Review: White Pointer 263

By: John Willis, Photography by: Ellen Dewar


White Pointer 263 turning at speed White Pointer 263 turning at speed
Bow of White Pointer Boats 263 Bow of White Pointer Boats 263
Dash on White Pointer 263 Dash on White Pointer 263
Driving a White Pointer 263 Driving a White Pointer 263
Twin outboards on White Pointer 263 Twin outboards on White Pointer 263
White Pointer Boats decal logo White Pointer Boats decal logo

Does the White Pointer 263 - derived from the famous Formula 233 hull - offer one of the best rides on any trailerable hull this size?

White Pointer Marine out of Bairnsdale, Victoria, builds commercial hulls for fishing boats, abalone vessels, dive and fishing charters, and high-speed taxis. White Pointer boats also builds fishing boats for a growing number of keen recreational anglers, with its reputation  growing beyond measure.

Although White Pointer 243 hulls have an undeniable reputation, its White Pointer principle Erick Hyland’s own creation – the newer White Pointer 263 – that is really raising eyebrows.

 

White Pointer 263

White Pointer 263 video review

From a recreational point of view their presence was highlighted by Simon Rinaldi of Red Hot Fishing Charters, a well-regarded fisherman whose mobile concern burst onto the trailerable charter scene with his 263 enclosed hard top. Simon follows pelagic seasons from his home base in Melbourne to Port Stephens, Bermagui, Port Phillip and Western Port, and throughout Victoria’s west-coast SBT season, mainly from Apollo Bay and Portland. The Trade-a-Boat crew had the opportunity to fish with Simon on his White Pointer boat on a very sloppy day out from Bermagui last season and to say we were impressed is an understatement. These are extremely solid commercially built survey-quality boats with amazing offshore credentials.

But Erick has gone a step further in developing the extended White Pointer 263 model. We caught up with Erick and White Pointer 263 owner Greg Ryzy, an Eden-based abalone diver, for a run in Greg’s impressive new boat fitted with a pair of beefy 300hp Suzuki outboard motors. It simply blew our minds!

Photographer Ellen Dewar has come to know me pretty well over the past six or so years and she reckoned I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I can’t deny it – it was simply one of the best offshore boats I have ever had the pleasure to drive! The White Pointer 263 is the most solid, trustworthy performer I have driven in the commercial class. If I ever had a dream boat, this has replaced it.

 

Layout and design

Cabin in White Pointer 263
ENTER THE IMAGE CAPTION HERE

There was nothing overtly attractive in the massive grey hull that arrived at the Quarantine Bay boat ramp but she had presence. It’s not built with prissy tricks and its facilities are purely for business. Erick has kept the rolled-forward deck and cabin of the original L-series mould, but developed the huge deck area and moulded a wave breaker/windscreen. Remnants of the old dash are overshadowed by the new styling and there’s an acre of space for big screens and the twin binnacle controls. It’s a commercial boat, so the V-berth is basic but deep and protected, great for carrying loads of gear. Same goes for the long side pockets down either side.

 

Abalone dive boat

White Pointer 263 in rough water

While Greg’s a keen game fisher, the boat’s main purpose is commercial abalone diving and the boat is fitted with twin 200-bar high-pressure air bottles under the coamings, out of harm’s way, with a functional dive door to starboard. The air tanks supply enough air for around 12 hours’ hookah diving and eliminate both the danger and weight of compressors onboard.

There are large kill tanks under the floor and Greg has added a massive saltwater-plumbed kill tank in the centre of the deck to keep his prized catch alive until he returns to port.

The outboard well is quite traditional but the rear coaming has a plumbed live-bait tank for yakkas and slimies, as well as enclosed cabinets either side for the batteries, electrical gear and pumping facilities.

There are plenty of high-tech glass-reinforced foam high-stress areas all over the hull, plus a solid fibreglass curved transom, which gives it extremely high structural integrity and earns ratings of 700hp and 65kt (manufacturer claims highest in class).

 

Handling and ride

White Pointer 263 turning in rough water

Twin 300hp Suzuki engine quickly rocketed us to warp speed and we instructed the videographers and passengers to get in, sit down, shut up and hold on!

The drive from 600hp Suzuki outboard motors is simply mind blowing, but the way the hull handles that power is one of the greatest treats I’ve experienced in a long marine career. This is truly the way to travel at sea – and I mean nearly any sea. Greg can travel home with a full load at mind-blowing speed in absolute comfort and safety thanks to a hull that can only be described as a wave tamer. It is perhaps the softest ride I expect to experience in my lifetime!

I’ve been in soft-riding commercial boats many times before but never have I felt power transmission like that achieved in this White Pointer 263 – nor have I ever found this level of manoeuvrability either. We laid her right over in a high-speed turn doing donuts and were actually pinned to the sides from the G-forces, just like the old Zipper at Luna Park when the floor dropped out of the rotating drum, leaving you glued to the wall.

Erick has known Greg since he was a kid growing up next door. They’ve always been close so it’s no surprise Greg grew up with a passion for the sea, both recreationally and commercially. A keen rec fisho as well as a pro abalone diver, his new White Pointer 263 serves both purposes perfectly.

Twin 300 hp Suzuki outboard motors

Greg’s original White Pointer 243 was a bit narrow in the gunwales to fit good trolling rod holders and fishing accessories so Erick made them a little wider to suit. She is exceptionally deep-sided, with plenty of freeboard, but doesn’t go to the extreme of raising the floor for a self-draining deck that would only serve to destabilise a platform that is as solid as a rock whether in full flight or at rest.

Greg says the majority of their diving is approximately 70km south of Eden, around the NSW/Vic border, so it’s a big run to and from work each day when you’re racing competitors to the hot spots. Greg’s run numerous boats in the past, including a Formula that he says had nowhere near the stability of the White Pointer – he had the gunwales underwater on more than one occasion. That’s a bit scary when your life support compressor is being exposed to large volumes of salt water.

He also had a 17ft Sea Devil, a hull of similar lineage to the White Pointer, yet "got sick of getting the life belted out of me!" He said: "To be honest, whilst it’s a smaller boat it’s an excellent hull!"

There have also been an 18ft Shark Cat and an older Cougar Cat fitted with a pair of 225hp two-strokes that often drank 300-350 litres of fuel per day. By contrast, a big day out with the economical Suzukis may use 140 litres to do the same distance, and do it in more comfort. A normal return trip will use approximately 90-100 litres total.

 

The Trade-a-Boat verdict

Greg usually wins the daily race to the fishing grounds. With a full load and four passengers we achieved 51kt at 5450rpm in around a metre swell. Greg guarantees me that on a glassy day he can achieve 60 knots – yep that’s 60kt with a 520L tank of fuel. He just loves the performance from the big-cube Zukes and quotes a more sensible 60-70km/h at 3000rpm. That’s fast offshore and covers the ground quickly and economically. He’s currently running big 23in three-blade Solas stainless steel propellers and admits he could probably go smaller for greater load carrying and acceleration "but who needs it?" I’ve gotta agree! 

 

HIGHS

• Outstanding offshore performance

• Immense power

• Excellent manoeuvrability

• No-frills layout

• Huge deck area

 

LOWS

• Big, heavy boat to tow

• I don’t own one

 

White Pointer 263 specs

White Pointer 263 price: A$60,000 + GST (hull only)

Priced from

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Full hardtop cabin, flooded keel, live bait tank, hinged and removable dive door

 

PRICE AS TESTED

A$61,000 + GST (hull only)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Deep-V monohull

LENGTH 26ft 3in/8 metres

BEAM 2.46 metres

WEIGHT BTM 3300kg​

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 2 + 8

FUEL 520L

 

ENGINES

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Suzuki 300hp four-stroke outboards

TYPE Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection, 55-degree V6, four-stroke, DOHC 24-valve, counter-rotating

RATED HP 2 x 300hp

DISPLACEMENT 4028cc

WEIGHT 279kg (each)

GEAR RATIO 2.08:1

PROPELLER 2 x 23in three-blade Solas stainless steel propellers

 

MANUFACTURED BY/SUPPLIED BY

White Pointer Boats

188 Princess Highway

Bairnsdale (Lucknow), Vic, 3875

Phone (03) 5152 3228

Web whitepointermarine.com.au

Email whitepointermarine@hotmail.com

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #475, on sale February 25, 2016. Why not subscribe today?

 


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