BOAT TEST: SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DUAL CONSOLE

By: Bernard Clancy


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The Seaswirl Striper 2101 Dual Console is much more than an average family bowrider. There are enough fishy inclusions as standard to make it a serious inshore contender, and all without having to forego the comforts of home.

BOAT TEST: SEASWIRL STRIPER 2101 DUAL CONSOLE
Seaswirl Striper 2101 Dual Console

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #180, May 2004 

 

 

What we know as a bowrider with the lot, Americans call a "dual console". They're usually very nice, to understate the situation somewhat. The Seaswirl Striper 2101 Dual Console is a case in point.

It has a toilet to keep mum and the kids happy and a livebait tank to convince dad that what he's just bought is a real fishing boat as well as a family runabout. Yep, the 2101 is a compromise, but a darn good one.

Sure enough, the bow section has an open lounge for the kids to play in and the cockpit is big enough and set up to dangle a line when the fisherfolk in the family want to catch dinner.

But the really neat bit is in the middle - the consoles either side of the walkthrough windscreen. These are more than a metre wide (or deep, depending on your viewpoint) and include the comforts of home.

The console in front of the passenger bucket seat contains the head. Open the bi-fold doors and squeeze in (yeah, it's a fairly tight fit but it does the job). It's fully lined and carpeted in matching fawns and browns, equipped with a light, but no window, which could be a little claustrophobic - but hey, when you gotta go...

There is an odds-and-ends tray and a drinkholder below a grabhandle on the port coaming within easy reach of the seat, which has removable cushions and backrests. The skipper's chair is the same but has a rubber footrest recess in the moulded bulkhead.

This console has a small tackle drawer complete with two trays, which is moulded into the walkthrough side, and under that
is a side-opening storage area for lifejackets and other gear. It's quite large and easy to access.

Beside the hatch is a recess for the fire extinguisher. These convenient features make life aboard more comfortable.

 

 

CENTRE OF ATTENTION



The Seastar six-spoke stainless helm looks the part with a compass on the left front, instruments in a panel to the left but still within the flick of an eye.

Right of the helm is a recess for mounting electronics and there's plenty of room for radios behind the helm. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the switch for the macerator.

The skipper's control box is mounted on the coaming on a vinyl-covered and cushioned panel with a small odds-and-ends tray and a moulded drinkholder nearby.

I liked the solid-framed screen with supports either side of the centre panel, which opens to give access to the bow section. These are often the weakest parts of a bowrider (they should be the strongest) simply because people insist on using the windscreen as a handhold when moving about.

This five-piece wraparound number has a substantial aluminium frame. The central section is also fitted with a strong rubber stopper so that, when open, it doesn't crash back onto the panel on the port side. This is important because kids will be kids.

On the cockpit sole between the consoles is a terrifically huge bin for ski storage and wet gear. It's one of the best I've seen. The deck is fully non-slip, moulded over the huge 400lt fuel tank.

The bow section is set up in typical bowrider fashion with an anchor-carrying bowsprit and fairlead, a cleat behind that rather than a post, and a large rope locker with a small lid. The forward navigation lights are mounted on a short post, which appears to be susceptible to knocking. Additional cleats amidships either side will be handy, as will the short grabrails for bow passengers.

 

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE



The cockpit is not overly large, but still, four people could fish from it if you remove the two rear quarter seats. That's very good for this style of boat.

These seats are mounted on their own poles and are easily removable to get at the batteries and oil bottle under the transom. A nice touch is two wrist straps built into the coamings for the rear-seat passengers. There are four rubber-insert stainless rodholders in the wide, thigh-height, fully non-slip gunwales. The coamings are thickly padded in quite tasteful fawn and cream panels. Medium-sized sidepockets for rod storage are fully enclosed behind swing-down lockable doors. Great idea!

Next to the port seat are switches and connections for freshwater and saltwater washdowns. Centrally mounted in the transom, the 114lt elliptical livebait tank is huge. The lid, on a gas strut, incorporates a Teflon cutting board. A transom boarding ladder completes the equipment.

 

 

FRIDAY TAKEAWAY



The boat comes on a US-style EZ Loader dual-axle drive-on trailer, which features a hydraulic braking system with twin discs and breakaway. On trailer with a half-full fuel tank, the tow weight is around 2000kg, according to Mentone Marine - and that's pretty good for such a large boat.

The test boat was fitted with bimini and clears but there are other options, including a hardtop. Actually, the range of options for the Seaswirl Stripers is very comprehensive. We had the outboard-powered version (an Evinrude DFI 200), but this boat also comes with a sterndrive.

 

 

HULL FORM



The hull features chunky shoulders to maximise interior space, very wide chines and twin strakes from tip to toe. With this style of hull, stability was excellent - at the expense of rough-water performance - but that's really immaterial because this style of boat is unlikely to be used in the sorts of seas we had to contend with on our test day.

In fact, it was so rough that we couldn't get reliable performance figures, but we did manage to achieve 45kmh at 3500rpm in a messy headsea. I reckon that's on the better side of very good. We copped a bit of spray, but that's inevitable in a bowrider in rough water at speed.

These boats will be popular, but the $72,000 pricetag is nothing to be sneezed at and may prove somewhat discouraging for more than a few buyers. But if you're after a comfortable, stylish and well-finished family boat that's more substantial and versatile than your average wakeboarding bowrider, you should definitely check this one out.

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Price as tested: $72,000
Options fitted: Hydraulic steering, rear jump seats, Sunbrella full covers, freshwater washdown
Priced from: $70,000

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Handlaid GRP
Length (overall): 6.55m
Beam: 2.59m
Deadrise: 20°
Rec/max hp: O/B 225; sterndrive 320
Weight (hull only): 1488kg
Towing weight (laden): 2000kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 397lt
Water: n/a

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Evinrude FICHT 200
Type: DFI two-stroke V6
Rated hp: 200 @ 5500rpm
Displacement: 3279cc
Drive: 1.85:1
Weight: 238kg
Prop: Three-blade 17in s/s

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Mentone Marine, 199 Nepean Highway, Mentone, Vic,
tel (03) 9585 4566

 

 

HIGHS


Great underfloor wet storage bin
Setup of consoles
Standard features and finish
Lockable sidepockets

 

 

LOWS


Positioning of the forward navigation lights
Price is towards the upper end of the market
Hull has better stability than ride

 



WORDS: Bernard Clancy PICS: Stuart Grant
First published in TrailerBoat #180

 

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