Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log

Nomad 16′ sea trial

I don’t get to attend sea-trials much anymore. I miss them. After the initial worries of “will it sink?”, “is anybody happy?”, and “How heavy is she?” the trial run is just fun and interesting direct feedback.

Mark Reuten, builder, and Mark Brown, owner of the first Nomad 16, entered her in the 2012 Victoria Classic Boat Festival. Cataline won the “Best Pocket Cruiser” award, which is nice. The three of us took her for a short spin on Saturday afternoon. It was blowing strong NW in Juan De Fuca and so the speed trial was pretty momentary well inside Esquimalt Harbour (where there’s little room). But we did get a real feel for her performance and handling in a short chop. Our maximum speed was 32 mph (28 knots) with the 50 HP Yamaha not yet reaching full RPM (need to drop an inch of prop pitch).

Running out at 22mph (up wind and wave) was typical of short and wide shallow vee-bottoms, noisy but not impossible. Coming back I throttled down to about 13.5mph (12 knots) with the motor trimmed out (bow up) and she ran very nicely off plane. No bad habits upwind or down, or across for that matter. Boat weight for this trial was about 1650 pounds plus three crew so almost 2200 pounds total

Obviously if this boat was to be used as a commuter in Juan De Fuca I would reduce the beam and make the bottom a deep vee (more than 18 degrees deadrise at transom) all the way back. But that hull would require more power at all speeds, and she would not be as stable or roomy, and much harder to get on and off her trailer. This little 16′ is a good combination of useful and economical. Her cockpit is huge for a 16′, four big people can sit in full size chairs and there is room for a table. The cuddy with head adds lockable dry storage and versatility, and it could be fitted out a sleeping cabin for smaller people. With a full cockpit cover at least 3 adults could sleep on the sole or camp beds.

Of course now I’m wondering how much better an 18′ or 20′ version might be?

Mark Reuten

Yamaha 50HP on the Nomad 16

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