King of the bluewater
WHEN you think of traditional Top End boating, cabin boats are not the first thing that spring to mind.
It’s not all about barra and billabongs up here though — bluewater fans know that the offshore fishing in the Territory is top notch and sometimes you need something tough to tackle it in.
The revived Yellowfin range is aimed at this market, offering a variety of bigger Aussie plate boats in both console and cabin configurations.
I recently had a look at the Yellowfin 6900C from Darwin’s In & Outboard Marine. It’s a no-nonsense plate boat built to take the worst the NT has to offer.
It’s not a complete hardtop, but rather a partial cabin and windscreen with a well made Bimini perched on top.
The effect is to offer a dry and comfortable spot for driver and passenger.
The Bimini is collapsible if you want a bit more wind in your hair.
The big plate hull handles beautifully in sloppy chop, punching through cleanly without any slapping.
In larger swells the Yellowfin 6900C is a winner too.
A smooth dry ride is the result of the bulletproof plate construction and extra protection offered by the cabin.
If you do ship any water then the self-draining floor finished in practical treadplate directs that water back to the ocean where it belongs.
Aesthetically, it’s an appealing industrial-style finish too.
The test boat was powered by a 150hp Yamaha four-stroke equipped with hydraulic steering. The max horsepower for this hull is 200, but there is no real need to hang something that big off the back.
A 150 is a good match or you could go to 175 for a bit more grunt.
We were cruising comfortably with the 150 Yammie at around 3800rpm and 40km/h with plenty in reserve.
You can get up to 70km/h or so with this set-up, depending of course on your prop selection and how the boat is loaded.
Fuel usage at cruising speeds up to 55km/h was economical, giving an effective range of well over 400km with the standard 200 litre underfloor tank and normal use.
As a rule of thumb, you are doing all right in my experience if you are getting somewhere around 2km per litre over the course of a day’s bluewater fishing up here.
Inside the layout is practical and clean. The console supports three digital gauges that supply a variety of info on fuel, speed and so on.
There are a pair of luxurious swivel seats to soak up any bumps.
Forward of the console is a sheltered bunk area, perfect for overnighting or extra dry storage.
A skylight/hatch provides light and access to the anchorwell up the front.
It must be said that the cabin configuration does prevent full walk around access when fishing, so there is a trade-off for the extra comfort and protection of the cabin model.
For hardier types or mad keen jiggers the same hull is available in a console set-up.
Rod storage is well catered for with four gunwale rodholders and five on the rear baitboard.
There is also a rocket launcher arrangement up top with five more holders for out of the way storage. This is not a boat for everyone. It will appeal to dedicated bluewater anglers who want to go the extra mile under any conditions. For more information about the Yellowfin range, contact In & Outboard Marine on 8924 0240
The Yellowfin 6900C is all about conquering the bluewater
Gimme shelter — the view forward from between the seats