Review: Surtees 700 Game Fisher

By: John Willis & Tim Van Duyl, Photography by: Ellen Dewar & Nathan Duff


We water test and rate the hardtop Surtees 700 Game Fisher, a contender in the aluminium fishing boats category at the 2017 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

 

WINNER - 2017 Australia's Greatest Boats - Aluminium Fishing Boats division 

Surtees 700 Gamefisher hardtop
Australias best boats 2017 logo

We’ve come up with all sorts of armour-clad descriptions of the bulletproof Kiwi warriors from Surtees Boats. This year’s welcome new judge Jo Starling came up with an analogy that nailed it: "The Surtees is a fishing weapon akin to a samurai sword. Swift, sharp and lovingly hand-forged by a craftsman, choosing a Surtees would be a personal decision, made for a lifetime."

A Samurai sword is indeed a work of art forged by craftsmen for individual glory to perform with ease, comfort and blinding speed in life and death campaigns. Surtees manufactures its boats with the same sense of pride, and whilst we hope you never approach life and death situations on the water, the hardtop Surtees 700 Game Fisher would be a great friend in a battle.

Cockpit in Surtees 700 Gamefisher

John Ford said: "The Surtees 700 Game Fisher is a purpose-built fishing boat with ocean cred. Sweet handling and fast too. Are you sure this is a tinnie?"

At the 2013 Australia’s Greatest Boats shootout, Bear declared it the year premium aluminium hulls finally performed as well as – if not better than – their heavier fibreglass counterparts. After driving the Surtees 700 Game Fisher we are delighted to say that the impressive performance has evolved still further – this boat is a pure weapon!

Close scrutiny of all the judges’ scores highlights the confidence felt in the Surtees 700 Game Fisher as the high scores run across the full spectrum of criteria, marking this as an innovative and well-rounded package with terrific construction methods and exceptional seakeeping ability. Interestingly the Surtees also scored well in value for money, with the judges recognising that despite an adverse exchange rate the package price provides terrific value for money and will retain a high resale value.

When it comes to the all-important wow factor, husband and wife partnership Steve and Jo Starling focused on different areas. Steve declared: "Great-looking boat with a very good layout" and Jo added: "While the lines of this vessel are simple and maybe lack elegance, the welds, linings, deck grips and more are immaculate. Pride of workmanship is blatantly obvious and the layout is well thought-out."

Surtees 700 on the water

Tim made a huge statement: "Better than any alloy hardtop I’ve been on!"

The Surtees 700 Game Fisher is the natural progression from the hugely successful 6.7 Game Fisher. The extra hull length, new hardtop and many other updates have perfected the package, and from bow to stern this boat simply works, with all the features demanded by a huge range of fishermen in all environments. The hardtop gives terrific protection from the elements – hot or cold – and the bow/cabin configuration is the perfect proportion for the purpose. The dash and helm layout is a ripper with plenty of dash space as well as grab handles for those sloppy offshore conditions.

All of the judges complimented the comfortable seating combination and storage and were amazed at the huge deck space and high gunwales featuring wide and highly functional coamings. The workspaces are perfectly tuned to all forms of fishing and diving.

Fishing deck transom on Surtees 700 Game Fisher hardtop

Jo Starling said: "Seems 100 per cent dedicated to fishing – excellent toe space, broad gunwales with room for optional storage boxes and huge deck space. Optional tackle storage and line feeder below the bait station is awesome."

Get behind the wheel and the gutsy Yamaha F250 four-stroke outboard motor just whips the big hull into life, with gutsy yet quiet and confident control. This is a boat with few bad habits, right down to its miserly fuel consumption. Editor Tim, a man of few words, commented: "I just can’t go past that ride!" while John Ford chimed in with: "Spunky, speedy and safe!"

The Surtees 700 Game Fisher certainly proved its honourable status and slashed though many hearts in its jaw-dropping display of awesomeness!

Yamaha F250XCA outboard motor on Surtees 700

 

Surtees 700 Game Fisher specs

Surtees 700 Game Fisher price: $$128,586

Price as tested

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Walk-through livebait tank (transom), sliding windows, carpeted cabin, full cabin squabs, foldaway back bench seat, cockpit tube matting, deluxe bait station, burley pot and muncher, outriggers, topside storage boxes, drum winch, dual batteries, LED lighting, wash-down pump, window wiper, trim tabs with LED indicator and auto retract, FUSION stereo, Esky storage seat bases with sports seats, Garmin 95SV, Garmin VHF, Furuno FCV588

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Marine-grade alloy

TYPE Monohull with flooding keel

LENGTH 7m

BEAM 2.39m

WEIGHT 1260kg (hull only)

FUEL 280L

ENGINE Yamaha F250XCA outboard motor

250 hp Yamaha outboard motor four-stroke marine engine

 

Surtees Game Fisher Hard Top rating: 86.8/100

 

Kev

Tim

John

Starlo

Jo

Fishing Suitability

9

9

9

8

9.5

Innovation

9

9

9

9

9.5

Design and Layout

8.5

9

9

8.5

9.5

Quality of Finish

9

9

8

8.5

9.5

Handling/Ride

8

9.5

9

8.5

9

Stability at Rest

8.5

8

8

7.5

8

Ergonomics

9

8

8

8

8

Standard Equipment

8.5

9

8

8.5

8

Value for Money

8.5

9

8

8.5

9

Wow Factor

9

10

9

8.5

9

 

More on Australia's Greatest Boats 2017

Aluminium fishing boat

Aluminium fishing boats 2017

 

Best fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass fishing boats 2017

 

 

 


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