REVIEW: PARKER 800 WEEKEND DIESEL

By: TIM VAN DUYL, Photography by: NATHAN JACOBS, Video by: JOHN-PAUL BEIRUTY

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

The Parker 800 Weekend is a more than capable cruiser suited to overnighting with immense value for money found Editor, Tim van Duyl

HIGHS

  • Solid ride
  • Six berths
  • Value for money
  • Diesel stove and heater

 

LOWS

  • Engine cover intrudes into cockpit
  • Traditional styling

 

REVIEW: PARKER 800 WEEKEND priced from $134,888

(From price includes Honda BF200 Outboard, not stern drive package) 

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Test At Marina Close Up 

OPEN EYES

You have to adjust your mind when walking up to the Parker 800 Weekend. You might be shocked at how closely it resembles direct competitors from the likes of Jeanneau, Arvor and Beneteau. My first thought was that these boats were little more than a replica of one of the aforementioned but looking deeper, and listening to the people involved, I found there is more than meets the eye.

Parker Poland is a subsidiary of AH Parker & Sons, one of the world’s oldest boat-building brands and still maker of some of the most respected military and enforcement RIBs. UK based, with dealerships littering Europe and branching into the rest of the world, Parker is a brand on the rise. But what of Parker Poland? The UK parent saw an opportunity to expand its range through the existing dealer network in the post-GFC sales boom but couldn’t reasonably compete using its existing manufacturing capabilities, hence the move to where there are already specialists; the companies building this type of product affordably are in Poland.

The outcome is a range of monohulls from the 630 Cruiser, a small cuddy-cabin day boat to the just-released Monaco 110, a genuine small powerboat at 11m. Between sit a range of hulls in centre console, cuddy and weekender configurations; this model, the 800 Weekend, is the flagship weekender-style vessel.

The Weekender style of boat is familiar to us at Trade-a-Boat and should be to you too with Arvor pioneering the Weekender category some seven years ago. This version sits above Parkers 660 and 770 Weekend models.

 

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Test Driving 

LOOKS & LAYOUT

This type of boat appeals for its ability to host as much as perform on water, and to do that it has to tick some major boxes, not least of which is a comfortable and well-appointed head. The 800 does well here, adding a shower over the head that pumps into a 40-litre black water tank. The space is well lit and – importantly – well ventilated. Space is ample and features enough storage for key items and a sink for hand washing.

Outside the head, in the bow, is the master berth. The mattress is large enough to classify as a double and lighting is again well covered, with three opening round ports.

Go up the few stairs leading to the saloon and helm and if you blink you might miss a clever design touch that stood out to me. Under the dinette, running lengthways in the hull with its opening at the base of the passenger footrest, is a bunk bed. I tested it and it’s a legitimate 1.9-2m long and wide enough for one comfortably, two at a pinch. It’s details like this that push the 800’s overnighting capacity to six, more than any other boat in its class.

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Review Bed Table

Up at the saloon, the dinette lowers to create a single large enough to be capable of taking two more overnighters though of course, it’s not only about getting some rest; feeding the masses is more important.

Our boat had some optional extra cupboards above the galley, which I think would be one of the first options ticked. The galley already has a fair amount of storage, especially when you take into account the in-floor spaces and a shelf circumnavigating the cabin, but more is always welcome. Below the cupboard are a two-burner Wallas diesel-fired stove and a sink, with shelves and drawers – including a wine-rack – under them.

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Review Galley And Stove

A Waeco fridge lurking under the helm seat should offer enough cool storage for most, while rounding out the stand-out features were enough USB ports to satiate any modern teen and then some – they seemed to be everywhere.

Out back our boat lacked a pair of options I think are vital, namely the centre table and additional seatbacks and cushioning. A fairly large cockpit, it would make a good space for morning coffee or to watch the sun go down during the hour of the aperitif. The engine cover does ingress into the floor a bit but with the table up, you will hardly notice.

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Review Cockpit Storage

In the cockpit you’ll find a good number of wet lockers and the shore-power point if you option it – our test boat also had an extended awning to enclose the area. Outside the transom is a small platform that’d be ideal for a relaxing light-tackle session or for young uns to jump off and enjoy the water.

Access to the bow is great and once up on the side decks handholds are easily found, while the bow is well laid out with non-slip and bow rails at a good height.

 

IN OR OUT?

Trade -a -Boat Ercury QSD 200 Diesel Parker 800 Weekend Review

The 800 Weekend can be had with outboards or a choice of petrol or diesel sterndrives. The outboard is likely to be the cheapest but most thirsty, with the petrol sterndrive piggy-in-the-middle.

Our boat had a Mercury QSD 220, a 220hp, 2.8-litre, common-rail injection turbo diesel with Bravo-3 leg. This is one of the most expensive powertrain options but the reasons to choose it are plentiful. Firstly you get economy, which means fewer trips to and less time spent at the bowser. You also get an open portofino platform over the leg, which is great to fish from or relax at on warm days, and finally you get a fuel source for the Webasto heater/demister and the Wallas stove in the galley – one fuel type, filled through one filler for the complete package of comfort, cruising and dining.

The QSD 220 was ample for the boat. With the on-water weight of the hull alone at around 2500kg, I wasn’t expecting particularly vigorous performance but the low-down torque was plenty to push the boat onto the plane and once the turbo was spooled up and near the 3800rpm redline, the combo worked well, maintaining speeds nearing 30kt.

 

IN THE ROUGH

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Review Rough Water

We spent a good couple of hours shooting the bulk of our video inside the sheltered confines of Martha Cove, Safety Beach, one of Victoria’s fastest growing marina-based communities. This gave me the opportunity to test the boat’s low-speed handling. I have always been a fan of bow thrusters on boats over 8m long, especially with single outboards. Although this boat is only just over 8m and has a super-responsive and grippy Bravo-3 leg, I would recommend the thruster to anyone with a tight berth, a windy spot or those fairly new to boating as it makes life much easier.

Heading over the road and out of the marina – if you haven’t been to Martha Cove, the engineering to have the road go under the seaway is impressive – and we struck boat-testing gold in the form of a solid 1m swell with half-metre wind-blown chop. Put that confusion in close, where it’s normally calm, and I was happy; the photographer and videographer not so much. Winding the engine out to a fast cruise was going to be hard but I managed more than I expected I’d see, with 20kt heading into it. Trimming was a touch sensitive with a bit of prop blow-out happening earlier in the trim range than expected but I still managed to lift the bow to keep the ’screen fairly dry.

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Water Review Stabilty In Rough

Heading out to the channel markers and the initial shelf drop, we met deeper troughs and taller peaks, perfect to test how the beamy boat would land. I know this isn’t where a typical owner would deliberately take their 800 Weekend but I can safely say should you find yourself late to lunch or caught out by a weather change, the Parker 800 Weekend is a more than capable rough-water boat.

 

VALUE & AVAILABILITY

These are two contentious issues for the brand. Parker still has some way to go in establishing brand recognition and is working on a dealer network. This means availability is low compared with the established brands, though value is high.

Three models spring to mind as competitors to the 800: the Arvor 855 and 755 Weekenders, Beneteau Antares 8 and Jeanneau Merry Fisher 795. 

The Arvor Weekenders define this category of boat and sit either side of the 800 in size and both come with outboard or sterndrive engine options. The most similar in size, the Arvor 855 Weekender carries a price premium over the Parker 800 when comparing base packages though Arvor 855 comes with more as standard including a bow thruster. 

Aside from sharing the Weekender layout, the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 795 is not really comparative boat. At only 7.43m LOA, it gives up a lot in size to the Parker 800 Weekend and is only available in outboard, not inboard. 

That leaves the similar sized but shaft driven Antares 8, which has two fewer berths and is markedly more expensive. The Antares is more contemporary in design and has its own appeal but the 800 Weekend, right now, is exceptional value for money.

 

Trade -a -Boat Parker 800 Weekend Test At Marina

THE WRAP

The ride and performance built into the 800 Weekend will give you the confidence to stay out longer. Add in the ability to sleep six and entertain eight, and the Parker 800 Weekend is a lot of boat for its size, yet it remains immensely affordable. We would option ours much like the test boat but would add seating and table options in the cockpit, raising the delivery price to around $175,000, very impressive value.

 

SPECIFICATIONS Parker 800 Weekend Diesel

PRICE AS TESTED A$172,985

OPTIONS FITTED Bow thruster, additional wiper, galley cabinets, deck shower, Webasto diesel heater, electronics pack

PRICED FROM A$134,888 with Honda BF200 outboard

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

LENGTH 8.4m (LOA)

BEAM 2.9m

WEIGHT 2500kg (hull only)

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 8 (day) 6 (night)

REC HP 220

REC MAX HP 300

WATER 78L

BLACK WATER 40L

FUEL 230L

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury Diesel QSD 220

TYPE Inline four-cylinder, four-stroke, common-rail turbo diesel

RATED HP 220

DISPLACEMENT 2.8L

WEIGHT 477kg (with Bravo-3 leg)

 

MANUFACTURED BY

PARKER POLAND

 

SUPPLIED BY

MY MARINE

100-108 Nepean Hwy,

Dromana VIC 3936

PH +61 3 5987 0900

mymarine.com.au

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

NAUTILUS AUSTRAILA

175-179 Parramatta Rd

Haberfield NSW 2045

PH +61 414 252 254

EM sales@nautilusaustralia.com.au

nautilusaustralia.com.au

Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review rough water Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review rough water
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend rough water test The beamy 800 felt safe and secure in the rough Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend rough water test
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test at marina
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend water review stabilty in rough Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend water review stabilty in rough
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review bed table The dinette table lowers to add space for two more Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review bed table
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test dinette bed table With the table up there is space for four Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test dinette bed table
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review boarding platform portfino Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review boarding platform portfino
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review cockpit storage Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review cockpit storage
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review galley and stove Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review galley and stove
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review head toilet shower Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review head toilet shower
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review helm and dash Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend review helm and dash
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test berth bow bunks Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test berth bow bunks
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test extra berth sixth bed The berth under the dinette is surprisingly big with room for my 2m frame Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test extra berth sixth bed
Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test galley kitchen cabinets Trade-a-Boat Parker 800 Weekend test galley kitchen cabinets

 


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