Review: Whittley SL 24HT


We water test and rate the Whittley SL 24HT, a contender in the fibreglass fishing boats category at the 2014 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

Whittley has twice now qualified to enter Australia’s Greatest Trailer Boats. This time, the Whittley team once more blew us away with the Whittley SL 24HT.

In the Whittley SL 24HT, Whittley has recognised and addressed the prime concerns when covering big distances on the water, namely fuel economy, storage and safety.

WHITTLEY SL 24HT

 

WHITTLEY SL 24HT REVIEW

AGB Winner Award WhittleyWe know diesel alternatives have long been available, yet it is only recently that we have seen these engines and drive units thoroughly refined for the recreational boating market, and at a size and price to suit. Whittley has proved diesels are no longer confined to the commercial sector, they now have a real place in the recreational fishing market.

Whittley has also proved that serious fishing boats need not skimp on comfort. The Whittley SL 24HT is an enticing temptress that beckons sailors with its siren’s call of luxury and opulence.

 

WHITTLEY SL 24HT RATING

Fishing suitability

8.8

Innovation

8.4

Design and layout

9

Quality of finish

8.8

Handling and ride

8.2

Stability at rest

7.3

Ergonomics

8.9

Standard equipment

8.6

Value for money

8.9

X-Factor

8.8

TOTAL SCORE

85.7

 

UNDERSTANDING THE RATING SYSTEM 

BOAT AT RAMP Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria
explained
 

 

THE JUDGES’ NOTEPAD

Angelo Sangiorgio: "This time around the Whittley had a 2.4L 170hp Volvo Penta diesel and I was really impressed. Lots of low-down torque, not a huge top end, but perfect if you’re going to be heading offshore. And you’re using about one-third of the fuel that you’d use with an outboard to power a boat this size. It’s typical Whittley packaging — loads of storage options and it’s a really social boat. I think for the family man who wants to head offshore with his mates but wants a perfect family boat and a cruiser as well, it could be absolutely ideal."

John Ford: "It’s got a lot of luxury features in it but I don’t think that really detracts. For the average fisherman who goes out and wants to have a good time, he can still use it as a family runabout and that’s a great thing. And it’s so soft in the ocean. A run to the shelf in this boat would be a pleasure. Value for money? It’s $130,000 but a lot of stuff comes with it. That’s a big, very expensive motor in there, but it’s going to save you money over the years. It might not be the fastest boat in the field but when you get in and drive it for the first time it really gives you a kick in the teeth."

Kevin Smith: "This is a gentleman’s boat. It’s a classic combination of something pretty luxurious as well as being a good fishing boat. It’s something you can take out and catch a marlin with, then at the end of the day you can come back, buy some champagne and sit around the table with your wife. That diesel is something quite different in trailerboats and, at 170hp, it’s quite perky for its size.

Matt Jones: "I really like the versatility, the finish and the comfort. They way they’ve built this cabin, the kids could be sitting here while I’m fishing out the back. Then you can pull out those clip-in carpets, go fishing with the boys and make as much mess as you want. Then go pick up mum, put the carpets back down and you’ve got a lovely, comfortable cruiser. It’s even got a DVD player, just in case the fish aren’t biting. It’s an awesome family boat."

John Willis: "With sterndrives, the big box in the cockpit was always very intrusive, but what Whittley has come up with — to fit it into that tiny compartment — it’s like fishing around an outboard. That’s the real innovation for me. It punches out of the hole differently to a big two-stroke, but it’s going to give you 30kts and it’s only going to be using 33lt an hour at top speed. You’ve got to remember, not everybody is a big, ballsy, gutsy offshore fisherman. It does have that capability if you want it, but it’s also got the comfort if you want to mooch around in the estuary system too."

WHITTLEY SL 24HT BOAT AT REST

 

WHITTLEY SL 24 HT SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 7.3m

BEAM: 2.46m

WEIGHT: 2682kg (BMT)

MAX. HORSEPOWER: 320

BASE PRICE: $89,999 (std. outboard)

PRICE AS TESTED: $129,999

 

MORE ON AUSTRALIA'S GREATEST BOATS 2014

Fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass
fishing boats 

 

Aluminium fishing boats

Aluminium
fishing boats 

 

Family boats

Family boats

 


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