REVIEW: FREEDOM SEASPORT 640

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Lou Martin


With a design influenced by aerodynamics, the Freedom Seasport 640 is at the top-end of the trailerboat market in terms of size. And out on the blue water, this rig really does fly, as Rick Huckstepp found out

Freedom Boats are a familiar sight around this country’s boat show circuit. It enjoys a circulation amongst some of the larger dealers and its target market has always been the budget buyer looking for a good value, no-nonsense boat. The company’s focus has been the ‘up to six-metre’ trailerboat segment and, due to the fact Freedom Boats is not a huge conglomerate, its output is consumed as fast as it can get the product out through the factory doors.
Those who bought in the burgeoning boat market a few years ago are returning to the boat-buying scene to upgrade, their kids older now and wanting more speed and to get further offshore. Therefore we are seeing a lot more six-metre-plus trailerboats on the water.
Seeing this trend unfold, Glen Grams, the proprietor of Freedom Boats, put together the Seasport 640 to target the mid to top-end of the trailerboat market.
We looked over the boat at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast before it was launched in the water and one of its most prominent features was the planing plank on the keel.
Planing planks are flat sections on the keel line running from the forefoot, aft, widening toward the transom. Some boats have them 200 to 300mm wide by the time they get to that point and their purpose is to give improved lift to get the boat on the plane faster, thereby reducing stress on the motors due to increased fuel consumption. The downside to the planing plank is that the boat can not land off a wave as gently as would one that has a sharp keel line over the entire length of the planing section of the hull.
With a background in flying aircraft, Grams has turned aerodynamics into hydrodynamics with the keel line of the Freedom Seasport. The planing plank is concaved and offers improved performance over flat planing boards. As this boat comes down onto the water surface that water is trapped and provides a ‘cushion’. Each edge of the planing board is a keel line, which gives the boat more positive steerage over a single keel. This boat also offers wider than average, reverse chines, which further cushion the ride. Next time you are at a watersports shop, check out the high quality composite water skis which have a similar feature.
The swim out on the transom features a telescopic fold-up ladder that installs flush into a rebate. Pop-up cleats are also rebated into the outer edges of the coamings and around the bow.
The roof of the cabin is typically sloping rather than bulbous at its nose, as seen on many cabin boats these days. However, there is still plenty of headroom for seated adults. You can access the roof of the cabin through a solid fibreglass hatch, which is hinged and held closed by a couple of elastic bungy cords. A closer inspection shows a gutter running around the lip of this aperture to prevent water forcing its way in when punching through high seas.
There is under-bunk stowage, and access to the motor on the anchor winch is via a vinyl curtain in the forward bulkhead.
The helm seats are fibreglass modules that have stowage within. Between the seats, on the deck, is a wet stowage area that drains to the bilge. Sea Star Hydraulic steering is fitted, as is a flush-mounted small screen sounder. There is not room for large screen units to be flush-mounted in the dash in front of the skipper, but there is plenty of space for large, gimbal mount units to one side. This area is shaded by a stand alone bimini that has a folding top section and an extendable awning to offer more shade if required.
Rear seating is in the form of two large stowage boxes with padded seats. These may be unpinned from the deck and moved about or, for the serious fisher, removed from the boat altogether. Once out of the way, access to the fuel lines and batteries is easy. We could imagine these seat boxes being insulated, turning them into removable ice boxes. A plumbed livebait tank features on the port aft corner. The tank on the starboard side is unplumbed and ideal for stowing thawing bait or rubbish.
The baitboard was also very practical. The legs of this stainless steel-framed unit can be removed for easy stowage. This writer has a baitboard with fixed legs and it is impossible to stow it easily anywhere, even in the shed! The nylon cutting board can be removed for cleaning and its full retaining lip would prevent fish guts and blood spilling off.
But the best was yet to come. Out on the Broadwater, the 150hp Yamaha four-stroke took the Seasport to over 70km/h at 5,900rpm. Hole shot was very fast and effortless and, at the helm, steering was the same. Very little work on the trim button was required to have this hull performing to the best of its capabilities throughout its speed range and its ability to track correctly during aggressively cornering was brilliant. High speed full lock turns did nothing to deter this hull’s performance, such that a ski boat built to this hull configuration would be something to behold.

WHAT WE LIKED
Incredible steering performance
Soft ride over chop
Practical bait station
Removable seat/stowage boxes

NOT SO MUCH
The wet stowage compartment in deck should be drained to the transom so that it may be used as a killtank

 

Specifications: Freedom Seasport 640

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:   $55,500
Options fitted:   Targa canopy, electric winch, bait station,
    radio and depth sounder/GPS combo.
Priced from:   $54,600

GENERAL
Material:   Fibreglass
Length overall:  6.4m
Beam:    2.45m
Deadrise (approx):  21 degrees off each edge of concave planing plank
Weight:   BMT – approx 1800kg. Hull – approx 950kg.

CAPACITIES
Fuel:    180lt
People:    7
Rec/max HP:   200

ENGINE
Make/model:   Yamaha F150AET
Type:    Fuel-injected four-stroke
Rated HP:   150
Displacement:   2670cc
Weight:   216kg
Gearbox ratio:   14:28 (2.0)
Propeller:   17-inch

SUPPLIED BY
Blake’s Marine,
Phone: (02) 4577 6699
Web: www.blakesmarine.com.au; www.freedomboats.com.au

Originally published in Trailerboat #206

 


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