REVIEW: ARVOR 810 DIESEL

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD

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  • Trade-A-Boat

Arvor 810D 5 Running Arvor 810D 5 Running
Arvor 810D 6 Running Arvor 810D 6 Running
Arvor 810D 7 Running Arvor 810D 7 Running
Arvor 810D 8 Running Arvor 810D 8 Running
Arvor 810D 2 Arvor 810D 2
Arvor 810D 3 Arvor 810D 3
Arvor 810D 4 Arvor 810D 4
Arvor 810D Arvor 810D

Arvor’s quirky range has a very Gaelic aura, with designs that hark back to the North Sea fishing fleet. Its largest diesel model – the 810 D – has many endearing traits

 

ARVOR 810 DIESEL 

priced from $164,500

There have been so many announcements over the past couple of years that it’s been hard to keep pace with the new releases from European boatbuilder Arvor. And surprisingly, many of these new offerings have taken this usually slow-paced and quirky marque into fresh territory.

Owing its heritage to hard-working fishing boats and pushed along by moderately powerful inboard diesels, Arvors have been favourites with owners more interested in enjoying the scenery than letting it rip in the fast lane.

But under revitalised management keen to broaden the brand’s appeal, some models now sport outboards capable of pushing them to 40 knots and beyond. Merde!

Happily, some traditional diesel-powered versions have been retained, and by all accounts they’re as popular as ever for their frugal fuel use, roomy interiors and capable sea handling. They also occupy a small niche in this size range that are stirred along by a shaft-driven prop.

Largest of the range is the 810 D, released in Australia in 2016 as a makeover of the classic Arvor 25, with a new deck layout and a roomier cabin. At the same time the interior finishes were upgraded and power was lifted to a 160kW (220hp) Mercury diesel.

Peter Collins of Arvor Boats in Sydney has been a champion of the Arvor brand for many years, even building early versions under licence locally, so they’re a common sight around the country. That said, anyone new to the brand may view the design as unusual.

Big shoulders, high freeboard and wide chines running high towards the bow all contribute to the boat’s distinctive looks. Adding a sizable upright cabin creates the impression of a boat much bigger than its 7.49m footprint might suggest.

The full-width boarding platform leads to a wide starboard-side gate with heavy-duty latches and hinges. A retractable swim ladder is stored out of harm’s way under its fibreglass moulding but an engine bracket, which seems out of place on such a big boat, is due to European safety standards that require a back-up motor.

Provision to store four fenders is moulded into the rear of the transom, making them easy to access and freeing up valuable interior space.

Arvor 810D 8 Running

Step aboard and the three-metre beam and high freeboard create a feeling of space in the roomy cockpit. A quick look reveals well-moulded fittings and convertible seating so you can relax or enjoy an uncluttered deck for fishing.

It soon sinks in that the enclosed cabin is offset to port. The crafty European designers have embraced a practical approach to maximising cabin space by including a wide walkway to the bow along the starboard side and a narrow one to port. It might seem strange but it worked well and didn’t create issues when docking on the port side.

Seating in the cockpit includes neatly upholstered lounges along the sides and smaller removable and folding fibreglass benches in the rear quarters. Bring along a folding table and it’s a great place for lunch, but close everything down and you have a big non-skid platform for serious fishing.

A central lazarette is big enough for your tackle and diving gear plus any extras for extended voyaging. Fisherfolk will be impressed by lengthy kill tanks either side of the lazarette and a monster bait tank with a window at the transom. I also noted rod holders on the gunwales, a four-slot rocket launcher high on the cabin roof as well as rod storage on the port side deck and inside the lockable cabin.

Take a stroll along the starboard side, and you’ll find yet another usable fishing area in the bow, protected by a high rail. A substantial plough anchor sits proud on a stainless steel housing with a Quick electric winch plus chain and rode stored unobtrusively in a deep deck locker.

An outdoor helm station to starboard of the cabin entry adds to the Arvor’s fishing appeal. This option is ideal for keeping the skipper in contact with anglers during a fight with a big fish and also makes single-handed docking a breeze. Although I first thought the second helm seemed light-on for electronics, I noted the inside screens were clearly visible when driving from outside so there shouldn’t be any excuse for missing a fish or getting lost.

The roof extends some 400mm over the cockpit and offers some weather protection as well as housing a pair of LED lights and external speakers for the Fusion sound system.

The substantial locking and sliding glass door gives entry to the cabin where funky European design has made the most of the available space. Lots of white fibreglass surfaces and timber trim should be easy to clean and help keep the interior looking sharp for years.

The main helm area reaches 2m overhead, while further forward the floor drops at the entry to the forward cabin for a height of 2.25m. Wraparound windows lend panoramic views and a great feeling of space in the well-protected enclosure.

Arvor 810D 2

Two sturdy and comfortable helm chairs with bolsters are provided for the skipper and offsider, and a bench infill between them will accommodate an extra crew.

Forward of the port helm chair is a storage cupboard with moulded sink and single-burner butane stove. Keeping drinks and food cool is a Waeco compressor fridge under the passenger seat.

A generous dash is set to port, leaving a wide opening forward where lengthy V-berths convert to a full bed with the supplied infill or a dining space with a timber table.

There are padded side pockets to store often-used items, while holds in the floors of cabin and helm will handle provisions and extra clothes for weekends aboard.

Forward of the helm is a compact head/shower combination with a Jabsco pump-out toilet and holding tank. White fibreglass is offset with timber trim, while loads of headroom and an opening port for fresh air keep it from feeling too confined.

A seven-inch Simrad screen with GPS and sounder sits high on the dash above two comprehensive Smartcraft screens for the Mercury diesel, showing speed and revs as well as all the usual engine information. Further down are controls for the electric anchor winch, Lenco trim tabs, Vetus bow thruster and Fireboy fire-fighting system for the engine.

To the right of the screen is an unusual knob that operates a trolling valve. This allows the motor to run at low speed by letting the transmission slip without overstressing the engine when dragging lures. This valve is duplicated at the outside helm station. Along the bottom of the dash are USB and 12v charger plugs, and a switch panel for accessories including lights, pumps and the twin wipers.

I found the seating position comfortable, especially with feet up on the wide timber footrest, and within easy reach of the side-mounted controls and stainless steel steering wheel. But while there’s also plenty of room to drive from a standing position, by placing the skipper further forward, I felt it took some time to get used to the relatively rearward throttle position.

 

THE RIDE

Clicking into gear and moving forward uncovered a peculiar feature of the big Arvor: at low speeds the boat has a distinctly bow-down attitude, which can be a little unsettling at first. However, this doesn’t cause the hull to wander like some single-engine shaft drives and the bow thruster made docking and manoeuvring very easy. Once speed rises, the bow lifts to a more natural position.

Under the waterline, the prominent chines become even deeper as they continue to the stern, creating a gullwing shape with distinct tunnels either side of the keel line. So deep are these mouldings that the Arvor has some handling characteristics similar to a twin hull.

Arvor 810D 5 Running

It lifts onto the plane at a tad under 3000rpm and 14kt. Engine noise isn’t as quiet as a modern four-stroke outboard, partly because the diesel is simply a noisier unit but also because it’s sitting right under the deck, rather than outside the transom where the sound is deflected away from passengers. That’s not to say the noise is annoying – in fact, being a diesel convert, I liked the reassuring sound in the background letting us know it was happy to run all day every day without fuss.

The boat lopes along in most sea conditions with a soft ride, without bangs or rattles and felt happiest at 18-19kt and 3300rpm. In around a 1.5m sea, faster speeds showed a tendency for the broad shoulders in the bow to want to stay afloat rather than slice into the water.

In calmer conditions the engine ran out of puff at 3900rpm, with the GPS showing 24.5kt and the gauges a fuel burn of 52L/h. If that’s the worst you can expect, it’s excellent for a three-tonne vessel. Naturally there’s better economy at slower speeds; on the 3300rpm cruise we recorded 29L/h, giving a range of 176nm from the 300L tank with 10 per cent in reserve.

Because of the hard-working chines, the boat doesn’t lean much into turns and maintains a steady track through the water without any wallowing or cavitation.

 

MERCURY ENGINE

The Mercury QSD2.8L diesel is a common-rail, turbocharged inline four-cylinder with 2800cc capacity and seawater after-cooling. It pulled well through the rev range and had a reassuring torquey feel over swells.

 

THE WRAP

The Arvor 810 D offers a high level of safety from the competent sea-going hull and self-draining deck. Combine power from a reliable and frugal diesel engine with a roomy cabin for overnight stays and weather protection, and you have a great all-rounder for offshore fishing or cruising the coastline.

Pricing starts at $164,500. With options including an electronics pack, antifoul, safety kit, toilet, and Fusion sound system, our boat as tested came in at $174,000.

Features like the self-draining deck and shaft drive make it ideal for keeping it on a mooring or, if you’re lucky enough, tied to your waterside dock. If it takes your fancy, the latest version will be available for viewing at the Sydney International Boat Show. 3-7 August.

 

FACTS & FIGURES

PRICED FROM

$164,500

OPTIONS FITTED:

Electronics pack, antifoul, safety kit, toilet, and Fusion sound system

PRICE AS TESTED

$174,000

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Forward-cabin monohull

LENGTH 8.3m LOA

BEAM 2.93m

WEIGHT 2775kg

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 8

FUEL 300L

WATER 80L

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury QSD2.8 common-rail, turbo inline four-cylinder diesel

RATED HP 220hp

DISPLACEMENT 2800cc

WEIGHT 360kg

GEAR RATIO 2.09:1 (Technodrive TM485A)

PROPELLER 20.5x18in

 

Arvor 810 Diesel sea trials

Arvor 810 Diesel with 220hp Mercury QSD2.8L, 120L of fuel in 300L tank, two people on board 

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

(Lt/H)

RANGE (NM)

600 (idle)

3.8

0.9

1140

1000

4.8

1.5

844

1500

6.7

3.6

376

2000

8.2

9.7

228

2500

11.6

17.3

181

3000 (planing)

16

22.8

189

3500

21

34

166

3900 (WOT)

24.6

52.8

125

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author. Range calculated leaving 10% fuel in reserve

 

SUPPLIED BY

Arvor Australia

26/17-21 Bowden St, Alexandria, NSW 2015

PH: +61 (2) 9319 5222

EMAIL: info@arvor.com.au

WEB: www.arvor.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #492, June 2017. Why not subscribe today?

 


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