Fabulous new flybridge expands your horizons
By Andy Adams
Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.
We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. Like all Neptunus yachts, it is built to CE Category A – Ocean standard so this yacht is capable of handling weather conditions and seas that most people would never want to be out in. Ironically, the weather was sunny, warm and Lake Ontario was calm for the day of our review!
There’s so much to talk about in this flybridge layout. It’s been designed with a lightweight carbon fibre hardtop that has a three-quarters enclosure and several flip up panels. The forward centre section is actually a fixed glass panel with a huge windshield wiper for best all-weather visibility and the helm has been laid out with a centre steering position which makes it especially comfortable when driving the boat.
Dual 16,000 BTU air conditioning systems are included on the flybridge so you can keep the bridge very comfortable where ever you are, regardless of the weather.
The layout on the flybridge is very versatile. You could accommodate quite a large group of people but on the other hand, it will be comfortable and intimate for a couple. The reason for that is the triple Pompanette helm chair arrangement at the helm console. These are extremely comfortable high-end furniture with flip-up bolsters, comfortable back and foot rests and the view forward is spectacular.
You are sitting up high enough to see a great distance and vision is almost unimpeded 360°. That’s my favourite feature!
Then, if you are entertaining a group, in addition to the three Pompanette helm chairs, there is passenger space ahead of the console making it very social to communicate with the driver. On the port side is an intimate raised cocktail table surrounded by four barstools. You can just imagine what a great place that would be as you idle through the islands on a sunny day!
Aft of that and still sheltered by the carbon fibre hard top, is a U-shaped settee with a quartz table. I would say that you could comfortably seat six people for dining as you cruise and everyone will have a great view out and forward.
Neptunus always includes abundant storage because this is a yacht an owner could live on for an extended period of time. Near the U-shaped settee is a side console with a Dometic refrigerator and on the starboard side handy to the helm, is another vanity with a sink, more storage and a Raritan icemaker. To entertain a group of 10 to perhaps 16 people for the day, this layout will perform beautifully.
On the test boat, from the generous swim platform all the way to the helm on the flybridge and up the stairs, was gorgeous half-inch-thick teak decking. This looks elegant, feels great under bare feet and reduces the glare from the sun.
On the main deck, the flybridge also delivers benefits because it extends aft out over the cockpit seating area providing shade for the big cockpit bench seat and dining table that is located there.
We should mention that this boat is a three-stateroom, three head layout and it has all the features that an owner would want for extended cruising. There is also a crew cabin with head, shower and other amenities. If you want to operate the Neptunus yourself, it is very possible to even single-hand the 650F because of the Yacht Controller system and the proportional thrusters.
Main deck and galley
Neptunus builds bespoke yachts and no two Neptunus Yachts are the same. Each is individually tailored to its owners tastes and activities and is finished to their specifications. Some key features are the massive polished stainless-steel aft glass bulkhead door set that glides open to reveal the new galley-aft interior layout. This features a centre walk-around island and three leather chairs on stainless-steel pedestal bases. These can be moved from the galley island, out into the cockpit. The island galley and the aft deck enhance the social flow. In the cockpit, there is a wet bar, BBQ grill and seating for six at the table under the flybridge overhang.
These who love to cook will appreciate the galley-aft layout. It is beautifully equipped with elegant Fisher & Paykel appliances including the 4-burner ceramic induction stove top, convection microwave, dishwasher, stainless-steel refrigerator/freezer and icemaker as well as the beverage centre opposite in the credenza. Counters tops are Cambria quartz, all the drawers have soft-close and the galley island has lots of storage inside. The deep stainless-steel sink and stove top have fiddles.
Then, on the port side credenza, there is an elegant Jura Coffee Centre and in the cabinets below is a beverage cooler.
The flybridge layout also benefits the salon because the helm is on the flybridge. This way the elegant leather upholstered couches with their removable armrests, sweep up the starboard side right to the windshield for more seating, and space to really stretch out.
Opposite to port is the dinette and this is raised slightly for a lovely view. The versatile galley island stools can be raised and relocated here to give seating for six. Storage is included under the side seating and there are even three drawers built into the dinette base. Of course, there is elegant décor and lighting throughout, a large TV on a raised mount and a premium Fusion audio system is installed through the yacht.
Atrium and cabin areas
The bright atrium under the huge windshield leads to the cabins with a VIP Stateroom in the bow, Guest cabin to starboard and then the full-beam Master Stateroom aft. Every cabin has an ensuite head with the Guest cabin head serving as the day head. Throughout the Neptunus 650F is high-gloss-finished natural walnut cabinetry and trim and that continues through all the cabins and heads.
All the cabins have hanging lockers and generous storage, but the Master is truly a gracious size and layout with elegant dressers port and starboard, night tables and two cedar-lined hanging closets. There is comfortable headroom and large hull side windows with opening ports to make this quite bright in daytime. There’s a 40-inch TV, stereo and more. The Master head has a separate home-sized shower stall, mirrored ceiling for an added feeling of space and top line fixtures and lighting.
For added convenience when cruising, Neptunus included a washer and dryer set built into the atrium.
The twin Caterpillar ACERT diesels are massively powerful yet surprisingly efficient. As we idled out into Lake Ontario, the instruments showed 9 knots at 800 RPM and we were only using 12 gallons per hour. In common terms, that translates to almost one MPG. The Neptunus 650F is able to comfortably run almost any speed right up to the top end of 33.8 knots which translates to about 40 MPH. That’s fast for such a big yacht! Steering is light, responsive and the ride was comfortable on test day.
The test boat also was equipped with SeaKeeper gyro stabilizers and in the calm conditions, they were simply not needed, but for added passenger comfort, they are a useful upgrade.
With a most economical cruising speed of 27 knots, the Neptunus 65F can cover long distances in grand comfort.
ENGINES: Twin CAT C18 ACERT Tier 3 diesel, 1,136 bhp, inline 6-cylinder, 4-stroke 18.1 litre displacement turbo diesels.
Yacht is equipped with 15HP Side Power front and rear proportional thrusters with 5-stage Dock Hold Position, and a Yacht Controller system with remote
Cruising Speed: 27 knots (31.07 mph)
Maximum speed 33.8 knots (38.9 mph)
Length (OA): 66’4” / 20.11 m
Beam: 16’7” / 4.87 m
Displacement: 78,000 lbs / 34,926 kg
Fuel Capacity: 1,100 gal / 4163.9 L
Water Capacity: 300 gal / 1,135.6 L
Waste Capacity: 130 gal / 492.1 L
Boat supplied by: Neptunus Yachts, www.neptunusyachts.com. Pricing available on request.