Boat Review Date: June 2019
Author: Mike Brown
The Aurora Adventure V650 is a well-equipped rigid inflatable that has an attractive price. It achieves that with no obvious cheapening. The hull fabric is German manufactured Mehler/Heytex with a five year warranty, and the fibreglass fit and finish is as good as or better than most. The tubes are a seven layer structure, all welded. The builders claim theirs is the only fully welded RIB on the market, with even the grab handles getting the treatment. The broad rubbing strip, naturally, is also welded in place.
On the trailer the hull looked the real deal, with a particularly attractive entry. Unfortunately, the flat water on the day did not give us the chance to really test its effectiveness; it did allow us, though, to exploit all 150 of the Mercury’s horsepower. Maximum recommended is 175, which the builders claim is good for 45 knots. Our smaller motor exceeded 40, which would be more than enough for most people. Although with a full load (capacity 12 people) the reserve power could be welcome. For us it provided pure pleasure and we played like a pair of hoons, finding that the V650 is not only a barrel of fun but a sweet handling boat.
Passengers would be well looked after during these tight manoeuvres. At every seating, or likely standing, position, hand holds are well positioned.
The 650 is of a size to fit most roles: Rottnest tender, offshore break surfing, fishing – rods rather than hand lines of course - or plain day cruising. The upholstered seating will cope with seven, which is probably more than the likely load other than for ship to shore transfers. The double driving seat is actually solely a bolster, which felt absolutely right for the job and gave the advantage of saving deck area. The bow compartment can do duty as auxiliary seat, and the deck ahead of the console can take an optional inflatable sun bed.
The pick of the seats has to be the triple ahead of the transom. In the lowest motion part of the boat, it gives a regal ride. It has an upholstered back and sits just ahead of the lightweight gantry that carries lights and aerials.
The 650 can carry large amounts of stuff invisibly: most horizontal surfaces have lockers below, secured by over-centre fasteners, with the driver’s seat interior being usefully roomy. The console itself folds open to expose the battery and the servicing side of the electronics.
A modest loop between rear seat and transom, hardly a Targa bar, carries lights and aerials. There is no other overhead structure, though the agents (who are boat builders in their own right) can locally construct canopies and practically any other add-on.
The V650 is a welcome addition to the growing range of RIBs on WA’s market, with its combination of good pricing and quality.
Fuel capacity 187L
Motor fitted 150hp Mercury