Boat Review Date: August 2012
Author: Mike Brown
Coraline build some very flash boats up to eight metres in length, so it was interesting to review the one the builder had made for himself: an unpainted five-metre centre console. It was not that he had a hair shirt complex – it was a matter of building as much boat as he needed to suit the job it had to do.
Just about every launch would be off the beach so unnecessary size would be a handicap. The same circumstances, where the trailer would have a chance to knock the boat around, meant a painted finish could have an unhappy life; and the saving of a few thousand dollars was as valuable to him as to anybody else.
The structure too suits a rugged working life, although this is a standard feature; and it probably needs to be with a five-year hull warranty. Sides and bottom are in 4mm aluminium plate, and the wide wrap around coamings, especially where they curve around aft of the anchor well, and side pockets as structural members give great rigidity. This is a tough beast.
The self draining deck is raised forward to make a casting platform; it houses a large storage space below it and has a socket in it taking a swivel seat. The deck is carpeted, which is more or less a necessity for protecting bare feet from sun-heated aluminium. Another useful carpet application is on the basic metal quarter seats located alongside the motor well. I often wonder why owners of aluminium boats with box thwarts do not glue indoor-outdoor carpet on them – into pain perhaps.
The driver’s seat leans more towards first class, with plenty of padding although no back rest. It is mounted on a box that adds to the storage volume; the boat actually has exceptional storage for its size The console ahead of it, that adds some more, is wider than typical, which means the windscreen does a better protection job. The windscreen is hinged, allowing a little reduction in wind drag when being towed.
The missing item in many eyes is any sort of shade. This is a personal owner’s preference. He does not make long passages, and it is only when moving that a centre console’s T-top does any shading. Big hats do the job here, with chin straps for when under way.
Fishing niceties include a catch tank under the deck aft, rod holders in the coamings, and a removable bait board. There is really very little else an owner could want to add other than a sounder.
The 70hp Yamaha four-stroke is close to a perfect match with the hull. Usually with a boat of this size you are looking for enough power to get 22–23 knots with a normal load at about two-thirds throttle. The Coraline does a bit better than that, and more is better than less. The same power in a two-stroke would save some money, but fewer and fewer people are opting for two-strokes beyond about 50hp. The item definitely worth thinking about is the hydraulic steering our boat had. Standard on large engines, its effortless operation adds a noticeable percentage to the day’s enjoyment whatever size motor.
Centre consoles can be prone to wetness, and even on summer days that is not usually welcome. Coraline evolution has seen the adoption of wider reversed chines that extend right forward as knuckles. On the 500, as on others in the series, they do a fine job of depressing the spray.
The same chines, despite a steeper deadrise, have added to the Coraline’s stability. Two or three is the usual number going fishing in this boat, and it has enough stability to allow them to position themselves pretty well wherever they want.
The Coraline 500 CC is a well though-out boat that works well.
Price as reviewed AUD $38,950
Length overall 5.30m
Hull length 5.00m
Fuel capacity 80L
Motor fitted Yamaha 70hp four-stroke