North Pacific Yachts NP28 – Establishing New Traditions

North Pacific Yachts has not been around a long time by yachting standards, but they’ve certainly made their mark in the yachting business since the company’s inception in 2004. The NP43, the yacht they started with, is still the largest model, and the far-sighted company has grown the North Pacific Yachts fleet by introducing three smaller models, the smallest of which falls in our size category and has established itself as a leader. The NP28 gives the owner everything he looks for in a trawler yacht, plus one big bonus … it’s trailerable.

It was so successful, in fact, that Nordic Tug decided to bring back its legendary NT26 (26 foot) model, and it’s not hard to imagine why yacht owners are flocking to purchase this boat with its classic lines, raised pilothouse, and diesel propulsion system. It’s the dream yacht, really. Large enough to be comfortable on long trips and small enough to be trailerable (without a permit) to your launching point. And, it can be kept on land, on its trailer, bypassing expensive berthing fees, higher insurance premiums and costs associated with the boat being in the water full-time.

The NP28 holds true to the concepts that North Pacific puts into all yachts: (1) easy access to all machinery and equipment, (2) a low-maintenance exterior (3)  a warm, nicely-finished interior, (4) a thoughtful, well-planned layout with ample creature-comforts and a few creative innovations, and (5) a long and rather generous list of standard equipment, much of which is optional on other yachts.

You’d have to look twice to confirm that you’re looking at a 28-footer (instead of a much larger vessel) when the NP28 is in the water. The all fiberglass and 316 stainless exterior (no teak) is all business, and well thought out. The hull is constructed of solid hand laid-up fiberglass, and is finished with Vinylester resins, 2 layers of epoxy below the waterline and 3 coats of bottom paint. Top notch hull treatment. The superstructure is also fiberglass, with Nida Core foam coring to cut down on weight.

The NP28’s cockpit is about 4’ X 7’ including a propane locker and 20lb tank. It features a transom door to a good-sized swim platform and a standard hot & cold shower. There’s enough space for a couple of deck chairs, and you may want to opt for the bimini-style top option.  In the floor of the cockpit is the lazarette, a popular storage locale. As with every other space used on the boat, this is nicely finished and easy to access.

Forward, and accessed from either side of the pilothouse, is a well-equipped ground tackle system that includes a 25lb plow anchor, 30’ of chain and 150’ of rope. The standard, dual-control (pilothouse switch or foot pedal) Lewmar windlass features a chain/rode gypsy and a 600lb capacity. While handling your ground tackle, you’ll be reassured by the 1.25” stainless railing, especially in restless seas. A standard sea water wash down is to port.

Entering the salon from the cockpit requires raising a hinged glass cover overhead and entering through an aluminum door with a large glass window, steeping down as one enters. One is immediately struck by the contrast between the interior and exterior, North Pacific has used teak (walls are teak veneer, while cabinets, doors, etc. are solid teak) to accent and warm the interior of the NP28. The overhead cover you just came through, though necessary due to the sunken design of the salon, works with 6 large windows and the spacious 6’5” headroom to add to the sense of space and light. Once again, you don’t feel that you’re on a 28-foot boat.

To port one finds a 7’ settee that features drawers built-in underneath. The settee converts to a tall double bed in moments, utilizing a nifty pull-out panel concealed beneath the cushion. The nautical drop leaf, high-low table can either be an unobtrusive cocktail/coffee table or, with leaves ‘up’, a full-size dinner table. I like this arrangement better than the dinette found on most boats, because – especially on a smaller vessel – it creates more room in the salon. On the starboard side, North Pacific provides a 5.7cf fridge/freezer, a two-burner stove, and a single sink with drainboard. A cabinet seems designed for a microwave, and there is ample storage in cabinets and drawers below. Counters are sufficient for most meals and are manufactured of Corian or equivalent material.

Move forward, and up two steps, and you’ll find yourself in the pilothouse. NPY has succeeded in making this a separate venue by virtue of it’s separate level, the partition walls between it and the salon, and a curtain to obscure the passageway. This makes sleeping guests (on the convertible sofa at the dinette) feel that they have their own space, and makes navigation feel removed from activity both forward in the V-berth and aft in the salon. The pilothouse has port and starboard (where the helm is situated) seats that can be joined with another hidden pull-out panel thereby creating a settee that runs the width of the pilothouse or a watch berth for the skipper. The pilot’s seat also slides to make it easier to use the door. There are 9 large windows, including 2 ports in the partition (to your rear) that comprise an almost 360 degree view from the helm.

Forward and down two steps is the captain’s cabin (or V-berth), the head and the hanging locker. The V-berth is comprised of two berths with filler cushions if desired. The head is remarkable for a 28’ boat (a manual toilet, 2 cabinets, a sink, a mirror and an opening port; and a Tecma electric flush toilet is an option). The smallish holding tank (20 gal.) is monitored via a head-mounted Tank Watch gauge. The head does double-duty as a shower, but we recommend using the cockpit shower (included) whenever possible, although the head is 100% fiberglass finished with Gelcoat.

The Cummins QSD 150 diesel engine comes with a 105 amp alternator. The 150 is popular and well-suited to the NP28 as it allows for economical cruising, and will push the boat along at 13 knots (when carrying a light load). The Cummins is a 4-cylinder diesel engine featuring electronic common rail fuel injection. This provides a smoother, more quiet ride than mechanical engines do. It also reduces smoke (to almost none, even on a cold start).

The NP28 features electrical done the way you’d find it on much bigger, mainstream (read “name brand”) yachts. Tinned copper throughout, color coded, labeled behind each junction box/access point, and accessible per a pre-printed ship’s schematic (included).  The electrical panel looks like something out of a 50-footer, but that seems to be the way NPY does things.

The boat comes standard with 2 AGM 8D house batteries and one 4D starting battery for the Cummins diesel. Also standard is a Xantrex 1500 watt inverter/charger with an 80-watt rapid charger when you’re connected to shore power. This means you have A/C voltage throughout the boat at any time. If, however, you want a generator, the NextGen 3.5KW diesel generator is an option from the factory. Be advised that you’ll give up most of your lazarette space to have this option installed, and the factory advises the purchase of a Honda eu2000 portable generator for back up power if you’re not thinking air conditioning (The $1000 Honda vs. the approximately $10,000.00 NextGen is a no-brainer if you don’t need air conditioning).

As if the NP28 doesn’t have enough on its standard equipment list, a Vetus 35KGF bow thruster is also standard. Add that to the oversized rudder and keel (with prop protecting skeg) and you have a highly maneuverable yacht at all speeds and alongside the dock.

I think it took the folks at North Pacific Yachts plenty of planning and creativity to come up with a yacht that has all these features, sports a real raised pilothouse in a 28-foot diesel trawler, and is just 8’6” in width. I say “Bravo!”. I think others must be scratching their heads, unable to imagine how they can improve upon it. And I think that you need to see the NP28 before you buy your next boat … you may be as impressed as I am … and don’t forget to ask about a trailer.

* Photos courtesy of mftr. website: www.northpacificyachts.com
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