Home Broker's Best 1965 Burger 85

1965 Burger 85

by Randy Woods
1965 Burger 85
Photo by Joel Highet Bright Pix Media

Here’s one you don’t see every day. This classic deepwater cruiser, with nearly 60 years of history behind it, is the perfect 12-passenger vessel for extended voyages, with seven cabins, six heads, and a range of 2,300 nautical miles. In fact, sale of the aluminum-hulled vessel, frame-stiffened for blue-water cruises, comes with a turn-key Alaska charter business off the Kenai Peninsula and the waters of Prince William Sound that the boat has been employed in for the past several decades.

Designed by J.B. Hargrave, the vessel was constructed by the Burger Boat Co. in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in 1965 as a pleasure craft originally named Aquarius. The largest all-welded aluminum yacht of its time, the since-renamed Sea Star has been well-maintained, retaining its eye-catching, mid-century charm over the years.

With a slight rise at the bow, the Sea Star cuts a handsome profile with a long teak foredeck, a bench seat/deck locker, and a cushioned settee just forward of the pilothouse, providing spectacular open-air views. Covered teak side passageways provide easy movement from bow to stern, along with side doors to the interior salons and the aft deck, which can be enclosed in inclement weather.

Within the aft deck is a full-beam dining salon, featuring an expandable teak table for up to 12 people. The dining salon also includes a cushioned settee, a wet bar and beverage refrigerator, and a water/coffee/tea station. Moving forward, the main salon includes built-in cabinetry, an entertainment center, carpeted flooring, and seating for ten people.

The Sea Star’s large, “Pullman-style” galley is commercial grade and comes equipped with an array of modern appliances, such as a four-burner GE electric stove, a double sink and separate prep sink, two refrigerators and freezers, a microwave, a trash-compactor, and a garbage disposal. Adjacent to the galley are a Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer.

The forward pilothouse includes an elevated, upholstered bench seat and chart table just aft of the helm. The single helm station features a 36-inch wooden ship’s wheel, VHF radios, and Mitsubishi and Iridium satellite systems. Other navigation equipment includes a Simrad autopilot, Furuno radars, depth sounders, and fish finders, and Dell and Argonaut G615 displays. To handle oceans swells, the vessel also includes a Jespar Stabilizer System.

Atop the pilothouse and main salon is a voluminous boat deck, with room for a forward mast, an exhaust funnel, two pairs of boat davits for a 15’ Highfield RIB with a Yamaha outboard and a 10’ Achilles RIB with a Nissan outboard for use as tenders. Aft of the davits is a storage rack for a 30-person life raft and five kayaks.

Curving stairways lead below from the salon and pilothouse to the four guest cabins, each having its own built-in dressers, screened portholes, en suite heads, and enclosed showers. All the named guest cabins—Puffin, Sandpiper, Kittiwake, and Osprey—can accommodate between two and four people in a variety of configurations using twin, queen-sized, and bunk-bed berths. Three more smaller crew cabins for up to five people are located toward the bow, along with a small dinette area and two heads with showers.  

Given its 58-year history, the Sea Star has had numerous overhauls, maintenance work, and upgrades over the years. The most recent work in 2022 and 2023 includes a fresh coat of paint topsides, a rebuild of the bow thruster hydraulic motor, a new Flo-Scan fuel-monitoring system, new propeller shafts and cutlass bearings, renewed exterior varnish and brightwork, new aluminum anodes, and replaced portlights in guest staterooms. 

Sea Star’s twin diesel, turbo-charged Caterpillar D343As produce 400hp each (8,679 hours port; 8,877 hours starboard), allowing it to cruise at 10 knots and top out at 16 knots.

Specs & Info

LOA 85’0” · Beam 19’0” · Draft 7’6”
Tankage (Fuel/Fresh/Black)
3,300 gal. / 900 gal. / 250 gal.


Twin Caterpillar D343A Diesel

Chuck Hovey Yachts
Seattle, WA
Martha Comfort

1965 Burger 85
Photo by Joel Highet Bright Pix Media

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