Some Endorsements

I saw your email address on the Great Harbour website. I currently live in Fairbanks, Alaska but have a 32 foot Nordic Tug located in Valdez, Alaska.  I'd love to spend all my time on that tug, but of course, I have to make a living.  We've gotten pretty good at catching the salmon and the shrimp, anyway.  Prince William Sound is a wonderful place to explore.  Even after the oil spill...
I'm wondering how you like your Great Harbour? Our Nordic Tug is wonderful for 4 people, but we often have 6-8 with us. Much too crowded, but still a good time. I don't think the vessel space is used particularly well and would like to find a bigger, more stable boat. I'd like to have more space in the pilot house as well as a lounge to relax, play cards, etc.   It would be nice to berth more than 4 withoutusing the floor.

Have you found your boat to be stable in rough seas? Would you recommend it for Alaska? I'd love to hear your thoughts,

Interested in Fairbanks, Alaska

Here is Terry Smith’s unedited reply:

Dear Interested,

We love our GH. We cruised the (then) new boat from near Jacksonville, FL back to our homeport in Houston, TX in August 1999.  Had to skirt Hurricane Brett which gave us, in addition to a scare, 6-foot beam swells for 24 hours ... not fun but the boat never faltered even with rolls as great as 30-deg.  We took no unusual precautions for stowage (e.g., no pillows stuffed in galley cabinets, no locker doors "locked," no refrigerator strapped shut, etc. like our Kady-Krogen friends have to do), and can report the only sign of the storm's passing was that two bottles of salad dressing toppled in the refrigerator ... not broken, just fell over!

We lived aboard full-time for four years prior to retirement May 1, 2003.  May 2nd we left Galveston, TX and arrived in Chesapeake Bay on June 30 ... the trip included six days offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, 40% lay days, and the rest was in the ICW. Two of the offshore days were beautiful; four were rough days with 4-6-ft seas (ugh).
We have often slept six adults aboard; never a problem. A 7th person would be very comfortable in the full-time pilot berth.  In fact, it's a favorite nap spot for several of our guests.

The pilothouse is a joy underway ... plenty of room to relax, great chart tables (2), excellent 360-deg visibility.  If we have any anxiety about an anchorage, the pilot house settee converts to a double, and we spend the night there ... ready to take action if necessary.

When in port, we expected to use the pilot house regularly.  To our surprise, we don't because there's so much space elsewhere in the boat. So when we get underway, it's like discovering another room / compartment. Neat.

I've never been to Alaska, so I'm not familiar with your weather / sea conditons.  Certainly I'd want Mirage to install a good diesel heater ... they have experience with that ... the first GH-37 was delivered to a lawyer on the Great Lakes (Michigan?) who used it as a year-round law office & vacation cruiser. I'd work with Mirage to consider insulation and venting options, too, for your climate.  The pilot house would be a natural for your environment ... as it is for ours.

Terry Smith
M/V Fiddler's Green
Great Harbour 37C
Cruising the Chesapeake

Read More about the Smith’s current cruising.
Email Terry Smith

Skipper Bob Endorses MirageTrawlers

From a Trawlers and Trawlering debate on singe versus twin-engines

Robert Reib: I was just reminded that not all twin engine boats are the same.  Onemanufacturer has taken the time to address two of the problems with most two engine boats. The manufacturers of Mirage trawlers provide a couple of boats with what I consider an acceptable twin-engine design.

First they have installed small twin engines. The Great Harbour 37 comes with two 56 HP diesel engines. Not excessive power for a boat that size.

Further both propellers are protected by a skeg and recessed above the hull bottom. Excellent features to provide good protection for your props.

So a twin engine boat can make as much sense as a single engine if properly designed.  If you are interested in this type of boat look at (their website).

I have no affiliation with Mirage boats and receive no monies from them. I just tell it like it is and I like their design.


Skipper Bob Publications

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