Nor-Tech’s new 460 Flyer with a retractable hardtop is a sight to see.

By Gregg Mansfield

The performance center-console market has been one of boating’s fastest growing segments with Nor-Tech Boats leading the way. Rather than building single-purpose go-fast boats, the Florida company focused instead on center-console offerings.

It was a smart move by Nor-Tech as the company’s lineup now consists mainly of center-console boats from 34 to 55 feet.

With the introduction of the new 460 Flyer in late summer, Nor-Tech is returning to its performance roots. The 460 Flyer offers the best of both worlds—it can be a center-console performance boat and transform into a center-console thanks to an innovative hardtop that hides away with the touch of a button.

The retractable hardtop, designed by Nor-Tech co-founder and designer Nils Johnsen in conjunction with SureShade, drew lots of attention at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The fiberglass hardtop with a rugged black frame rises from a large rear-facing sun pad, thanks to a hydraulic actuator, locking securely into the triple helm seating. A shade is extended from the hardtop to provide shade for the driver and passengers.

All the mechanics are hidden in the helm and under the sun pad area for a clean look in keeping with the boat’s modern design. Johnsen likens the 460 Flyer to a convertible car roof can be left down to soak in the rays or simply provide shade. “It’s a Lamborghini pulling into a bar 30 years ago,” Johnsen said.

Based off the hull of the 420 Monte Carlo, the 460 Flyer checks in at 46 feet with a 12-foot beam. The model at the Fort Lauderdale show was equipped with quad Mercury Racing 450R outboards that were color-matched the boat’s blue paint job. With 1,800-hp sitting on the transom, the boat had a top speed of 84 mph during initial tests.

Cockpit seating included a helm spot for three with flip-up bolsters, facing bench seats amidship and a small rear-facing seat to port between the gunwale and dash. A retractable table rises from the sole between the facing benches, providing a great spot to play cards or share a meal. Under one of the bench cushions is cooler that drains overboard.

With the driver’s spot to port, the helm featured twin 24” Garmin screens and Mercury Marine VesselView display to the left of the leather wrapped wheel. A large tinted wraparound windshield helps deflect the wind from the driver and passengers. A locker below the front bench seat offers access to the pumps and safety gear.

Nor-Tech included a locker in the port gunwale to hide fenders yet provide easy access. The entire cockpit sole is covered with a synthetic teak decking for its nonslip quality and easy cleaning. The synthetic teak material was carried over to the steps molded into a cabin access door to starboard.

The door lifts on a gas shock to reveal a spacious cabin where a family can spend the night. Two large deck hatches let in plenty of natural light into the cabin, which features a large V-berth with a mirror in the forward section of the bow. Bunk beds to port offer a spot for children to sleep. A L-shape bench can seat five to six adults.

Nor-Tech included a small galley to starboard with a sink, insulated cooler and a microwave. Just aft of the galley is the access to switches and the head unit for the stereo system is hidden in a locker.

The 460 Flyer features a large head with a door for privacy that includes a private shower, porcelain head and a sink. Nor-Tech carried the teak flooring from the cockpit into the cabin.

As Nor-Tech has shifted its focus to the performance center-console market over the past decade, the company has remained true to its performance heritage. The 460 Flyer appeals to performance boaters who are considering a center-console boat but aren’t ready to make the jump. With a retractable hardtop, spacious cabin and 80-plus-mph top speed, the 460 Flyer is going to turn heads.