Yacht Roy­alty

FALL­ING IN LOVE WITH A YACHT CUS­TOM MADE FOR AN­OTHER OWNER ISN’T TOO DIF­FI­CULT WHEN IT’S FROM A RENOWNED BUILDER.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - BY CAPT. JOHN WOOLDRIDGE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY CHAR­LIE CLARK

It’s easy to fall in love with a yacht (tai­lor-made for an­other owner) when it’s a Burger 72 and built in a cus­tom yacht yard that de­fines roy­alty in this coun­try. By Capt. John Wooldridge

II­mag­ine for a mo­ment that you’re scan­ning the bro­ker­age list­ings for a cus­tom alu­minum cruiser, and you come across the 72foot ex­press cruiser Valkyrie, a 1988 build. Scan­ning the pictures, you ad­mire the clas­sic raised pi­lot­house pro­file that hear­kens back to the com­muter yachts of New York and Long Is­land Sound. And then you dis­cover that this de­sign is from the board of C. Ray­mond Hunt, mas­ter of the rough-wa­ter­tam­ing deep-V hull, built by Burger Boats, the Mid­west­ern yard that fairly de­fines roy­alty in Amer­i­can cus­tom alu­minum yacht con­struc­tion. It is safe to say that you pick up the phone to speak to a bro­ker, know­ing as you do the Burger Boats leg­end.

When Henry Burger ap­pren­ticed to Wolf & David­son Ship­yard in Mil­wau­kee, Wis­con­sin, in 1857, he could hardly have imag­ined that he would found a ship­build­ing dy­nasty that car­ries his fam­ily name to this day. The busi­ness be­gan in Man­i­towoc, just 80 miles north of Mil­wau­kee, and would be­come known as a pre­em­i­nent builder of wooden sail­ing and power ves­sels for com­mer­cial and recre­ational use.

Some years later, his son, Henry Jr., over­saw the build­ing of wooden cruis­ers that were known for their use of then-in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies, like gaso­line en­gines, in lux­u­ri­ous cus­tom yachts, as well as for the com­pany’s con­tin­u­ing rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity and crafts­man­ship. Fol­low­ing World War I, the com­pany adopted elec­tric arc weld­ing and steel hulls be­came a Burger spe­cialty. Work­ing with the Reynolds fam­ily, of Reynolds Met­als Com­pany in 1952, and in­cor­po­rat­ing the new spe­cialty MIG and TIG weld­ing tech­niques, Burger be­gan build­ing power and sail­ing ves­sels in alu­minum.

Al­though not as strong as steel, alu­minum yachts are stiff and light, achiev­ing op­er­at­ing ef­fi­cien­cies steel ves­sels can­not re­al­ize. Prop­erly en­gi­neered and con­structed, and reg­u­larly main­tained, yachts built of these ma­te­ri­als have proved to be long-lived, and very pop­u­lar with well-heeled yachts­men. De­signs from the boards of the naval ar­chi­tec­ture and marine en­gi­neer­ing firms—Spark­man & Stephens, J. B. Har­grave, and C. Ray­mond Hunt—found their way to Man­i­towoc to be­gin ca­reers. To­day, de­sign­ers like Cor D. Rover, An­drew Winch, and Luiz de Basto have been in­volved with Burger’s in-house de­sign­ers and en­gi­neers, to pro­duce yachts rang­ing up to a 214-foot trideck mo­to­ry­acht.

Valkyrie is hull num­ber 466, and was orig­i­nally named Me­dora and owned by Ire­land Yacht Sales. There are two guest state­rooms for­ward and an owner’s state­room aft, all with en suite head com­part­ments. The in­te­rior fin­ish is Her­reshoff-style, with white painted pan­els through­out, trimmed everywhere in stun­ning teak. Teak locker and drawer fronts con­trast nicely with this fin­ish, as does cus­tom cab­i­netry.

The owner’s state­room is no­table for its walk-around queen berth, its cus­tom bird­s­eye maple and teak wash basin, its abun­dant stowage—a nine-drawer dresser and walk-in cedar-lined wardrobe for starters—a large desk, and pri­vate ac­cess to a spa­cious aft cock­pit with built-in seat­ing and room for more fold­ing chairs. Twin teak over­head grab rails are po­si­tioned to make mov­ing around in a se­away safer. A bi­mini shades the

cock­pit, which is un­doubt­edly a fine place to re­lax in any beau­ti­ful an­chor­age.

A new teak-planked sole graces the main sa­loon (also the gal­ley and the pi­lot­house), which is for­ward of the owner’s state­room and up four steps. There’s seat­ing for six at the star­board side set­tee, with two loose teak chairs and a large, hi-lo ta­ble. A pair of easy chairs up­hol­stered in leather flank a locker to port. Cus­tom cab­i­netry abounds, so stowage is well thought out, in­clud­ing an en­ter­tain­ment cabi­net on the for­ward bulk­head. Large side win­dows pro­vide plenty of nat­u­ral light and views of sur­round­ing scenes. An­other pair of teak sear­ails over­head run the length of the sa­loon for safety when mov­ing around un­der­way.

The gal­ley is slightly for­ward of amid­ships, and down a short flight of stairs from the sa­loon, be­neath the pi­lot­house. Stain­less steel coun­ter­tops and a deep stain­less sink are prom­i­nent, with cup­boards above and draw­ers be­low. A teak-fronted shelf out­board of the sink pro­vides quick ac­cess to oft-used items. The gal­ley is fit­ted with top-flight ap­pli­ances—Fisher & Paykel fridge, GE con­vec­tion mi­crowave, GE full-size oven, KitchenAid in­duc­tion cook­top—and is ad­ja­cent (go­ing for­ward) to a laun­dry/sit­ting room that houses a Whirlpool stacked washer/dryer.

En­gine room ac­cess is through a side deck en­trance, or through a hatch lead­ing down from the main sa­loon. Valkyrie is driven by a pair of 760-horse­power MAN D2842LE V12 diesels, and is said to achieve a cruis­ing speed of 18 knots and a top speed of 20 knots. Her en­gine room, which also houses twin 40-kilo­watt John Deere in­dus­trial gensets, is a beau­ti­ful ex­am­ple of care­ful en­gi­neer­ing and in­stal­la­tion. With a 2,500-gal­lon fuel ca­pac­ity and 700-gal­lon fresh­wa­ter ca­pac­ity, she is meant to cruise long dis­tances.

Four steps up from the sa­loon, via a port side stair­way, the raised pi­lot­house com­mands clear views for­ward and to both sides. Pan­eled in beau­ti­ful teak, it fea­tures slid­ing doors to the side decks both port and star­board, an up­hol­stered leather bench seat cen­ter­line on the bulk­head aft, and a flight of steps to star­board giv­ing quick ac­cess to the fly­bridge. In a nod to tra­di­tional yachting eti­quette, there is sig­nal flag stowage re­cessed into the aft bulk­head just above the bench, which has draw­ers be­low. This is one of the most beau­ti­ful, func­tional pi­lot­house bridges I’ve ever in­spected.

A sin­gle Stidd helm chair in black leather fronts the helm con­sole, which is en­tirely con­structed in teak, and is fur­nished with a teak-rimmed, stain­less steel de­stroyer-style wheel. To port, there is a nav ta­ble flat with large chart draw­ers be­neath. To star­board, there is an­other large counter area, be­neath which are a pair of ship’s sys­tems switch­ing pan­els. Twin-lever Pan­ish en­gine con­trols are lo­cated to star­board of the wheel, a sin­gle-lever joy­stick for the HPS/Na­iad 12 bow thruster is to port of the wheel, and the NSS8 Sim­rad touch­screen MFD (repli­cated on the fly­bridge) is di­rectly ahead of the wheel—gang­ing all of the nav­i­ga­tion and ma­neu­ver­ing essentials within easy reach of the helms­man.

Wide and walk­a­ble side decks, thigh­high stan­chions and hid­den handrails un­der the sa­loon roof over­hang mark Valkyrie as a yacht well de­signed for safety. Line han­dlers will be able to move fore and aft with ease, and there’s plenty of ob­struc­tion­free deck space for­ward for an­chor­ing du­ties. A crane sits port side atop the mas­ter state­room roof, with plenty of space for the dinghy. A teak and stain­less steel lad­der, a set of steps re­ally, curves up from the roof to the fly­bridge, an al­ter­nate ac­cess to the stairs in the pi­lot­house.

Twin Stidd helm chairs face a for­ward helm con­sole on the fly­bridge, which is equipped with con­trols that du­pli­cate those on the lower helm. Built-in bench seat­ing to star­board, as well as a large dinette/ lounge with fac­ing benches, pro­vide seat­ing for a crowd of guests. The elec­tron­ics mast is host to two open-ar­ray radar an­ten­nas, part of a com­pre­hen­sive $53,000 Sim­rad Net­work re­fit in 2014, and is hinged for pass­ing un­der low fixed bridges. It goes with­out say­ing that a yacht like

Valkyrie re­quires a thor­ough, spe­cial­ized sur­vey prior to pur­chase. Ul­tra­sound di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment can help iden­tify prob­lem ar­eas, as well as good ones. Valkyrie un­der­went a $1 mil­lion re­fit be­tween 2012 and 2014, an in­di­ca­tion that the pre­vi­ous owner ap­pre­ci­ated well the lineage, and the im­por­tance, of own­ing a Burger.

Taste­ful lay­outs and smartly de­signed liv­ing spa­ces lend longevity to Valkyrie’s in­te­rior.

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