REVIEW: CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF

By: MATTHEW JONES, Photography by: MATTHEW JONES

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  • Trade-A-Boat

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE TURNING TO PORT
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF ANCHOR
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF CLOSED CABIN
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF DECAL
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF FISHING
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF ON THE PLANE
CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF RODHOLDERS
CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE DECK SPACE
CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE GALLEY
CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE INTERIOR CABIN

Looking for launch-like characteristics without the marina fees? Caribbean Boats may have just the answer in its 24 Flybridge Sports Fisherman (FBSF) – one of the smallest flybridge models on the market. It fits on a trailer, has a great sportsfishing pedigree and will keep the family more than happy for years to come.

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when capital outlay and the ongoing cost of sitting in saltwater are concerned. If you’ve got a big enough driveway, tow vehicle and suitable local ramp, you can forget about antifoul, marina fees and haul-out costs with Caribbean’s new 24 Flybridge Sports Fisherman (FBSF).

 

CARIBBEAN FLYBRIDGE CRUISER

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE

Based in Melbourne, International Marine has been around for more than 50 years producing in excess of 50,000 boats under its own Caribbean (and previously Bertram) brand. That’s a lot of time, a lot of boats and a lot of experience.

The 24 FBSF replaces the 23 FBSF as Caribbean’s smallest flybridge model and boasts an even more efficient hull design than its predecessor. Practical and purposeful, the Caribbean 24 FBSF prioritises functionality. "It’s not glamorous for the sake of being glamorous," says Scott White from Caribbean Boats (NZ) Ltd. This approach means you’re not forking out for unnecessary bling but are reducing fuss and maximising on-water enjoyment.

 

BLUEWATER SPORTSFISHING

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE FISHER

The lack of a transom door hints at this boat’s design pedigree – bluewater sportsfishing.

The step over into the cockpit is easy thanks to the removable transom seats. With 2.7m of beam the business end offers a decent 4.5m² of cockpit space, although some of that is relinquished to the enginebox. There are good toeholds along each side for secure footing and high gunwales for bracing against while hooked up. Large, lined sidepockets will keep the nets and gaffs safely stored and a rocket launcher mounted behind the flybridge allows accessible storage for five rods.

An optional baitboard can be mounted either on the transom or on the enginebox. Scott has specifically set-up the four through-gunwale rodholders so he can chase marlin without needing game poles, but they can easily be added if desired. While there’s no under-floor storage, there’s ample real estate on offer for a decent chilly bin.

 

HELM

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE HELM

It was time to climb the ladder to where the prime helm station offers unhindered 360-degree bird’s-eye views and a comfortable bench seat for two. The skipper also gets a footrest and there’s plenty of storage under the helm station and seat for all manner of refreshments, snacks and whatever else you can think of. A full set of gauges, switches and a neatly flush-mounted Lowrance HDS8 help keep the skipper in the know.

The stainless steel steering wheel, throttle and gear stick provide a classic feel befitting the boat’s traditional lines, but push the throttle forward and you’ll soon realise there’s nothing vintage about the power plant – it’s modern-day engineering at its best. With the variable geometry turbo there’s no discernible turbo-lag, just an abundance of torque which gets the Caribbean 24 FBSF on the plane quick-smart. With the turbo engaged there’s a fair bit of intake noise, so it’s not the quietest running installation of this engine that I’ve experienced.

 

ENGINE

CARIBBEAN 24 FBSF TURNING

The engine was still being run in and we had to stick to cruising revs but factory sea-trials report a top speed of 34.5kts with six occupants, 225lt of fuel, 100lt of water and 100kg of additional ballast. At this engine/hull combination’s economical best, the Mercury Diesel is using around 1.27lt/nm at 2800rpm for just over 21kts. With 300lt of diesel underfloor, she’ll cover plenty of bluewater with the lures out, using around 4.5lt/h. 

We cruised comfortably at around 24kts with the quiet, heavyweight hull making light work of the chop and small swell. It gracefully parted the waves, while the flared bow pushed spray well clear and the ride was solid, predictable and downright cruisy as we sat enjoying the view from above.

 

CABIN

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE CABIN

To keep the height of the flybridge down and the centre of gravity low, there’s a step down into the cabin from the cockpit. This means any water in the cockpit can run forward into the cabin, but the area is self-draining and both areas are equipped with bilge pumps.

Up front the lockable cabin offers privacy while visiting the through-hull Jabsco toilet. The compact door makes it cosy within and the large V-berths should provide a comfortable night’s sleep for two.

Breakfast can be cooked on the on the run via a stove neatly housed under the lift-up bench, and the ingredients kept chilled in the insulated icebox beneath the rear seat.

No space has been underutilised and there’s plenty of storage onboard, with multiple underseat compartments and side storage pockets throughout the cabins.

The Caribbean 24 FBSF is effectively a trailerable-launch (subject to local restrictions) and comes on an Australian-made Mackay tandem-axle trailer with AL-KO Sensabrakes. At 3250kg dry tow weight and more than 2.5m in beam, it requires a sizeable tow wagon, over-width towing compliance and a suitable ramp, but there’ll be few other limitations to your boating adventures.

 

THE VERDICT

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE TOWING

If you’re looking for the handling of a launch in a more compact package and like the idea of being able to tow your boat home after an enjoyable getaway on the water, then the Caribbean 24FBSF should tick plenty of boxes. 

 

[HIGHS]

  • Quality construction
  • Comfortable, well-mannered ride
  • Versatile, social layout
  • Should keep both the fisherman and the family happy for years
  • Comes with a trailer

 

[LOWS]

  • Not the quietest TDI installation I’ve been on
  • Batteries unprotected and at floor level

 

CARIBBEAN 24 SBSF SPECIFICATIONS

 

PRICED FROM

$115,016

 

SEA TRIALS

Single Mercury Diesel 265hp TDI V6 sterndrive, Bravo 2 leg and 19¾ x 19in three-blade prop. Six people aboard, 225lt fuel, full water and 100kg ballast.

 

RPM      SPEED   FUEL BURN

1000       5.1kts    2.2lt/h

1200       6.1kts    4.5lt/h

1400       6.7kts    7.3lt/h

1600       7.3kts    9.1lt/h

1800       7.6kts    13lt/h

2000       9.4kts    17lt/h

2200       12.6kts  19.7lt/h

2400       16kts     21.5lt/h

2600       18.7kts  24.1lt/h

2800       21.3kts  27lt/h

3000       23.5kts  31.2lt/h

3200       25.3kts  35.5lt/h

3400       27.3kts  40.5lt/h

3600       28.7kts  44.6lt/h

3800       30.2kts  48.1lt/h

4000       31.6kts  54.4lt/h

4250       34.5kts  57.8lt/h

*Sea-trial data supplied by International Marine.

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Solid GRP

TYPE Planing monohull

LENGTH 8.4m (overall); 7.2m (hull)

BEAM 2.69m

DEADRISE 21°

 

CAPACITIES

FUEL 300lt

WATER 100lt

WEIGHT 3250kg (dry)

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury Diesel TDI 3.0–265

TYPE Turbo-diesel

RATED HP 265

DISPLACEMENT 3lt

WEIGHT 325kg

 

SUPPLIED BY

Caribbean Boats (NZ) Limited

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Visit CaribbeanBoats.com

 

LAYOUT

CARIBBEAN 24 FLYBRIDGE SPORTS FISHER LAYOUT

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #446, November / December 2013. Why not subscribe today?

Find Caribbean boats for sale.

 


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