Media 6.25 Metre – Centre Cabin

September 2003 by James Hill

· The plate boat market has been serving up some exciting developments lately – like the new Noble DeepVee 6.2 tested here by James Hill.

The old ‘thumper’ imagine of plate alloy boats is changing. Nobel’s new DeepVee 6.2 is a good example of the trend. We first saw the concept few years ago, inspired by similar design trends in the USA. Basically what it offers is a narrow deep Vee flanked by wide, delta-like chines that give lift and stability.

The chines are not flat, but feature a series of mini wedges that provide stability and lift without hard slamming. Most importantly, the boat rides softer than you ever thought possible in a tinnie!

People who appreciate a soft ride offshore will certainly be keen on this new DeepVee. It offers the ride you’d normally only get in fibreglass boat, but with the toughness that only plate alloy can deliver.

This interesting mix of deep Vee and multihull is surprisingly stable in a seaway and that’s exactly what you want when 12 miles out and bottom bouncing in a rolling sea.

Builder, Ben Noble will initially offer three models of the DeepVee (6.2m, 6.8m, 7.4m) but don’t be surprised to see more models in future. The deck configurations area console, cuddy, or walkaround but you can also have a number of customised features including hardtops, or soft tops.

Over winter I caught up with one of the 6.2m walkarounds and was highly impressed. The ride quality really is up there with the deep Vee fibreglass boats, no question!

Finish is also outstanding and confirms plate alloy boats are now showroom standard. First impression may even be this is a fibreglass boat. The softer curves of the cabin and the smooth bottom could fool you for a short time into that thinking. But Make no mistake, this is a one hundred percent alloy boat, and a tough one at that with a choice of either 5mm, or 6mm bottom panels!

The bottom and topsides are incredibly smooth and there are no bumpy weld beads in sight. Just to prove they paint the bottom white just to highlight the smooth finish.

I might mention there are no special tricks in construction in this Noble tinnie, other than the latest computer-cut panelling and welding systems. It also comes as no surprise the builders have been in the boat-building game for 25 years. The company’s involvement in commercial and government work also means all its boats are built to the internationally recognised ISO 9001 Quality Assurance programme. This basically assures you are getting a consistent, high quality standard.

Noble is also planning to build two ranges of boats. One is the DeepVee, whilst the other is the Classic, which is similar above the water but with a conventional Vee bottom.

The Classic will provide a less expensive package than the DeepVee, but the standard of finish will be just as impressive. Noble already has signed up dealers in a number of key markets like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with more to follow.

The Noble DeepVee isn’t cheap at around $60,000 – $70,000. However, taking in account the ride, and construction you can start to appreciate the value.

Design

The big problem for plate alloy builders in the past with DeepVee was the hull would become too buoyant, and hence float too high to be stable. The Noble DeepVee neatly steps around the problem by adding what amount to ‘mini’ hull sponsons at the sides.

Most importantly the DeepVee doesn’t LOOK radical so it’s won’t scare Mum away. On the trailer it looks a conventional, if not an attractively looking boat with its upsweeping sportfish bows.

At the transom you see a deep Vee of 24-degree deadrise, flanked by wedge-shaped chines. Looking at those chines closely you see they form a soft W in cross-section. This is a clever design approach because it stops short of a trihull sponson that might cause extra drag.

You get some lift and plenty of buoyancy support from these DeepVee chines. At the same time they won’t cause hard slamming.

At speed the deep Vee hull lifts out of the water reducing drag and still giving an excellent cutting edge. The chines, meanwhile, act like the stabiliser pontoons of a RIB (Rigid Bottom Inflatable).

Noble has also modified the design so the chine edges are well forward. This has resulted in a better-balanced craft that comes onto the plane quite quickly.

The stern section certainly is not short of buoyancy and will be able to support twin motors, or a sterndrive if required.

At the bows the chine wedges wash out to form a double-decker chine lip that must reduce bow burying, and deflect spray.

Given so much lift from the chines there are no bottom strakes. However, there is a small keel strip to protect the boat on the ramp, or trailer.

In keeping with its offshore image the Noble DeepVee also features generous freeboard and raised bows.

Our test boat proved quite a head-turner on the trailer with its tangerine topsides and targa hardtop. The fastback transom, with recessed landing platform, also gives it a decidedly modern touch.

Access aboard is made easy by the transom platform, however make sure you get the optional boarding ladder because you need it at the ramp!

There is no transom walk-through, but on the credit side the transom deck provides loads of stowage and a great bait preparation station.

The cockpit self-drains via stern scuppers and features handy grab rails as well as raised side pockets to allow you to fish against the sides.

Structurally the boat feels like a tank. And no wonder wit the optional 6mm bottom panels, but normally you still get 5mm bottoms and 4mm plate sides. That’s massive strong, particularly when you add 3mm internal floors and bulkhead structures.

Noble back their product with a three-hull warranty, but the quality of construction should see the 6.2 last many decades.

Paint finish is also excellent and a credit to the builders. The high-glass, two-pack polyurethane finish certainly will help to protect the hull from corrosion as well enhance resale value.

On the trailer front the 6.2 DeepVee should be within the range of big cars like Falcons and Holden Commodores. The dry trail weight of our test boat was approximately 1540kg, or about 1600kg with some fuel and gear aboard.

Provided you don’t top up that 180-litre fuel tank you should be able to keep the rig within the comfortable tow range of the above cars. And it should suit medium-sized 4WDs and light commercial vehicles like the Holden Rodeo Ute as well.

The hardtop is a bit of problem for under cover parking, but otherwise this boat isn’t a problem for home stowage. It measures 6.45m in overall including bowsprit so allow about 8m of home parking space.

Performance

We had a fairly mild serving of wind chop on test day. It was more cold than rough, so Andrew Short and myself thoroughly appreciated the enclosed driving position with clears above the windscreen.

The centre cab sure provides a very comfy shelter for winter boating, and no doubt slugging it out on windy, rough days offshore.

I was particularly pleased to find hydraulic steering as standard, it certainly makes it easy to steer the boat and keep it on track. The DeepVee actually tracks very steadily so keeping on course needs only figure pressure on the wheel.

Most noticeably it comes onto the plane quite easily (for a deep Vee) and doesn’t need too much bow trim to get it running at its best.

The hull banks into a turn conventionally, and generally handles like any normal boat. However, the big difference comes when you cut across a few big waves. Instead of slamming, the hull bounces a bit, but doesn’t slam hard.

Most importantly, the stability of the DeepVee at speed means it isn’t too affected by crew movement from side to side. In fact, it is one boat you won’t need to add trim tabs because of cabin windage effect, or weight imbalances.

The DeepVee also does a pretty good job of suppressing spray. Admittedly this was a fairly calm day, but we didn’t see any blowback from the transom either. Basically I was impressed by the performance of this new Queensland boat. It really does deliver a serious alternative to the deep Vee fibreglass boats above 6-metres.

The fuel consumption is perhaps the only question we didn’t answer on the test day. My feeling is the DeepVee will achieve a better result than ‘glass deep Vees, simply because it’s lighter in weight. You are talking about 200kg less so that translates to less power, and less fuel consumption.

It goes without saying the Noble DeepVee is very stable at-rest and would provide an excellent fishing platform.

Deck Layout

One of the points that impress me about the 6.2 Noble is the relatively deep walkaround deck. With the raised side rails it provides a very safe, easy passage to the bows for anchoring or fishing. You even get carpet on the side decks so you always have a sure foothold.

The fore cabin also provides a safe spot to sit while handling the anchor, or fishing. Up here you also get an open-topped anchor well, Tee bollard and bowsprit with roller/capture pin.

Moving aft there are steps into the cockpit and roomy cockpit with enough room for a fishing party of three-four people. The free working area is approximately 1.8m by 2.1m wide.

You also get plenty of stowage space in the side pockets and comfortable side fishing position. Internal freeboard is 66cm.

Up front you get two pedestal seats atop aluminium stowage boxes. These boxes have hinged lids and can be ordered with tackle boxes, or esky insulation. The dash provides a grab rail on the passenger side and a basic, but useful angled dash panel with enough space to mount a number of motor gauges. You also get a stainless steel steering wheel – a very classy touch for an aluminium boat. You also get a steering compass and 6-gang switch panel as well. It’s a shame there’s not enough space to flush-mount modern electronics like sounders and chartplotters. However, space is a premium in centre cabs and realistically the only answer is mounting these items on the upper dash, in front of the passenger.

Other good features in the helm station include stowage pockets at the side of the seats and grab rails on the inside of the windscreen. You also get footrest bars for both seats, plus adjustable slide for the helm seat.

The cabin provides upholstered cushions and the option of a chemical toilet mounted between the bunks. There’s generous sitting headroom in the cab and a speckle paint finish. It’s not overly flash, but certainly comfortable enough for catching a nap, or keeping the kids happy.

Power

The Noble DeepVee is rated to take motors anywhere from 115hp – 200hp. You can also have twin outboards, or a sterndrive. The first sterndrive version of the 6.2 has already been delivered and featured a Volvo Penta sterndrive, which apparently didn’t take up a lot of cockpit space.

We were certainly happy with the performance of the boat with the 150hp OptiMax. It gave more than enough top end speed and seemed quite sufficient for us the following good speed results:

3500 rpm 20 knots
4500 rpm 27 knots
5500 rpm 36 knots

Even allowing for a heavier load the Noble should achieve a top end speed that will please most fishos. In fact, the only reason you might up the horses is in the process of adding a sterndrive, or twin motors.

Obviously twins would add that extra bit of security for long range fishing trips, but the other alternative is simply adding a ‘kicker’ motor alongside the main unit.

There’s quite a wide range of motors you could match to this boat including the newly released four-strokes from Suzuki and Yamaha that fall into the 140hp – 150hp range.

Fuel tankage of 180-litres would appear quite sufficient for most day trips offshore. However, fellas in far flung places like FNQ might want some extra tankage. No problem, of course, just ask the builder and they’ll oblige.

Fishing

The boat scores very highly in this category. Quite apart from the benefits of the walkaround for fishing, you’ve got a decent cockpit with a self-draining floor.

The design certainly suits offshore fishing and comes standard with four rod holders, side gaff holders, livebait tank, raised cutting board and an in-floor kill tank.

Our test boat was also equipped with the optional aluminium hardtop, rocket-launcher, deck hose pickup and boarding ladder (not shown).

Really the only things missing from a fishing point of view were the sounder, chartplotter and offshore safety gear.

Summary

It is good to see quality plate alloy boats coming into the retail showrooms like the Noble DeepVee. They offer a serious offshore capacity that’s simply not matched by pressed sheet tinnies. As well, they are strong, durable craft that provide real long-term value to their owners.

The price tag is the still the big factor with these boats, however more and more boating enthusiasts are opting for these craft as they do their sums. Certainly a boat like the 6.2 Noble will beat the hell out of an in-water moored sports cruiser that cost tens of thousands more.

The ability to trail this boat to far away fishing spots, take it offshore or simply fish rivers and bays makes it highly attractive. And when you’re finished, park it at home and save the mooring costs!

If you’d like to know more contact your nearest Noble dealer, or call the builder for details on your nearest dealer stockist.
 


 

Media 6.25 Metre – Centre Console

Modern Boating by Warren Steptoe

· Boat Tests – DeepVee 6.25

WARREN STEPTOE puts an angler-friendly offshore boat through its paces.

In many ways, 6.2 metres is the perfect size for a trailerable offshore fisher. It’s big enough to offer genuine comfort and safety while travelling offshore, yet small enough to be trailered.

In the case of the new Noble DeepVee 625, the total weight of the boat/motor/trailer package has been carefully kept below two tonnes gross, which keeps trailer specs and costs down. This allows it to be legally towed with medium size 4WDs and even some sedans.

Noble’s latest 625 DeepVee represents the most substantial development to the DeepVee design since its introduction some years back. The most obvious refinements are above the waterline, although there has been a little fine-tuning to the unique double chine area as well.

Topsides, the latest 625 hull now features 100 mm higher sides and a correspondingly higher deck to further improve self-draining capabilities. The transom area has been tidied up too, with a new central scupper and changes to the aft corners making it easier to clean the cockpit after a successful fishing trip.

For this test we were able to look at two of the different interior configurations Noble offers—a centre console and a centre cabin. There are three options for the ‘roof’: a targa arch with soft bimini; a hardtop; and an extended hardtop. All versions have shaped safety glass windscreens for safety. These new glass screens allow windscreen wipers to work properly.

Noble calls its centre console a ‘fishing cab’. The console is wide enough for two people to sit inside protected from the weather and spray while travelling. Here’s a boat with the fishing amenity of a centre console with as much shelter as a cabin.

Our test Fishing Cab had a single upholstered storage box as a seat behind the console. The centre cab version had twin bucket seats atop a pair of storage bins. Any of these storage compartments can be optioned as ice boxes or refrigerated.

The only thing I’d change from either test boat would be to opt for a raised deck forward alongside the console in the Fishing Cab instead of the level deck from transom to bow fitted here. This would provide more storage and better utilise the bow area (not that space was particularly limited inside the cavernous console).

It’d be very hard to go past the centre cab in a direct comparison between the two. It offers basically the same 360-degree fishability, plus ample sleeping space for two inside. I commented on this to Noble Boats and they said that many clients order fishing cabs only to change their minds after seeing the centre cab layout.

How ironic—someone finally builds a better centre console fishing boat and it plays second fiddle to a boat you can sleep on. As a passionate lover of centre consoles, I must agree the 625 DeepVee centre cab sacrifices absolutely nothing to the fishing cab.

Both boats have one of the best transom layouts in the business. Fishing know-how is clearly evident in the set-up of the workbench, live well and rod holders. The batteries are now inside sealed compartments as well. Up to six rigged rods can be stowed in the rocket launcher on top. Under the deck of both configurations is a 900×900 mm overboard-drained fish box. A 180lt fuel tank comes standard with the 625 DeepVee, with a further 180 lt fuel tank and 100 lt water storage available as optional extras.

The 625 DeepVee provides the smoothest offshore ride of any plate aluminium boat I’ve experienced. The overall standard of workmanship and engineering is top-shelf, too. Quite simply, fishing boats don’t get much better than this.

The boats used for our photo shoot were powered with 135 and 150 hp Honda four-strokes and this too makes for an interesting choice for prospective 625 DeepVee buyers. While the 150 hp powered boat obviously had an edge and felt perfect, the little 135 was no slouch either. Ultimately, your choice will depend on available budget and the loading you’ll be placing on the engine under everyday use. You won’t go wrong whichever way you go.

Channel 7 – The Great Southeast

· Boating Technology

There’s plenty of technology and great ideas happening in the boating world right now and a couple of them are home grown.

Noble Boats have been picking up rave reviews for the DeepVee range of plate aluminium boats. They don’t sound like a plate boat and they certainly don’t ride like one.

Thanks to the combination of a 24 degree deadrise right through to the transom and their unique double chines, these boats offer a comfortable ride, powerful performance and great stability out on the water.

Sea Pen is a world first dry docking system that is easy to use and easy to operate. Dry storage of your boat removes the need for anti-fouling, improves performance and fuel economy. As an alternative to racking your boat you simply drive into the Sea Pen and at the turn of a key the pump removes the water inside the outer skin and thanks to the woven rope net that creates an air gap between the skin and the hull the boat is stored dry at water level. Taking your boat out for the day is as simple as once again turning a key to pump the water back in allowing you to simply drive out.