Boat Review Date: December 2017
Author: Mike Brown
Brigs are European-built fibreglass rigid inflatables, built to a standard rather than a price, and making a place for themselves in the West. As with other rigid inflatables most of them are of a length to suit the role of Rottnest tender; this one is something different.
At 10 metres the Brig Eagle 10 is a lot of open boat. Nominally open, but with its substantial centre console (or centre cabin, depending on your criteria) and elegant T-top it provides its occupants with plenty of shelter.
WA does marine pipe work very well, mostly in stainless steel. The Brig’s locally built T-top frame and support though is in powder coated aluminium, and as a result uses bigger sections. This is an enormously stiff structure, and it needs to be. We touched 58 knots, a speed that puts a load on it not all that far from a Category 2 cyclone.
The console’s interior is big enough to take a double bed and a toilet, but this is really a day boat par excellence. The Brig has seats, tables and day beds in adaptable profusion, plus the ability to whip up cooked meals or provide cooling drinks.
Behind the helm seat there are settees fore and aft of a table. This set up can be rearranged into a vast day bed or dismantled to give space for fishing or gearing up for diving. Ahead of the console is an upholstered double chaise longue (there will be competition for this at speeds less than flat out). Forward of it is casual seating on top of the lockers at the bow. This whole area, too, can be converted into a giant sprawling spot with the cushions provided.
The structure below the double bolster-seat at the console is ingeniously used. Lifting the seat reveals a two-burner stove and a sink. The locker below, apart from its stowage tasks, gives easy access to electrical switch gear. The door at the port side conceals a fridge-ice maker.
The deck itself has been coated with C-Dek, that wonder material that is impervious to most liquids known to man and is kind to bare feet. It is the stuff you want on a party boat where various liquids are likely to be spilt. Owners of boats with teak deck sheathing typically allow no red wine on board.
The anchor houses in a recess under the buoyant collar, and its system has an endearing feature. Lower the upholstered back of the bow seat and, from the driving position, the cable locker and the rising anchor are clearly visible. The anchor itself is in stainless steel, common enough in this class of vessel, but so is the chain.
The electronics associated with the motors are sophisticated beasts. The pair of Simrad touch screens offer a range of displays. You can opt for gauges measuring everything, down to a couple of large ones that concentrate on the vitals. Even if you miss spotting a developing problem the motors’ internals will take over and drop the revs to a safe level as well as sounding an alarm.
Electrical rather than electronic, the Mercuries have power steering. Still with sensitivity built in, the system removes effort further adding to the Brig’s luxury sensations. On the subject of luxury it is worth mentioning the drink holders: they have blue LEDs in them to make them easier to locate.
The Simrad screens share duties with the navigation task. Plotter and sounder can be selected individually or can share a split screen. Radar, although not installed on the review boat, could be plugged into the system.
With 700hp on tap from the twin Mercuries the top speed nudging 60 knots is not a surprise. The economy, though, might be. Extrapolating from figures for shorter runs, it looks as though the 570 litre fuel capacity could allow a Fremantle to Abrolhos and return trip at 20 knots without refuelling.
Price as displayed AUD $320,000
Introductory price AUD $295,000
Fuel capacity 570L
Motors fitted 2 x 350hp Mercury outboards