BOATS - Firefly flashes in Gold Coast run
A new range of high-performance Chinese-built RIBS hit the Gold Coast.
British-owned Chinese boatbuilder, Watermark Marine, recently sea trialled its first Firefly 7.7m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with a blistering run at Surfers Paradise following the launch of the new vessel at this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
Watermark Marine said its boats are winning over red-blooded types with their high-performance (the Firefly’s top speed in the trial is said to be 55kts), advanced design from naval architect and former European powerboat champion Adam Younger, and top-name components and instruments.
According to the manufacturer, the boats have leisure, racing and commercial applications, and there is also a Fast Fisher model currently in design for the Australian market.
The Firefly 7.7m RIB — available in either fuel efficient Eco or high-performance Evo models — has a twin-stepped hull for racing speeds while Orca Hypalon 866-grade tubes ensure comfort and stability. The Firefly Evo is powered by a 250hp Mercury Verado outboard engine and the Eco by a 150hp Mercury Verado. The manufacturer said top speeds are 55/45kts respectively, with a range of 180/250nm.
Both versions, said Watermark Marine, have Aikona teak decks, Raymarine and BEP electronics, Garmin navigation, Sony entertainment, Lopolights throughout, transom shower and ladder, and spacious seating with extensive storage.
Watermark Marine said it opened its first boatyard 11 months ago and is increasing production each month with five finished boats (three 7m powerboats and two 7.7m RIBs) and more orders on the books.
All Watermark Marine boats are named after aircraft in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, in honour of the late Lieutenant Commander Sammy Mearns, coxswain of the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat during the notorious 1979 Fastnet race and uncle of Watermark’s managing director, Joe Mearns.
To see a clip of the Firefly's sea trial click
For more information,
contact Watermark Marine (Australia), 17/8 Hopper Avenue, Ormeau, Qld, 4208: phone 0410 538190; (07) 5540 7905 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.