Finland

Minor Offshore has a New 28′ Cruiser

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser

The Minor Offshore brand of Finland-built patrol/cruiser boats has introduced a new 28′ model that strikes a good balance between affordability and size — all packaged in a hardy, family-ready cruising boat.  Represented in the U.S. by Skarne Marine, of Milford, Connecticut, the Minor Offshore boats could eventually become major players in the small-to-mid-size cruising market.  These are tough, seaworthy boats meant to be used and they’re built to be economical to operate and maintain.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Looking Forward.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Looking Forward.

The 28 features two cozy, double cabins and an enclosed head compartment.  There is a compact galley with a two-burner stove and sink with hot and cold water.  There are some nice standard features on this boat, including a bow thruster, which will be helpful to those who aren’t proficient yet with a sterndrive around the docks. A Raymarine C120W chartplotter is also standard, along with power trim assist, interval wipers, remote-controlled searchlight, auto trimtabls, defroster, stainless steel keel protection, adjustable passenger seat and teak interior.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.  Interior Seen Through Sunroof.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser. Interior Seen Through Sunroof.

I really like the sunroof on these boats; mainly for the way they open up the interiors and offer abundant fresh air from a source up and away from any incidental spray.  Another thing to note is the kind of utilitarian detail on these boats.  The rubrail, for example, is a beefy, thick rubber that runs around the entire boat.  These boat builders understand that in the real world, boats bump into things — docks, pilings, other boats — and as pretty as a nice stainless insert is, it’s gonna get scratched, and worse, scratch whatever it hits.  This kind of practicality seems to be a feature of the Nordic-built boats I’ve reviewed lately.

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser at the Dock. Note Rubrail Visible at Transom

Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser at the Dock. Note Rubrail Visible at Transom

These are all diesel-powered boats, using Volvo engines.  The 28 comes with a D4-260 Duoprop as the standard engine, but can handle up to a D6-370 single, or twin D3-220s.  The base engine will still drive the boat to 30 knots and at a 25-knot cruise should still get nearly 3 nmpg.  With 83 gallons of fuel aboard, you could cruise for days on a typical trip around coastal waters without having to refuel.  As with all sterndrives, you need to learn how to use thrust from the Duoprop to help you in a turn; the drive unit itself being something of an undersized stand-alone rudder.  The standard bow thruster will serve as a set of suspenders while you learn how to use your belt.

Running Shot of Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.

Running Shot of Minor Offshore 28 Pilothouse Family Cruiser.

The Sarin family, has been building boats for three generations now in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. The Minor Offshore line is considered an all-season line by its builder. I suppose with short summers and long, dark seasons, that would be a necessity.  I didn’t look the word up in a Finnish dictionary to be sure, but the company claims the “Minor” name of the line comes from the family’s humility. They are clearly NOT minor boats, and are certified to the CE offshore B standard, which is just plain nasty weather — a sea state of waves up to 4 meters and wind of 40 knots.

(An aside here — the actual CE Category B refers to the Beaufort Scale number of 8, which is a full gale of 40 knots, and also refers to a wave height of up to 4 meters. Curiously, the Beaufort Scale suggests that wave heights at a wind speed of 40 knots could be from 5.5 meters up to 7.5 meters, about 25 ft.  So the CE category standard refers to a sea state that is actually lower than what is expected at the standard’s wind speed.  Odd.)

I like the idea of a steel-reinforced keel; it would likely come in handy in my rocky-bottom home waters of Long Island Sound.

We’ll be testing the Minor Offshore line as soon as the weather warms up enough here in New England to splash the boats.  In the meantime, check out the Skarne Marine website and take a gander at the specs.

Minor Offshore 28
Specifications

Length over all 27.1 ft Engine rec. (single) 225-370 hp
Hull length 25.2 ft Engine rec. (twin) 340-440 hp
Beam 9.4 ft Top speed range 30-42 kn
Draft 3.1 ft Fuel consumption (25 knots) 0.27 gal/nm (est.)
Displacement 3.52 tons Maximum cruising range/time 305 nm/12.2h
Overall height 12.9 ft Maximum load 2204 lbs
Height above WL 9.8 ft Ce category B-Offshore
No. of cabin seats 6 Base Price (excl. shipping)  —  $190,881.
Berths 4 Est. Shipping and import duties — approx. $12K
Fuel tank 83.15 gal  
Water tank 26.4 gal  
Septic tank 10.5 gal  
Battery 2×100 Ah

 

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

Nord Star Offers New 24 Offshore Model with Outboard Power

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star USA and Brewer Yacht Sales will be showing a new Nord Star 24 Offshore model from the Finnish boat builder at the New England Boat Show in late February.  The boat features outboard propulsion but retains the salty pilothouse looks of its sister ships in the Nord Star Patrol line that runs all the way up to 40′.

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

The 24 Offshore with outboards features a vee berth forward and seating for up to six in the pilothouse.  I’ve written before about the Nord Star line — I tested both the 26 and 31 — and I think they’re worth a good, long look.  The design and construction are to hardy commercial Finnish workboat standards, and the systems and features are first-rate.  This new outboard version of the 24 will offer a little more mechanical simplicity, as well as below-decks storage, for an owner who prefers an outboard solution, rather than the standard Volvo diesel.

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

I don’t have the specs on the outboard choice(s) yet, but in the images you see with this story, taken from the company website, the boat has been fitted with a sizeable Honda, probably the 225, which is built around a 5.6L V-6.  Maximum recommended horsepower would be around 250, based on the listed 200 kW.  I noticed that the listed beam measurement of 8′ – 9″ means that it would require a special trailer permit in most of the United States, but they’re simple to get and frankly, with a weight of just under 3 tons withOUT the motor, you’re not gonna just drag this around behind your Civic.  It does mean, though, that you can probably store it in the backyard or driveway in the off-season.

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

If you can visit Boston in late February, you’ll see this boat at the New England Boat Show.  You can download a basic brochure on the inboard-powered 24 model here

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star 24 Offshore
Specifications

IMCI CE-B OFFSHORE  
Total length 7,8m (25’6”)
Total width 2,7m (8’9”)
Hull v-angle (stern) 18,3
Height in main cabin 1,88m (6’2”)
Transportheight (with cradle) 2,95m (9’7”)
Max. recommended nr. of persons 6
Max. recommended
propulsion power
200 kw
TANK SIZE CHART  
Water 50L (13 gal)
Septic 47L (12 gal)
Diesel 240L (63 gal)
LOADING  
Max. recommended loading 600 kg
(1323 lb)
WEIGHTS (avarage)  
Weight (without engine) 1900 kg
(5732 lb)

 

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

You Need to See the Nord Star Pilothouse Boats

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo:  Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

I figured I might as well just get it out there up front.  These are boats unlike any others you’ve likely seen.  And although that alone would be reason enough to take a look at them, it turns out when you do see them I think you’re going to like what you see.  They are strong, seaworthy, practical cruisers for couples and families who understand where the real value in a boat is.  Yes, I know that sounds like a ringing endorsement.  It is.  And yes, there are a couple of nits I’ll pick but they’re nothing that can’t be easily fixed and some might just be my own opinions.  Right now you’re going to have to do a little work to see one of these boats, which is one reason we’re covering them here on OceanLines.  But if things continue to go well for Nord Star USA, the boat’s importer for the U.S. market, you’ll soon have a dealer near you no matter where you live.

Builder and Brand

First, a little background on the Nord Star brand.  These boats, which comprise a model line known fully as the Nord Star Patrol series, ranging from 24 feet to 40 feet, are built in Finland by parent company Linex-Boat Oy, the Lindkvist family-owned firm that has delivered more than 3,000 recreational, commercial and government-class vessels.  The patriarch of the Lindkvist family started building wooden fishing and workboats in the 1920’s.  Today’s modern fiberglass production facility is certified to the highest ISO 9001-2000 standards and the boats themselves meet the stringent CE Ocean Class B rating for offshore seaworthiness.  That last standard means, among other things, that the boats will safely handle seas up to 13′ and winds in excess of 40 knots.  Suffice it to say the boat can handle more than you can.

The Nord Star Patrol line has a nearly straight sheer from its sharp bow to wide transom, with its lines dominated by the central deckhouse/pilothouse.  The reverse angle on the windshield serves a very practical purpose in reducing glare and shedding spray, but also lends a working trawler look to the boat.  Sturdy sliding doors on either side of the pilothouse add to that look and also make line-handling a snap, with a mid-ships spring cleat within easy reach.  The boats are diesel-powered with modern, electronically controlled Volvo powerplants, all the way up to the IPS pod drives of the Nord Star 40 Patrol.  The diesels drive beefy Duoprop sterndrives which help maximize efficiency and maneuverability.  More about that later.

The interiors of the Nord Star line feature teak and pin soles and oiled teak cabinetry.  The accommodations are somewhat cozy in the deckhouse but when you have to go outside in a rolling seaway along the extra-wide and deep side decks, you understand the value of that small compromise.  Yes, the house could be a couple of inches wider, but those couple of inches serve the boat and owner better on the side decks.  (Read more about the boat, its performance and price after the jump)

Posted by Tom in Boats

First Look: Nord Star 31 Patrol Photo Shoot

Editor’s Note:  These photos by Allen Clark of Photoboat.com are part of our extended photo shoot for a detailed sea test and review of the Nord Star 31 Patrol.  The review will be posted here on OceanLines later this week but the photos were so stunning we decided to get some out for you to enjoy.  You’ll have to wait to read all the details, but suffice it to say this is one truly exciting boat.

Nord Star 31 Patrol in CT River No-Wake Zone -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Nord Star 31 Patrol in CT River No-Wake Zone -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

In the shot above, photographer Allen Clark from Photoboat.com has caught us returning from our sea trial in Long Island Sound, outside the mouth of the Connecticut River.  We were hosted for the review by Paul Tortora of east coast dealer Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, CT, and John Uljens, President of Nord Star USA, the boat’s U.S. importer.  The Nord Star 31 Patrol is one of four Nord Star Patrol models, ranging from 24 to 40 feet, built by Linex-Boat Oy in Finland.  We’ll discuss their detailed pedigree in our review later this week, but they are true Sport Utility Vessels (SUVs), and can serve many roles very well.  Be sure to click on all the photos here to see them in expanded formats.

Stern Quarter Shot of the Nord Star 31 Patrol Accelerating -- Photo:  Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Stern Quarter Shot of the Nord Star 31 Patrol Accelerating -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

This is a dramatic shot of the 31 Patrol accelerating away from the photographer.  The boat has a 370 HP Volvo D-6 diesel with a DuoProp sterndrive that really gives you a kick in the pants when you want it to.  We saw a top end speed of around 33 knots with three people and three-quarters fuel aboard, but we got to that speed in only a little over 10 seconds, which is quick.  The Volvo diesel is also happy to putter along at 8-10 knots, sipping around 3 gallons per hour.  Even at 22 knots the boat doesn’t use more than about 10 gallons per hour of diesel.  It is a sterndrive, however, and you have to keep in mind the specific characteristics of that kind of propulsion.  In some ways, it’s similar to jet drives in that you have to use thrust to enhance a turn; something not always intuitive to folks who normally rely on rudders alone.  The truth is, you get far better performance when you can direct thrust — hence the popularity of azimuthing drive pods these days.  In fact, largest model in the line, the Nord Star 40 Patrol, comes standard with Volvo IPS pod drives.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo:  Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Nord Star 31 Patrol Port Side Running Shot -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

This shot shows the pilothouse best, with its reverse windshield rake and nearly constant sheer line.  There are beefy sliding doors both port and starboard.  The helm is on the starboard side and has fantastic sight lines; the helmsman never losing sight of the horizon ahead even during sharp initial accelerations.  You can see the small flybridge topside here, covered with canvas because we didn’t intend to use it in the windy, rough conditions on the Sound that day.  It will hold three adults and has complete instrumentation, normally networked with the pilothouse helm units.  You can also see the bimini canvas over the aft cockpit (not deployed of course).  On the Nord Star, this canvas can completely protect the aft cockpit and with the diesel heating available on the boat, provide a cozy, expanded living space in cooler weather.  New England and Northwest boaters are really going to like that feature.  You can also see the bowthruster, a surprisingly powerful Side-Power unit that makes close-quarters maneuvering a snap.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Idling Along the Waterfront -- Photo:  Allen M.

Nord Star 31 Patrol Idling Along the Waterfront -- Photo: Allen M. Clark/Photoboat.com

Hard chines on the modified-vee  hull keep the Patrol 31 nice and stable at idle speeds around the docks.  Here the boat is quietly sliding upriver past the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT.  The deep and very wide sidedecks, along with tall stainless rails make for a safe and secure environment for linehandlers and sunbathers alike.  Look for our full review of the boat later this week, in particular, we explore the way it handled a typically unpredictable sea-state and wind combination on the eastern part of Long Island Sound.  We checked out the RPM and cruise speed numbers, tested its handling characteristics in pretty rough seas and gave it pretty thorough workout. 

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats