62 Flybridge — By George L. Petrie
— January 2004
|Part 2: I was pleased to observe handholds aplenty, even on the underside of the optional hardtop.|
Though the helm station was fitted with an upgraded radar, plotter, and DGPS, the feature I was most taken with was the Cat electronic digital display and micro-controls. The display reads out virtually any engine performance parameter you could ask for, while the electronic controls can automatically sync the engines at any of several preprogrammed cruise settings. There’s full manual backup of the electronic controls right at the starboard-side helm station, along with a second command station on the port side that has engine and bow thruster controls for docking port-side-to.
Other notable features of the flying bridge include a large sunpad forward of the helm and a Jacuzzi alongside the helm on the port side, both standard equipment. As for safety at sea, I was pleased to observe handholds aplenty, even on the underside of the optional hardtop.
Having taken full measure of the yacht’s performance, I was now eager to check out her interior accommodations. Interior finish and the builder’s willingness to accommodate special requests were other factors important to both owners. One of our test yacht’s most unusual features was her lower helm station—or, more correctly, the lack thereof. At the owner’s request, Neptunus eliminated the lower helm, fitting in its place a day head just forward of the galley on the starboard side. To port, opposite the galley, there’s an oval cocktail table with a curved settee that affords guests an unobstructed view forward. My only gripe is that the table exhibits a disconcerting wiggle when the yacht is running at speed; a firmer base of support might be in order. I also didn’t care for the dark stain the owner specified for the cherry joinery and would have preferred the standard, lighter tone. But I certainly had no complaint with the 13 coats of varnish that gave the wood a rich, deep finish, nor with the beautifully matched wood grain juxtaposed with Ultraleather wall panels.
On the lower deck Neptunus offers a standard three-stateroom, three-head layout, but with a day head on the upper deck, the owner specified an office in place of the head that would normally be located at the base of the companionway. Standard features include large cedar hanging lockers, generous headroom (more than 6'6"), a full-size stackable washer and dryer, and individual climate controls in each stateroom.
At the heart of that whisper-quiet climate-control system is a 72,000-Btu Marine Air chilled-water system located (along with the genset) in an auxiliary machinery space beneath the cockpit, to reduce sound levels in the saloon. A doorway from that space leads forward into the engine room, which is sheathed in three-inch-thick soundproofing material. Twin six-cylinder Caterpillar C18 diesels flank a centerline passage at least three feet wide that offers easy access to cooling water intakes forward. Most other access points are easily accessible, except for bulkhead-mounted fuel filters that are outboard of the diesels. I was told that in later versions, these have been relocated to a more accessible spot on the aft bulkhead.
Brawny engine mounts and beefy longitudinal stringers give testament to the hull’s strength. Her bottom is a solid laminate that includes three layers of Kevlar for impact resistance, while her sides, decks, and superstructure are balsa-cored for stiffness and reduced weight. With six foam-cored longitudinal stringers and 20 transverse frames reinforcing her hull, her structural integrity is formidable.
As I was packing my test gear, I noticed that Tony was still grinning. Taking me aside, he confided that he was going ahead on his purchase of the 62, but he was already looking forward to the introduction of the 72. Maybe the Neptunus 62 should come with a warning label that reads: “Caution: Repeated exposure may be addictive.”
Neptunus Yachts Phone: (877) 440-4434. www.neptunusyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.