Looking back the three incredibly short years we’ve been boating, we’re amazed how little we knew “back then”, but I’m smart enough to know that in three year’s time I’ll look back to TODAY and say the same thing! Life is a journey of exploration and learning.
One of the things we learned pretty early on in boating was that our kids, grand-kids, friends, and work colleagues/associates where happy to go out with us on the boat, much more often than we thought would be the case. The NT40 is GREAT boat and PERFECT for two or three people over a weekend… but with 4, 5, or more she starts getting tight on space and privacy especially as the mid-stateroom really doesn’t work so well for a grown up couple, and that limited our ability to invite couples to spend a night or a weekend on board with us.
What we started to do when we had five or more guests with us was to rent a hotel or B&B room in the port(s) we were visiting and three or four of us would stay on the boat while the others took the hotel room on shore. It was a fine arrangement, but just took some coordination (and of course some “bucks”).
With Essex as our home port, we frequently visit Mystic, Watch Hill, Block Island, and even Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard). I don’t think there is a decent Vineyard Vines shirt or hoodie that is not hanging in my closet or in my dresser… ugh, it’s a problem! But honestly, it is trips to places like that and our desire to be able to share boating experiences with friends and family that are the foundation for our reasoning to want a larger boat. More guests means the need for a second private sleeping area AND HEAD as well as greater living space in general.
When the weather is nice we cruise from the fly bridge and the NT44’s “internal” stairway from the pilot house to the fly bridge deck is a huge convenience and a considerable safety improvement. Underway in the NT40 going from the fly bridge back downstairs means climbing down a ladder (underway) and disappearing from the skipper’s sight line. In our case, we got into the habit of throttling back in order to watch whoever was going down to make sure no one slipped or had a problem. Coming back UP to the fly bridge, especially trying to do that with a plate of nachos or sandwiches and drinks was yet another challenge! It ISN’T really a problem, we mastered it immediately, but again, it is a safety consideration (one of dozens) you have to take into account with that particular boat/situation. BTW, I DON’T want to discourage anyone from the NT40 fly bridge – it really is a GREAT boat with a great configuration!
That said, however, with more sleeping options, the ability to invite more guests overnight, more living space in general, a great galley setup, very accommodating pilot house, great access up and down to the fly bridge, and a more stable (heavier) boat, the NT44 seemed just right for us. Given the significant financial commitment, however, it took us a while before we actually put pen to paper and ordered the boat in April 2019. What is it they say? “The happiest day of your life…?” At MSRP it’s also one of the scariest days!
So, those are our reasons for upgrading from an NT40 to an NT44. If you have any comments or questions or want to share the reasons for YOUR last upgrade (or down size), just click the “Leave a reply” button below! Happy boating!