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08-31-2014 08:20 AM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

I've moved up in boat size four times over my 40+ years of sailing. Current boat is a Cal 33 and it suits me and wife perfectly for us at this point in our lives. Small enough to easily daysail and large enough for comfortable longer cruises, even with guests.

That said, bigger is not always better. I was at anchor at Block Island this summer when a couple in a dinghy hailed us said they used to own a Cal 33. Sold it several years ago and bought a 48 footer and said they were sorry. Too much boat to easily handle by just the two of them.
08-30-2014 11:09 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20


You've got a truly solid pocket-cruiser in the Nordica...I'd find it hard to part with if I had one, even though I prefer a hull with a cut-away fore-foot. Truly enjoyed the one sail I made in a Nordica though. That being said a Flicka would be a wonderful choice if you decide to make an "up-bump" in size.

The issue with the outboard is a prevalent one in anything that size. The little Alacrity I had years ago was a bugger under aux-power into any kind of chop. My Electra, however, really cuts through the muck. If it wasn't for the considerable overhang on the stern there'd be no problems. I have considered modding her with an outboard well between the cockpit and transom but just can't bring myself to start the hack job, even though she'd be a lot more graceful aft without the outboard mount...
08-30-2014 02:38 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

If anyone is actually looking for Halman 20, there's one for sale at my marina, clicky
08-30-2014 01:20 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

With the recent post, I noticed a question was put to me which I never answered.

I still have the Nordica 20, just finishing my fourth season. I've invested a fair bit of time, effort and money: a new motor, mainsail, cushions, halyards and lazy jacks, replaced thru hulls & cockpit drains, new halyards run back to the cockpit, re-bedded all deck hardware and made some mods to the interior. At this point, she is a real pleasure to own.

Any thoughts of going bigger (or better--a Flicka might be a nice upgrade) are not driven by a compensatory mechanism, as was suggested, I assume tongue-in-cheek, but primarily by the idea of gaining cockpit and cabin space, making the boat a little closer to a cottage than a tent. These thoughts are, however, tempered by not wanting to lose any of the handling ease which I now enjoy. I'm single handed almost all the time, and am very comfortable handling her by myself, both on the water and at the dock. With both boat and motor tillers right at hand, she's more maneuverable in close quarters than a lot of the other boats I see.

I've been out in rough but not ferocious conditions. Despite the short length, the broad beam and low freeboard combined with full keel create a lot of stability. I sailed the first season with an old mainsail with no reef points; combined with my inexperience that made for a few hairy moments. Being able to reef removed any nagging fears about staying upright.

I tend to backwind the jib as a matter of course; the bow appreciates the extra shove, and I am not going to set any speed records for tacking (or anything else). I've yet to encounter the situation where I can't bring the bow around.

The biggest issue with weather is that even with an extra long shaft and a new motor mount the prop comes out of the water pretty easily when motoring against chop. If I were forced to motor any distance in unfavourable conditions it would be a tough slog. I think this is common to most outboards hung off the transom, but it's probably worse with a double ender. I know the best solution is an inboard, but that has its own drawbacks. I wonder about outboard wells, though I understand they create drag.

I get a lot of compliments on the Nordica from those who appreciate the salty stance. She is built like a tank and willing to withstand a lot from the captain and the weather.
08-30-2014 01:07 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

That is one salty 20 footer, I love it ! NORDICA 20 sailboat specifications and details on
Can you stand up down below ? Our first boat was a O'Day 23 we would still probably have it except we could not stand up below . That wasn't a big deal for a weekend , but a week or two at Catalina Island and we were hurting .
08-30-2014 10:59 AM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Originally Posted by smallboatlover View Post
yes bigger is always always always better
I've on 33 and 27 foot sail boats ,but when I look back the happiest I ever was on a boat was when I was on a 20 ft heavy weather boat , she could handle 50 knts +. With bigger comes bigger worries bigger costs. There are two boats I'm looking at for ME , a halman 20 and a Tanzer 7.5 (24) , but now my finds them to small for her and the dog.

11-17-2013 08:44 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

For us it wasn't so much we wanted bigger . It was we wanted to stand up when below.
11-17-2013 08:33 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20


Did you go bigger or do you still have your Nordica? Do you know what AncientTech was referring to when he commented about his friend having to get used to how a Nordica 20 handled in foul weather? Can you point and tack very well when heading windward into chop or do you have to jibe? That is the problem I had with the boat I just sold, a Crealock 23 ft Clipper Marine with a twin keel draft of 2'4" (Log in). But with its flat bottom, downwind it was a speed demon.

Any info you can provide on how a Nordica handles, in all kinds of conditions, is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
11-17-2013 08:08 PM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

AncientTech, you said your friend with the Nordica 20 had to get used to how it handled in foul weather. What did you mean by this? I have heard that Halman 20s don't have a deep enough draft to head upwind and tack in a chop of over3 feet and have to be gybed. Is this the problem your friend has? I thought Nordicas had more draft and were better upwind and in heavier seas. Please let me know what you meant.

12-13-2012 09:42 AM
Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Bigger is almost NEVER better, unless "bigger" is merely a consequence of something else that you want and/or need.

That is, need standing headroom for a 6-footer? Hard to find that in a 20-foot boat, so you need to go bigger. Need three staterooms? Hard to find that in a 25-foot boat, so you need to go bigger.

But bigger just because you want bigger? Then the 1970s pop-psychologist in me says that you're probably just trying to compensate for your other short-comings (if you know what I mean).
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