Review: Caribbean 2400

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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Caribbean 2400 at rest

This amazing Caribbean 2400 is the fishing boat of choice for these mates. They call themselves the Band Of Brothers.

Fishing tragics Troy Russell, Dennis Minuti and Anthony Raco are the ringleaders of the Sydney-based fishing team Band of Brothers who run a fleet of offshore trailer boats including this superbly customised Caribbean 2400.

The guys have been fishing together for years and have gathered a respectable online following as well as amassing material for DVDs they sell online.

 

Caribbean 2400

Caribbean 2400

The Caribbean 2400 is a very capable boat and in standard form includes a hardtop, marine toilet, winch, plumbed kill tank, bait tank and icebox but the Brothers have taken things to a higher plane and have created a real weapon in the fight to find big fish.

At 7.5m LOA and with its custom tower, Troy’s Caribbean 2400 is an imposing sight, especially on its trailer, where it dominated the ramp. Of course the class-topping 2.7m beam adds to the bulk, but also means most states will apply special towing requirements.

The classic lines of the hull fit in well with the modern take on the hardtop as it swoops back from the low-profile foredeck. The black sides are festooned with logos in white and red, while the topsides are basic white. It’s a good combination and creates a distinctive and indomitable impression.

 

Layout and design

Caribbean 2400 helm

Caribbean fishing boats wear the characteristic lines of great seaboats – plenty of flare and a sharp entry up front with a deep-V hull designed to carve through the ocean. A quick history lesson reveals heritage back to the original Bertram designs of the 70s, which have long been regarded as revolutionary and the standard by which other models are judged.

The Caribbean 2400 hull is virtually the same as the venerable Bertram 23 Flybridge, which goes a long way to explaining the 2400’s superb seakeeping ability and solid feel in the water without the burden of the flybridge weight.

The lockable forward cabin and well-integrated enclosed hardtop offer weather protection and, in the case of the cabin, a place for crew to rest during extended time on the water.

That wide beam delivers both a roomy cockpit and space to operate efficiently when hooked to fish. Padded coamings all around and deep toeholds at deck level underline the message that this boat is destined to fish. A three-seat lounge at the transom folds down when not needed.

Also at the transom are a large circular livebait tank, a central custom stainless bait table, and a portside door big enough for boarding or to haul decent fish through.

Dennis has fished the boat from Cairns to Bermagui and many of the modifications have been made to allow extended time on board and for the special needs of the conditions on the Great Barrier Reef. During a three-week GBR adventure he spent three to four nights at a time on the boat, which was possible through additional iceboxes and cooking facilities including a pie warmer in the cabin.

It didn’t hurt that the cabin has full-length in-fill bunks capable of accommodating those over 6ft with ease. But while there are added creature comforts, the main push has been to set the boat up as a genuine contender in tournament fishing.

 

 

Down the back you’ll find two sets of slimy tubes located outboard and within easy reach of anglers. There’s also a folding dive ladder and of course a pair of 150hp E-TECs mounted on the extended transom.

Look into the voluminous kill tank set into the floor and you have to remind yourself that this is a trailer boat. If that’s not enough, there’s room for a smaller icebox further forward as well as 450L of underfloor fuel storage.

The same applies to the custom storage system aft of the helm area, something more at home on a full-size game boat. Tackle drawers each side of the aisle incorporate a gas cooktop on one side and a built-in rigging station on the other. Attention to detail means dedicated holders for knife, pliers, grip and a waxed thread spool.

A stainless steel structure over the cabin supports a 12-place rocket launcher and the mini game-tower that’s accessed from the starboard via a ladder built into the barwork. The tower platform has its own sounder and GPS as well as padded sides and grab rails, and folds neatly back over the cockpit for transport.

Also fitted to the platform is a Simrad marine electronics radar, while side-mounted to the frame is a pair of Reelax game poles. Up front on the cabin top – unusually for a trailer boat – is a six-man RFD life raft. When you consider the distance the team travels offshore, it’s a wise move.

Step aboard and it’s immediately obvious that the boat is solid and stable even with the extra weight of the tower overhead – Caribbean obviously doesn’t spare the rovings and gelcoat in the solid ’glass lay-up.

 

 

Reelax chairs at the helm of the Caribbean 2400 look fantastic and were wonderfully comfortable during our test. The life raft is mounted low enough to allow good forward vision and the hardware holding the windscreen is very robust. Carpet lining neatens the hardtop and adds an element of sound deadening, while two VHF radios and an iPod dock are fitted into an overhead console.

The dash is big enough for a couple of medium-sized navigation screens as well as instrument panels and, like everything else on the boat, the team decided that if they were going to do anything they may as well overdo it.

 

Handling and ride

Caribbean 2400 on the water

Our run down Sydney Harbour gave us a chance to experience the boat at speed and try its handling in protected waters. Twin 150hp Evinrude outboard motors are maximum power for the hull and did a great job of getting the big rig moving to a top end of 36kt at 6000rpm, with a 25kt cruise at 4500rpm.

Once moving the hull likes plenty of trim and sits well back on its rear running profile without interfering with forward vision. Acceleration is swift and engine noise was minimal, with a pleasant two-stroke note and healthy induction sounds under load.

For our test the team thought a trip out to the Twelve Mile off Sydney would show the boat in its best light. Conditions were ideal for testing, an 18kt breeze kicking up a sharp chop to kept things interesting.

The ride out to the fishing grounds was exceptionally good. There was the feeling of a big boat under us as we kept up a constant 24kt, with a comfortable ride and soft landings when the boat got some air under it. The photos on these pages show the boat pushing a lot of water in the rough conditions but it was sent wide and none of it came on board or even over the screen.

The conditions didn’t dissuade a gaggle of boats over the compact reef but we found enough space to identify some kingfish on the sounder. We sent down weighted live baits on light tackle and achieved hook-ups all around – enough fish for a feed for everyone in short order.

 

The Trade-a-Boat verdict

Caribbean 2400 at rest

The Caribbean 2400 is not only a worthy flagship of the Caribbean trailerboat fleet but has the goods to be considered a long-distance gameboat.

With a hull price of $79,000 you can build a boat to your own specifications. In the case of our test boat this includes $20,000 for a trailer, $45,000K for the engines fitted, $25K for electronics, $15,000 for the tower and $10,000 for the internal fit-out. Price as tested will be approaching $195,000, though to be fair, most packages would come in at a more modest price.

For that you acquire one of our country’s best trailer boats and it’s no wonder that it’s one of International Marine’s best-selling models. With a BMT weight around 3300kg dry it just fits within the towing capacity of many contemporary medium-range 4WD vehicles as long as you keep a careful eye on the load. 

 

HIGHS

  • High-quality build
  • Legendary handling of Bertram-derived hull
  • Fulsome fit-out

 

LOWS

  • Towing restrictions
  • Need a heavy-duty tow vehicle

 

Caribbean 2400 specs

Caribbean 2400 price: $79,000

Priced from, hull only

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Marine electronics, twin E-TEC 150hp outboard motors, tower, internal fit-out

 

PRICE AS TESTED

$195,000

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 7.54m

BEAM 2.7m

WEIGHT 1700kg (hull only)

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 2 (night) 7 (day)

FUEL 450L

WATER 120L

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Twin Evinrude E-TEC 150 outboard motors

TYPE V6 direct-injection two-stroke outboard motors

RATED HP 150hp x2

DISPLACEMENT 2589cc

WEIGHT 196kg

GEAR RATIO 1.85:1

PROPELLER 19in

 

SUPPLIED BY

Sylvania Marina

25 Harrow St, Sylvania, NSW 2224

Phone (02) 9522 7430

Web caribbeanboats.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #481, on sale August 11, 2016. Why not subscribe today?

 


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