Nordhavn has built its reputation for
designing and building moderate-sized power vessels that are
capable of crossing any ocean. Indeed, several Nordhavns
have successfully completed global circumnavigations.
These vessels all share the basic fundamentals of
full-displacement hull designs. While full-displacement
designs are capable of extraordinary range due to their
fuel-efficient hulls, they are limited in speed by their
hull length. A full-displacement hull simply cannot go
faster than a function of its waterline length, regardless
of how much power is applied to its prop or props. Boats in
the size range of Nordhavns (40 to 62 feet) are most
efficient and comfortable running at between 7 and 10 knots.
Consequently, their range varies from about 2750 to over
4500 nautical miles, certainly enough to safely cross
P.A.E., however, recognizes that not all owners or
prospective buyers need the incredible range of these
passagemakers and instead would prefer to go a bit faster
during their coastal cruising. A sensible, pragmatic
approach to providing faster speeds without sacrificing
seaworthiness is to design a boat with semi-displacement
characteristics. This design allows the hull to get partly
out of the water when sufficient horsepower is applied and
to get out from the grip and limitations of its own bow
wave. The boat essentially begins to "plane."
If the boat is designed as a semi-displacement hull to begin
with, a modest increase in horsepower will provide the
ability to get up on plane. Buyers should be aware that some
designs, even some of the most popular "trawler yachts,"
were never designed as semi-displacement hulls, yet they
have been influenced heavily by marketing demands to achieve
greater speeds. These "fast trawlers," as they're called, do
this at great expense to horsepower requirements and comfort
of ride. Massive trim tabs and ugly splash rails have been
added to try to compensate for what is essentially a design
limitation. One will recognize these traditional-looking
yachts plowing through the water, forming huge wakes,
running at uncomfortable angles, and creating walls of spray
even as high as the flying bridge. And they're doing this
while burning huge amounts of fuel.
P.A.E. has a much better alternative. It has designed an
all-new series of semi-displacement yachts called the
"Coastal Pilot" series. Their hull shape enables them to
plane efficiently with moderate power. Additionally, a
sensible, conservative approach to weight savings was taken
in order to provide higher speeds without undue power
requirements. These designs are meant to cruise in the
low-to-mid teens (knots) with moderate fuel consumption, yet
when throttled back to typical displacement speeds of 7 to 9
knots, they can achieve remarkable fuel efficiencies and
Most important of all, they are built to the same exacting
standards as all Nordhavns and they represent the finest,
most seaworthy "fast" ships in today's marketplace. If you
do not need the ocean-crossing range of a traditional
Nordhavn, but still want the security of knowing you own one
of the finest, best built boats in the world, you should
consider the "Coastal Pilot" semi-displacement series.
Our first model, the "35 Coastal Pilot" was designed from
the beginning to run in the low teens. Cruising speeds are
in the 11-to-13 knot range, with a top speed of 15 knots.
Slowing down to speeds of 7 to 9 knots provides
extraordinary efficiency and range. Her moderately deep
forefoot eliminates pounding, and her flat aft sections
provide a natural lift as higher horsepower is delivered to
the prop. Because a single engine is used, the full length
keel protects the running gear and provides the support for
a fully attached rudder. This keel delivers superior
directional stability, particularly noticeable in sloppy,
following seas. It should also be noticed that the chines,
or areas where the bottom of the hull meets the sides,
benefit from slightly curved transitions. This shape
provides a more natural, gentle motion in a beam sea.
Outdated, but heavily marketed designs have sharp-edged
chines, which create a snapping, uncomfortable resistance to
roll. The 35 Coastal Pilot is seakindly, dry, stable, very
efficient and runs full speed at only a 3-degree angle.
P.A.E. is committed to producing a line of these "Coastal
Pilot" semi-displacement boats. Please watch this section of
our website for news about new models to come.