BOAT TEST: NOBLE BOATS INTERNATIONAL 6.85

By: John Ford

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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In the Noble International 6.85, says John Ford, we have an aluminium offshore fishing boat that might convert a few dedicated “glassies”.

BOAT TEST: NOBLE BOATS INTERNATIONAL 6.85
NOBLE BOATS INTERNATIONAL 6.85

TEST: NOBLE BOATS INTERNATIONAL 6.85

Size matters. When it comes to boats there's nothing more reassuring than being at sea in a big boat when things get rough. And as far as trailerboats go the Noble International 6.85 is getting close to the top end of models that you can reasonably tow around.

The advantages of size include that important safety margin at sea in a well-designed boat, but also the ability to carry more passengers, with more room to move around, greater versatility in how fit out your boat, greater range with bigger fuel tanks, the ability to camp aboard, and greater speed.

All of this comes at a cost of course. A bigger boat with bigger motors is more expensive to buy and run. You also need plenty of pulling power to tow it around and it's more demanding to manoeuvre in traffic. And on top of that there are just some places you can't take a big boat.

All that said, for a variety of reasons there are still plenty of people who hanker after something big. The Noble International 6.85 Centre Cabin Hardtop is targeted at the dedicated offshore fisherman but it could also be considered a family cruiser for those attracted to something more practical rather than a cruiser with all the frills.

 

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The boat is constructed in 5083 plate-aluminium and the solidly-finished hull gives the impression of being easy to maintain - a quick hose out of the selfdraining deck after a day's fishing will keep it looking good.

Noble products are now built in China under stringent quality control and the company dropped the Super Vee name. The hull is from a line of deep-vee models that have been produced for some time and are based on American designs that go back years. The new owners are committed to providing the same quality product associated with the name that has a strong following in this country.

This particular range has been set up with a number of drive-away packages that include an impressive list of standard options, but with plenty of room for customisation.

Stepping aboard the 6.85 you immediately get an impression of solid and practical construction. The fittings are strong and well-finished and the removable hardtop gives the boat a spacious feel. Everything about it gives you the impression that this is a serious seaboat that's made to last, yet at the same time it's well designed and appealing. The hull is built from high-grade 5mm aluminium with welded bracing below the floor for strength and rigidity.

The spacious cockpit has an uncluttered and simple layout with large sidepockets running along its length. The fully-welded floor means the deck is truly selfdraining thanks to large scuppers at the transom. The standard livebait tank is located here and the enginewell houses the 225hp four-stroke Yamaha. A swim platform and ladder also lead through a door to the cockpit.

Throughout the boat there are plenty of fish-friendly features, like the three-aside rodholders in the sidedecks, a solid rocket launcher with provision for six rods, a deckwash, and a high sidedeck that's good for fighting fish.

 

 

NICE ERGOS

The helm has a straight forward, simple layout with comfortable bucket seats set on useful storage boxes. The dash layout could use some more space for larger screens to be flush-mounted but there's plenty of space for fitting large detachable screens to the top of the flat dash. Passengers get a solid grabrail and the four-piece screen is solid and large enough to keep out wind and spray.

The cuddy-cabin has V-berths that accommodate four sitting people, and with the blue vinyl infill will give over two meters of room to bed down. Small windows allow light and air into the cabin. Access to the bow is easy and safe, and there's a well-placed split-bowrail. The anchoring system is also strong and practical with a deep anchorwell and a solid fairlead.

 

 

GETTING UP IT

Offshore of Pittwater, in Sydney, we had plenty of swell to play with but the boat's aluminium construction gave nothing away in ride quality. With a hull weight of 880kg and the big Yamaha on the back, it was rock solid. Across Pittwater we had almost a metre of chop and at 32.4kts (60kmh) the Noble lapped it up.

This is not, by the way, the sort of ride you'd normally expect from a plate-boat. In fact, its design and construction provide the sort of ride you'd expect from a good glass boat where construction allows any design form to be applied to the hull. This was evident as we conducted speed trials. It likes to cruise at 4000rpm, where we did 18.9kts (35kmh) using 28lt/h. Top speed at 6000rpm was 34.4kts (64kmh) while drinking 72lt/h. At 5000rpm it felt like it could cruise all day, where we'd be sitting on 25.8kts (48kmh) and consuming 46lt/h.

At sea, with around 18kts of breeze, there was some spray on the screen at certain angles but generally the huge flare in the bow directs water away from the boat. There was no broaching or banging as we rode the swells back inshore. In sharp turns at speed the hull bites in well with no sign of cavitation.

 

 

OTHER GOODIES

As mentioned, the boat has an impressive list of standard options and the package also includes a Boeing dual-axle roller trailer with breakaway brakes.

This is a serious boat for offshore and extended cruising applications. The list of standard features is impressive, but because of the aluminium construction the boat easily lends itself to personalised modifications. It doesn't ooze luxury but yells loud and clear "let's get out there and fish!"

 

 

On the plane...

Solid and safe construction

Practical and spacious design

 

 

Dragging the chain...

More attention to detail

Dash could be a tad bigger

 

 



Specifications: Noble Boats International 685 Centre Cab Hard Top

 

 

HOW MUCH?

Priced from: $92,997 (with Yamaha Z200)

Price as tested: $97,986 (with Yamaha F225)

 

 

GENERAL

Type: Deep-vee monohull

Material: Aluminium

Length: 6.85m

Length: 7.20m

Beam: 2.5m

Hull weight: 880kg

Deadrise: 24°

 

 

CAPACITIES

Fuel: 2 x 180lt

Rec HP: 150-225

 

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Yamaha F225 four-stroke EFI

Rated HP: 225

Displacement: 3352cc

Weight: 272kg

Cylinders: V6 60°

 

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Noble Boats International

Tianjian, China

Web: www.nobleboatsinternational.com.au

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

Enterprise Marine

1416 Pittwater Rd

Narrabeen, NSW, 2101

Phone: (02) 9913 7767

Web: www.enterprisemarine.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 259.

 

Find Noble Boats International boats for sale.

 


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