Smooth Sailing for Nomad 65 yacht on Sydney to Gold Coast Cruise

Sales Executive Josh Cleaver of Australian Superyachts, Gulf Craft's Australian distributor, wrote about his experiences aboard a Nomad 65 yacht as it cruised to Sanctuary Cove, Queensland, and back again on the occasion of the Sanctury Cove Boat Show.

“Having read about the Nomad 65, I was intrigued to see if it would live up to the hype,” he says. “It’s been dubbed a ‘mini explorer’ and the ‘SUV of the sea’.”

The challenge pitted Gulf Craft against other world-leading yacht manufacturers. “We chose to do the trip differently to the other brokers exhibiting,” says Cleaver. “Most of them powered up the coast at around 20 knots and stopped overnight at various ports along the way, and had to fuel up multiple times. We had the pleasure of a continuous run, splitting six-hour shifts with two on, two off.”

Nomad-65,-Sanctuary-Cove (2).jpg Nomad 65 approaching the Sanctuary Cove marina

Adverse weather was no problem

Conditions worsened during the return journey, when the crew encountered a swell in the range of 2.5m to 3.5m (8ft, 2in to 11ft, 6in) throughout and south-east winds of 20 knots.

“The way back was interesting – we had to get out of the show as soon as possible to beat a low-pressure system heading up the coast,” says Cleaver. “Most of the other Sydney-based brokers didn’t leave until a week later, when it had all calmed down, but we were able to set off with a really pleasant initial 10 hours onboard of nearly no swell or wind.

“By maybe 3am on the first night this had changed rapidly and we were in winds of nearly 25 knots head-on, which was pushing the swell up. We planned to use the offshore current to speed up our run as we were going with it, but the further out we were, the bigger the swell.”

Despite the adverse weather, the Nomad 65 achieved a steady speed of about 12 knots on the outwards trip and 14 to 16 knots on its return. The fuel consumption was 34 US gallons per hour combined, with overall consumption approximately 1,215 US gallons, or 4,600 liters.

”We had wash going over the bow and spray well over the top of the flybridge every time we hit a big piece of rolling swell,” Cleaver says. “The boat, however, felt solid, stable and took the whole thing in its stride.”

The race was “much like the tortoise and the hare,” he adds. The Nomad 65 crew used one-third of the fuel of some of their competitors, yet still crossed the finish line before them. The yacht’s hydrodynamic hull glides through waves even when traveling against the tide.

“We found the movement of the hull with the waves very gentle in comparison to that of a sports yacht,” Cleaver observes. “There was no slamming or smashing into swell or chop it was a very gentle motion cutting through the water. The Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer worked wonders – there was little to no roll even when encountering side on side swells and wind.”

Captain Travis McCurry, who has more than 20,000 miles’ experience at sea, says: “The Nomad 65’s flared bow makes it arguably one of the best hull designs for its size in the market today. It is unbelievably smooth in a head-on sea.”

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A user-centered approach

The Nomad 65 turns yacht design inside-out. Functionality, usability and overall layout are central to the concept, which puts a premium on the passenger experience. Its main deck boasts numerous amenities, while its spacious lounge and dining area enables those aboard to interact with the captain as they sit back and relax on the waves.

“As many Australians take great pleasure in driving their own boats, this kind of social design means they are never segregated from the rest of the guests or their family onboard,” Cleaver adds. “If the weather were to worsen or their younger kids want to feel safe they can be right there with their parents, without being in the way.”

Every detail has been carefully curated. Even the decorative finish on the bedrooms’ walls incorporate protective padding which serves the dual purpose of muffling noise. Magnetic fastenings and hinges close doors, drawers and cupboards silently, preserving the peaceful atmosphere onboard the Nomad 65.

“It’s this level of attention to detail that makes the atmosphere onboard so tranquil,” says Cleaver. “Where most boats would be a zoo of noise, all one can hear onboard the Nomad is engines ticking along and a light swoosh as the stabilizer works its magic.”

 Cleaver’s verdict? “The Nomad 65 allowed the crew to sail away smoothly and effortlessly, regardless of the conditions that lay ahead, while most other dealers were battening down the hatches and waiting for the wind to blow over. It took on conditions most leading brands wouldn’t put their boats in and maintained a luxurious, stable and safe experience for all those onboard”.