Yesterday I had the pleasure of sea-trialling a Revenger 29 and Cougar R8 in and around Southampton water. Conditions were pretty good with light to moderate winds and seastate to match. Would have preferred it to be a bit worse but that's the way it goes.
- Phil Morris of Revenger was very helpful and honest about the pros and cons of engine and hull options. He even had a database of maximum speeds reached of 29 owners worldwide.
The only boat available was an non-stepped Yanmar 315HP inboard with Bravo 3 leg. Anyone who has experienced this combination will know it's far from ideal. It took at least 20 seconds to get up on the plane due to lag and the tenacious grip of the twin prop leg which was very disappointing. When it got up there it was fine even though the 44 knot speed we achieved was a few knots lower than expected due to a fouled hull. Stability in fast turns was pretty good although a friend of mine managed to get the back-end to slide around a bit.
The biggest dissapointment was aesthetics. Now this was a 3 year old boat and there have been some minor changes since, but it all felt a little bit dated to be honest. Still, big thanks to Phil Morris for taking us out.
- Pete Currington at Cougar took us out in a single Honda 225HP Cougar R8, but not before we had a good look at the new 10m with built in loo and 2 x 225HP Hondas. Absolutely gorgeous, but a bit too big for what we want, for now
The first thing that strikes you about the Cougar R8 is it's a fine looking boat, but when you step onboard it just gets better. The hull mouldings, console and superb jockey seats are superbly well designed. Fire the Honda into life and the noise, or lack of it in this case is remarkable. You can hardly hear the thing and combined with the protection of the console we were easily able to have a conversation without shouting.
Up on the plane in a nats whisker and immediately the Cougar felt completely different to the Revenger. The ride was in a different league despite its 40cm smaller length. More cushioned, less slamming and the jockey seats were a dream. Flat out we managed around 55mph but Pete said there was a problem with the 3-year old engine which prevented it from hitting maximum revs. Even so I could have held it flat-out all day long the ride was so comfortable. I was amazed. There was a bit of instability in fastish turns but nothing serious and well worth the advantages in ride and speed that the stepped-hill gives.
So, I've ordered an R8. I accept the Honda could have performed better I fancy something bigger and the hull will take it. They reckon a Verado 275HP will push the R8 up to just under 70mph