The Italian Solaris 47 is intended to meet both sides of the performance-cruiser equation – and reward the discerning sailor.
- Walkaround configuration, large cockpit and useable foredeck area
- Soft, dry ride
- Generous internal beam allows wide centre console
- Well finished
- Strongly constructed
A new fibreglass trailer boat model from a New Zealand boat builder is always a cause for excitement, so I was looking forward to meeting Buccaneer Pleasure Craft’s new 630 Enforcer RIB.
Wade Gerrand trailered the Enforcer up the Waikato Expressway to Auckland for our review. With the boat’s Southern Pacific PVC tubes fully inflated, the trailer requires flags, but at 2.688m wide, it’s not too troublesome to tow. With the tubes deflated, the 630 comes in at under 2.5m, so there’s no need for the flags.
She rides on a dual-axle Enduro galvanised steel trailer, over-ride braked on one axle. Multiple rollers support the boat and the rig, with a belly-full of fuel, weighs-in at 1,660kg on the road.
This boat is the first of the new model to leave the factory floor. Buccaneer spent quite a bit of time and effort developing a prototype and incorporated several improvements in the production model, including the way the tubes attach to the fibreglass hull. Buccaneer worked with Southern Pacific when designing the wide fibreglass flanges that locate the tubes and the tubes’ attachment to the hull. This is particularly robust, says Wade.
“The flanges act a bit like trim tabs in the rough,” he says, and since the coved flanges support so much of the tubes, Buccaneer has been able to push the tubes outboard to provide the boat with a generous internal beam.
The model’s high-quality PVC tubes are large diameter, too (500mm tapering to 450mm), so there’s plenty of freeboard, giving a feeling of security inside the boat. At rest, the tubes just contact the water, so stability is as good as you would expect from a RIB – excellent in other words – but they mostly lift clear of the water when the boat is on the plane.
The 630 Enforcer was developed from Buccaneer’s popular 605 hull, by creating a new hull mould which could accommodate PVC tubes. The 605 is a great performer, so it was no surprise to discover the new 630 also boasts impressive handling attributes.
Although this is a completely new model, some of its components have a familiar look to them. The new helm console draws inspiration from Buccaneer’s El Dorado (it probably shares some of the same mouldings). Like all Buccaneer models, the boat has a fully-moulded hull liner with closed cell foam between the lining and the hull.
The console works well. It’s large enough to provide decent shelter for two behind the acrylic windscreen, but it’s not so wide as to impede walkaround access, which is good. It looks nice, too, and offers useful storage inside, including a shelf, as well as access to the electronics and wiring loom via a hatch behind the dashboard. It’s big enough to store an ice box or fish bin but probably a bit tight for a portable toilet.
At the front of the console a large locker provides dry stowage and there’s a seat with provision for a cushion. Grab handles either side are also useful when sidling past the console.
Two, wide, padded Burnsco seats with individual reversible backrests offer storage in the moulded seat base and leaning support when standing to drive. The helm is offset to starboard and there’s room on the dash for a full complement of instruments and a large screen MFD. The review boat was fitted with a 9-inch Lowrance Elite.
The titanium grey, moulded dash console is divided into three zones: the curved upper section at eye-level which held a pair of Mercury multi-function gauges and was topped with a compass, a large flat area for the MFD, Lenco trim tab controls, bilge and washdown pump switches, and a lower section with a switch panel, twin USB/12V outlets, voltmeter and a pair of matching GME radio sets. One is a VHF and the other a stereo entertainment head unit.
Underneath, but part of the same moulding, there’s a decent shelf for odd items and a textured footrest. Talon receptacles were used for cupholders. The whole centre console is topped with a sturdy stainless steel and black canvas Bimini top, complete with a five-position rocket launcher that also supports the vessel’s twin aerials. The bimini folds down if required.
As already noted, the 630 Enforcer has a good-sized cockpit, enhanced by the RIB’s relatively high sides. The moulded transom is tidy and offers good protection for the fuel filter, battery and isolation switch in the central locker. Smaller transom lockers to either side house offer modest stowage. The washdown hose fills the locker on the starboard side and the fuel filler is outside the boat on the transom. Discreet LED courtesy lighting, plus a floodlight on the Bimini, illuminate the cockpit at night.
The 630 has a 165-litre underfloor fuel tank (200 litres optional), and there’s still room left over for a large-ish underfloor locker in the cockpit.
As a general-purpose vessel, the Enforcer 630 has a removable bait table mounted on the transom. Obviously, a RIB has limited options for fishing rod storage because of its tubes, but four rod holders flush-mounted across the transom, five in the rocket launcher, plus two on the bait board demonstrate that Buccaneer is serious about fishing. The RIB’s walkaround design and bow area are certainly ideal for casting and lure fishing.
The stainless-steel frame supporting the bait board also serves as a tow point for sea biscuits, water-skiers, wakeboarders and the like, which should keep the kids happy.
Moulded swim-steps either side of the engine well make boarding easy. They are covered with non-slip U-deck flooring, which is also used inside the boat from bow to stern, and there’s a good quality folding boarding ladder on the port side.
One of the most notable features of this 630 Enforcer is the large stainless-steel tying post in the bow. This post is larger in diameter than standard and will be fitted with an electric winch at the owner’s request. The warp can be fed either into the large underfloor wet locker in the foredeck or into the smaller bow locker that stores the ground tackle. A cleat is bolted to the hull liner to cleat off the anchor warp.
How’s she go?
Very nicely indeed! The 150hp Mercury is a strong, torquey motor. Although it has a larger displacement than most of its 150hp competitors, the 3.0-litre Mercury is also lighter. It’s a single overhead cam design with two valves per cylinder. SOHC engines are known for better low end torque compared to dual overhead cam designs.
Spinning a 17-inch by 14.5-inch Inertia propeller, the Merc gives the Enforcer a top speed of just a shade under 40 knots at 5,500rpm. The RIB easily cruises at 25-plus knots, and happily, the boat feels better the faster you go. In terms of fuel burn, the sweet spot is between 3,000 and 3,500rpm with the boat making 20 knots, but fuel consumption increases only slightly up to 30 knots.
We had a bit of chop to deal with and some left-over swell, but the 630 Enforcer loved the conditions, easily outrunning Boating’s larger and more powerful photo boat. One of the things you have got to love about RIBs is their ride. The Buccaneer 605 rides well but the 630 Enforcer is better, and drier too, thanks to those big tubes. It’s also quiet, some of which must be attributed to the underfloor foam.
Wade and I played around with engine trim and trim tabs. In the conditions the boat liked just a touch of trim tab to keep the bow down, but with the outboard trimmed as normal. Out of the hole response is excellent and the hull frees up nicely as speed increases. The Buccaneer 630 Enforcer feels stable and safe in turns, the tubes moderating heel angle while the v-bottom tracks true.
Sea Star hydraulic steering takes any effort out of conning the boat. The engine controls are cable, but nice and positive, and the lever falls nicely to hand whether standing or sitting to drive the boat.
The Buccaneer 630 Enforcer is a welcome addition to the family of New Zealand-built RIBs and offers the company’s customers even more choice in an already extensive range. Well-finished and nicely presented, the Enforcer 630 performs and handles exceptionally well. Anyone in the market for a well-built, New Zealand-made, trailerable RIB should certainly consider Buccaneer Pleasure Craft’s new offering.