- Spacious interior
- Overnighting ability
- Clever layout
- Sleeps three to four
- Styling is unusual
- Performs well with 225hp Mercury Verado
With its Australasian main dealer in Sydney, Brunswick Corporation’s Arvor Boats is a relatively minor player in our market. But New Zealand sub-agent Bailey Marine has nonetheless sold a fair few of these idiosyncratic boats over the years.
The new Arvor 755 Weekender, along with its larger 855 sibling, is something of a departure for this European builder, best known for sea-kindly, diesel-powered cruisers modelled on a style of a small fishing vessels popular in Brittany, France.
Unlike most Arvor models, which retain a certain work-boat style, the Weekender range is a rather more conventional design with a family-boating focus. Arvor’s Weekenders are built in a different factory, too.
Unlike the Arvor 810, which is built in Poland along with similar models in the Diesel Power range like 690D & 730D, the 755 Weekender is manufactured in Portugal with components sourced from all over the globe, in keeping with Brunswick’s supply chain philosophy. Arvor Boats’ head office is actually in Belgium.
COMFORTS OF HOME
The 755 Weekender is a large outboard-powered pleasure boat equipped for family boating. The name ‘Weekender’ gives the game away: it’s fully-equipped for overnight stays, offering comfortable and amazingly spacious sleeping accommodation for up to four adults, a separate head, an optional galley and a cockpit shower.
The layout is clever, inside and out, and while the boat comes well-equipped from the factory, a number of optional ‘packs’ are available to further enhance the specifications. This boat features the Smart Pack, which includes bow windlass, trim tabs, hardtop sliding hatch, foredeck cushions, curtains, enclosed toilet and the Cockpit Comfort Pack – cockpit L-lounge, cockpit sun lounge and table. It also has the Galley Pack, comprising a refrigerator and portable stove.
Shore power is another option, which is handy when tying up to a marina and for keeping the batteries topped up, either on the marina/dry stack or at home with the boat on a trailer. The Arvor 755 can be legally trailered in New Zealand, though it is over-width at 2.85m.
There’s no doubting Arvor’s intention when designing this boat: incorporate as much volume in the hull and superstructure as possible. They have certainly succeeded in terms of interior volume, which is vast for a sub-8m
boat, but to provide all that inside space the 2.85m beam is carried well forward and the bow, above the
waterline anyway, is extremely full, almost blunt. This affords a spacious, almost squared-off foredeck and the already noted generous double berth in the bows, but the resulting styling, while distinctive, is hardly sleek.
However, all is not as it seems. While I feared the hull might slam because of what appears to be a very full bow, it doesn’t because it isn’t: below the spray rail the hull is conventional with a fine entry and a couple of strakes, morphing to a moderate 17° vee at the transom.
This model will accommodate outboards from 200 to 300hp; Terry Bailey has opted for a 225hp Mercury Verado four-stroke, sourced and fitted here in New Zealand. Arvor ship the boats from the factory prerigged, including steering and pre-drilled holes for the outboard; dealers simply bolt on an engine. Performance with the 225hp is quite spritely with a top speed of 33 knots and snappy acceleration.
GREAT FOR FAMILIES
Family-friendly starts with the cockpit, which offers plenty of freeboard and good access to the water via the transom door on the starboard side. The cockpit sole and both swim steps have moulded non-slip and there’s a retractable boarding ladder.
With the table fitted and the awning extended, the cockpit is the logical place to enjoy a drink or a meal at anchor; it’s shaded with plenty of seating and outside speakers, too. The freshwater shower is also in the cockpit, as is the master battery switch panel inside a dedicated locker.
This boat’s engine start battery is tucked away inside the huge underfloor cockpit locker, with the house battery in the wheelhouse inside another capacious underfloor storage locker and the capstan/bow thruster battery is housed under the master berth in the bows.
The rear seat transom lounger is fixed on threeposition stainless steel sliders/rails. The cockpit is at maximum size with the transom slid all the way back; come in one stop to more easily step between swim platforms; move it all the way in and you can raise the motor leg clear of the water. The system works and does away with a space-eating outboard well.
Moving forward, a triple-slider aluminium and glass door separates the cockpit from the wheelhouse. There’s a
small but functional galley aft on the starboard side with fridge, sink and space for an optional gas burner; the moulded gas locker is set into the cockpit coaming.
Terry hasn’t fitted a gas burner to this boat, offering a canister burner instead, leaving more bench space for food preparation. Fitting one is easy enough, though the existing gas plumbing needs modification to meet New Zealand certification.
The wheelhouse is roomy with plenty of light and air. A sliding skylight/hatch and sliding panel side windows ensure good ventilation, especially with the rear doors open. Lighting is LED throughout, including courtesy lights, under-gunwale
cockpit lights and a cockpit floodlight.
Light-coloured marine vinyl upholstery complements white gel-coat surfaces inside the boat while timber floors in brown
veneer add warmth and nautical flavour. The boat is well-served by underfloor storage, with two lockers in the wheelhouse and another below in the forward cabin. The folding wheelhouse table is addressed by a pair of two-person bench seats with storage under them. Upholstery is leather-look marine vinyl.
The helm position affords excellent all-round vision and plenty of comfort. The pedestal helm seat has a folding bolster
for support when standing up to drive and the Mercury digital throttle and shift falls easily to hand. The throttle setting stays where it’s put – no creeping – and both helm and throttle are light.
This boat has the standard factory electronics package, a nine-inch Simrad MFD, Simrad VHF and a Fusion Bluetooth stereo system. The dash also features controls for the Quick capstan, Lenco trim tabs and the bow thruster, which proved useful getting in and out of the marina on a windy day.
Not many boats of this size, especially trailer boats, offer two good-sized berths, one a double and the other a maxi single. The dinette table drops down to make yet another berth.
The Arvor’s master berth in the bows is vast with heaps of storage underneath, along with access to the bow thruster and dedicated battery. Port lights and an overhead hatch, with insect screen, let in light as well as ventilation. The enclosed head is also roomy – certainly not the cramped affair we see in some 7-8m boats with enclosed toilets.
The surprise for me was the second berth extending back under the wheelhouse table, which is raised on a plinth. This quarter-berth cabin doesn’t offer much headroom but the berth itself is of generous size for one adult and probably big enough for two kids.
While the Arvor is a little like a caravan on the inside, it performs and handles very well. It’s no sports boat, but it is surprisingly nimble when you throw it around and the hull does a competent job of taming the sea. We had a fairly
steep, wind-against-tide sea to contend with, but the 755 took it all in stride. Despite my initial reservations, there was no slamming and we enjoyed a comfortable and very quiet ride.
Performance-wise, the six-cylinder Mercury Verado 225hp shifts the Arvor along very nicely. Transition onto the plane is effortless and very smooth with no discernible hump; the boat holds the plane well too, which allowed us to make our way up the inner Waitemata still planing at the 12-knot speed limit, for a drier, more comfortable ride. A pair of windscreen
wipers (with washers) kept the screens free of wind-whipped spray.
With only minutes on the outboard at the start of our test, we didn’t push too hard, but Brunswick’s figures for this model with this engine indicate a top speed of around 33 knots. Fuel capacity is 300 litres, so the range should be decent.
We enjoyed comfortable cruising at 25 knots, but the boat also handles nicely at slower speeds, which were required to pick our way through the messy seas around North Head.
Trim tabs are integrated into the hull, which responds readily to trim tab inputs. I found the tabs handy in the windy conditions on the day, as was the standard bow thruster come berthing time.
The Arvor 755 is a competent performer offering heaps of space, a good level of equipment and a clever layout, all at a very reasonable price. Able to be trailered behind a suitable vehicle, it’s also suitable for dry stack storage or, tying up to a marina berth after anti-fouling.