BOAT TEST: CARIBBEAN ADVENTURER 580

By: Bernard Clancy

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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It’s been a long time since Caribbean dealt out a new trailerboat model — but as Bernard Clancy discovered, the company’s new Adventurer is the ace in the hole.

BOAT TEST: CARIBBEAN ADVENTURER 580
CARIBBEAN ADVENTURER 580

Considering the conservatism that is synonymous with the Caribbean brand, the 5.8m Adventurer is a quantum leap forward; a bold step into modern design while still incorporating the practicality that International Martine builds into all its boats.

In essence, the Adventurer is the Intruder hull with a new deck and interior layout. It's a very sexy-looking craft and is beautifully finished inside and out. Add to that some pretty slippery handling and you have a very nice package indeed.

The basic boat/motor/trailer package comes in at about $38,000, and that's very good value. I suspect there are going to be quite of few of these boats on the water around Australia come Christmas time.

And you won't need a monster 4WD to tow an Adventurer either. The hull weight is only 740kg, which means that once you add a motor, trailer and a bit of gear, you'd be looking at an on-road weight of around 1500kg - which puts it well within the tow range of a number of everyday family vehicles.

A note of caution: remember that fuel and camping gear can add considerably to that weight, which just might tip you over the legal towing limit.

 

 

TIME-PROVEN DESIGN

 

The Intruder hull has stood the test of time. In fact, that craft is still available. Maybe one day the Adventurer will replace it, but at the moment the two are on sale side by side.

The Adventurer appeared to be very well balanced, both at rest and during our speed tests, jumping up onto the plane quite flatly and quickly. That balance is also evident in the interior - especially in the relationship between the size of the cabin and the cockpit, which is always a controversial issue when an all-round family boat like this one is on the architect's table.

Which should be larger - the cockpit or the cabin/cuddy? In this instance, Caribbean has opted for quite a large cuddy on a relatively small boat. The V-bunks are built for six-footers, but there is still room to fish four - albeit at a bit of a squeeze - in the cockpit. All you have to do is drop down the rear lounge.

The Adventurer is a very good compromise between a family dayboat and a fishing boat for Dad and his mates on leave passes. From the family viewpoint there is a heap of room in the open cuddy, which is partially lined but flow-coated on the roof.

Seated headroom is excellent. Big sidepockets are padded and vinyl covered. V-berth cushions are blue
two-tone in practical vinyl. The cuddy sole is part of the full interior liner and has a non-slip surface. There is plenty of storage under the bunks.

 

 

ERGONOMICS

 

Access to the anchor is through a wide and long hatch, fastened by stretch-rubber latches. The anchor well under the side-opening hatch is large and sits behind that enormous trademark Caribbean bowsprit, which is designed to carry a CQR anchor.

The split bowrail is effective, but although it was well supported with additional bracing, it was a little loose
on the test boat.

The Adventurer has an open bulkhead with twin stainless bracing poles from the deck surface to the bunks. This openness allows the cuddy sidepockets to run through into the cockpit to a point about level with the back of the twin bucket seats. There are also additional lined, shorter pockets beneath those, so storage areas are abundant.

The skipper's comfortable bucket chair, which incorporates an elasticised pocket in the back, is on an alloy pole and has no adjustment - but the driving position is good. The small soft-grip wheel is
well positioned, and the moulded dash has dual levels for mounting instruments and electronics in front, including the marine radio. Top marks for this layout.

The navigator's chair is mounted on the front of a combination storage box and quite a large bin, which could be plumbed as a livebait tank. On top of that is a rear-facing cushioned seat - perfect for lure observation.

The navigator has a glovebox in front but no grabrail. Both skipper and passenger have smooth-surfaced stainless-steel footrails which, in my experience with rails of this sort, can be very slippery when wet. Your feet tend to slip off them always at precisely the wrong moment, just when you are depending on your foot position to give you balance.

 

 

ROOM TO MOVE

 

The five-piece wraparound glass windscreen is mounted in solid aluminium with two central supports.
It's quite strong but lacks a grabrail.

A bimini and clears, attached to a solid six-pot overhead rod rack, keep things comfortable and the rods out of the way.

The moulded non-slip sole has a
huge underfloor wet bin between the two seats and a 144lt fuel tank behind that. That's enough fuel for a good
family day out on the water - particularly with today's fuel-efficient outboards - but a Shelf fisherman
might like a bit more for safety.

The long sidepockets are voluminous, padded and vinyl lined, but not designed to step on. Unfortunately this may well be the case, because the high coamings make it a big step down into the boat.

The gunwales are thigh-height and moderately wide with a built-in recessed grabrail; and although no rodholders were fitted on the test boat, there is plenty of room for at least four, with maybe another two across the transom.

The interior transom itself is square - a distinct departure from the Intruder's design, which features a traditional outboard well. The Adventurer's transom features a full-width drop-down lounge with back padding, and twin storage hatches with removable inserts on either corner.

There are boarding platforms either side of the motor, which is mounted directly onto the hull. Caribbean has never incorporated engine pods into any of its designs. The fuel filler is outboard at the top of one of the boarding-platform mouldings.

The battery is mounted on the floor under the starboard transom quarter, although it is in a protective box. The oil bottle is in the opposite corner and is difficult to get at. A filler pipe from the transom above would be much easier than having to drag the bottle out from under every time you want to fill it.

The rear cleats, like all hardware on the boat, are stainless and solid.

 

 

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING

 

Geelong Boating Centre equipped the test boat with a Yamaha 130hp V4 Saltwater Series and a 17in stainless prop, and it performed very well with a WOT of 63kmh at 5500rpm and a nice cruise of 44kmh at 4000rpm.

In a rough Corio Bay sea, the Adventurer performed exceedingly well - particularly into the chop, with little wave-slap. Across breeze there was a slight tendency to lean into the wind, but no real thumping as a result.

The ride was quite dry. In tight turns the hull tended to slip and drift sideways a little, but in quite a controlled way with just a touch of cavitation. This was easily excused under the tough test conditions.Generally speaking, the boat performed very
well and felt safe. It's well finished, good looking and priced very competitively.

Nice one, Mr Caribbean.

 

 

 

HIGHS

 

• Great interior design

• Well finished inside and out

• Attractive styling

• Smooth-riding

 

 

LOWS

 

• Awkward oil bottle position

• Loose bowrail

• No windscreen grabrail

• Footrest could be better designed

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Caribbean Adventurer 580

 

 

HOW MUCH?

 

Price as tested: $42,630

Options fitted: Bimini and clears, rocket launcher, radio, Navman 4100 sounder, Dunbier dual axle wide-frame trailer

Priced from: $37,995

 

 

GENERAL

 

Material: GRP

Length (overall): 5.83m

Beam: 2.33m

Deadrise: 19°

Rec/max hp: 150

Weight: 740kg bare boat

Towing weight: About 1500kg

 

 

CAPACITIES

 

Fuel: 144lt

Water: n/a

Passengers: Six adults

 

 

ENGINE

 

Make/model: Yamaha V4 Saltwater

Type: Carburetted two-stroke outboard

Rated hp: 130

Displacement: 1730cc

Weight: 171kg

Gearbox ratio: 13:26

Prop: Three-blade 17in s/s

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

 

Geelong Boating Centre

88 Barwon Heads Road,

Belmont, Vic,

Tel: (03) 5241 6966

Web: www.geelongboatingcentre.com.au

 

International Marine

Tel (03) 9763 7233

Web: www.caribbeanboats.com

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 185.

 

 

Find Caribbean Adventurer boats for sale.

 


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