Chesapeake Transit Last Sunday

Sunday afternoon I helped my friend Mike move his boat from Rockhold Creek, in Deale to the South River, in Edgewater Maryland.  A distance of about 20 nautical miles.

Herring Bay to South River - Maryland's Western Shore

Mike lives aboard Emerald Seas, his NorSea 27, and we were moving it to a marina closer to where he works.  Very nice to have your home movable like that.

Sunday was one of the those dry, warm spring days with an impossibly blue sky.  Once on the water, the breeze was cool, the sun warm.  A perfect combination.  Close in shore, the breeze was pretty healthy – 10 – 15 knots.  But once we moved a mile off shore the wind dropped to about 5 knots.

Incredibly beautiful weather

The NorSea is an interesting boat:  LOA 27′, 31′ with bowsprit, LWL 25′ Beam 8′ Draft 3’10”
Displacement 8,100 IBS. Ballast 3,100 IBS. Sail Area 394 so. ft.  Engine: Yanmar 2QM 15-hp diesel.

I'm sitting on the sprit. My friend Mike at the helm.

Don’t let the length and width deceive you.  This is a heavy, stiff sailing boat.  The narrow beam, long water line (for its LOA), and lead ballast at the bottom of the keel make this boat feel solid and capable in any seaway.  Though the weather was tame, we did encounter some large power boat wakes, and the NorSea shouldered them off like they were nothing.  Surprisingly, this is also an easily driven hull. The 8 foot beam presents little resistance to wind pressure, and once she’s moving she doesn’t stop – not for chop, not for wakes, which allows her to sail when other boats are bobbing in churned up water.

Massive rudder and tiller.

As the SE wind dropped to 5 knots, we continues to make 2.5 – 3 knots over ground.  I was very surprised.  This is a boat with a reasonably fouled hull (not cleaned in at least 6 months), and she was moving very easily.  We got underway about 1400 and had 20 miles to make before dark, so reluctantly Mike fired up the engine and we motor-sailed the rest of the distance, never dropping below 6 knots.

Everything about this boat is made to last.  All the deck hardware is massively proportioned, solidly through-bolted and sealed, the outboard rudder and tiller are simply huge.  If you want to go off shore in a small boat, this would be the one.  You would have no anxieties regarding seaworthiness.  The cockpit feels secure, is fairly deep, but incorporates four scuppers, so will drain quickly.  The three cockpit lockers are huge, well gasketted, with the stern-most being both wide and fairly deep.

I think the cockpit was designed with self-steering mind.  I say this, because there wasn’t a really comfortable position from which to sit and conn the boat.  Basically, you had to stand up if you wanted to see where you were going.  As well, on Mike’s boat there is an uncomfortably placed stainless boom gallows across the middle of the cockpit that you have to dodge as you stand, then must constantly be squeezed by as you stand and conn the boat.  As we know, boats are trade-offs of features.  It is difficult to achieve optimal for every purpose, and for what the NorSea was designed to do, it does it very well.

Although I don’t have a photo of the interior, let me just say that it is the shippiest of yacht interiors. The fit and finish, ceiling, furniture and fixtures are all the best quality, and very thoughtfully laid out. This is a narrow boat, so it would be tight for two people – maybe even for one.  But it is beautifully done, with all the essentials, and even a good many luxuries, in place.  More about the NorSea 27 can be found at

We watched our marks carefully as we approached the South River.  This part of the bay can be confusing if you don’t really pay attention.  On one trip along this route, my wife and I managed to miss our destination on the Rhode River, one inlet south, and wound up in the South River.  As Mike and I came up to Thomas Point Light, we steered to port, and made our way up the river to Mike’s and Emerald Seas’ new home, tying up by 1800.

Mike standing at the helm.

  1. Jan Sopoci said:

    Sounds like a great trip!!! I just somewhat recently became aware of the NorSea brand, and heard/read nothing but good things about it, but I’d already bought my W-27, and liked the extra 2 ft. of beam (for the space below). In any case, it seems the NorSea would have been out of my price range (unless I’d bought a total “basket case”).

    • Yes, the NorSea is very expensive. But then again, you get what you pay for. I can’t afford one either, but my sailing doesn’t entail ocean voyages. And if it did, I would modify my Watkins to do so. The best boat to go to sea in is the one you already have… to quote many cruisers who have gone.

      • Jan Sopoci said:

        I definitely agree with the sentiment about the “best” boat!!! LOL.

  2. david said:

    Hi Rick,

    I see that Mike’s Nor’sea is listed for sale on However, his broker is not responding to any emails. If he is still interested in selling it and you are still in contact with him, would you pass him my contact info: duckandsock at cox dot net. Thanks! -david

    • David,

      I will email him or text him. Good luck.


  3. Jim Ross said:

    Hi Rick,
    I came across your blog when looking for a Nor’sea 27. I too have contacted the broker about your friend’s boat, but he seemed too busy to talk to me. I’m going to be in the DC area later this week, and would really like to look at the boat.
    If you could let Mike know that his broker does not seem very interested in selling his boat, maybe he could contact me directly. Thanks, Jim

    • Jim,

      I sent an email just now to the owner and copied your comment into the email. Good luck! Emerald Seas is a nice boat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: