Advantages to owning a Nor'Sea 27 vary - as with any boat - in how you plan to use the boat.
Will you be a tinkerer like many owners who may not sail much, but who enjoy making a great looking boat look it's very best?
Will you sail primarily in your local area mainly on weekends or less frequently even than that?
Do you own property where a boat and trailer can be stored?
Will you be hauling the boat to destinations and sailing for a considerable time, requiring you to pay for trailer storage until your return?
Do you appreciate the possibility of avoiding marina and yard costs when the boat can be stored, bottom paint
renewed, through hulls installed or removed and cutlass bearings replaced for free on a trailer?
If you answer yes to any of the questions above owning a Nor'Sea 27 may fit the bill., even if there may be occasions when paying for the trailer's storage is required.
BUT, otherwise, it will be necessary to consider other equally or more important variables when deciding on any boat.
Will you require space for two or more souls aboard on anything other than boat use over relatively short periods of time?
Will you be sailing offshore
on passages lasting more than a day or two at a time?
How you answer the last two questions determines how seriously you need to consider:
Since both the Nor'Sea27 and Bristol Channel Cutter can be considered seaworthy
, I'd feel comfortable taking either of them offshore
over long distances .
Due to the Bristol's longer water
length, you should theoretically attain better speed than the NorSea 27's 23.5' WLL. However, weight distribution and sailplan can influence this variable considerably. My experience sailing with a pretty consevative sail plan (one reef in/working jib) is my Nor'Sea averages about 3.5 - 4 knots on most passages and includes time hove-to. In 20+ knots of wind
she'll sometimes attain +-6 knots. But, even then this is typically under ideal conditions, off the wind
with moderate seas. But then she's heavily laden for offshore passagemaking too.
Considering the Nor'Sea's relatively small size, her carrying and stowage capacity is excellent. My biggest complaint is an absence of drawers and convenient storage for clothes.
This is a hard one. Comfort on any boat underway depends on the boat design and conditions. Since my experience is limited to the Nor'Sea 27, I can only say after sailing her nearly twice around the world that discomfort would not be a primary consideration among possible complaints. Fatigue, immigration hassles, increasing fees
, the changing rules affecting boat use and anchoring
are more significant. The Nor'Sea's narrow beam contributes to safety
in rough conditions, since, how far are you going to travel when launched by an unexpected large wave? Not far.
Level of care required?
The Bristol has more wood, but needn't be a concern if you can neglect the wood like I do with a clear conscience. Otherwise, their both BOATS. And the level of care required between boats is pretty much the same - except in the case of boats with more wood.
Aft Cabin (Nor'Sea) vs Aft Cockpit (BCC)?
Hands down. Center cockpit
. But then, that's what I own and since the aft-cabin in my usage is a 'garage', unlike some owners who take great pains in maintaining the space for 'habitation'. Quite frankly, I don't see how some couples I've met on the cruising circuit manage this and still have space for the other 'stuff'...
There's nothing about my Nor'Sea's interior size that 'invites' me to just hang out there. Much prefer the roomy cockpit when weather
permits. Otherwise, I'll hang out in my Starbucks office...
No matter the boat this depends on YOU. I've lived continuously on my Nor'Sea 27 about 23 years now, spanning two 4.5 year voyages approximating the circumference of our earth. Northwest U.S. to San Diego
and beyond. Wouldn't change a thing.