Summer of 2020 former snowboard world champion Helene Olafsen approached us with a special request. She had an idea of building a boat which could transform back and forth between use-modes. Fully fledged wakesurf machine to family friendly cruiser by flicking a switch.
Living an active lifestyle, Helene is always on the lookout for the next adventure! The former athlet has an impressive record on snow, but enjoys action sports just as much at sea and on land. Being based out of Oslo, Norway one of the challenges with wakesurfing is the constant weather and waves making their way in the Oslofjord. Traditional wakesurf boats does not perform well in rough seas and are made to be used on more or less flat water - making them difficult to use in the Oslofjord. With this project we would open up a whole new world of possibilites for Helene and her family. Enabling them to roam the seas with a high performing hull capable of dealing with the waves, and at any given time have the ability to transform the boat into a fully kitted out wakesurf boat.
For a more in-depth introduction on the project, take a look at episode 1 of our mini-series on the custom build:
The idea was born and we started laying the foundation of the project. First and foremost we had to select one of our hulls as a base for the project. After talking to designer Espen Thorup it quickly dawned on us that the Enduro 805 would be a perfect fit for the build. It ticked all the boxes for a laid back day at sea for Helene and her family, in addition it had the size we needed to transform it into a wakesurf boat and the hull already had mounting points for a targa.
One of the first challenges we encountered, and maybe the most important one to solve was how to increase the size and adjust the shape of the wake. The hull of the Enduro 805 is originally designed with the intention of keeping the wake as small as possible, but now we needed it to behave in a completely different way - at the same time we could switch from one mode to another. After sitting down with Nordkapp-designer Espen Thorup, and Techincal Manager Truls Grøtvedt we got a few different options on the drawing board in terms of solving the wake-challenge. Quickly pointed out by Truls, one of the main factors in order to acheive this was weight. By adding weight we would be able to push the hull deeper in the sea, meaning we could displace more water resulting in a larger wake. Would this alone be enough to achieve the kind of wave Helene wanted? Follow along as we complete the inital test of the build in episode 2 of our mini series:
Having picked out a boat as a base for the project, Garmin and Mercury came on as partners for the build. They helped us select the best engine and equipment to ensure the performance and features of the boat would fully support its different use-cases. The choice of engine fell on the 6-cylinder Mercury Verado 400R - an engine giving us the perfect combination of high performance and efficiency in normal, everyday use and the power and torque needed for wakesurfing.
Garmin guided us through all the equipment-options available and gave us guidance on what we needed in order to spec it out for watersports. The targa is fitted with a rear-view camera. Whereas traditional wakesurf boats have a rear-view mirror we opted for a cleaner and more modern solution, allowing the person operating the boat to have a complete overview in all directions. In addition the targa is fitted with an auxiliary display which gives valueable data to people in the water such as speed and water temperature.
If you're interested in a full tour of all the equipment on the Helene x Nordkapp Enduro 805, check out episode 4 which is all about equipment:
Testing of our wave-making capabilities continued over a span of a few months. Our initial setup with an added weight of around 500kg and custom built trim flaps allowed us to create a useable wave, it was however extremely sensitive to external factors such as wind and waves. After testing around a dozen different combinations we realized it was simply too unstable. During test we gained a lot of valueable experience and gathered data we could use when moving forward, which is why we decided to mount a wave-maker on the side of the hull. When testing our inital setup we noticed a lot of water escaping through a gap under the swim platforming, making it bypass the custom built trim flaps we fitted. A side-mounted wavemaker would sort this issue as they would push the water outwards around the area we experienced the problem in. Our next few tests confirmed this idea and allowed us to create a more stable wave which could withstand external factors a lot better.
With the wavemaker fitted to the side of the hull and with three ballast tanks mounted under deck we recieved the thumbs up from Helene.
After months of drawing, manufacturing parts, meetings and testing, delivery day approached. Helene and her husband Jørgen would finally see the finished build for the first time at the Nordkapp Headquarters. Not knowing what to expect apart from having seen a few photos, you could feel the tension in the air when they arrived. Practically skipping their way over to the workshop, the gate slowly opened and revealed a Nordkapp unlike any other. The pure joy in their faces made all the hard work and countless hours worthwhile and it was a true pleasure seeing the excitement approaching the boat and noticing all the fine details. Getting a crash course in decal application, Helene applied the logo herself and we set out to the sea for the maiden voyage of the Helene x Nordkapp Enduro 805.
Having been put through its paces this summer, the custom build has passed every test with ease. Helene and her family has really pushed it through every different use case and we're proud of the finished product.
To watch all episodes of the mini-series of the custom build, follow the link under:
Check out Helene Olafsen and catch a glimpse of the custom build in use: