BOAT TEST: AUSTRALIAN MASTER MARINE 7400 WEEKENDER

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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The Australian Master Marine 7400 Weekender shares top billing in the highly competitive world of alloy plate offshore fishing boats, notes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: AUSTRALIAN MASTER MARINE 7400 WEEKENDER
AUSTRALIAN MASTER MARINE 7400 WEEKENDER

AMM GOOD
It's Murphy's Law in this game. If we at TrailerBoat decided to go and recreate with a fish, the gods would bestow on us wind and waves of the size and velocity that will see us turn around at the ramp and head home dry. And when we get a chance to test a good offshore boat hoping for those conditions, you can bet we wished we had brought water skis.
That was the state of play when we jumped aboard Australian Master Marine's 7400 Weekender out from the Brisbane River on Moreton Bay which was as flat as a tack!
This hull has evolved from the 7400 Tournament model with a number of changes to its design and shape.
Firstly, the deadrise in the aft end has been softened from the previous 18? to a flatter 20? thereby giving the hull stability at rest and on the plane. The deadrise forward of that is variable and unchanged from that of old, maintaining good riding capabilities over chop and into a head sea.
Adding to this stability, oversized chines measuring 180mm in width with a three-degree downturn reduce the amount of rock and roll of the hull in a side sea but also deflect water downwards.
The side gunwales have also had a makeover with an increase in height by 30mm. Underdeck structural changes include a fuel cell system, required by marine survey, where the fuel tank sits within another tank so that if ruptured, fuel remains within the outer housing. Also, airtight buoyancy chambers have been included down each side and also at the bow under the sole. These can be filled with foam as an option.

ANCHORING DUTIES
At the bow, an open anchorwell is spacious enough inside to mount a Stress Free winch without any modifications to the reinforcing. Access to the anchor well, if working ground tackle manually, is predominantly via the approximately 260mm wide walkway around the cabin. There is limited access to the ground tackle through the cabin's roof due to the hatch's distance from the well. 
Full rails along the hardtop and bowrails swept well back to just past the integrated cabin-hardtop frame will get you out of the cockpit and forward with relative safety.
Inside the cockpit, the sidepockets are well up off the deck and of good dimensions. The increased height of the gunwale offers a good lean against a padded strip that traces the cockpit for those standing fishing.
A livebait tank, installed in the starboard side of the transom bulkhead, is plumbed with a Johnson pump which utilises an air feed so that livebaits don't get knocked around by hard jets of water like some others. This writer has been using one of these pumps as a backup to his bait tank pump and it is good to see them getting fitted as standard to boats.
The older model of the 7400 had a central livebait tank under the bait rigging station and this position made it difficult to get a good view inside in rough seas without bumping the head on the structure above. The transom bulkhead also protruded into the cockpit at that point but now with a flat fascia, the cockpit has been opened up with more available space.
The pump for the bait tank and deckwash joins another for the freshwater tank, under the transom bulkhead. Two batteries are also here at the very front of the shelf and easily accessible for maintenance.

YAMAHAPPY
Two of Yamaha's 150hp four-stroke motors are fitted to the 7400 and turn via a single Hydrive ram running a solid drag link to the port engine.
Back in the cockpit, an underfloor floodable killtank of more than 200lt is handy to the transom fishing position and forward of that is another hatch in the deck leading to wet stowage areas for fenders and the like.
The upgraded Reelax deluxe seating for the skipper and passenger is on comfortable swivel and sliding mounts atop box-shaped bases that stand alone fixed to the deck. Both seat bases extend back into the cockpit providing dry stowage under a hatch in the skipper's position while the passenger's seat-base extension is fitted with a fibreglass liner and insulated for use as an icebox. The latter has a tap and an external drain to the outside of the hull for easy flushing. The interior of these boxes have a partition midway and an aperture in the front fascia to access further stowage.

DOWN BELOW
Down in the cabin are stowage areas under the side berth cushions and the usual wall-mounted pockets running across the rear bulkhead and along the sides.
Seated, a person of about 180cm will have a 10cm clearance over the head to the cabin roof. If you wanted to install a portable toilet here, there is a vertical sliding and removable partition in the leg well which will accommodate such.
The helm instruments are neatly laid out in front of the wheel and above, the high, angular brow of the dash caters for chartplotter/depthsounders with 12-inch screens, while radios are fixed in the overhead console under the hardtop.
The twin Yam's offered heaps of power and with three aboard, gave the 7400 effortless holeshot. The torque remained good right through the throttle range to WOT which realised just over 80kmh at 6000rpm. A comfortable cruise speed of 45kmh at 3500rpm had both motors consuming 38lt/h, while just on the plane at 17kmh and 2200rpm the fuel consumption was 17.22lt/h.
Constructed in custom plate, the strength and quality of finish on these AMM hulls is right up there with the best of them and while this rig had some options, there is no end in sight as to what you could do with one of these as far as add-on gear is concerned. That's the beauty of alloy. Just keep on welding, cutting and shutting and with a lick of paint, you are back with a brand-new boat.

WHAT WE LIKE
Soft stable ride over big boat wash
Stable when moving about in the cockpit
Good fuel consumption for 300hp
Good head height at helm and in cabin
Quality finish all round

NOT SO MUCH
A fence is need across the flat dashboard to stop gear marching off when long hauling


Specifications: Australian Master Marine 7400 Weekender

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:    $129,000

Options fitted: Navionics Australia Card, overhead radio box, padded gunnels, Raymarine C120 w/ chart fitted, rear sunshade awning sockets only, seat slide x 2 , hull storage locker, hinged transom door, trim tabs, twin outboard transom, under-gunnel lights x 2, fuel upgrade, upgrade to Reelax deluxe seats, 406 MHz EPIRB, cleats x 2 midships and 2 x forward, dash carpet with binding, freshwater deckwash includes transom shower, saltwater deckwash and plumbed livebait tank, portside seat box w/ overboard drainage, starboard extended seat box storage by 500mm, 1kg fire extinguisher, Twin fluorescent lights x 2 (hardtop and V-berth), GME CD player and speakers, GME VHF marine radio and aerial, and cabin hatch
 
Priced from:      $101,945 ($81,840 w/ single 200hp four-stroke outboard)

GENERAL
Material:     Plate alloy, 6mm bottom, 4mm sides
Length overall:    7.7m w/ bowsprit
Length on trailer:    9.5m
Beam:     2.5m
Deadrise:     20°, variable to the bow
Weight:     2800kg w/ fuel and freshwater

CAPACITIES
Fuel:      2 x 240lt
Water:     50lt
People berthed:    2
People day:    8 to 600kg
Rec. max. HP:    350
Rec. min. HP:    200
Max. engine weight:   440kg

ENGINE
Make/model:    Yamaha F150AET x 2
Type:      EFI four-cylinder four-stroke outboard
Rated HP:     150
Displacement:    2670cc
Gearbox ratio:    14:28 (2.0)
Weight:     220kg
Propellers:     Counter rotating 25in
VELS rating:    3-star

SUPPLIED BY
Australian Master Marine,
11 Deakin Street,
Brendale, Qld, 4500
Phone: (07) 3889 7380
Website: www.australianmastermarine.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #239

 

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