Captain's ReportCE-certified for offshore service, the Baltic-tested 40 Patrol rides on a modified-V hull that balances seaworthiness, speed and comfort; twin Volvo Penta IPS600s push her above 40 knots, but smaller, more economical engines are available. She sleeps six in three cabins, but what we like most is her cozy pilothouse.
Beast and Beauty
Folks who live outside the balmy temperate zones will appreciate the Nord Star 40 Patrol's ability to keep going in heavy weather, in relative comfort for the crew. Her CE Ocean Category B (offshore) certification means the 40 is able to withstand winds up to Beaufort force 8 (40 knots) and seas up to 4 meters (13', approx.). That's worse weather than we want to encounter on a pleasure-boating trip, but if the weather turns nasty unexpectedly it's nice to know the boat should be able to take it. In the Baltic, where the Patrol line was spawned, that happens often, even in the summer, so boats tend to be tough and seaworthy.
Surprisingly, the 40 Patrol is also popular in the Med. Of the more than 25 boats built since the model's introduction in 2009, 75% have been exported from Finland, many to southern France -- not what we'd expect of a boat like this one. But the Med can get nasty, too: Try transiting the Straits of Bonifacio, between Sardinia and Corsica, when the Mistral blows, and you'll appreciate the Nord Star's tough-gal persona.
Compared to many other boats this size, the 40 Patrol's pilothouse seems narrow – and it is: The boat's relatively slim overall beam of 12'6" (3.85 m), combined with sidedecks wide enough actually to be usable, means there's not as much interior volume. This is not a bad thing: In the rough conditions this boat is designed to withstand, narrow spaces are better: There are more handholds (including furniture), and not as far to fall if you lose your grip. Wide salons and cabins are fine for normal conditions, but when the sea really kicks up, we prefer tighter spaces, and would be happy to go to sea aboard the 40 Patrol.
All Patrols are built of hand-laid fiberglass, with box-beam stringers heavily glassed into place while the hull is still in the mold. According to a company spokesman, Linex-Boat Oy has a second mold for each model, and can afford to leave the hulls in the molds for the extra time needed to install support structure. Most builders have one hull mold per model, and pop the new hulls out as soon as possible to make way for another.
Nord Star skins the hull with a heavier-than-normal layer of gelcoat, rolled-on rather than sprayed. This allows years of compounding and buffing to bring back lost color before the underlying laminate starts to show. This is especially important for Patrols, since dark blue is the most popular hull color, and one that's especially susceptible to fading. A downside of thick gelcoat can be crazing and stress-cracking, but we're assured by the U.S. importer of Nord Stars that this hasn't been a problem.
The 40 Patrol sleeps six in an unorthodox layout. The main stateroom is forward, where you'd expect it to be, with a second double stateroom amidships; both are accessed from a central lower-deck landing, at the foot of the companionway stairs. But a third stateroom, with a single berth and seat that convert to a double with a filler cushion, lies under the salon, reached via steps under a hatch in the deck aft of the L-shaped lounge, and near the on-deck head.
This third cabin would be our choice if we were sleeping alone, especially underway: It's in the most comfortable part of the boat and looks cozy, even though access to the berth might be awkward with the filler cushion in place. In a larger boat this would be crew's quarters – many yacht owners in the Med carry crew on boats this size.
There are several power options for the 40 Patrol, including stern drives – strange, since the boat was designed from the outset for IPS. According to the U.S. importer, so far most buyers have chosen Volvo Penta IPS600s, but IPS500s are an option. Stern drives cost about the same as IPS500s (roughly $650,000) when the optional bow thruster is added on. IPS boats don't need the thruster. We suggest sticking with IPS, since they provide much better handling than stern drives, and without a financial upcharge. And they're the power of the future.
We haven't tested a Nord Star 40 Patrol yet – so far, none has been imported into the U.S. – but according to Volvo Penta the boat runs a bit over 40 knots tops with the 435-hp IPS600s, and cruises economically in the mid-30-knot range. Fuel burn at cruise is about .87 gal/n.m (3.3 l/n.m., approx.) at 35 knots. That works out to a cruising range of about 245 n.m. with 10% reserve. (All of the above is based on Volvo Penta tests, not our numbers.)
Pros, Cons and Recommendation
We like the 40 Patrol's rugged build, her CE certification, her wide side decks, her IPS power and her overall rough-and-ready persona. For service in the Baltic, the North Sea, New England, Canada or anyplace where the weather's not always friendly, she would be one of the boats we'd look at – one that could operate all year in most places, or at least until the ice sets in. We think that's why the boat is popular in the south of France, where conditions can be nasty in winter, so there the boat can be used almost year round.
Most 40 Patrols are exported from Finland, and naturally prices vary depending on where you buy one. In the U.S., the base price with IPS600s is $807,000, but a company rep said that can go up as much as $75,000 if the buyer goes crazy with options. As of this writing, no 40 Patrol has been imported into the U.S., although many other Patrol models are already stateside. Potential buyers are welcome to visit the factory in Finland and take a sea trial before writing their deposit check.
Standard and Optional Features
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