Yellowfin 7600 Southerner Boat Test

Quintrex has added two new boats to its heavy-duty Yellowfin plate-alloy range. The new 7000 and 7600 Southerner models have an extended hardtop to provide more shelter, while still maintaining an effective cockpit size. The flagship 7600 model is the pick of the two boats for offshore gamefishing, offering excellent performance, a comfortable ride and a spacious, practical interior layout.

Yellowfin 7600 Southerner Boat Test

Boat Test Yellowfin 7600 Southerner: SOUTHERNER COMFORT
Author and photography: Jeff Webster

This boat test ran in ISSUE 126 of BlueWater magazine – SEPT-OCT 2017

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

Since Quintrex upgraded its Yellowfin boat range a year or so back, these sharply priced and durable plate-alloy boats have proven very popular with offshore anglers. The hardtop models have been the choice of gamefishermen, providing substantially more weather protection than the bimini-equipped cuddy/half cabin models.

After receiving feedback on the debut hardtop Yellowfins, Quintrex went on to release two additional models with a little more cabin shelter for anglers fishing the colder regions. The Quintrex 7000 and 7600 series hulls are now available in extended hardtop Southerner models.

The new boats complement the existing hardtop range, with the rear of the hardtop extended by 300mm to provide better wind and spray protection for the skipper and forward passenger while at the same time retaining a large, uncluttered cockpit. The flagship 7600 series model is certainly not short on fishing space, as we found out during a recent test in choppy waters off the Gold Coast.

Moderate-Vee Hull

The Yellowfin 7600 is a heavy-duty plate-alloy boat with a fine bow or forefoot entry shape, as well as a moderate 19-degree transom deadrise. The hull has high topsides made from 4mm alloy, a transom made from 5mm alloy and a hull bottom constructed using 6mm alloy, reinforced with a series of longitudinal internal stringers and cross beams.

The boat feels solid on the water, comfortable in chop and stable at rest due to the moderate transom vee and wide chine flats.

At 2.4m across the beam, the Yellowfin is not as wide as some competitors. However, it still feels very spacious inside, thanks to a cockpit that measures over 3.3m long from the cabin bulkhead to the transom wall.

Keeping the beam well within the maximum towable width of 2.5m also makes the Yellowfin easy to tow on the highway and manoeuvre around boat ramps, service stations and tight parking areas. That said, the package weighs around 2750kg (dry) so you will need a good-sized towing vehicle.

Feature And Options

In addition to being 300mm longer, the 7600 Southerner’s hardtop has rain deflectors to steer water away from the cockpit and passengers, as well as aft-facing grab rails and carpet to the hardtop ceiling and surrounds for a neater appearance.

There is also a bundle of regular Yellowfin features that anglers will no doubt appreciate. These include the cabin berth/storage area, toughened-glass windscreen with starboard side wiper, sliding hardtop side windows, hardtop rod rack with individual folding rodholders, port side transom livebait tank and transom door, as well as rear boarding platform and ladder. Other features include elevated battery platforms, hydraulic steering, Volvo Penta blade-style trim tabs, transducer bracket, a 12-volt power outlet and a 235L fuel tank.

The test boat was rigged as a demonstrator and equipped with several factory options. These included an LED lighting kit, Muir drum anchor winch, outriggers, storage boxes under the helm and passenger chairs, port side windscreen wiper, a button-activated external hand wash and a deluxe baitboard/fishing station.

Although the Yellowfin 7600 does come standard with a baitboard, it may be worth upgrading to the deluxe model as it really is a ripper. The baitboard/fishing station provides a regular cutting surface, as well as four aft-facing rodholders, 10 removable plastic tackle storage trays, drink holders, knife and rigging needle holders and more.

Open-Plan Cabin

The interior layout and cabin size remains unchanged in the Southerner edition and is in fact the same size as in the smaller 6500 and 7000 series models. The latter boats have the same cabin, but a smaller cockpit. The design is open plan, albeit with a quarter-width bulkhead beneath the helm. As a result, getting in and out of the cabin is quite easy and there is ample space and headroom once inside.

The cabin berths are rigged as side seats in standard boats and are carpeted to make them reasonably comfortable to sit on. Berth cushions and an infill board/cushion are optional and when fitted will convert the two single 2.1m berths into a large double bed. Beneath each of the side seats/berths is a roto-moulded plastic storage bin suitable for stowing safety gear and clothing.

Above each of the berths there are short side pockets which could be used to stow car keys, phones and other small items in the absence of a dash glovebox or helm side pockets. Other cabin features include carpet lining to the ceiling (optional), a neat wiring cover behind the helm and a clear ventilation and foredeck access hatch in the forepeak.

The cabin hatch lets plenty of light into the cabin and is wide enough to climb up through should you need to access the large anchor well or move forward for docking. That said, it is easier – at least in calm conditions – to go forward by climbing around the cabin as the side decks are wide and the hardtop has excellent handholds.

There is no toilet option listed on the Quintrex website and there does not appear to be provision to fit one in the cabin either. While this may not worry too many anglers, it is likely to be a concern for family boaters. However, you could probably fit a small portable toilet behind the helm bulkhead, resting on top of the berth/seat. It would need to be strapped down in some manner, but I suspect it would still prove quite workable.

Practical Helm

The helm layout in the Yellowfin is practical and functional. In front of the skipper, above the stainless-steel steering wheel, there is a two-tier fascia suitable for installing a flush-fitted fishfinder/GPS, as well as engine instrumentation. Our test rig was rigged with a single Simrad NSS12 Evo2 GPS/fishfinder (with radar option) and Evinrude’s Icon Touch 7 multi-function digital engine display.

Beneath the big Simrad display there was ample space for the primary switch panel, along with switching for the Muir anchor winch and Volvo trim tabs. The side-mounted throttle was built into the side panel beside the helm, where it was within a comfortable reach.

Additional electronics displays can easily be bracket-mounted on the wide, flat dash, which stretches out to the port side of the helm. The optional Fusion stereo head unit was bulkhead-mounted alongside the fishfinder and VHF radio. The skipper and crew will appreciate the two dash cup holders, as well as the excellent, full-width dash grab rail.

Quintrex has equipped the 7600 Southerner with big, noticeably wide chairs, which are exclusive to the Yellowfin models. The chairs come complete with nicely padded armrests and swivel, as well as sliding fore and aft. They also have handrails on the back so additional crew members have something to hang onto while travelling to the fishing grounds.

Taken as a whole, the helm layout and design works very well. Everything is where it needs to be, and the seats are great, while the extended or longer hardtop also provides additional shelter.

Big, Open Cockpit

If you like a big, open and uncluttered cockpit then you’ll love the Yellowfin 7600 Southerner. As noted earlier, there is 3.3m of space from the cabin bulkhead to the transom. Importantly, the clear space behind the helm chairs and seat boxes comes in at an impressively large 2.3m by 2.07m across. That’s enough space to fish four or five anglers and/or to fit a centre cockpit bait/rigging station or a small gamechair.

The cockpit is also deep, with a minimum of 725mm of freeboard along the sides and 730mm of space between the self-draining floor and the coaming top in the transom corners.

The side coamings can double as seats to perch on while fishing as they are 280mm wide. This coaming width also makes it easy to install additional rodholders, although there are six built-in already, so you’ll probably only need a few more.

The fully welded alloy cockpit comes standard with a checker- or tread-plate finish, which does get hot underfoot and a bit glary in bright sunshine. Carpet for this deck is optional, but for easy cleaning you might prefer the standard alloy finish.

Elevated side-storage pockets stretch the length of the cockpit and will prove ideal for stowing all manner of fishing gear, deck lines and other equipment. The rear battery shelf, located behind a removable carpeted panel, is also elevated about 5cm from the floor so you can wedge your feet under them for security when fishing over the stern in rough weather. This is smart thinking and clever design.

Across the transom of the Yellowfin Southerner there is an entry door on the starboard side, which folds down to form a step leading out to the boarding platform and ladder. There’s also a large, plumbed livebait tank with a clear viewing window built into the port side transom. In between is the optional baitboard/fishing station with clear tackle trays behind a lockable front panel.

Other useful features include an underfloor fishbox between the helm seats, sturdy looking stern rails and corner bollards, an in-floor bilge pump access panel, raw-water deckwash beneath the bait tank and an external transom-mounted berley bucket with muncher.

Evinrude Power And Performance

We have now tested a number of boats powered by the latest Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboards and they never disappoint. These high-tech DFI 2-stroke outboards provide simply stunning performance, combined with ultra-low emissions, smooth operation and no smoke. There is not a lot more that you can ask from an outboard engine.

Our test model Yellowfin is available from Queensland’s Caloundra Marine with Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboards ranging from 175hp through to 300hp. You can also fit the boat with twin engines as well. A pair of Evinrude’s new 150hp G2 E-TECs on the back of the Yellowfin would certainlyprovide plenty of grunt, along with the security of dual-engines.

Although you could get away with a single 175hp E-TEC, to make the most of the Yellowfin’s excellent hull, the boat needs a bit more power to really shine. Our test boat was rigged with a single extra-longshaft (63.5cm) 225hp Evinrude E-TEC, which proved an ideal match for the boat. During our test run the boat/engine combination was super quick off the mark, accelerating brutally all the way through to a wide-open throttle top speed of 40.5 knots.

The Evinrude proved most economical while humming along at 3000rpm at a boat speed of 21 knots and a fuel burn of 19.1L/ph. On 95% of the standard 235-litre fuel capacity, this gave us a range of 202.82 nautical miles.

While a range of more than 200NM is likely to be sufficient for most fishing day trips, if you do need more fuel capacity then consider optioning the boat with the additional 75-litre fuel tank, which can be slotted in underfloor in place of the fishbox.

Handling And Ride

In designing the Yellowfin 7600, Quintrex opted for a moderate, 19-degree transom vee hull shape in combination with a fine entry forward, a pronounced keel and flat outer chines in the stern. It does not have any planing or lifting strakes as these are not necessary and would actually firm up the ride, especially if the strakes extended forward to the bow.

While the hull shape is quite conventional, it does work well, and the boat is very stable at rest and underway. However, it does tend to list into a strong breeze when travelling beam to the wind and sea due to the high cabin and hardtop, although this is not a major concern as it can easily be corrected using the included Volvo Penta trim tabs. As noted in previous reviews, this is a common trait in craft over 6m in length.

Although the entry shape of the Yellowfin hull at the bow is sharp, the slope of the stem as it rises up to the bowsprit is quite gentle. This allows the hull to ride and handle very well in a following sea, without digging into wave troughs. In contrast, hulls with a more pronounced or aggressive stem line can tend to bury into waves when running before the sea.

As we found out during our test in very lumpy seas outside the Gold Coast Seaway, the Yellowfin is capable of riding quite comfortably into the chop and swell, cruising easily at speeds of 14 to 16 knots into the weather. I was particularly impressed with the ability to throttle back to 12 to 14 knots when running into a 1.5 to 2m wave chop, with the boat staying on plane and carving through the waves with surprising ease. The ride would obviously firm up a bit if you accelerated and got a bit of air under the hull, but the ride was excellent if you kept the nose trimmed in and presented the sharp entry to the oncoming waves.

During offshore manoeuvres punching into the sea, the test boat did throw a bit of water about, but this is of little concern given that the boat has a full and extended hardtop which provides excellent weather protection.

Trailerable Gameboat

The 7600 Southerner is certainly a worthy addition to the Quintrex Yellowfin range and may well outsell its regular hardtop siblings. The hardtop’s extra 300mm in length makes a big difference as you feel much more closeted and sheltered from the elements. Although you lose a little bit of cockpit length where the hardtop extends back behind the helm and passenger chairs, this is of little consequence as the cockpit is still huge.

The 7600 Southerner is the flagship model and the most expensive boat in the Quintrex Yellowfin range. However, compared to many of its rivals – particularly those craft from semi-custom plate-alloy boatbuilders – the 7600 Southerner is a veritable bargain. Add your choice of electronics and fishing gear and you’re set to go trailerboat gamefishing.

Highlights

  • Good weather protection.
  • Excellent handling and performance.
  • Huge self-draining cockpit.
  • Solid 6mm hull construction.
  • Built-in rodholders and wide side decks.
  • Easy care and clean layout.
  • Great value for money.
  • Toe-rails under the transom.

Capacities

  • Maximum power: 300hp
  • Maximum engine weight: 310kg
  • Fuel capacity: 235 litres
  • Maximum load: 940kg
  • Maximum persons: 7

General

  • Type: Monohull enclosed hardtop
  • Material: Plate aluminium
  • Bottom alloy: 6mm
  • Transom alloy: 5mm
  • Topside alloy: 4mm
  • Length overall: 7.6m
  • Hull length: 7.3m
  • Beam: 2.4m
  • Depth: 1.25m
  • Deadrise: 19 degrees
  • Hull weight: 1365kg approx
  • Weight on trailer: 2750kg approx
  • Floatation: Basic standard

Engines

  • Make/model: Evinrude E-Tec G2 HO 225hp
  • Type: 74-degree V6 DFI two-stroke outboard
  • Rated hp: 225
  • Displacement: 3.4 litres
  • No. cylinders: 6
  • Weight: 253kg
  • Shaft length: Extra-longshaft (63.5cm)
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.85:1

SPECIFICATIONS: Yellowfin 7600 Southerner
Options fitted: Evinrude 225hp E-TEC G2 DFI 2-stroke extra-longshaft (63.5cm) outboard, Catch ‘N Release latch on Quintrex trailer, Simrad NSS12 Evo2 GPS chart plotter/fishfinder, Simrad radar kit, Fusion stereo, Muir electric drum anchor winch, port side windscreen wiper, hardtop LED lighting kit, helm seat storage boxes, carpeted cabin ceiling, outriggers, external hand wash and deluxe baitboard/fishing station.  

Yellowfin 7600 Southerner Boat Test

Boat Test Yellowfin 7600 Southerner: SOUTHERNER COMFORT
Author and photography: Jeff Webster
Supplied by: Caloundra Marine

This boat test ran in ISSUE 126 of BlueWater magazine – SEPT-OCT 2017

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