By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp

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Tournament Pleasure Boats describes its 2000 Bluewater as the ‘ultimate family boat…ideal for fishing, skiing or just cruising’, and Rick Huckstepp agrees




It has been a tumultuous past 12 months in the boatbuilding industry with homegrown product competing against imports.
The name Mustang has been bandied about the ramps, docks and marinas especially, due to a number of reasons.
Mustang, in the form of the large cruisers, hit a brick wall with the National Australia Bank when the boatbuilder tried to take its moulds offshore to reduce the price of manufacturing. The boffins at the bank had the moulds as their only security against the finance they gave to Mustang directors and the ensuing melee left the owners with no choice but to close the gates due to a lack of certainty over supply.
This drama is not to be confused with Mustang Pleasure Boats, formerly owned by Hancock Marine which recently sold off its moulds to Australian Marine Centre, who has three separate factory locations in Queensland.
The hangover experienced by all needed a dose of Berocca and this came in the form of a brand-name change by Mustang Pleasure Boats to Tournament, which was one of the models of Mustang in the earlier days. Now that the headache is gone, let's get down to looking - over the next few issues - at what's happening with these renamed models.
First is the 2000 Bluewater which we took for a run out to the Jumpinpin Bar between North and South Stradbroke Islands.
This boat has a high, forward brow which offers maximum headroom in the cabin even when sitting in the fore end of the V-berth. Here, there is enough room to sleep two adults with an infill over the leg well and the upholstery is neatly sewn with contrasting panels. A portable toilet could fit in the front of the leg well if required.
The usual voids under seats and the surround-pocket on the cabin wall offers plenty of stowage and a large tinted hatch in the ceiling allows one to get in close over the anchor well for handling the ground tackle. The well is large enough to handle plenty of rope and chain that is fed over the bowsprit which has a stainless steel plate lining its top to prevent chain damage to the gelcoat. Another chain slide on the forward lip of the well allows the tackle to be locked into the bollard rather than stowed away inside when underway on road or water. The well is covered with a shaped hatch fitted with quality stainless steel fittings. The chain roller and split bollard have locking pins and a reef anchor stock-tube is attached to the surrounding bowrails.




On the way out of the cabin you can close and lock the curved nylon sliding door that rolls back behind the helm station. The roller track for the door sits in a rebate above the aperture to the cabin and this is where one grabs as they go inside. The ends of the track were sharp so a touch-up with a file before installation will prevent, to some extent, fingers getting caught here. If you have this style of door-and-track system and it needs lubrication, it is a good thing to use dry lube from the outset so you don't carry grease around the boat after contacting the tracks. Meanwhile, this door ran nicely on dry tracks. Any maintenance to the looms behind the bulkhead is undertaken with the door closed and the neat, carpeted panels removed.
The helm is quite sparse in its set-up due to the installation of Evinrude's I-Command instrumentation which offers engine functionality as well as GPS speed via a Lowrance LGC-3000 antenna mounted on the pulpit that is meant to host the compass.
There was no manual compass fitted to this boat, but you should bear in mind that no matter how many GPS systems you have on board, you are required by law to have a manual compass; even if you don't use it. Those that don't want to drill a hole and use a manual direction system, can buy cheap hand-held compasses from the local camping store that will get you out of jail if the local marine authorities pull alongside.
There is plenty of space on the face of the helm bulkhead for flush-mounting instruments and further electronic cabinets may be gimbal-mounted across the top behind the windscreen. Here, Humminbird's 917c Combo (with GPS chartplotting and advanced Fishing System capabilities) was fitted and it tracked the bottom right to full throttle in a choppy sea.
The windscreen was wraparound with hardened glass front panes and Perspex side panes. While standing in the passenger area, we were looking for hand holds, but there were none so it needs these as a priority and one installed on the inside of the windscreen would be great. As tested, if the fitted clears were zipped up, the passenger could only hold onto the bimini frame which was on the left shoulder and there was nothing in front to prevent the face colliding with the screen on a hard impact.




The bimini on the 2000 was fitted with an extended awning in which was a zip-open panel that allowed one to access the rods in the rocket launcher from the cockpit rather than climbing onto the gunwale in rough seas.
With the clears unzipped, the bimini may be detached from the front screen and folded back on a hinged frame into the cockpit for towing or stowing under a low roof.
The cockpit liner at the helm and next to the passenger seat has a rebated pocket each side, and full-length sidepockets have upholstered padded fascias. Handrails are rebated into the inside edges of the coamings and two rodholders are recessed in each gunwale.
The rear lounge base is split into two pieces which can be collapsed individually. When lowered, there is room for the feet to fit underneath for some fishing stability and although not easily removable, something could be done here to make the seat base quick-release if you are multi-purposing this boat.
Behind the rear lounge, the aft end of the fuel tank's risers to which the hoses and breathers are fitted are easily viewable for maintenance purposes. There is a bilge with a pump aft of a crossbeam that holds the tank in place. That beam has a drain, so the aft end of the tank hold may be flushed and drained. A cranking battery in each aft corner and E-TEC's engine oil reservoir is tied down here.
A bait station is removable from the transom bulkhead and wells in each corner of that bulkhead may be plumbed for live bait or left as wet stowage areas.
Over the back, the fuel filler is located along with a boarding ladder that stows in a rebate, complemented with a grab handle.
ETEC's 150hp engine was fitted to this boat and it was a dream to drive. Although rated to 200hp, unless you are pushing the weight limits continually, 150 horses are plenty. It was snappy out of the hole and exhibited brilliant torque throughout the rev range to full throttle of 5200rpm at which time we were clipping along at 42mph on the GPS which converts to just under 68kmh.
The wind on the test day was about 15 to 20 knots and hammering this boat in the chop behind the Bar proved it to be surprisingly dry, firstly with spray up to the screen area and secondly aft to the engine cowl. At the helm it was a pleasure to drive and handled chop with gentle ease.
You'll like this one, and it's definitely worth a test drive.




Good performance for low horsepower considering the size of the boat
Dry running in chop




Drink holders too small
Cabin door track needs smoothing off
Not enough grabrails for helm passenger
The inability to flush fish bits from the fuel tank hold is a concern but an aftermarket system made from a garden hose and fittings might work well here





Specifications: Tournament 2000 Blue Water




Price as tested:                                   $65,000
Options fitted:                                Stainless steel targa and bimini, extended awning, clears, and Humminbird Combo unit
Priced from:                                       $60,000




Material:                                             Fibreglass
Length overall:                                    6.5m
Beam:                                            2.34m
Deadrise:                                            21º
Weight:                                              1000kg (hull)




People night:                                      2
People day:                                        6
Fuel:                                                  185lt
Rec. max. HP:                                    200
Rec. max. engine weight:                        230kg




Make/model:                                Evinrude E-TEC
Type:                                                 Direct fuel injected two-stroke
Weight:                                              190kg
Rated HP:                                           150 at 5000rpm
Displacement:                                     2589cc
Gearbox ratio:                                    1.65:1
Propeller:                                           19in Viper




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



Originally published in TrailerBoat #230

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