BOAT TEST: CORALINE 750 OUTSIDER

By: Mike Brown, Photography by: Mike Brown


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Western Australia is noted for its quality plate aluminium boatbuilders, including Coraline. Mike Brown runs a critical eye over the builder’s big 750 Outsider and claims this is a lot of boat for your buck

BOAT TEST: CORALINE 750 OUTSIDER
Coraline 750 Outsider

Plate aluminium boats are the bread and butter of West Coast trailerboat builders, and few have such a vast line-up of sizes and models as Coraline. This builder produces small, spartan craft that undercut the price of pressed boats, and also builds boats of up to eight metres that feature first-class finish and fitout, great strength, and endless clever ideas. The review boat, the 750 Outsider, is one of the latter.

The 750 in the name refers to hull length, overall being 8.1m. Beam is the maximum 2.5m for penalty-free towing, so this has a lot of presence both on the water and the road, and needs one of the bigger 4WDs or utes for comfortable towing. It is big enough to double as a caravan and fitted with storm sheets, this would fix the old problem of being restricted to a dinghy if you had a caravan and the family in tow.

Although the buyer of practically every Coraline ever built had fishing at least partially in mind, the larger Coralines in particular have a lot of civilisation built in, and the caravan analogy is reasonable. The 750 is very much an all-purpose family boat, as well as the right kind of boat for overnighting close to the fishing.

 

 

COOL HARDTOP


The Coraline Outsider series features hardtops. These are the closed kind that on some imported boats can cause stifling conditions. No West Australian boat could tolerate these, and the 750 has not only sliding side glass but an opening windscreen centre section. The windscreen, generally, is an impressive bit of engineering that looks capable of withstanding a tsunami: immense-section supports carrying flush-mounted armour glass.

The space the hardtop protects has seats for four and a basic galley. The driver sits in the usual spot, on a pleasantly resilient sliding seat. Two others share a fore and aft settee, and the fourth has a jump seat behind the driver. The galley is a little beauty. Transverse behind the settee, it has a fridge, sink and two-burner stove. This is the spot where all galleys should be. However well equipped they might be, galleys on big cruisers tend to get overlooked for cockpit barbecues. Owners are worried about the interior picking up odours and stains, and anyway, the cook wants to be outside with everybody else.

 

 

COSY CABIN


The lined cabin is not oversized, in the interests of maximising day space. Bunks are genuinely sleepable in length and become very roomy with the infill in place. A Porta-Potti lives between them.

A circular table drops into a socket mid-cockpit. For snacks rather than dining, the table does have the all-important drinkholders. It is serviced by a three-seater lounge across the transom and by the jump seat. It adds up to a very sociable space, and running home downwind, as you tend to on the West Coast, all except the unfortunate skipper can gather round for a spot of apres angling.

The cockpit on the Coraline 750 Outsider grows miraculously with the table removed, and four people could bustle around fishing or gearing up for diving and have plenty of elbow room. There is the kind of stability you would expect on a boat of this size, and those four could stand wherever they wanted. For even more steadiness, though, they could always flood the 200lt catch tank and gain a couple of hundred kilos (205kg to be exact) of ballast.

On aluminium boats, I reckon this is probably the best use for the tank. Ice slurry soon turns to tepid water and justifies the tank's alternative name of killtank. Thick-walled eskies keep the fish far better.

 

 

FISHABILITY


Angler comfort generally is pretty well looked after. Coamings, despite the deck being self-draining, fit reassuringly high on the thigh and are equipped with grabrails; the deck is carpeted to remove the need for shoes; and the hardtop has a cantilevered fabric extension that shades a good share of the cockpit.

Dedicated angling gear, apart from the catch tank, includes a baitboard with two positions to site it, deckwash, rocket launchers, and coaming rod sockets.

Perhaps the power windlass counts as fishing gear; it certainly makes life more leisurely if you shift position frequently - which you do more often on days when you are not catching much and are more likely to feel niggly. If you do decide you need to visit the foredeck, the passage there is made secure by grabrails on the hardtop and by super-strength bowrails. One reason for visiting could be the bow ladder -an item that is more useful on many boats than the conventional stern ladder.

The Coraline 750's hull features a knuckle running the hull's full length and widening into a broad chine at the transom. That balances a reasonably steep deadrise, while forward the knuckle adds a little reserve buoyancy and probably has a lot to do with the boat's dryness.

Some plate boats have planing strakes and many do not. Assorted reasons are given for their absence by the builders of those that don't, but I can't help wondering why fibreglass boats that can include them without effort always have them. The Coraline has them, and the builder says straight tracking is one of their notable benefits.

 

 

POWER SUPREMO


The 750 Outsider has a recommended power range from 225 to a whopping 350. Apart from its cost, I have to wonder at the use that you would get out of the top-end motor. Our 250 Yamaha four-stroke gave us a top speed of 36kts, and I suspect that a little fiddling with propellers could add a couple or so more. It's a rare day on the ocean that you could sustain speeds close to that, and the typical low to mid 20s cruising speed was just a stroll in the park for our 250.

Ironically, we had one of those rare days. Not a good one for trying out the boat's ultimate capabilities, but closer to the kind of conditions people have in mind when they buy boats. The ride was above average for the boat's size and material, verified by using the wakes of everything in the vicinity.

We had no need to use the trim tabs, although they can be useful in a beam wind or with wandering passengers. We needed only tiny changes of leg angle to set up the boat for changing conditions.

Actual driving was pleasant too. The steering is hydraulic, of course, and near enough to fingertip light. There are good footrests in the right places, not universal practice, and there is a fiddle rail across the dash to give a handhold in the lumpy stuff. The dash layout is neat, featuring a standard Furuno GP700F sounder-plotter, and an elaborate battery condition meter that is worth its place on a boat with fairly high power consumption. Radios and stereo are mounted in an overhead console in the lined hardtop

 

 

CARPET AND SOME


The dash is covered by carpet. Every place on board likely to hold oddments is lined with it in the interests of rattle suppression - a great idea in an aluminium boat.

Places to put bigger items abound, and there are some clever storage items. One of the most notable is a rack above the boarding platform for fenders, although the need for these is lessened by the half-round rubbing strip being left unpainted; obvious but often forgotten.

With a 225 Yamaha four-stroke and a comprehensive list of standard equipment, the WA price is $141,918. Not a bargain basement price, but an awful lot of boat for your money.

 

 

 

Specifications - Coraline 750 Outsider

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $154,210

Options fitted: 250hp motor, trim tabs, table, skipole, baitboard, fender rack, deckwash, VHF, extra seating, and opening screen

Priced from:  $141,918

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Monohull
Material: Plate aluminium; 5mm bottom, 4mm sides
Length overall: 8.1m
Hull length: 7.5m
Beam: 2.5m

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 300lt
Water: 50lt
Seating: 8
People berthed: 2

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Yamaha 250
Type: V6 four-stroke petrol outboard
Weight: 276kg
Rated HP: 250
Displacement: 3352cc
Gearbox ratio: 2.0:1

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Coraline Boats,
430 Wanneroo Road,
Westminster, WA, 6061
Phone: (08) 93454311
Email: info@boatcity.com.au
Website: www.boatcity.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 245.

 

Find Coraline boats for sale.

 


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