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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.norseayachts.com/norsea27.php
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.