Anyone who is passionate about fishing knows that once the grip takes hold, it’s difficult to shake. When sportfishing yachts reach their limitations, whether in size, amenities or seakeeping, the avid fisherman’s passion is put to the test: To continue seeking the world’s best fishing holes, they must either compromise on the vessel or create a new one.

Creativity prevailed in the case of the American owner of the 103.6-foot Northland, which launched in November 2017 from Burger Boat Co. in Manitowoc, Wis.

This owner had a very specific vision for his ideal yacht and, despite an exhaustive search, was unable to find anything suitable on the brokerage market. Eventually, he turned to award-winning designer Luiz de Basto of Miami, Fla., and presented the brief: Design an explorer-type yacht that could cruise comfortably anywhere in the world and be fitted out with the luxurious amenities befitting a mega-yacht, as well as a layout that allows for sportfishing from the stern.


The main deck’s formal dining salon is complemented by al fresco dining areas on the flybridge and the main deck aft.


A sleek and stylish stairway on the main deck shows off Northland’s refined interior lines.


Photos courtesy Westport Yachts

Equipped with a preliminary design, the owner and de Basto selected Burger to build the yacht. De Basto had successfully collaborated with the builder on several other custom yacht builds and was confident in the capabilities of the yard, whose heritage of commercial fishing boat production dates back to its beginning in 1863.

Built with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure to satisfy the owner’s desire for long-range cruising, Northland is Burger’s first steel-hull build since 1963 and the yard’s first steel/aluminum yacht.

Characterized by de Basto’s clean exterior styling and reflecting the aesthetic of a go-anywhere yacht, Northland features a 7.4-foot draft and a high prow topped with a stylish superstructure. The biggest difference from other yachts in this class is immediately apparent from the stern. While a vessel of this size normally has a garage and beach club in this space, Northland features an oversized cockpit fitted with outriggers, bait wells and a fighting chair for battling game fish. The tender is located on the foredeck alongside the man-overboard rescue tender, both launched by davit, while the flybridge is equipped with a bar, spa pool, al fresco dining space and areas for sunbathing and relaxation.

Within a 26.5-foot beam, Northland has an atypical layout that perfectly suits the owner’s lifestyle. A large master suite, situated on the bridge deck aft of the wheelhouse, includes a private deck overlooking the cockpit. On the main deck, a spacious library comprises the forward portion of the deck, while a formal dining salon is situated to starboard just aft of the library. A larger-than-average galley is located to port and is fully equipped for long-range cruising with plenty of refrigeration and storage. On the main deck aft, a protected al fresco dining area offers unobstructed views and an enviable vantage point for the cockpit action just below.


The newbuild’s pilothouse offers expansive sightlines and features the latest in navigation and communications equipment from Furuno.


Courtesy Westport Yachts

Three en suite guest staterooms are situated on the lower deck to accommodate nine guests, and cabins for up to five crewmembers are nestled forward in the bow along with laundry facilities.

Designed to have the durability and reach required for global expeditions, Northland is powered by twin 475-hp Caterpillar C18 diesels and boasts a 4,000-nm range at 9.5 knots. The 252-GT vessel has been built to an ABS +A1 Yachting Service AMS classification, cruises at 12 knots and carries 9,790 gallons of fuel.

Sporting an interior design by one of the country’s most notable designers, Northland has been fitted out from stem to stern with the most luxurious amenities and decor. Delivered in November 2017 to its satisfied owner, who immediately set off on a fishing cruise, Northland is a testament to Burger’s expert craftsmanship, attention to detail and heritage as one of America’s oldest and most respected custom yacht builders.

By Professional Mariner Staff