Review: Caribbean 2300 Outboard


We water test and rate the Caribbean 2300 Outboard, a contender in the fibreglass fishing boats category at the 2015 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

History tells us the Caribbean 2300 hull is the one to beat for ride and comfort. But will the new 2300 Outboard layout upset the balance or add to an already impressive package?

Caribbean 2300 with twin outboard motors

 

CARIBBEAN 2300 OUTBOARD REVIEW

Best boats finalist badge fibreglass

Traditional majesty with a modern flair – that is and always has been the Caribbean boats secret to success. Caribbean is one of the longest established fibreglass boating manufacturers in the country with history dating back to company patron Archie Spooner in the 1950s, so Caribbean’s reputation speaks for itself.

It has always produced premium selections in both the large and small boat markets with a seagoing and sporting reputation that is the envy of the industry.

But 2015 marks the first entry of Caribbean into the fishing boats category of Australia’s Greatest Boats. The company has tried and proven formulas and it does not release new models haphazardly for marketing purposes. So a new Caribbean boat model is much cause for excitement and that’s exactly how we all felt about the beautiful Caribbean when it splashed down.

Caribbean 2300 on the water

Caribbean’s Richard Spooner proved that he was here to impress on the first day when he confidently busted through a breaking Lakes Entrance bar without batting an eyelid.

The Caribbean 2300 is the latest evolution of the popular Caribbean 23 which was available in both runabout and flybridge versions, but only with sterndrive configurations.

Now times have changed and the Caribbean boat designers have followed with the morphed Caribbean 23 hull now featuring a beautifully sloped rear shear, dropping into the twin outboard well configuration. It has an appealing hardtop with the traditional safety glass split windows and stainless steel frames – a design that has stood the test of time.

To cater for long distances that offshore fishos might travel, Caribbean has included more than 400lt of fuel capacity and finished the entire boat with a clean, neat internal liner that increases the integral hull strength immensely.

There’s a remote anchor winch out front with a big moulded bowsprit and deck fittings, a massive and very comfortable vee-berth with fully plumbed marine toilet, underfloor killtank, livebait tank and a transom door making the Caribbean 2300 a true bluewater battleship.

Caribbean 2300 interior

Our demonstrator was a Caribbean boat belonging to a customer. This 2300 was fitted with his personal selection of twin 130hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard motors, powering the big package confidently through all obstacles. It was gutsy and responsive and the quality of the timeless wide-bodied deep-vee hull shone through.

There is certainly a timeless appeal to the Caribbean 2300 that is hard to define. It has an almost minimalist layout, yet includes the essence of a great fishing machine.

The immense deck area is bordered by high gunwales with plenty of storage in full-length sidepockets. The dash layout is clean and efficient with great visibility whether seated at the high, comfortable pedestals or standing while crossing the really rough stuff.

The hull has a nice bow-high attitude at speed and the weighting of the hull, combined with the highly efficient hull shape tracks her true, even when speeding down the face of large following seas.

All our judges loved the Caribbean 2300 and it scored highly on X-Factor, an interesting response to a hull with such origins and pedigree. It certainly took our breath away and more than one tester returned breathless from sea trials.

Caribbean 2300 with twin E-TEC outboards

A brief scan of the test results showed evidence of the Caribbean 2300’s real strengths. It scored a massive 9.3/10 in the handling and ride category – a huge response by any standard and rated highest among the fibreglass fishing boats for this critical criterion.

A beautiful, functional package with exceptional ride and handling, plenty of deck space, a comfortable vee-berth, hardtop, tons of accessories, big fuel capacity and great looks, plus terrific value for money – it’s an overdue welcome to Australia’s Greatest Boats for Caribbean Boats. 

 

CARIBBEAN 2300 OUTBOARD RATING

Caribbean 2300 rating score

Enlarge the full score.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE RATING SYSTEM 

Best boats judges Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria
explained
 

 

Caribbean 2300 at boat ramp

 

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