A Noble Territorian

Reviewed: Noble Super Vee 7.5m

It was a boat review with a difference when South Australian Jamie Crawford found himself stepping on a plane for Darwin.

Noble Boats International has a reputation for building high-end plate vessels. Gone are the days of tinnies tagged as cheap inshore tubs, as new era plate boats of this ilk rise through the ranks and challenge ’glass boats for ride and fishing practicality. Noble Super Vee is among the cream of the crop in offshore plate boats, and has grown a strong following amongst serious sport fishos, especially along the Australian East Coast. Noble was originally a local Queensland-based company, however, the business has recently morphed into an international concern, giving the respected company a shot at the global market. I’ll admit to being a Super Vee wannabe owner. They are a fantastic looking plate boat, and when accessorised are a serious fishing vessel. However, as there aren’t any Noble dealers in South Australia I was yet to ride or even see one in the flesh, until an invite from Jason Lee, general manager of Noble Boats International, had me heading to Darwin, and from there, the Peron Islands some 200km to the west.

Leaving a cold windswept South Oz behind, I touched down in Darwin and was slapped with 38 degrees. After introductions with Jason and his associate Alan Liang, we loaded the rental Patrol and headed west to a remote property three hours from Darwin. After locating the property and meeting host Steve Travia, we got a peak at the big Noble. The 7.5m centre console Super Vee was immaculately presented and fully accessorised to be a serious sportfishing rig. It was Steve Travia’s second Noble, having recently upgraded from a 6.25m. The owner had a lot of input with the designing of the vessel, with features to suit tropical fishing and local conditions.

On the trailer it’s an ominous rig and towers some 3.2m to the Targa. Steve designed and built a custom trailer to suit, with a low keel to aid in storage and 17-inch rims for beach launching. With the 7.5m Super Vee weighing about 2.4 tonnes fully laden, a mid-size 4WD is the minimum required to comfortably manoeuvre it around.

Steve uses a tractor for launching and retrieving as he has no access to a sealed ramp.


On the water
With a dropping tide when we launched at daybreak we only had half a metre of water to launch in and the big Noble just scraped through. Once clear of the beach Steve opened up the four-stroke Yamaha 250 and pointed the nose to North Peron Island. We had favourable weather for our day on the water with only a slight to medium chop to contend with. Carving through the chop the Super Vee’s deep bow delivered a soft, smooth ride. Steve has fitted trim tabs as an optional extra, but in a boat of this size they should be standard. They stabilised the ride considerably, especially when the chop pushed into our starboard.

We maintained a cruising speed of 22 knots where the Yammie pulled 4100rpm while using 34 litres of fuel per hour (or 1.2km/L). When Steve dropped the throttle to hit 32 knots the fuel usage jumped to 80lph (0.7km/L), which if maintained would make for an expensive day on the water. The top speed of the 7.5m Super Vee was 38 knots with the 250hp as tested.


Due to the remote waters Steve regularly fishes he fitted a 9.9hp Yamaha auxiliary as insurance should the main motor fail. Fuel capacity is 360L courtesy of twin 180L underfloor tanks, one located fore and the other aft of the underfloor kill tank. There’s a small live bait tank at the rear, just next to the bait board, although the underfloor kill tank can be plumbed in as a large live well for serious live bait fishers.

With the generous deck space provided Steve has fitted a pair of 100L ice boxes – one for bait and ice, the other for food and drinks. These boxes are padded on top and double as extra seating.

The main centre seat wasn’t a standard item; Steve had the large box seat/storage unit custom built. On the open front panel of the seat are 14 removable storage boxes for everything from swivels and crimps to soft plastics and hard bodied lures. All storage boxes were meticulously stocked so that everything in the terminal tackle department was at your fingertips.

And with fishing on our minds we tried some marks around North Peron Island. Steve had been boating some lovely golden snapper (fingermark) there recently. On our third mark we hit a patch of fish. Fishing in 2.5m the water was clouded due to the run-off from nearby mud flats courtesy of big tides. The majority of fish were in the 1-2kg bracket, but a pigeon-pair of 5kg fish got in on the act as well. From shallow water the fish put up a solid scrap and hit soft plastics as well as baits.

With the morning chop easing and conditions looking fine Steve blasted offshore in the hope of red emperor and coral trout. Along the way we passed some humpback whales closely guarding a calf.

Surface bust-ups happened periodically with showers of baitfish fleeing in all directions. The surface feeders were flighty, but by standing on the bow I managed to fire a cast into some surface action and came up tight on a longtail tuna. Having a large open boat with the luxury of a full length walk-around is fantastic for fighting fish. One moment I was on the bow cranking a 30g metal slice through the surface action and the next I was running to the transom to stop the runaway longtail.


Once we reached the outer reefs, we began drift fishing over the lumps. While the red emperor and trout didn’t play the game we boated several nice grassy sweetlip emperor and a lone cod. We coincided our drifting with the change of the tide so the current wasn’t flowing too fast, but even still we were all crowded along the down-current side of the boat with lines trailing behind.

There were six of us fishing and while we were pushing for shoulder room while on the same side it was still comfortable and stable for all six of us. At rest the massive reverse chines at the stern gave the boat fantastic stability. Even when anchored in a bit of chop late in the day the Super Vee remained as a solid platform.

On the day we had 38 degrees of tropical heat; thankfully Steve has installed a two-section overhead canopy, which is fantastic for fishing in such hot conditions. We only had the forward section in place during our day, but the second section runs the full length of the rear deck to provide shade.

While underway we got the occasional salt spray fanning over the gunwales, but overall the ride was dry considering the boat’s open style. In tropical heat a little spray is quite refreshing. Under the deck there’s a 60 litre freshwater tank with pressure hose – handy for spraying the salt off equipment or a quick spray-down cool off. This freshwater tank is an optional extra.


The owner hasn’t cut any corners in accessorising his Noble. He’s installed an auto-pilot, Lowrance and Furuno electronics, sound system, rear deck lighting, LED skirting lights around the centre console and gunwales, and a Stress-Free anchor winch. There are 19 fishable rod holders and a further 10 storage holders scattered throughout – no less than 29 holders in total. The rocket launcher is fitted over the sports Targa bar which looks great, but the height makes it a little awkward to reach, especially when the second canopy’s in place.

There is a chemical toilet fitted within the centre console – a welcome addition when catering for family or female visitors. One feature that was surprisingly missing, was rear scuppers for deck drainage.

This particular Super Vee was part of the first generation of boats to exit the new China plant. While the two-pack high grade marine paint looked fantastic, the black hull had a slight matt finish; not the immaculate gloss that Noble boats are renowned for. This was apparently a slight shortcoming with first generation boats, a situation which has been addressed with the second generation boasting typical glossy flawless finishes.  

The 7.5m Super Vee feels rock solid. With the famed deep vee delivering a soft, smooth ride and boasting a large deck capacity, the 7.5m is sure to appeal to serious offshore fishos. The 7.5m model is also available in centre and cuddy cabin configurations.

Length: 7.50m; LOA 7.80m


Weight: 940kg (hull only) BMT 2400kg

Deadrise: 24 degrees at stern

Power: 150-300hp

Price: from $92,000; as tested $130,000


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