The Ship

Home Free is a Nordhavn 47 produced by Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) in 2006 and delivered in 2007.  We are the second owner of the boat having purchased her in August of 2017 in Corfu, Greece.

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Some readers have asked for more pictures of the boat.  A few are placed here for those that want to know more.  Further details may be added over time about the boat and her systems.

When we went looking for the boat we had a few, very important criteria.

  • Safety:  First on the list was safety underway.  The quality and toughness of her build, along with the multitude of safety systems and redundant systems aboard Home Free mean that she is almost certainly one of the safest boats in her class, on the water.
  • Live Aboard:  The second criteria was live aboard comfort and that comprised three primary considerations.   A galley (kitchen) that allowed us to function like we lived in a home (the plan is to live aboard and preparing food aboard keeps costs down); a master bed that was full size and could be walked around.   As we age, crawling into bunks seems less fun; heat and air conditioning that make the boat comfortable; a shower large enough and with enough hot water to use on a daily basis.   Also in here is the need for access to AC power, but given the other criteria, this is a given!
  • Guests: With two kids, extended family and a friend or two, the need to house guests was also important, so a guest cabin was a requirement.
  • Outdoor space: Finally, the boat had to have a flybridge (that’s the upper deck/pilot area).   This is more important in shallow waters such as the Caribbean (it makes it easier to see rocks in shallow water).  From a quality of life perspective, it is a great place to take in some sun, enjoy a drink and the frequent fantastic views.

Many other considerations came into play as well, such as the ability to cross an ocean, fuel efficiency and stabilization (The master of the boat gets sea sick a LOT).   The davit (also called a crane) that we use to launch the dinghy will save effort as we age, and stand up engine room (making maintenance significantly easier) is also a big bonus.  You can see some of these characteristics in the descriptions below.

The key areas of the boat include:

  1. Main Salon
  2. Galley
  3. Pilot house
  4. Master Stateroom
  5. Forward Stateroom
  6. Engine Room
  7. Flybridge

The main salon is in the rear of the boat, with entry from the rear and takes up the entire width of the super structure.  The seating is covered in beautiful, supple leather and the tables are nicely finished wood.   Not visible in the picture is a TV under the galley counter, and just ahead of the starboard seating is a ‘condo-size’ stacked washer/dryer.

Minky (22)
Salon – Starboard Side

This is the port side of the salon, note the table here.   The previous owner loved this table but we find it a bit annoying and may take it out, but both tables raise and lower, making it possible to position them to make TV watching easier or drinking an afternoon beverage easier.   Boats are full of compromises.

Minky (67)
Salon – Port Side

The Galley is just forward of the Salon and has all of the major components of your typical home.   For Jinhee this was a critical feature.  Being able to cook on the boat in ways similar to home is important to her (and I never complain when good food is prepared and served!!)

You can see in the picture that there is a single sink, right of the sink you can see a five burner gas stove, an electric oven, a microwave and a built-in fridge with double freezer.  On the left of the sink there is a dishwasher (not obvious, but to the left of the sink), a trash compactor (again, not obvious, but to the left of the sink and amidships of the dishwasher).  There is an additional freezer in the stairwell down to the cabins.

The pilothouse has a very comprehensive design for passage making, and is one of the really attractive aspects of a Nordhavn.   These boats are built to go for a long time, but very slowly, and that means a lot of time in the pilothouse.

Of critical importance are the navigational components, and the pilothouse is well laid out to get the boat from point A to point B.  First here are the pictures:

Key components are the electrical panel on the right of the helm, two chart plotters directly ahead of the helm, an autopilot control to the left and a computer to the right.

It is difficult to see all of these components, but on either side of the helm are throttles for the main engine (RHS), the wing or backup engine (LHS).  As well on the LHS is the anchor control and on the RHS are the bow and stern thruster controls.

There are two fixed radios on board, one a VHF radio (which has a range of about 16nm) and an SSB radio which can transmit and receive from around the world.   We also have a handheld radio which is excellent for the dinghy or when moving about on deck.

Above the bridge windows there are a number of other controls, including speed and depth indicators, NAVTEX weather receiver, AIS transceiver (that’s how you find us on marinetraffic.com) and various other controls (engine controls and monitoring, bilge alarms, fire alarms, fuel monitoring, etc.)

The operation of the boat is not as complex as it looks, but it does require a lot of knowledge of different systems, discipline relating to watch keeping and maintenance of systems.   Much of the information needed comes from good digital monitoring systems and most of the systems will work for years without failure if maintained properly.

That means that while underway, about 80-90% of the time is spent doing nothing.   The other two photos provide an indication of the comfortable space provided to spend that time.   With a nice couch to sit and work on, a table to eat or put a computer, and all positioned at an appropriate height to see what is going on ahead without moving.

Behind that pilothouse bench is a berth, that can be used for the off-watch crew to grab a quick nap or even sleep through the night.   It is a cozy place to sleep and we have already used it (at alternating times) often during our passages.

The master stateroom is directly under the pilothouse (and just a little ahead of it), and is the spot on the boat with the least movement.   For those not familiar with boats, it is often more comfortable to be in the centre of the boat when things are rough, so this ‘least movement’ thing can be pretty meaningful, particularly on smaller yachts like Home Free.  It is very cozy, easy to keep warm and cool and very quiet when the engines are not humming.  Some pictures are below, although the polka dots are less prevalent now.   We still haven’t really put our own touch on the headboard (material pattern) yet, but this gives an indication at least.

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The forward stateroom is split into two rooms on some N47’s however given the probability that the boat would be carrying just two of us the majority of the time, the openness of the room was important.   With a bunk on the port side, a large desk and filing cabinet on the starboard side, along with a large head in the bow the space is well used.   It is an inviting space for use as an office when travelling alone, and a comfortable cabin for guests. (Scroll through the pictures below for some photos).

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Finally, the belly of the beast . . . the engine room can be accessed both from the lazarette and the master cabin.  The engine room provides stand up access for the main and comfortable access for the wing and generators.   It is well laid out with comprehensive systems such as fuel management (there are two main fuel tanks and two day tanks, along with comprehensive fuel scrubbing capabilities), oil management and other features.   Too much to mention here, but the importance of little things like great lighting only become clear when you are in the room and working.  Here are two photos.

Finally, the rear cockpit and upper decks provide comfortable space for viewing and enjoying the outdoors as well as storage for things like tender, bicycles and more.   When the weather improves more enlightening photos will be provided.

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