Norseboat 21.5

The salty-looking gaff-rigged Norseboat 21.5 is just about the last boat you’d expect to see sailing against the shiny glass and steel backdrop of downtown Miami—which may explain why the beautiful people roaring by in their megayachts couldn’t seem to keep their eyes off us. I swear they looked more than a little envious. The 21.5 is the third in the Norseboat series,
Author:
Updated:
Original:
nb.1



The salty-looking gaff-rigged Norseboat 21.5 is just about the last boat you’d expect to see sailing against the shiny glass and steel backdrop of downtown Miami—which may explain why the beautiful people roaring by in their megayachts couldn’t seem to keep their eyes off us. I swear they looked more than a little envious.

The 21.5 is the third in the Norseboat series, following the 17.5 Cruiser and the 12.5 Cruiser/Tender. Jointly designed by Norseboat president Kevin Jeffrey and Mark Fitzgerald, a veteran of the Chuck Paine Yacht Design office, the 21.5 is a pocket cruiser with shoal draft and limited rowing capability. Like the 17.5, which has successfully completed a number of long-distance voyages—including a double-handed transit of the fabled Northwest Passage—she’s a sturdy little boat that is easily trailerable.

The hull is fiberglass, and the deck is fiberglass with a wood core. (All-wood construction is also available upon request.) On deck there is just enough wood trim, to give the boat plenty of warmth. This is further enhanced by the judicious use of off-white nonskid on the cockpit sole and side decks. The result is a boat that is absolutely gorgeous.

nb2

Although inspired by beach skiffs employed by fisherman along the New Jersey shore in the 1800s, Norseboats are very much a product of the 21st century. Masts, stepped on tabernacles for easy trailering, are carbon fiber. So are the booms. Below the waterline, a foil-shaped keel stub on the 21.5 houses a centerboard for sailing to windward. Also below the waterline, the molded-in lapstrake gives way to a smooth finish to minimize wetted surface area. The gaff rig may look old-fashioned, but the mainsail carries full battens and batten slides in the interest of sail shape and easy handling. An optional drifter flies off the end of the bowsprit on a Harken furler.

Conditions were challenging during our test sail due to a fluky late-afternoon breeze and a seemingly endless procession of powerboats going by. Nonetheless, the 21.5 bravely did her best. Her motion was stable and forgiving in the chop, and she handled even the most tsunami-like powerboat wakes with aplomb. Whenever the wind did pick up, she promptly lifted up her skirts and took off like a racehorse. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t crazy about that drifter. It seemed out of place with the boat’s overall aesthetic. But seeing how the 21.5 took off with the sail unfurled, I quickly became a believer.

The accommodations belowdecks are snug, but well organized. Forward there is a V-berth to either side of the mast compression post. Twin quarterberths on either side of the companionway reach under the cockpit benches and provide plenty of legroom. There is a small foldout table, and the optional Porta-Potti and one-burner stove/galley are mounted on sliding trays that retract under the companionway when not in use.

It’s not the kind of place you want to be if the crew doesn’t get along. But I can imagine no better place to while away the hours, trading yarns and sipping single-malt with a good friend or two on a chilly, drizzly evening. For those interested in daysailing exclusively, an “Open” version with a small cuddy is also available.

nb.3

BERTHS 6ft 8in x 6ft (fwd); 6ft x 2ft (aft)

LOA 21ft 8in // LWL 19ft 7in // BEAM 7ft 1in

DRAFT 1ft 6in (board up); 4ft 4in (board down)

DISPLACEMENT 1,280lb (light ship)

BALLAST 275lb //CAPACITY 2,458lb

SAIL AREA 197ft2 (main and jib)

DESIGNERS Kevin Jeffrey/Mark Fitzgerald

BUILDER NorseBoat Limited, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 902-659-2790, norseboat.com.

PRICE $37,490 (base, including trailer)

Ballast Ratio: 21

Sail Area-Displacement Ratio: 26

Displacement-Length Ratio: 115

Performance: 5

Related

210115-AC36

Prada Cup: Brits Take First Two Races

Who saw that coming? After getting skunked in December, INEOS Team UK has swept the first two races in the Prada Cup elimination series of the 36th America’s Cup  Racing took place on racecourse “C,” sheltered between Auckland’s North Head and Bastion Point to take advantage of ...read more

ac-2048x

Hutchinson: 36th America’s Cup will be a Close On

On the eve of the Prada Cup challenger series, the official start of the 36th America’s Cup, New York Yacht Club American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says it’s anyone’s game. "As we've seen in the last week, everyone's gotten faster," said Hutchinson said at the event’s ...read more

Episode1_Thumbnail4_00000_00000_00000_00000

Sailing Docuseries Released Online

Endless Media's Reaching Reality is the story of three friends, a 24-foot sailboat and 1,200 miles. With candor and humor, this series proves that you don't need to be an expert or a millionaire to cast off on the journey of a lifetime. Produced by Emmy-award winner Barry ...read more

01-LEAD-nder-sail-3

Prepping for a Transatlantic

Growing up on the coast of northern England, I dreamed about crossing oceans on my own boat. Like most of us, though, education, a family and a career took precedence, and before I knew it, we had mortgages, young children and endless work obligations. We also became landlocked, ...read more

210111-Vendee

Vendée Update: Josche Forced to Abandon

A week ago, the canting keel on Isabelle Jocshe's IMOCA 60, MACSF, failed. She managed a jury rig with a replacement ram, which held the keel centerline and allowed her to keep sailing, but with a major hit to her speed potential. Jocshe had been in 8th at the time and remained ...read more

rudder

Vendee Update: Emergency Rudder Replacement

A devastated Hare talks about the breakage Pip Hare (Medallia) is back in the game after an emergency rudder repair deep in the Southern Ocean. “Every part of my body aches. I have bloody knuckles on every finger, bruises all down my legs and muscles I didn't know I had that ...read more

Oracle-RBYACFEVD3_2870

PRADA Cup Pairings Announced

The schedule for the PRADA Cup has been revealed as a multitiered extravaganza featuring over a month of racing, stretching from January 15 through February 22. First, the three teams—American Magic, INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli—will face off in a 12-race, six-day ...read more

01-LEAD-Opener-ETNZ1_-106_silo

The 36th America's Cup

A Superbowl is a Superbowl, and a World Series is a World Series. Sure, the names of the players and the teams change from year-to-year, but otherwise, the game pretty much remains the same. Not so the America’s Cup. Still, in many ways a hot mess left over from the days of Queen ...read more