Join Date: Aug 2008
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My Nomad Review
Here's my unprofessional take on the Nomad.
I have owned one for nearly four years. I don't go sailing as often as I'd like, but when I do, I don't want complications as I'm usually sailing solo.
I find the Nomad to be perfect for my situation. I was out today in 10-15 kts of wind on Lake Washington. I thought I'd only use the main for starters as I didn't want to be overpowered. While beating north the boat handled very well. It tracks beautifully with little to no weather helm. As far as how it handles waves and chop, well, it slaps some of the waves, depending on the frequency and steepness of the boat that made them. It doesn't appear to be slowed down by them. It's a very dry boat. Only occasional bow spray, but on a day like today, the spray was welcome.
After twenty minutes of main only, I unfurled the jib and noticed an immediate increase in boat speed. The wind was strong enough that I had to luff the main to keep from burying the rail. I don't want to go over in this boat as I would not be able to right it. It will turtle fast, from what I've heard, but so far, I've not done that. There are sail floats available to keep it from turtling. I don't have them.
Since I mainly solo, I haven't flown the asym chute, yet. I plan on playing with the asym, soon. Right now, I just enjoy getting out on the lake and practicing the fundamentals of sailing. It's pure sailing enjoyment.
I now keep the boat at home on it's trailer. I had been storing it at a marina with a floating dock. But getting the Nomad (625 lbs. plus) up on the dock and pushing it in the water were back breakers for me. One plus about having it at the marina, was that it was rigged and ready to go. Now that I trailer it, I am spending a bit more time rigging it, but finding that I really don't mind it, that much. It's so much easier to launch/retrieve from the trailer. No more back stress.
Sailing solo is quite easy, though your hands are full, one hand on the main sheet, one on the tiller. Being able to douse/furl the jib with the pull of a line is worth the price of admission. I usually sail into and out of the launch area under just the jib. If I had crew with me, I'd probably raise the main at the launch dock and sail out with both sails flying. But single handling this boat, and hauling the main up the mast is a little bit of work.
I do have a 2.5 hp outboard but rarely bring it along. The Nomad does "sit down" in the stern. This was brought up in another review I read a while back. It's much better to sit as far forward as possible to lift the transom out of the water. Not having the 38lb. motor hanging on the stern is preferable. Side note; Lake Washington in the summer is notorious for squirrelly winds. Many times I've been becalmed and just had to wait it out for a puff to bring me home. That's when it would be nice to have brought the motor along.
Having an eight foot beam adds a lot of stability to the Nomad. But if you do go over, the boat is just as stable when it turtles. Vanguard's Owners Manual states that it takes about 450 lbs. of combined crew weight to right it. I don't plan on going over, but if it happens, I'd be in need of help, for sure.
I can happily say that I'm VERY satisfied with the Nomad. It's a fast boat that goes well in very light air and is really chomping at the bit for the use of the asym chute. It will plane, I found out. On a broad reach, main and jib only, I was planing and creating these big rollers in my wake!
Any other questions you may have about the Nomad please feel free to ask. I just found out that production of the Nomad has been discontinued. LaserPerformance is the new company that Vanguard has teamed up with. I've seen many Nomads listed for sale, most of them seem to have been sailed very little. I would think this is because it was a little more boat than most people wanted. The Nomad is no toy, it's a real performer and has a lot of nice features.