An evening in July. A quiet hotel in the forest. A conference room in an empty adjoining wing. “Please no cameras, no cell phones.” The conspiratorial meeting of a secret society could also take place in this way. And it’s a bit like that: everything on this evening is “top secret”. The Brunswick Corporation, the world’s largest motorboat manufacturer, has something unheard of to announce.
The theme of the presentation: The creation of a new brand! Could it be any more exciting? In fact, such an event is a rarity. The huge company with its headquarters in Illinois in the USA has discovered a niche among its many brands from Bayliner and Boston Whaler to Hey-Day, Lund, Quicksilver, Sea Ray and Veer. Work has been quietly going on for two years to plug them. The new premium brand will now be presented to us, a small group of water sports journalists from Europe, for the first time in Masuria.
That evening we only learn the name: Navan. An artificial name, developed over months, which creates an association with navigation and seafaring. All well and good, but what does it look like? We learn nothing else, neither dimensions nor target group or price range. Simply nothing! The organizers have a sense of dramaturgy. Even at the get-together afterwards, they can’t get a word in edgewise, neither over Prosecco nor over a late drink at the hotel bar.
At night, everyone dreams of boats. Until the morning dawns: there is a lake at the back of the hotel and a squat catamaran picks us up. “I see,” says a colleague with a grin and taps the press officer on the shoulder in mock appreciation. He smiles painfully. No, it’s not the cat yet, but it will get us there. Across the water to a small estate. And the boat is already approaching. No drum roll. Instead, the power of two times 300 hp at the rear. No chugging, no humming, more of a rumble.
A brand is born: Navan is the name of Brunswick's new boot label © Wildberg
The boat impresses with its self-confident presence
And then it’s finally time to board. The first boat in the new series is called the Navan C30. And it logically has a cabin. And a waterline of around 30 feet, or about nine meters long. At first glance, the boat impresses with its self-confident presence. The stern rises steeply and the cabin looks particularly defiant thanks to a roof that is pulled far back. It is closed on all sides.
Other aspects of the design also clearly indicate that the Navan C30 is also suitable for driving in adverse conditions. But more on that later. A remarkable effect results from the fact that the underwater hull is colored black. This makes the boat appear more graceful and sporty at the same time. This trick can be found correspondingly in the body, which is also colored black from the window line onwards. And the roof – with a large sliding window – is also black.
Two times 300 hp really get the Navan C30 up to speed in no time at all © Wildberg
Externally, the cabin cruiser is similar to the Finnish Axopar motor yachts in the cross-cabin version, i.e. with cabin and sleeping area on the lower deck. With one significant difference: the smallest Axopar in this series is around two meters longer. Brunswick has therefore managed to accommodate all requirements in a much smaller space.
Day boat and weekender for a couple at the same time
And they are many and varied: a day boat needs space for a whole family and their friends. A weekender enough space for a couple with all amenities such as shower, air conditioning, kitchen area and electric grill. There are holders for fishing rods at the aft end of the roof and a wide sunbathing area at the front. All right, the Navan should offer as many options as possible.
And how does it drive? The way she looks: self-confident. The twin outboards, two V8s from Mercury Marine with 300 hp each, are not yet the most powerful engines. But they are already exerting pressure. This is what sovereignty feels like. One is involuntarily reminded of the days of the once great British Empire. At that time, the company owned a luxury car brand called Rolls-Royce. Their designers could afford to describe the performance of their products as “sufficient” in the technical data.
The helm of the Navan C30 is equipped with the finest Simrad electronics © Wildberg
That was a long time ago; Rolls-Royce now belongs to BMW. But that’s what this “enough” must feel like. There is simply a full power cushion at every moment. And the hull continues on its course unwaveringly. And so quiet. Two molds are glued into each other, which makes the construction much stronger and therefore less prone to vibration.
Like a compact SUV with a powerful engine
Wide gangways on both sides © Wildberg
If the Navan C30 were a car, it would probably be an Audi compact SUV from the particularly sporty S series. It doesn’t even occur to you to think that there might be a lack of power. During our very first test drive for journalists, the boat lies flat on the lake surface in all positions.
The hull has two steps, “as is usual for racing boats”, writes the company. Well, Beneteau and Sterk, Tecnorib and many others do the same. But above all, the ratio of weight to surface area in contact with the water is very harmonious with the Navan C30. Stability? Enough, Rolls-Royce would say.