Test -- Cruise Craft 630 Executive


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Clever design makes this a very versatile boat

Test -- Cruise Craft 630 Executive
Test -- Cruise Craft 630 Executive

A moulded swim-out/fishing platform adds to the real estate on Cruise Craft’s canny new 630 Executive, writes Rick Huckstepp

 

It is a tall order finding a boat under seven metres that will fulfil most of the average boater’s, fisher’s, and family’s wants. There are just so many variables a fibreglass boat manufacturer simply cannot meet all demands due to the horrendous expense in mould building, maintenance and storage of same.

Imagine the costs in having a hull bottom mould and anything up to six topside moulds to corner just one segment of the market such as the weekend boater. But we had a look at a boat that will go close to appeasing many, seeking a trailerable boat that can be the family getaway for a few days.

A couple of years ago Cruise Craft launched their seven-metre Executive 700 which has found a niche with those that have a penchant for extended trips and no issues with stowage when not on the water as well as tow capability in the higher end of maximum towable range.

With economic change indicating a market swing to smaller craft capable of similar performance, the R&D department at Cruise Craft went to work on a totally new model tested hereabouts.

 

A NEW STAMP

Rather than adapt a hull from their current range, they completely redesigned the bottom side to achieve the base on which to build the 630.

The topside is a masterpiece from the mould makers. A huge amount of work has gone into designing a user-friendly cockpit that results in one of the most practical layouts we have seen in this magazine.

Starting at the stern, a mammoth swim-out platform forms part of the topside mould, rather than being bolted onto the hull as an add-on. This provides the maximum amount of strength possible and it is further supported by two large stainless steel struts underneath.

A full-surround grabrail sits below the outer bottom edge of this platform which seconds as a good fender for protection against knocks. There is a gap in this rail that allows the fold-up telescopic ladder to be lowered. This ladder sits at the vertical, but we are assured there is already a redesign taking place that will see the ladder sitting at a more user-friendly angle for boarding.

The deck of the swim-out platform has clip-in carpet underfoot and a bait rigging station with rodholders freestanding at the rear. This platform will easily fish three anglers with plenty of room left to move around. There is an optional fence available to surround this area which would be great for youngsters on board as well as anglers.

A short step in the port side of the transom bulkhead allows one to walk through into the cockpit after opening a nylon door that closes the aperture. That part of the bulkhead to starboard has a section that may be unscrewed for more serious maintenance on the inboard engine or for its removal, and in the aft section of the semi-permanent hatch a wet-gear locker is located. This is great for those coming aboard off the beach, as they can use the freshwater hose to rinse down on the platform with wet and/or sandy gear going inside here until required again, rather than drag it into the cockpit and soiling that area.

 

COCKPIT CATERING

Stepping through the transom, one finds a well designed heavy-duty collapsible step leading down onto the cockpit deck. Once collapsed, the hatch fronting it is attached so that it may be opened to access stowage inside next to the engine box.

On the port side of the cockpit, a sidepocket with a padded fascia sits below a padded inner gunwale and below this, on deck, a heavy-duty stainless steel pair of rails fence off an area behind where gear may be stowed. The bottom rail is well off the deck, so feet can comfortably fit underneath.

The opposite side has a raised section on the deck under the gunwale and a fence here retains the dining table and its post which sits in wall clips. The engine box forms part of the inner liner and is a three-person lounge servicing the dining table while the icebox with a double lid may be slid out from under the helm chair frame and used as a fourth seat. An optional seat clips onto the port sidepocket to make a dining setting for five.

With rear lounge cushions removed the front half of the V6 MerCruiser is accessible for checking oil and coolants, and a front hatch on the box opens so one can easily tension belt pulleys. Inside the box, a heat actuated Fire Boy extinguisher is mounted and wired to a status display at the helm. A hatch to its left has untroubled access to the batteries.

The passenger seat is part of the galley module. The seat base folds forward covering the leg space in front, between it and the cabin bulkhead, and its underside forms a table. The backrest is on a single lockdown pole and swings out of the way to under the overhanging topside. A single-burner spirit cooker is installed with a round sink with freshwater tap to your left under which a hatch accesses a cavernous stowage area where the freshwater pump is installed and within easy reach for maintenance. A fenced condiment rack also sits under the overhanging topside.

The inner liner in the passenger leg space has a hatch (with an EPIRB mounted on the inside) that accesses the forward part of the galley-module stowage. In front of the passenger, a long hatch opens to a two-tiered compartment for goods and the like, and outside on the top of the bulkhead another recess is part of the mould.

 

FLUSH-MOUNTED ELECTRONICS

The helm has enough flat space to flush mount a medium-sized electronics cabinet, and in this case Navman’s 8084 combination depthsounder/GPS was installed. A brow forward of that area held Mercury’s instrumentation and there’s a flat area across toward the passenger that would take gimbal-mounted, small to medium electronic cabinets.

The entire helm and cockpit was overshadowed by a stainless steel and canvas bimini that from a distance looked like a fibreglass hardtop, it is so well made! While the canopy proper is short, there is a pullout awning that is optional, but, as well, the test boat was fitted with a full awning with its struts connected to the transom bulkhead. It is quickly and easily removable when need be.

Between the framework here and that around the bow, traversing the footway around the cabin to the bowsprit is safe and easy. Once there, you will find a sturdy bowsprit slotted to receive the anchor stock and chain with a Maxwell Freedom winch installed below a hatch in an expansive ground tackle locker.

In the sleeping department, Cruise Craft have kept it neat and simple with a portable toilet under the starboard-side bunk cushion up against the helm bulkhead. An infill will cover the area to make a double berth. The usual stowage pockets surround the inner cabin walls which are soft lined and ventilation provided by a large ceiling hatch.

MERCURIAL MERCRUISER

The 4.3lt V6 offered a good power to weight ratio on the 630. With two aboard, full fuel and water tanks, holeshot was easy and the attitude of this boat coming out of the hole was noticeably flat and more so than on most sterndrives we have tested in the past. Torque throughout the throttle range was excellent and ambient noise was quite acceptable in the cockpit.

The sound proofing in the engine box is obviously effective, but this hull is foam filled and dramatically reduces the amplification of all noise normally noticed in hollow hulls, be it engine or water slap generated.

This boat can perform very tight manoeuvres at speed with the leg trimmed in and turns very sharply with minimal sideslip, but with enough lean into corners to alleviate a lot of the inertia.

With the engine management interfaced with the Navman 8084 we recorded a fuel consumption of 75.15lt/h at WOT and running of 34.4kts which translates to 63.7kmh and offers a cruise range of 160km. Back at a comfortable cruise of 22.5kts and consuming 35.1lt/h we translated that to 41.6kmh which effectively gives you a cruise range of about 225km for a full fuel tank.

Although we had a fairly calm day on Moreton Bay, there was enough big-boat wash to see that this hull offers a soft ride.

Throw in the comfort, quietness, ingenuity in internal design and you can see that Cruise Craft have lived up to their motto of ‘defining excellence’. In fact, this writer thinks that it should be past tense; the excellence in the 630 Executive is defined! They have reached their goal with this boat.

 

SPEX

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $103,000 plus dealer delivery charges

Options fitted: Stainless steel targa bimini with full camper cover, electric winch, anchor rope and chain, portable toilet, centre bunk infill, swim platform carpet, rear stainless steel guard with baitboard and rodholders, VHF radio and aerial, GME AM/FM radio/CD player with four speakers, removable esky with seat cushion, and Cruise Craft custom RE 200 T-EH trailer

Priced from: $87,500 plus
dealer delivery charges

 

GENERAL

Material: Fibreglass-basic flotation (foam filled underfloor)

Length overall: 7.56m

Hull length: 6.3m

Beam:....... 2.5m

Deadrise:..... 20°

Weight: Approx 2800kg (BMT)

 

CAPACITIES

Rec. max. HP: 260

Rec. min. HP: 220

Max. people:... 6

Fuel: Approx 190lt

Water: Approx 60lt

 

ENGINE

Make/model: MerCruiser
4.3lt MPI

Type: V6 fuel injected petrol

Rated HP:... 220

Displacement: 4.3lt

Weight:... 393kg

Leg type:.. Alpha

Propeller: 17in polished stainless steel Ventura 4-blade

 

SUPPLIED BY

Cruise Craft Boats,

1308 Lytton Road,

Hemmant, Qld, 4174

Phone: (07) 3390 4877

Email: info@cruisecraft.com.au

Website: www.cruisecraft.com.au

 


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