By: Kevin Smith

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Moda Marine's innovative BV8000 Wheelhouse might look like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick, but how does it stack up on the water? We sent Kevin Smith to find out...

Moda Marine BV8000 Wheelhouse

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #280, April 2012



If a plate-aluminium boat ever made a fashion statement, the BV8000, from Queensland-based Moda Marine, would steal the show. Moda is Italian for fashion and style, and one glance quickly confirms this boat's aesthetics received plenty of attention at the design stage.

Yes, the BV8000 Wheelhouse stands out as a boating fashion statement both on and off the trailer, representing a seamless blend of stylish, flowing lines with a no-compromise, heavy-duty build.

When I first laid eyes on it I thought it looked like something from a sci-fi movie - something that belonged in outer space, not on the water. Its cigar-boat-esque design demanded attention, as did the twin 150 Mercs on the back - but how did it rate on the water?

I was about to find out.



Our test for this boat kicked off at Sandstone Point in south-east Queensland, just south of Bribie Island, and our destination was the Tangalooma wrecks - which just so happens to be one of my favourite spots. It's also a perfect run for testing a boat's capabilities, as the 28km crossing cops a beating from both wind and current most of the time, giving a good indication of any boat's handling and ride.

Before I slammed the hammer down, however, I had a thorough look at the BV8000's workmanship - and the good news begins with the boat's trailer.

An 8m boat definitely requires a decent trailer, and Moda Marine has spared no expense in custom-building this one. Rated to four tonnes, a combination of boxed and channel aluminium has been used to create one hell of a sturdy frame, with dual axles and alloy rims.

That attention carries on throughout the entire boat, which has been constructed more like a commercial vessel, but with a far more refined and professional finish. It looks solid, and definitely feels that way too.




The BV8000 takes the wheelhouse layout to the next level, and in this package there's a bucket-load of features to please the fussiest of boaters. At the stern are those twin Mercury 150s - a pod setup with dual side-steps for easy access to and from the water. It's a nice design, but it could do with some grabrails as standard.

Another interesting design aspect is in the way the recessed tubes are built into the false transom, with one side housing a safety canister, while the other holds some dry storage. Having the safety canister accessible like that is quite a neat feature. Also built into this section is a plumbed livewell and full-length rear lounge, with access to the plumbing and batteries behind. Speaking of the plumbing and batteries, I noted that both were protected from the elements by a hinged section of tinted Perspex - a durable and classy alternative to vinyl or other lower-grade materials.

The gunwales have a full-length heavy-duty grabrail, with large sidepockets and colour-coded padding to match the rest of the upholstery. On our test model, the outrigger mounts were in the gunwales, along with LED lighting.




The BV8000's wheelhouse was a highlight. Once you step inside it feels like you've just climbed into an executive sportscar. It has stand-up, bucket-style seating that locks you in nice and tight for high-speed driving, along with a beautifully moulded fibreglass dash with electronic gadgets galore, plus a huge screen and fibreglass hardtop, with optional clears along the sides.

Behind the seating there's another cleverly designed area that could work as a mini-bar owing to its drinkholders, a small hatch that could be filled with ice, as well as built-in chopping boards.

Of course, it also serves as the perfect bait station for the fishos.

Moving forward, the wheelhouse has an angled front section that opens upwards. This has a built-in toilet that can also be used for storage or as a change room. The door here serves as the frame for the innovative bow cover, which is easy to assemble and does its job well.

Why would you use it? Well, the BV8000 has a true bowrider-style layout, and covering it provides protection from the elements and a sleeping area if required. The vinyl-covered seating matches the rest of the craft and looks very stylish.




As I've mentioned, this machine looks like it was meant to fly rather than float on the water, but a closer inspection of its twin outboards raised an eyebrow. It was fitted with a pair of 2000-model Mercury 150s, and I was stunned to see a pair of old-style motors on such a new, high-tech machine. At first I was less than impressed, but after chatting to the manufacturer the reason became clear - he simply wanted to avoid placing unnecessary hours on new engines.

I might add these motors were in good condition, and the old two-stroke EFIs certainly weren't lacking in the performance department.

The BV8000 is designed to go fast, and that's exactly what it does. As far as plate-boat performance goes, this boat is above average in most areas, from down low in the rev range through to its top end. Throughout the speed trials it maintained decent stability, reacted well to trim, and had no problems in cornering at a fair clip.

The run to Tangalooma generally isn't great thanks to the reverse currents and wind, and on the test day we had a 15-18kt south-easter blowing, which turned the main channel upside down. Due to the BV8000's phenomenal handling I had two options for the run over to the wrecks: smash the hammers down and get there as quickly as possible, or sit back and relax at the optimum cruise speed. In the rough channel I cranked it up to 40kts (74kmh) and although it handled the onslaught without a worry, I opted to come back down to a more civilised cruise speed of around 30kts (55.6kmh). Back in the lee of Moreton Island we managed to wind it up to 46kts (85.2kmh) at 5800rpm, which is pretty damn fast.

Now if the BV8000 performed like this with the older Mercs, can you imagine what it would do with a pair of brand-spankers? I'm sure it would be quite something, to say the least...




If you're on the hunt for a boat that's flash, trendy, retro, stylish, hip, fast, well finished, well constructed, and performs like lightning, your search may well be over.

The BV8000 might have a fair price tag ($125,000 with new Mercury outboards), but for your money you'll be getting a truly unique design and an exceptional level of construction and finish. It's the old, "you get what you pay for". This particular demo boat is up for grabs, and you can always save some bucks by picking it up with the older engines, as tested.

What would you use it for, apart from showing off? Well, primarily it's a modelling boat, but it's also a multipurpose fishing boat - although you might find yourself in a spot of bother with the wife when you dirty it with fish blood!



On the plane...

Beautiful finish
Heavy-duty construction
Superb handling and ride at speed
Several innovative features


Dragging the chain...

Would have liked a test with new motors
Would have preferred proper wheelhouse seats (an option)
Needs grabrails off the rear steps for boarding







Price as tested: $110,000 with twin (2000) Mercury 150 EFIs; $125,000 with new twin Mercury 150 EFIs
Options fitted: Rear lounge, Lowrance HDS-7 Sidescan, Majestic CD / DVD system, insulated cold storage, trim tabs, LED cockpit lighting, dual fuel tanks, full-height curved glass windscreen, composite hardtop, plush trim, metallic paint, stand-up bolster seats, Moda grabrails, Streamliner styling, custom Moda heavy-duty 4000kg aluminium trailer with alloy rims
Priced from: $75,990 (incl. hull and aluminium trailer)




Type: Deep-vee fishing boat
Material: Plate-aluminium
Length: 8.6m (incl. pod)
Beam: 2.5m
Weight (hull): 1700kg
Weight (package): Approx. 2100kg
Deadrise: Variable 20°




People: 6 offshore; 8 inshore
Rec. HP: 250
Max. HP: 350
Fuel: Twin 180lt
Water: Optional




Make/model: 2 x Mercury 150 EFI (2000 model)
Type: V6 EFI counter-rotating two-stroke
Weight: 195kg (each)
Displacement: 2.4lt (each)
Gear ratio: 1:85 (each)
Propeller: 19in (each)
Moda Marine
1/6 Filmer St
Clontarf, Qld, 4019
Tel: (07) 3283 8537


Originally published in TrailerBoat #280

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