"The voyage of Nordhavn"
Around the World in a 40 Foot Trawler...
By Tim Banse
JULY 2002 SOUTHERN BOATING
That's the thing about Americans and their boats: They thrive on
challenge and high adventure. Case in point is M/V Nordhavn, the
40-foot trawler that recently circumnavigated the globe in just
six months. Ports of call included Yap, Singapore, Oman, Athens,
Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Barbados, Panama, Mexico and other
exotic locales. The 26,000-mile six-month-long passage, completed
in June 2002, effectively showcased the capabilities of trawlers
in general and the Nordhavn 40 in particular.
The design is a modified, full-displacement hull replete with a
tunnel for the propeller; a configuration that allows spinning a
larger-diameter propeller is more efficient and it's quieter. The
boat cruised at six knots with a top speed of eight knots. True
to the nature of trawler travel, fuel economy was exemplary. At
six knots the main engine sipped fuel at the misery rate of just
1.6 gallons per hour (gph). At wide open throttle (1840 rpm) fuel
flowed at 4.0 gph.
In the unlikely event the main engine would have ever given up
the ghost, the 27 horsepower Yanmar diesel "wing engine" would have
provided limp-to-port capability. With it the boat travels at speeds
of up to six knots in calm seas and three knots in difficult conditions.
Seakeeping abilities proved eminently worthy of world cruising.
According to Nordhavn crew member, Jeff Merrill, the high bow lends
an extraordinarily dry ride. She tracks down swells like she's riding
on rails and the long keel holds the boat steady on course.
The full complement of electronics and navigation gear included
C-MAP NT electronic charts plus Raymarine GPS, chartplotters, radar,
echo sounders, autopilots and navigation software. Both companies
merit special mention as official sponsors of the ambitious voyage.
Merrill quipped that without the gear, they would have lost.
Finally, Nordhavn planners rather wisely divided the circumnavigation
into five separate legs, each one with different crew members. I
joined the boat in Panama in order to crew during its canal transit.
I came away from the experience with a fire burning in my belly:
I want to quite my job and go cruising in a trawler.