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It’s been 22 years since the first amphibious boat was launched in New Zealand, and they have been on an upward growth curve ever since. However, none more so than in recent years with three brands of Kiwi amphibious systems providing ‘wheelie’ packages for both local and overseas boat builders. After a few years of legal turmoil, Anura (previously known as Orion) has emerged as one of the dominant brands and today are the leading supplier of amphibious systems to the OEM market.

In 2011, FC Boats was started by Ross Christensen, who saw the opportunity to improve the smaller-sized aluminium market. The result was the release of the FC430, which proved highly successful, starting a revolution in the small trailerable tiller steer runabout market. 

Fast forward to 2023, and FC Boats has come a long way from a couple of tiller steer open runabouts. Now under the leadership of Ross and Max Chistensen, FC Boats offer a fourteen-model range comprising tiller steer, centre console, cuddy cabin and hardtops from 4.4m through to 7m.

One of those, the FC700HTA, resulted customer feedback, according to Max.

“We had a repeat FC Boats customer that asked us about building him an amphibious FC using the Sealegs system. After some discussions, we built him an amphibious FC 635 centre console which was soon followed by an amphibious 700HT for another client at Pauanui”, says Max. After sitting out of the amphibious market for around 3 years, FC Boats went on the hunt for a wheel system provider, and were pleasantly surprised when they came across the Orion System.  Now sold as Anura, the FC700 HTA is fitted with the Anura S25 system. The Anura S25 is a three-wheel system designed explicitly for boats with a gvm of 2500-3000kg. The 3S provides ample stability and traction in conventional beach-type applications, which include a combination of sand and gradient. I had no trouble negotiating the soft sand of Man O War Bay at the bottom end of Waiheke. An NEMA 2000 sensor links the Mercury steering to the power pack, so when the wheels are up, there is no link, and when they are down, it matches the movement of the outboard steering.

The all-wheel drive system has a diff lock system as standard, providing additional drive capability on difficult terrain. According to Anura, the S25 system has a max drive and brake holding incline of 14 deg.

The power package for the amphibious system is provided by Anura’s ICE power unit, driven by a 24kW (32HP) EFI, air-cooled engine. The engine operates via control by wire (CBW) technology. The combination of EFI and CBW provides the hydraulic power unit’s fast starting and instant response. With the throttle and hydraulics computer controlled, when you move the throttle control, the power is delivered automatically precisely where required for a smooth and effortless operation.

Once on the water, the wheels all retract back up against the hull, with the rear two doing double duty when required as boarding steps. 

Max added that with pressure from another client who wanted a hardtop with wheels, they built the first FC635 HTA with the Anura system in August 2021.

“The advantage of the Anura system is we could mount the motor under the port side queen seat and not have any space taken up in the cockpit with a separate generator. We have not compromised the fishing space, which is important in a boat this size”, says Max.

To balance the weight of the Anura onboard system on the port side, the FC700HTA has a trio of 12-volt Mastervolt batteries to run the Minn Kota Ulterra 36V under the starboard seat as compensation. Hence the reason why the Minn Kota is part of the standard package.


The boat is destined to be essentially used for fishing, and when it comes to designing fishing boats, the boys at FC Boats know what they are doing. Our test boat had already had several West Coast marlin aboard and was well-blooded. The cockpit has wide side decks with plenty of rod holders and sinker/drink holders, FC Boats famous passive live bait tank system, with 166L to keep bait fish alive for hours, plus a central bait station. The SeaDek on the sole offers a soft, slip free surface, with the open cockpit design means there is enough space for four anglers’ bottom fishing.


The forward area of the cockpit is all about seating with a king/queen on either side. As explained, most of the space under is already used by the Anura power source and the Minn Kota batteries. However, there are still plenty of storage places in wide side trays and underfloor. Triple glass screens can be fitted with wipers, with the sliding side windows allowing for a better cross flow of air.

The dash is big enough to handle the necessary gauges and switches you need for the wheelie system and your electronics, anchor winch, stereo system, etc. Our boat had a Raymarine Axiom 12, which comes standard, with any additional electronics on request.

The wide cabin opening from the wheelhouse area leads into a conventional cabin with twin vee berths and an infill. There is shelving on either side, storage under the squabs, and a head forward. A privacy curtain can slide across the bulkhead should it be required. Everything is fabric lined, so you have no hint of alloy anywhere.

You can also have a fully lockable wheelhouse with a bulkhead splitting the king/queen seats, complete with a central door and windows. FC Boats have built around 20, 700HTA boats, with the majority being the open wheelhouse style. They have even made two for owners who use wheelchairs, which Max says worked exceptionally well, and the owners are very pleased.


Standard power is a Mercury 250 Verado, but you can option the boat up to 300hp, Suzuki or Mercury, if you want more speed. However, I must admit that the 300hp Mercury Verado seemed well suited to the boat. The Mercury Verado 300 gave us 38.5 knots @ 6000 rpm. On a calm to choppy Auckland Harbour most comfortable cruise was around 26-28 knots which returned around 1.7 lpnm and a range of 140nm.

The FC700HTA is not a light boat which can be an advantage in the choppy to rough water, with the boat more settled, especially at speed. However, a heavy boat is harder to push, so expected to use a bit more fuel. The legs in their up position are clear of the water, so you don’t get any secondary spray.

Along with the deep vee, 6mm hull with extended gunnels, the boat offers a dry ride.


With such a wide choice of amphibious boats on the market, the decision on the brand or model you choose has undoubtedly grown in the past two decades. FC’s 700 HTA is right up there with the best of them and does everything that the company claim. If you like the idea of owning an FC700HT but don’t require the amphibious system, you can get it without. It’s also a lot cheaper as the wheelie package adds around another $160,000 to the price for a similar speced non-amphibious version. The layout is identical in the cockpit and cabin, with subtle differences around the stern where the wheels are mounted.

FC is currently producing a new 6m which will feature the lighter Anura S15 system, an ideal package for the smaller and lighter model.

Performance Data : Mercury 300 V8 Verado

RPMKnotsL/hL/NMRange (NM)

Range is calculated on 90% of 280 litres.


  • Boat Design Name FC700HTA
  • Year Launched 2022
  • Builder FC Boats 
  • LOA 7.05m
  • Beam: 2.50m
  • Draft 520mm
  • Deadrise 19 deg
  • Towing Weight 3245kg
  • On Water Weight 2600kg
  • Max Speed 38.5 knots
  • Construction 6mm/4mm Aluminium
  • Fuel Capacity 280 L
  • Engine Mercury 300 V8 Verado
  • Propeller Enertia 16.5 SS
  • Power Options Outboard (200-300hp)
  • AMPH Systems Anura S25 (Previously Orion)
  • Interceptors Zipwake
  • Anchor Winch Viper Prop Rapid 1000
  • Underwater Lights Bluefin P3
  • Batteries Mastervolt/HCB
  • Entertainment Fusion RA-770
  • Flooring SeaDek
  • MFD Raymarine Axiom 12
  • Trolling Motor Minn Kota Ulterra 36V
  • Trailer Voyager 700HTA
  • Base Price of Boat $NZ379,995
  • Price As Tested $NZ402,059 + trailer

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