To call the new Roger Hill-designed Profab 1200 a trailer boat is a bit of a stretch, but it really is.
Profab Central Engineering is one of those builders that do things a little under the radar; however, they are responsible for some outstanding vessels. From their reasonably landlocked factory in Palmerston North, they have produced several reasonably big recreational boats, such as the 22m Adagio, the 31m Black Pearl and the 39m The Beast. Getting such big boats to the water was logistically challenging, but somehow, they managed it.
With a beam of under 5m, that wasn’t an issue for the Profab 1200. The semi-production Profab 1200 is something different for the company, and again, it shows off its skills and quality when it comes to building alloy boats. Construction is 6mm running surfaces with 5mm topsides and a 4mm superstructure. The roof, however, is all composite, reducing the weight by about 50% and allowing for a slightly lower and softer looking profile. Designer Roger Hill was given the job of coming up with a boat that could be powered by either inboard or outboard and be fitted with or without foils. I would expect that most people buying this boat would opt for the foil for the extra speed and better economy at the mid-range.
FOIL OR NOT TO FOIL
This was not an option for the owner of the first Profab 1200. This is where the reference about this boat being a trailer boat comes in. The owner has a property on the shores of the Bay of Islands, and not wanting to keep the boat in the water; he had Profab build him a 13m custom trailer. This allows him to pull the boat out of the water with a tractor and keep it in a shed. So now you can understand why there is no foil between the hulls on this particular boat. Roger Hill says that if the foil design were optimised for high speed, he would expect an increase from around 47 knots from this unfoiled version to about 54/55 knots.
But it might be more practical to optimise for economy at about 25 knots, in which case the top speed gain would be a little less. However, it is still a quick boat, whichever way you look at it. The boat has an overall length of 13m, a hull length of 12m, a beam of 4.7m, with a midship displacement of around 10.3 tons. The full load is 11700kgs. One of the most impressive features of the first Profab 1200 is its power. Twin Mercury Verado 600hp V12s dominate the transoms, and I have to admit they look impressive. With the 7.6l, quad-cam V12, Mercury has taken over when it comes to big horsepower outboards, and the 600s have proven incredibly popular since it launched a few years ago. Okay, two looks good, but there are now boats in the USA with !ve or six on the back. Helluva fuel bill is all I can say.
When you have 1200hp on tap, fuel consumption will not be light. At 6400 rpm, we burnt 400 lph or 8.7 lpnm. But we were doing nearly 47 knots. However, it’s relatively unlikely that you would run flat out and hammer down all the time, so dropping back to 4500 rpm, the fuel usage decreased to a more acceptable 160 lph/5.4 lpnm at 30 knots, and the range jumped to 260 nm. If you are happy with a lower cruising speed, then the Profab 1200 can be powered with a pair of 400-425hp outboards. The asymmetrical hull design has proven to be very slippery and fuel efficient, and having 1600 litres fuel capacity, the boat has an acceptable cruising range.
At 24-25 knots, you can get close to 300nm. What impressed me was the level low bow attitude when getting onto the plane and how quickly the boat reached maximum rpm. The acceleration is instant, with the quad-cam engine developing plenty of torque. There is no lag as the rpm builds with the two-speed gearcase and quadruple props transferring the power with computerised precision. Electro-hydraulic controls allow the steerable gearcase to react instantly to your commands. When turning, the Profab 1200 hooks in hard and feels like it’s on rails. The boat stays flat and level.
At rest and underway in most conditions, the tunnel roof is high enough above the waterline, so you get no slapping. Thanks to the Advanced MidSection (AMS) mounting system that cradles the powerhead, noise and vibration are isolated, while careful tuning dampens induction sounds and nearly eliminates injection noise. The Mercury Verado 600s are quiet and smooth. Db readings in the saloon ranged from 80db at maximum rpm to 75 db in cruise mode.
If you don’t want the outboard option, the Profab 1200 is available with inboards. The next boat to be launched will be powered by twin Iveco FPT 400 inboards through shafts. With the foil assist, maximum speed will be approx. 42 knots with a cruise of around 25 knots. An advantage of having fixed powerheads is that it allows you to maximise the space of the boarding platform between the engines. In the Profab 1200, the teak-covered alloy platforms are 1.8m wide and stop just 7.5cm from the outboards. One of the requirements to the designer was the boat needed the ability to back up into shallow water to drop people onto a beach.
Hence, the boarding platform extends back from the transom 1.2m to the outside of the engine cowls. Surrounded by a caged safety rail with a drop-down swim ladder, it is a perfect place for fishing. There’s an optional bait boat and a drop-down seat available. At rest, the engines can be tilted completely out of the water. Twin access is provided to the cockpit, which features a central 1.8m settee aft, fixed table, day head/shower to port and another smaller settee to starboard with a freezer under.
With the inboard option, access to the full-width boarding platform is in the centre of the transom, with lockers on either side. There is also a cockpit side door which is perfect when you want to board your boat from a marina or jetty. With the outboard power option, the two lazarettes are all about storing things like blow-up paddleboards, a foldable tender, and dive gear.
Even with the inboard package, plenty of storage is still available. Double doors fold back, and a starboard side window drops away to bring the cockpit and saloon together. The teak flooring runs from one level all the way through. Plus, to extend your living space even more, there is a soft extension on the back of the hardtop with clears that about doubles your closed-in spaces.
The interior layout on this boat is customer-driven, and the designer has an accommodating pencil that allows a lot of scope to design the interior the way you want it. Naturally, there are some parameters you have to work within, but there is still a lot of flexibility. Boat #1 had a conventional layout with a port side galley, starboard full-length lounger and forward mid-cabin helm. The saloon has a 2.0m clearance and a 3.2m beam.
The black ceramic galley surface is a nice contrast against the lighter oak timbers and fabrics. There’s the usual fridge, under bench Force 10 oven and four burner hob. Storage is plentiful both above and below the bench top. Opposite is a 2.2m long settee and a fixed table. With a couple of loose chairs, you have space for up to eight. In boat #2, there is also a pull-out seat extension aft. You can also have a rise-and-fall dining table if required.
The helm in boat #1 makes full use of the beam available, with a pair of Garmin 16 MFDs flanked by a Fusion stereo, C-Zone, Mercury controls with DTS, Garmin VHF and controls for the Lonestar GX5 drum winch. The helm seat design is an option, such as a double bench, twin buckets or, as in the case of the next Profab 1200, a single. Visibility from the helm is excellent through the curved glass screen. Sliding side windows and an overhead hatch offer some extra natural airflow.
Like most powercats, all the berths are downstairs in the hulls. The Profab 1200 has many layout options available. To starboard, we had a master cabin forward with a double berth over the tunnel and a generous en-suite aft. In this layout, the en-suite services all the cabins.
However, if you go for the two-cabin layout, you can have a second en-suite in the port hull. The forward cabins have a 2m high headroom. The port side hull has a forward cabin with two large single berths and another aft with a double. There is the option of having identical double cabins forward and turning the aft cabin into a utility space, laundry or just somewhere to stow your gear. Again it’s your choice.
Attention to detail is evident throughout the boat, even in the areas you don’t see. Such as the inside of the 6mm alloy hull has been coated with a Pyrotec Decicoat spray-on thermal insulation paint which helps stop condensation. Added to this is a layer of insulation and sound-deadening material.
Roger Hill is one of New Zealand’s most prolific powercat designers, with over 200 designs to his credit and currently has 22 boats in build throughout the world. MD of Profab Central Engineerings brief to Hill was for a modern, sleek European influenced sedan styled catamaran, that performed as good as it looked, and had to have the option of being able to be fitted with a foil. He also felt that the market was lacking a 12-13m production powercat and says the Profab 1200 was built to fill that gap. Thanks to Profab’s bespoke customisation services, they have certainly nailed it when it comes to taking the concept of a production boat to complete bespoke creation. So, you not only get what you want, it is finished to the highest standard and knowing you have a hull designed by an internationally recognised designer, what’s not to like?
- Boat Design Name Profab 1200
- Year Launched 2023
- Style Sedan Powercat
- Price as Tested NZ$1.675m (INCL GST)
- Hull Design Asymmetric (Foil option)
- Builder Profab Central Engineering
- Designer Roger Hill Yacht Design
- LOA 13.02m
- LWL 11.61m
- Beam 4.69m
- Draft 0.600m
- Displacement (Full) 11700kg
- Max Speed 47 knots , 54 knots (with foils)
- Construction Aluminium /Composite
- Fuel Cap 1600 litres
- Water Cap 620 litres
- Engines Make 2 x Mercury 600hp V12 Verado Drive Train Outboard or Inboard
- Propellers Twin Prop 24.5” SS
- Batteries Mastervolt Lithium
- Controls Mercury DTS
- Lighting BEP
- MFD 2 x 16” Garmin
- VHF Garmin
- Monitoring C-Zone
- Winch Lonestar GX5 Drum
- Painting Altex
- Ent System Fusion