AMM 7000 Tournament Boat Test

For more than 20 years, Australian Master Marine has been at the forefront of plate-aluminium trailerboat design and construction. This Brisbane-based, family-owned company manufactures fine-quality, custom cruisers and sportfishing craft from 4.5 to 10m in length, with their Tournament series being the heavy-duty, largely custom-outfitted hardtop fishing boats. For this BlueWater review, Jeff Webster tests one of AMM’s most popular models, the Tournament 7000, paired with a Yamaha 300hp V6 4-stroke outboard.

AMM 7000 Tournament Boat Test

Boat Test AMM 7000 Tournament: TOURNAMENT MASTER
Author and photography: Jeff Webster

This boat test ran in ISSUE 122 of BlueWater magazine –  FEB-MARCH 2017

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

Australian Master Marine (AMM) is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty plate-alloy boats – and is arguably the most respected. Established in 1994 by brothers Barton and Matthew Thomas, AMM has earned a reputation for consistently producing fine-quality boats, with customers willing to pay a premium for what they regard as the best built, best quality plate-alloy boats on the market.

Since launching in 1994, AMM has produced all manner of craft from 4m open, tiller-steer bass boats through to 10 to 12m custom vessels for commercial fishing and other specialised marine applications. However, AMM has had its biggest success with its Weekender and Tournament fishing models between 6.8 and 9m in length.

The Tournament series is of most interest to anglers. Heavily-built with minimum 6mm bottoms and 4mm topsides, these hardtop-equipped craft have 20-degree deep-vee hulls and feature large self-draining cockpits, plenty of fishing accessories and big fuel tanks for long-range offshore fishing.

AMM Tournaments are available with single or dual outboard engines, as well as single petrol ordiesel sterndrives. For this review, we tested a 7000 Tournament hardtop powered by a single Yamaha 300hp outboard.

Design And Construction

The AMM 7000 Tournament is a striking-looking boat, with an overall length of 7.3m and hull length of 7m. The deep-vee hull has a 20-degree transom deadrise, very fine entry and high topsides, with a noticeable sheer in the deck-line from amidships forward to the bow.

As noted, the hull and transom are built from 6mm high-tensile, marine-grade aluminium, while the topsides are made from 4mm alloy. Like the cabin, hardtop and roof, the fully-welded, self-draining cockpit floor is produced from 3mm alloy.

Providing additional strength and rigidity to the near bullet-proof exterior, you’ll find a series of longitudinal stringers underfloor with 4mm alloy frames. There’s also a full-length keel bar with external keel cap, while 8mm internal frames brace the transom, which means it can accept single outboards to 300hp or dual 150hp outboards.

No Towing Restrictions

With a maximum beam restricted to 2.5m, the 7000 Tournament can be hauled about on Australian roads without any restrictions, flags or special over-width towing permits. However, you will need a decent-sized towing vehicle as the test boat weighs approximately 3000kg – complete with Yamaha 300hp V6 outboard and AMM’s superb tandem-axle aluminium trailer, featuring electric hydraulic break-away brakes.

Expect the package to weigh substantially more once you have added fuel, water and fishing gear. This will also be the case if you opt for a heavier steel trailer instead of AMM’s custom and lighter-weight alloy model.

Equipment And Options

The AMM 7000 Tournament is available with two levels of fit-out – standard and deluxe. The standard package has much of the essential gear and equipment you need but is mainly aimed at buyers looking for a basic boat that they can finish off themselves.

Most customers opt for the deluxe fit-out as this package has all the gear you need (minus electronics) to get out on the water. Some of this added gear includes a dual-battery system, a curved and toughened-glass windscreen, glass sliding side windows and plumbed livebait tank. There’s also a transom ladder, hydraulic steering, fuel filter, bilge pump, navigation and interior lighting, cutting board with tray, bunk cushions, deluxe Reelax helm chairs and a saltwater deckwash.

With the deluxe fit-out package, tandem-axle AMM alloy trailer and a Suzuki 225hp extra-longshaft 4-stroke outboard engine, the 7000 Tournament is priced around $110,585.

The test boat package was customised with a range of gear and equipment over and above AMM’s deluxe fit-out package. It was also powered by a larger 300hp V6 Yamaha 4-stroke outboard engine, lifting the drive-away price to $138,880.

Some of the other key options fitted included a Furuno TZTL15F multi-function touch-screen display, Stress Free anchor winch, coloured hull sides (instead of plain white), extended helm seat boxes with cushions, Fusion stereo, radio box under hardtop and a rear sunshade awning, as well as removable transom door, trim tabs, upgraded livebait tank with viewing window, berth infill cushions and an upgrade to two 300-litre fuel tanks.

Double Bed Cabin

The 7000 Tournament has a conventional half-cabin layout with a large vee-berth forward and a spacious, semi-enclosed helm and saloon area, stretching back to a near perfectly-shaped cockpit with ample freeboard and storage space.

The cabin is open to the helm, although a lockable door can be fitted. Situated one step down from the saloon floor, the berths are arrayed in a regular vee shape, with each side berth measuring over 2m in length and around 600mm in width. Two optional infill cushions slot into place between the side berths to create one large double bed.

There is ample headroom in the cabin, along with plenty of storage space in huge under-berth lockers. Smaller items that need to be kept close to hand can be stowed in small shelves just inside the cabin door or in the upholstered cabin side pockets. These also double as back-rests when sitting in the cabin.

Overhead there is a clear ventilation hatch, while under the centre-berth cushion there is provision for a chemical toilet –although none was fitted.

A clip-on canvas cover hides and protects the neatly configured wiring behind the helm, ensuring easy access for servicing and maintenance.

While the cabin ventilation hatch is wide enough for smaller adults to climb up through to access the foredeck, it is probably easier to walk around the cabin sides as the sidedecks are broad and there is a sturdy handrail on each side of the hardtop.

The test boat was also optioned with a Stress-Free brand electric anchor winch, so you would only need to go forward when beaching the boat or perhaps when retrieving the boat at a launching ramp.

Helm And Hardtop

It is difficult to find fault with the layout of the helm as it is very well designed. While a little more of the flat dash space might be useful, there was sufficient room for a bracket-mounted Furuno FCV-587 and a compass.

The angled fascia in front of the skipper is large enough to accommodate two small electronics units or one big unit like the Furuno TZTL15F multi-function display fitted to the test rig. There was also provision for the Yamaha Command Link digital engine display and required switch panels.

You could flush-fit a VHF radio close to the helm and the destroyer-style stainless-steel steering wheel, but the test rig had the optional radio box under the hardtop for both the GME VHF and the Fusion stereo head unit.

The Yamaha digital throttle has been side-mounted rather than binnacle mounted on the dash, making it comfortable to use while standing at the helm or reclining in the deluxe Reelax bucket helm seat.

The Reelax helm seat and its opposite number on the port side are mounted above large insulated storage boxes. The chairs have supportive arm rests, swivel 360 degrees and slide fore and aft for maximum helm comfort.

Although a number of manufacturers are now fitting helm chairs with flip-up front bolsters to increase the amount of standing space at the helm, this is not really necessary if the seats are positioned correctly – as they are in the AMM series – and have enough travel in the sliding base.

We certainly found the seated driving position in the AMM to be just as comfortable as when standing up. In both cases, the view through the two-piece curved and toughened glass windscreen was clear and unobstructed, while the sliding side windows provided excellent ventilation.

The view aft is also pretty good, with only one small blind spot behind the hardtop pillar on the port side to trouble the skipper during a fight with a swiftly moving gamefish. That said, the hardtop and saloon area is relatively short in length, which means the helmsman should have little difficulty in manoeuvring the boat to keep an angler’s rod and line in full view.

The hardtop itself is very sturdy in construction, with no movement, rattles or vibrations felt during our boat test. It provides excellent weather protection and can be used as the base for mounting radio antennas, exterior lighting and rod racks.

The test rig was also fitted with an optional sun-shade awning off the rear of the hardtop that is easily removed for offshore fishing.

Cockpit And Transom

The cockpit has everything required for offshore sportfishing – and just as importantly, nothing you don’t need. There is a considerable 3.8m from the cabin bulkhead back to the transom, with 2.3m of open, uncluttered space aft of the helm seat boxes. With 2.35m across the floor, the cockpit is almost square, giving anglers plenty of free space to work.

Like every good fishing craft, the AMM Tournament has extra-wide side coamings (235mm) for easy installation of more rodholders – in addition to the six welded rodholders included. The side coamings also provide reasonably comfortable seating in calm weather.

There is plenty of cockpit freeboard, with a minimum distance between the floor and the coaming top of 690mm – even down in the transom corners. This enables you to stand securely against the side decks to fight a fish in rough weather.

As the full-length cockpit side pockets are elevated well off the floor, there are no real toe-holds at foot level, although the coamings overhead are so wide that you don’t really need them.

The side pockets are also wide and should prove useful for stowing everything from deck lines to small gaffs and tag poles. However, I would also be tempted to fit some kind of gaff rack to the internal sides, just above the side pockets.

A wet fishbox was located beneath the cockpit floor and is suitable for a sizeable haul of reef fish or mid-sized pelagics like dolphinfish and small tuna.

The large and useful baitboard on the test boat was welded to the deck, but this is an optional feature so I am sure you can order it asremovable. There are several baitboard options to choose from, as well as a range of custom cockpit features which can be built according to your precise requirements.

The livebait tank is positioned below the baitboard. The test rig was fitted with the larger, optional tank featuring a bait-viewing window. Although this tank was still not overly large, it should be adequate to keep a dozen or more large slimy mackerel.

The deluxe fit-out package comes with a dual-battery system and has the twin batteries situated on a shelf beneath the livebait tank. There is also access here to the bilge and bait pumps, as well as general plumbing.

The test boat was fitted with the optional port-side transom door that leads out to the rear boarding platform and stainless-steel telescopic boarding ladder. As the AMM sits quite high on the trailer, the boarding ladder is a recommended option to make it easier to climb aboard.

The battery master switch and additional plumbing and steering gear can be accessed behind a So-Pac hatch on the starboard side of the transom.

Long Range Performance

While the AMM 7000 is available with several different engine configurations, a single extra-longshaft (25-inch) outboard is generally preferred. This makes sense given the extra cost of twins and the excellent reliability of modern outboard engines.

AMM recommend a minimum of 225hp for the 7000 Tournament and have priced the boat from $110,000 with this smaller engine. We achieved a maximum speed of 41 knots with the larger 300hp Yamaha V6 4-stroke, so you can expect a 32 to 34-knot top speed with the smaller engine.

Realistically, you will be better served with a 250 to 275hp outboard, which will help provide the extra power needed with full fuel tanks, a crew onboard and when the boat is loaded with fishing gear and accessories.

On the subject of fuel, the test boat was optioned with two 300-litre fuel tanks for a combined fuel capacity of a whopping 600 litres. This extends the maximum range of the boat/engine combination (after factoring in 5% fuel line losses) to a considerable 433 nautical miles, with the big Yamaha cruising sweetly at 18.7 knots on 3500rpm.

The Yamaha felt very smooth underway, with a linear but strong power delivery. The boat never lacked acceleration or speed at any point in the rpm range, and at displacement trolling speeds the engine was also quiet and vibration-free.

Handling And Ride

AMM has spent many years fine-tuning the design and shape of its hulls, and the very latest, strake-free, wide beam, reverse-chine hulls are superb. Featuring a 20-degree transom vee, sharp bow entry shape and heavy-duty 6mm hull plate, all of these factors combine to produce a very safe, seaworthy and comfortable ride.

Although the sea conditions during our test started off calm, they blew up toward the end, allowing us to run the boat in choppy offshore seas at a range of different angles. Upwind, downwind and across the sea, the AMM test boat proved infallible. It rode unerringly out of wave troughs, and sliced cleanly through short, sharp chop while the high forward topsides suppressed and deflected spray away from the boat.

I would happily run the AMM 7000 wide offshore, knowing it has the seaworthiness and comfort to get you back home safely should the weather turn nasty – which, of course, it often does.

A Premium Quality Craft

The AMM 7000 Tournament is an exceptional plate-alloy boat. Although it does cost more than many rival brands on the market, it is a first-class product and should provide you with decades of reliable service.

For your money, you will get a premium-quality craft with an excellent hull and a class-leading standard of finish and build quality. Boasting an excellent base fishing fit-out, it can be readily customised to suit your precise requirements.

Highlights

  • First-class design and construction
  • Great ride and stability
  • Smooth and economical Yamaha 4-stroke power
  • Hardtop weather protection
  • Spacious, uncluttered cockpit with high freeboard
  • 2.5m beam complies with Aussie road rules

Capacities

  • Maximum power: 300hp
  • Fuel capacity: 240L (can be upgraded to 600L)
  • People: 7

General

  • Type: Monohull with enclosed hardtop
  • Material: Plate aluminium
  • Bottom alloy: 6mm
  • Transom alloy: 6mm
  • Topside alloy: 4mm
  • Length overall: 7.3m
  • Hull length: 7m
  • Beam: 2.5m
  • Depth: 700mm
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees
  • Hull weight: 1300kg (approx)
  • Weight on trailer: 3000kg (approx)

Engines

  • Make/model: Yamaha 300hp
  • Type: 60-degree V6 DOHC fuel-injected 4-stroke outboard
  • Rated hp: 300
  • Displacement: 4.2 litres
  • No. cylinders: 6
  • Weight: 255kg
  • Shaft length: Extra-longshaft (25-inch)
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.75:1

SPECIFICATIONS: AMM 7000 Tournament
Options fitted: Yamaha 300hp V6 4-stroke extra-longshaft (25-inch) outboard, tandem-axle AMM alloy trailer with electric-hydraulic break-away brakes, Furuno TZTL15F multi-function touch-screen display (with TM260 1kw transducer), Stress Free anchor winch with Sarca anchor, coloured hull, GME VHF radio, Fusion stereo, radio box under hardtop, sunshade awning, transom door, trim tabs, upgraded livebait tank, berth infill cushions, upgrade to 2 x 300-litre fuel tanks, extra rodholders, under-gunnel lighting, offshore safety kit (including EPIRB) and 12 months boat and trailer registration, among others.  

AMM 7000 Tournament Boat Test

Boat Test AMM 7000 Tournament : TOURNAMENT MASTER
Author and photography: Jeff Webster
Supplied by: Australian Master Marine

This boat test ran in ISSUE 122 of BlueWater magazine –  FEB-MARCH 2017

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

>
Scroll to Top