On the 10th anniversary of the founding of North Pacific Yachts, at the Seattle Boat Show, the builder's CEO Trevor Brice introduced me to the North Pacific 49, representing the "next generation" of design and build quality for the Vancouver, British Columbia company. What started as a father-son partnership to build their own cruising yacht has turned into a successful builder of more than 100 boats, ranging in size from 28 to 52 feet.
We arranged for a sea trial as the NP49 was being moved from the show up to Everett. I met the captain, a North Pacific owner himself, on the frosty docks of Lake Union. The day was beautiful, clear, no wind, but cold, with the temperature in the low 30. Maneuvering off the dock was simple - cast off the lines, a few taps on the thrusters, and we were off. As we motored out through the ship canal from Lake Union, I was immediately struck by how quiet the boat was.
The pilothouse is really well designed for operating the boat. Access to controls is very good, and visibility is terrific, whether one is standing or sitting. Maneuvering through the large lock at the Hiram Chittenden locks was also quite easy. I noticed, when paying out line as we descended, that the hawsepipe was small for a 49-footer. I’d like to see larger ones on a boat of this size.