Finnish boats

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

Nord Star 26 Should Be Your New SUV

Nord Star 26 Pocket Cruiser and Sport Utility Vessel

Nord Star 26 Pocket Cruiser and Sport Utility Vessel

There are not too many boats in this size category that truly work as cruisers, but the Nord Star 26 is the kind of marine SUV (Sport Utility Vessel) that can take a small family for nice summer cruises and be wildly entertaining in between.  It’s all made possible by the mad-crazy efficient layout of the boat and its powerful yet fuel-sipping Volvo diesel.  The fit and finish are equal to the best of old-world craftsmanship and the total package is the perfect way for a young family to get into cruising.

Nord Star 26 View Looking Forward

Nord Star 26 View Looking Forward

A little bit about the company, fromour July, 2009 feature on the Nord Star 31:

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 work boats 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.

Nord Star Interior Looking Aft

Nord Star Interior Looking Aft

As I mentioned, the 26 reviewed here is probably the smallest cruising boat that can comfortably take a couple or young family on long weekend cruises. But it’s also the kind of boat that you will use not just for cruising but for fishing and regular day trips to your favorite gunkhole.  There’s a vee berth for two, along with a separate head compartment and a small but functional galley below. Ingenious layout in the main cabin includes convertible seating and hi-lo tables — all with a magnificent view.  You can see in the photos here that the company has devised a cool Bimini for the aft cockpit that shades but doesn’t get in the way.

I tested the boat over a couple of hours out of Mattituck Inlet on Long Island, New York. The head of Nord Star USA, John Uljens, brought the boat over from its base in Connecticut and we ran her through a series of test runs.  The Nord Star boats look like a cross between a pocket tug and a government patrol boat. It’s a unique look that draws attention at the dock. But don’t be misled — it’s all about form following function. The reverse rake to the windshield minimizes sun glare from outside and instrument glare from inside at night. The tall house and large windows open things up and make the cabin feel larger than it is.

The boat has a functional aft cockpit and an amazing swim platform that feels like it could host an entire picnic while on the hook.  There are wide side decks to make transiting forward and aft safe.

The performance of the boat is nothing short of impressive.  The modified-vee planing hull comes up out of the water quickly and with minimal bow rise. The Volvo diesel supplies fantastic torque all the way up the RPM curve, unlike a gas engine and within seconds you are skimming along the water in the mid-20 knot range.  There really isn’t any major noise at the helm. Decibel readings (A-levels) stayed below 80, which means low fatigue on longer transits.  A look at the photo below shows the insulated engine compartment hatch, and the roominess of the compartment itself.

 

Nord Star 26 Engine Compartment Showing Volvo D4 Diesel

Nord Star 26 Engine Compartment Showing Volvo D4 Diesel

 

 

Nord Star 26

Specifications

IMCI CE-B OFFSHORE  
Total length 8,4m (27’6”)
Total width 2,8m (9’2”)
Hull v-angle (stern) 18,3
Height in main cabin 1,9m (6’2”)
Transport Height (with cradle) 3,05m (10′)
Max. recommended nr. of persons 6
Max. recommended
propulsion power
298 kw
TANK SIZE CHART  
Water 100L (26 gal)
Septic 47L (12 gal)
Diesel 320L (84 gal)
LOADING  
Max. recommended loading 600 kg
(1323 lb)
WEIGHTS (average)  
Engine
Weight
Volvo Penta D4
3300 kg
(7275 lb)

John Uljens Demonstrates the Sunroof on the Nord Star 26

John Uljens Demonstrates the Sunroof on the Nord Star 26

A Working Bowsprit and Anchor Roller on the Nord Star 26

A Working Bowsprit and Anchor Roller on the Nord Star 26

Roomy Foredeck and Side Decks on the Nord Star 26

Roomy Foredeck and Side Decks on the Nord Star 26

Download the company brochure on the Nord Star 26 here.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats