Ad­mi­ral 10m Sports Cruiser

For the Ad­mi­ral’s builders – Hamil­to­ni­ans Ja­son Mcken­zie and Steve Cle­ment – the 10m Sports Cruiser has been a deeply-con­sid­ered project nearly 10 years in ges­ta­tion.

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY PETER EL­LIOTT

The sat­is­fy­ing fruition that comes from years of con­sid­ered plan­ning and de­sign, we salute the Ad­mi­ral.

That fo­cus is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent when step­ping aboard; this is an im­mac­u­lately-pre­sented ves­sel. And as I crawled, poked and ex­plored, it was clear that ev­ery cen­time­tre on this lit­tle ship had been metic­u­lously planned. She feels and looks great. With the padded lin­ings and leather fur­nish­ings (art­works in their own right) the am­bi­ence is wel­com­ing – like a good, ma­ture wine. In­ter­nal sur­faces are car­peted or lined with pin-per­fect vinyl, cre­at­ing a quiet en­vi­ron­ment when un­der way. And wit­ness the soft, rolled edges on ev­ery cor­ner – no hard an­gles to catch you in a se­away.

The labour of love be­gan when Mcken­zie and Cle­ment, de­tect­ing a gap in the lo­cal boat­ing scene for a 10m Sports Cruiser, bought the Stead­e­craft hull moulds in 2007 – prin­ci­pally be­cause of the de­sign’s sea-keep­ing rep­u­ta­tion. The mar­que’s 28-foot Sport and 33-foot Pa­trol mod­els had been very pop­u­lar.

With the hull catered for, fun­da­men­tal de­sign con­sid­er­a­tions in­cluded first-class ac­com­mo­da­tion, qual­ity fur­nish­ings, the abil­ity to catch and store fish, with re­li­able power and ex­cep­tional con­trol in a se­away. And, it needed to be trans­portable – the boat would be used in Auck­land for six months, and six in Taupo.

Build­ing this first boat took just over a year and the end re­sult is a ves­sel that suc­ceeds on mul­ti­ple fronts. Her pub­lic de­but – at this year’s Hutch­wilco Boat Show – at­tracted con­sid­er­able in­ter­est.

She’s par­tic­u­larly well-de­signed for en­ter­tain­ing and host­ing friends.

The gal­ley’s L-shaped is­land holds a three-burner cook­top and oven, with water­proof sur­faces and splash­backs. To the right, and be­low the su­perbly-up­hol­stered port set­tee, is a large slide-out drawer where crock­ery and cutlery are stored in non-slip com­part­ments.

The ob­jec­tive for the Ad­mi­ral project was to de­liver a boat that en­com­passes fish­ing, fam­ily, hol­i­days, en­ter­tain­ing and off­shore ca­pa­bil­ity in equal mea­sures...

Di­rectly op­po­site to star­board, is the large-ca­pac­ity fridge and en­ter­tain­ment con­sole, with a drink-mix­ing wet area and splash-back. Food prepa­ra­tion is on black chip bench-tops, with wooden cup­boards and stor­age cab­i­nets in qual­ity teak, giv­ing strength, warmth and dura­bil­ity.

A Fu­sion stereo sup­plies the ap­pro­pri­ate mu­sic.


For a trail­er­a­ble boat, the Ad­mi­ral’s ac­com­mo­da­tion is pretty im­pres­sive. She sleeps five – two dou­ble berths and a sin­gle bunk, con­fig­urable as a dou­ble and three sin­gles. If needed, there’s space for more beds.

The mas­ter’s dou­ble is un­der the main sa­loon, and you en­ter down three car­peted stairs. Elec­tri­cally, it all works su­perbly. There are dou­ble-switched lights and USB charg­ing points for phones.

I re­ally like the boat’s moulded ‘tiled’ wet ar­eas. There’s one in the head/shower fa­cil­ity, for ex­am­ple, and while it looks very classy, it’s all enor­mously prac­ti­cal. In all, says Cle­ment, 68 moulds were built to con­fig­ure the boat’s work­ing ar­eas. Head­room – through­out the ves­sel – is ex­cep­tional.


Pride of place is the leather-cov­ered helm chair – on a Softrider pedestal with slider and move­able arms. It of­fers ex­cel­lent lum­bar cush­ion­ing, and it’s com­ple­mented by a foldaway foot plat­form if you pre­fer stand­ing at the helm.

Up front, there’s great vis­i­bil­ity through three large win­dows, each with a par­al­lax wiper. Panoramic vis­i­bil­ity is the theme all the way round – thanks to huge slid­ing win­dows. The cabin, in­ci­den­tally, can be fully en­closed when the glass fold­ing doors and re­tractable win­dows be­hind the gal­ley are de­ployed. When they are, am­bi­ent noise is well-muted, and con­ver­sa­tion is easy.

Data about the 260hp Volvo Penta en­gine and its counter-ro­tat­ing twin-prop stern leg is pro­vided on a non-re­flec­tive Garmin 7412XSV – and nav­i­gat­ing it is sim­plic­ity it­self. Split-screens, radar, fuel pres­sure, hours, fuel us­age and tank lev­els, sounder, chart-plot­ter, Fu­sion Stereo con­trols – they’re all in­stantly avail­able.

And this can also be re­layed to the en­ter­tain­ment mon­i­tor – should you wish to view it from the back deck, or while hav­ing lunch. Plenty of dis­creetly-po­si­tioned ports and hatch-pan­els of­fer great ac­cess to the wiring looms and plumbing sys­tems.


The fish­ing zone (cock­pit) is a canny piece of de­sign.

The hard­top’s rear over­hang juts out over the deck, and on top are eight rod hold­ers, man­u­fac­tured by Steel­liotts Stain­less Steel. My vote for the clever­est use of space is the over­head hatch, built into the over­hang. It flips down ex­pos­ing net, gaffs, boat-hook and tag-poles, neatly clipped into place – ac­ces­si­ble and yet com­pletely out of the

way of the deck ac­tiv­ity when land­ing fish.

In the pan­els on either side, are emer­gency kits and stor­age, ide­ally suited to all those towed ar­rays. Two floor hatches either side of the en­gine bay give huge ca­pac­ity for life-jack­ets, and safety gear. A mov­able up­hol­stered bin of­fers seat­ing and even more fish­ing gear stor­age.

The cock­pit’s cen­tral hatch is for the en­gine bay, and lift­ing it pro­vides easy ac­cess to fuel fil­ters and elec­tronic what-have-you. Hy­draulic struts take all pres­sure off lift­ing and low­er­ing. To the rear, very solid tran­som doors swing open out­ward and are held that way with mag­netic con­tacts.

Th­ese are eas­ily re­mov­able for land­ing a big mar­lin, as Mcken­zie and Cle­ment did on the boat’s maiden voy­age. (The en­gine has an ir­re­sistible ‘at­trac­tor’ note in the wa­ter, one might think?)

Around the bot­tom edge of the teak-topped gun­wales, deep toe cut-outs in­crease the ap­par­ent size of us­able deck, al­low­ing an­gler ac­cess right to the edge, for thigh sup­port. Blue light­ing around the deck area at night is both at­trac­tive and prac­ti­cal, en­hanc­ing night vi­sion rather than blind­ness. Un­der­wa­ter lights also attract fish – and look damn good at an­chor.

Game poles are rigged either side and the fin­ish of the boat is, quite sim­ply, su­perb. In the mid­dle of the rear deck is a tran­som-is­land, again cov­ered in ‘work­ing sur­face’ solid teak, with two hinges, which lift open to re­veal a deep, live bait tank on the right, and a cus­tom fit­ted deck bar­be­cue on the left.

There’s a hot and cold shower on the deck, and a portofino stern with a strong bait­board, atop strap­ping stain­less mounts. This is equipped with four rod hold­ers, as well as a pipe drain­ing fish-guts to the sea.

Be­hind the slid­ing sun­roof is an al­most in­vis­i­ble so­lar panel ar­ray, per­fect for trick­lecharg­ing the bat­ter­ies, and a Garmin Ray­dome.


Driv­ing the boat back home to the ma­rina, I en­joyed play­ing with the con­trols and analysing the en­gine data, and with the en­gine purring along qui­etly while we talked, I barely no­ticed our speed – 27 knots.

For in­ter­est’s sake, and in the name of sci­ence, I threw the boat into a tight star­board loop, there was a fab­u­lous bite in the front as we pulled round in a sta­ble arc, but at nearly full lock man­aged to make the big stern­leg cav­i­tate for a frac­tion of a sec­ond. This was quickly fixed by trim­ming the stern­leg a lit­tle.

Solid power pulls the 5.5-tonne sports boat up on the plane in sec­onds. The Humphree X Se­ries self-lev­el­ing trim-tabs sys­tem works to break ten­sion and is some­thing of a rev­e­la­tion in both the tran­si­tion to plane, and the auto cor­rec­tion, made ev­i­dent as we headed into a stiff­ish breeze that mo­men­tar­ily low­ered the star­board front quar­ter on the re­turn home.

For a fairly sub­stan­tial girl, she can cer­tainly lift her skirts and fly when pressed. Best speed is 32 knots.

This cruiser weighs 4.2 tonnes dry and a touch over 5.5 when fu­elled with 650 litres of diesel and 370 litres of wa­ter. She has lev­el­ing tanks and the ca­pac­ity to hold 105 litres of black-wa­ter as well.

The ob­jec­tive for the Ad­mi­ral project was to de­liver a boat that en­com­passes fish­ing, fam­ily, hol­i­days, en­ter­tain­ing and off­shore ca­pa­bil­ity in equal mea­sures – in a modern, high qual­ity con­fig­u­ra­tion. Th­ese chaps have hit their tar­get per­fectly. BNZ

TOP The 260hp Volvo Penta en­gine drives her to a top speed of 32 knots.

LEFT A func­tional lay­out and cosy, well-planned fur­nish­ings.

OP­PO­SITE Never mind the view – have you tried the cheese?

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