The Nordhavn 56 MS is a trawler-style pilothouse motorsailer
that uses modern technology to achieve efficient cruising.
years, and the current model boasts many features
and equipment that were not available in the 1960s.
Mike French of Prestige Yacht Sales, a U.S. dealer
for Nauticat, says: “The 331 combines the traditional
motorsailer design with many contemporary
improvements, including a new, modern underbody
resulting in lower maintenance and enhanced sailing
The Nauticat 331 is built in Finland by Siltala Yachts
OY. She is the cornerstone of a fleet of nine models
built by Siltala, including motorsailers and enclosed
pilothouse sailing yachts ranging in size from the
34-foot Nauticat 331 to the 50-foot Nauticat 515.
Nauticat’s impressive range and length of production
make it one of the premier names in motorsailers today.
ISLAND PACKET SP CRUISER
Island Packet Yachts, known for its line of sturdy
offshore sailboats, began producing the SP Cruiser two
years ago for those in its large customer base who were
looking for a more comfortable long-distance cruiser.
Within that period of time, the company has produced
more than 34 of the 41-foot motorsailers, a clear
indication of an active market for fuel-efficient cruising.
This boat clearly is not simply a revision of an
already existing model; rather, it was designed and built
as a motorsailer from a completely new design and hull
mold. As a testimonial to the seagoing capability
inherent in Island Packet yachts, a personal friend has
been sending me regular email updates on his North
Atlantic crossing in a stock IP 44 center cockpit
sailboat. Unscathed after weathering two gales, he
recently arrived safely in England.
NORDHAVN 56 MS
Nordhavn needs no introduction to PMM readers.
But did you know that the legendary Mason line of
high quality sailing yachts was produced by the same
company, PAE (Pacific Asian Enterprises)? Combining
its expertise in designing and manufacturing ocean-proven powerboats with its heritage of building high
quality sailing yachts, Nordhavn is about to introduce
the Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer.
The 56 MS was expected to arrive in California
late this fall and to debut at the Annapolis boat show
in October 2009. Current predictions rate this new
motorsailer as having a range of around 3,000 miles at
6. 5 knots (with no fuel reserve). Top speed is expected
to be 9 knots, with an 8-knot cruise speed. The sail rig
should boost the speed to 10 knots.
WHY NOT DREAM?
Although motorsailers may be somewhat neglected
by the press and the public, those who dream, design,
and create boats for specific customers appreciate the
characteristics of this style of boat. Most boatbuilders
have drawings of motorsailers in their files—many
versions and many sizes—just waiting for a customer
who is ready to build a unique boat suited to his or her
own desires. The enthusiasm of these yacht design
professionals came through loud and clear in my
conversations with them. (The sidebar on page 132
includes contact information for a number of designers
who are highly qualified to speak on the motorsailer.)
Blue Phoenix by Dave Gerr is an intriguing design
incorporating twin bilge keels with a draft of only
3 feet 11 inches. Her traditional lines, substantial
accommodations, and efficient sail plan result in a
vessel that is economical, fun to cruise, and very livable,
all within a 40-foot hull. Because Gerr’s motorsailers are
built on a custom basis, he is able to incorporate owner
preferences in layout, rig, and equipment.
In the December 2006 issue of PMM, I reviewed
Roseate, a trawler designed by Gerr that is a shallow-draft vessel perfect for use in the Bahamas. Her owners
have now been cruising her for a number of years and
are very satisfied with the boat.