BOAT TEST: CYCLONE 2250 BOWRIDER

By: Rick Huckstepp


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At first glance, this rig looks like a sleek and slippery family bowrider. Look closer and you’ll discover a boat and motor package that represents the biggest leap forward in marine technology we've seen in decades. Rick Huckstepp has the story.

BOAT TEST: CYCLONE 2250 BOWRIDER
Cyclone 2250 Bowrider

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #182, Aug 2004

 

 

There's certainly no shortage of bowrider powerboats on the market these days, both fibreglass and aluminium. One that's a whole lot different is the Cyclone 2250, built out of Gordonvale, just south of Cairns in tropical Queensland. And the difference is more than skin deep.

Cyclone Boats has been building boats for more than 12 years and is world famous for its ski-racing hulls, with a long list of trophies on the mantelpiece. The moulds for the company's skiboat hulls have found a new home in England, and production of a new range of sportsfishing and bowrider models is now in full swing at the local factory.

The way these boats are constructed is incredibly advanced - it has to be to survive the immense pressures of high speeds and rough water.

 



DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION



The skins are made by hand-laying Kevlar laminates for the deck and hull, which are bonded together with special vinylester resin along with the high-density PVC foam sandwich floor, stringers and transom.

This adds up to an incredibly rigid one-piece hull that's one of the strongest and quietest on the water. Forget water-slap: the sound underway is just a subtle hiss.

Attention to detail is the common denominator. All the screws about this boat are perfectly aligned; base plates for the small bowrails have turned-down edges to hug the lines of the hull, and the handcrafted walkthrough screen is finished in stainless Allen-key-head bolts. All these fine details add up to an overall impression of sleek sophistication - it really feels like a hand-made boat.

Pop open a Kevlar hatch to access a truly enormous anchor locker complete with dedicated fender storage. But because this high-performance hull is so slender in the bow, legroom in the bowrider lounge pit is limited.

Thickly padded and richly upholstered seats and backrests wrap around to the front of the consoles and allow two large adults plenty of room to lounge around.

 

 

STORAGE & ENGINEERING



Stowage under the Nycell seat bases is ample. Walk through the screen to the helm which, surprise surprise, is also made from carbon fibre.

Because this particular boat was made as a promotional vessel for Mercury Marine's new Verado outboards, the dash was fitted with both a SmartCraft engine-management LCD panel and Navman's new plotter/sounder unit, which also performs the same tasks as SmartCraft.

At the touch of a button you can bring up a spread of analogue-style gauges on the display to see rpm, boat speed, fuel consumption, range, and even a host of graphs to compare performance under different conditions. The speeds registered appeared to be accurate, giving the same readings as our hand-held GPS.

The helm seat is on an optional sliding rack and the passenger seat swivels and locks in place.

The new Verado electro-hydraulic steering is as good as it gets - almost like a car but with less feedback on the wheel. It has a power booster under the transom bulkhead that assists the hydraulic ram on the powerhead, but should that fail, standard hydraulic steering remains as a backup.

The rear lounge is exceptionally comfortable, but as this boat is designed to attract attention, the colour scheme throughout is a little on the loud side.

A long panel can be removed from the backrest to allow inspection into a compartment that houses the battery, fuel filter and pump for the steering. The seat comes off the carbon fibre base to reveal a storage area for paddles, ski ropes or whatever.

 

 

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING



Mounted on the transom was Mercury's 275hp supercharged four-stroke Verado outboard. At idle, the engine is completely silent and vibration free. Velocity out of the hole is simply awesome - you have to experience it to believe it. Once the bow is out of the water, the boat instantly drops flat and level, and gets to its maximum speed of 103kmh very quickly and quietly.

There is no whining normally associated with belt-driven superchargers; nor any noticeably noisy sucking of air, which is unusual considering a supercharged engine consumes around 10 times the volume of air to function at full throttle.

At top speed with three people aboard the boat felt a little nervous - obviously with very little hull left in the water. Sitting on the rear lounge a metre from the powerhead, you could talk comfortably to the driver with most of the noise coming from the wind and not the motor.

Back off from white-knuckle speeds and the boat handles like a dream. It's a pleasure to cruise in. The steering is impeccable, as is the boat's ability to turn at speed in hard corners and over boat wash. And this thing turns heads!
Be it cruising or skiing, this rig can do it all and then some. It is the sort of unique, hand-built space-age boat that stands out from the crowd - the tower of power bolted to the stern only added to its appeal.

 

 

HIGHS


Sparkling performance, strength and finish
Excellent build quality 
Unique, comfortable and versatile

 


 
LOWS


Lack of legroom in bow pit
Premium price for premium product
Modestly appointed as standard

 

 

 


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Price as tested: $69,990 on trailer minus outboard
Options fitted: Rear boarding steps, bowrails, icebox, water tank and shower, nav lights, helm seat slide, VHF radio, CD/radio, custom steering wheel, custom graphics, carbon hatch, carbon seat shells and rear lounge, switches, controls and footrest
Priced from: $47,000 hull only

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Handlaid Kevlar carbon
Length (overall): 7.35m
Beam: 2.19m
Deadrise: 21° variable
Rec/max hp: 250/300

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 170lt
Water: 70lt deck shower
Passengers: Six adults

ENGINE
Make and model: Mercury Verado
Type: V6 supercharged four-stroke
Rated hp: 275
Displacement: 2598cc
Weight: 288kg
Gearbox ratio: 1.85:1
Propeller: 21in Revolution four-blade stainless

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Cyclone Boats, 6 Brody Close, Gordonvale, Qld, tel (07) 4056 5761 or visit www.cycloneboatco.com.au

 

Find Cyclone boats for sale.

 


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