Boat Review Date: March 2011
Author: Mike Brown
If Coraline has a motto it must be along the lines of ‘Leave no niche unfilled’. Their vast range runs from 8m down to 4.6, with constant redesigns and refinements ensuring that few are the same. The range of optional extras and deletions adds to that likelihood.
The review 460 runabout illustrates this well. Its recent redesign has seen an increase in deadrise to 14 degrees, with reverse chines added to balance it. Go for a couple of portable fuel tanks instead of built-in (and why not? They are far more convenient in a boat of this size), delete the paint and be satisfied with a 40hp two-stroke and you get a 4.6m plate aluminium runabout for AUD $23,719. That is pressed aluminium country, and there are plenty of people who want the extra ruggedness of plate together with a self-draining deck.
Or you could move in the direction that the review boat took. With the paint restored, fuel tank, rod locker, kill tank and sounder added, the side plates bumped up to the 4mm thickness of the bottom, and the motor upgraded to a 60hp Yamaha four-stroke, the price climbs to AUD $35,990. Coralines offer infinity of choices.
That range of prices and trim means quite different classes of people are potential buyers. First time buyers, price conscious and perhaps owners of cars with modest towing abilities, are obvious candidates, but so too are older people coming down a size or two from their previous boats. They are looking for easier launching and recovery, but still want a capable, well set-up boat.
Even in stripped-down mode this is a well-equipped runabout. It has coaming rod holders, motor and anchor wells, a bowsprit, safety and grab rails where you want them, a foot rest-fence to restrain gear under the foredeck, and seats for four. Two of them are welded into the quarters at either side of the motor well; coated with carpet they offer acceptable comfort. The two at the dash are swivelling armchairs and more than acceptable.
There is only one set of hinges on board, and that is on the centre section of windscreen to give access to the anchor. There are only two lockers that might have been given doors – the boxes beneath the seats – but they have been left as caves. This is part of the 460’s refreshing simplicity and lack of breakable bits.
Total storage volume is quite high. Besides the caves and the side pockets there is space under the foredeck for light, bulky gear.
The 460’s stability surprised me; it felt as though beam were a few inches more than the quoted two metres. My query revealed that I was more or less right. Part of the redesign was to make the topsides near vertical, so that although the overall beam stayed the same the waterline beam increased.
With the 460 moving, the sensation of being on a bigger boat remained. It had a solid presence on the water, and when heading into the sea had the more measured movement of something longer and heavier. Very reassuring.
The driving position is well forward to maximise cockpit length, putting the driver and friend in the slam zone. This has the practical advantage of encouraging you to slow down earlier than you might in say a centre console, but the motion was far from extreme. My comfort-seeking back was impressed with how well the 460 coped with speed over the small chop and larger wakes we found.
The 60 Yamaha gave us a top speed of 28 knots, which with more hours on the engine could rise a knot or two. This means effortless cruising at speeds up to the low 20s, which will not be available for a big percentage of the time on the ocean. Dropping ten or so horsepower would be reasonable unless you expect to have four people on board a lot of the time.
Having the traditional well instead of a trendy extended transom means there is no built-in boarding platform. Instead, Coraline added a platform to port, equipped it with rail and boarding ladder, and it does the identical job. Simplicity again. As an inshore fishing boat the 460 has a great deal to be said for it.
Price from AUD $23,719
Length overall 4.90m
Hull length 4.60m
Fuel capacity 80L
Motor fitted 60hp Yamaha four-stroke