Although it's a great problem to have, choosing a recreational boat can be downright aggravating. There are so many choices — and trade-offs. Should you go for the added seating and open-air benefits of a bowrider and sacrifice shelter, or do you opt for opt for the protection of a cuddy cabin and lose open-air passenger space? Or should you bag practicality and go for a performance boat that gives you a facelift every time you hammer the throttles?
What's a poor boat buyer to do?
One great answer lies in Nordic's 25 Rage Open Bow, which quite remarkably does a superb job of supplying you with all the benefits of a bowrider, a cuddy cabin and a performance boat in one nifty package.
Let me explain: The 25 Rage has an open bow forward, but between it and the cockpit is a small cuddy. This open bow/cuddy combo rides on a fast step-bottom hull with power options to satisfy thrill-seeking throttle jockeys.
Sun lovers will flip for the 25 Rage's open bow that can either seat four upright or allow two to sprawl out across the well-padded cushions with their backs against the dash console. The gunwales have recessed drink holders to keep their favorite beverage close at hand and prevent less than full cans and cups from blowing out. Sturdy elliptical stainless-steel grab rails line the sides to keep passengers stable when the water isn't. And they can stow all the gear they want just beneath the seat cushions.
Aft of the open bow, the 25 Rage distinguishes itself from the average bowrider. Passengers step down into a sunken cuddy cabin that features facing lounge seats running along the sides of the boat. Each padded lounge seat is long enough to hold two to three adult-size passengers. Although the cuddy is open at both ends (there are no doors), it provides a reprieve from the hot summer sun or a cold rain and is ideal for tired children in need of a nap. Mounted on the forward bulkhead above each seat is a light and stereo speaker.
On the port side near the cockpit, yet still inside the cuddy where its somewhat protected from the elements, is the boat's AM/FM stereo cassette and a storage bin. Across from it is a fiberglass bin custom fit to accept a 48-quart carry-on Coleman cooler. There is storage space under the cushions as well as beneath the sole of the elevated bow that is accessed through a cutout in the bulkhead. The only thing I would have liked to see differently here is for the seats to be installed on a bit of a cant to provide more headroom. As it is, the horizontal layout forced me to slouch. However, I am 5 feet 10 inches tall. Shorter passengers may not feel cramped.
Nordic offers the 25 Rage in a fully enclosed deck model, too. The closed-deck version has a V-berth and facing lounges and costs about $1,775 less than the open-bow/cuddy-cabin model.
The cockpit of the 25 Rage has two substantial bucket seats that can be adjusted to passenger preference, plus an aft bench and a padded sun lounge over the electric engine hatch. Stowage can be found in a deep in-sole locker and beneath the aft bench, which is also where you will find the battery switch and batteries. Smaller items can be placed in the gunwales and in a small glove box on the passenger-side console, and drink holders are conveniently placed throughout the cockpit. Nordic installed a small ski pylon just ahead of the swim platform. However, while there is a stainless-steel grab handle to assist skiers coming back into the boat, there is, surprisingly, no ladder. That means the outdrive will come into play when reboarding, which can translate to bruises and abrasions on unwary swimmers, water-skiers and wakeboarders.
Speed junkies will love the sporty performance look of separate Morse throttle and shift controls. Drive trim is adjusted by a Rex Marine trim switch bolted onto the throttle handle. Ahead of the driver is an integrated footrest and a full array of instruments and accessory switches to work the boat's systems, all in good view and within easy reach.
The test boat was rigged with a single MerCruiser 454 Magnum MPI engine coupled to a Bravo One drive spinning a 21-inch-pitch Mirage prop. Nordic mounts the engine solidly by using heavy-duty L-angles that are through-bolted to the stringers. So equipped and running at an elevation of about 1,100 feet, we saw a top speed 67 mph, although the folks at Nordic say they can get approximately 72 mph at sea level. The boat runs loose at that speed with a little side-to-side wobble through the chop. Those who feel the need for speed will love the effect.
In turning maneuvers, the boat is predictable and stable. There is some distinct bow rise when coming on plane, but the duration is relatively short at approximately six seconds.
The Nordic 25 Rage runs on a performance bottom that has a single step about 6 feet forward of the transom and a delta pad aft. It also sports a notched transom, which permits the drive to be set at a higher X dimension, thereby reducing drag and fuel efficiency — although you're not likely to notice the latter if you have a thirst for speed.
Some notable standard features found on the 25 Rage include dual deep-cycle marine batteries, a stainless-steel prop, electric engine hatch, remote drive tilt switch on the transom, billet ski pylon, stainless-steel fuel solenoid, 40-ounce marine-grade carpeting, lifetime-warrantied XL marine plywood, gelcoated graphics, 3/8-inch vacuum-formed acrylic windshield, digital instruments with analog displays and dual controls. All of this for a base price of $60,650.
That's not bad considering you're getting three boats in one.
|1,000 rpm||5.2 mph|
|1,500 rpm||7.5 mph|
|2,000 rpm||12.0 mph|
|2,500 rpm||29.3 mph|
|3,000 rpm||37.2 mph|
|3,500 rpm||43.4 mph|
|4,000 rpm||49.7 mph|
|4,500 rpm||55.4 mph|
|5,000 rpm||62.3 mph|
|5,200 rpm||67.0 mph|
|Fuel capacity||54 gallons|
|Deadrise at transom||22 degrees|
|Base power||MerCruiser 7.4L MPI/Bravo I|
For more information
770 N Lake Havasu Ave
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403