May 20, 2010

Boat Review: Nord West 370 Coupe

Presentation
Benny Martinsson Nord West has been clever with their designs, and the 370 hull shape available in four model types all suited to different usages is full proof to this. Launched in 2008 first quarter, the Nord West 370 Coupe was the second type model to be presented in this series. But the goods does not stop here as the 370 as all the types in this series is also available with different type of propulsion choice of stern drives, and IPS pods. This last has given Nord West acclaims from all categories receiving awards as one of the best performing IPS hulls. While the terminology in the super structure of the 370 changes dramatically the lower and main deck styles between the Flybridge, Coupe, and the Sport, Sports Top models also deliver huge differences. The 370 Coupe we review is a Sport Cruiser having the comfort of a flybridge without a second helm. That means that the living is on the main deck, and sleeping quarters are located below. This makes the 370 Coupe an all season boat with patio easy to close or open door sport cruiser, a trend which started in bigger yacht sizes and as happens today it is transferred to smaller models. Think as the 370 Coupe with all the Flybridge model features adding benefits of lower air draft and a large electrically operated sunroof over the saloon, at the cost of the flybridge deck and second helm station up top.
Accommodation
If your usage is committed to all year round a hard top patio door type sport cruiser should be on top of your cards. The benefits are endless and Nord West 370 Coupe delivers the best of them, with a clever and practical living up, and sleeping below layout.
The 370 Coupe welcomes you on board with its large extended bathing platform. Two steps up and the opening of the integrated stern door gets you in the aft cockpit deck. Here you find an L-shaped settee with table to port. Two steps to starboard take you to the side walks which lead to the fore deck. A sun awning can also protect the aft deck from sunshine and further side extensions can transform it to an additional all weather living area. A sliding patio door gets you in the living main saloon having a C-shaped dinette with table to port, galley and helm station to starboard. This area is also space for intelligent touches as the co-pilot seat which transforms from the fore part of the C-shaped dinette, and the fridge freezer hidden under the helm chair. The 370 Coupe is also about choices in the galley and one can decide between a classy electric or more practical easy to use gas hob. Adding to this area liveliness are full around view windows, and an electric sunroof up top which opens a third of the roof for natural light and air.
A central stairs with three steps lead to the lower accommodation deck. Here the layout is a forward master stateroom with central island berth, shower head, and two guest cabins to mid ship. This last does make the 370 Coupe stand out again from the competition. The port cabin offers a large double berth, with a relaxing settee upon entrance. While the starboard cabin is a single berth. The well sized fully equipped head, with shower cubicle is located in between the master and guest cabins to starboard.
Finishing in the 370 Coupe is full of timeless wood touches of varnished mahogany inside, and untreated teak floor for all exterior from the bathing platform, aft cockpit, to the side decks. The aft hand rail is also finished in classy mahogany wood, adding to a unique touch of class. Performance
For the Nord West 370 Coupe, Benny Martinsson uses a variable Vee shape hull with a fine entry which closes to a moderate angle aft. This hull has been studied to perform well with both stern drive and IPS pods and is used for all four of the 370 series models. Engines choices are a total of three: Volvo D4 260hp, D4 300hp, and D6 370hp. Propulsion option are for two Volvo DPH stern drive, and the IPS forward looking dual propeller pods. The model tested featured IPS400 units with pods and Volvo D4 300hp engines. With this choice the 370 Coupe achieves a 32 knots top speed at 3500 rpm, and at 3250 rpm it delivers a 28 knots cruise. This cruise also delivers the best economy giving a range of 247 nautical miles drinking 96 liters per hour. This again shows the Nord West 370 hull efficiency on these speeds delivering very good performance and consumption results. So far we have no figures for the stern drive propulsion but I would expect a similar performance to other Nord West 370 versions with minor difference. That means that the large 370hp DPH stern drive option should be good for close to 40 knots top speeds, which is what the sister Sports Top achieves with this set up. Personally for the 370 Coupe I still suggest the IPS400 as engine propulsion choice, mostly because of the wind effect for the main deck. In the end the IPS still delivers a lively handling just short of a stern drive set up, and easy precise tight space manoeuvring.
Positive
Living area on main deck
Three cabins
Propulsion choice
Finishing and fittings
Negative
Tight side decks
Competition
An expanding market, this how Sport Cruisers with patio door has been in the past years and I am sure it will be more so in the future. In the past 2009 year the market has seen the addition of four new models, and I would think more builders will join in this type of design for its practicality reasons. Some of the competition below just like the Nord West, feature also a flybridge counterpart like Azimut, Galeon, Intermare, Nimbus and Portofino. While other models are primarily Sport Yachts exclusive like the 2009 launched Colombo, or the recently updated Riviera. Criteria is set for eleven to twelve metres sport cruiser, all propulsion types, and patio door.
Azimut 40S - small S, shafts, galley down, large 2 x 480hp
Colombo 37 Alldays - IPS only, 3 berths mid cabin, classy wood finishing outside
Galeon 390 HT - stern drive, shafts, or IPS, large split level saloon, 3 cabins 2 heads
Intermare 36 Cruise - galley down, bunk second cabin, shafts
Nimbus 380 Coupe - galley up, line shaft, double mid ship cabin
Portofino 11 Coupe - IPS pods, bunk second cabin
Riviera 3600 Sport Yacht SII - three berths mid ship cabin, IPS, clever patio door
WILD CARD: Di Donna 38 Serapo Cabin - tradition modern, 2 saloons, IPS or shafts
Conclusion
Very few if any builders offer such a varied choice with one hull shape, and this is what Nord West manages to do with the 370 platform. The Coupe version is one of their most fitting and unique designs, offering not only a patio door but also a much preferred living up sleeping below layout. That means that the day running is all fit on the main deck with the galley, helm, dining, and cockpit, while sleeping is located undisturbed in the three cabins below. Performance is also top notch for the 370 Coupe with the IPS400 choice delivering good thirty knots plus speeds with economy. Still if high performance is your thing and close to forty knots performance are a must you can still choose the twin 370hp stern drive option. Last deal breaker for the 370 Coupe goes for its practical touches like the double co-pilot seat which takes shape from the dinette, and the large freezer hidden under the helm chair. The 370 Coupe keeps also Nord West heritage of excellence from classy fit and finish in all areas, to sound proofing, and work of art electrical and plumping systems.
Technical Data
LOA. 11.80 metres (38.7ft)
Hull Length. 10.4 metres
Waterline length. 9.10 metres
Beam. 3.50 metres
Draft. 1.20 metres
Displacement. 9 tons
Fuel Capacity. 800 litres
Water Capacity. 435 litres
Max Persons. 8
Accommodation. 5 + 2 berths
Engines. 2 x Volvo D4 260hp, D4 300hp
Propulsion. Volvo DP stern drive, Volvo IPS400
Speed. 32 knots max, 28 knots cruise with IPS400
Range. 240 nm at 28 knots cruise
Hull Shape. planning Vee hull
Project. Benny Martinsson, JIB Design for tooling
Construction. NGA Gel coat, vinylester resin, sandwich Divinycell core, cross laminate fabric
Certification. CE B
Picture Copyright Nord West. Data Nord West.