BOAT TEST: RAZWRLINE REDLINE 7.0 SPORTS

By: Rick Huckstepp


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While Western Australia's fishing boats have long been renowned for their cutting-edge design and performance in the perilous Indian Ocean, east-coast anglers have traditionally been denied the opportunity to test them out. But that's all set to change with Sea Quest's recent acquisition of the Razerline sportsfishing range, writes Rick Huckstepp.

BOAT TEST: RAZWRLINE REDLINE 7.0 SPORTS
Razerline Redline 7.0 Sports

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #179, April 2004 

 

 

The Western Australian coastline below Geraldton is subject to some of the wildest weather conditions on the continent. Despite being exposed to the ravages of the powerful southwest winds that blow over the Indian Ocean, a huge crayfish and recreational fishing industry flourishes in this part of the world, and it has in turned spawned a thriving boatbuilding industry to support it.

Plate-aluminium boatbuilding has long been entrenched in Western Australia, and generally the hulls that emerge from this part of the world have been at the cutting edge when it comes to handling very nasty conditions.

Unfortunately for those of us that live on the east, the vagaries of distance (read: the cost of freight and the difficulty in sourcing dealers) has kept the vast majority of these boats out of reach - especially those built by smaller custom yards uninterested in mass production.

Sea Quest Pleasure Boats is one of the larger plate boatbuilders; a company that started off with a modest workload, but has rapidly grown to become a boatbuilding powerhouse in the west - especially since it acquired another top-flight boatbuilder, Hampton Yachts.

The Razerline range was formerly built by Hampton Yachts and suited the overall marketing strategy of its new owners. Sea Quest has poured a lot of money, time and effort into capitalising on the range's significant profile in the east, and the line has now become the flagship of the company. And with good reason, as Trailer Boat discovered during a trip to the west a few months ago.

 

 

CARVES UP BIG WATER


We had the chance to jump aboard the Redline 7m Sports out of Hillary's Boat Harbour. Anyone who has boated off the coast of Perth would know that a glassy-calm morning is usually turned around by 10am when the Doctor makes his first call.

The Fremantle Doctor is an incessant wind that blows from the southwest, keeping landlubbers cool and helping small boaters to lose theirs. A boat not cut out for this type of wind-driven whitecap chop will quickly become a reason for a visit to the real quack. Panadol Forte, anyone?

Heading out of Hillary's, the seven-metre Redline cut through the chop like the proverbial knife through butter and even the strong wind blowing onto the forequarters was not enough to blow spray onto the hardened-glass windscreen.

Manoeuvrability was exceptional, perhaps due to the amount of boat below the waterline, and despite having its twin 130hp Honda four-strokes mounted so close together, it was remarkably agile.

Holeshot was brilliant and the motors were nice and quiet. The hull could plane down to 18kmh before falling back into the hole, and we cruised comfortably at 36.5kmh with an economical 3500rpm showing on the tachos. According to the builders, this rig is reputed to reach speeds of 46kt or 87kmh, but given the conditions we passed on the thrill.

With wind blowing onto a beam, most hulls typically lean into the breeze. Twin-engine boats are at an advantage in that you can trim one motor up to keep the boat on an even keel. These engines are paired so close together on the transom, however, that it takes way this list-correcting leverage, so the buyers of this model rig might need to look at installing trim tabs.

 

 

ROOM TO FISH



Fishing-wise, a spacious cockpit has a lot to offer those with a yen for customisation. The transom bulkhead coaming has a fold-down bait-rigging station that drops down to form the backrest of the rear lounge.

There is plenty of scope on this coaming for the installation of live and dead bait tanks. A big killtank in the cockpit deck is a standard inclusion.

A transom door leads out onto a non-slip, full-width transom boarding platform where fuel filters and fuel-line squeeze bulbs are readily accessed. The pair of Hondas utilise one hydraulic ram and a drag-link system, which works effectively, and each engine feeds off a separate 200lt fuel tank - a great safety feature.

I found that the transom door let water into the cockpit when backing down hard, and although scuppered, excess water takes time to drain from the deck. The manufacturers are looking at remedies for this situation.

There is a large 100lt freshwater tank in the boat - which not all seven-metre fishing boats have - and a raw-water wash-down pump. Both systems use the same hose.

Ample sidepocket storage is available in the cockpit and the seating module under the helm seat is an insulated icebox. Under the passenger seat you'll find a plumbed sink, which is handy to the cockpit and makes a neat place to clean up after rigging baits.

The helm station is well laid out with Honda instrumentation and space for electronics - the test boat had two large Furuno units flush-mounted into the fascia, while the binnacle throttles fell easily to hand.

The Razerline Redline also had a dedicated overhead radio cabinet - another feature often neglected on larger sportsfishing boats. Other mod-cons included a CD player to relieve those tedious spells between bites.

Cruising anglers will appreciate the fact that the roof space of the hardtop has been put to good use, with a rack allowing for the provision of an inflatable tender for when you're on a mooring and need to commute to shore. A six-pot rod rack is useful for stowing outfits.

 

 

CREATURE COMFORTS



The cabin on the Redline Sports has a lockable sliding door that you can leave open when aboard to let light and air into the interior. A secure dry-storage space is incredibly useful. There are few things worse than coming back to your boat to find most of your gear missing.

The hull below the vee-berth is airtight for flotation, but you can fit optional storage compartments while still complying with minimum safety requirements. A very sturdy hatch in the cabin allows access to the electric winch should there be a need. On deck, access to the extra oversized anchor well is exceptionally good.

This hull is designed for open-water and offshore cruising, and while it is spartan as tested, the sky is the limit when it comes to customisation. Outriggers, downriggers, live and dead bait tanks are all must-haves on a boat such as this, and there is plenty of room to install all of them.

Anglers have the basis of a great fishing boat they can trick up to their own personal tastes. With intelligent design, excellent build quality and a good standard of finish, expect to see a few of these tough fishing boats crossing the Nullarbor over the next few months.

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS - RAZERLINE REDLINE 7.0M SPORTS

 

Price as tested: $109,000
Options fitted: Engine upgrade, extra fuel-tank capacity, 100lt water tank, deckwash, freshwater shower, icebox, sink, Maxwell winch, radios, fishfinder, GPS/chartplotter, braked trailer ($11,000)
Priced from: $40,000 for hardtop version sans motor, options and trailer

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Aluminium plate
Length (overall): 7.95m
Beam: 2.5m
Deadrise: 15°
Rec/max hp: 250/300
Weight: 1810kg hull and motors sans trailer

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 400lt
Water: 100lt (optional)

 

 

ENGINE


Make and model: 2 x Honda BF130
Type: Fuel-injected V4 four-stroke
Rated hp (ea): 130 @ 5500rpm
Displacement: 2254cc
Weight: 225.5kg
Gearbox ratio: 2:1
Propeller: Stainless steel

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Sea Quest Pleasure Boats Ltd, Landsdale, WA, tel (08) 9302 4500

 

 

HIGHS


Excellent rough-water form
Spacious cockpit with room for customisation
Good helm setup and lots of storage

 

 

LOWS


Transom door lets in water when backing down hard
Could include more standard items in base price

 

 Story & Photos: Rick Huckstepp
First published in TrailerBoat #179

 

Find Razerline boats for sale.

 


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