There’s a theme in European folklore about a magical pair of walking boots that allow the wearer to cover seven leagues (21 miles) at every stride. A friend likes to use that term to describe small boats with outsize capabilities. That’s the feel we had recently while running at 20 mph (3,500 rpm) over a washboard chop in the Navigator 610 from BRIG’s North American dealer, Sirocco Marine. With its Honda 90 and its combination of warped-V hull and 1-foot-8-inch-diameter tubes soaking up any impact from the waves, this 20-foot RIB felt like it could take us a whole lot more than seven leagues without breathing hard—or burning much fuel. Its calculated range at that speed is 32.6 leagues (228 miles), based on 90 percent of its 32-gallon tank. That’s quite a stride.
The Navigator 610 is a self-bailing, low-sided center-console boat with more than a dozen handholds that can carry nearly a ton and a half of people and gear. Accommodations are basic but highly adaptable. BRIG dealers carry large parts inventories, with the ability to attach customized features such as fishing-rod racks or push-pole holders securely to the tubes with sophisticated adhesives. The 30-inch-wide console has plenty of flat space for flush-mounting electronics and adding features such as glove boxes and tackle storage. The double-wide cushioned seat in front of the console houses a cooler. The bow holds an anchor locker, with a roller on the square bow and a jam cleat for the rode. The SeaDek cushioned nonskid between the two seats offers solid, comfortable footing.
The double helm seat converts quickly to a leaning post with flip-down bolsters. There’s a SeaDek footrest in the console base. Aft of the seat is more SeaDek, plus a double-wide seat in front of the transom, holding more storage, the battery and its cutoff switch, plus full access to the bilge beneath. The transom mounts a stainless-steel double arch that holds the stern light, a towing eye, and attachment points for other accessories.
- Easy towing: 1,780 pounds with engine and full tank—plus 800 pounds for a float-on trailer—means a full-size tow vehicle isn’t required.
- Combination of sharp, rigid bottom deadrise and large tubes provides a soft, dry ride in seas and great stability at rest.
- BRIG dealers offer a wide range of accessories to customize the N610 for exploring, fishing and watersports.
- Interior space is limited compared to a conventional center-console.
- Tubes require regular cleaning and biannual application of “sunblock” to protect from UV rays. But tube life is 10 to 15 years, and they’re replaceable.
Zodiac’s Pro 5.5 ($41,000 with a Yamaha 115 but no trailer) weighs about the same (1,325 pounds). It is 2 feet, 4 inches shorter but 9 inches wider with a 26-gallon fuel capacity. A conventional fiberglass center-console skiff with similar capabilities for comparison is Seaway’s Sportsman 18 ($51,600 with a 70 hp Yamaha and trailer).
Price: $44,900 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: 90 hp Honda outboard
Prop: 13.5″ x 15″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.33:1
Fuel Load: 32 gal.
Crew Weight: 360 lb.
Sirocco Marine – Annapolis, Maryland; 410-316-6490; siroccomarine.com