Boat Review Date: Dec 2012
Author: Mike Brown
The latest in the Chivers Shark Series is the 250 Great White, and the first example of the model is probably the most thoroughly fitted out 25-footer I have seen. It was built for a customer who intends travelling north often, and this is his caravan as well as his offshore fishing boat.
The hull follows the pattern of the other larger Sharks with four chines: a 28 deg deadrise from the keel to the first pair, then 22 deg to the chines in the conventional place. And, to prevent this sharp bottomed arrangement standing on tip toes at rest, a ballast compartment automatically floods and drops the upper chines below the surface.
This gives the magic combination of stability at rest and a soft ride when moving, particularly into a head sea. In the past, before this type of lateral (or should it be longitudinal?) thinking came along, you had just one or the other.
There are just two seats on board simply because that is how many people are going to be carried; which makes the two bunks, convertible to a double, the right number as well. These are housed in a centre cabin, which usually means a bit of skimping on dimensions. Not here: the dimensions were chosen to allow stretched out sleeping. The cabin also contains a toilet, and has a sliding lockable door – what you need if your rig is going to spend the odd hour parked at roadhouses.
The same thinking provided lockable compartments instead of open side pockets to keep the rods safe. The other main storage item in the cockpit is the locker in the box below the skipper’s seat. This extends aft to give a lot of volume, and its forward part contains a stack of tackle drawers; the top of the box provides a mount for the camping stove. The similar structure under the mate’s seat is home to a slide-out Engel fridge.
The driving area is effectively a backless wheelhouse, protected by a closed hardtop with sliding side glass. The top projects forward to make a sun visor, and aft over the forward end of the cockpit. The reversible seats have the kind of resilience you want for long trips, and these have custom footrests to suit the owners.
Radios and other ancillaries live in the hardtop console, leaving the main console to be dominated by a single screen, a 12-inch Simrad. The Simrad electronics package – 6kW radar, GPS, sounder with 1kW transducer and autopilot is networked and touch-screen controlled. It is also smart enough to control the stereo and display engine information from the 300hp Yamaha.
The problem with sounders, however good they are, is their displays are at the wheel and the angler is down aft. On this boat the display is at both places. Mounted above the transom is an 8-inch screen that displays and controls everything electronic, just like its big brother. Below it is the window to the live bait tank.
Under the deck, besides the 450L fuel tank and the 180L fresh water tank, are a pair of 140L wet or dry lockers and a 200L catch tank. Unusually, it is insulated; it will hold an ice slurry for the catch, or ice for food and drinks.
There is accommodation for the most extravagant of rod collections, toe space under the side lockers, sinker cups in the coamings, and a host of grab rails. The side decks are wide enough to work a fish all round the boat, and even the stern scuba ladder can be shifted to the other side to allow passage for marlin through the door. This is close to fishing heaven.
Price from $145,000
Price as reviewed $215,000
Hull length 7.6m
Fuel capacity 450L
Fresh water 180L
Motor fitted 300hp Yamaha four-stroke
Dry trailing weight 2.6T