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Frauscher 747 Mirage

Frauscher 747 Mirage

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Hugo Montgomery-Swan heads to Italy’s Lake Garda to experience Frauscher’s latest new ‘recruit’, the modernistic, ‘Bauhaus’-styled, closed bow, Mirage 747.

Frauscher are an acclaimed Austrian boatbuilder recognised throughout Europe for their commitment to building handcrafted luxury sports craft for a clientele who place serious ‘eye appeal’ and styling very high on their priority list. That said, courtesy of Harry Miesbauer, the hulls to these craft certainly could not be criticised for somehow lacking in hydrodynamic ability. They run good and true and more than complement that which features above the waterline.

But having forged something of a reputation for their ability to create their own ‘modern twist’ on classic motor boat design, Frauscher’s new 747 Mirage is, it has to be said, something of a departure in terms of its styling from the Frauscher models that have gone before it. The Mirage, both the 2014 closed bow model and its even more recent 2015 open counterpart, the ‘Air’, are far more ‘Bauhaus’ than ever they are Riva! This determined design change is a bold move on the part of the company, who no doubt will be aware that the Mirage’s hard lines and overtly modernistic approach could  isolate some. Nevertheless, all styling, to a large degree at least, is subjective and the real issue surely must be: does the styling also work from the standpoint of functionality? So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, we’ll kick straight in with our brisk analysis of style versus functionality – as a result of our recent testing of the Mirage 747 model upon the still, fresh waters of Lake Garda.

Underway, the 747 performs with reassuring sure-footedness. We max’d 43 knots at 5000rpm courtesy of the MerCruiser 300hp petrol inboard. The hull felt efficient throughout all its paces and, when put into a hard turn, gripped the water’s surface like the proverbial limpet! No fault could be found in the vessel’s handling, though it has to be said we were trialing the boat on flat water. However, it’s my hunch that the Mirage would handle a short chop pretty admirably and certainly take care of its occupants if the conditions picked up. But while the performance, balance and overall feel of the craft added up to being a positive experience, it has to be said that the resulting engine noise was an issue. Though the interior to the compartment was thoroughly well engineered and finished, sadly it clearly lacked sufficient sound protection. Attention needs to be given to this as the noise levels were unacceptable – particularly on a leisure craft of this class. A degree of engine vibration was also transmitted through the structure of the boat’s GRP form at lower RPMs.

The ergonomics from the position of the helm worked well. All essential controls lay nicely to hand and it was clear that a good deal of thought had gone into the functionality of the helm and its associated controls. However, I didn’t like the angled nature of the windscreen or its tinted finish. Plus, though the helm position/seat unit worked well, the ‘navigator’s’ seat failed to provide much security. I really feel that the design of this particular seat needs to be modified or changed to ensure this key position is improved. And while on the subject of seats, my wife and children all felt that the aft seat lacked the right degree of back and lumber support. They also felt vulnerable as no handholds were provided. In fact, the aft seating to this Mirage lacked the comfort one would expect from a sports boat of this calibre.

The Mirage’s internal facilities afford a good amount or storage, with the most obvious area being beneath the enclosed foredeck. That said, there are several issues with this section of the vessel that need to be raised. Firstly, because the top bulkhead does not feature a skylight or glass hatch, it’s very dark within, and hence it’s difficult to see what’s been stowed away. Also, not possessing any doors to its opening left of the helm, anything placed within this space, i.e. bags, clothing, kit etc., tends to come sliding back out onto the main deck! One has to be careful peeing within too, as there are a couple of leading edges that could provide the odd scrape or bang!

Additionally, the top surface to the enclosed foredeck provides the main sun-lounging area. But without any guide rail or handholds it’s not only a pretty precarious area generally to be moving about on, but also, when stepping up onto it, the tendency is to steady your progress by gripping the edge of the windscreen – at which point a stainless steel cleat also has to be negotiated, right at the most narrow section of the access point where you need to place your foot. These issues are unacceptable in my view and are an example of functionality taking second place to the designer’s wish to maintain the clean, modernistic lines that give the vessel its distinctive looks.

In terms of the Mirage’s finish, even though the design features many complicated minus angles, the quality remains flawless throughout. Likewise, all the boat’s wiring and essential installations have been executed with a high degree of care and professionalism.

So, in summary, my view is that the Mirage 747 has the potential to be a most interesting leisure craft, but at the time of the test (late autumn 2014), the boat felt like a product still in the prototype stage – as yet a very, very expensive unfinished project that has some way to go before being truly ready for market.


Likes

  • Helm ergonomics
  • Hull efficiency
  • Handling and performance

Dislikes

  • Lack of security to sundeck/foredeck
  • Sundeck access
  • Navigator’s position
  • Price

747 Mirage Closed Bow Technical Info

Length:    747cm        

Breadth:    250cm 

Dry weight:    From 1800kg

Draught:    0.5 to 0.85 m             

Tank capacity:    240L

Persons:     6

Engines:       MerCruiser: 4.5L V6 250hp; 5.7L V8 300hp; 8.2L V8 430hp; Volvo Penta D3 220hp

Max. speed:          39 knots with 250hp, 44 knots with 300hp, 56 knots with 430hp, 36 knots with 220hp

Design:         Thomas Gerzer, KISKA

Construction:       Harry Miesbauer

Development:    Thomas Gerzer

Price:        From 124,000€  (excl. VAT)


747 Mirage Air:

Frauscher’s next-generation Mirage …

In February of this year, Frauscher launched the 747 Mirage Air. Derived from the closed bow 747 Mirage, the new ‘Air’ model is an all-purpose, fair-weather day cruiser – designed to offer even more space by means of its centre console layout. This internal design thus allows both ‘open to the sun’ luxury and shaded rest beneath the parasol/bimini cover. Though the 747 Mirage Air was conceived by long-term Frauscher Head of R&D Thomas Gerzer, who sought to take many styling initiatives from the world of supercars, the hull of the vessel has been designed by hydrodynamic expert Harry Miesbauer.

The Frauscher 747 Mirage Air expands on the practical features found on the closed bow variant. Starting from the generous bathing platform at the stern, guests can reach the main cockpit area through a pathway without walking over the cushions. The main area features a custom-designed centre console with two bucket seats for the driver and co-driver while guests can sit on the bench located in the stern. This latter unit can be enlarged further by flipping down the main backrest to provide a lounger, while up in the bow, the boat features two big cushions with backrests for sunbathing or seating. 

Optional extras not only include a selection of colour choices but also a bimini and such items as a ‘lounger’ package, which includes a table and additional cushioned sections. Re the bimini, which is housed discreetly up within the bow area, this useful extra can be fitted in seconds and also doubles as a sprayhood if inclement weather is encountered.

While the ‘Air’s’ open bow concept gives a lot of deck freedom and access for easier docking, it still provides a good degree of storage. This can be found under the companionway as well as beneath the seating areas both up in the bow and in the stern. Within the bulkhead of the back seat too an optional fridge can be installed.

The characteristic low nose/bow design gives the driver an unimpaired front view regardless of speed, and the ‘Air’s’ stepped-hull design also ensures the vessel handles in a level and reassuring manner, both when cornering and when punching through a moderate wave chop. Available with three different MerCruiser petrol engines and a Volvo Penta Diesel option (from 220hp up to 430hp), the 747 Mirage Air‘s performance tops out at 56 knots, but with a generous 240-litre fuel tank, the cruising range remains high too.

As with all Frauscher boats, the 747 Mirage Air is produced at the Frauscher shipyard in Ohlsdorf, Austria, newly opened in 2012. First customer deliveries are scheduled for summer 2015.


747 Mirage Air Technical Info

Length: 7.47m

Breadth: 2.50m

Dry weight: From 1900kg

Draught: 0.5/0.85 m

Tank capacity: 240L

Persons:  8

Engines: 220–430 hp

Max. speed: 56 knots

Design: Thomas Gerzer, KISKA

Construction: Harry Miesbauer

Development: Thomas Gerzer


Price

From €129,920 (excl. VAT)


Contact

 http://www.frauscherboats.com/en