Issue: July/August 2005
On the Gold Coast Seaway, a strengthening southerly change met a strong outgoing tide squeezing out between the breakwalls. Ah, perfect conditions to test the Noble Super Vee hull.
It was a mess of steep-sided chop, occasionally lifting into a wall of advancing water as a bigger than average swell rolled in. In any normal plate aluminium hull design we’d have copped a beating, but not in the Super Vee!
Given a steady hand on the power, it was easy to work the big centre console through everything the Seaway threw at us. It was way past an impressive ride; it was awesome the way this big tinnie was able to cushion every bump!
Dry ? Well, not completely. My passengers were both standing on the downwind side of the console trying to avoid most of the spray the breeze threw inboard. But standing behind the console’s high acrylic screen, I only got a drop on my sunnies. It was the kind of ride every prospective buyer of a Noble boat needs to experience for themselves to be convinced of the Super Vee hull’s capabilities.
Noble Super Vees look like plate aluminium boats and sound like plate aluminium boats on the water, but they ride like no other plate aluminium boat before them (mono hulls at least).
This is because of an innovative bottom featuring a steep dead rise (24 degrees at the transom) falling from the inside edge of a double chine to the keel. It provides a mix of soft ride and excellent at rest stability with the real bonus of those wide chines being they defl ect spray downwards. It keeps the interior remarkably dry in choppy conditions like those encountered on the morning of our test.
During our time on the Seaway, the 140hp Suzuki four-stroke proved delightfully responsive, with the kind of seamless power delivery that made crossing the bar in uncomfortable conditions effortless.
It was particularly impressive at low revs. While working our way through steep pressure waves between the Seaway walls, the 140hp Suzi lifted the 760kg hull onto the plane without any noticable bow rise.
Inside the Seaway on calmer water we registered a top speed of 34.6 knots at 5600rpm, although that was with a strong wind against a strong tidal flow. So the actual top speed may vary.
Noble boats have some of the most fishing-friendly layouts in the business. At 5.8m, the test boat was on the large side, as far as centre consoles go. The console is 1.2m wide and allows the passengers to stand behind it in the middle of the boat, while the skipper looks over the top of the screen. The dash can easily accommodate all of the electronics and instrumentation any gear freak may require.
Standing at the wheel your legs naturally brace against the seat behind you and the stainless steering wheel is in the right position. However, my passengers weren’t so well served; they were left looking for grab bars to hang onto and were left wanting by the smooth sides of the console. Although Noble boats do come as production models, because they are plate aluminium, the extras like grab bars can be easily added.
I’m darned if I can understand why anyone would choose a centre console and then cramp its fishing style with anything, especially a Targa arch, that interferes with 360-degree fishing access around the boat. But the Targa arch can be unbolted and easily removed if it is getting in the way.
In the bows forward of the 5.8 Super Vee’s console, the side decks meet you at hip height. Hands free support for the legs is available for the entirety of the boat’s periphery (even right in the bows.)
Forward of the console is a second, upholstered seat with an icebox underneath. In keeping with this boat’s vastness, the icebox can only be described as huge (250lt). So big, you could ice down a side of beef (let alone a feed of fish), with room to spare.
The seat behind the centre console is set up as a storage locker with a waterproof hatch on its aft end. This is nearly as big as the icebox inside. To keep the interior of the boat as free as possible from slime and all the other mess, there’s a flooding chamber set under the deck. If the crew are disciplined and drop the fish straight into the chamber as soon as they come aboard, the carpeted deck will remain clean.
Storage, always a concern in centre consoles, is in plentiful supply in this boat. Inside the console itself, there are two storage shelves. Along each side of the cockpit are big side shelves that can hold a mountain of gear. Thankfully, these have been kept inside the line of the side decks so they don’t intrude on leg support.
The deck in Noble boats is fully welded and set high enough to self-drain thanks to big scuppers in the transom.
A shelf inside the transom bulkhead in the test boat is used to keep the twin batteries well up off the deck. Water draining off the deck towards the scuppers passes underneath.
A well thought out bait rigging station sits centrally on the aft bulkhead, with a fully plumbed live-well to port in the covering board beside it. The motor mounts outboard of the bulkhead with a flat area each side of the mounting pad painted with anti-slip compound for the safety of anyone getting on or off via the transom.
This particular boat wasn’t built for its entire life to be spent as a hardcore fishing vessel, or the Targa arch would definitely get the flick. As would the aft lounge against the transom. These aren’t the normal choice of dedicated fishos, although it, like the Targa arch, can be easily stowed out of the way. At the bow, the anchoring arrangements are great. There’s a low rail divided over a bowsprit and an amply-sized anchor well, which can hold plenty of rope and chain. A massive bollard is welded onto the foredeck as the anchor point. Anti-slip paint on the foredeck will also make it safer up there for the person handling the ground tackle.
The standard of finish on the test boat is outstanding. Areas in plain view, such as the top deck, have been finished off so well there are no welds evident. The paintwork is faultless and even the corners of the console have been rounded and finished without the trace of a weld.
There are few plate aluminium boat builders capable of achieving the high standard evident throughout this boat and it’s a credit to the team at Noble.
According to the team at Noble Boats, they prides themselves on building the highest quality aluminum plate boats available in Australia.
The company has had quality assurance ISO 9001 in place for many years and supplies the Australian and New Zealand departments of defense.
All Noble centre cabin, cuddy cabin and centre consoles come with a three-year structural hull warranty. Noble Engineering is a family company that has been manufacturing boats for more than 23 years over three generations.
The Noble SuperVee’s hull creates an extremely seaworthy fishing boat that offers an incredibly smooth ride and top performance in all conditions.
The 140hp Suzuki two-stroke was responsive and quite impressive at low revs. It also lifted the 760kg hull onto the plane before the tacho registered 3000rpm.
In a brisk wind, against a strong tidal flow, the Noble Super Vee/Suzuki four-stroke recorded the following performance figures.
Speed to RPM: 3.1 knots @ 750 rpm, 8.2 knots @ 2700 rpm, 18.2 knots @ 3500 rpm, 34.6 knots @ 5600 rpm.
HULL WEIGHT: 760kg
MAX HP: 150hp
BASE PRICE: $57,500
+ Exceptional ride
– Grab bars
Story and Photos by Warren Steptoe.