Media 6.85 Metre – Centre Cabin
January 2008 by Rick Huckstepp
Can’t fish locally? Rick Huckstepp says there is now a trend for bigger trailerable craft such as the Noble DeepVee 685 Centre Cabin, designed to take you to greener pastures farther afieldble in a tinnie!
· Fishing Big Rig
As an increasing amount of our fishing areas are taken away from us for no scientific reason, the Australian boat building industry is attempting to adjust. Those that have forever concentrated on small boat manufacture will be forced to evaluate their range of boats to maintain market share.
The old adage of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ when applied to our boating pastime, once referred to bigger and better fish out wide. It will come to be that going wide will, in the not too distant future, be the only option to catch fish simply because those grounds in close will be locked up with green no-take zones.
The move towards larger boats to facilitate this is already apparent in those areas where the closures on the Great Barrier Reef have had a disastrous affect on the boating and fishing fraternity; to wit, 42 per cent reduction in water based activity in Far North Queensland. Places like Mackay who have been directly affected are seeing an influx of bigger than normal trailerboats.
So, looking for a big rig? Then check out this one from Noble Boats International – the DeepVee 685 Centre Cabin.
We took it for a run on northern Moreton Bay with the intention of going around Cape Moreton and wide to some good fishing bottom. This was thwarted by 29kts of wind on the Cape and a swell big enough to keep even small ships at home, so we were relegated to the Bay where 20kts of wind and chop to a metre was on offer.
This boat is a centre cab configuration and access to the walkaround is via a step built onto the forward end of each sidepocket. Once up there, the width of the track allows one to traverse it foot-over-foot with plenty of grabrail on the roof of the cab and around the forequarter gunwales, the latter engineered out of 32mm piping.
The anchor well is massive and will take plenty of ground tackle as well as an anchor retrieve float (a large drum winch could also fit in here). A manufactured oversized bollard is welded to the foredeck.
The hardened glass windscreen is in two pieces in the front section and has a panel each side. The hardtop is fitted with sail track into which the clears are slid before press studding down. The sail track fixture in many cases provides improved waterproofing over standard zips which tend to leak in driving rain and when taking solid water into the screen. The antennas are installed near the six rod tubes well aft on the top, so there is plenty of room to stow a small dinghy, swags or crab pots. A semi permanent awning of alloy tube and canvas is fixed to the aft end of the hardtop, which makes access to rods in the centre of the rocket launcher a little difficult in rough seas, as one has to stand on the gunwale and reach across. A zip opening aperture in the centre of the awning would remedy this.
Those not vertically challenged will appreciate the comfort at the helm where the cabin ceiling is about 1.9m off the deck.
The majority of the dash top is flat and a lip installed across its aft end prevents the contents sliding off onto the deck. Large gimbal mounted electronics could be installed across this area. Garmin’s GPS Map 4008 was flush mounted in the dash behind the wheel, with a raised bow behind where Evinrude’s instrumentation was installed. A purpose-built raised platform between this instrumentation and the windscreen held the compass, but unless you were more than 175cm in height, it would be hidden from view when standing. Once seated on the swivel seats, it was out of view for anyone of any size.
The swivel seats are atop stand alone modules with stowage within.
Apertures in the helm station liner offered some out of the way stowage for gear and above that on the passenger side, a tray for keys and phones is part of the build.
The entry into the cabin is covered by a rollup curtain that allows the area to be sealed off from spray coming into the cockpit. The footrail for the helm chair is behind this and a zippered flap may be opened to access the feet.
Once inside, the cabin the seating is on a V-berth, which is large enough to sleep an adult each side without an infill for the leg well. An area at the forward end of the leg well is partitionable for the stowage of a portable toilet.
At about 72cm off the deck, the gunwales are nice and high for rough water stand-up fishing. Sidepockets are also well off the deck, so there’s plenty of foot-under room, although at the transom bulkhead, the fascia is vertical to the floor with no foot-under capability. A centrally located wide scupper is installed here, along with a livebait tank in its top and a vertical hatch giving access to the battery and engine oil bottle. This model will have a gunwale oil filler port direct to this bottle but was unavailable for installation prior to the test. A neat baitboard is removable by undoing a couple of bolts and next to it and a short walkthrough door offers easy access to the marlin board.
A large killtank in the cockpit deck can be flooded or sealed off as required.
As tested, the Evinrude provided all the required power and then some. It offered brilliant holeshot and exhibited plenty of torque throughout the throttle range. Ambient noise was not unlike that of the few other brands of four-stroke engines of equivalent horsepower. The fuel flow sensor connected to the Evinrude gave the following figures:
1200rpm produced10kmh for 2.25lt/h;
2800rpm produced 20kmh for 12.3lt/h;
3500rpm produced 42kmh for 41.8lt/h;
4000rpm produced 55kmh for 48.1lt/h;
4500rpm produced 62kmh for 54.0lt/h, and
5100rpm (WOT) produced 75kmh for 72.0lt/h.
These figures should be viewed as a rough guide only, although the writer has the same sized E-TEC on a 7.4m boat which produces a very similar result.
Manoeuvrability with the 685 is direct and easy on the arms during high-speed, aggressive turns. It is a relatively dry hull with minimal spray on the windscreen even with a good breeze on the forequarter.
It is hard to get a hull that can crash through chop with minimal banging, yet be very stable when dead in the water. Noble seem to have got the mix right here.
Trim tabs make life easy in a rough sea and when wind is hard on the beam, so should be part of the initial buy with this rig.
Very good stability at rest
Soft ride in the chop
Difficult access to rods in the rocket launcher
NOBLE DeepVee 685 CENTRE CABIN
Price as tested: $98,500
Options fitted: Radios, spotlights, livebait and deckwash, privacy screen to cabin, front and side clears, hardtop, transom door, extended duckboard, winch, and Garmin Map 4008
Priced from: $86,000
Material: Plate aluminium
Length overall: 7.15m
People overnight: 2
People day: 8 (protected waters); 6 (open waters)
Rec. max. HP: 240
Rec. max. engine weight: 340kg
Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC E225DPXSUA Type: Direct fuel injected two-stroke V-6
Rated HP: 225
Gearbox ratio: 1.86:1
Propeller: 19-inch Rebel
Published : Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Issue : January 2008
- Review of the 6.85m Centre Cabin by Kevin Smith from tradeboats.com.au
- Review of the 6.85m by John Ford from tradeboats.com.au
- Review of the 6.85m Walkaround by John Ford from trailerboat.com.au (PDF)
- Review of the 6.85m Super Vee Walkaround by John Ford from tradeboats.com.au
- Review of the 6.85m Super Vee Centre Cabin by Rick Huckstepp from tradeboats.com.au