Neptunus 55 Express running

By Andy Adams

Elegant Custom Yacht Construction in a More Popular Size

It was a particular pleasure to visit the home of Neptunus Yachts in St. Catherines, Ontario to review their new Neptunus 55 Express because for many years, this builder served a high-end clientele who generally kept their yachts down south. Seeing a Canadian-built Neptunus in Canada was at least a bit uncommon. Also, their yachts have been mainly in the larger sizes – up to 80 feet and there have been limited facilities in the Great Lakes for such a big private vessel.

Today, the Great Lakes Canadian market for larger boats is strong and the facilities are being built for the growing number of owners with yachts over 50 feet. Addressing this market, Neptunus introduced their 55 Express in the summer of 2014. 

We toured their facilities first and saw this 55 in it’s final stages of completion before its launch, then later returned to run it with Neptunus’ Managing Director, Jan Willem De Jong. He also took us on a tour of another Neptunus, this one a 72 Motor Yacht that was being built. It’s a spacious facility and seeing their craftsmen and technicians at work was quite impressive. These are not production boats; they are what they call semi-custom and are built one at a time with the future owner being given a wide range of choices in materials and finishes.

When you are buying a million dollar yacht, you want it to meet your expectations in every way!

Also, as soon as we went onboard, we could sense and feel that this boat was built to yacht standards. It’s not just the handsome design or features like the imposing door to the lazarette (that features a washer and dryer along with big item storage). All the hardware is polished stainless, massively sized and perfectly suited to the task. There is a special feel to the Neptunus. This is not a big boat from a boat builder, it is a 55 foot yacht from a yacht builder. 

Neptunus 55 Express helmThe test 55 Express was equipped with some of the more elegant options. The swim platform is equipped with a hydraulic lift and all the aft decking and cockpit are done in hand-laid teak strip; no synthetic materials here. Side decks are wide and the railings are big and high. You can easily get around this boat.

Stainless steel gates enclose the port and starboard transom steps. The cockpit features a sweeping aft seat with a dining table and there are huge storage lockers here, a sink in a cabinet and space to have an ice-maker. On the starboard side is an iAnchor docking station that works with the ZF Joystick Manoeuvering system. The test boat had a 25 hp proportional hydraulic thruster like larger yachts – serious power for docking in high winds!

There is perimeter LED pinpoint courtesy lighting around the side decks and under the cabin overhang. Forward you find the Lewmar windlass and massive anchor as well as a foredeck tanning area. 

Then, back in the cockpit, the saloon is accessed through a massive Trend Marine sliding stainless steel door that latches open for safety. You step into an elegant living space with a large u-shaped seating area to starboard and to port, a large cabinet that includes a concealed HDTV on an electric lift.

Most noticeable was the magnificent dark-stained cherry wood furniture with blonde finished burled wood tops. The high-gloss cabinetry is simply stunning and the burled finish is carried throughout the interior across the helm area, down into the galley, lower salon and dining area and into the cabins.

No detail is missed. Even the big HDTVs are mounted in matching custom cherry frames. The décor is not dark however. In fact, the Neptunus 55 Express has big areas of cabin glass, white wall panels and headliner and the huge windshield is open ahead of the helm to the lower deck. Natural light just floods down.

Neptunus 55 Express galleyA funny thing is that I didn’t realize the sunroof was open the whole time we were running the boat. Jan had opened it and the boat was so quiet, we didn’t notice! 

The helm is very spacious and laid out for extended running with side by side Stidd seats that feature a wide range of adjustment for comfort. Three enormous wipers keep the windshield clear and the test boat’s dash area included a Raymarine 12” E-Series touch screen display, twin displays for depth / speed and autopilot and even engine room and cockpit cameras. The wheel is on the centerline and the companion seat is by the chart locker with space for the navigator to really roll it out.

This is an impressive big yacht but it’s easy to run. The Joystick docking takes the drama out of close quarters manoeuvering and the twin Cat C12 ACERT electronically controlled diesels are smooth and powerful at all speeds right up to the 29 knot maximum. The 55 Express is intended to cruise at 25 knots, nicely planed off and with each engine burning 26.4 gph. That’s very good for such a big vessel. The 55 Express displaces 50,000 pounds yet the power assisted hydraulic steering is precise and effortless and the hull tracks unerringly. Long distances are not a strain.

Of course, you’ll want something to eat when onboard and the galley down layout includes an expanse of Corian counter top with a four-burner cooktop by AEG, an AEG convection microwave with oven to really cook a grand meal, side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, double sinks and abundant storage for dishes, cutlery, etc.

Opposite is the dinette with u-shaped seating, another gorgeous cherry and burled wood table and the two port holes here are enclosed by more cabinetry for storage of all your loose items. Our test boat had the optional electronics package with Bose surround sound, big sub-woofers hidden in the seat bases and an HDTV screen in the dining area.

Neptunus 55 Express engine roomThe guest stateroom is forward with a queen island berth, four port holes, a generous amount of storage space and this has separate access to the day head. 

Aft is the master stateroom and it’s full beam with his and hers dressers, hanging lockers and optionally, four large opening ports that bring in loads of light and fresh air. Like the day head, the master head has an enclosed shower, bowl sink, elegant fixtures and a very tasteful basket weave pattern tile floor.

Everywhere you look the Neptunus 55 Express has an impressive level of fit and finish but perhaps the yacht level of quality and equipment is most obvious in the bright white engine room where the rigging is clearly top notch.

Given the price, the Neptunus 55 Express is not for everyone but for those buyers who really appreciate quality and the personal touch in all aspects of ownership, this is a yacht you should see in person. 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINES:

Twin CAT Marine C 12 ACERT diesels, 6-cylinder inline with turbocharging and aftercooling, 12 litre / 732 ci producing 700 hp each. Shaft drive with prop pockets. ZF JMS Joystick Manoeuvering System with iAnchor control, upgraded 25 hp proportional hydraulic thruster system.

 

SPEEDS

25 knot cruise

29 knot maximum

 

LENGTH: 55’1” / 16.76 m

BEAM: 15’7” / 4.57 m

DISPLACEMENT: 50,000 lbs / 22,679 kg

FUEL CAPACITY: 750 gal / 2839 L

WATER CAPACITY: 160 gal / 606 L

WASTE: 120 gal / 454 L

PRICE AS TESTED USD: $1,673,550.

 

Test boat and price provided by Neptunus Yachts, St. Catherines, Ontario. www.neptunusyachts.com 

 

Photos:

Photo 1 - The sweeping lines of the Tony Castro – Greg Marshall-designed Neptunus 55 Express are timeless in their elegance.

Photo 2 - The burled wood finish at the helm is quite impressive, but so is the spacious layout with companion seat and chart area to starboard.

Photo 3 - The galley is visible in this shot of the dining area with it’s high-gloss cabinetry and plush upholstery. Notice the light coming in from above.

Photo 4 - This is just a part of the bright and beautifully rigged engine room.

 

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...
The demographics of sailing are changing, and more women are getting involved and are often rooted ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew - Winterization

Winterising your boatBy Andrew McDonald

‘Winterization’ is a broad term used to prepare an engine for extended storage – specifically through the winter season (when temperatures drop below the freezing point).

There are two main purposes for proper winterization: First, to protect the engine from freezing damage; second, to prepare the engine to be re-started easily after a lay-up.

Read More about Winterizing your boat....

 

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.