YOU’LL think you’ve died and gone to runabout heaven, or walked into a beer commercial, when you see the new Sports, Leisure and Fishing Boats precinct at the upcoming Sanctuary Cove boat show.
The 5000sq metre outdoor space will be as full as King Street with RIBs, day boats, weekenders, fishing rigs, plus high-performance sports, ski and tow boats, all under eight metres in length.
If that’s not enough, there’s daily fishing demonstrations and masterclasses at the Yamaha Supertank, educational boating seminars and workshops.
Builders and dealers will make the most of the occasion with some new model launches.
Haines Signature is debuting the 788SF, the largest centre console the Brisbane boatbuilder has built. It features an all-new hull with a variable-deadrise running surface ranging from 16 to 34 degrees, full composite construction and a fuel capacity of more than 500 litres.
Responding to the recent surge in American super centre consoles, the 26-footer is a hot, locally-made alternative with many big advantages, not least being legally trailable without a permit thanks to a 2.5-metre beam.
Most of the similar-sized imports are at least 2.59-metres wide, though you’ll still need a hefty vehicle to tow this 3.4-tonne lump.
Recommended power for the hull would be a single 400hp outboard or twin 250s, pricing the 788SF at under $150,000 in base form with hydraulic steering, digital controls, and a tandem-axle aluminium Dunbier trailer with break-away braking. That can quickly accelerate to $200k mark once you get serious about options like hardtop for the twin-seat console, nav screens and joystick helm controls.
From all reports the hull has good stability at rest and underway, despite its slightly narrower beam. It revels in a head-sea ride, with standard trim tabs helping to maintain an optimum planing angle.
There are numerous other standard inclusions, including a handsome double-width centre console with a spacious head, shower and vanity compartment underneath.
Victoria’s Whittley Marine is also flying the Aussie flag with a launch of the SL20 OB, smallest in the series of Sea Legend fishing boats. It’s packaged with a high-quality Mackay trailer and Yamaha F150 4-stroke outboard from around $79,990. The deep-vee 20-foot hull is 23-degrees at the transom for soft ride and sharp performance. It has a sleek cabin leading back to a spacious cockpit that’s ideal for offshore angling.
It’s not just the hull builders raising the bar – the 2018 outboard engine market has become frenetic as major outboard brands upgrade their ranges. Honda Marine recently launched its revamped BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 range with a new look and exterior design, easier maintenance and multiple rigging options. The new cowling doesn’t just look good – it improves airflow while funnelling moisture away.
Mercury has a new high-performance 150 four-stroke in the Pro XS range that’s said to be perfect for boats used for watersports or high-level recreational fishing.
The 3-litre V6 engine features class-leading heavy load acceleration and revs willingly to 6000 rpm yet, at 207kg, is almost 10 kilograms lighter than the nearest competitor. It comes with a comprehensive six-year warranty if serviced at an Authorised Service Centre.
Suzuki has also extended its range with a DF350, using a 4.4-litre V6. They’re the first to feature contra-rotating propellers for improved directional stability and better low speed manoeuvrability in single engine installations.
DOWN EAST DESIGN GETS SPORTY
THERE may be a few traditional lobster boats rolling in their watery graves after US boatbuilder Back Cove turned to twin outboard power for its sporty new 34-O.
The Maine-based company is better known for running single shaft-driven diesels in its ‘Down East’ designs, with thrusters for ease of handling, but with the 34O it’s specifying 300hp Yamaha four-strokes, or 350hp Yamaha or Suzuki motors as options.
They’re predicting it to be 10 knots faster than the diesel 34-footer, with added benefits such as shallow draft, low maintenance, joystick docking, and greater integration with your electronics.
More from importer E Marine Motor Yachts.
NEXBA RACING QUICK OFF MARK
WITHIN hours of the Notice of Race going live, the 2019 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta received its first entry – John Bacon’s Class 40 Nexba Racing.
The yacht had been competing in the Melbourne to Osaka race until Cyclone Iris forced it to shelter in Gladstone. The crew couldn’t return to their position within the prescribed time, so they reluctantly withdrew.
Bacon was back at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club when he took the opportunity to put Nexba Racing forward as the first entry for the annual coastal race starting on January 2.
See pittwatertoparadise.com.au and sailparadise.com.au