Author : Barry Thompson
The new Activa 6400 Contemporary was built in response to the positive feedback that John Winter, New Zealand importer of the Activa range of boats, received to the 5800 Contemporary, of which a number are now cruising the coastal waters of New Zealand and Australia.
Whilst the 5800 is readily accepted as an open flybridge, there has been a considerable amount of interest for a fully enclosed hardtop version. The 6400 not only made available that option but it has also been extended an extra 2.75m over the 5800. The saloon gained another 1.75m that has allowed for an internal engine room access, a day head and an extra 1m in the cockpit, which has allowed the inclusion of a large alfresco dining area.
This is a boat that will suit anyone who has a hankering to cruise coastal waters or maybe venture offshore with a summer spent around somewhere exotic such as Fiji or Tonga. With a 6000-litre fuel capacity it certainly has the range for ocean passages. For example with a pair of Volvo D12s, the 6400 has a cruise range of over 4000 nautical miles at 7 knots. Fuel consumption figures indicate a mere 10L/h total consumption and at 8.3 knots that increases to a still very conservative 22L/h. When the throttles are pushed open to 2360 rpm @ 20.5 knots, the fuel usage increases dramatically to 270L/h. There’s a lot to be said for low speed economical cruising and it’s why more and more people are looking at this type of vessel.
The original models were suited for 16-18 knots maximum. Despite the fuel consumption penalty just described, the trend, according to Winter, is for faster boats, with clients looking for 20-22 knots. To gain this extra speed, the hull’s underwater running surfaces needed a slight tweak. This is where the Kiwi connection came in, with local designer Max Carter providing the expertise.
Carter added spray strakes forward and straightened out the buttock lines in the aft sections of the running surfaces, which added more buoyancy aft. This virtually changed the hull from a displacement to a planing boat. To avoid having to alter the position of the shafts, Carter incorporated propeller tunnels. The 6400 rises easily to the plane and at speed runs flatter than does the 5800.
Interestingly the 5800, which does not have these modifications, with a 32 tonne displacement has a top speed of 21 knots and is almost 2m shorter than the 6400, which does exactly the same speed although it is 6 tonnes heavier, while running the same Volvo D12 engines. Whilst there is a fraction more resistance at low speed the fuel economy figures are very similar.
The Activa yard is headed by Taiwanese naval architect Charles Chang who builds his own designs and also uses American designers such as Howard Apollonio. Activa Marine has a 30-year history of boatbuilding 30-65 footers, initially in Taiwan and now for the past six years in China. The yard has the capacity to built 8 – 10 boats a year and the capability to construct boats to around 25m.
The 6400 is just one of over three standard size Pilothouse models produced by the company and is built from a multi functional mould, which is capable of producing hulls from 16.7m through to 19.8m. The others are the 5300, 5800 and a 7500 is also planned for the future. Construction is solid hand laid E-glass below the waterline and vacuum bagged foam/balsa/E-glass composite construction above the waterline. Resin infusion is the preferred method of construction due to its clean environmental system and strict weight control.
All Activa motor yachts are wired to Australian and New Zealand electrical standards and are tested and inspected to AS/NZS 3000 Sec 6 or AS/NZS 3017 with full compliance. Plus, they can be built to comply with survey requirements for charter within New Zealand or Australia.
Activa, like most Asian yards, offers a virtual full customisation on every boat and the 6400 is no exception. Bulkheads, cabins, galleys and windows can be designed and placed just about anywhere you want. Although a standard ‘footprint’ is used, there are many variations on the original theme.
For example, the yard will cut the shape of the windows to any shape you like and in the case of the first 6400 Contemporary, Winter went for the stylish teardrop profile and for the second boat more traditional trawler style windows have been chosen. Both boats will look quite different on the outside.
A semi spiral staircase links the lower and mid decks of the Activa 6400. After descending the staircase you arrive at a central vestibule, which accesses three very comfortable cabins; a full beam master stateroom aft, a forward VIP and a port side guest cabin. However that is this boat, but you can configure the accommodation layout however you choose. In all three cabins, space is generous and storage is plentiful.
The forward VIP has a central island queen size berth and shares an ensuite with the other guest cabin. The ensuite is finished with a solid surface vanity trimmed off with a raised teak fiddle rail and raised ceramic bowl. Activa has incorporated a large shower stall complete with moulded seat and the mirrored ceiling over the main ensuite area accentuates the space dramatically.
The port side cabin has twin upper and lower single berths, a separate hanging locker and twin opening ports for ventilation and natural light. Like most boats from China/Taiwan there is an abundance of teak timber trim and wall panelling, but again you can opt for painted or fabric surfaces – it’s your choice. There is an easy merge between the teak panelling used on the lower sections of the companionway bulkheads and the soft fabric above. Personally, I love the timber look and in the Activa 6400 it is used well and blends in with the traditional layout. Teak and holly is used on all the accommodation area soles and separate zone air conditioning in all cabins provides the right ambiance for the owner and guests.
On the way to the master stateroom you pass the small laundry, with F&P washer/ dryer hidden behind teak louvered doors. Opposite, there is also a small bureau/office space.
The full beam master stateroom is complete with an athwartships queen size berth to starboard, with the ensuite opposite. While much of the ensuite mirrors the guests’ one, there is the addition of twin his and hers vanity bowls. Again, the builders have taken advantage of the available space, with plenty of lockers and storage areas throughout the stateroom. A port side vanity is complete with a swing stool and plenty of natural light from twin vertical ports.
A Little Bit of Kiwi
The main deck living space is split between a lower saloon and forward galley and dinette in the raised pilothouse. Missing in this particular boat was the internal helm, due to the enclosed flybridge making it redundant. To port is a very generously sized dinette that comes with a functional electrically adjustable multi-height table and a couple of extra stools to extend the available seating to at least eight. This can also be transformed into an extra double berth.
There is a hint of Kiwiana, with paua shell inlays set into the intricately crafted table accented with a compass rose made from a variety of timbers. The table is highly polished and looks almost too nice to eat off!
Opposite, the large galley has a solid surface vanity with a four-burner F&P hob, with convection microwave, dishwasher, stainless fridge/freezer and even a coffee maker. Anyone working here will not feel left out, with great visibility forward and into the aft saloon. There’s also a Dutch door either side of the pilothouse, leading to the side decks for quick and easy access outside.
The Activa certainly feels homely and the saloon is such that you can’t help but feel relaxed. A deep cushion leather settee provides luxurious comfort and thanks to the deep side windows the sightlines outside are good.
The consistent décor favours simple elegance that should appeal to most people. Polished teak cabinetry and bulkheads offer a deep contrast to neutral coloured fabrics.
A few steps up from the pilothouse is the upper helm in the over sized fully enclosed flybridge. Particular attention has been paid to the beautifully presented burr elm facia, enriched with dark brown leather trim. The Furuno NavNet system features prominently, with triple screens, and there are custom-made twin swivelling helm chairs for the skipper and a guest.
This is a boat that has a strong accent on social areas where guests can sit and talk, entertain or simply relax and enjoy the experience. Aft there is a rear L-shaped settee on a raised platform, with swing-out stools and a manually adjustable burr madrona table that converts the space into yet another double berth. This is a boat that certainly provides well for plenty of overnight guests. To port is a wetbar with a fridge.
Double opening stainless steel doors lead through to the expansive aft deck where the toys are stowed with space for a couple of kayaks and a jetski on the aft deck. A custom made crane assists in getting the boats in and out of the water. This is another perfect place for entertaining and to assist that there is also a BBQ, plus space for an icemaker.
The split-level cockpit has an alfresco dining area, which has been made possible thanks to the extra length available in the 6400 over the 5800. True to its custom building theme, Activa made a special mould just for the alfresco dining unit, so this can now be used on a variety of other models. A feature of the Activa 6400, the alfresco area has been especially designed for both comfort and protection. The fibreglass overhang above carries through to the rear of the cockpit and with the addition of side clears provides all-weather protection.
A separate day head is conveniently situated with starboard side bulwark access.
There is a single opening door to starboard for access to the full beam transom boarding platform and a moulded staircase to the flybridge above. One of the neat features has been the addition of a Davco hydraulic submersible platform that allows easy tender launching and when the tender is afloat, a great swim/dive platform. There have been reports of greater at-anchor stability when the platform is down, which is also a benefit.
The Activa 6400 is also available in the Classic version, with the main differences over the Contemporary version being visually, with traditional lines, square windows and a dark blue hull finish. Both are also available in open or enclosed flybridge and the yard is geared up to customise the interiors to a customer’s own requirements. Winter says that there has been steady interest in both the Classic and Contemporary and that it’s just really down to the client as to which option they are more comfortable with.
Adventure Bay Motor Yachts took its last 5800 and made a lot of small improvements right throughout, many possible only because of the enclosed flybridge and the extra length aft. The result is a boat that will be right at home going to Fiji or the Whitsundays with long-range economy, or cruising around coastal waters.
- Design Name: Activa 6400 Contemporary
- Year Launched: 2009
- Designer: Charles Chang
- Interior Designer: Adventure Bay Motor Yachts
- Builder: Activa Marine
- LOA: 21.40m
- LWL: 17.98m
- Beam: 5.36m
- Draft: 1.46m
- Displacement: 38 tonne
- Max Speed: 22 knots
- Cruise Speed: 18 knots
- Construction: Solid GRP hull / foam core superstructure
- Fuel Cap: 6000 litres
- Water Cap: 1000 litres
- Engines: 2 x Volvo D12 @ 775hp ea.
- Price as Reviewed: $US1.69m