Boat Review Date: January 2011
Author: Mike Brown
As the Chivers range of water-ballasted aluminium boats expands, the builder must be searching the reference books for more names of reputedly fierce sharks to name them after. The 232 Tiger Shark hull has been around for a while, but the review boat is the first hardtop version of it, and this comes with a revision of the interior.
The Tiger Shark and its bigger sister feature bottoms almost certainly unique among Australian-built leisure boats: dual deadrise. The section of bottom adjacent to the keel has the extraordinarily sharp deadrise of 28 degrees, which decreases to 22 degrees in the section terminating at the normal chine. An extra chine is inserted where the sections meet.
A set-up like this would normally mean the boat would be standing on tip toes at rest, but the automatic flooding of part of the underfloor volume drops the outer chines below the water. The result was that two heavyish men sitting on the same rail caused only a negligible list. A burst of throttle to the 225hp Yamaha had the boat up and planing almost instantly, and the water ballast was sucked out within a few seconds more.
The day and location did not give us the sea to test that sharp bottom, but ferries and large leisure boats kindly donated steep wakes instead that let us get virtually airborne. An aging back has made me a connoisseur of landings, and the Tiger Shark performed about as well as any trailer boat I have experienced – probably as well as a good rigid inflatable. Not that I like leaping boats for their own sake, more that a boat that copes this well improves the experience at sea on any occasion.
The Tiger Shark is first and foremost a fishing boat, as are most boats sold in WA. Its hull length of 7.1m, even after deducting the fore cabin, gives abundant space in the cockpit for a bunch of anglers – or divers come to that. They have been given an extra long scuba ladder that makes boarding in the car park easier than usual.
Besides the essentials of stability and space, the Tiger Shark has built-ins to please the fisherman. There are two catch tanks of 140L each, placed in the wings of the cockpit aft, and another tank forward on the centreline that could take scuba gear. The tank placement is a result of the longitudinal framing that has vertical plates stretching full length between deck and bottom, criss-crossed by transverse framing that divides the underfloor into a mass of compartments. Combined with a bottom thickness of 6mm, this subdivision makes a super-stiff bottom and hence a quiet one.
The transom has a central locker, but anglers are able to get right into the quarters alongside it. They are well served for rod sockets in the coamings, with another ranks along the hardtop’s rear edge.
The hardtop is the closed variety (full height windscreen and side glass) for maximum protection, but prevents the hothouse possibility by having an opening windscreen centre section as well as sliding side glass. Headroom is exceptional, and the builder can raise it for basketballers. The seating comprises a locker-mounted swivel for the skipper and a fore and aft double to port. Normally the space under it is for storage, but you can opt for a cook top and stove instead.
The cabin is big enough for overnighting in comfort, and has a chemical toilet. Its full rear bulkhead normally has no door, but a lockable sliding door is an option. In general, most items that are not on a fisherman’s typical shopping list are sensibly made options. Such things as a 100L water tank, an enlarged 450L fuel tank, a power windlass, foot rests for the passenger lounge.
All the vital stuff is there including dual batteries and plenty of grab rails, and lots of nice stuff like large and strong side pockets, drink holders, full carpeting, and a particularly large marlin board. The review boat also had an exceptionally lavish electronic fit-out that helped take the price to AUD $134,900. The from-price is far more modest at AUD $111,000.
Price as reviewed AUD $134,900
Price from AUD $111,000
Hull length 7.1m
Fuel capacity 260L (450L optional)
Maximum power 300hp
Motor fitted 225hp Yamaha outboard