BOAT TEST: STREAKER 5.45 NAVIGATOR ECLIPSE WALK-THRU

Photography by: Ellen Dewar


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Anchoring and bow duties have never been easier with the walkthrough cabin design on Streaker’s 5.45 Navigator Eclipse Walk-Thru, notes John Willis

 BOAT TEST: STREAKER 5.45 NAVIGATOR ECLIPSE WALK-THRU
STREAKER 5.45 NAVIGATOR ECLIPSE WALK-THRU

The development team at Melbourne's Streaker Boats has certainly been burning the midnight oil with a fine quiver of new offerings. This boatbuilder has always reflected strong customer demand and the all-new Streaker 5.45 Navigator Eclipse Walk-Thru hits the bull's eye.

Streaker already offer the ever popular 5.45 hull in a number of versions including the Sirocco Runabout and Bowrider as well as Bluewater and Tournament Platinum series, however, the latest walkthrough cuddy layout is probably the most functional as a dayboat configuration. In my opinion, it is certainly one of the best-looking walkthroughs on the market!
Let's face it; access to the bow of the boat is a primary function. This is particularly true for keen anglers, many of whom may move position up to 30 times a day in search of their pelagic prey. A good anchoring setup with easy access is vital. A big, wide walkthrough also makes life safe and easy when boarding from a mooring, riverbank or jetty.
From the outside, there is very little evidence of the Navigator being a walkthrough. Visually, it has smooth flowing lines combining with a flawless two-tone gelcoat finish and very subtle graphics presenting a classy and attractive overall package.
Looks are one thing but performance can be quite different. Pleasingly, the Streaker Navigator is one hell of a performer on the water. The Streaker 20-degree hull formula is continued throughout the entire range of boats simply because it works! It combines the deadrise with three full-length strakes and a small reverse chine to form a hull that has been sea tested time and time again during almost 40 years of Streaker Boats history.

HULL HALLMARKS
The fine hull entry cuts through chop beautifully, and a small flared bow, in combination with the reverse chine, minimises any spray in adverse conditions. The hull has nice high sides forming a big, deep and comfortable cockpit that gives a feeling of real security for a family with young kids, or for the most ardent offshore angler confronted by challenging sea conditions.
Speaking of challenging, this boat rocks! During the test, the camera crew had me doing some horrific things to it and I am pleased to say that it met every challenge with totally predictable, positive control. The handling is superb and is certainly suitable for some social waterskiing or wakeboarding. In the rough, its ride is smooth and confidence building, and is certainly a boat that I would be pleased to recommend to the travelling offshore angler or diver.
The overall setup on the 5.45 Navigator is perfected to the last detail, a positive result of Streaker's in-house production facility. Prop size, engine height, concealed wiring and general fitout is strictly controlled and fully tested to ensure the customer receives a faultless boat with an efficient power combination each time.

TWO OR FOUR-STROKE?
While on the subject of performance, Streaker supplied two identical boat packages for the test, different only that one was fitted with a Yamaha 130hp Saltwater series naturally aspirated two-stroke engine (130BETOX) weighing 171kg, and the other a Yamaha 115hp EFI four-stroke (F115AETX) weighing 193kg, both fitted with Yamaha SST propellers.
The difference in performance was most surprising. Now don't get me wrong - I love the quiet, fuel-efficient and clean power of a four-stroke, however, the difference in the performance of the two identical boat packages was enormous. I'll have the two-stroke thank you! It just hammered off from a standing start leaving the four-stroke well behind. At higher speeds, a touch on the throttle gave immediate response with the two-stroke, while the four-stroke was still winding up.

At low speeds, the two-stroke is ever so slightly noisier, and certainly 100 times smokier, however, at higher speeds the four-stroke provides a deep, throaty, almost diesel-like harmonic. The two-stroke noise factor is certainly higher pitched, but not that loud to my ears, despite being somewhat battered by too many years of rock and roll.
That said, I was more than pleased with the overall performance of both engines and the final selection will certainly be based on the individual customer's desired use and budget. For the speed and power freak, the Streaker boys will fit a range of 150hp engines that will really rock your socks off.
The two-stroke option in the package price is more than $4000 cheaper than the four-stroke. That is a lot of money in anyone's terms. However, when you consider the increased longevity and the real fact that the four-stroke will use approximately half the fuel over the life of the engine, many will choose the latter, especially in high-use scenarios.
For the record, the Streaker 5.45 Navigator Eclipse Walk-Thru with the Yamaha 130hp Saltwater series outboard, planed at 3100rpm for 25kmh with a WOT of 68kmh at 6000rpm.

BLENDING IDEAS
Now back to the boat. The layout is a combination of old and new ideas that are beautifully presented in a very modern-looking package. The centre-opening screen and walkway are large enough for a big bloke, easily operated, and lead to a well-designed moulded bowsprit with locking bollard and a separate anchor hatch to keep muddy anchors completely away from the interior of the boat.
It is hard to fit all of today's instruments and dashboard requirements into the helm when you take away half of the dashboard for the walkthrough, however, Streaker have completed the task admirably.
The helm is neat, compact and well laid out providing ample room for the twin Yamaha multifunction gauges, Lowrance flush-mounted depthsounder/GPS/chartplotter, GME 27MHz radio, independent key start, fuel gauge, six gang waterproof switch panel and flushmount controls.
The passenger side dash has a large lockable glovebox and some drinkholders. Although the dashboards are quite high to allow the necessary provisions it did not seem to impair any of the vision through the strongly framed, curved Perspex windscreen. Twin, thickly upholstered bucket seats are fitted to a pair of tower-style fibreglass seat boxes with storage and tackle box. The driver's seat has an adjustable length slide.
Cuddy/walkthrough configurations provide little room for accommodation; however, the Streaker 5.45 Navigator Eclipse does have short bunks with padded lids and storage, as well as large sidepockets and a welcome moulded step for easy bow access.
Both cabin and cockpit are fully carpeted providing warmth in winter as well as a cool, non-skid floor in summer. There is underfloor wet box storage between the forward seats, and another in the rear cockpit floor. Also hidden under the floor is a long-range 146lt fuel tank with the filler point high on the transom.

TRADITIONAL TRANSOM
Streaker have not yet been tempted to follow market trends for square-backed, walk-up style transoms, instead sticking with the more traditional engine well and lift-out rear seat configurations. The fact is - it works fine, gives tremendous security and strength to the stern, and is extremely functional as the rear seat cushions are simply removed to reveal full access to the transom. It also allows easy access to rear mounted items such as batteries, oil bottles and bilge pumps, and looks great when finished with the clip-in canvas cover.
While the transom layout is traditional, the beautiful lines of the modern mouldings, combined with the clean, bright finish of the fibreglass sidepocket modules creates a very modern and inviting cockpit interior.
Many years of marketing experience are reflected in the Streaker packaging. The 5.45 Navigator Eclipse Walk-Thru package is excellent value at an introductory price under $50,000 with the Yamaha 130hp Saltwater series engine and Dunbier tandem Supa Rolla trailer.
The Navigator comes complete with an immense range of factory fitted equipment such as bimini with front and side curtains, alloy rocket launcher, rear boarding platforms with telescopic ladder, interior and navigation lights, compass, stainless steel rodholders, removable baitboard, stainless steel split bowrail, battery with isolation switch, as well as registration and safety equipment.
There are some nice finishing touches in the design and fitup that set the factory package above many rivals. Its performance and handling is exceptional, construction quality premium and the attention to detail extremely satisfying.
Streaker's all-inclusive Turn-Key package is particularly good value for money and the whole family will enjoy the 5.45 Navigator Eclipse right from the first dealing with the boatbuilder's experienced staff. It is reassuring to have successful, family-oriented Australian companies with a long history of producing premium quality, value-packed boating packages leading the way through this somewhat turbulent worldwide market.
With presentations like the 545 Navigator Eclipse walk-thru, the crew at Streaker Boats can look forward to yet another forty years as market leaders in the Australian boating scene.





 

Specifications - Streaker 5.45 Navigator Eclipse Walk-Thru

WHAT WE LIKED
Walkthrough cabin
Classy and attractive package
Hull design has stood the test of time
Big, deep cockpit
Superb handling with predictable control

NOT SO MUCH
Two-stroke engine option is noisier at low speeds
Four-stroke outboards take longer to wind-up


HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $48,990 w/ 130hp Yamaha two-stroke outboard, Dunbier tandem trailer, regos, and safety gear

GENERAL
Type: Monohull
Material: GRP hull w/ foam filled composite stringers and noodle foam floatation
Length: 5.8m (inc. bowsprit and transom platforms)
Beam: 2.49m
Deadrise: 20°
Weight: Approx 1400kg


CAPACITIES
Fuel: 146lt
People: 6
Rec. min. HP: 115
Rec. max. HP: 150

ENGINE
Make/model: Yamaha 130hp Saltwater series (130BETOX)
Type: Naturally aspirated V4 two-stroke outboard
Rated HP: 130
Displacement: 1730cc
Weight: 171kg
Gearbox ratio: 2.0 (26/13)
Propeller: 17in stainless steel


SUPPLIED BY
Streaker Boats,
461 Mountain Highway,
Bayswater, Vic, 3153
Phone: (03) 97298288
Web: www.streakerboats.com.au
Email: sales@streakerboats.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #244

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