62 Flybridge — By George L. Petrie
— January 2004
|Caution: Buying from this builder could be habit-forming.|
Brand loyalty is intriguing. Whatever we’re buying, be it a car, a burger, coffee, or a doughnut, we can develop a fierce loyalty to our preferred marque. I pondered this in the wee hours of the morning, roaring past several highway rest areas in search of my chosen caffeine purveyor, en route to the Jersey Shore to put the Neptunus 62 through her paces. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was about to encounter a couple of owners with a remarkable obsession for a particular brand of yacht.
In outward appearance, the Neptunus 62 presents herself as a stylish, contemporary, white-hulled flying-bridge yacht that may be one of the more successful designs of the genre. Her proportions are nicely balanced, and her profile is pleasingly low, softly accented by the reverse-canted windscreen forward and punctuated by a tubular stainless steel railing aft. And I was pleased to see that her owner had opted to forgo the optional tender stowage on the flying bridge, which tends to give all but the largest yachts a top-heavy look. But I still had no clue this yacht was so addictive.
No clue, that is, until I met two of the folks who would be onboard with me during the test. The first was introduced as Lee, the owner’s captain, who offered that our test boat (Hull No. 1) was the owner’s fourth Neptunus and that the owner had already expressed interest in placing an order for Hull No.1 of a 72-foot Neptunus that is still in the early design stages. But even more interesting was the other gentleman onboard for the test, Tony. I was told that he had just placed an order for a Neptunus 62 (Hull No. 3) and was along for a sea trial that could make or break the deal. The 62 would be Tony’s second Neptunus. His first was a 56-footer that he bought just six months ago. What was it that made the whole Neptunus experience so attractive?
For both owners, a good relationship with the builder was an important factor. The fact that both are repeat customers speaks for itself on that issue. But both owners also put a high priority on performance. Indeed, for Tony, speed would be a pivotal factor in his decision to finalize the deal on the 62. For that, we would let my radar gun be the arbiter.
With rainstorms forecasted for the late afternoon, we wasted no time in getting started with our sea trial on the large bay just inside Manasquan Inlet. Revving the 1,000-hp Caterpillar C18s to their maximum rpm, I clocked a two-way average top speed of 39 mph on the radar gun. Glancing at the ear-to-ear grin on Tony’s face, I knew he was sold. And, frankly, my early morning caffeine high was slipping away as quickly as the sea rushing under our keel, replaced by the adrenaline rush of a big, fast motoryacht running at full tilt.
With the 62 throttled back to a comfortable 2000-rpm cruise, we were still making a respectable 33 mph (nearly 29 knots), and in a series of hard turns, the yacht banked decisively but dropped only a knot or two off her speed. With a deadrise of 19.5 degrees at the transom, her hull delivered an impressive combination of speed, stability, and maneuverability—not to mention a dry ride, even in a nasty two-foot chop whipped by winds up to 25 mph.
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.