In the new Fyran 645 Pursuit, the builder has gone to great lengths to produce a no-frills fishing boat that Barry Thompson says is certain to find favour with traditional Kiwi fishos.
The Fyran 645 Pursuit is quite unashamedly being marketed as a budget fishing version of the Fyran 650, which apart from the more upmarket and higher spec’d appearance is essentially the same boat. Well at least in the hull anyway, as the hardtop of the 650 is GRP and the new 645 is all-alloy.
There are some very obvious changes that make the 645 the austere boat that it is. Firstly, the hardtop was changed to alloy not just for the huge cost savings but more importantly the windscreens are now five flat armourplate glass panels, unlike the curved screens of the 650, so in the event of a stuffing, you have seriously tough protection. There is also the option of wipers.
Curved screens present a number of issues, the first being they are a stock item from an overseas manufacturer and hence the footprint of the screen is predetermined before the boat is even designed. In other words, the designer has to build around the screen. It also means that the height of the hardtop remains unchangeable.
With the flat panels, Fyran has been able to sculpture the look of the screen around the boat and can now also simply change the height. While standard clearance underneath is around 1.9m, some have already been modified to suit owners’ personal needs.
The transom has been extended 200mm and the outboard pod shortened to give more aft buoyancy, something that anyone fishing from the transom area would appreciate. A by-product has been a boat that is quicker on acceleration from a standing start and has a lower planing speed, according to Fyran.
In a further move to trim costs (the 645 is around $10,000 – $12,000 cheaper than a 650), the production hatch has been replaced with a larger aluminium one, which in fact is now almost twice as big.
Inside, more savings have been made with no squabs supplied in the standard boat, just vinyl covered plywood bunk tops. The seating in the base boat is about as minimal as can be, with just a pair of swivelling plastic bucket seats.
However, while you can buy a base boat for under $65,000 on a single axle unbraked trailer, most people will add a few extras, such as we found on our test boat. It doesn’t need much to move the price up a few thousand dollars so if you are planning on buying a 645, be careful of how much extra you add if you are into it for the cost saving.
Fyran’s biggest selling boat currently, the 595 Hardtop, retails for around $50,000 on a single axle trailer with a 90hp outboard, so there is a big jump from it to the 645, the next model in the Pursuit range. Other models are the 705 and the 760.
The cabin on the Fyran 645 is reasonably basic and simple, with a practical layout that can be utilised as storage for day trips or is big enough for the serious fisho who wants to overnight. The twin berths are almost 2m long and comfortable enough if you choose to sleep over. However, you will need to go for the squab option unless you like sleeping on bare boards.
The cabin is fully fabric lined inside, with some storage under the berths between the main longitudinal stringers. There are also side trays, which are suitable for all the small items that seem to find their way aboard, but also high enough so they are not intrusive into your back when seated.
Access to the foredeck area is via an extra large hatch, enabling you to carry out all your anchoring chores while standing in the cabin. This isn’t the sort of boat that allows you to easily walk around the side decks so using the hatch is the safest choice.
Fyran has designed a good, deep anchor locker to hold loads of anchor tackle and also a built-in alloy bollard and a nice wide fairlead. With a few modifications to the anchor hatch you could install a capstan, or even better a winch, and do all your anchoring from the comfort of the helm.
Let’s Go Fishing
The cabin is divided off from the cockpit with a solid alloy bulkhead to starboard and a half one to port. The cabin opening has been cut deep enough into the cabin top so you have easy entry and tends to accentuate the openness of the cabin layout.
Without question the cockpit has been designed as a fishing platform and it’s easily big enough for upwards of four anglers. On our test boat we had the optional upgrade of back-to-back seats on plastic bin bases. There were twin swivelling buckets (no fore and aft sliders) for the skipper and forward passenger, with twin bin seats aft. Storage under is plentiful and accessed by removal of the rear seat squabs.
Being a hardtop you have plenty of weather protection and that is something that makes the boat so appealing to fishermen who aren’t so restrained from venturing out if the weather isn’t looking so good.
On the driver’s side, the facia allows for reasonably large fishfinder/plotter combos and there is also the option of bracket mounting units above. Our test boat was simply set up with a trio of gauges alongside the Humminbird, a multi switch panel and battery check indicator. Speed, temp and depth was all available on the Humminbird, plus there is still plenty of space for extras such as a VHF, trim tab indicators and auto anchoring controls.
The cockpit sole is all chequer plate alloy that drains back to the transom and a sump with an auto bilge. There are no painted surfaces to scratch, carpet to soil or anywhere for anything to be trapped. This is a boat that is ready to be blooded and can be cleaned everywhere with the blast of the hose. It has a no-frills layout, with practical and useable space.
There are two forward high level lined trays for your keys, cellphones, etc and two more lower full length side shelves for fishing rods, skis and paddles. Across the transom are two cutouts, one for the battery and battery cut-off switch, the other for storage. Great spot for the tackle box and assorted fishing gear. There is no underfloor storage as the space is taken up with buoyancy chambers to meet the CPC rating and a central 150 litre fuel tanks.
A transom cutaway allows access to the full width-boarding platform that comes with an alloy drop down ladder and side rails.
There are four-rod holders on the wide side coamings as well as in the rocket launcher overhead. This has also been changed from the 650 and is now at the rear of the hardtop for easier use and the rack is mounted more vertically so that any rods still in the holders don’t interfere with anyone casting.
Easy To Plane
Fyran rates the 645 for outboards from 135hp to 150hp. Our test boat, the first of the 645s, was powered with a Honda 135, a detuned version of the extremely popular Honda 150. The major difference is that the four stroke DOHC fuel injected 135hp Honda doesn’t have the VTEC system of the 150hp Honda.
Our test day on Auckland harbour a few days prior to Christmas was smooth, mirror smooth in fact, but as it was the only time we could get to trial the boat before it headed away on its ‘summer holiday’, we took what we could. Considering that a week prior I had been thrashing my way across Foveaux Strait in 40 knots and 2m seas, a calm day on Auckland Harbour sounded just fine.
Flat out and pulling 6000 rpm, the 645 showed 40 mph. It’s a boat that doesn’t need a lot of trim and responds well to the helm. As Fyran has said, it is an easy boat to get onto the plane and maintains it as low as 8 mph. A nice cruise was around 5000 rpm @ 33.5 mph. Lowest trolling speed was 3.5 mph so a drogue over the transom might help if it’s trout you’re after.
All Fyran boats, from the 440 upwards, are built to CPC standards and carry the CPC plate. The CPC standard is all about ensuring safety on the water and this now means that they are designed to be unsinkable even if filled with water. A big ask of any boat, but in the case of the Fyran 645, there is a combination of both foam and sealed air chambers for buoyancy. Attention to detail and quality of construction is a prerequisite of all Fyran boats. In 2007 Fyran invested in a CNC router, a computer controlled machine that cuts and drills aluminium. The application of this technology results in precision cut components that fit together perfectly, resulting in lighter, stronger boats.
Fyran has developed special techniques for forming thicker sheets of aluminium that allows the use of formed sections of 5mm aluminium material.
The 645 Pursuit is built strong and features six 5mm stringers, all full height from hull to floor, six 5mm ribs, all welded to the 5mm thick hull, a 90mm keel bar extrusion and a 40mm chine extrusion. All this combines to create better strength and rigidity.
- Make: Fyran
- Model: 645 Pursuit
- Price As Tested: $72,000
- Packages from: $65,000
- Designer: Alan Walker / Fyran Design Team
- Material: Aluminium, 5mm bottom
- Type: Hardtop
- LOA: 6.51m
- Beam: 2.32m Standing headroom under hardtop 1.90m
- Deadrise: 17 degrees
- Hull Config.: medium V
- Trailerable Weight: 1650kg (approx)
- Engine Capacity: 115 – 150hp
- Power Options: Outboards only