Suzuki DF300AP outboard + Cruise Craft 685HT review

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

We review a one-of-a-kind Cruise Craft 685HT with $60,000 of marine extras. This amazing fishing boat was powered by a 300hp Suzuki DF300AP four-stroke outboard motor.

The Cruise Craft 685 Hard Top relies on a proven hull formula for performance, handling and ride. It’s a safe boat for heading to wide fishing grounds in the right conditions, with ample range and a hull that won’t wear you out over long distances. Its conservative styling will endure and the quality of build will provide years of service.

 

Suzuki DF300AP outboard power

Cruise Craft 685HTwith 300hp Suzuki outboard

A serious fishing boat like the Cruise Craft 685 Hard Top demands equally serious power, so the owner of this Cruise Craft boat opted for a 300hp Suzuki. Cruise Craft boats recommends marine engines from 225 to 300hp, so the big Suzuki outboard sits at the top of the range and delivers scintillating performance.

Planting the throttle was a bit of a surprise as we tested this Cruise Craft in Sydney Harbour. Those feisty ponies get the boat moving rapidly but there is hardly a lift of the bow and little sense of transition to the plane. Put that down to efficient running surfaces and the well-designed hull with ample buoyancy aft to keep the bow planted.

Running a 17.5in prop meant we had great holeshot while still achieving a top speed just shy of 40kt. Across a bumpy Sydney Harbour and out through the Heads we held 25-28kt without any bumping or banging.

The hull is foam-filled and tied together underneath to form a sturdy structure. Having the floor liner fixed to the hull helps but there’s more to it than that. A matrix grid under the floor comprises two longitudinal fibreglass girders with outer stringers combined with bulkheads at the main stress points.

Cruising around the 4000rpm range gave us 25kt and 34.3L/h. So at this speed expect a range of 203nm with a 10 per cent reserve, putting even those elusive fish well wide of the shelf in range in the right conditions. On this Cruise Craft 685HT you can opt for a 370L tank if you need it.

Cruise Craft 685 Hardtop boat

See the full-length boat test: Cruise Craft 685HT review.

 

Four-stroke outboards are so popular that they now dominate the outboard market, and relative newcomer Suzuki has made itself right at home near the top for sales and performance.

The 300hp Suzuki DF300AP is big on power and despite loads of new technology still adheres to the adage that size matters; this V6 has a 4028cc capacity, up with Yamaha, but exceeding the supercharged Verado or the two-stroke E-TEC.

Suzuki claims its Lean Burn system can give improve economy 10 per cent over rivals while its lower gearing gives better acceleration when running a bigger propeller.

As mentioned, performance on the Cruise Craft 685 hardtop was impressive, getting the big boat moving swiftly and to a top speed of 39.5kt. More running time on the engine should see a slight improvement and fuel figures were good for a boat this size.

Starting was immediate hot or cold and the motor trolled smoothly with no vibration, smell or spluttering. And at full noise there … um … wasn’t any. It’s quiet right through the range.

 

 

Cruise Craft 685HT sea trials

300hp Suzuki DF300AP four-stroke engine, two on board, 70 per cent fuel load. 310L fuel tank (calculations using 90L, 10 per cent reserve).

RPM

Speed (kts)

Fuel burn (L/h)

Range (nm)

1000

4.2

3.4

344

1500

6

7.2

232

2000

7.5

10.6

197

2500

8.6

15.3

156

3000 (plane)

11

23.2

216

3500

18

31

162

4000

25

34.3

203

4500

28

46

168

5000

32

60.3

148

5500

36

82

122

6000 (WOT)

39.5

99

111

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

Cruise Craft 685HT boat at rest

 

Suzuki DF300AP outboard motor specs

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF300AP outboard motor

TYPE V6 fuel-injected four-stroke outboard motor

RATED HP 300

DISPLACEMENT 4028cc

WEIGHT 278kg

GEAR RATIO 2.08:1

PROPELLER 17.5in

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF300AP outboard motor

TYPE V6 fuel-injected four-stroke outboard motor

RATED HP 300

DISPLACEMENT 4028cc

WEIGHT 278kg

GEAR RATIO 2.08:1

PROPELLER 17.5in

 

MORE INFORMATION

Cruise Craft Boats

1308 Lytton Rd, Hemmant, Qld 4174

Phone (07) 3390 4877

Email info@cruisecraft.com.au

Web cruisecraft.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #479, June 2016. Why not subscribe today?

 


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