FOCUS ON QUALITY
Barry Thompson checks out the Enduro 6400, the latest offering and only their second new series from the relatively new Enduro Boats.
Perfection is a word that is often overused, but in the case of Andrew Fink, it is entirely appropriate. It’s in his pedigree and there is no getting away from it. The Fink name and that, of course, includes brother Lance, builder of the Tristram range of GRP boats, is synonymous when it comes to quality and attention to detail. It’s not just about the finish and presentation, it’s also the work ethics, the build process and the interaction with both staff and customers.
I had previously been to Hamilton to review the Enduro 4100 Series and right from the first minute I saw the two models on offer I was impressed. They looked great, they were finished to an extremely high quality and best of all they also went damn well.
Andrew started building the Enduro alloy boats in 2011 as a natural extension of his very successful trailer and motor home building enterprise. With the 4100 gaining immediate success, with growing numbers on the water throughout the North Island.
When an Australian client came along and asked Andrew for a big mid range centre console for serious fishing off the Southern Australian coast, he got the opportunity. Andrew is quick to point out that the 6400 are not simply an up-scaled 4100 and was 3D CAD designed to a very specific design he had in mind. Very different boat, but built on the same exacting philosophy of perfection.
Construction, like the 4100 is exceptional and the finish for an alloy boat is faultless. The CNC cut hull is 5mm with 4mm topsides, with what Andrew refers to as an ‘egg crate’ construction under the cheque plate sole. All the welds are ground smooth, the surfaces faired and the hull and decks on our test boat painted. As was the centre console and helm seat base. You could have the boat unpainted but to date, the first two have both been finished with PPG two pack.
40 Hour Test
I had two shots at running the Enduro 6400 and although both times were on the mirror-smooth Lake Waikato river, I can attest to the sea keeping and ride of the hull. It is a very stable hull at rest and shifting weight whilst underway doesn’t upset the trim too much. Trim tabs are optional. With the engine trimmed well out and the throttle to the max, I managed to toss the boat into hard turns without any prop slip. Impressive!
When I say I can attest to the ride and handling of the hull, it was because I was able to have a chat with the owner of the boat, who in less than a month of receiving it had clocked up over 40 hours, boating both east and west coasts.
“I have had the boat in some nasty water, especially off the west coast and I have been amazed at just how well it rides and handles”, he said.
He adds that the boat is perfect for his use as a serious fishing boat to go just about anywhere with his mates, is very dry and soft riding.
“We caught plenty of fish over the summer and found the boat excellent for four guys with plenty of deck space to work from. The bait station, live bait tank and rod storage is perfectly designed and it certainly made our fishing experience that much better”.
On the flat water of the Waikato River I was able to record the fuel/performance data and I have to say I was impressed with the Suzuki DF175, especially the crisp smooth way it drops into gear and the velvety throttle response. A big block (2.8 litres) V6, DOHC, 16-valve high-performance engine, the DF175 uses Suzuki’s Lean Burn control system. This controls the fuel and airflow to boost the limit of the controllable rpm range, improving fuel economy over a wide operating range. It certainly works as the brochure indicates with a very economical 61 lph @ 5800 rpm. At 5000 rpm that drops back to 42 lph or 32 lpnm @ 32.5 knots. In mid-range cruise mode around 4500 rpm, the Suzuki DF175 was using 34 lph or 28.5 lpnm @ 29 knots. Given the 160-litre fuel tank ( you can a bigger one) that gave the Enduro a range of 120nm. More than enough for a day’s fishing!
The Enduro 6400 ran to 38 knots (44 mph) first time out on a tight engine. Lightly laden with all the fishing gear left on the dock, 40 knots (46 mph) is quite achievable.
Unquestionably the Enduro 6400 centre console is pitched at the fishing and diving market and the layout reflects that. If you like the hull but want some better protection, then the 6400 is also available with a full cabin or even a hardtop.
The layout of the 6400 I tested, starting at the bow has a deep anchor locker with top and rear access hatches, a Maxwell RC6, with wide fairlead and alloy bollard. The open bow features a raised casting deck, with storage under and a double bin seat ahead of the centre console. This is a great space for a couple of fishos or to simply relax while underway. If you are into soft baiting, then you’ll really appreciate the casting deck, which is at a nice height so you still feel secure when standing and it’s an easy step back to the main cockpit sole.
Access either side of the alloy console is generous and you can walk down to the cockpit without having to squeeze between it and the side decks. Talking of the side decks, they are 300mm wide and flat all the way through to the transom. Underneath on either side are extra wide, fully lined storage shelves with three separate access points. These will easily stow the longest boat rods, plus are handy and easy to get into when fishing. Standard, the boat comes with six deck mounted rod holders, but with the optional bimini and rocker launcher there’s another six available. Never seem to have too many I reckon.
Centre of the cockpit, the alloy console has been designed to handle large MFD screens (we had a Simrad NSS12), plus still leaving plenty of space for instruments, controls, switch panels and whatever else you want to install. We also had a GME VHF and a Fusion iPod dock/stereo so we were covered for sound and comms.
One of the very special features of the Enduro 6400 is the helm seat base, which is mounted on sliders. You have it back when driving and then slide it forward 300mm when you want maximum space in the 1.90m wide cockpit for fishing. There is storage underneath and the twin backrest bolsters swing both ways.
The transom has been given the fisherman friendly treatment with a deep live bait tank to starboard, bait station in the centre and wide walk-through cut out to port. The coaming height seemed just about perfect for me for bottom-fishing. Tucked into the transom are the twin batteries, behind hatches, with a deep self draining bilge aft. There is a pair of fold away bench seats that are ideal when underway and can then be dropped out of the way when fishing. There is, in fact, dedicated seating for at least six adults, which is unusual in a centre console style.
Running down the centre line of the boat is the 160-litre fuel tank, with a huge wet locker aft. Another neat feature of the Enduro 6400 is the big boarding platforms that extend either side of the outboard. A three-step, fold-out alloy ladder is extra and is a must have if you are into diving. There is plenty of useable space under the aft deck area for dive gear, at least four/five dive bottles and even extra tote tanks.
If there is a point of difference in the Enduro 6400, it’s the focus on quality, which coupled with a great layout and excellent sea keeping makes this a very special boat in its class. I look forward to seeing the first cabin variant, I am sure it will be stunning.
- Model: Enduro 6400
- Priced from: $NZ89,000
- Price as tested: $NZ115,000
- Type: Centre Console
- Construction: 5mm/4mm
- LOA: 6.40m
- Beam: 2.40m
- Deadrise: 19 deg
- Height on trailer: 2.50m
- Trailerable weight: 1960 kgs
- Power: Suzuki DF175
- Propellers: 20” 3bld
- Power options: 140-250hp
- Fuel capacity: 160 litres
- Trailer: Enduro
FUEL & PERFORMANCE DATA
ENDURO 6400 / SUZUKI 175
L / h
L / NM