TEST - Trophy 2502 Walkaround


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TEST - Trophy 2502 Walkaround
TEST - Trophy 2502 Walkaround

With a history of building boats stretching over many decades, the Trophy range has certainly come a long way to where they stand today. Formerly the butt of many jokes, the Trophy brand is now the market leader in their class, and provides a well built product, likely to provide many trouble free years of boating.

The decision to split the Trophy marque from the Bayliner range, has allowed a dedicated team to build their boats the way fisherman demand, and in turn a very good product has emerged.

As one of the forerunners of the walkaround concept, the Trophy range is primarily aimed at the offshore fishing market. Such a task demands many unique capabilities like carrying twin outboards for reliability; a huge fuel payload for long-range work; self-draining deck for safety; sleeping-capable cabin; transom workstation including huge oval livebait well, and much more. The Trophy 2502 Walkaround (WA) ticks all these boxes for a great offshore fishing platform.

CAD DESIGNED
As with most of today’s top manufacturers, all Trophy boats are designed using the CAD (Computer Aided Design) system, which is the most accurate and efficient method to build a boat available today.

The Trophy 2502WA is built using an all-fibreglass stringer system. The one-piece rigid framework of stringers is bonded to the hull and deck while it is still in the mould, helping to avoid flex in the hull and create a solid one-piece structure.

The US manufacturers, such as Trophy, are leaps and bounds ahead of most in regards to finish and fittings. The small things such as a light in the livebait tank, transom workstation including sink and freshwater, purpose built icebox, separate battery isolator panel, substantial stainless steel deck fittings (such as oversized cleats), oversized windscreen wipers, and much more proves the boat is designed to do the job.

AT THE WHEEL
As one would expect from a boat of this calibre, the helm station is well set up for the skipper wanting to have everything within a quick glance of the wheel.

Made up of a multi-tier dash layout encompassing a top-mounted compass, four Mercury SmartCraft gauges representing everything to do with the engines including fuel use and economy, and a huge dash section perfect for flush-mounting an array of the biggest electronic units available today. The stereo and trim tab controls are also mounted in this same area on the starboard side.

Mounted below this area is the steering wheel and switch panel.
The digital throttles are mounted on their own pedestal along the starboardside bulkhead, as are the engine-key switch panels. The skipper is also provided with a well placed drinkholder and an adjustable seat to provide a comfortable driving position whether seated or standing in the rough.

The helm and passenger stations are protected by a fantastic hardtop setup. This solid roof structure keeps the occupants dry, as well as providing a great place to mount outriggers, rodholders, lights, speakers and the like. The test boat was not fitted with any clears to enclose the area but this would be an option I would fit to protect my crew on a cold winter’s morning.

DOWN BELOW
Although designed as a fishing boat, the cabin aboard this boat makes it a very versatile weekender. Fitted with full-length berths including an infill cushion, stainless steel sink with 75lt freshwater storage, electric stove and manual toilet, this cabin will definitely keep the ladies happy. The headroom is full height and plenty of light and ventilation is available through the side windows and the top hatch with flyscreens.

The cabin is also home to a standard WAECO 12V fridge, as well as the stereo and switch panel, mounted safely out of the way.

TWIN VERADOS
The test boat is powered by a set of the new four-cylinder L4 200hp Verado supercharged four-stroke outboards (234kg each). Coupled with Mercury SmartCraft gauges, power steering and digital throttle controls, this is the best setup money can buy for this style of boat.

The hull is rated to carry single engines such as Mercury’s OptiMax 225hp or their supercharged four-stroke 275hp Verado.
In twin-engine setup, the Trophy 2502 Walkaround can carry engines from twin 150hp OptiMax right through to the tested twin L4 Verados.

Based on the performance of the boat tested, I would only recommend a twin-engine setup on this boat. I feel either of the single engine options would be adequate at best, and will not allow the boat to perform once weighed down with fuel, ice and equipment.

ON THE WATER
The performance of this boat as tested is excellent. Achieving a cruise speed of 30.8mph (26.76kts) at 4000rpm and a WOT top speed of 50mph (43.45kts) at 6250rpm is a superior result. The 2502WA is effortless in getting onto the plane, and doesn’t waste any time in running away to a higher top speed.


Even when fully loaded, I would still expect very good performance from this setup. If regularly running in light-ship mode, dropping down to twin 175hp Verado outboards could also be an option for some buyers.

Like all big deep-V hulls, the Trophy 2502WA is sensitive to the engines trim, and the use of trim tabs to keep her running on an even keel is essential.

With a fuel capacity of 617lt of unleaded petrol, this package can fish wide offshore. At a cruise speed of 4000rpm, this package would consume somewhere in the vicinity of 40 to 50lt/h depending on conditions, providing a range of approximately 280nm.

THE RIDE
As any buyer of a rig of this calibre would expect, the Trophy 2502WA provides quite a good ride offshore. The hull is relatively soft riding and especially dry. Playing offshore of the Gold Coast in two-metre easterly ground swell, it was easy to get some lift from the hull to test the boats capabilities.

I felt the 2502WA performed best when the throttles, tabs and trim were set to allow the hull to work through the water without pushing the throttles too hard. Offshore, I found by setting the throttles at 3500rpm, the tabs in the neutral position and the engines tucked in, the boat achieved an effortless 22mph and provided a very comfortable ride. The boat remained dry through the whole test, without a hint of saltwater on the windscreen, let alone on the boats occupants.

The hull remained true and comfortable whether in a beam-on or a following sea, and felt predictable at all times.

FISHING TIME
Fishing is what this boat is all about. When stepping aboard the non-skid self-draining cockpit, even the fussiest of buyers will be impressed. With a massive cockpit area and a rear transom fishing station, a setup like this has been dreamt about by anglers for many years.

The transom consists of a fold-up rear lounge, a removable cutting table and purpose-built bin in the starboard side to accommodate a large icebox, centrally mounted 113lt plumbed livebait tank with light, and a sink with freshwater tap and deck door to port. Access to the batteries and battery switch is very simple through separate access hatches.

The sidedecks are wide and have two rodholders and two drinkholders mounted in either side. More rod storage is also located in the sidedecks of the cockpit, in the cabin, and also up on the hardtop. The cockpit is surrounded by coaming bolsters to make bracing against the side of the boat comfortable in a hard fight.

The helm and passenger seats are mounted atop a storage box/killtank with seats facing the rear, perfect for watching the lures on a quiet day. Take the time to look closely at the pictures hereabouts of all the fishing design features of this rig.

ON THE PICK
The walkaround provided on the 2502WA is not deep by any stretch of the imagination, but wide enough to provide sure footing moving forward. The hardtop has great handholds as does the stainless steel bowrail, which is set nice and high, providing a feeling of security.

American designed boats always seem to prefer leaving the anchor on deck and not putting it away in the anchorwell. As a result, they always design the anchorwell access to be very small, therefore making the well appear so to. The well aboard the 2502WA can easily accommodate a couple of hundred metres of rode.

ON THE ROAD
At the very top of the trailerable spectrum, the 2502WA will only be towed regularly by those who wish to attend comps and trips at various parts of the country. With a beam of 2.59m the 2502 does require a permit to tow, being over our legal width of 2.50m. The sheer size of the boat and its weight (estimated at around 3.5 to four tons on an aluminium trailer), demands a serious tow vehicle such as a Ford F250 or F350, or any of a variety of imported Dodge Ram’s and the like.

The 2502WA is another fine craft from the Trophy stable. It is easy to see why so many buyers have vacated the locally made product in favour of those from abroad. The design features and quality of build is hard to go past. As far as fishing craft go in this size range, it would be very hard to find a more suited craft than the Trophy 2502 Walkaround.

Specifications - Trophy 2502 WA

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $160,150 w/ twin supercharged 200hp Verado L4 four-stroke outboards, and 10-year structural hull warranty

GENERAL
Material:
Fibreglass w/ foam-filled stringer system
Length:

7.62m; 9.3m (on trailer)
Beam:

2.59m
Deadrise:

21-degree
Weight:

Approx 3.5 to 4 tons (BMT)

CAPACITIES
Fuel:


617lt
Rec. max. HP:
225 to 275 (single outboard); 150 to 200 (twin rig)

ENGINE
Make/model:
2 x Mercury Verado L4
Type:

Supercharged four-cylinder four-stroke outboard
Rated HP/kW:

200/149
WOT range:

5800 to 6400rpm
Displacement:

1732cc
Weight:

231kg (each)

SUPPLIED BY
Avante Marine Gold Coast,
Mariners Cove,
16/60-70 Seaworld Drive,
Main Beach, Qld, 4217
Phone: (07) 5528 3625
Websites: www.avantemarine.com.au; www.trophyfishing.com



 


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