Narwhal 620 Samoa bound

19th October 2010

Apia Airport has taken delivery of a Narwhal 620 work boat. But not before Boating NZ took one for a test drive.

Built in Spain, the 620 has just taken up a position at the Apia Airport and will be fitted with four 30-man life rafts, ready to be deployed if a plane goes down.

Boating NZ took the 6.2-metre Narwhal, distributed by RFD New Zealand, for a spin on the Waitemata Harbour before it was shipped to the Pacific Islands.

In a messy chop the 620 handled herself well, slicing the tops off waves and keeping upright in the process. Three running strakes on the fibreglass hull help her track straight while a turned-down chine keeps spray away from the boat's occupants.

From the anchor locker aft, the hull is foam-filled, which makes her certified as unsinkable and gives a quiet ride too.

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A one-piece moulded deck acts as a false floor and means a single scupper in the transom replaces a bilge pump. Getting on the plane was easy with the 620's four-stroke Yamaha 115hp, and she operates well with only a little air beneath the hull.

At 4500 revs - as far as we were allowed to push it on a tight engine - she reached 27mph, but there's plenty of revs and performance left. In the choppy conditions, she hugged the water firmly but needed to be trimmed right in to avoid cavitation in tight turns.

An extension of the deck mould runs around the tube for protection while pressure release valves preserve the tubes' integrity when subjected to extreme heat.

There are grab-handles everywhere and a 92-litre fuel tank and fuel filter are housed inside the solid centre-console, along with the battery. Seating is limited to a single above the anchor locker but the 620 won't exactly be performing a sit-down job.

Source: Boating NZ

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