Text by Barry Thompson
KEEPING BOATING SIMPLE
The Enduro 4100 is a serious contender in the competitive 4m-4.5m open runabout market and comes with some stellar credentials, from one of New Zealand’s most respected boat building dynasties.
The Enduro 4100 came about initially as a personal requirement by Andrew and Fleur Fink for a suitable boat to use at their holiday home at Flaxmill Bay, Coromandel. They wanted a boat they could beach launch with a 4WD quad at all tides, to be safe, stable, dry, with high freeboard and something that didn’t require a lot of effort at launching, retrieval and cleanup. Sounds like the perfect boat!
Andrew also needed a boat that was suitable not only for family boating, such as heading out to islands and bays for picnics or towing water toys, but a boat that offered enough space and amenities for fishing.
“With our engineering based business we already had a CNC router capable of cutting all the alloy, a Suzuki outboard franchise and we build Enduro trailers, so the only thing missing was the transom,” says Andrew.
The Enduro 4100 became the final equation of the BMT (boat/motor/trailer) combo and coming from a family with a history in boatbuilding – brother Lance builds Tristram Boats next door – it wasn’t too difficult for Andrew to come up with a suitable design.
“I wanted a boat that had good stability at rest, so I gave it plenty of chine and deck beam as well as utilising a semi gullwing hull shape. The reverse chines sit deep in the water and overall we have a very stable boat,” adds Andrew.
Another aspect that comes as no surprise is that Andrew put a huge emphasis on quality and attention to detail, something that is paramount in all his products, be it campervans, trailers or boats.
I liked the lines on the Enduro 4100, especially the way the internal coamings are contoured and not only look soft and pleasing to the eye, but also follow the line of the chine, giving you the full benefit of the width of the boat.
The cheque-plate floor is fully welded and sealed over a CNC cut ‘egg crate’ type structure that provides 370 kgs of buoyancy. According to Andrew the Enduro 4100 is unsinkable. All air no foam and easy to put a hose in the bung, fill with water and flush out any salt or impurities that may have found their way in. The hull and transom are 4mm, with the sides and deck 3mm. Difference in weight between the two is around 20 kgs more for the centre console version.
The Enduro 4100 is available in two basic versions, tiller steer and jockey console. The only difference between the two boats is the console, with everything else the same. All the remote and battery cables from the alloy jockey console run back under the floor and out of the way in a sealed tube. While we didn’t have any instruments or a small 6” sounder, the flat dash is plenty big enough to take them. You have the option of a Perspex screen and if you would like more protection, Enduro will supply the boat with a bimini.
The tiller steer can come with an optional upholstered bin seat which has the advantage of being used anywhere in the cockpit. Not only is it ideal as a seat, it’s also great as a fish bin or wet locker.
Starting from the bow, there is a large deep open anchor locker and short foredeck with dry storage beneath. Extra storage is provided in deep side pockets under each coaming and in the case of the console boat in the console itself and under the jockey seat.
The two rear seats can be removed if you want extra space and in the tiller steer version the passenger seat can be repositioned on the side. Great option when fishing and to help balance the boat when underway. The seats can be upgraded to bucket style for more support.
The two boats ride somewhat different. With the tiller steer version, you sit in the rear starboard corner of the boat and if you are on your own, you will need to move a bit of weight onto the other side to even up the balance. This is not a problem if you have another passenger, who can shift their weight accordingly.
The advantage of the console boat is the centre of gravity (console & driver) can be positioned directly above the centre of buoyancy. This means that the weight distribution, be it with one or two people aboard is still in the right place.
If there is any disadvantage, it’s that the console takes up space, something that in a boat this size is a very important element. I have a tiller steer boat and personally I love the fact that the whole cockpit floor space is available. If I am on my own, I just correct the lateral trim with weight. In the end it’s your choice of what style you prefer and in the case of the Enduro 4100, both work well.
You have a choice of quite a few options such as boarding steps, drop down ladder and bow rails. Andrew says that sales have been traditionally 3 to 1 in favour of the open tiller steer version, but there is certainly a move towards the centre console model.
While you would normally associate a boat the size of the Enduro 4100 as being strictly for use inshore in sheltered waters, it seems that they have been tested way past those limits.
“We sold a boat to Great Barrier Gold, a company based in Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island and the owner motored it from the Clevedon River to Great Barrier, a distance of 60nm in some fairly open water, for over 3½ hours,” says Andrew.
However, while such a cruise to the Barrier is not obviously beyond the Enduro 4100, it’s more likely to be found closer to shore.
For our test we had a pair of DF30A EFI Suzuki, one obviously with tiller steer and the other all set with console steering and remotes. Top speed for both boats on my new Garmin quatrix GPS watch, was about 26 knots/30 mph, after a two-way run on the fast flowing waters of the Waikato River. The Enduro 4100 is rated 20-40hp, but Andrew says that tests with a 50hp Suzuki had the boat running around 28 knots/32mph and it handled it easily.
Acceleration for both boats was excellent and with predictable and controllable handling. There is more of a need to have the tiller steer boat trimmed in on take-off than the console, but both react instantly to any engine trim. There was no problem trimming the engine with the remote throttle setup, but I didn’t like the side switch on the tiller version. I would suggest that the position of the switch on the tiller handle be changed for easier operation.
Having the opportunity to test the same hull in two variants is a great way to truly understand the difference. While my personal preference was for the tiller steer version, the jockey console model is also a great boat. Andrew and his team at Enduro Boats have unquestionably put their personal stamp of perfection on their first foray into the competitive alloy boat market. After two years developing the Enduro 4100, the company recently added a second model, the Enduro 6400 to the range, a boat that I will be reviewing in a forthcoming issue.
- Make & model: Enduro 4100
- Manufacturer: Enduro Boats
- Priced from: $NZ16500
- Price as tested: $NZ19995 (Tiller) $NZ23995 (Console)
- Type: Open Runabout
- Construction: 4mm/3mm alloy
- LOA: 4.2m
- Beam: 1.88m
- Deadrise: 14 deg
- Height on trailer: 1.40m
- Trailerable weight: 550 kg
- Test Power: DF30A EFI Suzuki
- Propeller: 10 ¼” x 12” 3bld Alloy
- Top Speed: 26 knots/30 mph
- Power Options: Outboard Only
- HP Range: 20-40hp
- Fuel capacity: Tote Tanks
- Trailer: Enduro