On the morning I reviewed the 625 Super Vee I was invited to have a good look over Noble Boats manufacturing plant at Clontarf to see first hand how these crafts are made. From start to finish I was impressed with the quality of workmanship throughout the plant; from the metal forming and welding processes through to the special warmed painting booth that finished the hull prior to fit out.
In the bay off Scarborough, the 625 Centre Cab proved a shining example of the factory's quality control and ultra high standards. The finish was of the highest quality with angler friendly features and top performance, courtesy of a 150hp Evinrude E-Tec on the transom.
The 625 is a walk-around style craft, you can easily skirt around the centre cab on a carpeted deck, using hand holds on the bimini and targa frame. Up front, there is an ample non-skid area on which to stand and the strongly built targa is hinged so it can be dropped down to facilitate storage. It is set up with a half dozen rod racks, a cockpit spotlight, sound system speakers plus mounting points each side for outrigger poles.
In the cabin – and it is a proper cabin given the amount of room available – there are 1.88m long paired bunks with storage beneath. There is provision for either a marine toilet or an infill to make up a double bed. Cabin shelving is comprehensive and there's plenty of light through the side windows and open entry area. I liked the centre cabin's deep floor as it made for comfortable seating.
Forward seating consisted of very strong bucket-style pedestals (on storage boxes) with aft cushions to allow back-to-back seating. These seats are made in-house and are of a very robust design with plenty of support for lower back and thighs. Handholds and a shelf are there for the passengers with neatly constructed footrests that also double as bed ends.
The dash layout of the Noble Super Vee saw a Humminbird 767GPS Fishing System and compass tucked behind the four-piece screen. The main gauges to monitor the 150hp E-Tec plus switches and other controls for items, such as the trim tabs and fresh water system, were set lower on a vertical panel on which the wheel was fixed. The marine and FM radio/CD player were fixed starboard of the Sea Star hydraulic steering wheel.
The comfortable skipper’s seat was slide adjustable and could be pushed back far enough for the driver to stand if required. There was also a zip open section of the clears between the bimini top and the windscreen, which aided further visibility when standing.
The 1.8m x 1.9m cockpit of the 625 Centre Cab was well equipped for up to five anglers to work in harmony. Up front, there was a large under floor fish box between the seat boxes. Generous side pockets could store items needing to be kept handy, such as gaffs and the like. Soft cockpit foam padding was standard, both on gunwale and transom upper sections, as was a pair of rod holders set into each gunwale. A decent sized live well with aeration system was located in the port section of the Noble Super Vee's transom.
A deck wash set up in the rear of the port side pocket was handy to keep the self-draining cockpit floor (with it's large central scuppers) clear of fish or bait bits. A bait station with a cutting board, sliding tackle tray and another four rod holders was set up centrally, directly ahead of the outboard. I liked the location of the grab rails, when fishing offshore handholds are often needed.
Entering into the cockpit from astern is a boarding ladder with paired swim platforms. These are handy for divers or swimmers and can be accessed via a step-over-style boarding gate to starboard.
Large grab handles are set up on the gunwales, aft, and would be of assistance at the ramp, same as the craft's large bow rail.
The Noble Super Vee has three distinct ‘V’ sections. Up front is a very fine forefoot that ensures a fuss-free entry, which greatly reduces impact. Amidships, the multi chine “V’ sections along the exterior water line carry through to a deep ‘V’ at the small keel. The 24º deadrise at the transom, coupled with the twin outer reversed chines, allows water to easily escape astern with a small amount moving out off the sides.
It does sound pretty technical but as the result the 625 Super Vee Centre Cab's hull rides well. It is stable both under way and at rest, and has handling to match. In snappy figure of eight turns, I found the hull turned extremely sharply without any prop cavitation and with only minimal leaning. Hitting wash during turns, at good speed, generated only small degrees of impact thanks to the hull's deep ‘V’ sections and, while there was some noise, it was much the same as we might expect from any alloy hull of this size.
The Super Vee's strong plate construction plays a part in the ride quality. The dry hull comes in at around the 880kg mark and as a result the hull actually rides in the water rather than right on top of it. The ride was quite dry, as expected, given the large degree of freeboard.
The 625 Centre Cab is rated for engines from 115-200hp making the 150hp Evinrude E-Tec score in the middle of the power rating, it was by no means sluggish.
The 150hp planed the craft at an easy 21.2km/h at 2,600rpm; 3,000rpm saw her cruising sweetly at 34.7km/h, 4,000rpm at 53.3km/h, and 5,000rpm at 74.8km/h. The top speed of 5,200rpm produced a willing 77.2km/h. A good cruise speed would be around the 4,500rpm mark for 66km/h.
True to form the 150 E-Tec exhibited very strong mid-range power. From around 3,000rpm onwards, the forward movement of the throttle lever was accompanied by a rapid change in forward momentum. Noise levels were very good with normal conversation taking place as we sat side-by-side on the swivel bucket seats on their boxes. More power might be required for water skiing but for fishing purposes I saw the 150 E-Tec as ample power. With 240L under the floor, this craft could range a long way offshore.
Overall, I'd rate the Noble Super Vee 625 Centre Cab as a fishing craft with great all round and offshore capability, especially given the amount of freeboard and high degree of sea keeping ability.
Stability is excellent and, while there's a pretty decent ‘V’ in the hull, the twin outer reversed chines do an excellent job of keeping the rig flat as a pancake under normal conditions. There are good features for anglers, with a handy under floor fish box, self-draining cockpit and a large live well aft. The outrigger set up made game fishing easy and the Super Vee hull comes with a five year warranty too.
At around the $82,000 mark for a complete package (as tested), this boat is in my view good value for money. Noble engineering can be contacted on (07) 32837061, fax (07) 32836731 or on the net at www.nobleboats.com.au .
|Construction:||5mm plate bottom, 4mm sides and decks|
|Towing:||Family six wagon or four wheel drive|