BOAT TEST: HOOKER 6.7 CENTRE CONSOLE

By: Kevin Smith

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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Plenty of power, nice handling and a dry ride make Hooker’s 6.7 Centre Console worth more than a second look, says Kevin Smith. And he knows.

BOAT TEST: HOOKER 6.7 CENTRE CONSOLE
HOOKER 6.7 CENTRE CONSOLE

 

TEST: HOOKER 6.7 CENTRE CONSOLE

Cairns-based Hooker Boats has been around since 1998, producing a range of quality fibreglass craft including tiller-steers, centre-consoles, walkarounds, and skiboats, suitable to commercial and recreational users alike.

When it comes to good fibreglass centre-consoles the selection in the past has been limited, at least compared to aluminium craft. However, lately there seems to be a sort of resurrection with these types of boats after a number of good centre-consoles hit the market. I love centre-consoles simply for the fantastic fishability, and although they're multi-purpose boats, they do suit a niche market.

Unfortunately, centre-consoles have traditionally been about compromise. Either they ride well but are wet boats, or they're dry but slap a bit. Fortunately, newer models have improved on both fronts and we're definitely seeing a whole new breed that performs well, where the only compromise is the cabin. At 6.7m long, with a 2.45m beam, a good layout, and modern lines, this Hooker will be more than a one night stand.

 



LAUNCH AND RETRIEVE

Being a fair-sized boat, there can be no compromise when it comes to trailers. Using a correctly set up multi-roller trailer will make launching and trailering much easier, especially during unfavourable conditions. The 6.7 Centre Console comes standard on a dual-axle multi-roller trailer that handles launching and retrieving smoothly without having to re-attempt it several times.

 



MOTORS AND CONTROLS

The pocket rocket behind the hooker is its 225hp of Suzuki four-stroke humph.
It does a fine job throughout the rev ranges while its 225 sports fly-by-wire controls are ultra-smooth and sensitive when hammering the throttle down. Naturally a craft like this has hydraulic steering to complement the rest of the operational layout.

 



PERFORMANCE & HANDLING

At 6.7m, with a weight of about 2500kg, this is a sizeable boat that needs plenty of power on the transom. In my opinion the Suzuki DF225TX is a good match with enough of the low-down torque required for good holeshot performance. It sits on low revs at cruise speeds and has a good top end. Combined with ideal horsepower, the hull comes into its own with a 22° deadrise combined with reverse chines, a planing plank in the stern, and a beefy bow.

This combination also provides a dry ride which is exactly what you want in a centre-console.

Out of the hole, the boat planes fast and takes nicely to trim once up and running. In tight, full-lock turns, it banks in nice and tight, and holds well. These handling characteristics are very important if you do a lot of bar crossings. At higher speeds the wide beam keeps the boat stable, soft on the ride, and dry. Even though the weather on the test day was perfect it was nevertheless easy to conclude that the Hooker would retain its good ride even when pushed hard.

Another point to mention is the actual comfort when driving. Throughout the test the boat was comfortable in the seated position and more so when standing, which is what I prefer.

Centre-consoles can be punishing in harsher weather but I'd confidently say that long distances in harsh conditions aren't out of the question on this craft.

The simple clears fixed to the centre-console T-top are another notable feature that add to the driving comfort. On a centre-console you're normally protected only by the screen but in this case the clears add more and work very well.

Running speed trials trough the rev range we attained 5kts (9.26kmh) at 1000rpm. A nice cruise was attained at 23kts (42.6kmh) at 3500rpm, while we topped out at 42kts (77.8kmh) at 5750rpm - pretty fast on a centre-console.

The handling of this craft showed me that it can cope with long distances while maintaining above average comfort levels. Indeed, long distances are the norm these days when it comes to getting to the hotspots, and unfortunately in the future we'll probably have to travel even further for quality fish.

 



FISH THIS

The Hooker 6.7 Centre Console is purposely built to suit the avid angler who wants extra space for moving around. Centre-consoles typically have workable space in the stern, bow and console sides. The stern comprises pods on either side of the motor and transom which serve as steps into the craft and which also buoy and protect the motor.

Within the motorwell, the engine and steering-cables look exceptionally neat and well-routed. The false transom, or main fishing office, has all the necessary ingredients, including plumbed livewell, access to batteries and filter, and a small transom door on the port side. There's also an excellent baitboard with raised edges, a sink with drainage, and rodholders.

The gunwales are high and have rear flush-mounted rodholders, recessed handrails, spacious sidepockets, starboard deckwash, and a foot recess to help you balance when working off the sides.

The non-slip deck (carpets are optional) has a good-sized killtank or fish-hatch in the stern. It's selfdraining and has additional high-powered bilgepumps.

Behind the console is wide helm seating. It's reversible and incorporates an insulated icebox. The console is wide but not so much that it restricts movement into the bow. The controls are mounted off-centre to the starboard side so a passenger can comfortably sit next to the skipper when underway.

Below the controls the console is open plan and has a foot rest. Everything inside is easily accessible but I'd prefer it closed with a door, if only to prevent the inevitable corrosion in a marine environment. The console-dash again has space galore to house the full gauge cluster, dual-seven inch fishfinder and GPS, dual-switch panel, drinkholders, wireless and VHF radio, a Perspex screen, grabhandles, and a heavy-duty targa top with rocket launchers, nav lights, lighting, and clears. The console also has side tackle-storage and a recessed dual-filler for fuel into the 400lt tank.

Wait a moment, dual-filler? Yep. You open both, fill up, but don't get splashback in your face. In the bow there's another seat/icebox built into the console and either a raised casting platform or more seating with storage beneath. You'll also find dual-anchor hatches, the bowsprit, bollard and roller, and a full wraparound bowrail.

 



THE WRAP

The 6.7 Centre Console is a fishing machine in every way. The hull is soft-riding and exceptionally stabile, even when over-weighting it on the sides, while at rest you can comfortably move around with minimal rolling. The stern and bow also have ample working space.

The Suzuki revved nice and low while trolling and remained very economical. A slow troll of 5kts (9.26kmh) was attained at 1000rpm; 8.1kts (14.9kmh) was attained at 2000rpm; while 10.5kts (19.4kmh) was attained at 2500rpm.

Regardless of whether you're into marlin fishing, spin fishing, bait fishing, or even a bit of offshore fly-fishing, you can comfortably do it off this boat with a few accessories to suit your style. You don't have to be scared either of pushing a few long distance trips to reach the hotspots.

Considering it's a centre-console the big thing for me with this boat is its handling. It's relatively heavy, built strong, and has many good fishing features - and it certainly looks the part. The external finish is good but if I had to be really picky about something it would be on a few minor internal things. Otherwise, it's a great boat for serious fishos. But what of its multi-purpose family applications? Well, yes, you could have plenty of family fun with this boat, provided it's on good weather days. It's a centre-console after all.

 



On the plane...


Handling and performance
Long distance capability
Clears on T-top
Fishing friendly



Dragging the chain...


Open-plan console wiring
Minor gelcoat problems internally
Would have liked to have seen fuel consumption

 

 



Specifications: Hooker 6.7 Centre Console

 



HOW MUCH

Price as tested: $91,750

Options fitted: Suzuki DF 225hp four-stroke, 100lt plumbed watertank, 16ft telescopic outriggers, Tinka Classic multi-roller trailer, marine stereo, console clears, 2 x tackleboxes in console

Priced from: $85,061 (excluding freight)

 



GENERAL

Material: Biaxial 887 wovings / foam-filled closed-cell

Length overall: 6.7m

Beam: 2.45m

Draft: 350mm

Weight: 1100kg (hull only)

 



CAPACITIES

Rec HP: 175-225

Max HP: 225

Max motor weight: 280kg

People: 6

Fuel: 400lt

 



ENGINE

Make/model: Suzuki DF225TX dour-stroke

Type: DOHC 24-valve

Fuel management: MPSEFI

Weight: 263kg

Displacement: 3614cc

Starting system: Electric

Gear ratio: 2.29:1

 



MANUFACTURED BY

Hooker Boats

31 Muir Street

Bungalow, Qld, 4870

Tel: (07) 4041 7171

Web: www.hookerboats.com  

 



SUPPLIED BY

Barney's Marine Hervey Bay

Shed 3A, Nissen St

Pialba, Hervey Bay, Qld 4655

Tel/fax: (07) 4124 3170

Web: www.barneysmarine.com.au  

 

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 259.

Find Hooker boats for sale.

 


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