Find me a used boat: Three-cabin flybridge

We task Nick Burnham with finding a fantastic used boat bargain, this time it's a three-cabin flybridge cruiser

Nord West 420

Nord West 420
2010 – £435,372
Nord West 420

Once described by a well-known motor boat magazine as “the best boat you’ve never heard of,” Nord West made a Swedish-built range of sports and flybridge cruisers. We’ve come to expect a high quality of finish from Scandinavian boatbuilders but Nord West really raised the bar, offering sumptuous woodwork inside and out and sublime stainless-steel work. Big lay-up weights in the hull too, typically 40-50% more than other high-quality yards. They’re a tad on the pricey side though – this one is 4,999,000SEK.

A feast of mahogany and teak greets you inside, but the big news is the layout – Nord West opted for a galley-up set-up, positioning it behind the helm. But what you lose in socialising space you gain on the lower level where you find three double cabins and two heads!

Nord West 420

The Nord West has a low saloon window line and high-sided flybridge, but there’s no doubting how well the outside of this boat works. A deep, well-protected cockpit with yet more lashings of teak, side decks that can be accessed even with the canopies in place, and those high coamings around the flybridge make it feel like a sportscruiser cockpit.

Unusually for a 40ft-plus flybridge, there are two drive configuration options, neither of them shaftdrive. The Bavaria Virtess 420 is the only other that springs to mind as offering sterndrives or IPS pods. Twin Volvo Penta D6 are the engines of choice. In IPS form you’ll find IPS400, IPS500 or IPS600 as fitted to this boat. Expect speeds in to the mid-30-knot area.

As ever, the big news with flybridge IPS is noise levels – or lack of. Even in the saloon at planing speeds, readings stay resolutely below 75dB(A) – about the same as a decent car at motorway speeds. It’s agile too, and it’s Scandinavian. ’Nuff said.

Length 43ft 0in (13.5m) Beam 12ft 0in (3.9m) Draught 3ft 11in (1.3m) Displacement 12 tonnes Fuel capacity 264 gallons (1,200 litres) Engines Twin Volvo Penta  IPS600 435hp diesel Contact Benny & Jessica

My choice
I could close my eyes and take a blind stab at any of these fine ships and justify it winning this month. The Princess 45 is the most rounded, most sensible and most financially prudent choice here. The only possible downside is finding it amongst all the other sensible Princesses in the marina.

The Jeanneau Prestige is a spacious triple cabin, plus it’s fractionally cheaper and quite a bit newer than the Princess. The Rodman feels hewn from solid and utterly bombproof, and those IPS drives make it a doddle to handle.

But I’m handing it to the Nord West. It’s the dearest by some margin but the build quality is exquisite, the performance strong, the cruising quiet, and the handling – well, it is Scandinavian.

Words Nick Burnham


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