King of the blue­wa­ter

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By DAVE KRANTZ

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

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