REVIEW: BERMUDA 540 ISLAND BEACH

By: Daniel Nash, Photography by: Stuart Grant


We couldn’t get to Bermuda to beat the winter blues, so TrailerBoat took a trip to Carrum in Melbourne to take a ride on one.

REVIEW: BERMUDA 540 ISLAND BEACH
TEST: BERMUDA 540 ISLAND BEACH

Contrary to popular belief the island of Bermuda lies closer to the United States than it does the Caribbean. But don’t let this fool you. It still has everything the Caribbean has to offer: sun, sand, and plenty of relaxation. Definitely the types of things you want to associate with your summer boating.
Unfortunately, when I tested Bermuda’s 540 Island Beach, summer was a long way off and we were stuck with a cold Melbourne day, when thoughts of an open fire and a mug of hot chocolate were the first things on my mind after I’d finished up on the water.
But following the test I couldn’t get away from the thought that if you imagined summer breezes, beaming rays and warmer waters (similar to what you get 24/7 in Bermuda), this boat would make a great summer runabout.  
The 540 Island Beach is Bermuda’s top of the range runabout and the one we tested is what you’d expect to be zipping around the bay in, should you look at a Bermuda boat, motor, trailer (BMT) package. The only extras fitted were a couple of three-in-one rodholders and a transom ladder fitted by Steve Hurrey of Hurrey’s Marine in Mordiallic, who supplied the test boat.

FAMILY MATTERS
This is an ideal boat for a young family. Perhaps dad wants to be able to take the wife and young kids out for a day on the water, while factoring in some fishing with the boys.
Dual stainless steel ski hooks mounted at each side of the transom highlight the versatility of 540 Island Beach. The 115hp Mariner outboard provided this hull with enough oomph for the kids to enjoy being towed along on a ski biscuit and the boat also makes a nice little craft to teach any wannabe skiers nagging dad to show them the ropes.
Two adhesive non-skid mats are placed either side of the outboard for safety when boarding while the other main stern feature is a two-piece stainless steel transom ladder that folds neatly. These are not a standard option but Steve Hurrey fits these to all new boats – a good idea considering the demographic that’ll more than likely be having fun on this boat.
The transom lounge seats four people but is probably spacious enough if five youngsters wanted to hang out back while dad controlled things up front. When he’s out looking to snare a few fish, the lounge can be removed very easily and put to one side to create more fishing space. The beauty of this is that the back of the lounge remains, providing a padded transom to lean on when hauling in a catch.
Two black nylon cleats have been through bolted on the back end of the coamings, both port and starboard at the stern. Just forward of these cleats is a sternrail that’s the best part of a metre in length. Forward of this, in both the port and starboard coamings, are two rodholders, while the fuel portal lies amidships in the portside coaming. The floor of the 540 Island Beach is carpeted from back to front with heavy-duty marine carpeting.

STORAGE
The 540 Island Beach is not huge on storage. There are two side pockets that housed safety gear on the day of the test. If this were my boat I’d probably look at adding a rod rack to one side to make this space a little more functional, while possibly leaving the other to provide quick access to life jackets and other safety gear. There’s additional storage forward of the cockpit. This area of the boat is where you’d be looking to store larger items such as big water toys, eskies, or tackle boxes.
Both cockpit seats are height adjustable, while the skipper’s seat can also be adjusted forward and aft. There is an additional grabrail within arm’s reach of the passenger seat if the skipper gets a little too excited behind the wheel. A black lockable glovebox sits in front of the passenger seat to house keys, wallets, sunnies, and sunscreen.
While helm instrumentation and electronics are SmartCraft compatible, the test boat had not been configured as such. Speedo, tacho, trim, fuel and hour meter were all represented on the dash, while the Mercury steering wheel was black – the predominant colour on the dash.
A basic switch panel consists of switches for the navigation light, anchor light and bilge pump.
The fisherman in the family will be able to put the Navman FISH 4430 sounder to good use, while a Navman MCB 7270MHz communication system sits above the glovebox on a plastic dash moulding and offers good accessibility. Both of these features are standard options.
The three-piece windscreen has a central door that opens to provide access to the anchor well. The windscreen is one of the best features of the Bermuda 540 Island Beach. It’s at a great height to protect you from spray and you don’t find yourself bobbing up or down for a clear field of view. You can just look straight ahead and go for it.
The anchor well is the main feature of the bow, along with a cross bollard and bowsprit with roller.

POWER PLAY
A 115hp Mariner Optimax powered the 540 Island Beach. These boats have recently been reconfigured and now have a maximum capacity of 150hp. The boat handled extremely well on a placid Patterson River in Carrum. It was easy to manoeuvre through tight turns at speed. The 540 Island Beach was handy out of the hole, while a family friendly cruising speed off 23mp/h at 4000rpm was recorded on the speedo. Wide open throttle saw a maximum speed of 47mp/h at 5700rpm.
Colin Perkovic from Mercury Marine indicated the next batch of 540s off the production line would differ a little in their design after consultation with both dealers and owners. The anchor well will be a little aft of its current position and the cross bollard will sit behind this. The dash shape will be modified to enable better bow access and the transom lounge will fold down to allow for extra deck space rather than its current removable setup.

WHAT WE LIKED
Versatile
Good standard electronics package
Plenty of space on deck

NOT SO MUCH
Not big on storage space

 

Specifications: Bermuda 540 Island Beach

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:      $33,490
Options fitted:      Canopy,transom ladder, stainless steel rodholders, safety gear.
Priced from:      $29,990

GENERAL
Material:     Aluminium
Length:     5.4m
Beam:        2.26m
Weight:       535kg (hull only)

CAPACITIES
Fuel:        100lt
Rec/max HP:       150hp
People:         6

ENGINES
Make/model:        Mariner Optimax
Rated HP:       115
Displacement:        1524cc     
Weight:        175kg
Gearbox ratio:        2.07:1
Propeller:        18in vengeance stainless steel

SUPPLIED BY       
Hurrey’s Marine,
3-5 Boundary Road Mordiallic, Victoria, 3195
Telephone: (03) 9580 6670
Facsimile:  (03) 9580 2471
Email: info@hurreysmarine.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #210

 


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