BOAT TEST: STREAKER 635 COMMANDER

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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The flash looking Streaker 635 Commander is a bluewater fisher/family weekender with important design features that make it a safe craft for offshore forays in the foulest of weather, writes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: STREAKER 635 COMMANDER
STREAKER 635 COMMANDER

 

TAKE COMMAND


If you are a resident of Victoria, Streaker boats will need no introduction - they hold a strong presence on the various inland and coastal waters in that state.
They also make their presence felt in neighbouring states and to a lesser extent in Queensland.
A company that has been in boat building since 1973, it is run by the Savage brothers with manufacture and retail in separate premises at Bayswater in Melbourne's east. Being a low production business, they have carved out a niche in the market with their brand name and a range of boats to suit many trailerboat applications.
We got to test their Streaker 635 Commander out of Patterson River into Port Phillip Bay in conditions bordering on unboatable.
With 100kmh winds on the day prior, the massively rough Bay seas were abating slowly with a 20-knot wind still pushing up a steep chop.
Poking the bow out of the mouth of the river we were greeted by whitewater running over the shallows and chop to two metres rolling head-on into the Patterson. Pushing to deeper water, the chop settled to waves of 1.5m with the odd giant keeping us on our toes.

 

 

BUOYANT BOW


The forefoot of the keel of the 635 has a very sharp entry which splays out to a chine running well forward that widens going astern.
This entry cut the steep chop softly and at speed into the steep side of the waves, we bridged the gap without burying the bowsprit into the following wave. Even with such an acute entry, buoyancy in the front end was not lacking.
While the horrendous conditions did not allow any high speed testing, running the boat to 40kmh with and against the seas showed it to be very well behaved with no broaching. The heavily flared forequarters coming off the sharp entry turned down a lot of spray and in kinder conditions, this hull will prove to be relatively dry. It also tracked very directly when running along the face of big seas.
While easy at the helm when pushing the Yamaha 225hp around, the throttle did play havoc with the right elbow and was easily knocked. It is close to the right arm because of the location of the helm wheel being well starboard due to the very large aperture accessing the cabin. It would be more easily mounted in a rebate, if there was one, in the starboard cockpit liner out of the way, in which case a binnacle style shift would be ideal.
The big Yam' had plenty of grunt to get this rig going and, according to the manufacturer, will wind out to 5800rpm with a top speed of 80kmh. It had no problem shooting the hull out of the hole and over big oncoming waves.
With the bumpy stuff finished we headed back into a calmer river to have a look at the inside.

 

 

CAVERNOUS COCKPIT


When you first board this rig you will be surprised at how high the coamings are. Just behind the finish of the wraparound hardened glass windscreen the height is over a metre off the deck and rakes down to about 850mm in the aft corners. The beam width in the cockpit is also huge on account of the coamings being cut away to give maximum space without interfering with sidepocket size. The amount of room in this cockpit is about what you would expect on a boat longer than seven metres. Mums and dads will appreciate the safety offered by the cockpit depth, too.
The sidepockets are contoured to suit the inside of the coaming above and stainless steel rodholders fixed on the inside of the fascias allow vertical stowage of four rods each side.
Nylon hooks fixed to the inside of the hull make up a rack for three rods or gaffs as well.
While the transom bulkhead in front of the outboard protrudes into the cockpit, it does make for an ideal fishing possy each side, wedged into the corners. This is achieved by removal of the seat bases and the back padding for this seating area remains as a comfortable lean for the thighs. Although not seen on the test day, there is an optional centre seat which curves around the protruding engine well.
A pair of removable Victorian-style fishing rodholders is mounted over the livebait and stowage tanks in the aft corners. One was plumbed and both featured rounded corners to prevent live baits being hedged in which can result in stress and premature death.
The bait bench is also removable and features a hinged cutting lid, a couple of rodholders and two drink container holders. A rail was fitted to the front of the table for hanging hand towels.
The seat modules were also practical. The one at the helm featured a set of tackle draws at the aft end and an access hatch facing into the companionway. The passenger seat hinged back to reveal an area for a butane gas cooker with the underside of the seat base acting as a preparation table. A sink was rebated into the cabin liner on the portside.

 

 

HELM GADGETS


At the helm, a Lowrance combination chartplotter/depthsounder was gimbal mounted and there is enough flat space here to mount 12-inch units with ease. Instrumentation is neatly laid out on a curved brow above the stereo system, switches and circuit breaker for the Maxwell Freedom winch. A lockable glove compartment is recessed into the bulkhead in front of the passenger seat.
Access to the cabin is easy with the wide aperture and a ¾-width handrail. Once inside, you will find a V-berth that will sleep two with a squeeze if utilising an infill, and plenty of headroom for those sitting. The usual under cushion stowage is available here.
A step at the front of the leg well allows one to stand up and exit the upper torso through a large roof hatch to manually handle the ground tackle if required.
With the use of a couple of spanners, the canopy of tubular stainless steel is collapsible allowing it to be lowered back into the cockpit when towing long distances.
This is a big medium-sized boat. The cockpit is massive to say the least and while it might not suit all fishers due to the height of the gunwales above the water, those offshore and worrying parents will love it.
Its big wraparound swim out platforms (one has a telescopic ladder rebated into it) will help everyone get aboard and as long as the corner seats are in place, one can easily exit the cockpit when the fishing rodrack is lifted out. The finish on these boats is impeccable.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


Big roomy cockpit
Soft and stable riding in foul seas
Excellent finish

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Throttle needs to be relocated
Including a half-cut transom door would be a good idea on future models

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Streaker 635 Commander

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested:                $91,970
Options fitted:                 Nil

 

 

GENERAL


Material:                          Fibreglass
Type:                              Deep-vee mono hull
Deadrise:                         20º
Length overall:                 8.1m w/ motor and trailer
Length:                           6.8m w/ bowsprit and swimouts
Beam:                    2.5m
Weight:                           Approx 2200 to 2400kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel:                               228lt
Freshwater:                     55lt
People berthed:               2
People day:                     6  

 

              

ENGINE


Make/model:                   Yamaha F225
Type:                              V6 four-stroke outboard
Rated HP:                       225
Displacement:                  3352cc
Weight:                           269kg
Propeller:                        Four-blade 18in Solas

 

 

SUPPLIED BY:


Streaker Boats,
461 Mountain Highway,
Bayswater, Vic, 3153
Phone: (03) 9729 8288
Fax: (03) 9720 4213
Email: sales@streakerboats.com.au
Website: www.streakerboats.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #225

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