TEST: EDENCRAFT 600 OFFSHORE

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


If you’re chasing an offshore fishing platform that is tough, unbreakable and practical, Rick Huckstepp recommends pencilling in the Edencraft 600 Offshore

TEST: EDENCRAFT 600 OFFSHORE
TEST: EDENCRAFT 600 OFFSHORE

WAVE BREAKER
If you were an abalone diver from down Victoria way you would know what an Edencraft looked like. They are the tool of trade by choice of many commercial divers and are renowned for their rough water handling capabilities.
We haven’t, until now, seen them gracing the pages of <I>TrailerBoat<I> but with the transfer of the construction factory to Biggera Waters in Queensland, that’s all about to change.
These boats are traditional style and designed from the stringer up to be tough, unbreakable as possible and as practical to its owner as it can be. Now by traditional we are talking here of a square transom rather than one with rounded flowing design as we see in the Haines Hunters and Cruise Craft boats. In fact, the hull of this boat is a modified version of the Haines Hunter V19R, itself a boat revered by offshore fishers above and below the surface, and now getting on in years.
Branded a 6.0m boat, it is 6.2m along the centreline from the tip of the bowsprit to the transom. The transom has had a recent makeover to incorporate a two-engine rack with only slight modification during the build to handle single or double power plants.
Entry at the keel line is sharp, and so is the profile of the top deck at the bow which is in stark comparison to many modern shapes that utilise a wide flare here to give lounging space and to downturn water rising up the forequarters.
This boat was fitted with a Maxwell Freedom winch installed into the top of the anchor hatch. The hatch is fitted with four by 1200lb stainless steel hinges and a pair of catches. A bollard on the bowsprit could be used to tie off a snagged anchor if some grunt from the boat was needed to shift it. We queried how strong the hatch was as a base for an electric winch but the manufacturer assures us there is no issue with weakness at this point.
Ostensibly, this is a cuddy style boat and the cabin is low profile with no roof hatch to allow access through to the anchor should it need to be maintained at sea. It would have to be accessed via the walkway around the side of the cabin.
When looking from the helm station one gets the feeling of being quite high up but in reality, there is not much to block the view of the entire front deck. The deck inside the cabin is a continuation of that outside and with no leg well or berths, it is purely a stowage area with a large hatch centrally located below where more gear may be stowed. If you want to bunk down, a mattress will make for some comfort in a space 1.9m in length.
There are sidepockets portside and starboard, and a bi-fold door and removable top section at the entry make for a secure lock up.

AT THE HELM
Being a favourite among commercial fishers, there is stacks of room on top of the dash for large screen electronics. A high lip at the aft end of the dash allows for plenty of loose items to be stowed, and wraparound handrails over the windscreen are rock solid. The windscreen consists of two hardened glass front panels which join in the centre with short-sided Perspex panels.
A high brow hosted the E-TEC instrumentation and Furuno’s GP7000 chart plotter and stand alone FCV-585 depth sounder. All are an easy fit on top of the expansive flat dash tray.
Reelax swivel chairs were also sturdy and on the inner liner, a hatch either side allowed for dry stowage of other gear.
Above the helm station, super solid stainless steel framework holding a rocket launcher and canvas cover, is collapsible down into the cockpit for least wind resistance when towing or getting under a low carport.
The starboard sidepocket is interrupted by a lift-out diver’s door which left a half step to climb over when traversing the aperture. The door is foam filled so that it can be recovered if it goes over the side.
The deckwash is neatly stowed in the aft section of the starboard pocket system and the isolator switch for the battery is mounted in that corner of the transom bulkhead.
Centrally located in the transom bulkhead is a livebait tank with a viewing window and in the port corner, another hatch concealed the oil reservoir for the Evinrude 225 E-TEC engine.
The bait tank as tested, drained onto a removable sieve over a bilge pit in which was fitted a float activated bilge pump. The water exit for the bait tank has a hose tail fitted and this is easily plumbed through the external hull of the boat should you wish.
The cockpit deck featured a massive, hinged lidded killtank capable of holding three by half sized fish bins.
With a fleck finish gelcoat on the deck, one would want to look at carpet or rubber mat options as a bit of water and fish slime would make standing difficult in rough weather.

ROUGH WATER
Generally, we like a bit of sea to test a boat such as the Edencraft.
We weren’t disappointed going out through the seaway on the Gold Coast where we were met with a less than comfortable swell. Heading ENE we continued 11nm to a snapper drop, the seas becoming more atrocious as we headed farther off the coast. By the time we got there, the swell was running from east to west at about two metres in height with a short, sharp chop of one to 1.5m running from the north east. What a mess!
Had this boat not had a formidable reputation for handling this sort of weather, I would have opted for a comfortable morning inside the coast on the Broadwater instead. I know the two people on board were hinting at such a decision but we ploughed on to show what this rig is capable of.
Punching into this sea, I maintained a GPS ground speed of 30kmh at 3600rpm, while the E-TEC instrumentation told me fuel consumption was 30lt/h.
The landings on many of these waves were surprisingly soft, even though we punched clean through the top of the waves on landing with solid water going over the top of the canopy. With 20 knots of wind on the port forequarter there was plenty to contend with and the Edencraft handled it admirably. Little wonder the pros like these boats down south!
A short fish was had with no results but long enough to realise it is a stable boat on the drift with three anglers moving about.
The run home with a following sea was a piece of cake with no broaching of the hull or any other indication of bad manners.
In the calmer Broadwater, I opened the throttle to 5800rpm to just over 86kmh with fuel consumption running at 73lt/h.
Back at 4000rpm, the boat was covering the ground at 56kmh and using 40lt/h, and even further back to 2600rpm and 23kmh, consumption dropped to 23lt/h.
If trolling for fast pelagic fishes, you will like the Edencraft as tested. At 10kmh and 1300 rpm, the fuel usage slowed to a trickle of just 1.2lt/h.
At the helm, in hard turns, this boat is very smooth and effortless to manoeuvre. It likes plenty of trim up at the bow, and the 225 E-TEC complemented this rig with effortless holeshot and heaps of torque throughout the power band.
If you are going down the track of buying an offshore boat without all the family trimmings, the 600 Offshore should definitely be on the viewing and testing list.
It is one of the better boats we have had in rough conditions and you will give up before it does. They are very robust and designed for serious work. As tested, the boat is built to 2D survey standard for passenger carrying and 3C standard for fishing survey.

WHAT WE LIKED
Awesome rough water boat
Good, strong fishing platform

NOT SO MUCH
The sheer face of the helm station and passenger bulkhead could be rebated to prevent knee caps coming into contact when in rough seas
A starboard board door aperture that extended all the way to the deck would be an advantage for those diving

 

Specifications: Edencraft 600 Offshore

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:      $93,904
Options fitted:       Bowrail folding top, bimini, clears, grabrail, cabin
                              well, killtank, livebait well, deluxe helm seats, winch,
                             Evinrude E-TEC 225, Furuno depth sounder and GPS,
                             CD player, VHS radio, deckwash, trailer and safety gear
Priced from:          $68,131

GENERAL
Material:                Fibreglass
Length:                  6.2m
Beam:           2.4m
Deadrise:               22º
Hull draft:              0.35m
Weight:                 1100kg (hull only)

CAPACITIES
Fuel:                      240lt
Rec/min HP:           1 x 150 or 2 x 90
Rec/max HP:          1 x 250 or 2 x 130
Passengers:           6

ENGINE
Make/model:          Evinrude E-TEC E225DPXSDR
Type:                    Direct injection two-stroke V6 petrol
Compliance:          OEDA 3-STAR 
Rated HP:             225
Weight:                 238kg
Gearbox ratio:       1.85:1
Propeller:               19-inch Viper

SUPPLIED BY:
Edencraft,
Shed 10/215 Brisbane Rd,
Biggera Waters, Qld, 4216
Phone: (07) 5529 3955 or Warren Lyons on 0415 457 468
Fax: (07) 5529 3086
Email: warren@edencraft.com.au
Website: www.edencraft.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #223

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.