Yesterday we signed the papers to take ownership of Étude. So we’re done, right? Hop aboard, cast off, and away we go.

Not so fast.

Once the Nordic Tug factory completes sea trials, a boat gets passed on to the dealer. If the dealer is a good one, and Seattle Yachts appears to be one, they do their own very detailed inspection looking for both operational and cosmetic flaws. Then some combination of factory and dealer employees make everything right.

When we were aboard yesterday, the list was small but growing. It is not in our interest to rush the inspection process. We want the dealer to find everything there is to be found because this is our best shot at getting things fixed.

So, once the listed items are taken care of, we’re done, right?

Not so fast.

We need to have the structure that carries the dinghy, called the davit, installed. That takes more time, how much I’m not sure, but I’m hoping for only a day or two.

We also need to have Étude’s name and home port displayed on the transom and forward sides of the bow. Lettering used to be artfully hand painted, but it’s usually adhesive plastic letters these days. That will happen once we have the boat in our slip.

Finally, we need a unique number, kind of like a phone number or IP address, called a MMSI. This number must be programmed into various instruments in the pilothouse. Getting an MMSI requires our “Documented Vessel” number, which will be issued by the Coast Guard. In about a month.

But — we have papers that will allow us to use the boat in the meantime, although crossing the boarder into Canada seems problematic. Guess it’s the San Juans for us this year. And only that after we load and store all the gear we off-loaded from Impromptu a year ago.

But enough talk, let’s take a tour of Étude…

You are looking at the large hatch in the master berth and the smaller one in the guest berth.

The pilothouse also has a hatch. These are for light and ventilation.

The upper deck is where most socializing will occur. In the background are the stairs leading to the cockpit.

Just aft of the stairs is a hot and cold water shower. Good for washing off salt and muck after swimming or going ashore.

The Nordic 40 is the only model in the line that offers the option of a sliding rear door. Besides improving visibility for the captain, it allows the inclusion of a flip-up table for entertaining. Imagine this one filled with snacks and margaritas!

This is what I was waiting to see. We picked the green upholstery from a small sample in the hope that it would go well with the wood and carpet. We are very happy with the result.

The settee converts into a double bed. The table is adjustable for height and has pull-out extensions at both ends.

This is where our barrel chair will go. Note the black reading light just aft of the settee.

At first I thought they had mounted the TV crooked. But this is a great example of why building a boat is hard. The TV is mounted precisely parallel to the sole (that’s the “floor”, remember?). The box and lid are square relative to the surfaces they are mounted on.

A reading light for the settee and the thermostat for the saloon/galley. Each berth has its own control.

A good view of all of the controls and displays spread across the “canoe”.

The flat surface holds the bow and stern thruster controls, the spotlight control and the throttle. Besides the two large chart plotters are the engine management display/control and the autopilot control.

Below the helm behind the dark doors are the DC circuit breakers.

The AC circuit breakers are behind the dark doors. Note the two small drawers.

Something we’ve never had before, opening side windows in the pilothouse. This will be much appreciated on hot days.

Steps lead down to the berths and head.

The guest berth – already in use as a staging area. Note the plastic box full of reading materials covering everything from the Cummins diesel to the sewage pump.

To review…


  1. Thanks for this detailed update. What an exciting time for you both. Sad Canada can not be in your travel plans..hopefully before YPL?
    Bon Voyage

  2. Hi, Steve and Mary Anne – wow! Congrats on taking possession of such an impressive vessel – here’s wishing you the best possible results in the sea trials and the smoothest transit through the remaining bureaucratic hoops.
    Welcome back to Canada, Etude & friends!
    Don Gardiner

  3. I am so very happy for you two, “Etude” is an amazing vessel and I’m sure will have wonderful experiences with her.

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