Stryda 900C Review

Amphibious boats are becoming a common sight on New Zealand waters, and the technology is only getting more advanced. Just before Christmas Sam Mossman tried out a new Stryda design before it headed off to its new home at Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Stryda Marine’s boats are made in New Zealand. The original design was a foil-assisted asymmetric catamaran, but this latest model is an open-back hardtop monohull with attractive rising shear lines. Strydas are fitted with retractable wheels that are driven by hydraulics and powered by a Briggs and Stratton engine specifically built for the job. This allows a Stryda to be driven in and out of the water, simplifying launching and retrieval and removing the need for a trailer in many situations – perfect for the tasks new owner Ross Brown requires of it.

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A Stryda can be driven in and out of the water, simplifying launching and retrieval.

A Stryda can be driven in and out of the water, simplifying launching and retrieval.

Ross and his wife Katrina live in Auckland but spend as much time as they can at their holiday home at Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula. They were over getting (sometimes) cold and miserable in their previous boat and wanted a bigger craft with more shelter and creature comforts. The amphibious nature of the Stryda suits the beach-front position of their holiday home where they can sight a work-up from shore and roll down the beach to be amongst the fish within a couple of minutes. They can then be back ashore just as easily with no mucking around waiting to launch at the boat ramp, parking the trailer, then retrieval etc.

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Stryda was founded in 2016 with Warren Farr the director. Warren says his customer, Ross Brown, was heavily involved in the layout of the craft, offering many of his own ideas, while Ross was equally effusive about how easy Warren and his team had been to deal with and how helpful they were. Stryda’s long time collaboration with Naval Architect Stimson Marine Design and Architecture continue to push the envelope of hull design. The team at Kit Carlier Design also give input into that unmissable Stryda DNA.

Stem to stern

In the bow, an anchor is permanently mounted on a bow sprit which extends well forward between the hulls to avoid any contact with the forward wheels. The GX2 Lone Star drum winch provides a reliable anchoring system and is mounted under the foredeck. The walkaround access to the bow is fitted with non-slip panels; substantial bow rails add to the feeling of security.

Although this open-backed hardtop is not intended for overnighting, the large forecabin can sleep three tall adults and an under-berth toilet is fitted.

High quality fittings are used throughout, and the level of finish is high. The curved windscreen and side sliders are toughened glass and wipers are fitted. The seats are a pair of very comfortable Hi-Tech Plastics Bolster Elite models with rear-facing bench seats behind. The helm seat is mounted on an enclosed stowage unit fitted with drawers while there is space under the passenger seat for a split lid 115-litre Icey Tek chilly bin ideal for storing the catch or supplies for a day on the water.

The helm seat is mounted on an enclosed stowage unit while there is space under the passenger seat for a 115-litre Icey Tek chilly bin.

The helm seat is mounted on an enclosed stowage unit while there is space under the passenger seat for a 115-litre Icey Tek chilly bin.

The rear-facing bench seats are a great place to watch the lures from.

The rear-facing bench seats are a great place to watch the lures from.

U-Dek Ultralon is used extensively throughout the boat and along with providing comfortable, secure footing, helps make the boat look very smart. Two levels of side shelving are built around the spacious cockpit, which are wide enough to store dive tanks and mount the pressurized washdown hose. Under deck holds between the seats add further to the stowage options.

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Two levels of side shelving are built around the spacious cockpit.

Two levels of side shelving are built around the spacious cockpit.

The transom wall protects the dual battery system and isolation switching, while on the port-side is the transom step-through with a mackerel-sized live bait tank under the step. Other fishing fittings include three rod holders and cup holders along each side and an eight-position rocket launcher on the hardtop.

Instrumentation and electronics include a Fusion sound system and Yamaha’s Command Link Plus control, all integrated into a Garmin multi-function display. The VHF is a GME ‘Black Box’ unit with controls set on the mike. Power outlets include 12V and USB ports.

Instrumentation and electronics include a Fusion sound system and Yamaha’s Command Link Plus control, all integrated into a Garmin multi-function display.

Instrumentation and electronics include a Fusion sound system and Yamaha’s Command Link Plus control, all integrated into a Garmin multi-function display.

This craft needed to be capable of conquering both soft sand and stony beaches, have unlimited runtime, no over-heating limitations and unbreakable leg assemblies. Stryda Marine’s latest Generation 2 amphibious system with its ground-breaking features and effortless user interface fitted the requirements.

The powerplant for the wheels was designed and built for Stryda. The Briggs and Stratton Vanguard all-alloy V-Twin 40hp commercial marine motor with advanced electronic throttle powers the full-time Orion Marine 4WD running gear. Briggs and Stratton are an American company and the world’s largest manufacturer of air-cooled petrol engines for outdoor power equipment. The drive engine was set up east-west to save cockpit space.

The drive engine had been set up east-west to save cockpit space.

The drive engine had been set up east-west to save cockpit space.

Ample room in the cockpit.

Ample room in the cockpit.

This state-of-the art system uses the latest engineering advances including fly-by-wire controls and a clever self-diagnosing fault system. The amphibian output is displayed on a smart gauge which provides a real-time display of RPM, wheel and motor torque loads, and a fault display from the built-in self-diagnosing system.

There are other ‘first of its kind’ safety features including a complete redundancy user-Interface as well as a manual hand pump for brake release. The auto wheels up-and-down function can be personalised to individual customers. A rotary dial controls amphibious RPM and there are diagnostic display pages for drive, lift, steering and inboard motor functions. There is also an anti-stall drive assist, and the braking system is the largest available for its class, with just over double the braking capacity of previous models. Upgraded hydraulic drive motors provide class-leading drive torque.

Powerful hydraulic rams raise and lower the wheels.

Powerful hydraulic rams raise and lower the wheels.

On the water

The northern Hauraki Gulf is a wonderful place. In summer it can be like the Mediterranean – but with a whole lot less trash in the water! I drove down from my home in Warkworth to Hatfields Beach and was soon reminded of the benefits of amphibians. The big Stryda, having been launched at Stanmore Bay (north of Auckland) appeared on the horizon with the rising sun and, wheels deployed, rolled up the beach. I threw my gear aboard and we were off. The wheels were retracted, and the Yamaha 250hp four-stroke (it is intended to upgrade to a 350hp when one is available) outboard fired up. With hydraulic steering and the addition of the boat’s Zipwake automatic trim system, the rig was certainly comfortable to travel in.

With hydraulic steering and Zipwake automatic trim system, the rig was certainly comfortable to helm.

With hydraulic steering and Zipwake automatic trim system, the rig was certainly comfortable to helm.

Driving the big 900C is like handling a powerful launch. It rides softly and certainly has plenty of get-up-and-go, even with the Yamaha 250hp driving it (see the performance specifications on p74). With 350 horses on the transom, it should be a rocket ship!

The plan was to demonstrate the versatility of the rig. We (Warren Farr, Ross Brown, and me) headed out past Kawau Island and tried to troll up a kingfish with no success. Plan B was a bit of soft-baiting, and this was a bit more successful, with a few fat pannie snapper hitting the ice and a rat kingie going back to fight another day. Typical of this warm summer, the ‘taxman’ eventually arrived and took its share of the best snapper of the day! This did not discourage Ross and Warren from a dive, however.

With me as boatman, the boys scored a left and right of crayfish and scallops at Nutgunatelya Reef, thanks to Warren’s local knowledge. With a set of steps built on the port rear wheel leg adjacent to the boarding platform and a transom step-through also fitted with grab rails, the design is certainly diver-friendly, and the boys had no trouble climbing back aboard. Likewise, boarding when on the shore is as easy with the wheels extended as it is when they are retracted.

With steps built on the port rear wheel and a transom step-through, the design is diver-friendly.

With steps built on the port rear wheel and a transom step-through, the design is diver-friendly.

The convenience of the amphibian was further highlighted when we got back to our meeting spot at Hatfields Beach. There was no mucking around getting wet holding the boat in the surf. The wheels were simply deployed, the rig driven up the beach to right beside my car and my gear unloaded before the boat headed back down into the water and off to its original launch spot. A brilliant and easy day on the water and we ate like kings for a week afterward.

If you live handy to the beach and they fit your requirements and budget, amphibious boats can provide fabulous hassle-free boating. Stryda Marines’ 900C is a great machine. Its state-of-the art system uses the latest engineering advances and a petrol/hydraulic engine especially developed for Stryda by US company Briggs and Stratton. The quality of fittings is high and the level of finish excellent.

Specifications

Material: Aluminium

Configuration: Monohull amphibian

LOA: 9.00m

Beam: 2.81m

Deadrise: 20 deg at transom

Hull thickness: 5mm

Scantlings: 4mm

Topsides: 3mm

Min height (wheels up): 2.580m

Max height (wheels down): 3.055m

Buoyancy: four sealed chambers under sole

Recommended outboard HP: 250-350hp

Fuel capacity: 250 litres underfloor

Inboard power unit: petrol over hydraulic

Incline brake holding angle @3000kg: 10 degrees

Land speed: 9 km/hr

Max crew: 6

Weight: 2500kg (dry)

Warranties: 5 year hull, 3-year full amphibious system + 3-year drive train

Key-start packages from $350,000 (Honda 250hp)

Trial boat courtesy of Ross Brown.

Performance

Outboard: Yamaha F250, prop SaltWater Series 15 ½ Inch pitch. Conditions 5-10 knots NE winds, less than 1m swell. Data is average of headwind and downwind runs. Load two adults, 90% fuel.
Data supplied by Stryda Marine.

Revs                  Speed               Fuel
(RPM)               (Knots)            (l/hr)

1700                 7.0                  10.6

2000                 8.0                  13.0

2500                 10.0                21.0

3000                 13.5                28.0

3500                 23.0                34.0

4000                 28.0                47.0

4500                 31.0                61.0

5000                 35.0                88.0

5500 (WOT)     38.0                97.0


February 2022 - Sam Mossman
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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