We’ve had a look at quite a few Weekender style boats recently and the regularity with which they keep popping up suggests a growing popularity in Australia. In this case we had the chance to get two of the outboard powered Arvor Weekenders on the water side by side, which gave us a great opportunity to directly compare the two.
We have already published full reviews of the 755 Weekender and the 855 Weekender so will not run through the entirety of the boats again. What we want to do here is outline the differences between the two models and where one may be more appropriate than the other. As anyone who has considered a purchase of this importance knows, there is much to consider. Some of the considerations I think are important when making a purchasing decision are things like ease of use, storage/mooring options, room required onboard, intended use and budget.
The Weekender Series are powered by Mercury outboards, which makes the transition for trailer boat owners up to a larger pocket cruiser reasonably simple given the familiarity of the outboard power and its driving intricacies. Across the boat, as the name suggests, they are designed so you can enjoy your company and the surrounds by day with entertaining and sitting space outside, and equipped with sleeping berths and toilet facilities for overnight stays.
Both the 755 and 855 have the same cockpit design with an ‘L’ shaped lounge running across the transom and up the port side. Both are roomy and comfortable with a table that can be stowed and simply slotted in place when needed. On the 755 it is a little more difficult to get it out of its stowage. The table itself can also be dropped down to create a large daybed in the cockpit and both have an entry point onboard to the starboard side.
Both are well set up for entertaining friends and family with an optional slide out awning creating some shade over this area. Given the longer length of the 855, there is slightly more space and underfloor stowage in this part of the boat than on the 755.
Stepping into the cabin of the 755 and 855 via the sliding door, you are greeted by similar but slightly different layouts. Both boats have the galley pushed to the starboard side with the 755 accommodating a sink plus a single burner stove top and fridge, while the 855 has all that and adds an additional burner on the stove top plus microwave.
Both boats have a dinette located opposite with the 755 being a set design or inward facing seating for four with a table in between with no options to move seats around or change the layout. It also doubles as a bed should you need it. The 855 dinette offers much more versatility with four positions or layouts possible depending on your need. It makes better use of the space with a u shaped lounge, forward facing passenger seat, bed or inward facing dinette all options with this modular arrangement. The dining area on both boats have a stunning view of the surrounding waters.
Simply for ease of entertaining, the 855 is the better option. The cabin is pushed to one side delivering more internal room while the modular dinette creates more internal options. The added space in the cockpit also gives it a more comfortable feel. That is not to stay that the 755 is not comfortable, it is just not as good as the 855. In addition the extra space in the galley on the 855 provides more cooking options for longer stays aboard.
Both the Arvor 755 and 855 Weekenders have two separate cabins. On the 755 they don’t have doors and while a curtain offers a degree of privacy in each, they are not as private as the berths on the 855 which both have closing doors. The main berth in the 755 is located at the bow and features a large double bed offset against one side with a nook for small bits and pieces. There is no space for luggage or any hanging space in the room. The second berth on the 755 is tucked under the dinette area. It is long and low with room for two but does not have a lot of headroom and you need to get changed in a different part of the boat.
Conversely the berths on the Arvor 855 Weekender are quite spacious. The main berth is again located at the bow. The extra room has allowed Arvor to include an island bed with an extendable centre section that means when the bed is not in use it has space around the outside. There is also hanging space to the port side as you enter the room. The second berth again located under the dinette also has hanging space and is a long and large space. Headroom is low but once you’re lying down that isn’t a problem.
Here the Arvor 855 Weekender gets the nod with the added privacy of doors and additional space offering a more comfortable and usable layout.
The helm on both is similar with everything in easy reach. The sliding door located to the right of the helm on the larger 855 Weekender is a nice touch allowing access to the walkway down the starboard side. It also allows more airflow into and through the cabin than the 755 that only has sliding windows and a sunroof/hatch.
Despite this I prefer the 755 helm position and drive position as it offers more visibility all round and the window is the perfect height to lean out and chat with your neighbour.
Being a Weekender, both boats have a private toilet and shower facilities. The shower on the 755 is located at the transom while the 855 toilet includes a sink and extendable faucet which doubles as a hand held shower. Having spent a few days on boats, the wash down option after a swim in the salt means that the 755 is a better option from my perspective. While showering in the toilet of the 855 offers more privacy it also means you need to dry everything to make it ready for the next person who needs to use the toilet. I can survive just fine with an outdoor shower. The bathrooms are both large and comfortable enough.
ON THE WATER
These boats are built for a purpose and it’s not hurtling around the waterways from place to place. It’s about the journey and as such both hulls are designed to be able to handle most conditions and offer excellent stability at rest. The Arvor 755 Weekender is a compact package and doesn’t have the height or size of the 855 making it a little more manoeuvrable and enjoyable to drive. The 855 Weekender being much larger is more imposing and more bus like to drive which is fine considering the job description yet it feels just a little, well, boring.
Overall both boats have elements that I like. The 855 with the extra space and modular dinette setting creates more versatility in layouts and the accommodation of the 855 is a little more comfortable while the 755 is easier to handle, more fun to drive and I can live without an internal shower, for a time.
For me the 855 is more suited to longer on water stays that will involve several nights or even a week without hitting land. The extra space allows more luxury and ease of living space. If you’re only ever planning on the occasional overnighter, the 755 Weekender, being slightly smaller still has the capabilities of the 855 but a week on the water may get a little restrictive in comparison to the 855 Weekender