Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
whatmakesitanauticat

By the end of 2011 Nauticat Yachts will have built almost 2900 Nauticats, the first Nauticat being delivered in 1966. In this leaflet we will briefly go through some of the main philosophies behind the Nauticats.

Nauticat Yachts is a family owned company and since the start exports has played a very important role for the success of the company. We consider ourselves the pioneers at building traditional motorsailers and pilothouse sailing yachts. The yard was founded in the year 1961, and since the first Nauticat 33 was delivered in 1966 we are in 2011 proudly celebrating the 45:th year as builder of the Nauticat range of traditional motorsailers and pilothouse sailing yachts.

We build yachts on which you and your family can feel safe, enjoy no matter where and when you are out at sea cruising with your Nauticat. We are constantly improving and make modifications needed on our current fleet of yachts but we have still been faithful to the original idea of building yachts with a pilothouse. A Nauticat is synonymous with legendary seaworthiness, toughness, durable designs, easy handling and comfortable sailing, an unbeatable combination of performance both under sail and power, highly admired quality of build and attention to detail, a pilothouse offering possibility for shelter, 360 degrees view and manoeuverability from inside.

When choosing a Nauticat you have the possibility of personalizing your new yacht to an extent not seen at other yards or in yachts of similar size. We have an in-house design team and our crew are encouraged to fulfill your dreams. Since all work is carried out at the yard in Riihikoski we can be very flexible in the building process. We are also aware of the fact that individualizing of the yachts needs on the spot discussions and that's why most of our clients visit us several times during the building process. First the boat only exists on a piece of paper or on a computer screen, but step by step the dream comes true!

CONSTRUCTION

A Nauticat is laminated by hand, the hull and deck are made in single-skin laminate with unidirectional and multiaxial fibers to secure a strong laminate. The NGA gelcoat is brushed by hand on the hull- and deckmolds. The waterlines and sheerstrake are painted in the mold with gelcoat. The single skin laminate, gelcoat brushed on the hull and deck together with the fact we deliver the Nauticats as standard with 3 layers of epoxy primer on the hull are important matters in order to prevent possible osmosis on the construction in future. Nauticats are not built by using sandwich or cored material in the deck or hull, which make the construction solid and makes it last beyond our lifetime. The first Nauticats from the 1960’s are still out there cruising all around the world.

HULL AND DECK

The deck and hull of a pilothouse sailing yacht Nauticat(321,351,37,385,42,515 and 525) are connected with bolts through the deck flange, hull flange and an aluminum toe rail. This joint is also glued. On the traditional motorsailers in our fleet(331,38 and 441), the flanges are hidden under a teak plank. The hull and deck are still bolted every 100mm and connected by glue. Both construction methods make the complete construction very solid and stiff. Once both the deck and hull have been laminated, they are connected, and the bulkheads, the bottom stiffening framework, the engine, the water and fuel tanks are installed at this early stage of the building process. All internal bulkheads are laminated both to the deck and the hull. All large flat plywood panels, walls for wardrobes etc. are also laminated both to the deck and hull when possible. This makes the boat very strong and on top of that quiet and smooth when sailing in rough sea.

The deck construction is designed with an anti-slip surface as standard or an additional traditional laid teak single skin deck which is both screwed and glued to the deck, and every single piece of the teak of 13 mm thickness is separately fitted on to the deck.

The keel of a Nauticat is cast out of lead with a small portion of antimony, with the exception of the long keeled Nauticat 441, where the keel weight is encapsulated. The lead keels are bonded to the mast offering lightning protection for the boat. The keel is fastened to the hull with bolts which are cast into the lead . On top of that the keels are fastened with flexible epoxy glue to the hull. A Nauticat is equipped with a very comprehensive longitudinal and transverse bottom stiffening system for the rig, keel and engine and generator loads. Large and heavy units like the fuel tanks are also supported by this framework.

RUDDER AND STEERING

The hull of a Nauticat is always equipped with a skeg in order to make the rudder construction safe and strong and less vulnerable if the rudder is hit by timber, containers, rocks, or coral reefs once out sailing. With a skeg the rudder and its shaft have two bearing points. One bearing point where the ruddershaft comes out of the hull, and the second point at the lower end of the skeg. This method insures that the loads on the shaft are minimized. The rudder is not foam filled. It is filled with a homogenous glass fiber and polyester mixture. Inside the rudder there is also stainless steel frame welded to the shaft. We use a hydraulic steering system onboard the Nauticats. A hydraulic steering is a very safe system but sometimes criticized for not supplying the helmsman with the feel of pressure from the rudder. On the pilothouse sailing yachts (321,351,37,385,42,515 and 525) we have invented a new way of using the hydraulics. The non-return valves are modified, which makes it possible for the helmsman to feel the rudder pressure when sailing. An electric valve is making it possible to steer the boat from the inside steering position or by using the autopilot. The hydraulic steering system used on both the pilothouse sailing yachts and the traditional motorsailers make it quite easy to install a safe and reliable autopilot system, which is one of the most common pieces of optional equipment installed on a Nauticat.

WOOD ON BOARD

The teak plywood we use is a very hard, birch based in plywood made in Finland by special order from us. Inside the boats we use a lot of laminated wood. Edges of bulkheads, handles and all curved plywood parts are done by laminating numerous thin pieces of teak veneer, often up to 21 layers of glued teak veneer. Laminated wood does not crack when the parts are exposed to different humidity conditions and can easily absorb heavy loads of accidental hits without cracking. These laminated parts are also very strong, again adding strength to the boat. We have hundreds of molds for different interior parts. We use farmed teak, the best wood for boatbuilding. Teak wood is hard and not hygroscopic as some other widely used timber.

ENGINES

The engines are mechanically injected marine diesel engines. We mainly use Yanmar engines. We want the engine to run without electricity and electronics even in the most harsh environments. You do not find a saildrive onboard a Nauticat. We only use drive lines with propeller shafts. The propeller shaft and gearbox are connected with a flexible coupling in order to minimize vibration caused by the running engine. The Nauticats are very often overpowered in terms of engine output in order to give the Nauticat excellent motoring capability when needed. The engines are electrically double insulated to get rid of corrosion. Pre fuel filters with waterbowls and emptying taps are installed. The propeller shaft through hull fitting is made in vinylester glass fiber to prevent corrosion. We use a traditional stuffing box for the propeller shaft for safety reasons. By using a stuffing box we prevent water getting in via the propeller shaft and this system never breaks down completely, but is on the contrary extremely reliable. The exhaust mixing chamber is a yard produced component, made in vinylester glass fiber, this to prevent corrosion caused by modern diesel fuels. The engines always have a separate starter battery and that battery can never run flat by mistake.

A Nauticat is designed for comfortable and safe cruising and the fuel tanks and capacity of water is already as standard suitable for extensive cruising. We use polyethylene fuel tanks where it is possible. All Nauticats have a pump system with which you can pump out dirt and water from the fuel tanks. The water tanks are also in polyethylene where possible. The black water tanks are made on the yard from a laminate with vinyl ester. No corrosion and no smell from that tank.

RIGGING

The rig is from a well known producer, Seldén Mast, who have been our main mast supplier since the 60s. The design of the rigging for Nauticat is always made with a high safety factor with the goal of giving the Nauticat the ability to cruise anywhere in any conditions. On the larger pilothouse sailing boats the mast is fitted through the deck, adding strength to the rig. We mainly use deck hardware from Harken. Harken also produces for us, by special request, winches which rotate counterclockwise. These winches are used on the port side of the Nauticat and by doing this we can avoid the foot blocks for the fore sail sheets. This makes the deck clean and safe. The hardware on deck is chosen with large working loads in mind. "A little bit bigger is better" clarifies the philosophy regarding deck gear. For the sails we use a well known world wide loft, the local North Sails loft. They share their knowledge between all the lofts around the globe to make better sails and they have service points all over the world.

At the yard we are often referring to a good principle we call K-I-S-S. "Keep it simple and safe". This means that we make operating the boat as logical as possible. We try to avoid complicated systems which could be difficult to use for the owner. The simpler the better. Another similar principle is used when we choose the different components for the boats. We fit widely known components for which you can find service and spares all over the world. We rely on Raymarine, Mastervolt, Jabsco, Yanmar and several others, all well known worldwide brands.

EVERYTHING DONE BY YARD

We are laminating the hulls and decks and all the other glass fiber parts needed for the Nauticat ourselves, and we are doing all the woodwork/carpentry in Riihikoski. We also have a well equipped metal workshop for the stainless steel parts like stanchions, bowsprits, bathing platforms and rails just to mention a few metal parts produced. Even the mattresses and other textile related items are made at the yard in Riihikoski. A boat which is laminated stays inside in our heated production halls during the whole building process until the boat is going to the test pool shortly before delivery, this ensures that the laminates are cured thoroughly and makes them strong and stiff. This is especially important when molding takes place during wintertime, since the cold would stop the curing process.

Every single completed Nauticat goes into a test pool before delivery and commissioning. Everything is tested. The rig is on, the sails are tested. The main engine and generators are run for at least 5 hours each. All other equipment is also tested and tried out. Air conditioning units, navigation electronics, electrics, ovens, cookers, toilets and TV-sets, you name it. It "rains" heavily through water nozzles on the boat during the nights in order to find possible leaks on deck or hull. Every boat stays in the test pool for at least 4 working days, and for at least so long as it takes to make sure that everything is working properly. At the test pool we have the most critical employees at our yard. They don´t let anything out of their hands before they trust it being the best boat they have seen so far. Every boat built at the yard has an extensive file of its own. All the different stages in the production are documented. From this file we can find all the data about every boat. We even file the templates for the mattresses and carpets for each yacht.

On the picture below you see some interesting points onboard a Nauticat.
Hover your mousepointer over the yellow circles.