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Expeditions and Expectations Page 2

Expeditions & Expectations

Rare port calls and cold-climate cruising? Just another week in the life of Northern Star, which goes where other yachts dare not tread.

By Diane M. Byrne— May 2006

   
Courtesy of Lrssen

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Being away from the dock long-term also means there's a greater chance of running into rough weather, so the yacht is outfitted with comfortable relaxation spaces (with a country-home decor) as well as a "sea cabin" for the owner, located aft and down a few stairs from the main deck. No doubt that he appreciates how its truly large window will let him keep an eye on the horizon should the need arise. He also surely appreciates how quiet the cabin is; the day I was aboard fell during a service period, and work crews were hammering and drilling in various areas, yet the sounds were barely audible with the door closed.

A third consideration results from being away from the dock long-term: Northern Star's crew spends more time aboard than their counterparts on other yachts. So it's a welcome surprise to find the two lowest decks of the yacht devoted to them. While one deck contains stores rooms and other job-related areas, the bottom-most level houses all eight of their staterooms. (The captain's cabin is aft of the wheelhouse.) And it's an even more welcome surprise to see how their creature comforts are prioritized just down the hall from their cabins. In addition to the already-mentioned coffee room adjacent to the good-size crew mess (adorned with artwork from the owner), there's a workout area in the space housing the air-conditioning units. "We had plenty of space, why not?" explains Gina Woods, one of the stewardesses, who took me on a tour of the yacht. And a room that was a little-used additional head has been converted into a crew computer/Internet room. Little wonder Northern Star runs with essentially the same 14-person crew as was present during the build.

In fact, the owner wisely tapped their expertise as well as that of Franks when it came to designing work areas. This is perhaps most notable in the crew stairway, running from the tank deck up to the bridge deck. As Woods and I ascend it, she explains that it's wide enough for her to easily carry a tray. (It also serves as the primary emergency-escape route onboard Northern Star.) A dumbwaiter runs from the galley to the uppermost deck for further ease, similar to essentially every private cruiser built these days, but with one notable exception: It's accessible from both the port and starboard sides of the yacht. Why? Because it speeds the process of bringing up various small items when the shell door in Northern Star's hull is opened for loading stores.

No doubt will be put to good use in the coming weeks, as Northern Star will visit Scotland and Ireland before heading to the Med for the summer (where she'll charter for $450,000, plus expenses, per week). The owner can rest assured that the typical corner-of-the-eye comparisons that go on among yacht owners won't happen once he gets there. To quote Caesar himself in Shakespeare's famed Julius Caesar, "I am constant as the northern star, of whose true-fix'd and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament." The hubris of this proclomation aside, the unwavering spirit embodied by Caesar is akin to the philosophy behind Northern Star: There is no fellow on the seas with both the ambition and purpose that she has.

Lrssen (011) 49-421-66-04-166. www.lurssen.com.

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This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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