PURSUIT CHALLENGER 600 REVIEW

By: RICK HUCKSTEPP, Photography by: RICK HUCKSTEPP


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The Pursuit Challenger 600 is a no-nonsense and dedicated fibreglass fisher you buy straight from the factory floor. Rick Huckstepp passes an approving eye over this reasonably priced vessel

PURSUIT CHALLENGER 600 REVIEW
PURSUIT CHALLENGER 600

The trailerboat industry has some big players in both glass and alloy manufacture and to a small extent, other materials such as polyethylene.

While the larger ones tend to compete for domination there are others that nurture a small following, in what could be referred to as a boutique market and don't go about business trying to raise the bar.
Pursuit Boats are made in Noosaville, Qld, and they happily align themselves with this small but popular market, going the extra mile to bring back old fashioned customer sales and after-sales service which they believe have been missing from this industry for some time. To that end they have discontinued their relationship with dealers and brought business back to the factory door to keep the finger on the pulse.
We took the Pursuit Challenger for a run out through the Noosa River and along the coast. The weather on the day was fine with only small swell which lumped up nicely as it approached the shallow bar at the entrance.

 

THE CHALLENGE
Fitted with a Suzuki 150hp four-stroke engine, there was no shortage of torque anywhere in its rev range. Holeshot was excellent and ambient noise levels were typically four-stroke quiet.
Running the bar, the boat tracked perfectly with no hint of broaching as it sat on the back of the wave with water in the gullies between the peaks not a metre deep. This stability was also evident when dead in the water and during hard fast turns which saw the hull keep a flat attitude rather than leaning in excessively.
The deadrise on this boat changes from 19 to 21? and this along with its other attributes gave a noticeably soft ride in chop.
Underway with three large adults aboard, the GPS was set to knots which, when converted, registered 27.7kmh at 3000rpm and 46kmh at 4000rpm. WOT of 6000rpm realised a top speed of 75.9kmh.
These boats are popular in that section of South East Queensland that encompasses Noosa and Mooloolaba (both notorious for bar crossing problems) for the stability that if offers but also the practicality of the cockpit lay out.

 

REFINEMENTS
The width of the coamings has been reduced from the first model Pursuit 550 of six years ago to maximise the internal beam. The transom bulkhead has also come in for a makeover, and to do this the livebait tank is moulded into the topside, out on the boarding platform on the port side.
This has allowed the boarding ladder to be installed on the starboard side and one may enter the cockpit via a half-height transom door. This inside of this door is heavily upholstered along with the rest of the cockpit's inner coamings for a comfortable lean when fishing. In fact, the upholstery needs to be reduced on the door and the inner coaming where they contact; its thickness prevents the door from opening to its fullest for ease of passage.
The full-beam rear lounge has a split base and either or both can be removed by pulling a cord attached to spring loaded pins. With seats removed you can access the crank battery and fuel filter which sits above a short bilge.
A killtank is located forward of the bilge where wiring and the fuel line from the underfloor tank pass through, shrouded in convoluted plastic tubing and raised off the bottom of the compartment. If you were fussy, you might want a solid tube here instead to fully protect the wires and line from the toothy critters thrashing around. A short length of aluminium pipe fibreglassed onto the wall will fix that.
Sidepockets with padded fascias run the full length of the cockpit and have ample foot under-space for standing against the gunwales. The vertical supports at the ends of the pockets feature four rubber grommets through which fishing rod butts or tips are inserted for stowage.

 

SPACE-SAVER SEATS
The seat modules form an important space-saving area of the cockpit. The module under the skipper's seat has an aperture on the inner and aft side which in future models will be fitted with a flush-mounted hatch. The aft end of the module drops down to a lower level and is shorter than the module under the passenger seat which has a tackle drawer set, while under the cushioned rear seat section is an insulated icebox.
The aperture into the cabin is large offering plenty of ventilation and two grabrails are well positioned making for easy passage. Inside is a typical V-berth configuration on which two adults could snooze, and you can fit an infill if you wish. There is also the usual stowage under the cushions.
There is wide access through the roof for a large-framed person and it is located close to the anchorwell for the manual use of ground tackle. The anchorwell is hatched and large enough to handle the recommended grappling, Danforth or plough anchor for this sized boat.
The helm offers good opportunity for various sized electronics cabinets. It has a large, flat section on a raised brow and another beside it, though smaller, for the radio to be flush mounted. If you run out of room there you can fit gimbal mounted units on the flat dash top over the entrance to the cabin. This area is rebated as well so that stowed gear stays put in bumpy seas.

 

ROOM TO MOVE
As you see by the photos hereabouts, this is a straightforward boat with heaps of room to move fishing wise. It has a quality finish about it and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that others of this size might feature, it doesn't have the price tag that comes with those others.
And if you want those bells and whistles, the guys at Pursuit Boats will be easy to get along with.

 

WHAT WE LIKED
Quality finish
Cockpit space maximised
Good for those travelling waters where bar crossings are a necessary part of the journey

 

NOT SO MUCH
Upholstery in vicinity of transom door needs a redesign
A solid pipe for looms and fuel line in killtank would be a cheap option to install

 


Specifications: Pursuit Challenger  600

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:        $59,950
Options fitted:        nil

GENERAL
Type:                    Monohull
Material:          GRP fibreglass foam-filled stringers
Length overall:        6.25m
Beam:              2.25m
Deadrise:          19° to 21°
Weight:          1700kg (BMT)
Floatation:          Basic

CAPACITIES
Fuel:           180lt
People day:          5 to 375kg
Rec. max. load:        630kg
People night:         2
Rec. min. HP:         90       
Rec. max. HP:         150
Rec.max. engine weight:    220kg

ENGINE
Make/model:          Suzuki DF150
Type:            Inline four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC four-stroke            
Rated HP:           150
Displacement:          2867cc
Weight:           220kg
Gearbox ratio:          2.50:1
Propeller           21in stainless steel  
VELS rating:          3-star

SUPPLIED BY
Pursuit Boats,
18 Action Street
Noosaville, Qld, 4566
Phone: (07) 5449 5560
Email: info@pursuitboats.com.au
Web: www.pursuitboats.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #241

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