Boat Test: 2004 Nordic Tugs Nordic Blazer

Boat Tested2004 Nordic Tugs Nordic Blazer
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Trawler
Manufacturer Nordic Tugs
Length16ft 6in / 5.03 m
Hey Martha, there's a sweet-looking boat down at the marina.""How much does it cost, Frank?"

"Well, Martha, a bit more than we talked about, but it's loaded with features, and big enough to handle five-foot waves!"

"Oh, Frank do we really need all that stuff? And when did you see waves higher than two feet on our lake?"

"But Martha…."

Conversations, discussions, debates just like Frank and Martha's take place all the time. Based on what we see in boating magazines,TV shows and most busy waterways around the country, there's a lot of money floating around. Sure, discretionary income has increased, and financing makes it possible to buy more expensive boats and motors, but sometimes it make sense to buy what you need, not what manufacturers, salespeople or ad agencies want to sell you.

Quebec-based Nordic Boats builds a fleet of boats sized and priced for smalllake boaters and newcomers to the boating lifestyle. Frank might find that this peppy performer is just the ticket.

Nordic's Blazer measures 15'9" long, 72" wide and weighs 790 lb. Powered by a Yamaha 75-hp four-stoke outboard, it has plenty of get-up-and-go for families with children who enjoy an assortment of watersports.And it's plenty fast for the average boater, including 16-year-olds itching to boat solo.

Attractive inside and out, the Blazer has clean lines and smooth gel work.Our test boat arrived with a dashboard free of clutter - simply two Yamaha digital instruments to read, a tach and a speedo. A Clarion M235 CD stereo was installed, along with basic thumb switches mounted to starboard.

I found the operator's seat quite comfortable, and while there isn't excess floor space in the aft cockpit, twin jump seats that straddle the motor have been positioned to maximize legroom. The windshield on the Blazer is nice and high, not raked back so far that you stare into its frame.

With boats under 18 feet, don't expect much space in the bow. Kids can sit there without difficulty, but for the average adult, there's room for only one pair of legs. Still, Nordic makes good use of the space, with appropriately sized storage compartments under seat pads and non-skid flooring just forward of the in-floor ski locker. Serviceable carpeting and coaming pads down each side of the cockpit add a touch of luxury.

The wind was blowing in the right direction for our test, allowing for calm near-shore runs and choppy mid-lake conditions. Nordic's Blazer is quick out of the hole, accelerating to 20 mph in 4.5 seconds, and to 30 in 6.6 seconds.While a 75-hp motor may struggle to pull large adults out of the water, it nevertheless has plenty of snap for kids on skis, wakeboards or tubes.

In calm water and at 35 mph, the Blazer carves a tight turn. In choppier conditions, you need to slow down a bit and keep the engine trimmed in.When driving flat-out into one-and-a-half-foot waves, the 10-degree deadrise hull isn't slicing through the water like an offshore boat with a 24-degree V, so it only makes sense to back off the throttle for a smoother ride.

Overall, I felt the 75-hp motor was a great match to this boat.While its maximum rated engine is 95 hp, the extra weight and power could change the balance slightly. Given the Blazer's 38-mph top-end speed, Nordic has put together a good all-around, fuel-efficient bowrider for its size.
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