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Not quite a tugboat, but certainly reminiscent of one, the Nordic Tugs 37 is the company’s most popular model. (Where are the old tires hanging off the rail?) With a single Cummins diesel, it can cruise in the upper teens, or amble along at six or seven knots, sipping fuel.

It’s not a tug, and it’s not from Scandinavia, but the Nordic Tugs 37 is almost an object of cult worship: Cruising folks who might otherwise buy a trawler yacht are flocking to this boat, and to her bigger and smaller sisters, like sportfishermen used to grab every Bertram 31 that came onto the market. In New England and the Pacific Northwest, every harbor seems to have a couple of Nordic Tugs – or maybe a raft of them. What’s so special about this boat?

Specifications

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Specifications
Length Overall 37' 4''
11.4 m
Dry Weight 22,600 lbs.
10,273 kg
Beam 12' 11''
3.9 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 4' 4''
1.3 m
Fuel Cap 324 gal.
1,211 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap 144 gal.
545 L
Max Headroom 6' 7''
2.01 m
Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 380-hp Cummins QSB5.9
Tested Power Currently no test numbers
Opt. Power Not Available

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Line Drawing

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Captain's Report

Nordic Tugs 37

Without the flying bridge, the Nordic Tugs 37 looks unfinished like a traditional west coast logging tug. The cabin top is perfect for lashing down kayaks and other toys. We’d buy the optional mast for the radar scanner and antennas. Consider the FB version.

Strictly for Cruising

Nordic Tugs – sizes range from 26 to 54 feet – are built strictly for cruising, and according to the company the people who buy them are hard-core. They have owned other boats, put in a lot of time on the water and know just what they want, and don’t want, in a boat. Apparently, one thing they want is as much cabin volume as possible: The Nordic Tugs 37 carries its trunk cabin way forward, and its deckhouse way aft, leaving just a minimal cockpit. Not only does this allow a roomy saloon and pilothouse on main-deck level, and ample cabin space below, but it also creates a long cabin top for carrying the tools of the cruiser’s trade: kayaks, rowing shells, folding bikes, an inflatable tender and other water toys. Yes, a flying bridge is optional for those who want to steer in the open air (as we do).

Nordic Tugs 37

Together, the saloon and pilothouse occupy more than half of the Nordic Tugs 37, although half the saloon is galley: L-shaped, it runs along the starboard side. A propane stove/oven is standard, meaning you can cook on the hook without starting the generator. An electric range is optional. The separate refrigerator and freezer are both dual-voltage, and there’s a microwave oven.

Multi-Speed Hull

Most boats are designed either to go fast or go slow, but Nordic Tugs can do both efficiently. The hard-chined bottom provides stability at slow speeds and lift when the throttle’s advanced, letting the boat rise into semi-displacement mode with a minimum of fuss. A sharp bow makes for comfort, with plenty of flare to shunt spray away from the big pilothouse windows. We haven’t tested this boat, but Nordic Tugs claims top speed in the high teens (knots).

We bet most folks who buy these boats will be happiest ambling along at 8 or 10 knots, using not much horsepower and stretching the distance between fuel stops to its maximum. The standard engine is a 380-hp Cummins QSB 5.9; there are no power options. The shaft and big rudder are protected by a full keel and a stainless steel shoe; the keel also keeps the boat tracking without much helm input. A bow thruster is standard.

Nordic Tugs 37

Adjustable-speed wipers and defrosters keep the windshield clear even in Pacific Northwest weather. The helmsman has unblocked sightlines all around, even aft, although s/he will have to look through the saloon. The helm is compact, but there’s room for a multifunction navigator. Charts (remember them?) can be spread out on the flat surface to port.

Construction

A boat that looks as rugged as the Nordic Tugs 37 better be built that way, too, and the company doesn’t disappoint in this regard: Working in its new state-of-the-art factory in Washington state, Nordic Tugs builds about 50 boats per year, all of them laminated with stitched multidirectional fabrics and vinylester resin. Lots of builders of boats like these cling to traditional laminate schedules, alternating layers of fiberglass mat and bulky woven roving laid in old-fashioned poly resin. That’s fine, and there are plenty of boats built that way that are not falling apart, but the resulting hull is heavier than it has to be and often susceptible to osmosis and blistering. Nordic Tugs not only uses better quality materials, but also vacuum-infuses the laminate for precise control of resin-to-glass ratio and to ensure 100% bonding of the materials.

Nordic Tugs 37

All Nordic Tugs are built in a new factory in Burlington, Washington; it opened in 2007. Before delivery, each boat is trucked to nearby Padilla Bay and given a thorough, day-long sea trial.

Materials and Details

Boatbuilding is a traditional skill in the Pacific Northwest, and many yachts and commercial boats launched there venture into often-unfriendly waters farther north along the Canadian and Alaskan coasts. This is not an area that suffers fools, or shoddy construction, gladly. Nordic Tugs carries on that boatbuilding tradition by using the best components and systems in its boats.

From wiring harnesses to plumbing to mechanical systems to the teak in the cabin soles, Nordic Tugs chooses only top-quality materials, engineered and assembled to provide years of service with a minimum of hassle. The boats are delivered very complete, right down to fiberglass wax, spare screws and a tube of silicone sealant. Nordic Tugs 37

Nordic Tugs 37

The standard layout has a double guest cabin to port, but we like this optional set-up, with what Nordic calls a “convertible space” instead. It can be set up as an office with a Pullman berth, a laundry room or nav station. This plan leaves more area for the stateroom, and makes the head a little bigger, too.

Accommodations

The Nordic Tugs 37 is set-up for a couple and two kids or guests. The main stateroom is forward, with a typical centerline berth, stowage under and on both sides. There are two hanging lockers. A single head with stall shower serves both owner and guests; it’s accessed from either the master cabin or the passageway.

Nordic Tugs 37

No surprises here: The master cabin centers around an island berth with stowage underneath. There is space enough on either side for easy entry/exit by both parties. Two hanging lockers mean no fighting over whose clothes end up in a drawer. You know who’ll win that one.

The saloon settee converts to a double berth, too. We’d use that as our “guest cabin,” and choose the optional layout that does away with the second cabin below. Berths are useless unless somebody’s sleeping in them, and we think many 37 buyers will be older folks who cruise a deux. Why waste space on extra bunks if it can be used for an office, navigation area or even a laundry room? The office or nav option can be fitted with a Pullman berth for the occasional guest. This arrangement also adds a little space to the master cabin and head.

Options and Pricing

There are few options, but of those, many are large items: a flying bridge, davit, washer/dryer or oversized genset. Air conditioning is optional, a consideration for those boating in warmer climates. Otherwise, you’ll find things like accent stripe and canvas colors, upgraded windows, additional electrical outlets, décor packages and lots of teak on the options list. We could do fine with the standard boat, even though we’d prefer the optional arrangement.

You might have already guessed that quality like you’ll find in the Nordic Tugs 37 does not come cheap: A typical boat costs around $500,000, or maybe a bit more. We searched dealers in the U.S. and found one as low as $487,508 and another listed at $520,557, with electronics. The good news is, most dealers had one in stock, which means you can a) go look at one, and b) get one without waiting months for delivery, if a stock boat will do the trick for you. When spending this kind of money, the cost of a couple of plane tickets to a dealer with the boat you want is minuscule. You can have the boat shipped home, or cruise it yourself for the adventure.

Nordic Tugs 37

The optional flying bridge improves the boat’s appearance, but uses up kayak-stowage space. We are into aesthetics, and would want a bridge.

Recommendation

We want one, and think you should have one, too. In the world of tug yachts, Nordic Tugs invented the genre and is the main player. In spite of the steep price tag, they are very popular among dedicated, hard-to-please cruising folks who appreciate good fit-and-finish and who take pride in the brand. We like the low-speed efficiency and range, the option to run faster when necessary and the high-grade engineering and systems. In the perfect world, we’d buy a real tug and convert it to a yacht, but until then, the Nordic Tugs 37 would do it for us to say nothing of savinf a lot of money and hassle.

If you own an express cruiser and are ready to settle down for some serious long range cruising, don't let yourself be put off by the chunky tug look. It is a max-cube design without looking like a floating box. Pin up a picture of one on your computer -- the tug will grow on you.

Standard and Optional Equipment

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Systems
Air Cond./Heat Optional
Battery Charger/Converter Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
Washdown: Raw Water Standard
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Standard
Galley
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Standard
Exterior Features
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Door Standard
Transom Shower Optional
Canvas
Full Canvas Optional
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Bow Thruster Standard
Davit Optional
Generator Standard
Oil Change System Standard
Washer/Dryer Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Warranty

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to insure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Certifications
NMMA Certification Yes

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Price

Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 37 (2010-) Price
Pricing Range $500,000.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

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