Recently-refurbished with plenty of extras, Bad Uncle is a 20-year-old Lazercraft 620 that flaunts her makeover with a large dollop of attitude. The project included a new 200hp Mercury V8 ProXS, a paint job to match it and a sound system that can be heard in the Kermadecs.

Bad Uncle belongs to Whangarei’s Kent Remihana who bought her on a Trade Me auction to replace his 4.4m alloy pontoon runabout. Remihana’s a solidly-built chap who’s passionate about free-diving and spearfishing – and he has scores of similarly-inclined friends. He needed a bigger boat.

The boat was in pretty good shape and while her 150hp Honda outboard ran beautifully he wanted a little more juice. “The Mercury ProXS looked mean and sounded super-cool – it appealed to the boy racer in me – I had to have it.”

Of course, it didn’t stop there. It never does. The Mercury triggered a chain of involuntary spasms, itchy fingers, decisions and purchases that’s resulted in a Lazercraft 620 like no other in the country.

First off, Remihana wanted a hull to complement the Mercury’s graphics – one that would enhance the boat’s ‘new character’. The task of stripping the old paint and applying the new fell to a Whangarei bodyshop. And the work confirmed that the hull was in good nick (zero corrosion), with only one small ding that was easily repaired by a deft bit of welding.


As a relatively light boat the 620 was sensitive to the movements of Remihana and his diving mates, so he opted to fix the trim issues with a set of Zipwake tabs. “Best thing I ever did. They work like a charm – especially in a quartering sea. And they are ideal for divers because there are none of the sharp edges you have with conventional tabs – you can approach the transom with confidence. Even better, they serve as a foothold to help with climbing into the boat.”

Finding good spearfishing spots is obviously a key part of a diver’s arsenal and the old Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter was upgraded to a modern version of the same model – a GPS Map X5. Remihana prefers to stand while driving and removed the Lazercraft’s seats – it’s also created more room for diving gear.

Next he installed the bimini (it offers a little more protection when he elects to overnight (the vessel has a fairly spacious cabin) and added a bank of LED lights to the top of the cabin. The diving parties head to faraway spots and often get home in early evening – the LEDs are very useful for illuminating the route back to the boat ramp.

To ease the burden of repeated anchoring he fitted a drum winch to the anchor well (it only just squeezes in) and equipped it with 10m of chain and 40m of rode.


“But the project’s crowning glory is its bad-ass Fusion stereo,” says Remihana. “I didn’t want to fit a subwoofer – it would take up too much space – so I chose the biggest speakers I could fit into the boat. It sounds mean!” But of course. What else?

Ironically, the stereo is the one component of the boat over which Remihana doesn’t have too much control. “My mates come aboard and immediately hook-up their phone playlists via Bluetooth. I guess the one advantage is that I get exposed to a very broad variety of music – though it’s mainly rock, hip-hop and techno. And out at sea the seagulls and shags don’t seem to mind the volume.”

The 620 is equipped with a built-in 150-litre fuel tank, more than enough to get Remihana and his mates to their favourite dive spots around the Hen and Chicks. The Mercury powers the boat to a top speed of 45 knots – cruising at a comfortable 25 knots the engine sips around 25 litres/hour. “She’s an easy, nice-riding hull, very comfortable. We have heaps of fun with her.”

There is one more item on the refurbishment ‘to-do list’ – the trailer. It’s the original 20-yearold model and it’s looking a little dejected, particularly when carrying the gleaming back beauty. Remihana has already replaced the guards and brackets but will also replace the axle and the Duratorque suspension. The coup de grâce with be a shining set of mags.


All in all, a ride well-pimped. If you’re boating off the Whangarei coast look out for Bad Uncle. She might be difficult to spot at dusk but not to worry – you’ll be able to hear her.