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September 16, 2011

Sailing with the heart of a trawler
Salesman Jeff Merrill guides you through a tour of the Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer

By Jeff Merrill

The Nordhavn 56’ Motorsailer is, in my estimation, the perfect blend of sail and power.

Most trawlers with sails (like some of our early Nordhavn 46s) are OK under sail, but not great. In fact, if you see a sail on a trawler it is primarily being used to help with side to side rolling under way – not for drive or performance. And actually the best use of a sail on most trawlers is to steady the vessel into the breeze at anchor.

Most sailboats have an engine, and the access for service and maintenance is very limited. You don’t have an engine room, you have an engine locker. And, year after year, I see sailboats motoring without using any sails when there is a perfectly good breeze. I grew up racing sailboats and I find it a bit ironic how many cruising sailors rely more on their engines than their sails. But the badge they wear of a barren spar declares they are “sailors” not “stink potters” (but take a look at their engine hours vs. sail wear and tear).

The Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer is a TRUE cruising sailboats, in fact, it is quite possibly the most “honest” sailboat on the market. It has a fantastic engine room with access that is great for a trawler – incredible for a sailboat. If you have been in the engine room of a Nordhavn trawler you will feel right at home in the Motorsailer’s ER, able to easily get around and service the machinery. If, as a sailboat owner, you are going to be motoring around most of the time anyway, then why not get a boat with a proper engine AND with the amazing Hundested propeller? The Hundested is an adjustable pitch propeller that, when coupled with the Murphy gauge read out for the main engine, can help you adjust the optimum load for rpm and horsepower to maximize your performance efficiency when powering (with or without sails up).

The Nordhavn 56 MS design incorporates all of the comforts of home you expect from our brand and includes all of our proven thinking for systems and equipment. Coupled with a very balanced sail plan that features a roller furling headsail and in-boom full batten mainsail, plus the Leisurefurl system with all primary controls powered by hydraulics, this is a true “push button” sailboat that can be easily single-handed.

We all know the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. That’s true for a still life. In our internet/video/YouTube world we are proud to present three in-motion records that provide you with a passionate and living experience highlighting many of the features of our “Trawler Sailer”. Filmed by Nordhavn’s Randy Robertson and narrated by yours truly, you can gain a great appreciation of this marvelous vessel by spending a few minutes watching and learning. Here are the links:

The ultimate evaluation is to actually get aboard and go out into the wind and “sea” for yourself. If you are interested in long range cruising by sail (supported by the confidence of Nordhavn’s proven trawler engine and fuel delivery system) you really must contact your Nordhavn sales person to make arrangements to get aboard. This is the supreme cruiser’s sailboat, with the heart of a trawler!

Ed. Note: If you find yourself at the Southampton Boat Show in the UK, going on now through September 25th, be sure to climb aboard the first Nordhavn Motorsailer ever to be on display outside of North America. Meanwhile, stateside, the Motorsailer will be exhibiting at the Lido Yacht Expo in Newport Beach, CA, which runs September 22-25.

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