Neptunus 650EBy Andy Adams and John Armstrong

The Neptunus 650 Express is the latest addition to the Neptunus fleet of custom-built yachts and we originally went on board the first 650 Express in Florida where it had been delivered to its delighted new owners.

The Neptunus 650 Express was designed by Naval architect Gregory Marshall of Victoria, B.C., with striking but timeless lines and a proven running surface for reliable performance and sea-keeping then, an owner can specify different engines, changes to the layout and of course, all of the choices in cabinetry and finishes can be personalized.

Interior Features
The salon is both spacious and elegantly appointed with gorgeous leather upholstery everywhere – even on the dashboard faces. There are plush couches on both port and starboard sides, a concealed large screen TV that swings down from the ceiling, Bose sound system and storage in a cabinet. Also, in this cabinet, right against the glass aft bulkhead is a wine cooler, handy to both the salon and cockpit.

Neptunus 650E - galleyThroughout the boat are strategically placed handholds that match the décor. The test boat featured all hardwood flooring, indirect lighting and Hunter Douglas blinds. There is an available electric sunroof that can open up a huge area of cabin roof and in our sea trial, there was no buffeting or noise. Excellent!

Moving forward, it's one step up to the galley which is located on the starboard side. This large U-shaped galley is equipped like a downtown condominium with granite countertops, a dishwasher, a proper oven where you can roast a Thanksgiving turkey, stovetop with rails to prevent a pot from sliding off and a convection microwave oven. The test boat had an entire section of Jenn-Air drawer-type refrigerators and freezers; two refrigerator drawers up and two freezer drawers under, one with a icemaker.

Making for an even better food preparation area, there's quite a large serving counter and cabinet on the port side with fitted cutlery and dish drawers and a lot of storage. All the doors and drawers have soft close latches. The owner of this 650 Express had chosen to have a four-seat dinette, forward of the serving area under the big windshield like a delightful onboard cafe.

Neptunus 650E - HelmCommand Centre and Performance
Because this is an express design, there is one custom helm carefully laid out for the lucky couple who own this Neptunus 650 Express to travel and navigate together. It's a magnificent helm with two large Raymarine screens, graphic electrical panel to display where lights, blowers and other equipment might be running and the CAT C-18 engine monitors are located between the navigation screens, so everything is right in your field of vision.

The main engine and docking controls, as well as the Simrad autopilot and iCom VHF radio are in the starboard side armrest.

The helm seats are adjustable for reach, bolsters flip up, the wheel tilts and there are footrests to offer a wide selection of driving positions for long-haul comfort. Of course, all the cabin areas and helm are heated and air-conditioned plus the windshields have huge de-misters and wipers.

Neptunus 650E - Forward guest stateroomThe CAT C-18 ACERT engines are normally controlled by touching a button that raises or lowers engine speed in 50 RPM increments while the power assisted hydraulic steering makes driving the boat effortless and comfortable. Cruising speed is a brisk 27.5 knots with a top speed of 34 knots. The forward vision is unimpeded out over the deck and the engines are barely audible. The ride was very solid feeling and responsive considering the size and weight of this big yacht. Long passages will be a breeze.

A Yacht-Controller system (that we tried on a second Neptunus 650 Express) made docking even in very tight spaces, simple and convenient. There is a small handheld remote that allows you to totally run the yacht from any place in the cabin, on the deck, or even from the dock.

Cabin Accommodations
Neptunus 650E - Crew CabinStepping down the companionway, the owners of this Neptunus 650 Express wanted to have an office and so this first area was finished to be open to the windshields above, bringing in lots of natural light while accommodating a large desk with room for computers, office supplies and so on. Also, concealed in this cabinetry are separate washer and dryers. The owners live on board the boat quite frequently. They even specified a clever foldout ironing board and other features to make an extended each stay on the 650 Express more comfortable.

This office space can also be changed to a third cabin with a third head. Remember, Neptunus is a custom builder.

The forward guest cabin is very spacious with two hanging lockers, a Tempur-Pedic queen size berth, overhead escape hatch, more storage under the bed and lots of natural light. There are Hunter Douglas two-way blinds offering privacy or soft natural light.

Master Stateroom
A short passageway gives access to cedar-lined lockers located against the hull sides and takes you into the full-beam master stateroom. This is very spacious with excellent headroom and it's very bright thanks to the 44-inch hull-side windows that also have an inset opening porthole on the port and starboard sides. This owner’s stateroom includes huge cedar lockers with double bars to handle a wide selection of clothing.

Surrounding the king-size bed are a total of 12 drawers to make living aboard very comfortable. You won't be making any sacrifices to live on this yacht!

Neptunus 650E - Master StateroomOne of the most amazing features is the “his ‘n’ hers” master head that also runs full beam. Glass partitions allow access to the spacious shower stall in the middle, from either side and like the other heads on board, it features a teak grate floor, elegant fixtures, lots of lighting and a reflective ceiling to add a feeling of spaciousness.

Exterior Features
Starting at the bow, the Neptunus 650 Express has very substantial bow rails and serious ground tackle including a 66 pound plow anchor, a 3500 pound windlass and a huge chain locker with sufficient extra space to stow the bow fenders and lines. In fact, all the Neptunus hardware is very oversized.

Another neat feature were the port and starboard fuel tank fillers. Which ever way you come into the fuel docks, it’s a short reach to the filler for topping up the 1,130 gallon tank. On the aesthetic side of things, the flush cabin glass adds to the elegant look and doesn’t snag your clothing as you walk forward.

Everywhere you look on the 650 Express the hardware is oversized, elegant and beautifully done. Nowhere is this more obvious than on the triple pane sliding door between the cockpit and the salon. You can open this up almost full width and with the bar refrigerator right by the door and the Kenyon barbecue grill with sink and storage loCATed beside that, the cockpit is an extension of the living area where you travel seamlessly from one spot to another. On the exterior lockers, all of the doors and hatches have gaskets to prevent moisture from getting inside when you wash the boat down.

Neptunus 650E - Dining areaThe test boat also had engine controls located in the cockpit along with another VHF radio and the docking controls. The Neptunus is full of wonderful details like the wing glass that completes the cabin side design. Instead of being a fiberglass panel, it is a pane of glass framed by a strong stainless steel handhold.

At the stern, stainless steel chaffe guards and fairleads lead to massive cleats and there are rope lockers so you are not stepping over the lines. Real teak decking with 2 inch edging on the stairs is delightful on the feet and a remarkable six-inch wide teak grate by the salon glass bulkhead covers a trough with enormous drains. Neptunus tested this system and a foot of water can be drained off in 13 seconds.

The Neptunus 650 Express is certified to CE Standard A –Full Ocean going so the boat has no wave height restrictions. The Certification process requires the inspector to come every two or three weeks during the build to certify the various elements of construction and also various aspects of comfort such as interior and exterior noise.

Also in the cockpit is a glorious teak table at the aft bench seat and a particularly nice touch is the traditional teak and stainless steel flagpole.

The huge swim platform includes a hydraulic lift and the test boat had a built-in dinghy cradle that slides outward for clearance to the transom door when the dinghy is in place.

Neptunus 650E - Salon looking aftThe flush transom door is on gas assist struts and the owner of this boat had elected to use the transom area as a workshop instead of as a crew cabin. There is a head with toilet which is great when swimming. You can shower off the salt water, or when workers are on board the boat, they have a private head they can use without coming into the interior. This cabin still has 6-foot headroom and gives access to a watertight engine room door with a fire rated window for safety.

On board the Neptunus 650 Express, the engine room is a real room with full standing height, bright lighting everywhere and all of the main service points located down the center aisle so you can easily check the fuel system, raw water strainers and so on. The huge CAT 21KW generator is right there by the door and the test but was equipped with every system you could imagine right down to the Spotfree softwater wash down.

The point is that every Neptunus is really custom-built, typically for a discriminating owner who has probably owned many other boats in the past and who knows exactly what they want. This Canadian builder has an enormous and well-equipped facility in St. Catherines, Ontario near the American border with a veteran team of craftsmen building 4 to 6 custom yachts a year. As Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong likes to say, every Neptunus is the evolution of excellence.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's June 2016 issue.

Specifications
Engines: Twin CAT C-18 ACERT @ 1000 HP each, bow and stern thrusters

Performance
Cruising Speed: 27.5 knots
Top Speed: 34 knots

Length OA: 66' 4"/20.1 m
Beam:16' 7"/ 4.8 m
Displacement:77,600 lbs (empty)
Fuel:1,130 gal/4277 L
Water:300 gal/1135 L
Waste:130 gal/492 L
Base Price:$2,495,000 USD

Test boat, price and performance data supplied by Neptunus Yachts, www.neptunusyachts.com

Photo Captions:
Photo 1 - Elegant Accommodations For Extended Cruising
Photo 2 - This picture of the galley clearly shows its location in relation to the helm and the rest of the boat. Excellent equipment includes an oven, microwave, large stovetop, dishwasher, two drawer refrigerators and two freezer drawers with ice maker. Granite counter tops and beautiful cabinets complete the picture.
Photo 3 - The helm is beautifully appointed for long distance cruising with tilt steering, seats that adjust through a wide range of standing and sitting positions, large Raymarine screens and all controls very logically arranged.
Photo 4 - The forward Guest Stateroom also has an en suite head, queen-size berth, opening hatch and portholes, and generous closet space.
Photo 5 - Even the crew cabin is spacious with twin bunks, the lower one being a double, plus there is a private head.
Photo 6 - This is the full beam Master Stateroom looking forward from the entrance to the en suite head, showing the huge cedar lined locker on the right and one of the enormous hull-side windows.
Photo 7 - On the port side opposite the galley, is a delightful dining area for four. This also accommodates guests facing forward while cruising.
Photo 8 - This is the view of the salon looking aft from the galley serving counter. The big flatscreen is hidden in the ceiling to make way for a port side couch. Notice the stainless steel and glass aft bulkhead.

 

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