Nordic Tugs 42 Flybridge
Length overall  44'2"
Beam 13'10"
Draft 4'4"
Fuel Capacity  600 gals
Water Capacity 195 gals
Standard power  450hp
Freeboard forward 6'6"
Base Price  $584,500

The pilothouse features a large teak helm with a teak-rimmed ship’s wheel, and a cozy perch to one side.

The new 2006 Nordic Tugs 42 is available with a flybridge, and seeing it makes you wonder why it took so long to come up with such a pretty and practical addition. Nordic Tugs are built in Burlington, Wash., and these seaworthy pilothouse cruisers are as ideal for the cruising grounds of the Northwest as they are for the Mid-Atlantic. The addition of the flybridge adds living space for use in these warmer climes. While the flybridge is an option, it's one of the few available since the list of standard features is so extensive, including air conditioning, 11.5 kilowatt generator, and even a washer/dryer in the guest stateroom.

I had a chance to get a close-up look at hull No. 73 offeredby the Annapolis Sailyard. Scott Heckard and his crewman, Mark Wilkinson, were kind enough to take time out from a busy summer schedule to take me for a boat ride.

You step aboard across a broad swim platform, through a gate in the transom to the spacious afterdeck. A hatch in the sole reveals a cavernous lazarette. Steps lead up to the wide side decks. You enter the main saloon through a sturdy gasketed door. Surrounded by big, square windows, with 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom, the saloon is open and airy. There's a dinette to starboard, room across from that for a couple of comfy chairs, and a large, well-appointed galley behind a peninsular countertop.

The guest stateroom lies at the foot of a staircase, across from an inviting office nook. It's available in several different configurations, but in the model I inspected, there was an attractive settee that converts to a double berth and a hanging locker where the standard washer/ dryer unit resided.

The guest head is at the top of a couple of steps adjacent to the door to the master stateroom, which has a lofty ceiling and a queen-size island berth flanked by hanging lockers, drawers and cabinets. The master head is quite spacious, with a broad countertop, a Vacu-flush toilet and a roomy separate shower.

Another graceful staircase leads from the main saloon up to the pilothouse. There's a high settee and a comfortable chair to the right of the dash. The helm chair is not bolted to the deck, so it can be moved or removed as needed. Standing or seated, the view through the three large panes of the windshield and the large square side windows is quite good. There are sliding doors on either side providing ready access fore and aft, and you can see behind you through opening portlights in the bulkhead. The high teak dash has room to install three big chartplotter screens. The dash is pre-wired for easy installation.

This boat was equipped with a single 540-hp Cummins QSC 8.3-540 HO electronically-controlled engine, nestled in a compartment with the generator under the sole of the main saloon. Out in the open Bay, we found a top speed of 18.5 knots with the current, 17.5 against it, wide open at about 2700 rpm. We found a comfortable cruising speed of 12.5 knots at 2100 rpm. The Teleflex hydraulic steering system was smooth and responsive. It's assisted by a standard 8-hp Sidepower bow thruster. The single-handled electronic controls allowed for smooth and delicate shifting and throttling.

Driving from the flybridge was a lot of fun. You climb up the ladder from the afterdeck, cross the expansive sun deck, climb another couple of steps and there you are, protected by a high cowling. A big, L-shaped settee wrapping around the back of the flybridge provides plenty of seating as well as storage underneath.

The Nordic Tugs 42 flybridge combines good performance with good use of living and entertaining space above decks and below.