By: Rick Huckstepp

Struggled with the offshore fishing scene in the past? The Noble SuperVee 7.4 Centre Cab will ensure you make a vengeful return

Noble Engineering has been trading as a family company for more than two decades, building boats to more than 12m for a variety of customers including the Royal Australian Navy and other government departments.
Its boats are designed by naval architects on CAD software and materials are computer cut for accuracy.
With so many plate boats of this size on today’s market, we thought we should check out the 7.4m Centre Cabin on Victoria’s Port Philip Bay.
When we test a boat of this calibre, which is particularly designed for serious offshore work, it is always nice to have some swell, chop and fairly ordinary weather to sort out any issues the hull and fit up might have. Unfortunately, this time Port Phillip produced conditions that would have to go down in its history as the calmest ever, albeit a little chilly for someone from warmer climes!
New World Honda was running a media day, pre-empting an open weekend where many of the company’s boat models were on the water for test driving by interested members of the public. On the water at Patterson Lakes, we could access Port Phillip easily and, once clear of the entrance we took the SuperVee through its paces. With five other large craft churning up the clear water we had plenty of wash to play in to test the hull performance.

Wound out to maximum revs of 5800 the twin Honda four strokes had the speedometer showing 46mp/h, which is nearly 75km/h. From a standing start the Hondas proved to be well matched to this hull, producing a fast and effortless hole-shot. Manoeuvrability was also easy on the arms, with Hynautic hydraulic steering fitted. It utilised one pump on the starboard engine and a drag link to the port power plant.
With so much torque on offer, cruising at a variety of speeds would be comfortable in various types of sea.
Counter rotating propellers also gave the SuperVee versatility at the helm in tight spots and very direct steering when backing down. The half-cut transom door was high enough not to allow any water to pour into the cockpit when going hard astern. The volume of water coming over the full-width floating transom was acceptable for gamefishing situations.
Build wise, the welding on this boat looked strong with wide fillet welds at the joins.
The centre cabin was easily traversed via a wide companionway inside the forequarter gunwales, heavily coated with non-slip. Once at the bow, the area in the vicinity of the anchor well and Maxwell Freedom winch was flat, making for good stability while working the ground tackle, should you need to do it manually.
There is enough room to stow a small rubber dinghy here or on the roof of the hard top, which featured grabrails for when you’re moving past the cabin or tying down chattels for travel.
Inside the cabin the vee-berth could sleep two large adults without an infill for the leg well. There was also plenty of head height for those sitting inside. The forward section of the cushioning secreted a portable toilet behind a lift-out gate. Stowage was found under the side cushions as well as in a large deep tray at the forward end of the cabin. After viewing the heavy longitudinal stringers that pass through this area, it was evident that there was also plenty of bracing in the forefoot of this hull.

There was plenty of room for marine electronics at the helm and a flat dash top could handle a number of gimbal-mounted instruments. The windscreen on this boat was all perspex and a set of clears connected it to the hard top and targa.
Gaps in the joins of the clears near the hard top did let water drip onto the dash when punching through big chop and generating spray, though. This would need attention.
The swivel bucket seats, which were mounted on stowage boxes fixed to the floor, were comfortable.
Out in the cockpit the side pockets ran the full length with a freshwater deckwash in each. The inner side of the coamings were padded at a height above the average knee, making for comfortable and stable standing while fishing. The kill tank, measuring 90cm x 90cm, was situated under the deck.
A battery for each engine was fixed in a compartment on both the port and starboard side of the transom bulkhead. The battery on the starboard side shared the compartment with fuel lines and a drainable fuel filter, which should be changed due to the possibility of a fire, should fuel leak into a compartment where a faulty connection might cause a spark.
A livebait tank and practical bait rigging board with four rodholders complimented the rest of this bulkhead. The targa also had room for six rods in the launcher but the optional extended awning off the back of the hard top made it difficult to access those rods not on the outer ends of the launcher.
The SuperVee’s 24-degree deadrise will hold it in good stead when punching through offshore chop, while its aggressive double reverse chines offer good stability dead in the water.
With plenty of room to move in the cockpit, this boat had all the hallmarks of a practical fishing platform for a number of anglers.

Large berths in cabin
Handles well at the helm

Poor quality clears
Fuel fittings in battery compartment could be a safety issue
Hard to access rods in rocket launcher when optional awning is fitted


SPECIFICATIONS: Noble SuperVee 7.4 Centre Cab

Price as tested:      $129,950
Options fitted:      Hard top, rocket launcher, clears, second fuel tank, rear
       lounge and backrest, padded coamings, bi-fold door,
       livebait tank, wash down, bait board, transom door, boarding
       ladder, cabin hatch, deck winch, fridge/freezer, radio and CD
       player, sounder/GPS, spotlights on hard top and outriggers.
Priced from:      $107,000.00

Material:                  Plate aluminium, 5mm bottom and transom, 4mm sides and decks
Length overall:      7.7m
Beam:        2.5m
Deadrise:       24°
Weight:       1100kg dry hull

Fuel:        360lt (2 x 180lt)
Freshwater:        60lt
Rec/max HP:        300
Rec/min HP:   150
Berth length:        188m
People:         10 adults

Make/model:        Honda BF135 x 2
Type:         Fuel injected four-stroke, DOHC four-cylinder
Rated horsepower:       135 each
Displacement:        2354cc     
Weight:                             217kg
Gearbox ratio:        2.14
Propellers:        17-inch counter rotating

New World Honda,
518 Princes Highway,
Berwick, Vic, 3806
Telephone: (03) 8794 0000
Facsimile: (03) 8794 0099

Originally published in TrailerBoat #208


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