This might not be your typical angling boat, but find out why she really is a perfect fit
Dave Lewis checks out a sporty vessel.
Recently, I was in North Wales reviewing a Robalo fishing boat and I was asked to cast a critical eye over the Finnmaster S6. While I was aware of this manufacturer, I couldn’t remember having stepped aboard one of its boats. Naturally, I seized the opportunity to give it a whirl.
While the S6 is clearly a boat that has been built for general family fun on the water, being perfect for skiing and day cruising, there is little doubt she would make a very fine fishing boat.
When I got home, I visited the Finnmaster website, keen to obtain some background information on the company. It told me that Finnmaster has designed and manufactured vessels at its boatyard in Finland for more than 25 years. It adds: “Over these years we have worked hard to develop smart solutions that, for example, mean there is always somewhere for you to stow the fenders, just seconds after casting off. Nor do you need to move the cushions when you want to stow anything in the storage
space.” The concept is called Smart Design.
What that means is it tailors the form to the content to make life at sea easier, whatever you use your boat for. These solutions do not only help to tie together well-thought-out and practical details with smart and modern design, they mean, above all, that the skilled captain and the curious novice can both have wonderful experiences at sea. No mention of fishing there, but I like the company’s thinking.
Next, I looked for some specific information on the S6: “Finnmaster S6 is a perfect combination between sporty and innovative details. This boat allows you to fully enjoy a summer’s day, thanks to the many seats and the easily convertible sun deck in the bow.”
The wide helm with the streamlined windshield guarantees protection from wind, even at high speeds. It has spiced up the boat with many smart details, like boarding steps, a fender basket to keep the fenders in place, and plenty of storage space so that you can pack
everything you need for a day trip. The glow from the LED lights in the bow will lead you towards endless adventures at sea.
Again, nothing here of obvious interest to sea anglers other than endless adventures at sea – but, trust me, if you are currently searching for a general sport, family or fishing boat, the Finnmaster S6 might be exactly what you are looking for.
My day afloat had been arranged by Neville Williams, managing director of Ideal Boats, based at Pwllheli Marina. We very quickly established the close quarters, slow-speed handling qualities of the Finnmaster S6 were flawless. Once out into open water and clear of the harbour speed restrictions, I sat back on our camera boat and watched, as Neville put this sleek and beautifully finished boat through her paces in an impressive display of boat handling.
Like most sports boats, the S6 has a deep-vee hull, which is perfect for slicing through a hefty swell and choppy sea conditions, such as those anglers frequently encounter offshore. There’s little point in owning a fast fishing boat designed to venture many miles offshore to fish distant marks if the only time you can benefit from the speed is when conditions are favourable.
Provided you drive her with due regard to the prevailing conditions, then, even if conditions do cut up rough while you are out fishing, the Finnmaster S6 is a boat that will ensure that you will be able to cruise back at a reasonable speed in both safety and comfort.
The Finnmaster S6 has an overall length of 6.30 metres, which is just over 20ft, along with a 2.35m, 7.71ft, beam. She displaces 1250kg, is rated for use with outboard engines from 130-200hp supplied via a 125 litre fuel tank, and for carrying up to eight persons. Her overall build quality and finish is excellent, her inventory of standard fixture and fittings impressive.
Whenever reviewing a boat intended for offshore angling, the three criteria I like to look at are – stability and handling, amount of open and uncluttered deck space from which to fish, and availability and amount of stowage space to help keep everything uncluttered.
The Finnmaster S6 ticked every box and, in addition, I noted that her inboard freeboard is excellent, with onboard safety further enhanced by the addition of stainless steel grab rails. The steering console is sited to starboard, leaving free the entire port side and area forward of the console for fishing.
By the time my opportunity to climb aboard and drive the S6 came, I had already seen more than enough to convince me that she was an exceptional boat. I immediately found that her response to the throttle was instant and crisp, which is exactly what you want when running in heavy seas, conditions that demand continual adjustments of throttle and helm.
The test boat was fitted with a Yamaha F150hp, and on the day we recorded the following speed and fuel consumption figures. At 3000rpm the GPS confirmed a speed of 18.7 knots, with a fuel burn of 4.5gph. At 4000rpm speed increased to 27.1 knots while burning 6.8gph. At 5000rpm we were running at 36.2 knots while burning 11.8gph, then at a maximum 5600rpm we achieved 43.5 knots while burning 17gph.
Driven sensibly, the hull cut cleanly through the heftiest waves and wakes from passing boats that I encountered. If this boat ever does slam, then it will be entirely down to operator error, which almost always is the case.
Certainly, the Finnmaster S6 is one boat I would love to have at my disposal for long-haul fishing sorties, she might be a tad on the flash side compared to many angling boats, but she really is the perfect tool for fishing offshore. ■
INFORMATION The cost for a Finnmaster S6 package starts at £36,338. For information visit: www.idealboat.com Ideal Boats, based at Pwllheli Marina, tel: 01758 703013 or 07813 581937. Email: email@example.com For information on Yamaha outboard engines visit: www.yamahaoutboards.com
Left: The bow area of the beautifully finished Finnmaster S6 Below: The S6 can be used with outboards ranging from 130-200hp