Boat Review Date: July 2015
Author: Mike Brown
Baysport’s range shares a strong family resemblance. This is understandable: economy of scale comes into it, but mainly the reason is the builder got his concept right and he is sticking with it. Getting it right and sticking is a particularly good idea with fibreglass construction where change can be costly in requiring extra moulds. Certainly, the hull form has a lot of complexity with concave keel and wide chines.
That said, Baysports show the evidence of thorough initial development: everything that could be moulded is moulded. This makes a neater vessel and holds down costs.
The review boat is the Baysport 640 Offshore. In this case Offshore is correctly applied: its size and behavior give the confidence to take it wide with the expectation of an effortless return trip. Although with the scaled up hull of its sisters the 640 is paces ahead in its presence on the water. Under way in the significant swell of the review day the vertical accelerations were subdued, other motions easy and quiet. That’s what extra size will do.
Behaviour once stopped was also good; unusually good. The hull shape, despite a sharp 21 degree deadrise, achieves the double of stability at rest alongside its good ride. Three at the rail caused barely a stir.
The seating comprises the usual twin first class singles plus a three seater at the transom. This folds to reveal a capacious bin beneath it that can either hinge forward or be left ashore. This bin could hold dry stores or a record catch in ice. There is room for more modest catches in the under deck locker.
The 640 was equipped as an all rounder rather than emphasising the fishing role. The cabin has settees with back rests. With the absence of a rear bulkhead, and good sitting headroom, it is a sheltered extension of the cockpit. An infill converts the settees into a double bed for the occasional night away. With side windows and a clear fore hatch as well as that absent bulkhead this is a well lit space. The hatch gives easy access to lines or anchor, though our boat was fitted with a power windlass.
The cockpit itself is fitted out for family days with a removable picnic table and some equipment for supplying and clearing it: under the forward seats are an esky and a sink. The fresh water tank feeding this can also be connected to a deck shower.The driving position is shaded by a simple but effective Bimini mounted on a frame mercifully free from the shakes.
Folding the rear settee opens up a useful fishing space with exceptionally high sides. A thigh high coaming is usually considered good going but the 640’s is groin high; standing safety to go with the stability. The fishing ancillaries of rod holders, bait tank and retractable cleats fit neatly into the perimeter.
The maximum power the 640 is rated for is 175hp, with the recommended range 115-150. The review boat was fitted with a 140hp Suzuki four-stroke, which proved a good match. Top speed is in the high 30s, so effortless cruising in the low 20s – which is where most cruising takes place. One of the unsung heroes of contemporary boating is hydraulic steering. Had the motor been hooked up to cable steering gear the extra physical effort needed would have made the day much less of a pleasure than it was.
One of the pleasures was the sound level. Other than when flat out the motor’s note was subdued, and at all speeds the hull was practically silent. That was thanks to fibreglass’s lack of resonance.
Price as reviewed AUD $68,000
Fuel capacity 170L
Motor fitted 140hp Suzuki four-stroke