Kirby 10 metre Naiad Boat Review

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Boat Review Date: May 2019
Author: Mike Brown

Overview

As centre consoles go, in Australia at least, 10 metres is big. The word from the Miami boat show is that 15 and 18 metre centre consoles have stolen a big piece of the US market from cruisers. The consoles contain toilets, showers and galleys: all that a day boat could want, and day use is what most boats get.


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That is the sort of logic the buyer of this 10 metre Naiad used. Fast and capable, it eats distance, is infinitely fishable, and can rendezvous with cabin boats for overnighting. Its shakedown run was to the Abrolhos, giving a clue to its busy life ahead.

Nominally a rigid inflatable, like most large Kirby-built Naiads this one has a D-section solid foam collar. As well as having higher durability, this style allows greater internal beam. Raised aluminium sides give more security for standing anglers.

A pair of 425hp Yamahas propels the Naiad at up to 58 knots. Academic really, but that power means cruising at 30 knots on barely a quarter throttle. To cope with high speeds a pair of offshore racing trim tabs, sporting twin rams, were fitted.

Those motors have fly, and everything else, by wire: steering, throttle, dynamic positioning or automatic travel to way points. You can select to control both motors from one lever. To go alongside, or anywhere else, you have joystick control.

Driving flat out into a light breeze produces a Cat 2 cyclone-strength head wind. The T-top and supporting structure were designed to take this, and they look it. The windscreen and side panels are thick armour glass, directly bonded to the structure. Atop the canopy are a light bar, aerials and two solar panels. Under it, in a zip compartment are storm clears.

Fishermen have game poles, a pot winch plus conventional tipper, a bait board that can be dropped into a multitude of positions, rod sockets galore and a salt water deckwash. For the catch, a jumbo Yeti esky sits under the rear settee; the fishing electronics are Raymarine’s finest. More electronics, in the form of a top end stereo system, provide entertainment via speakers everywhere. Underwater and floor level lights add to the solar panels’ recharging tasks.

The Naiad has plenty of straightforward seats available for socializing days, but for serious travel a trio of suspension seats gets the job. Like everything else on board these are top-line, costing the price of an OK used trailer boat.

The requirement for maximum headroom within the console for the toilet meant lowering its deck, in turn this divided the fuel capacity between two tanks and called for new trim calculations. Big distances and big motors call for matching fuel capacity. At 900 litres the tanks are large by most standards, but for Abrolhos length trips the rear deck has been engineered to carry the weight of multiple portable tanks as well.

 Here is the ideal boat owner to have as a friend.

Lowdown

Length                    10.0m

Beam                      3.5m

Fuel capacity            900L

Fresh water             100L

Motors fitted            2x425hp Yamaha