French builder Couach introduces a powerful performance boat prototype, the Hornet, which takes inspiration from the military’s need for muscle on the water
A SEA TRIAL ON THE HORNET took me back to the days when performance powerboats were bold and brutal. It was like a trip down memory lane, with the noise, the power and the wind coming together in a breath-taking experience of high performance. This boat is raw power at its best. And, there are the same as is found on the Plascoa patrol boats that Couach has built for a range of military clients around the world. Couach has emphasised this military association by painting this prototype leisure design in camouflage colours.
The engineering and layout down below is well executed, and that should ensure reliability. The air intakes are located inboard on each side of the aft sunbed, which means you are in for a noisy ride – great for those who love the roar of engines.
The outfitting is fairly basic, with a large sunbed and seating area in the forward cockpit plus a bar and barbecue counter. There is a small cabin with access from alongside the helm. Inside there is a washbasin and toilet with a bench seat or bed. As the Hornet is primarily a performance dayboat, this cabin might be used as a changing room. Though this prototype only has a basic leisure layout, Couach does offer a full customisation service, letting buyers obtain the level of sophistication they want.
In the centre of the boat, there is the cockpit and it is here that you have a very performance-related layout. There are seven figure-hugging bolster seats, with four in the aft row and three in the forward section facing the helm. There are only a limited number of handholds to help secure against the motions of the boat, and no footrests, which would also help with security. More work needs to be done in this regard, but this was after all, a prototype. Buyers of the Hornet could certainly add elements as needed.
To read all of this article pick up a copy of the 2014 Mar/Apr issue of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, or buy it online from www.magzter.com