ALISTAIR MCGLASHAN is impressed by a sturdy offshore vessel with a practical fishing layout.
Anglers travelling further out to sea to find fillets are starting to fish from bigger, better and more specialised trailer boats. Plate boats have a reputation for toughness and are becoming increasingly popular in this genre. One of the best is the Noble Super-Vee. Noble Engineering has operated for 23 years in the industry as a family business known for producing quality products.
The Noble Super-Vee 7.4 Centre Cab I tested was one slick fishing machine. The test boat had a number of upgrades, the most noticeable were the rounded centre cab; the glass windscreen, which wraps around and offers better visibility; and the gunwales that have been raised by 5 mm, which gives the boat a ‘beefed-up’ look.
The hull shape the Noble Super-Vee is famous for still features its sharp entry point and distinct reverse chines.
On the water
Port Phillip Bay was unseasonably calm for our test run, so we didn’t get much of an opportunity to put the boat through any rough stuff. But I have been fishing onboard a number of Super-Vees and can tell you they are great bluewater boats that handle well in rough conditions. A good mate of mine had a nasty encounter on the South West Rocks bar a few years ago and swears it was his Noble’s hull shape that saved him from going for a swim. Also, I have been using an older 6.4 Centre Cab while filming the Strikezone DVD series and have been impressed with its handling, but it has nothing on the new models!
The 7.4 Centre Cab’s cockpit is massive. It’s three-metres long and can easily accommodate double hook-ups on marlin or a triple on tuna. The deck is self-draining and the scuppers have been cleverly repositioned in the centre, which minimises water flowing in when three burly blokes stand in the corner. There is a reasonable-sized bait tank in one corner, which the guys at New World Honda have cleverly modified to include a clear perspex window so you can keep an eye on your livies.
Below this, there are lockable cabinets in each corner, which can accommodate up to three batteries. There’s also a deck-wash, which runs off the bait tank pump, plus a small door on the opposite side. An impressive bait board, complete with four rod holders, holds position in the centre.
The built-in rod holders are great and prevent the corrosion caused by stainless steel rod holders used by other companies. Large, easily accessible shelves that run the full length of the cockpit are handy for carrying everything from gaffs to ropes. There is also a sizeable kill tank positioned between the two helm seats. Unlike many walk-arounds, the Noble Super-Vee has ample room for passage to the bow.
The 7.4 Centre Cab is built with a heavy-duty hardtop for protection from the sun and the sea. Our test boat’s hardtop housed flush-mounted radios, for easy use, and a series of rod holders lined the roof. The dash is spacious enough for big-screen electronics and the instrument panel is now rounded out to fit everything snugly. The helm provides a good view over the bow while in a comfortable position to control the vessel. The guys at New World Honda have been proactive in the recent developments of the Super-Vee 7.4 and have removed a grab rail that used to run the full length around the windscreen.
The seats are mounted on boxes?one has built-in tackle boxes, the other is for general storage. There are also built-in mounts for a fire extinguisher and an EPIRB, which are easily accessible in an emergency.
Our test boat was powered by a 225 hp Honda four-stroke that pushed the 1,100 kg hull with ease. It’s an economical match, and with the two fuel tank total capacity of 450 lt, you can run the Honda at cruising speed (4000 rpm) for almost 20 hours. This range makes the Super-Vee 7.4 a contender for anglers who want to push the boundaries and fish offshore.
The plate aluminium construction makes the 7.4 Centre Cab lighter than its fibreglass competition, hence easier to tow, adding to its appeal as a big trailer boat. If you’re into hard-core offshore fishing boats, the 7.4 Noble Super-Vee is definitely worth checking out.