ah


Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

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

Pod Wars on Mad Mariner

Mad Mariner LogoI wrote a continuation of the engine series for Mad Mariner last week covering the ultimate in recreational marine propulsion — the steerable pod drives from Volvo Penta and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel, known as IPS and Zeus, respectively.  Take a look at the piece here and then log on to the discussion forums at Mad Mariner to talk a little more about it.  These units are the next wave and I’m pretty confident in saying that they will be at least an option, if not standard on most new boats within the next five years or so.  Volvo Penta was the first to bring these to market and they’ve got quite a headstart over CMD’s Zeus; there are reportedly more than 2,000 boats afloat already with the IPS systems installed.  There were about 25 different models on display at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and I expect more announcements from Volvo Penta at the Miami show next February.

The CMD people have scored some nice applications for their Zeus drives, too.  Have a look under the Boats, Yachts and Ships article category here for a piece I did on Grand Banks’ newly announced 41 EU Heritage model, which will feature Zeus drives and a full second stateroom made possible by the compact pod-drive installation.  In the Mad Mariner piece I describe a test drive I took on a 2008 Sea Ray 44 Sundancer equipped with Zeus.  If you’ve never actually been aboard one of these boats, the performance is truly jaw-dropping.  Not only does the boat maneuver around the docks as if its on rails, but it accelerates like a rocketship and carves turns at high speed like a Formula 1 race car.  In fact, it can turn so sharply that it will generate LARGE g-forces, large enough that you really have to warn the crew ahead of time and then hang on for dear life.  Amazing.

So, head on over to Mad Mariner and read about what your next boat might have on it — or should I say, underneath it?

Copyright ©  Tom Tripp 2007

Posted by Tom in Technology

A Floating Ovation, Please…

At the recently concluded Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Silverton Marine welcomed the newest boat brand to the party — Ovation.  And along with the brand came the first model — the 52 Ovation, a sleek, luxurious sedan bridge

Ovation 52 Debuts at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

Ovation 52 Debuts at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show


cruiser with a state-of-the-art triple Volvo IPS engine installation.  It is a beautiful boat, exceedingly well equipped and with fit and finish on a par with such brands as Marquis by Carver.  It features a massive master stateroom amidships, with a full queen VIP forward and twins in a port stateroom.  A raised galley and dinette forward have great all-around views and the salon features a big screen TV on a lift, along with plenty of seating for showings of Master and Commander during the evenings aboard.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the 52 Ovation is its drive package — triple IPS600 pod drives that will undoubtedly pop this big boat right out of the hole and onto plane.  They’re set way back under the cockpit sole with lots of extra room forward for the big genny and storage (or watermakers and whatever else you might want to add).


Getting the most of these big IPS drives only requires that you learn to drive the boat with the IPS joystick — a simple task.  Move it right and the boat goes to the right.  Twist it left and the bow swings to port.  Push it forward and you’re moving forward.  It will change your world, especially around the dock.  It will also help cool off your credit card at the fuel dock.  Volvo Penta claims — and early adopters seem to concur — that these drives are nearly 30 percent more fuel efficient that straight shaft and prop installations of the same horsepower.

Ovation 52 Engine Room with Volvo Penta IPS Engines

Ovation 52 Engine Room with Volvo Penta IPS Engines

Silverton says the 52 Ovation will list for approximately $1.3 million, which is a competitive price for a luxury sedan of this size and with this kind of power.  It has features that will make cruising even easier, like a Nautical Structures 800# davit hidden in the transom, along with the big swim platform.  It has wide sidedeck walkways all the way to the bow for safer line and anchor handling underway. 



Helm Aboard the new Ovation 52

Helm Aboard the new Ovation 52

And frankly, the bridge is where you will want to host all your parties from now on.  Lots of great seating, a chill chest, barbecue and views all around.


Take a look at the specs provided by Silverton for this boat, then plan to check it out at the Miami show in February.  Or, you can visit the new brand’s website at:

  Standard Power Triple Volvo 500 IPS Diesel  
  Optional Power Triple Volvo 600 IPS Diesel  
  Length Overall 52 Feet 15.8 Meters
  Beam 16 Feet, 4 Inches 4.9 Meters
  Draft 48 Inches 1.22 Meters
  Deadrise 13 Degrees  
  Appoximate Dry Weight 52,000 Pounds 23,608 Kilograms
  Fuel Capacity 610 Gallons 2,309 Liters
  Water Capacity 200 Gallons 757 Liters
  Holding Tank Capacity 80 Gallons 303 Liters
  Headroom [Minimum} 6 Feet, 6 Inches 1.98 Meters
  Sleeps 6  
  Clearance Height, DWL No Light 17 Feet, 9 Inches 5.41 Meters

Copyright © 2007 Thomas M. Tripp

Posted by Tom in Boats, Technology