Senator 750

By: Lindsay Wright

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Fast, agile and adaptable, the Senator 750 is the perfect option for a rescue boat. We meet the team who regularly put the boat to the test.

Senator 750
Senator 750

  • The Senator 750 is a hardy, strong and reliable boat, which is why it was chosen to be a rescue boat
  • The Senator 750 is an alloy-hull, which means it can be used in its rescue capacity close inshore and around rocks
  • The Senator RH750R measures 7.5m LOA with 2.5m beam
  • The boat has twin Yamaha 150F two-strokes with 14 x 19 stainless steel props and its top speed is 40 knots (74kmh)
  • The handling abilities of the Senator 750 are another feature that made it attractive as a rescue boat

The primary rescue vehicle for the Wellington Airport Fire and Rescue Service is a purpose-built 1988 Cougar Wildcat 850, which was recently refitted and repowered with two Suzuki DFV6 225 horsepower four-strokes.

The Senator 750 was purchased as another reliable, strong and manoeuvrable option for rescues. As part of the criteria for a rescue boat, it had to be capable of carrying four liferafts, with enough deck space to conduct medivacs or helicopter evacuations.

The Senator RH750R measures 7.5m LOA with 2.5m beam. It has twin Yamaha 150F two-strokes with 14 x 19 stainless steel props. Top speed is 40 knots (74km/h) at 5600rpm and service speed is 21 knots (39km/h) at 4600rpm. The Senator 750 carries 500 litres of fuel in an under-floor tank. A Mitsubishi Challenger (three-litre diesel) tows the 2.2-tonne boat.

The boat has been modified for its rescue role with aluminium chutes mounted either side of the cockpit and fitted with nylon runners to carry and deploy four 30-person liferafts. The rafts weigh 80kg each and Lenco electric trim tabs are fitted to help trim the boat when all 320kg of lifesaving gear is on board.

Senator has a radar scanner mounted on the hardtop. The Furuno NavNet system installed is always left in radar mode but also has chart plotter and sounder capabilities.

Other requirements added were extra handholds, a specially designed boarding ladder that can be deployed over either side of the cockpit and generous stick-on non-skid on the decks forward. A manual tackle and sling system can also be used for retrieving people from the water.

An alloy-hull boat like the Senator 750 is needed to work close inshore and especially around rocks. It can be deployed quickly and can handle most weather conditions in the Evans Bay and Cook Strait coverage areas.

To read in-depth boat reviews, see the latest issue of Trade-A-Boat magazine, on sale now at all good retailers.

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