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You’ve been waiting for it and here it is… the comprehensive Coastryder 6m HT Fisherman prize boat test




TrailerBoat has been telling its readers a lot about the new range of Coastryder Boats now available in this country… and not only because we have one to giveaway. As I sit to write this test, I can hear some saying, "He's only saying that because it's their project boat." But nothing could be further from the truth and in this test I intended to be extremely subjective.

So, what's the story so far? The Coastryder Boats range is designed by world-renowned Kiwi yacht and powerboat designer, Brett Bakewell-White. These boats were specifically designed with deep-vee hulls and aggressive chines to suit Australia's rugged conditions.

Bakewell-White employed a holistic approach to the powerboat's design and came up with a range of craft that offer a pleasing blend of aesthetics, comfort, strength, quality, speed and performance, all at the right price.

Coastryder Boats are Australian-owned, Kiwi-designed vessels that are built in China under strict quality control. All components, such as hatches, bilge pumps, fuel tanks and the likes, are exported from New Zealand to the factory in China, to further ensure each boat's quality. Plus, all the deck hardware and rails are all 316 marine-grade stainless steel.

The range consists of vessels from 10 to 32ft that are built with technical input from High Modulus in NZ to ensure their quality and strength.





But this test is all about the new 6m HT Fisherman, and yes, it's the boat we'll be giving away after the Sydney International Boat Show 2010. Coastryder builds two similar 6m boats - the 6m Cuddy and the 6m HT Fisherman. Both boats sit on the same hull, but both are completely different to drive. For instance, the HT Fisherman needs trim tabs in strong winds to stop the hardtop from acting like a sail and stopping it from leaning, albeit ever so slightly, into the wind. The Cuddy doesn't do this. But there's an easy fix… move some of the gear onboard around to level the ride, or fit "bloody" trim tabs.

I tested all of the Coastryder range off Mandurah in WA, so there was always plenty of wind about and I must say that I found the 6m HT to be one of the quietest, softest riding and softest landing hulls (after coming off the top of many a 2m swell with the help of the 175hp Evinrude E-TEC strapped on its back) that I have driven in a quite a while.

There are a number of contributing factors to this boat's ride, but it all starts with hull shape. First and foremost is the Fisherman's classic Kiwi-designed narrow beam (relative to length) of 2.3m, which keeps its sharp forefoot and 23-degree deadrise doing what they're supposed to do, slicing through the water. The wider the beam up front, the more area amidships there is to take the impact of the water on the hull. In other words, the Fisherman's hull slices cleanly through the water and there's no water hammering the bow. This hull is completely foam-filled, which also helps deaden the sound of water hitting the hull.

But the piece de resistance are its chines; lovely, wide-aggressive chines that it carries well forward. This design traps air under the hull between the chines' outer edges and the keel, which generate lift, softening the ride even further and taking the bangs out of the landings.

From what I've said already I gather you realise that this is one soft-riding hull, but you can also throw it around at speed like a skiboat and it handles like a dream. The hull lays over well and doesn't give passengers and crew that uncomfortable "I'm going to be thrown overboard" feeling.





The Coastryder 6m HT Fisherman has a horsepower range of 90hp to 175hp, but following this test, unless you were carrying large loads around most of the time, a 175hp motor is overkill. A 150hp Evinrude E-TEC, or one of the new 130hp E-TECs, is more suited to the hull. But there was no denying that when we wanted the boat to get up and go, it got up and went, like a rocket. Quietly and smoothly, too, like all of the motors in the E-TEC line-up.

For this test we took the 6m HT Fisherman 15nm wide of Mandurah and did just as the name implies… went fishing. But the wind came up early, so we decided that "discretion was the better part of valour" and headed back in a building following sea. The hull tracked straight, even at slow speeds in the conditions, but with the bow trimmed out and the sea on the stern, it sat on 28kts with ease - without banging and crashing and falling into holes.

Back closer to shore in calm conditions the boat cruised effortlessly at 38kts pulling 3500rpm and topped out at 48kts hitting 5850rpm. However, the rev limiter doesn't actually cut in until 6200rpm.





The only way to test a fishing boat is to take it fishing and we did. So, what did we find? Both good and not so good points, but that's to be expected from any boat - no boat can be the "be all" to everyone. I'll list the points and let you, the reader, decide.

Firstly, the rear cockpit is wide and uncluttered with an underfloor killtank and two other underfloor storage bins. The 145lt fuel tank is also mounted under the floor; centrally, just behind the driver's seat for better weight distribution. There are no cockpit sidepockets, or padded coamings, so getting your "toes in under" when fighting a fish is difficult, but not impossible. Why? Because on each side of the cockpit are padded fold-down quarter seats that an angler can rest against comfortably. And they come in handy as crew seats when underway.

The engine well does encroach a bit into the cockpit and the rear-quarter seats are moulded fixtures, but they're well aft and don't impede an angler's access to the transom. And, under the starboard seat is a plumbed livebait tank. There's also a high grabrail around the engine well that fishos can brace against. Snapper rodholders, or a removable baitboard, could easily be mounted here. The teak-topped gunwales are intentionally narrow, so maximum cockpit space can still be maintained within a 2.3m beam. However, this makes the placement of gunwale rodholders difficult.

During our initial test, the oil bottle for the E-TEC motor sat low in the transom, under a hatch in front of the engine, and could not be topped up at sea. It's now been moved to higher ground.

The passenger and driver's bucket seats sit on storage bins; the bin under the passenger's seat houses the batteries and isolator switch. The driver's seat has a bolster and is on a slide. The throttle's well placed and adopting a comfortable driving position is easy whether seated, or standing. All-round visibility is first rate, the driver gets a windscreen wiper and both hardtop side windows slide open for ventilation. There are also solid handrails for those standing in the cockpit when underway.

Evinrude's I-Command gauges keep the driver fully informed - they display all engine management requirements, fuel flow and trip-log information, which leaves room to flush-mount a 6in GPS/sounder unit and other electronics in the dash. I'd also like to see a sighting compass added to the list of extras.





The cabin features 1.9m bunks (with infill), 1.35m of headroom, a Portaloo, side shelves and easy access through the wide cabin entry. Two burly fishos could easily curl up in their sleeping bags for a night on the fishing grounds comfortably in this cabin. While the bowrails do extend back to the end of the hardtop cabin, access to the ground tackle is via the large hatch in the main cabin. However, the anchorwell and bowsprit are designed to accommodate an anchor winch. This is supplied as a standard fitting, but wasn't fitted to the boat at the time of testing.

In its basic configuration, the 6m HT Fisherman has just about all many fisho's will require, including deckwash; self-draining scuppers; swim platform and boarding ladder; bilge pump; nav lights; and hydraulic steering. All that needs to be added is your choice of GPS/sounder; VHF radio; rocket-launcher rodholder; and maybe a stereo. Then, you'll be ready to chase the big ones, but I also know there'll be many more trinkets added to the mix as you develop "your" boat.





Being designed in NZ and built in China under strict quality control, buyers get the best of both worlds from a Coastryder 6m HT Fisherman. Its design and seagoing abilities, tried and tested in the rough waters around NZ, are without question, but being built in China means the Coastryder team can keep the purchase price down. How many rigs of this standard and style can you get for under $60,000? And that includes a dual-axle trailer and a 150hp Evinrude E-TEC.

The 6m HT's price maybe entry-level, but the package is not and while you only get what you pay for, that's quite a lot with this 6m offshore fishing boat. Plus, simply add a set of storm covers and a gas barbie and you end up with a great pocket cruiser for a couple. You can't ask for more than that.

You'll be able to see the new TrailerBoat Coastryder 6m HT Fisherman giveaway boat at boat shows and fishing competitions around the country throughout the New Year.





Great rough-water boat
Value for money
Strong hull
Build quality





Oil bottle location
No toes in-under
Narrow gunwales





Specifications: Coastryder 6m HT Fisherman





Price as tested: $59,990
Options fitted: Nil
Optioned prize boat: $71,450




Material: Fibreglass
Length overall: 6m
Beam: 2.3m
Weight: 1450kg (hull)
Deadrise: 23°
Transom angle: 16°
Bunk length: 1.9m
Cabin headroom: 1.35m
Height on trailer: 2.6m
Length on trailer: 6.85m




People: Seven
Rec. max. HP: 175
Rec. HP: 150
HP rating: 90 to 175
Fuel: 145lt




Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC
Weight: 190kg
Shaft: 25in
Gearbox ratio: 1.86:1
Rated HP: 175
Start: Electric
Displacement: 2592cc
Alternator: 133amp



Coastryder Marine,
PO Box 673,
Mandurah, WA, 6210
Phone: (08) 9583 4500
Fax: (08) 9583 4599
Mobile: 0434 512 563

Find Coastryder boats for sale.


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