Custom cleats built in-house. Proprietary "frenched in" nav lights. Hand-hewn elliptical bowrails. Hand-formed and cut acrylic windshield. These are but a few of the custom touches you get with every Nordic powerboat.
When Nordic general manager Lonnie Fluent brought a 25' Rage to the San Diego leg of our Performance Trials, the boat came with a few more trick goodies. Topping that list was the Vortech supercharged-HP500EFI engine, which was set up to produce 700 horsepower. Other key options included WPM single-ram hydraulic steering, Dana Marine Products trim tabs and indicators, a CD stereo system with a DVD player and an LCD flat-screen TV.
But perhaps one of the most attractive features was the price tag: $93,995, which, in addition to the options listed above, included an optional drive shower, swim ladder and acrylic wind deflectors.
Top speed for the 25' Rage was 88.9 mph at 5,150 rpm on radar. The manufacturer's estimate was a bit higher than that, but we suspect there were some bugs in the system. The boat stumbled out of the hole, which tells us it wasn't burning the mixture properly. It ran right up to its rev-limited rpm, but something was amiss.
Nevertheless, the boat ran pretty well once it got on top of the water. In 10 seconds, the boat hit 53 mph and in twice that time it was doing 80. It also got right with the program during midrange drills. It shot from 30 to 50 mph in 4.2 seconds, from 40 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and from 40 to 70 mph in 6.3 seconds.
On the top end, the boat required a bit of driving to keep it going straight, something that full-hydraulic steering likely would have corrected. In truth, you really need full hydraulic in a boat that runs more than 70 mph. We always prefer it. If it were our money, we would have deleted the entertainment system in favor of full-hydraulic steering to the helm.
Still the boat tracked reasonably well for cable steering, though it did have a deceleration reaction when chopping the throttle abruptly. At the top end, it needed a little bit of tab for stability, but just a little did the trick. The tabs also allowed the boat to stay on plane down to 20 mph and come on plane in 5 seconds.
The funny thing is that the boat was reasonably fuel efficient considering the horsepower. For instance, at 55 mph, the boat was yielding 3 miles per gallon. And at 65 mph, right around 3,800 rpm, the boat was netting 2.3 mpg.
Nordic's mold work and gelcoat applications are among the best in the industry and the 25' Rage was a good example of the builder's attention to detail and its eye toward custom touches.
For starters, the mold work was laser-straight and the gelcoat was so lustrous and smooth it still looked wet. A combination of white base coat and red accents, the gelcoat also had a few touches of silver metal flake, like something you might find on a bass boat. But it really looked good on the Rage and the key was that Nordic was wise enough not to use too much of it. A volume custom builder, Nordic sweats the small stuff. Fluent explained:
"You get your choice of graphics, your choice of interior, colors, little things that we deal with that some people don't notice," Fluent said. "If you look at the side of the boat you cannot see any fasteners anywhere, even the rubrail, even the gas fills. We try to make it so you can't see any screws from the outside anywhere on the boat."
The effects are noticeable. The elliptical handrails seem to emerge from the deck and disappear back into it farther aft. The nav light on the bow looks as though it's part of the deck. Fuel fills, which are located on both sides of the windscreen, are painted the same color as the gelcoat so they don't spoil the lines. The rubrail also concealed any of its fasteners.
Under the hatch, which opened on hidden billet hinges with a single electric screw jack, Nordic covered the bilge area with a gray gelcoat and topped it with black and white spatter, and finished with glossy Durotech. The engine was mounted on Mercury's offshore mount with a pair of L-angles, which sandwiched the mount on the fore and aft sides, and were then through-bolted to the stringers. Wiring was above production-boat standards, but not race quality.
Inside, the 25' Rage was fitted with a V-berth up front, which had a locker at the front and a reading lamp. At the rear of the berth, there was a substantial bulkhead with more reading lamps and a door to the stowage area beneath the berth.
Just aft of the berth, twin facing lounges offered a place to get out of the heat. The starboard-side lounge was a little smaller to make room for the oh-so-cool stainless-steel cooler and its own recess.
The cabin's aft end was open to the cockpit, which let in the breeze and, combined with the 18" Bomar deck hatch, lots of natural light. Deck support came in the form of two chromed pillars to either side of the walk-through.
Out in the cockpit, the front seats were complemented by angled footrests on both sides. At the helm, Nordic fitted the boat with Nordskog gauges, Livorsi throttles and a Teleflex tilt steering column. The dash layout was simple, functional and comfortable, as was the rear seat, which featured dual-pin hinges on the lift-out cushions and battery access under the sole beneath the bench.
It's rare that we test a go-fast boat that goes so fast for so little—and we still believe it had a few wrinkles in the fuel delivery system that prevented the 25' Rage from going faster. Still, it's got plenty of go to complement the show.
Hull and Propulsion Information
|Deadrise at transom||20 degrees|
|Hull weight||3,700 pounds|
|Engine||Vortech Supercharged Mercury Racing HP500EFI|
|Cubic-inch displacement/horsepower||502/700 (est.)|
|Lower-unit gear ratio||1.5:1|
|Propeller||Mercury Bravo One 15 1/4" x 32"|
|Price as tested||$93,995|
Options on Test Boat
Upgrade to Mercury Racing HP500EFI engine ($19,805), Vortech Supercharger ($7,000), WPM external steering ($2,910), AM/FM/CD/DVD LED monitor ($2,195), Dana trim tabs with indicators ($1,860), wind deflectors ($499), swim ladder ($335) and drive shower ($195).
|Wind speed||3-6 mph|
|Sea conditions||6" to 1' chop|
|5 seconds||27 mph|
|10 seconds||53 mph|
|15 seconds||72 mph|
|20 seconds||80 mph|
|30-50 mph||4.2 seconds|
|40-60 mph||4 seconds|
|40-70 mph||6.3 seconds|
Rpm vs. Mph
|Radar||88.9 mph at 5150 rpm|
|Nordskog Performance Products GPS||86.9 mph at 5150 rpm|
|Time to plane||5 seconds|
|Minimum planing speed||20 mph|
|At 25 mph||3.3 mpg|
|At 35 mph||3.2 mpg|
|At 45 mph||3.5 mpg|
|At 55 mph||3 mpg|
|At 65 mph||2.3 mpg|
|At WOT||1.9 mpg|
|Fuel capacity||56 gallons|
For More Information
770 N. Lake Havasu Ave.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86404