Nordhavn 76 review: Behind the wheel of a globe-trotting trawler yacht

Dave Marsh finds the new four-storey boat from Nordhavn surprisingly easy to manoeuvre

If only the normally temperamental British weather had cooperated, we might have been able to tell you how our 76 foot 114 tonne leviathan, Nordhavn’s fifth biggest boat, handled towering waves and gale force winds.

Sadly, on the day of our early September test, the South coast dished up yet another balmy day, with weedy neap tides and no more than zephyrs to disturb the water.

We still learned a lot though. Like the fact that this towering boat (a full four stories high) is surprisingly easy to manoeuvre at close quarters, thanks to its great weight and its deep skegs exerting such an unshakeable grip on the water.

Onboard to facilitate our test, our test boat’s owner Richard had travelled over 52,000 miles in his 76, most of that at around 8 knots and 1,100rpm.

That gives him a no-reserve range of around 3,700 miles and a fuel burn of slightly less than one gallon per mile. And that is with the more consumptive twin 400hp diesels he specified, with the big 525hp single, world girdlers can enjoy a whopping 40% improvement on both those crucial figures.

Those impressive range figures always suggest a boat that’s destined for long offshore passages. Yet the Norhavn 76 has much more to offer than frugal fuel consumption.

Its bullet proof engineering and construction, and first class engineroom will appeal just as much to those inclined towards shorter trips around the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.

Its flybridge and cockpit and all-in-one saloon and galley are as convivial as any others. And on top of that, there’s the opportunity to customise to a very significant degree.

Not just with layouts and alternative timbers and joinery styles, but also with game changing design details like the position of the pilothouse (forward or aft), the sidedeck walkways around the saloon (just one on the starboard side or another matching walkway to port), and the length of the cockpit overhang.

Yet despite this elevated level of customisation, the 76 kicks off at a distinctly production boat price of just over £3 million (exc. VAT). Look out for our full test in the November 2014 issue of MBY.

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