The Return of the ‘Fin

Plate alloy boats have long enjoyed a loyal following from serious fishos who demand solidly constructed rigs that can take the knocks. Kris Sweres reports on some recent re-admissions to the platie ranks.

The Yellowfin brand has long had a cult following within the hard-core fishing community. I remember back when I was a kid in the early 1980s seeing these plate metal monsters roll up to the ramp to the admiring stares of all the offshore anglers gathered around. Yellowfin boats were – and are – deservedly popular with bluewater anglers. After a break in production, they’ve been given a new lease of life via Queensland’s Telwater Group (makers of Quintrex and Stacer boats). Good numbers of shiny new Yellowfins are now rolling out of the Telwater factory. 
Full metal jacket
The revitalised Yellowfin range features three models: the 5700, 6200 and 6700, all in either cabin or centre console depending on buyer preference. The minute you step on board one you’ll notice the solid build. Features that immediately impress are a washable, fully welded chequer plate floor (complete with onboard deck wash system), transom door, 135 litre kill tank, rod holders (everywhere), berley bucket and cutting board. There is also a 65 litre live bait tank located at the transom that has a see-through top for handy viewing and bait monitoring. Details like these show that hands-on fishermen have been clearly involved in the design of these boats. Functionality is at the fore in the Yellowfin range. Under floor fuel tanks and more than ample room for safety equipment storage keeps the deck completely uncluttered and perfect for serious fishing. As a side note the hull is completely self draining with a scuppered drainage system in place.
On the water
On the test day we were riding aboard the 5700 CC (centre console) and the 6700 C (cabin). Both boats are built as tough as nails, with each modified to suit a slightly different market. Anyone into offshore sportfishing will appreciate the 4mm/5mm plate build across the entire range. I found the performance of these hulls to be excellent, with the 20 degree deadrise and sharp bow entry being major factors in delivering a swell-cutting ride. 

Extra wide gunwales are great for leaning against in heavy slop and on the cabin models you can easily hop up and access the front area of the boat
without fuss. 

Another fantastic feature that has been obviously designed with the offshore angler in mind is the position of grab rails throughout the boats. On the odd occasion where I had a wave or wash kick some movement into the hull I could almost instinctively just reach out and there was a support available at hand. Anyone who fishes offshore in a bit of chop and swell will know how comforting – and safe – it is to be able to easily steady yourself and prevent a fall.

Seating is very comfortable and stable with the centre console models having a bench style seat or “strike chair” standard across the range. This seat can be adjusted to slide an extra esky underneath for when the fishing gets good!

Although the weather had been far from ideal for most of the week, the day of the test had turned out to be a cracker and within a very short time our skipper, Telwater’s Jacqui White, had us through the Gold Coast Seaway and out trolling at a comfortable speed. 

These boats are solid. At no time did I feel any jarring or the sort of flex usually associated with cheaper build quality. The pick up out of the hole was remarkably quick for such heavily constructed boats and was amply assisted by the 150hp and 225hp Mercury Optimax outboards on the respective rigs. Anyone that has had experience with the new age of direct injection two-stroke outboards will also be aware of the incredible fuel economy they offer.

When I asked Yellowfin’s Cliff Antees how good they are on the juice, a smile and a nod of the head was the simple response. To me, an economical hull design, excellent fuel consumption matched with a very reasonable overall package price makes Yellowfin a stand-out among boats of this nature. Wide open throttle tests in both boats could blow the jam off your toast and had more than adequate speed to use in bar crossings or chasing tuna schools. For the record, Telwater specs figures show the 5700 CC is capable of 41.4 knots (76.2kph) @ 5600rpm and the 6700 C a tad faster at around 44 knots.

Although Yellowfin has clearly taken a massive bite out of the serious offshore fishing boat market that’s not to say these boats couldn’t double for the family man. Taking the wife and kids out for a ski or picnic at some remote location or a weekend away camping would be a breeze. Cabin models offer a more than adequate front bunk section that could also double as gear storage for skis, knee boards and camping gear. I couldn’t help thinking that a boat of this nature would be great to go halves or thirds in with a couple of mates and really open up some outdoor activities on! Chasing pelagics, jigging up monster kingies or even just bottom bouncing for some big reddies, Yellowfin boats will undoubtedly open up these opportunities and more.

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.