Dear Rodney

Re:Kiwi Kraft 720 Hardtop

My brother-in-law and I purchased the above vessel as a demonstrator in March 2003. It was fully equipped with radar, GPS, colour sounder and powered by a 225hp Evinrude Ficht.

I have previously owned several alloy boats including Fyran, Starcraft, AMF and Lazercraft. I have also owned a couple of glass boats including a 24ft Marlborough and a 20ft Glasscraft Centurion.

My main criteria in purchasing this vessel was safety. I wanted to be able to travel long distances from my base in Whangarei and at times stay overnight and be confident that I can get home I can get home the next day no matter how much the conditions change.

Since March 2003 we have used the vessel on a recreational basis at least twice a month all year round.

Seaworthiness
My first experience in a Kiwi Kraft was in an older 6.3 metre model at Oakura near Whangarei. It was blowing onshore 30 knots from the northeast. I was so impressed with the handling of the boat that I came home determined to own one.

For anyone who hasn't owned a pontoon boat before, they have some remarkable benefits. Going into a head sea, the bouyancy in the forward pontoons act to lift the nose as it cuts into a wave, substantially reducing any pounding that is so common in alloy boats. The pontoons also act to give lateral stability and there is some lift benefit when first getting onto the plane from the pontoon extending past the transom. She is remarkable going into a head sea.

I have already stated that safety was my number one priority.
The pontoons which are divided into six individual sealed compartments continually work to keep the boat balanced and reduce the wave impact. This is in stark contrast to traditional alloy monohulls where the under floor bouyancy only works when the vessel is upside down. My point is that the pontoons are working the whole time the vessel is in the water.

Travel
I have traveled around virtually all of the Northland coast since owning the vessel, including Great Barrier Island, Moko Hinau Islands, Little Barrier, Mercury Islands and twice to the Three Kings Islands. Consequently my preference would be to choose the larger fuel tank

Commercial Use
Since October 2005 I have been using the vessel as a commercial boat carrying up to 900 kg of product plus three divers and gear. The vessel has maintained structural integrity after several months of punishing work. We often worked in conditions over 40 knots where we can anchor in relative calm on the offshore islands but take a bit of a beating on the way home. The welding on the hull is like new. I have had a slight cracking at the rear of the hard top which Rodney is providing gussets for and which he tells me is standard on all of the new models. I had no problem putting her through survey (MSA no.130657).

Conclusion
I would happily buy another Kiwi Kraft.
To quote a friend's 15 year old daughter, "That boat deserves respect".

Hilton Leith and Kelly Wright
Whangarei


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