Com­pact Cor­dina a per­fect work­horse

The West Australian - - WEST WHEELS | REVIEW - MIKE BROWN

The Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice wanted a trail­able mul­ti­pur­pose ves­sel for its op­er­a­tions at North West Cape, and with this 8.5m boat from Cor­dina Marine it got just that.

Although only 7.7m in hull length, it is packed with ca­pa­bil­ity: underwater and sur­face op­er­a­tions for Parks and Wildlife, co-operation with other de­part­ments, availabili­ty for search and res­cue and in­for­mal tow­ing of bro­ken-down ves­sels.

The lay­out gives the lion’s share of the in­te­rior to shel­tered work­ing space. The cock­pit has a pair of sus­pen­sion seats for the two reg­u­lar crew for­ward, a bench seat aft for up to four per­son­nel aft, and in-be­tween plenty of el­bow room.

The cock­pit is shaded by a canopy that can be re­moved de­pend­ing on the boat’s task. It con­tin­ues a theme that runs through­out: put stor­age wher­ever pos­si­ble; here, life jack­ets fit into zip­pered com­part­ments below the canopy.

The rear bench seat is another ex­am­ple: the cen­tre sits on a stor­age bin. The wings lift up to re­veal sock­ets for six scuba cylin­ders.

The canopy is spanned by a gantry mount­ing aeri­als. Also up top are a loud hailer and a light bar.

Below is a healthy gap be­tween the canopy and the wind­screen top, cater­ing for Ex­mouth’s fre­quently tor­rid cli­mate.

The small fore cabin’s main rea­son for being is a shel­tered spot to put stuff. En­trance to it from the cock­pit is via a roller door, an ideal space saver.

Its front weather-tight door opens to the short bow cock­pit, from which board­ing another ves­sel could take place over the square bow.

A drum wind­lass lives in what would oth­er­wise be the an­chor well, the an­chor itself stow­ing un­der the col­lar.

The main exit and en­try is via a port side door from the main cock­pit. This is un­usual in a nom­i­nal rigid in­flat­able and pos­si­ble be­cause noth­ing aboard ac­tu­ally in­flates: the col­lar is hard foam. A board­ing ladder drops into place to make a wa­ter exit for a diver. Once aboard they have router cut syn­thetic deck sheath­ing un­der­foot.

Tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity is pro­vided by a mas­sive post. The crash frame round the mo­tors has a sec­ondary role of pre­vent­ing a slack tow­line from drop­ping into the be­tween-mo­tors gap.

The mo­tors are a pair of 225hp Yama­has giv­ing tow­ing grunt as well as a re­spectable sprint speed. With a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 550 litres in a pair of tanks they are well supplied with fuel.

Like other boat­builders Cor­dina also builds trail­ers; this one in alu­minium is spe­cial. Low fric­tion got close at­ten­tion re­sult­ing in the boat slid­ing off and on with lit­tle assistance needed from the mo­tors or from mus­cle power.

The winch­ing post con­tains a minilocker for tools and mounts an auto catch. There’s also a step for climb­ing over the bow. Now that’s thought­ful.

The 7.7m Cor­dina 8.5 is a mul­ti­pur­pose ves­sel just right for North West Cape op­er­a­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.