TESTED: STREAKER 5700 BLUEWATER

By: ANGELO SAN GIORGIO, Photography by: JOHN WILLIS


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Can Streaker’s slinky new 5700 Bluewater carry on the family tradition? Angelo San Giorgio gets all hot and bothered finding out.

TESTED: STREAKER 5700 BLUEWATER
The Streaker 5700 Bluewater: it's an offshoot from Streaker Boats' famous 545 pedigree.

I knocked on the door of a beautiful home in Patterson Lakes, Victoria, and an old dude answered. I shook his hand and he looked me up and down, gauging my intentions. He led me outside and gestured toward an attractive rig sitting alongside his private jetty.

"She looks new." "Untouched," he said. "Better keep it that way." It gave me flashbacks of picking up a date for the school formal, her old man (perhaps rightly) suspicious that my intentions weren’t entirely honourable.



BIG TEASE

To be fair, I’d just come off my previous issue’s deadline, and after being chained to my desk for the previous 10 days I was hanging out for a boating fix.

When I first clapped eyes on Streaker’s new 5700 Bluewater, it made me smile. Full-figured, curvy and presented in my favourite shade of Ferrari, the fit-up team had gone all out, even making the effort to colour co-ordinate the engine and bimini. Bless their boating hearts.

It looked as shiny as a new boat should, and this one had a deep lustre that these images just don’t capture. We posed for a couple of cheesy photos and then it was time to party. But just before we left Streaker Boat’s Sean Savage joined us a chaperone. Bugger.



IN THE BEGINNING

Eighteen months ago, Streaker Boats’ design team in the Melbourne suburb of Bayswater set about reinvigorating one of the manufacturer’s most popular hulls, the 545, which has a lineage that spans decades.

Following a 12-month gestation period, the redesign culminated in the release of the 5700 Commander and its less well-endowed, but equally attractive, twin-sister the 5700 Bluewater at the 2012 Melbourne International Boat Show. An evolutionary design, far more than just a nip / tuck, the new rigs took their predecessor’s robust and dependable hull and gave it a contemporary twist.

And the way they went about creating this new design was revolutionary in itself. They, gasp, asked the market!

While many manufacturers claim to listen to their customers, some of them may need to take better notes because they often fail to hear what’s being said. More often than not, a dealer acts as an interpreter, resulting in a frustrating game of Chinese whispers. But since Streaker is both the manufacturer and retailer, they seem to have their hearing aids turned up to 11.

Sean Savage assured me that what we were sampling was the culmination of decades of listening to the people that really matter, their customers.



FAMILY TIES

Streaker-spotters would find the aesthetic instantly recognisable, largely courtesy of the new Bluewater’s aggressive hull flare and super-wide beam. A moderately raked forefoot runs up to a moulded bowsprit, which sits atop the flattened foredeck. The steep cabin line, recessed walk-a-round, and trademark tapered stern all scream "Streaker".

The designers have cleverly preserved the basic architecture, but softened the lines and refined the detail, resulting in a contemporary-looking boat that doesn’t suffer for its heritage.

Changes abound. A significant structural transformation of the transom addresses a pet hate of mine: an engine well that protrudes into the fishing cockpit, necessitating a pair of quarter squabs, one in each corner. This means that any soul consigned to the back of the bus would find themselves wedged in rather snugly.

The 5700 Bluewater now sports a full-width transoms with padded coamings and a generous seat base that folds flush into a moulded recess.

But the rear-end rethink doesn’t end there. The starboard quarter now accommodates a decent baitwell (plumbing optional on the Bluewater), replacing one that previously resided in a port seat box below the passenger pew.

A compact transom door is a nice touch, as are the integrated boarding platforms that flank the revised engine well. Streaker’s removable baitboard completes a thoroughly functional fishing workstation.

Further revisions are evident in the new two-tone helm layout, which does away with the walkthrough windscreen and foredeck and now accommodates larger sounder and GPS head units (up to 12in).

Streaker has continued the practical thinking through to the cabin, which features narrow vee-bunks with storage underneath — one either side of a carpeted two-tier stepped walkway. Optional bunk infills are also available and would provide sleeping quarters for kids or jockeys.



DIFFERENT STROKES

I was surprised to find a Mercury Optimax on the back of our ride because until now every Streaker I’ve ever driven had a Yamaha strapped to its rump.

It turns out Streaker expanded its engine range to include a Mercury franchise around 18 months ago. When quizzed as to why, Sean Savage informed me it made good business sense to plug perceived gaps in Yamaha’s range based on their requirements, and the Direct Injection two-stroke Optimax range was a case in point.

I must say, the candid and sincere responses to my incessant barrage of questions was quite refreshing compared to the occasional bluff and bravado that’s often employed to deflect our enquiry.



TREAT ’EM ROUGH

I drove the 5700 for a while, copping a really good feel. Unfortunately, the weather was dead calm, and I was kicking myself for not bringing the rods. Then Sean took over and I grabbed my iPad and took notes and the obligatory performance figures.

Sean’s obviously proud of the rig and was keen to put it through its paces. In fact, it took me an hour to prise the wheel from his hands.

But I tell you what, that boy can certainly drive. And truth be told, I even managed to learn a thing or two about squeezing maximum performance out of their rigs.

For example, in most deep-vee ’glass boats, it’s a good idea to dial in maximum negative trim (motor down) before kicking it in the guts, and likewise when flinging the rig into tight corners. However, with the 5700 Bluewater that approach only dug the nose in rather sharply, causing excessive lean.

I followed Sean’s advice and trimmed up around a third once on the plane and left it there for the duration. The difference was night and day. Any niggling doubts about the smaller Optimax 125 optioned on this boat were promptly laid to rest as it responded instantly to a firm hand and just kept giving. The boat clung on with barely a hint of cavitation in turns that would have made the Swiss luge team proud.

We fooled around trying to create some messy water and jumped the wake of our camera boat. Big tick.

When we finally came to a rest, we wandered, and leaned, and jiggled, and jumped inside the cockpit to try and ascertain its relative stability. Far more stable than most of my relatives, actually.



THE WRAP

Streaker’s 545 Series forged a reputation for its sea-keeping abilities and ride-versus-stability compromise. At $57,050 as tested (standard factory package), the new 5700 Bluewater picks up the baton and runs away with it. It’s an entertaining drive with honest design and versatile layout, and should be another winner for the Savage family.



PERFORMANCE
5.3kts (9.8kmh) @ 1500rpm
7.3kts (13.5kmh) @ 2500rpm
18.7kts (34.6kmh) @ 3500rpm
26.9kts(49.8kmh) @ 4500rpm
31.8kts (59.0kmh) @ 5000rpm
35.74kts(66.2kmh) @ 5500rpm
37.9kts (70.2kmh) @ 5900rpm



ON THE PLANE...

  • Complete factory fitout
  • Engines in different flavours
  • Great internal packaging and value
  • Compact storage height
  • Stability at rest



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • Low windscreen height
  • No standard stainless rocket launcher (optional)





SPECIFICATIONS: STREAKER 5700 BLUEWATER

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $57,050 Factory package as tested

Options fitted: None (refer above). It’s all done for you.

Price from: $57,050



GENERAL

Type: Multi-purpose fishing and family cuddy

Material: GRP

Length: 5.7m (LOA)

Beam: 2.49m

Weight: 1400-1600kg dry (BMT)

Deadrise: 20°

 

CAPACITIES

People: Six

Rec. HP: 125

Max. HP: 150

Fuel: 146L under-floor



ENGINE

Make/model: Mercury OptiMax

Type: Direct Injection

Weight: 170kg

Displacement: 1526cc

Gear ratio: 2.02:1



MANUFACTURED AND SUPPLIED BY

Leon and Paul Savage’s Streaker Boats

461 Mountain Highway

Bayswater, Victoria 3153

Tel: (03) 9729 8288

Web: www.streakerboats.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #294, May/April 2013.

 

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