Many a man has had a dream of running his hands all over a young French lady. I had the pleasure of doing just this when I took the new Arvor 230AS (Asymmetrical) out for a spin.
Arvor craft are becoming quite well known as Australians learn more about this different type of offshore fishing machine.
Imported from France by Peter Collins, the Arvor 230AS is one of three models from the land of champagne. With me for the test was Scott Morrison, a qualified Master V skipper, who did his apprenticeship delivering yachts and power boats from America to Europe.
It was a windless day with fluffy grey clouds that cleared during the test. Flat outside conditions meant we were restricted to the bay for the test.
This would be a great vessel to tour the Whitsundays when I eventually retire. The boat comes with a sink, stove, chemical toilet and a large double berth. The incredibly fuel efficient turbocharged and intercooled Nanni holds 200L of diesel. The Arvor has a top speed of around 23 knots or you could just tootle along at 10 knots.
Up front is the self-launching anchor on a Muirs windlass, electronically controlled from the comfort of the wheelhouse. The chain locker is large and self draining. A strong Samson post is bow mounted to tie off to and the split bow rails give a secure hand hold in inclement conditions. It was an easy walk to check on the ground gear, via the starboard companionway to the sharp end with ample hand holds.
On the toughened glass windscreen is a double set of wipers, with strengthened pantograph arms to resist the tearing forces of a sea when it comes over the bow. Up front, you can see the off-placement of the wheelhouse to port to allow the starboard side walkaround.
Four rod holders with covers come as standard issue in the cockpit as does a fold-away side seat on the starboard side. There’s a small quarter seat there too, all padded for comfort. You can flick the hydraulic by-pass switch from this seat and then drive with the tiller steer. A throttle can be installed at the rear of the cockpit to control speed.
A long, deep plumbed live well is inset into the top of the transom and there would be no problem keeping six slimy mackerel alive and well.
Rod storage holders are underneath the high gunwales to keep these delicate instruments out of the way and off the floor. If needed, a rocket launcher can be fitted to the top of the wheelhouse. The diesel fuel fill is flush mounted in the transom and close by is the tank’s breather. A fuel cut-off valve is located under the rear quarter seat. The test boat came with timber design carpet that can be removed when fishing so you can wash down the decks and let all the water escape through the self drainers out the back.
Two strong cleats, a rear boarding ladder, grab rail and a swim platform finish off the stern.
Engine access is easy and the boat comes standard with two 500GPH bilge pumps - one operated by a button in the cockpit and the other is worked automatically via a float switch. All deck latches come with a lock and key for security, a nice touch which unfortunately is getting to be a must in today’s society.
I just love that enclosed wheelhouse. Supplied inside is a small sink, a metho stove and a chemical toilet for home away from home trips. Inside the lockable wheelhouse is the battery isolating switches so they can’t be tampered with when the boat is unattended.
Two fold down seats are for the helmsman and passenger but it was comfortable and ergonomic steering standing up. Vision is excellent through the large windscreen and the single throttle quadrant falls nicely to hand. Tacho, pressure, temperature, voltmeter and fuel are standard instrumentation and the test boat came with the optional Navman 6500 Trackfish combined sounder/GPS. A six-way switch panel takes care of the different circuits to feed navlights, live wells and the like. An AM/FM/CD player, VHF radio and compass complete the electronics.
I loved the little pouch supplied on the side of the dash to slip in the mobile phone! It was also good to see a proper commercial-type fire extinguisher is supplied in case of an emergency. Two small outward opening windows and an overhead hatch provide plenty of ventilation when the wheelhouse door is closed. There were pockets everywhere in the V berth but I was disappointed to find no light or window. Instead of shiny gelcoat, the inside of the V berth is just a basic flowcoat type finish. With its infill and mattress, the cabin is very comfortable place for two to sleep with no squabbling for room.
Turning into the Harbour Bridge where there is always messy water, the big Carolina type bow on the Arvor 23AS sheeted water wide and there was no need to turn on the wipers when we hit the swells head on. Having trim tabs, it was easy to keep the boat balanced and level at all times and in any conditions. At cruise, we were able to speak in normal voices as the engine noise is not intrusive. It takes a bit of getting used this boat, because in turns the boat stays upright with little or no lean. In fact doing hard power turns, she goes round like she is on rails, with still with no tendency to heel. I felt like the boat could go all day and night on cruise settings as the engine never sounded tortured, even at maximum power.
As I said, the Arvor is a great boat for cruising and exploring. With a trailer and a large 4WD, this would be an ideal boat for trailing to those far away places and poking around the many waterways that Queensland has to offer. I must admit, I have a soft spot for these French designed vessels and the new 23AS only confirmed it.
The Arvor 230AS as tested comes in at $113,980 including GST. Add $11,900 for an Easytow multi-roller trailer with hydraulic braking system rated at 3.5 tonnes. For more information log onto www.arvor.com.au or contact John Crawford Marine on (07) 3390 6933 or via www.johncrawfordmarine.com.au.
|LOA including swim platform||7.3m|
Powered by a Nanni 4 cylinder turbo intercooled diesel shaft drive with dripless bearings.
Full engine instrumentation, nav lights, VHF radio, 2x bilge pumps, switch panel, pantograph storm wipers, plumbed live well, sink 7 stove, chemical toilet, hydraulic steering, compass, CD/AM/FM player, V berth mattress, swim platform, boarding ladder, lockable wheelhouse, lockable deck catches, transom door, rear tiller steering.
Options (included on test boat)
Muir windlass chain and anchor, Navman 6500GPS with C-Map and sounder, cockpit carpet, rego, anti-fouling and anodes, safety gear, covers and cushions.
The rear quarter seat on the starboard side is near the long, plumbed livewell.
The live bait well will take about half a dozen slimy mackerel and at least a couple of dozen yellowtail.
The fold away side seat is great for those social days out on the water but can be neatly folded away under the gunwale when in serious fishing mode.
The spacious self-draining deck is shown with the optional carpet. The hump in the middle is the engine cowl.
The wheelhouse is comfortable and uncluttered.
The berth is large and will sleep two comfortably. Sink and stove are to the left under the padded seat.
the self-launching electric windlass and samson post. Easy access to the front is gained via the walkway on the starboard side.
The fuel efficient turbo and intercooled 155hp Nanni diesel.
There is plenty of cockpit room for anglers and family. The rod/gaff holders are neatly placed under both gunwales.
The enclosed offset wheelhouse is designed to allow access to the bow.
The walkway has a grabrail and covered rod holders are a neat addition for anglers.
The Arvor at speed and at rest is a picture.
Scott Morrison shows how the tiller steer works.