New Nordhavn 75 Motoryacht: Cruiser for Planet Ocean - 04/15/2009

Finally a builder has introduced something new and very different. Nordhavn, which pioneered the concept of single-engine long range power cruisers over 20 years ago, has now taken the next step by building a trans-oceanic luxury motoryacht with twin engines. Not only that, but she is rigged for serious fishing. Finally a sportsman can go in pursuit of the elusive 2,000-lb. black marlin, fish everywhere Zane Gray went, as well as places he could never reach --or, go scuba diving in mid-pacific atolls, or explore the Northeast Passage, or visit the Spice Islands. With 4,300 gallons of fuel and a cruising fuel burn of 12 to 15 gph at cruising speed, most of the world is within reach.

Nordhavn 75 MY
Yes, she’s a Nordhavn, but she’s much more than an expedition yacht. Find out about this amazing new design.


Listen to this: The 75 EYF has a 22’4” beam. Displace 235,000 lbs., draws 6’6” and carries 4,300 gallons of fuel. Except for the beam, those are the kind of specs you’d expect to see in a 100-foot motoryacht costing $8 million or more. This Nordhavn costs $4 million.


She has four en suite staterooms plus a captain’s cabin in the pilot house. Her dining table can seat eight, her galley is as big as you’ll find on most boats 20’ larger and the business end of this beauty will give the boys building grand prix tournament fishermen something to think about.


Nordhavn 75 MY
Now that’s what we call a cockpit. Did you want mezzanine seating? How about the real thing!



The 75EYF as a Fisherman


Not that sportfishing boat builders will be frightened of losing sales, because they will not. The people buying Hatteras, Viking, Bertram and other brands of sportfishermen want to blast out of marinas each morning going 40 knots and yelling the good old boy’s he-haw all the way to the fishing grounds, burning 150 gph or more (chump change when you are having fun!) No, a fellow who thinks in those terms will not be interested in the Nordhavn 75 Expedition Yachtfisher.


But other people will. People who want long distance cruising adventure and prefer to be aboard the boat on its way to a destination, rather than let the crew take it down and fly in. When you have 235,000 lbs. under you and big stabilizers, that trip is a lot more fun.


Nordhavn 75 MY
Alfred Glassell in Cabo Blanco, Peru in 1953 with his IGFA world record black marlin that has never been beaten.


There other kinds of fishermen, ones who don’t care about big money caluttas and going 40 knots. Men like Zane Gray, Kip Farrington, and certainly Ernest Hemingway would fall into that group of individuals who had their own agendas and timetables. These are the kind of men who would be intrigued by the capabilities of the Nordhavn 75EYF.


Zane Gray
Zane Gray with a huge black marlin in Tahiti in the early 1930s.


The world record black marlin (1560 lb.) was taken off Cabo Blanco, Peru in 1953 and has never been broken. One of the reasons is that long liners have taken a heavy toll on these mighty creatures, but another is that big game anglers can only fish where the boats are, or where their boats can reach (and where there is an airport nearby). These monster fish range all over the Pacific, but there are only a few places, mostly along the coasts and in the Hawaiian Islands, where IGFA-anglers fish for them. The Pacific is a very big ocean, and the 75 can go anywhere.


How’s the Fishability?


The 75 is called a “tri-deck” (even though it has more than three decks), and while the flying bridge is not quite as high as a tuna tower would be, it is nearly so. And it is certainly a lot more comfortable and safe. My guess is that a good captain would spy just as many fish, or weed lines, or oil slicks from this perch as from a tower which might only be 5’ higher.


Nordhavn 75
Look at the graceful sweep the sheer line. See the graceful dip just forward of the end of the cabin? We call that a nod to John Rybovich, who we think would have liked this boat -- for its practicality, if nothing else.


But it is at the business end that the Nordhavn shows its stuff. The builders of so-called battlewagons are all quite proud of the their mezzanine seating, but this boat has them beat hands down. Not only is there mezzanine seating, it is on a real mezzanine! Not only that but there are two tables as well, so that while an angler is waiting for a strike, he can be sitting in comfort having his cucumber sandwich and Coors Light. Guests can be stationed there with their video cameras, munching on lobster tail, ready for the action.


Something Sportfishing Boats Don’t Have


In the forward part of the cockpit is a live baitwell with picture window, a freezer, sink and bait prep counter. Ask a captain of one of the traditional sportfishing boats with mezzanine seating where he hides his bait prep area and he’ll tell you he doesn’t need one. He’ll tell you that good captains make up their ballyhoo bait (or buy it) the night before on the dock and freeze it. Trouble is, you don’t fish for giant black marlin with ballyhoo bait. And if you are after the really big ones, kona Lures won’t do either. You need the real thing and big. It’s best if you catch it yourself. Where do you buy frozen bait on Lizard Island, anyway?

Nordhavn 75
Note the eight huge scuppers in the 75’s cockpit! That’s the way it should be done. When backing down on big game in a rough sea you can easily take several tons of water over the transom – but it won’t be in this cockpit long!


Now, will the 235,000 lb. Nordhavn be able to back down quickly and be nimble enough to turn its stern first to port, then starboard following a billfish yearning to be free? We don’t know. There are controls on the mez deck for the captain, but how quick will the boat respond? Maybe the boat’s bow thruster will help. Maybe it doesn’t make any difference because people have been fishing from yachtfishermen and 100-foot sportfishermen for years.


One thing that big game anglers don’t talk much about is how they use their boats to catch giant marlin. These fish can swim at 30 mph or faster in short bursts, and what does an angler do when they shoot forward of the boat? That’s right, the captain guns the engines and they shoot right along with it with the rod out to the side, madly reeling in line, and closing on the fish. Its exciting to think of the places around the world that the 75EYF can jump on the big ones and battle it out mano-a-mano.


Calling Martin Frobisher


There is perhaps a far larger group of sportsmen, men who are into exploration on their own, and are looking for voyages of their own personal discovery, who might be interested in the 75. For them destinations such as the coast of Labrador, the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Baltic Sea beckon. For those yachtsmen, the kind of comfort found aboard the 75 is appealing. The vessel has a master stateroom that is huge. It has a desk, a sofa, in addition to a king size bed and large head compartment.



Nordhavn 75
The master stateroom of the Nordhavn 75 is as yachty and as cozy as they come.


Nordhavn 75
The desk and sofa in the master.


The boat is ideal for three our four cruising couples, not only because of the four ensuite staterooms, but because there are so many places on the boat where one can find privacy – the saloon, the pilot house, the flying bridge, the aft deck, the settee, and one’s own cabin. And at cocktail hour there is a friendly bar adjacent the galley. And the chef can remain part of the socializing and not miss any of the day’s stories.


Early birds can have breakfast on the top deck at a round table. Lunch can be served on the mez, and dinner can be by candle light in the main saloon. The boat is not only an ideal expedition yacht, but it is also a fine entertaining platform. Guest will be blown away by the fun to be had on this boat.


Nordhavn 75
This is a galley even Martha Stewart would like.


Some of the Systems

When it comes to the engine room and the systems of the boat, we can attest that Nordhavn has gone first class all the way. The main engines are twin MTU Series 60 (Detroit Diesel) 740-hp diesels driving through Twin Disc 3.43:1 marine gears turning 42x40x4 props. You will always have good fuel anywhere in the world because the boat comes standard with an Alfa Laval centrifugal force fuel polisher, which is the only way to go.


Nordhavn has also put a 35kva Atlas transformer aboard which will convert 50 cycle shore power in Europe to the 60 cycles you need to run the ships systems, plus it will do lots of other things to make your electrical power almost like home (or maybe better!) There are two standard generators, a 40 kw and a Onan so that you can match the load with the generators, which should be operated under the appropriate load for peak performance.


Enclosing the engine room and all of that racket are 2” of Soundown lead foam insulation and 2” of 3M Thinsulite. We’re told that one can hardly hear the engines. We haven’t tested the boat so we have no idea what the noise levels will be, but since we normally take the readings at the helm, and on the 75 that is two decks above in a closed cabin, my guess is that the readings will be of the A/C fan, not the engines.


Nordhavn 75
This is a cross section of the boat taken at station #6. Note the skegs protecting each of the props and the rounded bilges.

Sea Kindly Design


There are a number of things we like about the bottom design of this boat. First, the bilges are round. Most powerboaters have grown up on hard chine boats that were either planing or semi-planing hulls. The 75 is a displacement speed boat so it does not need hard chines. Moreover, the round chines make her a much more sea kindly vessel. The reason is that her rolling moment will be slower than it would be on a hard chine boat. It is the snappy roll of a hard chine boat that is so wearing after a couple of hours of holding on and bracing. This is one reason why sailboats are more comfortable than even big motoryachts in rough seas.


Nordhavn 75
This picture was taken just after the boat came out of the mold. Note the propeller pocket, the large skeg and the keel.


The second thing we like are the skegs and keel protruding below the props. That design element is worth its weight in gold. Theoretically the boat could rest level on these three points, but we wouldn’t want to test that out.


Nordhavn 75
This is station #1-1/2 at the bow. Note the very sharp entry, then the slightly convex hull sides.

Forward, the hull has a sharp entry to reduce pounding and then the hull has a convex shape which gives buoyancy to the bow and slows the pitching of the boat in head seas.


We have not tested the Nordhavn 75 EYF (but we’d sure like to!), so we can only pass along performance numbers that have been given to us by the builder. We’re told that her WOT is 14.3 knots, and she will cruise comfortably at 12.5 knots and have a range of 1,850 nautical miles. At 9 knots she has a range of 3,000 nautical miles, they say.


Nordhavn 75
Can’t you just see her on her way to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland?

Where are the Boats?


Two of these vessels have been built and two have been sold. One is on the West Coast and one is on the East Coast. Both are owned by people who are casual fishermen, and who primarily plan to use the boat for cruising. So, this summer if you see one of these boats going up the Inside Passage to Alaska or somewhere down the Bahamas island chain, be sure to wave.


The third boat is under construction as you read this and should be completed in September of this year. It has not yet been sold, but by the looks of Norhavn’s schedule of promotions, it will be soon.


Nordhavn’s Website Rates #1 With Us


Nordhavn’s specifications and detailed information about this boat, and virtually all of their boats, is the most extensive you will find on any pleasure boat website in the world today. Even if you are not interested in this boat, or even this brand, we urge you to take the time to read the list of specifications and lists of equipment on the Nordhavn website. And, if you are planning on buying a boat in this size range by any builder, you should print it out. The information on the Nordhavn site will give you a very good idea of what any well-founded boat should have, and it will save you a lot of research time in the process.


Visit the Nordhavn website…