BOAT TEST: EVOLUTION 7000

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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With a wheelhouse for protection on those lengthy runs out the shelf, and a miserly diesel engine to make sure you don’t spend a fortune on the way out there, Evolution’s 7.4m hardtop is going to appeal to serious anglers

BOAT TEST: EVOLUTION 7000
EVOLUTION 7000

 

THEORY OF EVOLUTION


Keel lines vary greatly from hull to hull in both 'glass and alloy, but one that recently caught our eye here at Trailer Boat was on the Evolution 7000.
This rig features a tunnel hull, which was a style big on the professional scene in South Australia some 30 years ago. It was a common boat, and there are plenty of them still in use with commercial garfish netters and recreational fishers alike. Most of them feature a full or half cabin and are driven by six-cylinder automotive petrol engines.
The advantage of these boats is their shallow draft for work over sandbars, and with a shallow degree on the shaft drive and a good proportion of the propeller recessed into the tunnel, they are well suited to the shallow water frequented by the fisherman's prey.

 

 

MAXIMUM PROTECTION


The Evolution has handsome raked modern lines with a solid hardtop on which inflatable tenders could be readily stowed. It covers a wheelhouse that, while bare in appearance, proves very practical. A galley across the aft bulkhead of the wheelhouse features fresh water tap and sink with stowage below, which is great for washing up while fishing or for making some chow while out on the water. Running from the galley forward on the portside is a bench with an icebox installed under a hard-based cushion.
A wide door leads into a spacious cabin which has a removable bunk infill to allow for seating and under-bunk storage. That on the starboard side held a macerator head while the bunk opposite contained the 40lt pump-out holding tank. With plenty of headroom and length, this cabin could sleep two comfortably.
A hatch in the forward bulkhead gave access to the rope and chain pile under the Maxwell Freedom winch and a large tinted skylight provides light and ventilation.
The helm was well laid out with the controls within easy reach, and there was heaps of room for large cabinet electronics behind the three-panel hardened glass screen. Side windows were Perspex and slide back and forward for ventilation. The helm seat was on a module coming out from the cabin liner, rather than attached to the deck, and the seat slides forward and aft.
Outside the sliding wheelhouse door and into the cockpit, high coamings offered plenty of high seas security and ample secure sidepocket space featured along each side of the cockpit.

 

 

STEERING COMITTEE


Fitted with Seastar hydraulic steering driving a large rudder behind the four-blade propeller, I found the steering was lumpy which grew worse as the test proceeded. In fact, one of the hydraulic steering lines eventually blew from overload, which was a result of rudder damage incurred on a test a few days earlier. Mores the pity as we were heading wide to inflict some damage on the fish population to really see how the boat went under fire.
This boat was fitted with a Kanzarki gearbox and the binnacle shifted smoothly in and out of forward and reverse gear.
Below the galley was a hatch giving access to the pulleys on the front of the 125hp Yanmar turbo diesel. The entire box section could be easily removed at sea to give belt-changing capability should it be required.
The proximity of the engine to the wheelhouse and a lack of insulation meant the noise levels were high, but with a decent lick of insulation, the problem would be resolved.

 

 

ROOM TO MOVE


Due to the shallow eight-degree shaft drive angle off the gearbox, the Yanmar was mounted deep in the bilge resulting in a low-profile engine box, just 30cm off the deck butted directly against the rear cabin bulkhead. Strainers and filters were within easy reach for maintenance along with the gland packing through the hull.
A sturdy transom bulkhead featured hatch in which a pair of batteries were located, their tops just below the hatch lid. This, while placing lot of weight up high, is a good idea in that batteries that tend to be tucked away are often too hard to access and are often ignored to the detriment of maintenance. The lid of this hatch formed the bait cutting board and next to it flush-mounted in the coaming was a plumbed livebait tank.

 

 

OFFSHORE WORKER


With just 125hp, this boat was no speed machine and holeshot was slow but remarkably level with plenty of torque coming from the diesel Yanmar. Comfortable cruising was at about 15 knots (28kmh) at which point the tacho registered 3000rpm and at full throttle (4000rpm) we managed 20 knots (38kmh).
With the problems with the steering on the test day we can't give a full assessment on its manners during tight high-speed turns, but the ride over a reasonable chop was soft enough and quite dry considering the wind coming over the forequarters on the plane.
With a deep, aggressive bow flattening to an 11-degree deadrise at the stern, the boat should do well offshore. But with the miserly fuel consumption from the efficient little diesel, and a large fuel tank, the major selling point of this boat is its long range and affordable running costs. Add to that the protection offered by the wheelhouse, the accommodation in the cabin, tough construction and the fishability of the cockpit and you've got a very capable offshore fishing boat.
Back on its custom-built aluminium trailer, the work that has gone into the tunnel assembly was obvious. Bennett Trim tabs were fitted but we did not need to use them during the test and the boat felt well-balanced.
The paint finish on this rig was good but the welding, while obviously strong, was not as neatly finished as some competitive craft. But rough-and-tumble fishos might be happy to trade off the fancy finish for durability and functionality.

 


 
WHAT WE LIKED


Spacious lock up wheelhouse with room to stow gear on the roof
Low-profile engine box increases cockpit space
Battery positioning for easy access and maintenance
Fuel efficiency and tough construction
Shallow draft capabilities

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Higher than average engine noise
Welding strong but a little rough
Panel distortion on cabin top

 

 


 

Specifications: Evolution 7000

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $110,000 on alloy braked trailer  
Options fitted: Trailer, marine toilet, external freshwater shower, lock-up cabin, stainless steel sink, holding tank, freshwater tank, extended hard top, detachable bimini, fishbox, rocket launcher, eight rodholders, sidepocket stowage, upholstered V-berth, livebait tank, rear ladder, paintwork
Priced from: $71,500 unpainted boat with 125hp Yanmar diesel

 


 
GENERAL


Hull type: Tunnel monohull
Material: Plate aluminium
Length Overall: 7.4m
Beam: 2.5m
Deadrise: 11 degrees
Towing weight: 2500kg

 


 
CAPACITIES


Rec/max HP: 125/320 inboard
Fuel: 240lt
Water: 40lt
People: Six adults

 


 
ENGINE


Make/Model: Yanmar 4JH3-DTE
Type: Four-cylinder freshwater cater-cooled DI turbo intercooled diesel
Rated hp: 125 @ 3800rpm
Displacement: 1995cc
Weight: 229kg
Gearbox: Kanzarki
Propeller: Four-blade alloy

 


 
SUPPLIED BY


Evolution Marine,
Huskisson NSW.
Phone: (02) 4424 5960

Originally published in Tra

 

ilerBoat #195

Find Evolution boats for sale.

 


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