A leisure craft that oozes ‘workboat DNA’
HARLINGEN ~ 2013 was good year for Sipko van Sluis. And for good reasons! His North-Line Yachts crafted the first all-weather wheelhouse for the Royal Dutch Lifeboat Institution’s next generation of sea rescue vessels. In addition, its new North-Line 37 Pilot (left) was nominated as the European Motor Yacht of 2014 by top editors of 7 European boating magazines. The winner will be chosen Jan. 18, the opening day of the 2014 Duesseldorf boat show.
Van Sluis took charge of his father’s company in 2000 and initially handled only carpentry work. “I started developing the North-Line in 2004. In 2007 we introduced the first craft. It was based on the Nelson Yachts of Arthur Mursell of TT Boat Design,” Van Sluis, tells the Jachtbouw Nederland magazine. “We built those in the 1990s. Based on customer comments and our own experience we drafted a list of improvements. Many clients wanted more comfort than the Nelsons offered. They thought it was too much of a work boat, albeit one with excellent sailing qualities. And they wanted nothing changed about the latter.”
Van Sluis went to Mursell. “Design me a Nelson,” he asked, “but one that’s better suited for recreational boating. As we developed that new yacht, I came up with a different name. Hence, the North-Line yachts.” Today, they come in 8 versions _ ranging from a fast 8m tender to the 19.3m North-Line 60.
The 12m North-Line 37 Pilot (right) has a deep, polyester V-hull. The first one off the line was powered by a duo of 330HP Volvo Penta D6 engines that produced a top speed of 28 knots. The craft is stylish, elegant, sporty and classic all at the same time. That’s North-Line craft for you. They are sturdy and seaworthy and flaunt a definite work boat DNA. You see that in the high, continuous railing combined with a broad gangway. The yacht features ample space down below, fore and aft. The galley includes a U-shaped bench seating 6 and a roomy kitchen. The outer deck has a fixed pilot’s seat and a L-shaped bench with flexible second helmsman’s chair. The cockpit boasts comfortably shaped bucket seats and a large cockpit table.
Van Sluis worked on the wheelhouse of the next generation of Dutch sea rescue vessels because his Lloyd’s-certified yard works to very high norms and standards. It placed a layer of rubber between the vinylester wheelhouse and the aluminum hull to reduce noise and vibrations. The air-tight wheelhouse serves as a bubble giving the SAR vessel a self-righting capacity. In recent tests, the 19.3m vessel righted itself in a matter of seconds. The wheelhouse project showed North-Line Yacht’s versatility to such a degree that the company decided to branch out into manufacturing complete work vessels like crew tenders, pilot boats or patrol vessels.