Boat Review Date: April 2019
Author: Mike Brown
At eight metres the Brig 8 rigid inflatable is too long for the now traditional Rottnest tender role, but practically any other role is within its capabilities. Its people carrying capacity alone is outstanding, being rated at 16 adults. With rather fewer than that number aboard it makes a fine fishing boat, ski boat (tow points built in), or day cruiser.
The Brig’s size allows a console large enough to house a toilet yet not be out of scale. The console’s rear face has the area to swallow the 12 inch Simrad screen with abundant room left over. The Simrad is integrated with the motor to display all its monitors. The driving side has a double seat, matched with another in front. The toilet has a side door so does not require the hinging up of seats or other contortions. The console is actually set close to the starboard side to give that door swinging room.
The 300hp Mercury Sirocco Marine fitted gives sports boat performance: it has 47 knots on tap. But this all-electrically controlled motor can be turned into a pussy cat for inexperienced drivers. The owner can dial up the maximum allowable urge however much throttle is applied. The consolation for the green driver is the adjustable exhaust: this can be set to give a throaty growl instead of a purr.
Give the throttle full play, even in purr mode, and you have fun at your fingertips. The power steering is naturally light, the trim instantly adjustable, and the hull has no trace of skittishness. The seat cushions’ resilience matches the performance well, and there are seats for 11. Actually there is a couple more for hardier backsides alongside the motor well. The bow and forward console seats can be converted into a day bed by dropping in a filler.
All the niceties are incorporated: these include a Hypalon collar; fresh water wash down and shower; dual batteries; power windlass hauling a stainless anchor and controlled either up front or at the console; USB and 12V power points; a light bar; and a removable table. That last drops into place between the rear seats and those behind the driver. Dry stowage can be tight on rigid inflatables, but the volume of the stuff available under and between the driver’s seat and the pillion should satisfy anyone. The T-top is a work of engineering: able to cope with wind passing over and under it at 50-odd knots with barely a tremble is good going.
The generous power coupled with spaciousness and very good sea keeping suits the Eagle 8 for what is becoming the rigid inflatable’s speciality: offshore fishing almost regardless of the weather. Time-poor people take their fishing when they can get it, and they want no worry about coming in from the deep with a big sea breeze or a developing front.
Price from AUD $145,500
Price as reviewed AUD $162,000
Fuel capacity 340L
Fresh water 50L
Motor fitted 300hp Mercury