BOAT TEST – Brig 700 Navigator – A Better Brig

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The Brig 700 Navigator was first displayed at the recent Auckland On Water Boat Show, but it wasn’t until a few weeks later that Brig importers, Family Boats managed to get it on the water. While the base boat is sold with a single 150hp outboard, you have the option of twins or singles from 150hp-400hp, it’s just a matter of how fast you want to go. Maximum speed with a single Yamaha 200 is 50 mph.

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Faultless Handling

As for the handling of the Brig 700 N I couldn’t fault it. Okay, so every boat has something wrong, but I was very impressed with every aspect of the boat’s handling, from how slippery it was onto the plane, to the lack of excessive heel in hard tight turns. The 58cm Hypalon tubes act as a massive water deflector as well as helping to soften the ride in rough water.

As the tubes are in the water at rest and while underway the boat is extremely stable and there is no need for trim tabs. The driving position is also very good, with offerings of either seated on a wide bench seat or standing with the seat bases hinged back to form a semi-bolster. The huge perspex screen keeps you protected from the wind. Would be no problem adding a bimini and some clears if you wanted some extra protection.

The one interesting difference in the helm, as opposite to most boats is the steering is to port, although due to the design and placement of the console you really feel like you are sitting in the centre of the boat. The helm and seat consoles are both bolted to the grp sole across to starboard, leaving enough space to port to walk-through to the open bow. If the console were in the centre, you couldn’t get past on either side. Nice idea that works.

Room To Move

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The layout is typical of most centre console RIBs with a deep anchor locker forward with a cushion over a wide hatch. While the test boat had a grp moulded bow unit with fairlead and large jam cleat to hold the anchor warp, you do have the option of a through hull anchoring system, with a windlass hidden away in the anchor locker and everything controlled from the helm.

The main helm console has a double seat forward with storage under and access to the console through a large hatch below the screen. The wide helm console means you can load it with electronics and instruments and still have plenty of space. Being a RIB, storage is always something of an issue. In the Brig 700 N there is a couple of storage trays below the console which are perfect locations for you phone, keys and sunnies. The rear of the helm seat has a moulded seat with storage below and there is also extra space provided aft of the full-width rear bench seat.

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Brig also offers the option of some seating variants, with twin single softrider style pedestal seats instead of the bench seat module, or nothing at all. It’s your choice. The rear of the cockpit has been well utilised with a full-width bench seat and backrests. If you are into your fishing, then there’s an optional baitboard and rod storage package available. The self-draining cockpit is finished with antiskid, but you can add carpet, roll-matting or if you want to go to the expense, teak.

Overall, the brand new Brig 700 N is a boat that families will appreciate, with the copious seating and inherent safety features. At less than $80,000 for a standard package (motor/ boat/trailer) it’s also well priced against a lot of similar sized centre console RIBs.

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