The Nor-Tech 500 Sport is a center-console that is also a yacht. It has the sharp lines of a multifaceted gem, and for a boater in the market for something in this class, our tests revealed nothing that would take away from its feature-benefit value proposition. In other words, put it on your boat-show must-see list.
Its carbon-fiber and Kevlar-reinforced triple-stepped hull proves solid and takes full advantage of five Mercury 450R outboards, achieving top speeds in the high 80s. That’s thanks to the partnership between Mercury Racing’s commitment to high-performance outboards and Nor-Tech’s decadeslong track record producing light, sturdy, high-performance hulls.
The Mercs are V-8s—supercharged to boost the massive output of the V-8 powerheads—and integrated digital throttle, shift and power steering reduces the work of managing them to pure fingertip pleasure. You could argue the vessel is not fuel-friendly, but considering the hull size, amenities, sleeping accommodations and sheer stadium seating, the economy is better than average. What’s more, Mercury’s cowling style is designed to easily color-match to the hull design thanks to color panels that can be customized for any of the color schemes available from Nor-Tech’s designers and paint shop.
Interior and Accessories
Usually, speed and exotic colors aren’t the first things a boater thinks of in reference to luxury, but Nor-Tech’s engineers put some posh twists into the boat that make it comfortable for skippers and their crews. A large center console is topped with a tempered-glass windshield that wraps around the console, ending in outward flares on each side that deflect the airstream generated by the speed of the Mercs away from the cockpit and aft seating. Wind dams open from the sides of the console, closing the space between the inwales and console. The result calms the air behind the helm seats, making 80 mph exciting and comfortable. For shade, the hardtop covers two rows of seating with a welded aluminum, smartly powder-coated superstructure bonded to stringers, the console and the hardtop in the most rigid manner possible. The superstructure is also designed to accept gyrostabilizers installed either at the factory or as an aftermarket addition.
Situational awareness at speed is enhanced with three large Garmin displays; the starboard (third one) is cleverly mounted in the sliding door to the spacious cabin below. A Mercury VesselView display above in the hardtop gives another look at engine systems and allows unique functions, like toggling between luxury quiet-exhaust settings or rumbling performance-exhaust settings that let the motors breath. Digital switching routes through the displays, but Nor-Tech provides tactile buttons for the most-used onboard systems, such as the horn, bilge, navigation lights and more. Systems integration includes audio as well, whether you choose a JL or Fusion system.
The helm itself is centered so the skipper can enjoy the company of crew, with custom bucket seats on each side. Spacing is ideal for performance handling, with bolsters that allow stand-up driving with a safe, comfortable reach to the wheel.
For refreshment, a cold plate cooler is positioned full-width in the skipper’s leaning post, and the second-row leaning-post seat has an identical cold plate cooler.
While luxury is the name of the game in the Nor-Tech, the boat’s style and vibe is all Miami Vice. The HCB Yachts Suenos ($2,600,000) offers a 53-footer that can go toe-to-toe in luxury with the 500 Sport, but it’s vibe is more Outer Banks, thanks to its tall stem and wide Carolina bow flare. The Suenos offers an extra foot of beam compared to the Nor-Tech and takes good advantage of it, providing teak-trimmed bucket seats at the helm, lounges forward, and plenty of cabin amenities belowdecks.
Nor-Tech’s comfort is not to be outclassed by another boatbuilder. Aft, a beam-to-beam lounge with back bolsters wraps over the transom. Forward seating wraps around the forepeak of the sole, and an extra-wide dual lounge is centered on the console’s front. Tap a button and a full-width footrest raises the comfort level.
The cabin below, inside the console, is airy and roomy with expansive portals. Tap a button, however, and these turn opaque, closing the cabin for privacy and leaving behind a soft, diffused light. A large berth, spacious head compartment and a seating area make for happy cruising.
The Nor-Tech 500 Sport is blistering-fast, with mouth-watering color schemes and a soothing style in amenities to make all riders content and the skipper proud to own it.
Read Next: 2022 Nor-Tech 392 Super Fish
How We Tested
- Engines: Five Mercury 450R
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Max 5 28.3″ x 15″
- Gear Ratio: 5.44:1 Fuel Load: 400 gal. Water on Board: 50 gal. Crew Weight: 500 lb.
- LED cabin blackout windows proved cool and practical.
- Chill plates in dual coolers eliminate the need to haul ice.
- Light carbon-fiber-reinforced hull makes the most out of Mercury horsepower.
- Though we believe a teak cabin sole suits a vessel of this caliber, Nor-Tech says no (but yes to performance).
- Full-beam aft couch eliminates a transom door, but gunwale doors are comparably convenient.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$1,500,000 (base with test power)|
|Draft (max):||3’0″ (engines down)|
|Displacement (approx.):||28,000 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||21 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||670 gal.|
|Available Power:||Mercury 450R or 600 outboards|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Nor-Tech Boats – Cape Coral, Florida; 239-567-5030; nor-techboats.com