So how do you fit everything there is to know about a 75-footer capable of cruising nonstop to fish the Azores or Ghana or even the bluefin bite in the Med into fewer than 1,200 words? With great difficulty. This grand lady represents Nordhavn’s first foray into the fishing-boat genre, and for the most part, the company got it right.
Despite its impressive bulk, the Nordhavn 75 offers inch-by-inch control when maneuvering in tight quarters thanks to a pair of 38 hp hydraulic bow and stern thrusters. And whether under way, anchored or drifting, the twin 16-square-foot stabilizer fins keep roll moment to an absolute minimum.
Although you can certainly request a steering wheel on your boat, this particular owner prefers jog-lever steering on the flybridge, bridge wings and cockpit. This joystick setup provides amazingly fast rudder response.
Running along, even those who are used to faster, noisier sport-fishing boats would readily admit that the Nordhavn’s ride seemed extremely comfortable. This boat is quiet, fuel-efficient, soft riding and virtually indestructible. You’ll find a very different motion while under way in this vessel than in the high-speed planing hulls you’re used to. During our four-hour trip from Palm Beach to Stuart, Florida, seas ran four to six feet, and the Nordhavn barely acknowledged their presence.
At 10 knots, I witnessed considerable subsurface turbulence in the wake, but with well-delineated alleys. Dropping back to about 7 knots cleaned the wake up nicely for presenting your trolling spread.
You’d think that fighting fish on such a boat would be a slow-moving cluster. ? au contraire. Combine the bow and stern thrusters with thrust from the engines, and the Nordhavn 75 reacts quite nimbly. She backs down at a solid 7 knots in total control – which is as good as many much faster boats can muster. Overall, I admit to being favorably surprised at this boat’s fishability. Add to that the incredible livability, and this vessel becomes very hard to beat. With this boat you can actually head out to the Northeast Canyons, stay offshore and fish comfortably – for a week!
The sheer overall height of this boat gives the flybridge a vantage point equal to the towers on many traditional sport-fishermen. From the helm, situated at the starboard aft rail of the bridge, you can easily see the aft two-thirds of the cockpit. One thing I’d be sure to change concerns the massive 48-foot Rupp four-spreader outriggers. Our boat had manual deployment. I can’t imagine not having hydraulic riggers on a boat of this size. Additionally, hydraulic outriggers allow you to lay the riggers down aft so you can cruise under bridges more readily.
Obviously, this 75 boasts a huge cockpit – plenty big enough to handle even the largest offset fighting chair. You’ll find an access door to the swim platform in each corner, and you can combine the portside access door with the tuna door to create a larger opening. Then the warping winch (for docking stern-to in certain parts of the world) could easily serve to crank big fish into the cockpit as well.
The heavy fish-box hatches need some pneumatic lift assistance. The twin livewells in the forward cockpit modules could use gaskets and full-column intakes, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to plumb at least one of them for removable tuna tubes. Though I can’t imagine taking water over the transom into this cockpit; traveling across oceans certainly might fill it in rough seas, but no worries, the 75 has the most incredible scuppers I’ve ever seen. No water will ever pool on this deck.
Sure, I found things I’d change in the cockpit, but since this is a semicustom boat, you can design your cockpit and interior layout any way you choose. Nord-havn does an excellent job of providing adequate rod storage on its first hull, though. I counted 26 rod holders around the cockpit, with more hidden in the mid-deck overhead.
The master craftsmen in Nordhavn’s Xiamen, China, yard creates joinery work that borders on perfection. Trying to find joints in your choice of teak or cherry interior would prove to be a difficult pastime. This first 75 boasts a unique layout. The master stateroom is the farthest forward, with guest staterooms on a lower deck and aft of the master. Another nice feature that lets you increase your guest list – pullout canvas pipe berths fit into receivers just above the regular bunks in the guest cabins, effectively doubling the number of available berths – provided they’re all occupied by good friends, of course.
One thing I made careful note of was the amazing lack of engine or running noise down in the guest and master staterooms while under way.
Consider the 75’s pilothouse as something akin to an enclosed flybridge. This one boasts an L-shaped settee to port with a table, as well as a separate cabin space featuring twin over/under berths. I’d personally turn it into an office or library with a comfy sofa to nap on. Others said they’d like to simply enlarge the entire pilothouse. With Nordhavn, anything’s possible.
You haven’t seen a big engine room until you walk into this one. It’s huge! You get complete access to every piece of equipment that Nordhavn mounts in the compartment. And all the noise-making machinery lies as far aft as possible – just as it should. Anyone who really plans to travel around the globe will particularly appreciate the fuel-polishing system that centrifugally removes all impurities in your diesel.
Another interesting and unusual feature – for an offshore fishing boat anyway – can be found in the lazarette. Nordhavn provides tiller handles that attach to the tops of the rudder posts. In the unlikely case that you spring a leak in your steering hydraulics, it’s nice to know that you could always steer manually in an emergency.
Design and Construction
The large foredeck accommodates a pair of 17-foot tenders, such as, say, a flats skiff and a rigid-hull inflatable. As an added bonus, Nordhavn built an integral 80-gallon gasoline tank into the pilothouse brow to help fuel them.
One thing you don’t think about as much when fishing the coast becomes far more important on an oceangoing vessel such as this: getting around on the outside. Walkways on the Nordhavn are fabulous, with wide access and superb handholds where needed for security and ease of movement in the harshest conditions.
The 75 boasts a solid fiberglass hull with a three-layer barrier coat of vinylester resin to prevent osmotic blistering. Besides the solid hull, all horizontal surfaces receive Baltek end-grain balsa and marine plywood coring, while Nordhavn chooses to core vertical surfaces with Klegecell composite. A network of 10 full-length longitudinal and transverse stringers adds unbelievable strength. Sure, the boat tips the scales at an impressive 235,000 pounds, but remember, weight has much less bearing on displacement hulls.
The globe-girdling trawler-yacht crowd considers Nordhavn to be the ne plus ultra of transoceanic passagemaking. So while your friends might contract with a delivery ship to transport their fishing boat to remote places, you can enjoy running your boat on its own bottom for much less money. And believe me – that’s half the adventure!
MAX POWER……T740 hp Detroit/MTU Series 60 diesels
Nordhavn Yachts / Dana Point, California / 949-496-4848 / www.nordhavn.com