Earlier this year NZ Propeller Magazine took delivery of a new photo boat, a Fyran Horizon 600, powered by an injected 115 h.p. Suzuki, all sitting on a Voyager multi-roller trailer. Doug Dukeson takes a look at the first eight months.
The boat has been used extensively and many readers may have already seen it around the country at events such as, the GP series held earlier this year at Karapiro, offshore races at both Gulf Harbour and Bucklands Beach, the Furuno Fishing competition in March, and the recent boat shows in both Auckland and Waikato, not to mention the many hours we have spent on the harbour evaluating products and chasing that elusive 20 pounder.
The boat has been very functional, offering a stable photography platform with plenty of space in the cockpit to manoeuvre, enabling us to get those crisp shots required for the magazine, along with the shelter of the cabin to keep the camera equipment dry when the weather conditions are not so kind to us. The cabin area has enough room to enable models to change, or for us to just stretch out and take a bit of a break (alright, for me at 5’8” to stretch out anyway).
There’s loads of storage under the berths and in side shelves, with fabric lining throughout to give the interior a feeling of warmth. Excellent access is available through the wide companionway and if you need to go forward to do your anchoring (we didn’t) or as an area to brace yourself for photo shoots (we did) the large deck hatch proved ideal.
The boat has the same hull configuration as the Fyran 600 Venturer we tested in our December/January issue earlier this year. The one major aspect we discovered with the full time use of the Fyran is the fact the boat handles and rides much better with more weight on board. With the underfloor fuel tank (110 litre) full, the boat takes on different qualities with the ride and performance improved.
At this year’s Furuno competition the boat, loaded up with food, bait, tackle, extra fuel and three keen fishermen, it made easy work of the return trip to Little Barrier, which at times meant tackling some reasonably challenging waters. Returning, unfortunately without the big moocher.
We fished four people out of the cockpit and still had room to move. The wide side gunnels made a great seating area and the divers liked the easy water access. Coming back aboard through the lift out transom door was great. There is plenty of space for a separate fish bin, but we found it just as easy to use the rear seat bin which can be removed if extra space is required.
Also, with the vinyl cockpit sole covering, it was a quick hose down when we got back and we also liked the grip that it offered.
Bill Grice of Suzuki New Zealand kindly offered us a fuel-injected 115hp Suzuki outboard. At the time, unfortunately for Bill there was only one in the country and it had recently been fitted to his own personal boat, but he generously gave it up for our use. The Suzuki 115 hp is the first mid-range outboard to offer electronic fuel injection and has been a real winner for Suzuki. Ideally suited to the Fyran 600, the power to weight ratio enabled us to have the extra speed when required to manoeuvre freely around our photography subjects. The engine has started at every turn of the key without any complaints and has not missed a beat. Top speed achieved with one aboard was 50mph.
With all this movement around the country we cannot omit the trailer, supplied by Phil South of Voyager Trailers, Hamilton. The trailer has followed us wherever we go! The single axle multi-roller trailer has towed well behind our Ford Explorer, in all weather and road conditions. The multi roller system has enabled easy launching and retrieval, even on the flattest ramps and beaches the Ford Explorer has not had to get its feet wet, or more importantly, mine.
To make things a little more comfortable for ourselves we have added a few “bells and whistles”. One such feature fitted by North Shore Canvas is the excellent canopy system and zip up cabin door to provide a little more privacy and security. Whatever the weather, we are still yet to come home with a wet bum. To save our backs we had Marine Technical Services of Westhaven fit a Maxwell Freedom 500 winch, a quick and effective way to retrieve our strong holding Delta anchor. (Can also make the difference between remaining at one fishing spot or trying another). We also fitted, SeaStar Pro hydraulic steering for reassuring security and manoeuvrability, especially when working around other craft, at times at speeds of up to 50 mph.
The unit was easily towed behind my 2.0L sedan, before we took delivery of our 1997 Ford Explorer, which has since made easy work of towing, in fact at times I honestly have to remind myself I have a boat in tow.
When the boat is not in use it is stored in the security of Panmure Self Storage, in a unit which is locked and individually alarmed. You can gain 24 hour access once you punch in your personal I D number at the main gate. On and off the water Clipper Club cover our insurance requirements.
The boat has served its purpose well, both for business and pleasure, having water skied, wake and kneeboarded behind it.
We look forward to the coming season with our Propeller photo boat, so if you see us out on the water be sure to give us a wave, or come and say hello.
- Model: 600 Horizon
- Price: $15995
- Price As Reviewed: $ 38100
- Designer: Street Marine
- Material: Aluminium 4mm
- Type: Cabin
- LOA: 6.28m
- Hull Length: 6.07m
- Beam: 2.21m
- Hull Configuration: Medium vee
- Deadrise: 17 deg
- Trailerable Weight: 1100kgs
- Make: Suzuki
- HP: 115
- Model: EFI
- Cylinder Type: In-line-four
- Max RPM: 5750
- Propeller: 19” stainless
- Retail Price: $12295
- Make: Voyager
- Model: A18
- Braked: No
- Suspension: Springs
- Rollers: Multi-rollers
- std Features: submersible lights, jockey wheel.
- Retail Price: $4133
Boarding platform, deck hardware, cabin lining, vinyl cockpit covering, graphics, navigation lights, hatch, swivelling pedestal seat, navigation lights, underfloor floor fuel tank.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Maxwell Freedom winch, Eagle fishfinder, baitboard, fishbin, rocket launcher, Seastar Pro hydraulic steering, Nth Shore Canvas canopy and road cover, boarding ladder.