By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp

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Rick Huckstepp recommends the very similar 1600 and 1750 from Tournament as ideal and quite affordable entry level family/fishing boats

TOURNAMENT 1600 & 1750



A familiar boat getting around our waterways might catch your eye, but when it comes to its name, Tournament, you may well wonder where you have seen this rig.
In fact Mustang is the heritage for this brand of boats which have just seen a re-birth in Queensland.
The reason for change is that there was a lot of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the Mustang title with the demise of its large boat business, coupled with the fact that Hancock Marine had sold off the moulds to these and other models referred to in this test.
Tournament was one of the Mustang models and became the new label on a well respected boat line up.
We tested three boats: the 2000 Bluewater, and the 1750 and 1600 Tournaments referred to here. Ostensibly, the 1600 has an almost identical internal fitout to the 1750 with only a slight shortening in the engine pod department and a different style top section at the transom, to tell them apart.
There is a slight difference in the deadrise as well.
The cabins in these boats are spacious to spread out in, though slightly short in head height. The usual stowage under the side berths of the vee allow for plenty of gear to be stacked away, but the forward end in the 1750 remains un-upholstered to allow people to stand there with their torso through the roof hatch to work the ground tackle. The 1600 on the other hand featured full upholstery and an infill for sleeping - a couple of adults could bunk down here easily. The plastic catch holding the hatch closed seemed a little on the flimsy side, but did keep it shut and rattle free. Padded backrests surround the internal wall of the cabin with sidepockets behind.
The helm bulkhead was cut away at the bottom opening the cabin up for full ventilation. The aft ends of the berths have alloy nonslip foot treads to prevent damage to the gelcoat by shoes and there is another on the edge leading down to the leg well between.




The instrumentation area is designed with two fascias, the lower of which could hold small chartplotter/depthsounder units flush mounted. That above on the 1750 held Evinrude's E-TEC instrumentation with Humminbird's GPS antenna mounted on the platform designed for the manual compass. The portside half of the flat top of the dashboard is heavily rebated for placing goods and chattels. Large cabinet electronics could be gimbal-mounted here as well. The 1600 was fitted with a Humminbird depthsounder which operated well at all speeds.
The screens on both boats are Perspex. They wrap around the fore end of the cockpit neatly and a single handle is available for the passenger's left hand. With the tip of the windscreen within easy reach it also seconds as another handhold, although a fit-up of a windscreen top handrail would be more ergonomic and strengthen the screen area at the same time.
Both helms were sheltered with a canvas bimini wrapped over an alloy frame. The bimini has been built with the zip attached so clears may be easily installed aftermarket.
Both boats were fitted with manual cable steering and if you are not right on the ball with the trim of the engine you will wish you had funded the extra for the hydraulic type. Very few boats fitted with manual cable steering are easy on the arms at all points of trim and not surprisingly, neither of these is either.
Full length pockets run down each side of the cockpit and between the swivel bucket seats, a square killtank/wet area is recessed into the deck.
These boats have rodholders and rebated handrails on the inside of the coamings. At the transom bulkhead, a permanent backrest for the lounge is installed and the lounge base is split into two. When either or both are collapsed there is room underneath to place the feet while fishing, negating the need to have them made removable.
With these folded out of the way one accesses the cranking battery and the E-TEC oil reservoir plus the aft end of the 'built to survey' aluminium fuel tank.
This tank is built with risers that take the breather and fuel lines well above the deck so sliding objects do not puncture soft hoses. Tanks installed in the transom bulkhead are easily plumbed for livebait or for use as deadbait or rubbish receptacles.
The 1750 features a fold-up extendable boarding ladder on the port side of the transom while the 1600 has only a flat boarding platform.




Both these two boats and the Bluewater 2000 really surprised us in windy, choppy conditions. One expects to cop spray all over the place with wind blowing onto the forequarters. Not so with these boats and we pushed them through short, sharp chop behind Jumpinpin Bar in 15-knot southeasterlies without any issues at all. The hulls are clean too and minimal spray found its way onto the engine cowls.
The 90hp E-TEC fitted to the 1750 experienced rough, rattly idling which may well be from a kinked fuel line feeding the injector at idle as this issue disappeared once above idle rpm.
This was a snappy engine and holeshot was very good, as was that of the 1600 which was fitted with an E-TEC 75hp. Correctly set trim had the boats manoeuvring with ease, but trimming in the leg for hard turns really put the elbows to work - do you yourself a favour and spend the bucks on a hydraulic helm.
Both of these boats present well and are basic, but with a base price that is very affordable as well. A big family sedan will tow them with ease and they perform well with relatively low horsepower.




Dry ride in windy chop
Good value for money




Both require hydraulic steering
Drinkholders are too small





Specifications: Tournament 1750




Price as tested:                       $37,500
Options fitted:                         Chartplotter/sounder, full safety pack,
                                                bimini, alloy rocket launcher, and boarding
Priced from:                             $36,500




Material:                                   Fibreglass
Length overall:                          5.75m
Beam:                              2.13m
Weight:                                     560kg (hull only)




Fuel:                                         90lt
People night:                         2
People day:                               6
Rec. max. HP:                              135
Max. engine weight:       190kg




Make/model:                             Evinrude E-TEC
Type:                                       Direct fuel injected two-stroke outboard
Weight:                                     148kg
Rated HP:                                  90
Displacement:                           1295cc
Gearbox ratio:                           2.5:1
Propeller:                                  15in




Specifications: Tournament 1600



Price as tested:                          $32,500
Options fitted:                           Nil 




Material:                                   Fibreglass
Length overall:                          5.35m
Beam:                                    2.13m
Weight:                                     550kg (hull only)




Fuel:                                         90lt
People night:                         2
People day:                               5
Rec. max. HP:                              100
Max. engine weight:        170kg




Make/model:                             Evinrude E-TEC
Type:                                       Direct fuel injected two-stroke outboard
Weight:                                     145kg
Rated HP:                                  75
Displacement:                           1295cc
Gearbox ratio:                           2:1
Propeller:                                  15in




Australian Marine Centre,
3491 Pacific Highway,
Springwood, Qld, 4127
Phone: (07) 3808 7333



Originally published in TrailerBoat #233

Find Tournament boats for sale.


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