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Noble Super Vee 7.4M Centre Cab
  |  First Published: December 2004



Noble’s primary goal when designing the Super Vee was to deliver an aluminium plate boat with a deep vee hull, good stability and a soft, dry ride. After spending a bit of time in a few of these boats, I have to say they have pretty well achieved this, which is no doubt why these boats are so popular.

The hull is unique for an aluminium boat. It has a deep foot at the bow, which cuts through the water nicely, taking out that punch for which choppy seas are noted. The multi-chine hull allows the deep vee to continue through to the transom, trapping spray, providing lift and aiding in stability. At the transom, a 25º deadrise remains, which is quite deep for any boat let alone a plate boat.

TEST DRIVE

Slipping the boat off the trailer was a lot easier than I expected – a 7.4m vessel is quite a boat to roll off a trailer, yet with the winch unhooked and the engine in reverse the boat slipped into the water then across to the pontoon where I awaited Ben Noble and his mate Dave.

Between us we’d managed a good half-day off and slipped in a few rods and tackle boxes. After all, that’s the best way to test out a boat.

What started out as a half-day turned into a full day with plenty of fishing and travelling done in the bay and offshore. The addition of a few fish in the icebox soon turns your focus away from work! The beauty of this for me was that I got to use the boat in a variety of conditions of which turned out to be quite impressive.

Being 7.4m you end up with a substantial rig with the benefit of a better ride and plenty of room to work with the layout. I suppose the downfall of all that is that you need a pretty decent engine to push the boat along, and a deep vee hull adds to this need.

A 225hp Honda four-stroke came with this rig and I really don’t think you’d want to go much smaller. There’s plenty of grunt down low to get the boat going and there’s nothing wrong with the top end speed at 73km/h.

The extra power comes into play more when you load up for a few days away or when you have a full load of gear and crew for a big day fishing offshore – both of which the boat is ideal for. With price of fuel at the moment it’s nice to able to throw four or five blokes onboard to share running costs and still have the room for all of them to fish.

Running across the bay in a 15-20kt chop isn’t a problem, with the hull working better with a bit of speed. It makes a long trip home quite comfortable.

Stability I found to be very good at rest and on the move, and the way that the centre workstation is set-up you end up with a very good distribution of weight for powering up onto the plane and travelling.

The two primary seats are at the helm while a centre workstation has a bench seat in the front of it, which allows two or even three to sit on. This sees the weight of the crew all located amidships, which is very handy for the captain as it makes driving so much easier.

Trim tabs do come fitted to the boat, though I found that you didn’t really need to use them that much to get the ride level when the winds or sea are running in from the side. A nice addition to the trim tabs is the auto return. Each time you turn the key off the tabs automatically return to the up position so you’re not left wondering at what angle they sit.

We ended up outside throwing lures back into the rocks. This saw the boat side-on to a bit of swell with the three of us fishing the one side of the boat. Normally you’d expect quite a lean, but the stability of the boat to fish in this manner was obvious. (Although for some reason the angler fishing up the front of the boat only caught small fish with the aft end producing bigger fish! Must have been the lures hey Dave?)

LAYOUT

The layout in this boat is impressive, and it’s not hard to picture yourself away with the family for a few days or out offshore for some real fishing with your mates.

There are a number of areas in this layout that have been cleverly designed to provide this versatility. Having 7.4m to start with does help, though I have been in bigger boats where all the options crammed in leave hardly any space to move around in.

Noble has cleverly made a complete workstation in the middle of the aft deck. It comprises both the galley and the fishing station. On top it has a large cutting board with a 25mm lip running right around it, so you can spread out tools, tackleboxes, food, bait and rigs and they won’t slip off. We found it a very handy place to leave the tray of lures, pliers and leader while fishing, as we could all reach it without having to ask someone to move.

This top section is hinged with strut supports. Open it up and there’s a stainless steel sink with freshwater tap and cooker to prepare the meal. The way the cooker sits I don’t think you’d ever have too much trouble with the wind while cooking.

Below this are a few storage hatches which open out, making the ideal place to keep cooking gear and so forth for days away, or fishing gear.

On the front side of the workstation is a padded bench seat with hinged lid, and when you open this you’ll find a great size icebox. It’s a top spot for a bench seat, too, as the extra crew can all sit undercover. It also sees the weight located amidships.

It’s very well done, and if you’re after a fishing boat but are having trouble convincing the better half, let her cast her eyes over this – it’s sure to be a winner.

There’s a bit more to it yet, with a wet underfloor tank positioned between the front of this seat and the helm seats. The beauty of all this is that when you’re fishing that icebox isn’t in the way and sliding all over the deck. In the case of the wet tank, it’s not in an inconvenient spot where you have to ask someone to move every time you want to slip a fish in.

It really is a top set-up. There is more seating down the back with a small folding bench seat across the transom. In addition to the cutting board on the centre station you also have the standard baitboard over the engine well.

When it comes to the sleeping or cab area you don’t really appreciate how much room there is down here until you hop in and have a look. You’d have close to a queen-size bed when the insert is left in, and with storage below, internal side pockets and a Port-a-loo it pretty well completes the set-up for a few days away.

The helm area itself isn’t really anything special, other than it has plenty of room to move in and out between the seats, and a spacious well laid-out dash where all the necessary gauges and electronics can be fitted.

The helm seat boxes have had the effort put into them to make them useable storage areas, with the port side insulated for a second icebox. The seats themselves hinge forward, which makes them easier to get into, and if someone happens to leave one of the latches undone you don’t have to worry about the seat tilting back with you on it.

When it comes to actual fishing room, there’s no shortage in the aft deck and with the walkaround cab you can walk around the side with ease and there’s room for one to fish at the front.

The day ended up being a very enjoyable one, giving us a good run in the boat and giving us time to fish and take in the many features of the rig.

The two pack black sides with silver rails and painted white bottom certainly make the boat present well, though you should be aware that dark coloured sides require a bit more maintenance and care as any chips show up more.

Facts

SPECIFICATIONS

Make/model - Noble Super Vee centre cab

Length - 7.4m (7.7m o/all)

Beam - 2.5m

Weight - 1100 kg (hull only)

HP range - 150-250

Bottom - 5mm plate alloy

Sides - 4mm plate alloy

Deadrise - 24 degrees

Fuel – 300lt

Water – 100lt fresh

Height on trailer - 3.25m

Price as tested - $108,000

[CAPTIONS]

1. Once out on the water the dry, soft ride of the Super Vee soon becomes apparent.

2. The centre workstation is quite impressive, with the versatility of a galley and as a rigging area for fishing.

3. In front of the centre workstation you’ll find this bench seat with an icebox below – perfect.

4. There’s no shortage of seating with this fold-out rear lounge.

5. Inside the cabin there’s an impressive amount of room for overnight accommodation, with storage below and a Port-a-loo.

6. From a sportfishing point of view there’s more than enough room to walk safely around the cab.

7. The location of the workstation allows good all-round access, seating in front and storage inside. The seat boxes hinge forward for easy access, and the port side box is insulated.

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