Fury 282 DC-E - A proven West Aussie performer
A proven West Aussie performer, the latest innovative build from Fury Custom Boats has taken on an international flavour both in design and name as BARRY WISEMAN reports.
Shortly before Covid-19 turned the world upside down this time last year, I got a call from an excited Scott Fury about a new design idea for the famed Fury 282 hull he was toying with.
“I want to make more use out of the already spacious cockpit area on my current models and the only way I can think of is pushing out a side wall,” Scott said at the time. “Similar to the expanding caravans now on the market?” I replied. “Yes, however I can't jeopardise the strength of the hull. It's going to take a lot of work to come up with goods, however it will make the cockpit area larger and more usable,” was his reply.
Working on the very popular dual console model, Scott came up with the name Fury 282 DC-E. The E representing the expanding cockpit. However, he didn't want it to be related to caravans with similar features. He'd also seen a similar expanding cockpit design in the United States.
Scott Fury is a fastidious boat builder and he won't release a new boat until he’s absolutely satisfied with the product. Also being a family business any new developments attracts the input of the whole family. Not keen on using the word “expand”, his wife Ivana (born in Italy) suggested the word “espandere”, being the Italian interpretation; adding a touch of the Mediterranean to match this classy locally-produced vessel.
Hence the new model is the Fury 282 DC-E and its keel got wet just before Christmas. Making waves in the bays of Rottnest and Garden islands, as soon as Scott anchors up near the shoreline he unlatches the new drop-down panel on the port side and mariners come from all directions for a closer look.
Interest in the new design has been outstanding and by the end of January Scott had four orders on the books, two of the dual console design and two for the Fury 282 centre console model.
E hull number two, a 282 CC, was under construction on the factory floor while other tradesmen worked on components for future vessels, including another new hull that Scott has designed, the Fury Smuggler 660, originating from the drawing of the legendary Raymond Hunter. More on that vessel in future editions.
When the initial Covid-19 lockdowns occurred last year, activity slowed at the Fury Custom Boats plant in Bibra Lake. However, that gave this business owner time to concentrate on finalising the design of the DC-E. It took about eight months to get the design right. Now permanent moulds have been made and things have turned around dramatically.
“Because people have not been able to travel overseas, I have found they want to buy a boat or caravan and travel within our own State. It's been a very long time since I had orders on the books for four new boats all at the same time. I have taken on more skilled tradesmen and will need more. While Covid has turned the world upside down, there has been a positive spin for local builders and marine dealerships,” Scott added.
“With the DC-E we've incorporated the new dive/swim platform on the port side which is rated to take 190 kilograms in weight. It's been tested to take 280 kilos, but for safety reasons it’s rated far below that. I made it as large as I could without compromising the strength of the whole boat and it's a great addition for swimming, diving and entertaining."
Measuring 1.4m in length and 84cm high, when lowered the platform sits just above the water line. When venturing to the outer edge the person's weight tilts the vessel so you can simply slide into the water. The upper surface is made with a non-skid finish to the fibreglass to prevent slipping. Scuba divers can remove their cylinder and dive belt while in the water and there's plenty of space to place them on the platform. Come evening time you can erect a chair on the platform or simply sit dangling your feet in the water while enjoying a glass of wine. Closing the side door is simply a matter of using a webbing strap to hoist up and it locks into place.
All the heavy-duty stainless steel hinges and latches are made locally in Perth and the hinges recess into the wall cavity and are not visible from inside the cockpit. A removable stainless ladder also hooks into the platform when in the lowered position to help people get out of the water.
There's also the huge safety feature of the side platform for swimmers, especially for youngsters and when anchored in shallow water near the beach. When using the rear transom door and marlin board, the engine is never far away and care must be taken to avoid propellers in the water. The side platform takes the swimmer away from the back of the boat. It's also very handy to load and offload heavy ice boxes or camping gear when on an expedition or in the driveway at home.
When in the upright closed position the top of the platform is level with the rest of the gunwale and looking at the vessel from a distance there's no indication of the side platform.
Extensive water tests have also been carried out in water between Fremantle and Rottnest Island and no water comes in through the side when closed although a small seal has been installed towards the bottom edge as a safeguard.
“The positioning of the platform along the port side is at a point where no water is being deflected against the boat during running speed. The boat performs exactly the same as those models without the platform and there are no annoying vibrations. While the platform itself measures 1.4m in width, the actual walkthrough section is only 50cm, the same as the starboard door models, so there is no loss in strength of the boat,” Scott explained.
Fury Custom Boats is one of QA's success stories in fibreglass boat building, with Scott taking over the business from his father in 1999 and since then he has designed custom boats for dedicated fishers and divers, and for family use.
The centre console design was launched in 2008 and the dual console in 2018, just in time for that year’s Perth International Boat Show.
These latest models have taken over, offering both action and family boating, and Scott told me he has decided to scrap the original moulds of the original Sports Cabin Fury 282 because he needs the space in the workshop.
For the dedicated sportfisher the CC has a full walk-around deck with room to stand three anglers in the bow section and easily another four in the rear cockpit area. It features a double bed in the portside cabin and an electric toilet on the starboard side. There's seating for up to 12 people. The latest versions include upholstered bench seating in the bow, plus removable table. Storm curtains are installed, plus an in-fill cushion converts this zone for sleeping.
Customer feedback called for the same bow rider features, but greater protection as provided for in the original Sports Cabin. Scott got to work on the drawing board and came up with the first Fury 282 Dual Console, a vessel with step-down cabins on the port and starboard sides plus a wide gangway along the centreline to the bow. This latest development of the drop-down platform on the port side is available on both models.
The Fury 282 features a 2.7m beam so there's plenty of room in the 'cabin' section of the DC with luxury seating and room for a galley and hot-water sink plus recessed refrigeration. The cockpit has under-deck storage and side wall lockers plus a large fold-down bench seat across the transom. Because this new DC-E has the swim/dive platform on the portside, the stainless steel rock lobster davit and winch are combined on the starboard side. Normally the winch would be mounted on the port side opposite the davit.
On the aeroplane-like dash, there's a pair of Simrad NSO EVO3S 12-inch combo GPS/sounders with an additional Simrad slave monitor mounted on a binnacle under the rear portside lining of the hard top roof, a feature which has become popular ever since former Eagles footballer and keen fisherman Mark Le Cras introduced it on his Fury boat, Sea Eagle, in 2019. It allows fishers working the rear cockpit to view with ease what's happening under the keel. The dash units connect to the Simrad radar on the hardtop roof, plus there's a Fusion Apollo 770 sound system.
Fury says while the DC-E is aimed more at family boating, in the right conditions, anglers could use the platform to bring their catch through the side.
This latest boat is fitted with twin Mercury 250hp outboard engines and sea trials have registered a top speed of 49.3 knots. Another terrific feature is the addition of Mercury's multiple joystick piloting, allowing the skipper to fine tune the berthing of the vessel as well as using GPS to hover over a favourite waypoint. Using the joystick two or more engines can be moved in opposite directions or in the same direction, turning the newest boater into an expert when coming alongside. The engines respond to the slightest touch of the joystick. Traditionally all the Fury boats have come with a bow thruster to aid manoeuvring and this latest Mercury system makes it much easier when multiple engines are fitted.
The location of the sleeping bunk and toilet arrangements are optional, however on this boat the head was located on the starboard side behind the dash console. The interior Australian timber veneer trim on the new boat has been changed from the earlier sheoak to silky oak, plus there has been a design and colour change to the upholstery. Talking to Scott, customers can fine tune their requests and preferences to suit.
On the deck Troy York from Pure Decks, the local distributor for Deck Armour Australia, has installed the superior EVA marine grade boat flooring in a teak colour. This Queensland product helps reduce foot and leg fatigue, is nonslip and reduces noise. It's water resistant and any blood, squid ink or red wine stains wash out quickly. Using laser equipment, many customers have the name of their vessel or diving and fishing motif engraved in the flooring.
Below deck there are two 100-litre kill tanks, a 600-litre stainless steel fuel tank plus 120 litres of fresh water. Two 70-litre live bait tanks are built into the transom along with the transom door on the starboard side. The stainless steel telescopic ladder from the large marlin board also comes with a stainless support fitted to the rear of the transom. The ladder then folds down on an angle, making it a 'walk-up' rather than simply dropping 90 degrees to the rear, which kicks under the boat when weight is applied. It's a simple but effective solution.
The Fury DC-E has a 12/240V hot water system on board, with hot water shower on the transom. Owners can charge up the batteries when alongside if they are in a marina or at home.
Scott is a second-generation boat builder, his father constructing the Fury 32s in Perth many years ago. Scott built his first boat at the age of 13. Like all Australian manufacturers there have been the ups and downs, especially since the 2008 financial crash. At times Fury has survived thanks to his dedicated customers who have either brought their boats back for repairs or an upgrade. Many are repeat customers, having found nothing to match this local product that targets dedicated sportfishers and the boating family. Very few boaters would knock back luxury seating, the on-board toilet, overnight sleeping and a powerfully strong vessel, and now the added safety and fun side swim/dive platform.
NUTS & BOLTS
- MODEL: Fury 282 Dual Console Espandere
- LENGTH: 8.58m
- BEAM: 2.69m
- DEADRISE: 18.5 degrees
- FUEL: 600 litres
- FRESH WATER: 120 litres
- POWER: Twin Mercury 250hp outboards with multiple joystick piloting
- DRY WEIGHT: 3550kg
- MANUFACTURER: Fury Custom Boats; 6/7 Coolibah Way, Bibra Lake; www.furycustomboats; Phone: 0433 573 545.
- PRICE: $375,000 as viewed.
PROS & CONS
- The new swim/dive platform adds a new family fun dimension to an already very capable craft.
- Introduces a big safety factor in taking much of the water activity away from the engines.
- You never have enough space in the cockpit, especially for overnighting.
- Under the right conditions anglers could bring their catch through the side opening.
- Excellent for loading heavy ice boxes, swags and other camping gear.
- Platform parts constructed locally from heavy duty stainless steel.
- Unless the Fury 282 DC-E is penned, you need a large 4WD tow vehicle.
- Despite its 3.5-tonne weight, the vessel can sit on a dual-axle aluminium trailer and you can add another 700kg for that. Scott
- has the Duralite brand built in Rockingham.
- Since its launch late last year, the Fury 282 Dual Console Espandere has attracted much interest with another four boats on order.
- The drop down swim/dive platform keeps bathers away from engine propellers.
- While the drop down section measures just over a metre, there's no compromise to the strength of the side wall.
- The expanding cockpit increases space on the rear deck by nearly one metre.
- A spacious interior and note the Simrad slave monitor on the port side roof lining.
- The jet liner-like dash is designed to accommodate twin Simrad 12-inch GPS/sounder/radar monitors.
- Remove the cushions in the bow section and you have a casting platform.
- Underway, the side platform is hardly noticeable and thorough testing has resulted in no leaks.
- Mercury's new multiple joystick piloting system makes manoeuvring easy, with effortless docking.