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The Fish Market

by John Curnow, Editor, Powerboat-World.com 3 Jul 00:00 PDT
The über-gifted Andrea Francolini shows us the massive tunas for sale at the old Tokyo Fish Market © Andrea Francolini

It's a place where they sell tunas, amongst other species. Funny that, given its name. Now my alternate headline was "It's all about the numbers", but what we are really talking about here is what I genuinely feel will be the next step in the ever-changing and developing outboard sector. And that is that it will become all about the tuners (Argh, argh, argh), as the output, and the numbers on the cowling will be as critical as the colour schemes, lighting, livery, and display of the nomenclature itself.

It certainly all kicked off with Seven Marine's mighty, Chev-based weapon reaching the kinds of heights that used to be the domain of V12 Lamborghini derived beasts, large block V8s from Mercury Racing, or large, cast iron ladies burning oil. Of course, Nizpro Marine showed us what could be done with some real know-how from time on the water, and the brilliant Eaton supercharger.

Yet it was the release of the very new Mercury 450hp donk for your transom that allowed us to have a big think about what it all meant. It is a supercharged version of the all-killing new 4.6l V8 series that is as sold out as ice blocks in Europe right now. Right off the blocks, Mercury's claim for the 'best power-to-weight ratio in the industry' seemed like they needed to do a little more research in the marketing department. Simply put, it cannot be, for Nizpro's unit is 22.5kg lighter already.

Yes you can have it all go into Mercury's brilliant fly-by-wire arrangement, so that you can have Skyhook joystick control (shown here on an Aquila 36), and single lever operation for up to six lumps out aft. Excellent stuff.

Like anything cool, it is not cheap. Think around 75-85% of a Seven Marine mill, and you'd be pretty much in the right part of town. Being a 64-degree Vee, it is also fairly unique. Adding the counter-rotating balancing shaft has certainly made it smooth to the touch. Back in what seems to be near prehistoric times, Mitsubishi developed a really cool version of this arrangement for their 2.6l four-pot, and patented it. After throwing loads of money at the issue trying to solve it, Porsche, yes Porsche, just paid up and licensed the tech from them for their 2.5 and 3.0l fours in the 944 and 968 derivative, as it really worked.

Time will tell over the inherent harmonics of such an angle, which really needs a 12 to be sweet. Heat is another crucial element in a supercharged plant, and I would be keeping one eye on the gauge, and giving it plenty of cool down running time after a belting, which seems like it would be nearly every time you used it.

Now I cannot help thinking that the numbers game will come into it pretty soon. A bit like cars if you will, where this year is a 325, and next year is a 335. That's pretty much code for your nearest tuner is going to be able to dial up what you want... Just ask! Yes, Mercury Racing will sell plenty of these blinders, and I think the tuners will be running (yep, pun fully intended) right about now, and then all season long too!

Heading inboard for a minute, and I see that Rolls Royce and Siemens are investigating hybrid propulsion. Like taking two of the best names going around could do anything but have the love child of Neptune himself. Turbines making heaps of power, and electric motors providing torque on an industrial scale is a dead set winner, winner, chicken dinner for superyachts. And you would still have heaps left over for house use... Over time I can see this heading downscale, which is both intriguing and mind blowing.

Moving on now, and we had an absolute ball in the time immediately after the show at Sanctuary Cove. Really busy, for sure, but in the good weather we just had to make the most of it, and boy did we. This is what we got up to:

  • After talking with the team at the show we published the piece on Nanni Diesel entitled Nanni= Power
  • We really enjoyed taking the very new ILIAD 50 out through the Southport Bar and very nearly kept going to Vanuatu, just to prove the point!
  • Jumped on board the Longreef 60 SX up at Coomera and then took her all the way down to the Broadwater and out to sea. That was a great day.
  • Spoke at length with Mark Richards about both Grand Banks and Palm Beach ahead of some very cool new product launchings in the latter part of this year.

  • If you have not yet driven a vessel powered by one or more of Nizpro Marine's sensationally delightful, V6 Yamaha based, 450s outboards, then go do so right now and come back to read this newsletter afterwards. It feels like it has the torque of a Diesel, the responsiveness of a petrol motor, and the desire to rev its ring out like a two-stroke with a massive expansion pipe. Yes. It is that good!
  • We took flight on the new SEAir 5.5m Foiling Tender, and found out what "going to eleven" is really all about. Only option I can think of would be forward-looking sonar.
  • Spoke with the MD of Galeon, Grzegorz Tuszynski, about their innovative vessels, and in Australia, Galeon can be found at The Boat Works.

Recently I spoke at length with our good friend, Mark Tucker, who heads up the Dockmate office in Sydney. "Sanctuary Cove was super busy for us and we're expecting the Sydney International Boat Show to be just as successful. The last two installations of Dockmate that we have done in Sydney were on 35-footers. The owners were experienced boaters who simply wanted the option of being able to park their boat and manage their lines single-handed."

Dockmate's wireless remotes are not just for big boats or newbies, can be retrofitted to your existing boat, and equally, taken with you onto your next one, as well. "I saw your review of the Longreef 60 SX, and that certainly shows just how easy it all is, especially when the breeze kicks in. You can do it all on your own, or have people to help with your lines to make it even slicker. No more racing heart for the skipper when they come back after a great day out. Best of all, because Dockmate is modular, it can be adapted to suit your changing needs, boats, or onboard systems", said Tucker.

Talking of the impending Sydney International Boat Show, Brent Vaughan from Multhull Central was really keen to to talk about the Aquila 44 powercat. "We are going to have Hull #80, which is already sold, on display with the aim of seeing if a particular client is keen to have one delivered in 2020, ready for the Summer."

"We have strong interest through our sister company, Charter Boat Central, to have one of these super-popular vessels to be made available for charter on Sydney Harbour. This is very similar to what already occurs in the glorious Whitsundays, but more focused on luxury day or evening private charter for four hours, with a skipper and crew, to be a floating launch venue, or part of special anniversary, wedding, birthday, or similar."

"Then in between charters, there is availability for private use, particularly mid-week and during Winter. This means you can book it out for the day with family, entertain corporate guests, or even head up the coast to the Whitsundays during the cooler months, perhaps earn a dollar when you get there, and we can certainly help you out with that."

"This will really suit someone who wants a boat close to home in Sydney, but is too busy to use it all the time, but is keen to rent it out to collect a return to help with things like wharfage, maintenance, and annual slipping. Of course you also get a full concierge service so you are not wasting your time with maintenance and cleaning, all the while she will be providing that important financial return from making the boat a business asset. Please call me on 02 9810 5014, or email me for more information," said Vaughan.

In winding up, I see that Fleming are going to have a brand spanking new 65 at the Sydney International Boat Show for us to look at. So I will do that, as it has been a full nine years since they had one here. In the meantime I got to thinking about the classic not plastic line, and this certainly is applicable when talking about one of these gems. Fleming themselves like to call it classic, but cutting edge.

The first Fleming 65 was made in 2004 for Tony Fleming, and he has since gone on to do over 65.000nm and is fitted with a pair of 800hp MANs. Being pretty much bespoke, they all differ, but stabilisers, thrusters and so on is all standard quippy. 340 Flemings now grace the oceans since they started in 1985. That's right, you can't miss one...

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about Riviera's huge display at the Sydney International Boat Show, new Monte Carlo Yachts, new Feadship, explorer craft, Aquilas at SIBS, the gorgeous Wallytender, Hinkley Picnic Boat, Nanni Diesel sale, the next Marine Auctions event, Ice RIB Challenge, eyewear with Barz Optics, E15 in the USA, ICOM Handhelds, the solar challenge in Monaco, Raymarine displays, Multihull Solutions display at SIBS, as well as much, much more.

As you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other parts of the group, go to the top of the Powerboat-World home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the site you want to see and, voila, it's all there for you.

Speak with you again, very, very soon. Time to go boating now...

John Curnow
Editor, Powerboat-World.com

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