The Horne family – Dayne and his parents Helen and Bryan – purchased Marco Boats from aluminium boat-building pioneer Graham Ransom in 2003.
The Horne family has an engineering background and a history of boat building. The company is still based in the Waikato town of Morrinsville, employs nine staff, and has turned out around 400 hulls in the last five years.
Marco Boats are represented nationwide by a network of dealers from Whangarei in the north to Gore in the South (for details see www.marcoboats.co.nz). The Morrinsville factory covers sales in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty/King Country area, and Dayne Horne says he enjoys working direct with clients to fit out boats to their requirements. “Most of our boats feature some customising, and aside from variations in layout, there is always the steering, seat height and so on to suit individual needs.”
This 5.85m aluminium hull features a 4mm bottom, 3mm sides and topsides, and a 3mm sealed chequerplate deck. It has a fine entry easing to a modest 16° deadrise at the stern. The bottom has no planing strakes and down-turned chines, making it a soft ride.
The bottom plates are butted up at the keel line and fully seam-welded inside and out. The chine construction is achieved by bending sections into the edge of the side and bottom plates which overlap and are fully seam-welded to each other, forming the down-turned chine.
Under the deck are six full-length stringers. Four full bulkheads (including a collision bulkhead in the bow, and the transom construction) support the hull laterally, while stiffeners at 300mm centres support the deck. The chequerplate deck is sealed and drains to a sump under the transom, from where any water is removed with a 500gph bilge pump.
The 570 Striker meets CPC requirements and floats if swamped. It is rated for four adults and gear, and has an approximate reserve buoyancy of around 90kg.
The welding has been left unground for strength and looks competent. The test boat featured an optional paint job and smart graphics.
The 570 Striker is rated for 90-115hp outboards, and the test boat had a Yamaha 90 carburetted two-stroke fitted, spinning a 17-inch pitch prop. Fuel is carried in an (optional) 80-litre underfloor tank, with the filling port on the outside of the transom to keep any fuel spillage outside the hull.
We launched in Tauranga Harbour, a stiff 20-25 knots blowing from the south-west on test day. Changing current angles in relation to the tidal flow produced a wide range of sea conditions inside and outside the entrance, ranging from dead-flat to steep, one-metre standing waves.
With three adults aboard and a full load of fuel, our best speed (by the dash instruments) was 61kph (33 knots) at 5300rpm. Maximum ‘book’ revs for this engine are 5500, so the prop pitch is probably about right. The rig cruised sweetly at 25 knots or so.
The hull handled nicely with no steering vices, cutting competently through a half-metre chop and landing softly. We did take a bit of spray in some conditions and angles, but so will most boats in a sloppy sea with 20-25 knots of wind over the bow quarter. A canopy was fitted that runs between the top of the ‘screen and the rocket launcher for extra shelter, if required.
Daytime visibility was good standing, or when seated and looking through the lightly-tinted polycarbonate ‘screen. Steering was a basic cable unit that proved adequate for the task.
The bow features a hatched anchor well with a decent warp capacity. The fairlead locking pin is a bit of a reach out on the end of the bowsprit; higher bow rails that drop down hard on either side of the fairlead would constrain the warp and remove the need for a locking pin, solving this. I believe Marco is looking into it. A bollard is welded onto the foredeck for tying off the warp.
Access to the bow to set or retrieve the anchor is through a hatch in the cabin roof. The forward squab can be removed to reveal a platform that provides a good place to stand (in the hatchway) while working the pick. Of course you can always stand on the squabs if you don’t have your boots on, or berley all over your feet!
This is a day boat, which means that the forecabin has been kept small to maximise working space in the cockpit. As it is, it would shelter two adults sitting, or provide a spot for a couple of smaller kids to have a nap. An option that had been fitted to the test boat mitigates this shortage of space, however. Sections of the bulkhead at the foot of each ‘berth’ are made with a catch and hinge so they can fold out into the cockpit to allow more leg room for adults to stretch out inside.
There is some stowage space under the ‘berths’, and a couple of shelves add to this. The cabin entry is a bit snug, but usable; a lockable version is available as an option.
A good-sized dash is sheltered under the polycarbonate ‘screen; it has a back lip and marine-carpet lining that stops stuff sliding around and cuts internal glare on the ‘screen. There is plenty of space here to mount instruments such as a sounder/GPS. Two side-shelves provide another spot for odds and ends.
Seats are swivelling models; upholstered plastic mounted on plastic pedestal boxes with some internal stowage space. Chequerplate footrests have been fitted, as has a grab rail to the back of the dash. Between the seats is an under-deck hold with bung drainage to the bilge.
Overhead, as mentioned, a fold-down rocket launcher supports the canopy and riding light. Side pockets, around 2.3m long, run along each side of the cockpit. Another optional item fitted to the test boat is a moveable – and removable – full-width bench seat. This can be set against the transom when the boat is underway, or shifted further forward if anglers want to fish seated while facing astern. If more cockpit space is required, you can remove it altogether.
The battery and isolation switch are located up in a protected locker in the transom wall, along with more stowage space. On the outside of the transom are two chequerplate boarding platforms with grab rails that double as tie-off points, and a fold-down boarding ladder. Under the platform is a raised mount for the transducer, removing the need to drill into the hull.
Fishing fittings include a six-position rocket launcher and four nylon through-gunwale rod holders (with room for plenty more). Basically this demonstrator was a blank canvas waiting for the new owner’s full fit-out ideas. A bait-station is easily mounted on the transom, while an after-market fish bin is a versatile way to store the catch and bait.
The chequerplate deck provides good footing and is easy to clean. The hull, courtesy of its downturned chine and modest deadrise, is fairly stable. Toe room, and flat faces on the gunwales and transom that provide good mid-thigh support, make this an easy boat to fish from, while the boarding ladder, chequerplate platforms and grab rails provide the basic facilities for divers.
A useful craft for coastal fishing and diving.
The test boat was carried on a single-axle Voyager trailer: a galvanised cradle A-frame design with entry bay. Suspension is zinc-protected leaf springs and the boat is carried by four pairs of wobble rollers on each side of the trailer. Other fittings include a manual winch, wind-down jockey wheel, dual coupling and galvanized steel guards. Launch and retrieve at the Sulphur Point ramp was easily achieved. Tow weight of the rig is approximately 900kg.
This is a good, basic, Kiwi all-rounder. It is a reasonably robustly-built day boat for coastal and lake work, useful for basic fishing and diving tasks – but can be beached for a picnic or used to tow the kids around on a sea-biscuit, too. Its size and weight make it towable by an average family car; it looks smart and it is fairly priced for its size.
Configuration: cuddy cabin
Sides, topsides: 3mm
Deck: 3mm chequerplate
Recommended HP: 90-115hp
Test engine: Yamaha 90 two-stroke
Prop: 17” pitch
Fuel Capacity: 80 litres
Tow weight: approx 900kg
Key turn package: $37,990
As tested: $42,000
Test boat courtesy of Marco Boats.
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