BOAT TEST: SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DC

By: David Lockwood


Seaswirl’s versatile new Striper 2101 DC is big and tough enough to take on Mr T. I pity the fool who hasn’t considered this boat, writes David Lockwood.

BOAT TEST: SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DC
SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DC

TEST REVIEW: SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DC

Sometimes the best boats aren't the most popular ones. In some ways it's a bit like buying a hamburger. We know Greasy Joe's does the best burgers in town, but everyone goes to Big Ms. Aside from convenience, the decision has something to do with knowing exactly what you are getting for your money. Two all-beef patties...

The Seaswirl Striper 2101 DC is a terrific boat, though the concept might take a while for prospective trailerboat buyers to appreciate. You see, what we have here is a hybrid, a boat quite unlike anything I have driven before, that can cater for pretty much any scenario thrown its way.

Owned by boatbuilding giant Genmar, the Seawirls are made with solid GRP and a one-piece stringer system backed by a 10-year transferable warranty. There is a sportsboat range from 17-23ft and the Striper range from 17-29ft, under which this interesting boat can be found.

The DC part of its appellation stands for "dual console". That itself is a fancy handle for a bowrider. But unlike all other bowriders I have driven - which are always intended for family and/or sports boating on enclosed waters be they bays, harbours or rivers - this bowrider is really designed for wide open spaces.

In fact, I have never set foot aboard a bowrider with quite this amount of freeboard, buoyancy and seaworthiness in my two decades of driving boats for a living. What you have here is an exceedingly safe bluewater bowrider with potential limited only by your imagination.

I can see the Seaswirl with the kids up front undertaking a whale-watching trip off the coast, running across Moreton Bay to the Tangalooma wrecks, heading out for some reef-fishing off Cairns, exploring wild Wilson's Promontory or the SA gulfs, touring the islands off the West Coast and up a quiet river with the tykes on skis.

These aren't far-flung fantasies, but excursions that are well within the capabilities of this bluewater bowrider. Doubt me? Then consider its fuel capacity - a whopping 397lt - and its volume. With a stretched beam of 2.59m, which technically requires a permit to tow in daylight, this is indeed a mighty 21-footer.

 

 

FULL OF SURPRISES

As I didn't have any expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the physical presence and stature of this bluewater bowrider.

The boat came on an American Ezy-Loader cradle with hydraulic brakes, but the Sydney Seaswirl dealer will package it with a local trailer for the same money should you prefer.

More surprises revealed themselves as I coasted along Pittwater in the no-wash zone on a brisk spring morning. The note of the inboard engine told me we had a V8 aboard. Thus, the boat not only has a big range from its oversized fuel tank - and seaworthiness to go places - but it also has speed, sportiness and grunt for pulling skiers out of the water.

The standard motor, a 190hp donk, had been upgraded to a handy 270hp number. The Volvo 5.0 GXi lives in a very easily accessed engine box, with a fold-back upper lid and a fold-down lower lid, both covered in a subtle but effective non-skid. There were boarding steps either side of the engine box and a transom door with a swim ladder to port.

I also noted two amidships and two aft rodholders, angled nicely astern for trolling, as well as optional removable aft-quarter seat bases, which sat on pedestal mounts alongside the engine well. Remove
the seats and you can get into the corners of the boat and fish more effectively.

Underway, I judged this to be a quiet boat with a good engine installation. However, some of that quietness can be attributed to the hull. It's an interesting deep-vee hull shape with 20° of deadrise at the transom and a lot
of volume up front.

A swooping sheerline and pronounced chines help shed the water that's displaced by the boat's huge forward sections. With such big chines, however, it is important to keep the boat on an even keel. To this end, optional trim tabs would be a worthwhile inclusion in crosswinds and when you have a big crowd aboard.

 

 

DECKED OUT

An impressive range of factory-fitted options lets you customise your Seaswirl 2101 DC.
You can create a very capable fishing and family boat.

The moulded hardtop that sits on an anodised alloy frame will help with the former, while a Porta Potti with deck pump-out and four-speaker stereo will pacify the latter.

Many key features also come gratis. There is a standard-issue built-in aerated livebait tank in the transom with an impressive 102lt capacity, dual fish-storage boxes or iceboxes under the for'ard seats each of 61lt capacity, and a self-draining cockpit. There are concealed and lockable rod lockers built into the sides.

Underfloor, one finds a truly massive fishbox or waterski locker. The moulded liner is plumbed and linked to a macerator with an overboard drain. So no worries about fish scales clogging the hose.

The boat has padded coamings to give support when leaning outboard, a small anchor well and moulded bowsprit up front, a raw-water deck washdown back aft for dealing with sandy feet or fish blood, and a built-in two-tray tackle drawer and moulded recess for carrying an EPIRB or fire extinguisher.

There are also handy storage pockets flanking the helm for personals and toting cold drinks. Ahead of the co-pilot, a hatch lifts on gas struts (as do most of them on this boat) to reveal a change room and head. There is no ventilation, but at least the Porta Potti was linked to an optional pump-out facility.

The boat's hardware, the cleats and stainless-steel grabrails up front, and the bowsprit designed to carry a plough anchor when on the run, are all heavy duty and designed for saltwater use.

The padded backrests in the bow made for a comfortable seating area. Remove the cushions and you create a casting platform for pelting lures at fast-moving fish. The dealer added clip-in carpet to make the boat even more agreeable for the family.

In either role, you'll find a terrific amount of dry storage - an area big enough to crawl into - behind the helm. A hatch grants access to the boat's wiring as well as a void for stowing beach towels, picnic baskets and a small esky or two.

 

 

DRIVING THE DC

The boat flaunts a carbon-dash panel and Faria engine gauges for fuel and trim levels, RPM, boat speed, volts, oil pressure and/or temperature. There are rocker switches for the bilge pump, livebait tank aerator and lights.

I was impressed by the large recessed panel designed to accommodate a serious flush-mounted GPS chartplotter/sounder. The steering wheel is a solid stainless-steel number and the windscreen is safety glass.

The comfortable helm seats, which sit on excellent adjustable Springfield bases, don't provide the sense of security you get from bucket seats with wings. Also, my legs got kind of cold because there is no windbreak panel in the companionway. Percy didn't think much of the breeze blowing up my left trouser leg either.

Yet this was by no means an uncomfortable boat. It worked splendidly when I cast lures and squid jigs from the bow - though I failed to find a fish or calamari - and when I embarked on a whirlwind tour of Palm Beach. As I said, unlike most bowriders, this will be inclined to take you into open waters.

The V8 gave good holeshot, though there was a moment where the big bow waved in the air. The boat sat at 2500rpm with full in-trim of the sterndrive leg. All speeds, including 22mph (37.4kmh) at 2500rpm, were read off the supplied speedo.

A nice cruise came in at 3000rpm and 27mph (46kmh), which would also be a good waterski speed.

When I trimmed the leg up the wake got noticeably smoother for skiers and the boat shifted to 28-29mph (48kmh). The boat felt good offshore at these speeds too.

Advancing the throttle to 3500rpm resulted in a 34mph (58kmh) fast cruise, and at 4000rpm the boat sped to 38mph (65kmh). Flat out, I nudged 50mph (85kmh) on the speedo at 5000rpm.

The boat has a lot of potential and it's not what one can do with it so much as trying to find what it can't do that's the challenge. A smart hybrid well worth thinking about.

 

 

HIGHS

• Huge volume, seaworthy and safe

• Smooth riding offshore providing you keep the boat in the water

• Great mouldings and oodles of storage

• A very adaptable design for fishing and
family boating

• Timeless styling, finish and fittings suitable for saltwater use

 

 

LOWS

• The covers for the sidepockets hinge open only so far before they hit the optional aft seats

• The 2.59m beam requires that you have a permit for daylight-only towing

• It would be good if the optional hardtop and alloy frame with rocket launcher was strong enough to tow wakeboarders

• Trims tabs would help keep the boat on an even keel. Big forward sections shed a lot of water and throw the spray around

• No ventilation in head

 

 

 


Specifications: Seaswirl Striper 2101 DC

 

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $69,100 w/ 270hp Volvo 5.0 GXi petrol inboard, Ezy Tow trailer with brakes, towing permit and options

Options fitted: Upgraded engine, aft jump seat and removable pedestal bases, Porta Potti with pump-out, and sound system

Priced from: $61,800 w/ 190hp Volvo 4.3GL petrol inboard on trailer with bimini

 

 

GENERAL

Material: GRP fibreglass with stringer system

Type: Deep-vee planing hull

Length overall: 6.55m

Beam: 2.59m

Deadrise: 20°

Weight: About 1488kg
(dry w/ standard engine)

Towing weight: About 2300kg

 

 

CAPACITIES

Berths: Camp on deck

Fuel: 397lt

Water: Optional

Bait tank: 102lt

 

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Volvo 5.0 GXi

Type: V8 petrol four-stroke inboard

Rated hp: 270 @ 5000rpm (max)

Displacement: 5.0lt

Weight: About 225kg

Gearbox (make/ratio): Aquamatic

Props: N/A

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

Enterprise Marine

1416 Pittwater Road, North Narrabeen, NSW 2101

Tel: (02) 9913 7767

Web: www.seaswirl.com

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #185

 

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