BOAT TEST: COMMODORE ATTITUDE 7000

By: MIKE BROWN, Photography by: MIKE BROWN


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For a pleasant fishing experience and capable of anything is the Commodore 670, writes Mike Brown

BOAT TEST: COMMODORE ATTITUDE 7000
COMMODORE ATTITUDE 7000

FISHING WITH ATTITUDE

NO, not all trailer boats from WA are in plate aluminium. Commodore, for one, has been building in fibreglass since not long after marine ply gave up the race. All their boats have been designed to cope with the kind of awful weather Sandgropers routinely head to sea in, and are especially at home in big following seas.

The Commodore 670 has long been the builder's most popular model, and deservedly. It is one of the best combinations around of useable cabin, maximum cockpit, and rock steady stability. When Commodore decided to add a centre console to their range, this was the hull they chose to base it on. Although the Attitude is called a 7000 it is still only 6.7m long; it just looks bigger.

Climbing aboard, the first thing you notice is that the 7000 seems to be aground - the addition of your weight on the rail makes so little difference to its stance. The second thing is how deep you are within the boat. There is no comparison between it and so many of the imported centre consoles that apparently have trip rails rather than grab rails. Within most of the 7000's perimeter the coaming is near hip high, and it is all padded to pamper those hips.

Below the padding the full length of the boat uses the thickness of the bulwarks productively for lockers, sockets, tackle drawers and the like. Aft of the console are pockets, with horizontal rod stowage above and toe space below.

This boat has far more storage space than your average centre console: within the console itself, of course, reached through three doors, behind the rear lounge, and in the driver's seat box.

 

Then there are the specialised places to put things: live bait tank in the transom, the catch tank under the deck forward equipped with its own pump, and the optional icebox under the forward seat.

 

 

SERIOUS STUFF

This is a serious fishing boat that has been bought by some serious fishermen. A couple of commercial cray-fishermen use them in their leisure moments, and they have become very popular with game fishermen on the Pilbara coast.

It was mainly for Dampier people who travel to the Montebello Islands and those from Port Hedland who have to travel 40 miles just to get 40m of depth, that Commodore gave the option of a 300lt fuel tank instead of the standard 240.

Those distances, and the general remoteness of places these boats operate, encouraged Commodore to install very serious electrics: no one wants to run out of Watts out there. A cranking battery supplies current solely for starting and for the windlass, and of course the motor is always already running before engaging the windlass.

A deep cycle battery copes with everything else and a full suite of LED lights eases its job. A voltage sensitive relay controls the charging, giving priority to the starting battery and switching to the house battery when its voltage reaches 12.7. In belt and braces style, there is an emergency parallel system to cope with a reluctant starting battery.

Everything electrical is housed in the centre console. It is actually housed, along with steering and controls, before the console is fitted to the boat. The owner is encouraged to bring his sounder and plotter to the factory to have them installed (free) at the same time.

The console is capable of holding vast amounts of gear, bulky stuff like life jackets and bedding especially, but internal nets with bungy cords to restrain it all would possibly be a good idea.

The power range for the 7000 is 150 to 225hp and with the big distances a lot of owners travel most choose near maximum, 200 is probably the commonest, although the review boat had a 225 Honda. The chosen motor provided more speed than the owner will be able to use on any except rare occasions: 48 knots.

Although at first glance on the trailer the 7000 does not look like a high speed offshore performer, that hull has a lot of shape in the right places.

Up front the bottom has a 33-degree deadrise, which shallows to 18 at the transom. Instead of the two halves of the bottom meeting at the keel in a hard angle as usual, the keel section is rounded. This is where the eye was deceived. The curve achieves a couple of things: in turns across a sea it cushions the boat better, and it removes some buoyancy from the underwater body, enhancing stability.

It all works well. The ride is above average for a seven-metre boat, it is as steady as an island at rest, and it is a lot of fun to drive. The steering is hydraulic, as of course it should be with a motor of this size, and literally needs only fingertips to operate. Sitting or standing, the driving position and the relationship with the controls feels right.

The 7000 is not an especially big leaner into turns but it is a real gripper. Put some vigour into turns at speed and you will be glad of the plentiful handholds.

The abundant power and the ideal placement of passenger load that centre consoles have, meant minimum amounts of power trim had instant effect. Always when travelling fast, getting the trim right paid big dividends. At 35 knots, a little extra 'out' lifted revs by several hundred.

 

 

 

SEATING APLENTY

There are seats for five adults: a generous width driver's seat, a similar sized single ahead of the console, and a folding lounge at the transom. This is probably the right amount of seating. It does not interfere with access to the rail or movement fore and aft, and five is about as many as would want to fish at the same time. The folded lounge has toe space underneath it, making the starboard quarter the securest and cushiest fishing spot on board.

The five would have no complaints about stowage for their rods. As well as racks for four within the bulwarks, there are sockets for four on the bait board, six on the bimini and six more in the coamings. The coaming sockets are unlike most; they are circular and have the appearance of being vertical, but all except two rake aft. The odd two out provide an alternate position for the bait board that normally lives at the transom.

And all that suggests that the 7000 is purely a fishing boat. The truth is that centre consoles, particularly bigger ones, are also good day cruising boats. Add a few bean bags or folding chairs, the optional electric toilet and the drop-in tables, and you have an instrument the whole family would enjoy. There is almost no such thing as a standard Commodore. Some well chosen customising and you can have a boat that is capable of almost anything.

At day's end, an automatic catch between stem and trailer post eased the drive onto the trailer. Instead of having an assistant, strap and hook in hand, hovering where boat or anchor could pinch or crush bits of him, the boat sorted it out itself. A gentle ending to a very pleasant experience.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED

The deep cockpit

The excellent stability, especially coupled with the quality of ride

The quantity and cleverness of storage

 

 

NOT SO MUCH

Probably the only thing was that custom gelcoat

 

 

Specifications: Commodore Attitude 7000

 

 

HOW MUCH

Price as tested: $87,000 (ex WA)

Options fitted: Power windlass, special gelcoat, trailer auto-catch and shower

Priced from: $77,000 (ex WA)

 

 

GENERAL

Material: Fibreglass

Hull length: 6.70m

Beam: 2.40m

Hull weight: 1100kg

Deadrise: 18 to 33º

Height on trailer: 2.20m

 

 

CAPACITIES

Fuel: 240lt, optional 300lt

Seating: 5

Rec. max. HP 225

Rec. min. HP 150

 

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Honda 225

Type: V-6, 24-valve four-stroke outboard

Weight: 267kg

Rated HP: 225

Displacement: 3471cc

Gearbox ratio: 1.87:1

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

Commodore Marine,

24 Tichborne St,

Jandakot, WA 6164

Phone: (08) 9417 7200

Email: sales@commodoremarine.com

Website: www.commodoremarine.com

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #243

 

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