By pairing a Mercury Verado 350 outboard with a high-performance Naiad centre-console RIB, Kirby Marine has started a lot of people talking.
“It’s powerful, well balanced and multi-use and as we’ve shown it off the reaction has been really positive,” said Managing Director Rob Kirby. “The outcome’s pretty impressive. At 6.75 metres, it’s a very nice package.”
In WA, where people leave their big boats out by Rottnest Island, there’s a need for big tenders that are blue-water capable and which can double as a fun weekender.
“The customer was a Mercury man, who had had good experiences with the brand before, so that’s what he wanted this time,” Rob said.
Previously, Kirby Marine has powered similar sized Naiads with 300hp V6s or 350hp V8s. Mercury’s six cylinder super-powered Verado provides the best of both worlds – delivering more power for less weight with exceptional handling and reliability thrown in.
The Naiad is a boat which can use horsepower well and that was evident during testing off the WA coast.
Weighing in at 2100 kgs, including 250 litres of fuel, the RIB reached 49 knots at WOT using 155 litres per hour. Cruising at a more sedate 300 RPM and 18 knots, Kirby’s latest success used only 22 litres an hour, giving it a range of more than 300 nautical miles.
“Time to get onto a plane? We didn’t even time it, she’s that quick. She doesn’t hang around, she flies out of the water and gets to 20 knots in a serious hurry,” Rod said. “Given all that, it’s still surprisingly quiet.”
Testing was done with a 17” three-blade Mercury Enertia propeller.
Based in Henderson, south of Fremantle, Kirby Marine has been custom-designing and building marine vessels for 25 years for customers across W.A. and beyond, including Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
“Above the hull, our boats are custom-made,” Rob said. “We worked closely with the client to identify just what he wanted and that’s exactly what we’ve delivered.”
Along with personalised console set up, custom seating and many many rod holders, Rob’s latest creation has a removable ski pole so the owner can put all that power to use on tow sports, and it also has a hidden-away pot handling arm so cray-fishing trips don’t leave the paintwork scuffed.
“It’s a terrific all-rounder,” Rob said.
For more information on NAIAD RIBs visit www.kirbymarine.com
For more on the 350hp Verado go to www.mercurymarine.com