BOAT TEST: STREAKER 6100 SIROCCO V-MAX


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Can a locally-made family all-rounder like the Streaker 6100 Sirocco V-Max square off against the inboard-powered yank imports? John Willis finds out.

BOAT TEST: STREAKER 6100 SIROCCO V-MAX
STREAKER 6100 SIROCCO V-MAX

 

TEST REVIEW: STREAKER 6100 SIROCCO V-MAX

Let's face it - most boaties are either outboard enthusiasts or sterndrive lovers, and in Australia there seems little crossover. While we've traditionally favoured outboards for trailerboats up to about 6m, modern developments in the efficiency of high horsepower engines mean larger outboards are now moving into the 6 to 8m stronghold that was previously the realm of inboards. Given our current exchange rate you'd think Aussie boatbuilders would find it impossible to compete with the gigantic American inboard market, but for boats with our much-loved outboards there are still some good contenders - boats like the Victorian-made Streaker 6100 Sirocco V-Max Limited Edition bowrider.

 

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The Streaker 6100 Sirocco is a lovely boat aesthetically. It has beautiful, sleek lines accentuated by tasteful two-tone gelcoat and stylish yet minimal ruby-red and white graphics.

The internal layout is quite conventional - this is, after all, a crossover boat - but the combination of red and white upholstery, not to mention black and white mouldings with grey marine carpet, makes for a comfortable and inviting layout with a fast and modern edge.

The Sirocco should appeal to families that like a bit of everything, be it fishing in the slop and chop, or skiing or wakeboarding with the kids, all the while remaining elegant enough for a comfortable cruise. Its easily removable large rear lounge makes this a very fishable convertible thanks to the walk-up-style transom and deep freeboard. The package also includes a functional stainless steel skipole, a detachable baitboard combination, and flush-mounted stainless rodholders.

The hull is the same as the 6100 Navigator, which in turn had its origins as the now superseded 585. That means it's a seaworthy hull that anglers can treat with a degree of seriousness. Even so, its performance as a sportsboat is impressive. On the test boat a big Yamaha 200hp HPDI (High Pressure Direct Injection) literally rocketed the hull out of the hole with a gutsy attitude. There was a small bow rise as we came up to planing speed, a common trait on deep-vee hulls, but the trade-off here is the dependable seaworthiness.

Powering quickly through to a fast cruising speed of 31.4kts (51.8kmh) at 4500rpm the hull really came into its own. The package is very economical at this speed considering the power of the big, direct-injected two-stroke. At only 33lt/h this is comparable to many four-stroke alternatives.

It was when we opened her right up that the excitement hit fever pitch. Doing 5800rpm at wide open throttle (WOT) we hit 43.7kts (81kmh) - yep, that's the old 50mph. She felt fast, free, and without bad temperaments, but with all barrels wide open she drank 77.6lt/h. Even so, that fuel rate is actually quite comparable to modern alternatives and the 184lt underfloor tank offers plenty of range. I noted that knocking back just 300 revs to 5500rpm reduced absolute top end speed by a couple of knots, while fuel consumption dropped dramatically to 49lt/h. That's a saving of around 35 per cent and we were still flying.

 

 

ON THE WATER

The test boat confidently danced around on the water, holding into turns without a hint of cavitation while maintaining a flat and even attitude with good driving visibility. She was also surprisingly stable at rest, so you can fill her with friends and not be scared of spilling your drinks whenever someone sneezes.

Speaking of drinks, a plug-in table with a mounting position is situated in front of the rear lounge. The lounge is thickly upholstered and very comfortable, with a lift-off seat base that reveals a huge icebox or dry storage area. The whole unit easily slips out of the way for convenient access to the oil bottle, battery, switchgear and bilge.

On the transom, we find a pair of boarding platforms and a ladder for entry. While the platforms are large enough for general use, one drawback of such an outboard setup is that you lose the full-width transom platform that would normally be the staging area for skiing and wakeboarding.

The hull is fitted with a full internal liner. It culminates at the bow where it becomes the seat framework for the bowrider. All internal floors are fitted with marine carpet to help keep things clean and presentable. The spacious cockpit is surrounded by conventional yet practical sidepocket storage, and the coamings have recessed siderails.

I'll confess that I'm still getting my head around Streaker's black gelcoat dashboards. Some will love it, others probably won't. I think I like it - I'm not entirely sure. Either way, it's a presentable contrast to the red and white boat and basic grey carpet.

At the helm is a compact dash instrument layout that shows everything at a glance. It includes three Yamaha multi-function gauges, Lowrance depthsounder, Clarion CD sound system, waterproof switch panel and hydraulic steering with sports steering wheel. The engine controls are flush-mounted and the upholstered, shell-style driver and passenger seats are fitted with swivel and slide adjustment. The passenger console gets a lockable glovebox, a pair of refreshment holders and a suitably placed stainless steel Jesus bar.

The package includes a bimini canopy as standard, and I would suggest that those boaters with fishing in mind consider upgrading to a bimini combination-rocket launcher, so the rods are kept well out of the way when not in use. Others may look for wakeboard or ski racks, or perhaps a travelling cover.

A step through the centre-opening windscreen takes you to the bowrider with the thrillseekers. It's also a nice spot to comfortably cruise or sunbake (though perhaps not in this winter weather - Ed) and it makes mooring and anchoring a real breeze.

You can tell that the Streaker is an Australian boat - it has a sensible anchoring setup! There's a convenient bowsprit with a separate anchor locker and a split cross-bollard for locking the chain, thus retaining the anchor on the bow. I point this out because anchoring is an area where many imported boats are really let down on the local market.

The Sirocco V-Max package comes complete with a premium Easytow "Custom" drive-on trailer with alloy wheels, disc brakes, LED lights, galvanised axles, springs and hubs, as well as a canvas bow cover. Personally, as a fisho, I'd pay a little more and go for a pair of walkway zips in the bow cover for flexible anchoring and docking when the bowrider isn't in use.

 

 

THE WRAP

I must admit, I've always been an outboard man. While it's loads of fun to drive the Sirocco's competitors, I am often glad that I don't have to worry about the long term service and maintenance costs, especially on those inboards used mostly in salt water without heat exchangers.

This Streaker 6100 Sirocco V-Max Limited Edition package is a practical alternative for the family that wants the best of all worlds - something more than just a dedicated ski, wake or cruising boat. It does all of those things well, and being an outboard it will continue to do so for many years of saltwater use. It's very comfortable and presentable, and while it lacks the Euro style panache of many imported competitors, it still looks good and drives beautifully with all the equipment you need to enjoy your water party. And did I mention it's made locally?

 

 

 

OUTBOARD VS STERNDRIVE

Which one would you choose?

Many inboard-powered boats are either built or imported without heat exchangers. Is this important? It sure is. Heat exchangers provide a closed freshwater cooling system for the engineblock, similar to the cooling found in a motor vehicle. This means the heat exchanger takes the place of a radiator to cool the internal fluid. Without a heat exchanger, the engine is cooled from raw water pumped from outside the boat. In a saltwater environment, this will increase corrosion problems.

Believe it or not, most popular bowriders and sportsboats imported from the USA and Canada are primarily made for the gigantic inland and freshwater systems that dominate much of the American landscape. Hence, raw water cooling is not a problem in these areas. Bring them into Australia's predominantly saltwater environment, however, and suddenly these engines are faced with serious corrosion and long-term maintenance requirements.

Of course, there is always a weigh-up. Freshwater enclosed cooling systems add considerably to the initial purchase price and the actual heat exchangers can be responsible for increased maintenance costs.

 

 

GENERAL LAYOUT

Inboards demand a large enginebox. This isn't too much of a problem in a sportsboat, seeing as direct access to the stern is usually necessary only as a staging point for watersports. For fishos, that large enginebox at the stern is a pain in the proverbial. It reduces the workable deck area and creates more hassles for baitboard and rodholder construction. It's also near impossible to fight a big fish if you can't move quickly and easily from side to side.

Of course, sportsboat enthusiasts love inboard layouts because of the terrific things that can be done with rear seating, often combined with rear sundecks, walkways and full-width transom platforms.

 

 

PERFORMANCE

Inboard four-strokes traditionally provide enormous torque, while two-stroke outboards excel in immediate power. However, modern technology is closing that gap.

As a rule, hulls fitted with inboards offer superior seakeeping ability as the weight of the engine is confined within the hull with a low centre of gravity. In this way they almost act as ballast. Outboard transom design has gone through many transitions over the years. Today we've reached a point where most modern boat designs are specifically made to carry the weight of an outboard, where an extended keel and an extra-long transom can provide the required buoyancy.

 

 

FUEL CONSUMPTION

Until recently, inboard four-strokes had far superior fuel economy compared to naturally-aspirated (carburetted) two-stroke outboards. That's why larger trailerboats were usually fitted with inboard sterndrives. The hulls simply could not carry enough fuel for thirsty outboards. Recent developments in outboard technology have changed all that, with modern, large-horsepower offerings providing a range of fuel-efficient engines in both two- and four-stroke.

 

 

TILT

An inboard sterndrive cannot be tilted clear of the water in the same way as an outboard. This is particularly important in shallow-water environments.

 

 

MOVING PARTS

Inboards are exposed to the bilge and hence often come in contact with water. This increases corrosion, particularly on sumps, starter motors, alternators, as well as steel and
cast components.

Outboards have their powerheads sitting high out of the water, encapsulated in cowlings to prevent exposure. However, they too need to breathe, and they will suck in a certain amount of water vapour from the environment. Their filter systems are engineered for this though. To put it simply, an outboard engine has less moving parts and the components are specifically designed for saltwater use.

The moving parts on an inboard sterndrive consist of an internally-fitted, horizontal-drive engine that transmits its power through the transom wall, via a long series of drive-shafts, universal joints and bearings to the upper-right angle gear box. Then it goes through a further drive-shaft to another right-angle gear box with forward, neutral and reverse capabilities and a dog clutch.

The entire drive has separate water sealing, bellows, cooling lines in and out through the transom, as well as tilt / trim rams, generally with internal solenoids.

Compare this to the simplicity of an outboard, where you've got a vertical shaft engine that's specifically designed for saltwater use. The engine is mounted high on the transom and only requires an external fuel line, gear selection and throttle cable (which has been eliminated in modern "fly-by-wire" options). Then add battery leads and tilt wiring. This setup is easily enclosed through a "slop stopper" high in the transom wall.

The drive-shaft is connected directly to the crank through a spline so direct power is transmitted to the lower unit with its FNR gearbox and dog clutch. All engine, drive, cooling and tilting functions take place in an enclosed unit on the exterior of the boat.

 

 

CONCLUSION

The simplicity of an outboard configuration means there's less long-term maintenance compared to an inboard. Of course, an informed buyer will weigh up the initial purchase price against the ongoing maintenance costs, with due consideration of desired layout for specific usage.

 

 

 

 

On the plane...

Looks great

Seaworthy hull

Good ride and handling

Gutsy two-stroke

Functional layout

Good fuel capacity

Good anchoring setup

 

 

Dragging the chain...

Layout is basic and conventional (is that really so bad?)

Lacks the intricate internal mouldings of competitors

No full-length swim platform

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS: STREAKER 6100 SIROCCO V-MAX LIMITED EDITION

 

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $66,340 (customised boat)

Options fitted: Yamaha 200hp V6 HPDI, Easytow trailer, bimini canopy and bow cover, Lowrance sounder, Clarion marine stereo, Yamaha instrumentation, waterproof switch panel, nav lights and much more

 

 

GENERAL

Type: Deep-vee monohull

Material: GRP

Length: 6.1m (LOA)

Beam: 2.49m

Hull weight: 900kg (estimated dry)

Towing weight: 1800 kg (estimated)

Deadrise: 20°

 

 

CAPACITIES

People: 7

Max. HP: 200 (two-stroke)

Max. HP: 150 (four-stroke)

Fuel: 184lt

 

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Yamaha V-Max Z200 H.P.D.I.

Type: High-pressure, direct-injection, two-stroke

Weight: 218 kg

Displacement: 2596cc

Gear ratio: 2.00:1

Propeller: 17in stainless steel

 

 

MANUFACTURED BY

L & P Savage Bros. Marine

26-28 Havelock Road

Bayswater, Vic, 3153

www.streakerboats.com.au

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

Leon & Paul Savage's Streaker Boats

461 Mountain Highway

Bayswater, Vic, 3153

Tel: (03) 97298288

Web: www.streakerboats.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 271.

 

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