Northmaster 685 Cruiser first look: Sub £50k starter boat will top 40 knots

From the team behind Oceanmaster this new range of affordable open and cuddy cabin boats is looking to make hay while the sun shines on small outboard-powered boats.

Built in Poland with a new UK agent based in Poole, the three-model range comprises the entry-level 535, the 645 Open and the top of the range Northmaster 685 Cruiser featured here.

It may have a keen eye on value for money, the starting price is just shy of £50,000 with the 115hp outboard engine, but it’s been designed with cruising in the challenging environments of northern Europe in mind.

It has a deep-vee hull with an air step to reduce its time to plane and cushion the ride, and the seven-seater cockpit sits low and is well protected by a deep wraparound windscreen.

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A pop-up bimini, which stows under the transom bench, provides shelter over the cockpit on sunny days. The Northmaster 685 Cruiser only has a beam of 7ft 8in but because there are no side decks, the cockpit can use up every inch of that space.

Two-way backrests on the navigator seat and aft bench allow guests to sit facing forward or aft and a table drops down to convert them both into one big sun pad.

The cuddy cabin is a bit of a token gesture but with a potty-style toilet and sleeping room for two it’s a useful space to have if you need to spend the night somewhere. Most will simply use it as a large, dry storage void.

Keenly priced and well suited to the rigours that boating in the UK can occasionally present, the Northmaster range is a welcome addition to this burgeoning sector.

Northmaster 685 Cruiser specification

LOA: 22ft 5in (6.85m)
Beam: 7ft 8in (2.43m)
Engines: Single 115/150hp outboard
Top speed: 43 knots
Starting price: £49,195 (inc. VAT)