Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console Boat Test

Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console Boat Test

Boat Test Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console: THE AUSTRALIAN WAY
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe

This boat test ran in ISSUE 84 of BlueWater magazine – APRIL-MAY 2011

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

Ever since the Aussie dollar approached parity with the American greenback, there’s been a flood of imported, ’glass centre console bluewater fishing boats on the market. Therefore, you might wonder why anyone would consider locally-built aluminium bluewater fishing boats.

That is, until you consider the basic commonsense underlying the popularity of aluminium boats in Australia, where bluewater fishing often involves trailering over bad roads, launching over substandard ramps and regular encounters with gel coat-munching coral and rock. Then, there is the extraordinary cost of fuel, especially from marinas.

Our national mania for aluminium boats is phenomenal and there’s no escaping that in terms of rough-water ride, and outright point-to-point speed, Yellowfin’s aluminium 6700 Centre Console, for example, is great boat.

Unpainted aluminium in particular shrugs off the kind of abuse lots of Australian bluewater fishers consider a norm, and that’s precisely why better locally-built boats, like this Yellowfin, are left ‘au naturel’ below the chines, where paint only ends up looking second-hand anyway.

So called ‘plate’ aluminium boats have developed into something of an art form in Australia, and it was not so long ago that Yellowfin was part of a large pack of cottage and custom-built builders. Alf Stessl originally built the Yellowfin in the 1980s until Telwater acquired the design. It was a popular offshore boat for about a decade, then market trends changed and the Yellowfin was shelved. Several years ago, the market changed again and Telwater relaunched the Yellowfin with an updated design. Today, the boat defies both cottage and custom-built convention by coming from the largest aluminium boatbuilder in the southern hemisphere as a standard production boat – with a very short options list indeed.

To potential buyers this means two things. One is that at least you can put up your dollars confident your boatbuilder will still be around tomorrow, which cottage plate aluminium boatbuilders are notorious for not being! Two is that with customising not an option in this case, the boat is going to have to be pretty close to spot-on to satisfy people expecting a plate boat built how they want it.

When these new generation Yellowfins were released, Telwater, which also builds Quintrex, Stacer and Savage, stated they’ve been building aluminium boats long enough to be confident their production boats would satisfy enough people to make them viable. It was brave assertion, acknowledging how fickle bluewater fishers are about their boats.

The good news is that it seems their confidence is justified. Perhaps this boat won’t suit everybody, but I think it will suit a lot of people.

These latest Yellowfins are an all-new hull design which, having spent a fair bit of time at sea in them now, I happily rate alongside the very best handling and riding conventional plate boats I’ve ever tested – and I’ve tested a few!

Attractively raked bows and a 20-degree deadrise mean Yellowfin’s 6700 Centre Console rides as well as any 6.7-metre plate hull can. Over-enthusiastic use of the throttle will land it hard, but when driven with due respect, I thought the ride better than acceptable – and much better than some plate aluminium hulls.

The outboard mounts on a pod integrated into the transom, with a small exterior deck each side. A below-decks gridded stringer system adds impressive structural integrity to a boat that actually looks good to the eye – an unusual attribute among plate aluminium boats.

I must say though, that I was ambivalent about the checkerplate deck in our test boat, but thankfully, carpet is one of few alternatives offered. More importantly, the deck self-drains efficiently and the scuppers do as good a job of preventing water entering, as they do of draining it, and that helps keep the deck nicely dry.

Like effective scuppers, centre consoles are a work of art. This one is well done, with the critical ergonomics of wheel height and angle spot-on, and ample dash space for electronics. Having already tested a cuddy cabin Yellowfin 6700 hull for BlueWater, I’m pleased to report the centre console version shares one of its greatest assets – aft of the console they’re identical.

Features here include an in-deck fish box, a transom door and boarding ladder, a live well to starboard in the aft bulkhead, and a central workstation perched above a built in locker for batteries, fuel filter/s, and in this boat, the Mercury Optimax outboard’s oil reservoir.

Behind the centre console, there is a well thought-out seat, incorporating a height-adjustable, leaning bolster, enclosing a spacious stowage locker. There is also a four-rod rack across the back and a big icebox tucks away between the supports.

Forward of the console the deck level steps up to provide plenty of that most precious of commodities in centre consoles, stowage. Wide side-decks around the Yellowfin’s periphery maintain leg support. In the cockpit, these overhang massive side-pockets far enough to prevent your leg contacting them before you find security against the side of the boat.

Nine rigged rods can be racked in this boat without using side-deck rodholders, but I would fit a clip-on vinyl curtain to hide the batteries etc in the transom though.

Speaking of the aft end brings us to the engine room and the 200hp Mercury Optimax gracing our test boat’s transom. The Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console’s high aft bulkhead keeps the usual Optimax chatter at trolling speeds to a minimum. At cruising revs I doubt it’s any noisier than a 4-stroke, and with a top speed just short of 45 knots, our conspicuously red test boat sure confirms the old adage about red ones going fast!

As for fuel consumption, the Optimax’s SmartCraft instrumentation provided impressive fuel burn figures of around 20 litres/hour at cruising speed of 24-25 knots.

Highlights

  • Very fishing-friendly configuration.
  • Great centre console ergonomics.
  • Plentiful stowage.
  • Good looks.

Capacities

  • Maximum Rated Power: 225hp
  • Maximum Engine Weight: 300kg
  • People: 7
  • Fuel: 250 litres

General

  • Material: Plate aluminium (5mm bottom, 4mm topsides)
  • Hull type: Mono
  • Length: 6.7m
  • Beam: 2.4m
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees (at transom)
  • Weight: 960kg (hull only)
  • BMT towing weight: Approx. 2000kg

Engines

  • Make/model: Mercury Optimax 200XL OPTI
  • Type: Direct injected 2-stroke V6
  • Rated hp: 200hp
  • Displacement: 3032cc
  • No. Cylinders: 6
  • Weight: 225kg
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.75:1
  • Propeller used for test: Mercury Mirage Plus, s/s 3-blade, 18-inch pitch

SPECIFICATIONS: Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console  
Options fitted: Mercury Optimax 200hp, SmartCraft gauges, two-tone paint, Yellowfin aluminium trailer, VHF radio 

Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console Boat Test

Boat Test Yellowfin 6700 Centre Console: THE AUSTRALIAN WAY
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe
Supplied by: Telwater Pty Ltd

This boat test ran in ISSUE 84 of BlueWater magazine –  APRIL-MAY 2011

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