Fury Smuggler is a classic reborn
DARRYL HITCHEN puts the new Fury Smuggler 660 through its paces and reckons the new take on a classic hull has created the ultimate fishing trailerboat.
When Scotty Coghlan called me regarding an upcoming boat review in the pipeline on the brand new Fury Smuggler 660 trailer boat, I welcomed the chance to hop aboard one of Scott Fury’s custom-built vessels again.
Having previously met Scott and admired his craftsmanship whilst having a look at the Fury 282 dual console he built for Mark Le Cras, I knew I’d certainly be in for a treat!
The Fury Smuggler 660 is based on the iconic Smuggler hull that was originally built in New Zealand in the early 1970s.
Regarded as exceptional offshore racing boats, the original Smuggler hull was taken from the 6m Bertram Bahia Mar hull designed by the legendary Raymond Hunt.
Whilst the Bertram hull was tweaked slightly with added flare in the transom, full-length planing strakes and a higher cuddy cabin, the early Smuggler boats retained the deepest deadrise hull of any production boat on the market. An incredible 30 degrees to be precise.
Somewhere along the line these Smuggler moulds found their way across to WA and into the very capable hands of Scott, renowned for his range of Fury 28 boats. Over the last 15 months or so, Scott has painstakingly restored the original moulds and completely redesigned the entire configuration of the boat.
The Fury 660 Smuggler is a cuddy cab configuration that incorporates a mixture of older styling and new technology and design.
Its low wraparound windscreen and sleek lines give it somewhat of a ‘classical’ look while its state-of-the-art Simrad electronics and various innovations take it into the modern world of boating.
There’s a large amount of useable deck space that would please most avid anglers and enough room in the cabin to snatch an hour or two’s kip when you need to.
Above the helm position there’s a stylish black targa bar and bimini top that incorporates half a dozen rod holders and the radio aerials.
The transom of the Smuggler features an extended semi-pod with a small swim deck on either side of the outboard.
There’s a folding stainless steel boarding ladder on the starboard side and a transom door opening into the cockpit for getting in and out of the boat.
A large fibreglass baitboard sits above the outboard well with a plumbed live-bait tank sitting beneath it.
Dual batteries, isolator switch and associated electrics sit behind a sealed hatch below the live well.
There are a number of other hatches situated both across the transom and along the port and starboard sides of the boat, ensuring everything has a rightful place in the boat.
The 660 features a large, uncluttered deck area covered in Deck Armor flooring to provide a comfortable and non-slip surface.
The cockpit itself is large enough to easily fish three anglers and the gunwales are a good height for fighting fish.
Towards the transom of the boat there’s a floodable underfloor kill tank and a matching pair of 75-litre ice boxes situated beneath both the helm and passenger seats.
Additional features of the boat that will make it an attractive option to someone looking for the ultimate fishing rig include the superb Simrad electronics, anchor winch, outriggers, cray winch and the previously mentioned live-bait tank and bait board.
One of the beauties about Scott’s boats is that they can be customised for people’s individual needs.
Although he’s spent many hours tweaking both the design of the hull and the layout to get it right, he’s still happy to accommodate different client needs along the way.
Having such a sharp dead rise of 30 degrees, the unique design of the Smuggler is most noticeable at the stern of the boat.
Many deep-vee hulls that perform incredibly well in offshore conditions can be somewhat tender at rest, and conversely boats with a shallow deadrise are generally more stable but don’t ride as well as the deep-vees.
The Fury however is surprisingly stable at rest thanks to the floodable keel that has been incorporated into the hull.
When you’re stationary, a large volume of water floods into the void located along the central vee of the hull, with the extra weight low down producing that added stability at rest. Once underway, the extra water in the void simply runs out again.
As well as the flooded keel on the 660, Scott has also added an interesting ‘wing hull extension’ that sits directly under the keel.
After having some initial teething problems with transducer placement on the boat due to the very sharp deadrise, he came up with this unique design that seems to work a treat.
“Together with providing a much better location for the transducer the extra surface area provided by the hull extension also helped with getting the boat onto the plane and improved stability at rest,” he explained.
I was certainly looking forward to seeing how the Fury Smuggler performed on the water given both the hull’s reputation and the quality of the boats Scott builds.
Heading out from Woodies Point boat ramp with 20 knots of easterly whipping up a storm, it was almost the perfect day for a boat test for such a vessel!
As we headed out into Cockburn Sound Scott eased down the throttle of the big Mercury V8 and we were quickly up onto the plane doing around 13 knots at 2000 revs.
It was obvious from the start that the Smuggler wasn’t your average trailerboat as we increased power to what Scott described as a “comfortable cruise speed” of some 35 knots.
The boat’s performance was simply exhilarating as I got to experience first-hand the true capabilities of a well designed and built deep-vee hull.
As we headed towards Garden Island Scott decreased the speed to 22 knots before putting the boat through a series of tight turns which it took in its stride.
Turning into the teeth of the wind, we trimmed the motor down and adjusted the zip-wakes before settling on a very comfortable speed of 25 knots heading back towards Woodman Point.
As we drew closer to the lee shore, Scott opened up the big Verado and in no time we were doing a tad over 45 knots at WOT.
TOP QUALITY BOAT
When you’re talking Fury boats, I think you’re talking the Rolls Royce of the boating world.
I’ve been lucky enough to take a couple for a run over the last few years and both times have walked away incredibly impressed with the build quality, design, handling and layouts of the vessels.
The Fury Smuggler 660 is without doubt the best riding boat of its size I’ve ever been in, and by quite a way to be honest.
It must just about be the ultimate trailerboat, especially if you live somewhere like Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth or Dampier, where long runs across to the offshore islands are par for the course when chasing quality fish.
Granted the Fury boats don’t come cheap, but there’s no doubt if you’re looking for a customised, well built, functional and incredibly soft riding hull that will handle just about anything that comes your way, then this brand new Smuggler 660 should be right at the very top of your shopping list
NUTS & BOLTS
- MODEL: Fury Smuggler 660
- OVERALL LENGTH: 6.60m
- BEAM: 2.42m
- DEADRISE: 27 degrees
- DISPLACEMENT: 2600kg (dry with trailer)
- POWER: 150-300hp
- FUEL: 300 litres
- WATER: 100 litres
- PRICING: From $175,000 (boat, trailer, motor packages)
- MANUFACTURER: Fury Boats; 6/7 Coolibah Way, Bibra Lake; 0433 573 545; email@example.com; www.furycustomboats.com.au .
PROS & CONS
- Great build quality
- Locally made
- Unmatched handling and ride
- Innovative design
- Built to order
- Limited access to bow
- I can’t afford one!