The Nordic Tugs 39 has a LOA of 40’ (12.19 m), a beam of 12'11" (3.9 m) and a draft of 4'4" (1.3 m).
The mission of the Nordic Tug 39 is to serve as a distance cruiser for owner/operators looking to head off for parts unknown. Whether the trip takes place after retirement or during extended vacations she's equally well suited for spending extended times on board. Many will even choose to utilize her as a live aboard.
The Nordic Tug 39 is intended as a boat for a couple. For that reason she is set-up to be both comfortable and easy to handle. She is called a "tug", but don't be misled by the name.
The Tug Boat Look. The Nordic Tug 39’s design profile gets its inspiration from the large commercial tug boats that ply their trade up and down the west coast of North American from Alaska to Seattle and farther south. And like them she is ruggedly constructed and is powered by a single diesel engine for high low-end torque and long range. But otherwise she is very much in the recreational "trawler" family from a use and performance standpoint. We consider her a "trawler-type" with her own distinctive tug boat workboat appeal.
The Nordic Tug 39 is large enough to make living aboard comfortable for a couple.
As a natural evolution of the popular Nordic Tug 37, this 39 features the same Lynn Senour designed hull but she carries a number of upgrades as a response to customer feedback. Large windows allow more natural light and provide a more relaxed open feel to the salon pilothouse. The U-shaped settee in the salon has been redesigned and includes a pullout berth. Many of the galley features from the 37 have now become standard on the 39.
• Continuous full-length, foam cored, hand laminated fiberglass structural stringers.
• UV stabilized PVC hull guards
• All exterior fasteners are 316 stainless steel
• Two coats of black ablative antifouling paint
• 2,000 gph bilge pumps in each of the three compartments, all with auto/manual switches at the helm
• Common bonding on all metal in the water, including rudder/keel shoe and thruster zincs
• Diamond Sea Glaze windows on sliders with drains at the bottom of the tracks.
• Anchor windlass with foot controls the bow and remote at the helm.
• Stainless steel Sampson post
• 1.25" x 30" high 316 stainless steel bow and stern handrails with additional over pilothouse doors and cabin top
Engine Room and Propulsion
• Single 380-hp Cummins QSC 6.7 engine with electronic controls
• Twin Disc marine reduction gear 2.43:1 ratio
• 160 amp alternator
• Twin fuel filters with separator valve
• Hung Shen 28"x22" 4-blade Nibral LH rotation propeller, tuned to class S ISO-484 pitch tolerances
• 2’’ (0.05 m) stainless steel propeller shaft with triple shaft seal
• Bronze sea water strainers
• Oil change pump system for main engine, generator and transmission
• 1” thick sound insulation
• Manual hydraulic steering
• Passivated stainless steel rudder and shoe
• Rudder port bearing and shaft lip seal
• Bronze Tiller armed with rudder stops
• Stainless steel destroyer steering wheel
• Pre-rigged with thousand fittings for autopilot hydraulic pump connection
• Sidepower bow and stern thruster
• Twin 160 gallon (606 L) fuel tanks, 300 total gallons (1,136 L), with crossover line, shut off valves in sight gauge
• 144 gallons (545 L) of potable water
• 9 gallon (34 L) gray water tank in keel
• 32 gallon (121 L) black water tank in keel
• Tank level monitoring panel
An L-shaped settee includes enhanced cushioning with a pullout berth. A flatscreen TV mounts over the galley on a pulldown panel. The pedestal table can be moved and includes opening leaves to convert from a cocktail table with dining table. Overhead, solid wood grab handles run the length of the salon. To the stern is a thick Diamond Sea Glaze door.
Ultra-soft leather upholstery and a teak high/low table highlight the portside salon.
The teak table has a foldout leaf with beautiful decorative inlay in compass rose.
The settee quickly converts to a berth when owners are blessed with overnight guests that don't want to leave.
The well laid out galley features a full size refrigerator/freezer with matching Fascia wood and a microwave/convection oven. To the aft end of the sizable counter is a three- burner cooktop above and oven with a door that retracts underneath when open. The Corian counter has covers over the stainless steel single basin sink in the top loading freezer which is large enough to load stores for an extended trip.
Below, Sapele wood cabinetry is all flush mounted with sea locks for all doors and drawers. The decking in the test boat is optional teak and holly matching the rest of the yacht.
The well laid out galley is to starboard and is equally functional for serving a boat load of guests as it is a couple on a retirement cruise of a lifetime.
A full size refrigerator/freezer is faced with matching wood.
Aside from the counter space, there is an additional top loading freezer to load the 39 up with stores to last for a voyage.
The stainless steel sink is recessed into the Corian counter. The faucet has a pullout sprayer.
The Corian counter has a fiddle to keep items from sliding off in a seaway, a great idea and something we rarely see on a powerboat.
The massive windows provide an open and airy feel to the 39's interior. They slide to provide ventilation and dual shades go from opaque to blackout.
The three-burner stove lies atop an oven, with a door that retracts underneath when open. In this manner it takes up less space in the galley.
Sapele wood cabinets have flush face frames and doors, all equipped with sea locks.
A hatch in the salon leads to the fuel tanks, water tank, hot water heater, and marine gear.
A sight gauge to the side of the fuel tank permits precise readings of remaining quantity, and a double check on gauges. Below, fuel line outlets are clearly labeled.
The companionway to the accommodations deck is in the forward center of the pilothouse.
The master features a pillow top queen-size berth with storage underneath. Sapele wood cabinetry runs along both sides of the overhead.
The accommodations deck is taken up by a master forward, guest stateroom to starboard, and head to port. This continues the theme of most of the Nordic Tugs’ lineup that surrounds spending days on deck, and nights below deck.
The forward master features a queen size island berth with a pillow top mattress. A full-length mirror is mounted next to the entry door. Nordic Tugs uses LED lighting eliminating a dangerous heat source. The cabin has two hanging lockers, two cabinets forward in the hull sides and two large drawers under the bed.
Important Features. The overhead hatch is 22” (55.9 cm) wide and includes both a bug screen and a blackout shade. The all-chain anchor rode is accessible from behind the headboard. This is a feature we like as getting the tangles out of the chain from the deck is often a problem.
The guest stateroom features a settee that easily converts to a berth. This makes yet another comfortable place for the owners to find alone time when guests are not onboard.
The settee in the guest stateroom converts to a full-size berth.
Guest Cabin. The guest cabin includes a settee that converts to a full-size single berth in the same quality woodwork seen throughout the boat. There is a night table beside the bed with drawers underneath. There are also drawers under the bed. Two opening portlights above allow in air and light.
The head compartment features a household size electric flush toilet and a vanity with a Corian counter and cameo white sink. The separate shower stall includes a seat and acrylic doors.
Teak and holly decking adds a look of class and a distinctive nautical flair. All cabinetry is Sapele with a satin finish.
The helm panel is a graphite laminate leaving plenty of room for a full array of electronics. Electrical switches are on a separate panel to the starboard side. Note that the instrument console does not extend up to reduce vision out of the windshield. We would like to see the engine control lever and the thruster lever put next to each other so that the skipper can look out the door and reach in for maneuvers when docking.
The raised pilothouse features improved visibility with narrow window mullions providing nearly 360-degrees of uninterrupted visibility. For vertically challenged captains that can't quite see out the aft pilothouse windows, the aft salon windows will serve equally well.
The panel has been redesigned to accommodate a large array of electronics. A separate navigation station is over to the portside ahead of a double wide observer’s bench seat. Twin sliding Diamond Sea Glaze doors to port and starboard provide ventilation as well as an easy egress for those choosing to dock single-handed, or to pop forward to handle the anchor.
An overhead console will accommodate additional electronics. Notice the handrail going across the overhead. We think that this is a good place for barometers, clocks, anemometers and other instruments or items of electronics that are not referred to often.
Nordic Tugs went with a high end Llebroc helm seat with flip down armrests and footrest. Notice the grab handle to the right.
The 12V panel with breaker switches is located at the helm behind a pair of smoked glass doors.
The 120V panel with breaker switches is located under the observers bench seat to port.
A separate navigation station to the port hand side allows for the tried-and-true method of using paper charts to backup the electronic navigation.
The port side of the pilothouse is occupied by a wide observer's bench seat with a flip down foot rest. Just ahead is the nav station. Sliding side windows and grab handles ensure a safe ride with good visibility and a breeze if wanted.
The flying bridge incorporates both a boat deck and the elevated flying bridge itself. The boat deck is large enough to accommodate a dinghy and hydraulic davit, or a large supply of deck chairs. The flying bridge helm is center mounted with twin Pompanette pedestal seats. The bright white helm is all fiberglass molded and we'd like to see be a shaded color to reduce glare.
The boat deck is behind the elevated flying bridge that can accommodate a dinghy and davit or deck chairs for a relaxed evening watching the sun set.
The flying bridge helm features the same level of open real estate for electronics as the lower helm. This one even includes the optional cockpit refrigerator below. Notice the high bulwarks that protect a cruising couple from the wind and spray. The weather-tight hatch at right provides access to a large storage space in the boat's cowling.
Behind the flying bridge is an L-shaped settee with storage underneath wrapping around a triangular table which is ideal for cocktails or a quick lunch. Below the seats is much-needed storage.
The engine room is accessed by lifting the two deck hatches in the pilothouse sole. There's plenty of room to move about all sides of the single engine and the entire compartment is well soundproofed. Nordic Tugs did an excellent job of clearly labeling every component and maintenance is made easy with an oil change pump out system connected to the main engine, generator and transmission.
The engine room is accessed by lifting two panels in the pilothouse sole.
The entryway step flips up to allow access past the front of the engine and the bronze sea strainer.
The generator is up against the port bulkhead. Fuel filters and oil pump out are mounted to the aft bulkhead. Notice the silver finish sound reduction seen everywhere.
The Nordic Tug 39 has a LOA of 40’ (12.19 m), a beam of 12’11” (3.94 m) and a draft of 4’4” (1.32 m). With an empty weight of 22,600 lbs. (10,251 kg), 110 gallons (416 L) of fuel and four people onboard we had an estimated test weight of 25,202 lbs. (11,431 kg).
Underway the Nordic Tug 39 presents a slightly bow high attitude and her sharp forefoot allows her to slice cleanly through waves. Her plumb bow maximizes space in the forward cabin and looks shippy.
With a single 380-hp Cummins QSB engine turning a 28 x 23 four-bladed prop with a left hand rotation, we reached a top speed at 3050 rpm of 17.6 kts. At that speed we were burning 19.55 gph giving us a range of 259 nautical miles.
Best cruise is speculative as the fuel burn and speed of this semi-displacement boat really depends on how fast the owner wants to go up, which is 17.6 knots or how much fuel efficiency is desired. Using her waterline length to determine her displacement hull speed we come up with 8.2 kts (using the formula of the sq. root of LWL x 1.34) where her bow wave length equals her waterline length. That speed was arrived at with the engine turning 1500 rpm and producing a fuel burn of only 2.6 gph, giving her a range of about 896 nautical miles, with 10% fuel reserve.
Even Better Cruise. However, there are those who say that a factor of 1.34 knots should be used for recreational boats of this type, but something more like 1.2 knots. When we use that factor we get 7.3 knots to be her theoretical displacement hull speed. Our test could accomplish that at 1250 rpm driving the boat 7.4 knots and getting 4.96 miles per gallon. So, for a penalty of 9% in boat speed (.7 knots) we picked up fuel efficiency of 59% (moving from 3.11 nmpg to 4.96 nmpg). Now we have a range of 1,427 nautical miles, with a 10% reserve.
World Cruising Range. At that speed, the Nordic Tug 39 jumps from the realm of a coastal cruiser to a very long range cruiser, able to go virtually anywhere except from Bermuda to the Azores or from the West Coast of the U.S. to Hawaii. For most people we know, that limitation is just fine.
Adding power will naturally decrease that range significantly, but for local cruising it’s a fair tradeoff. From 9-15 knots she’ll run between 1 and 2 nautical miles per gallon, which still isn't bad compared to the twin-engine behemoths that are getting below .5 nmpg at those speeds. The choice is up to the operator.
The Nordic Tug 39 is an excellent representative example of a coastal cruising boat. For those looking to combine sportboat handling into a long distance voyage, it’s not going to happen. Here we have a boat that is designed to operate very efficiently on a single engine, which means slow and forever… our kind of cruising.
While it’s rare that this boat will ever see some cranking and banking, we did some and found that she tends to lean slightly to the outside of the turns. With her wide flared bows she handles waves quite well and we would have no hesitation about operating the 39 in snotty weather. With coastal cruising that shouldn’t happen with a weather-vigilant captain. But it’s comforting to know that she does have capabilities, particularly on long passages.
The Nordic Tug 39 leans slightly to the outboard of the turns.
The side decks are a bit narrow but it's a fair trade-off to get more room in the salon and pilothouse. There are rails everywhere to ensure a safe transition.
The beefy windlass with stainless steel anchor roller. The control switches are to the side. The stainless steel Samson post is obviously designed for the 39 to spend most of her time on the hook. Notice how the bow is recessed below the foredeck.
The steering gear is easily accessed through the lazarette. Notice the rudder stops to remain prepared in the unlikely event of a hydraulic failure. The stops will protect the prop from getting bashed.
With her single engine, some would say that it might be problematic handling her around the dock, but we find that’s just not the case. Aside from the fact that bow and stern thrusters are offered as options, she’s extraordinarily maneuverable. Coming into the dock and just using a back and fill with the wheel hard over to port, we were able to take full advantage of the big rudder, and the fact that she backs to starboard, to line up perfectly with the slip.
Thrusters. Of course we can do it even quicker with just a few shots of the bow thruster only. The stern thruster might come in handy when trying to dock our turn into a confined space with strong adverse current running.
We think it is important to keep in mind that the Nordic Tug 39 was really designed for a couple to go cruising. For those who have a child or grandchild the guest cabin makes an ideal use of space and gives privacy. An older couple might want to take along a young mate for washdown chores, morning fluid checks, and carrying gear aboard, and this is a good place for him.
Failing the above requirements, we think we would ask Nordic Tugs to eliminate the bulkhead and open up this boat to have a master stateroom fit for a prince complete with sofa, desk and dresser (or possibly a washer/dryer). This boat has many possibilities for those willing to think out of the box. And the most important things -- seaworthiness and fuel-efficiency -- have been taken care of.
Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) is 20.3 mph (32.7 kph), burning 19.55 gallons per hour (gph) or 74 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) is 11.2 mph (18 kph), and the boat gets 1.65 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.7 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 476 miles (766.05 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 380-hp Cummins QSB.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Dripless Shaft Seals
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Oil Change System
= Standard = Optional
Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) Warranty
Nordic Tugs Nordic Tug 39 (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure 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.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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