by Dom Wiseman

Fishing sometimes takes us into some rugged waters and the Arvor 810 Diesel is one of those boats that can handle those rough conditions better than most. They have been designed for the rigours of the North Sea and while they aren’t the sleekest looking vessel you can’t argue with their pedigree. In Australia, they have are high on the shopping list of those consumers who appreciate the comfort, safety and usability available with the forward cabin design. These European-designed and built pilothouse boats feature a wide beam and ample onboard space. You can see many of them sitting on moorings up and down the east coast and they’d be more than at home in waters to the west where long runs to fishing grounds can be made in supreme comfort and complete protection from the outside elements.

WHAT YOU GET
The most obvious feature of the Arvor 810 Diesel is the relatively boxy pilothouse or cabin. It is set well forward and to the port side. While to some it may appear unattractive, what the boxy design does is maximise the internal space available. Interestingly the flat windscreen reduces heat as there isn’t much window surface for the sun to come through on a hot day. By setting it to one side, space is also maximised by reducing the space used for a walkway to port, although there is still a small walkaround on this side of the pilothouse. The main access is via the starboard side which is wide and easy to use should you need to head to the bow. We’ve seen this design used on other European boats such as Jeanneau and it is a smart, sensible use of space. Sliding windows allow fresh air into the cabin if you have the rear door closed.

Access to the pilothouse is through a central sliding door with the helm and passenger seats set to either side creating a wide access way into the cabin. Straight ahead and down a set of stairs is a forward located Vee berth which will comfortably accommodate two adults should you wish to stay overnight. The infill for this space is a standard inclusion and can be removed to create space for a table between the seats either side. Shelf storage runs either side of the berth. The design delivers an open space which is only lacking some decent grab rails. Underfloor storage is accessible by lifting timber floor panels which are heavy and robust, meaning no rattles.
Amenities are located immediately ahead of the helm with a small toilet complete with holding tank here. Opposite is a small galley with single burner gas stove and sink with a lid that doubles as a bench top. There is storage in the cupboard located beneath and the small fibreglass recess to the left of the sink. The latches are strong and sturdy and will not pop open underway. More shelf space and a fishing rod or boat hook holder runs along the port side above the sink. The Waeco fridge is found underneath the passenger seat which includes a bolster and foot rest. You can stand here by flipping up the bolster although I felt there wasn’t much to hold onto to brace yourself.
The dash space is enormous and able to house a large sounder/plotter, in this case a Simrad NSS9 although there is ample room for a NSS12. Immediately below were the rev and speedometer gauges with the anchor windlass controls, another standard inclusion, to the right. Trim tab controls and bow thruster, also standard, are controlled via the switches and joystick to the right of the stainless steering wheel. A Fusion stereo provides the soundtrack to your day while the necessary switch panel is low and on the left of the wheel. It’s a fantastically set out dash with the focus on the important stuff.
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Arvor 810 Diesel 1The entire back half of the Arvor 810 Diesel is taken up by the self-draining cockpit. It’s high sides providing safety for young ones and a great brace for fighting fish. The floor is non-skid fibreglass meaning low maintenance which is crucial for a boat that will spend most of its time on a mooring when not being used. Access to the diesel power plant is via a large gas assisted hatch in the floor with kill tanks either side. There’s a deck wash hose and small tackle box in the transom and a massive live bait tank with storage/ bait prep above. A transom door to the starboard side gives access from the rear platform. Four rod holders are standard for keen anglers and are angled away from the sides. What most impressed though was the fold out bench seating either side with rear backrest that doubled as a lean to. This turns this area into a multiple use space within seconds. The test boat also was fitted with an optional sun awning over the cockpit.
While trolling, the dual helm option keeps the captain in the thick of the action. The auxiliary helm is located on the starboard side immediately behind the glass panel of the rear cabin, allowing the driver full vision of the cockpit and the action which means he can make sure the boat is heading in the right direction to prevent fouled lines. You can elect to have an optional dual helm pack here which adds a 7-inch sounder/plotter and radio to the station. I found you could see the sounder inside the cabin through the window so if it’s not a necessity to be able to use the rear controls.
Fishermen will spend most of their time here when not actually getting to your chosen location and the cockpit is well set up with space aplenty and high sides that will keep you in the boat.
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Arvor 810 Diesel 2POWER
A 220hp diesel Mercury shaft drive engine provides the power. With the throttle wide open it revs at 3800rpm and produces a top speed of 25 knots. A comfortable cruising speed is around 18-20 knots and at this speed the boat sits nicely without excessive banging and launching over swell lines and waves. This diesel powerplant has exceptional power to weight ratio and is very fuel efficient.
It’s also important to note that the shaft drive set up on this boat is cheaper to maintain than the more common stern drive units. When a boat is moored, rubber seals and gaskets used on stern drives to prevent water ingress can crack and deteriorate allowing water to enter the drive units and possibly the hull. The other issue faced by moored boats with stern drives is barnacle or weed growth that can prevent the water pickups from cooling the engine properly.
Shaft drives will still have barnacle and weed growth but they do not have rubber gaskets, but rather shaft seals which can still require maintenance but are far less costly to replace. The downside is you cannot trim the engine up in shallow water. They can also require a little more skill to drive with a single engine set up like the Arvor 810 Diesel.
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Arvor 810 Diesel 5ON THE WATER
Driving from the helm position, I found the most comfortable position was to lean against the helm seat with the bolster up. Seated was fine while running out of the harbour, but I naturally prefer to stand when the waves or chop are present as I can ride with them. I liked the large stainless steering wheel which was easy to turn while the side mounted throttle control was easy to have one hand on while the other was on the wheel.
It’s not a sports craft but what it delivers is a very comfortable and purposeful ride. It appeared to sit nose down at rest, although all the decks are designed so that they all drain to the rear. The hull pushes spray down and out in most conditions although a wind blowing on the nose will see spray hit the pilothouse which is whisked away by a press of the windscreen wiper button. Due to the weight of the boat forward, under slow speeds spray can leave the hull in the front third but some judicious use of the trim tabs can alter the ride.
It turns well and holds through turns in a predictable manner. I did feel that at very slow speeds it took a moment to determine how fast or how much I was turning although this has also been the case with other shaft driven boats I have tested. At speed she turns well and mows through chop and wakes from other boats. It was more than capable in the offshore conditions off Sydney heads.
At rest, stability is excellent and with several onboard there’s still plenty of room for everyone to drop a line or move about. Manoeuvrability is also easy with berthing back at the marina after our test a breeze with the bow thrusters.

OVERVIEW
Whether you are looking for a boat for fishing, entertaining or a little of both, the Arvor 810 Diesel is perfect for anyone who appreciates a little comfort out on the water. The pilothouse design will keep you dry in all conditions while the rear cockpit has ample space for dropping a line or anchoring up in a bay and enjoying the peaceful surrounds. Due to the comfort onboard quick overnight getaways are not out of the question.
Arvor 810 Diesel 10POSITIVES

  • Spacious
  • Dual helm for fishing
  • Robust

NEGATIVES

  • Design isn’t for everyone

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (from) $154,500, (as tested) $166,012
Construction: Fibreglass
Length Overall: 8.30m
Beam: 2.93m
Draft: 0.88m
Dry Weight: 2775kgs
Engine: Mercury QSD 2.8L Diesel 220hp
Fuel Capacity: 300 litres
Water: 80 litres
Persons: 8