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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 oceans.

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 extended range.
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.

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