Star 71 Pilothouse Motoryacht — By Richard Thiel — July 2000
|Part 2: North Star 71 continued|
The rudders begin with stainless steel shafts welded to perforated stainless steel plate that is placed into a mold, into which liquid urethane is poured. The advantage of this material is that it can be formed into a more precise foil than metal, yielding better performance and less drag, plus, after curing, it’s strong yet flexible and noncorrosive.
There’s innovation in the 73’s accommodation plan, too, since unlike most boats of this size, the 73 is available with four cabins (all with minimum 6'10" headroom) and four heads (all with separate showers) on the lower deck. The amidships master, insulated from engine room noise by two fuel tanks, a double-cored bulkhead, and acoustical insulation, has en suite facilities to starboard. Forward and to port, across from another head, is a guest stateroom with stacked berths (up to four are available). Farther forward, up three steps and across from the starboard companionway and washer-dryer locker, is the VIP with walkaround, queen-size bed. The fourth stateroom is down a hallway created by its en suite head to starboard and the VIP’s en suite head to port and features bunks to port and to starboard, a single midlevel between them. The berths are narrow, making this area better suited to kids and hard-core anglers.
Those more focused on comfort than crowds will opt for the three-stateroom (all available with queen-size berths) layout: full-beam master aft with en suite head on the forward bulkhead and large guest staterooms with en suite facilities forward and to port of this and in the forepeak. Regardless of the layout, all staterooms have individual A/C controls, TVs, stereos, good ventilation, and generous stowage.
A wide companionway leads up to the pilothouse and main deck, which on our boat featured an open plan and enough glass to provide the helmsman virtual 360-degree visibility from his Stidd chair. To accomplish this, the yard placed all appliances in the abaft galley, below counter, including the refrigerator and freezer, which were in a starboard-side console beneath the flying bridge stair. It’s an easy pass-through from the galley to the saloon and the pilothouse dinette. Nevertheless, the owner of hull number two traded all this for a private pilothouse, additional galley cabinets, and a forward saloon bulkhead for displaying art. Such is the flexibility offered by North Star.
Despite her 1'4"-wide side decks, the 71’s 12-foot-long saloon (13-foot in the 73) easily accommodates a large U-shape settee to port and built-in entertainment center cabinet and two occasional chairs to starboard. The almost nine-foot-long (10-foot in the 73) cockpit is accessed through a silky sliding door, with stowage consoles to either side and, immediately to port, engine room access. Walk through it and you’ll find 6'3" headroom and space galore. Twin Northern Lights gensets fit nicely abaft the mains, while a businesslike fuel manifold graces the forward bulkhead. Ventilation is both natural and forced, the latter via a system that activates the fans in response to either pressure or temperature. An aft watertight door leads to a six-foot-long lazarette, also accessible through an electric cockpit hatch.
In the interest of safety, side decks are protected by 1'9"-high bulwarks and a rail that extends to the cockpit, and standard access to the bridge is only via the pilothouse stair. A cockpit stair is optional but takes up some of the large tender stowage above. Even so, there’s plenty of room here for an icemaker/refrigerator, Jenn-Aire grill, and eight-person, U-shape dinette. From the helm, sightlines extend to almost midship.
Given the renown of this hull, I wish I’d been able to run our 71 somewhere other than the placid Columbia River. Instead I must rely on the laudatory comments of Capt. Chris Couch (and especially his two adolescent children), who had just taken the boat down from Seattle in a raucous beam sea and crossed the infamous Columbia River Bar. For my part, I was impressed with the boat’s acceleration with standard power, seamless planing (no hump), and remarkable quiet in the pilothouse at all speeds. The latter is the result of a continuing program of sound reduction. The former, however, is the result of Ed Monk’s design genius (with help from Bauer and Clark), a genius that has managed to survive a rather remarkable odyssey.
North Star Yachts Phone: (949) 830-6580. Fax: (949) 830-6521. www.northstaryachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.