The Southbeach Sports 240 has all the hallmarks of a practical dayboat and has potential to be a great weekender

The Southbeach Sports 240 has all the hallmarks of a practical dayboat and has potential to be a great weekender.
Kencraft Marine has been building boats on the Gold Coast for some years now. The mainstays of its business have been luxurious, quality 27ft tenders to superyachts in the 200ft class, with most of them being sold offshore. Kencraft Marine has emulated, to some extent, the same quality in its Southbeach Sports 240 – a boat the company prefers to call a ‘crossover’. That is, it’s a dayboat or ski boat that you can take for a fish as well, or convert to a rig with sleeping quarters. It’s similar in concept to the large, beamy, party pontoon boats we see gracing out waterways, but in a fast, manoeuvrable fibreglass hull with a sporty look.

The boat we tested was fitted with a four-stroke Suzuki 140hp outboard with hydraulic steering, mounted on the transom between broad and long down-swept aft corners that were deeply rebated with steps. The lower steps, one of which held the fuel filter, are both designed for wet stowage.
A swim-out on either side was fitted on the back of the boat. The one on the starboard side had a telescopic, folding ladder installed.
The rear lounge is U-shaped and there is enough room on the port and starboard side to berth an adult across the wide back section. This rear bench section is a bi-fold hatch which, when raised, locks in the vertical position and provides the backbone of the privacy curtain hiding the portable toilet inside.
There is a handheld shower rose on the transom and the large engine well has a non-skid surface, making it a good spot to clean yourself off. It would also be a good place to put a rubbish bin.
While all seating except for the helm seat has some form of storage below, the storage under the rear lounge sides has large apertures under the cushions for 45lt iceboxes. The ends are rebated, making for easy access.
A galley is installed to port, mid cockpit, and it has a two-burner gas stove installed in the top with a safety rail surrounding it. A barbecue plate, stored in the compartment below with the gas bottle, can be fitted here. A plumbed sink, accessing 60lt of fresh water, is adjacent to the cook top.
Underfoot, between the galley module and the helm seat, a large hatch provides access to the ski locker.
The helm is compact and has a brow for plenty of instrumentation for the engine but, should you want a depthsounder, it would have to be gimbal-mounted on top. The forward lounge is another wraparound unit that will comfortably seat five large adults around a table that has five depressions in its top to secure glasses or small bottles.
The coaming is quite wide across the blunt front of this boat. In its top there are two hatches that open outwards to reveal a full-width anchor locker. Rebated into the edge of the well is another telescopic folding ladder for off-loading at the beach. This area would also make a good wet area for towels and clothes.
With its shallow vee and variable deadrise giving a broad planing area on the hull, this boat will easily lift five people seated up front onto the plane. That same hull construction offers a good deal of stability at rest and allows 10 people to comfortably use this boat. Twelve is the limit. If necessary, it may be put into 2E or 4E survey.

The water was fairly choppy and there was plenty of cross wind as we ran up the Broadwater with five people aboard. A small amount of spray did come over the forequarters.
With the Suzuki wound out to 5400rpm, the speedometer showed 37mph. Steering was very direct. With people moving about while on the plane, there was no torque evident at the helm and the hull tracked true.
Putting the boat into hard turns produced a lot of aeration at the propeller and experience tells us that this could be alleviated by dropping the engine one bolt hole deeper into the water, which equates to about 25mm.
The aeration was such that tight, high-speed manoeuvring was not possible.
The maximum horsepower rating is 200 and you might want that much power to lift 12 people onto the plane but, as tested, the 140 was ample.
If you are looking for a party boat to entertain friends or a large family without the bulk and awkwardness of a pontoon boat, the Southbeach is worth a test drive. Internally, it has all the hallmarks of a good, practical dayboat. With a little effort and some more canopy and clears, it would make an ideal weekender.

Well laid-out
Stable at rest
Low horsepower requirement for a large boat

Incorrectly fitted engine caused aeration


Specifications: Southbeach Sports 240

Price as tested:                $82,500, no trailer
Options fitted:                 Wakeboard tower, canvas bimini, canvas cover, forward table, toilet/change room, barbecue hotplate
Priced from:                    $73,500, no trailer

Material:                          Fibreglass
Length overall:                 7.36m
Beam:                    2.5m
Draft:                              0.32m
Deadrise:                         15° variable
Weight:                           Approx 1950kg

Fuel:                               130lt
Water:                             60lt
Passengers:             12
Rec. max hp:                     200

Make/model                    Suzuki DF 140
Type:                              Four-cylinder four-stroke 16-valve DOHC
Rated hp:                        140
Displacement:                  2044cc
Weight:                           186kg
Gearbox ratio:                 2.38:1
Propeller:                        18-inch

Kencraft Marine, PO Box 2228, Burleigh BC, Qld, 4220
Phone: (07) 5522 1248, 0418 751 435

Originalyl published in TrailerBoat #216

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