Boat Review Date: September 2011
Author: Mike Brown
Air conditioning and an inverter to drive it were about the only conceivable items missing from the reviewed Campion 825 Allante, and they are both options for anyone who feels the need. For a boat with a hull length less than eight metres an astonishing amount has been packed in with enough room left over for a lot of people. It will even sleep six, and a key to all this capacity is a cockpit equipped with a canopy, clears and curtains to convert it into another cabin. In the daytime the cockpit is a top class social area. Taking away the clears and curtains gives fresh air plus shade over 100 percent of the cockpit, although the canopy is in two parts: you can unzip them and furl them both or leave your choice of either deployed.
Up front are a wet bar and a double helm seat with a bolster for the driver, and aft is an almost circular settee. It has gaps to allow passage through to the boarding platform, and has a few extra tricks. Sections aft, port and starboard, lift out to give extra deck space for fishing or whatever. A removable table makes the starboard settee into a dinette; at night, with shorter legs, it forms part of the conversion of the seating to a double bed. All of which means there are lots of parts to be stowed when they are off duty. The forward end of the engine space has tailor-made racks for just that.
The accommodation on cruisers around this size usually has all the boxes ticked – galley, bathroom, dinette and so on – but often it fails to be attractive to actually use. The proportions here are easy on the eye, everything is workable, and there is no sensation of inhabiting Toytown. The dinette forward can handle a family lunch and converts into a generous sized bed, from which you can watch TV if you wish. The galley has a granite top, a one-burner stove, a sink, fridge and microwave – in the absence of an inverter, for use with shore power.
The bathroom has all the equipment plus standing and elbow room, and is connected to both grey and black water sullage tanks. The mid cabin is fully open to the main cabin so is freed from the common cave sensation. This boat is a genuine six-sleeper.
To give maximum space below and in the cockpit there are no real side decks. But anchoring is handled by a power windlass so there is seldom a pressing need to go to the foredeck, which is a distinctly convex affair, and you have two choices if the need does arise. You have a circular fore hatch, more pleasant to stand in than a square one, or a route up steps moulded in the cockpit’s forward bulkhead and through the opening windscreen.
The steps run alongside one of boating’s more impressive consoles featuring tasteful timber panels. Gauges and switches (plenty of them) are laid out logically, leaving space for a large Humminbird GPS-sounder monitor and the vital stereo controls. A nice touch at the driver’s station is the arrangement for oddment stowage: mesh bags held flat against the bulkhead – items are held visible and non-rattling. There are also here, and everywhere else, plenty of drink holders.
Rolls Royce would possibly describe the Campion’s power as ‘adequate’; I would go more for ‘impressive’ - at 425hp it is the maximum the boat is rated for. An 8.1L Mercruiser delivers it and a dual-prop Bravo 3 leg transmits it. As with all dual-prop installations, grip is practically absolute: put it in gear and it goes; open the throttle and there is no hesitation. And it goes as fast as you could possibly want a cruiser to go.
Using the bolster puts the driver’s eye line comfortably above the windscreen, the adjustable steering wheel rake keeping the hands comfortable too. The builder claims an exceptionally rigid hull sub-structure, and the quietness of the ride bears this out. The quality of the ride is also good. Deadrise is 19.5-degrees – typical of a cruiser – and it helps provide a winning combination of softness and stability.
This is a boat that a family, or two couples, could spend a long weekend on without feeling the walls closing in. There is enough space, civilization and cold storage to keep them happy, and enough versatility too: skiing, fishing and diving could all be on the agenda.Lowdown
Price from AUD $149,000
Length overall 8.48m
Fuel capacity 420L
Black water waste 53L
Grey water waste 114L
Fresh water 83L
Motor fitted 8.1L Mercruiser 425hp