Boat Review Date: January 2016
Author: Mike Brown
The Coraline 525 centre console Custom demonstrates how much easier it is to get the exact boat you want if you get it built in WA. The buyer of this one wanted a fishing boat that almost always would be beach launched and retrieved. The basis would have to be near indestructibility.
Four mil plate throughout was a good start, and leaving it unpainted removed any worries about cosmetic damage. The invisible parts of the structure beneath the self draining deck are as substantial as the hull plating and remove practically all hull noise. The topsides are stiffened by the wide side decks and the fore deck: this is a rigid boat.
Fishing practicality was also vital and, for its size, this boat has high capability. The pot winch and tipper are of a scale more crayboat than centre console. A neat touch is the winch’s foot switch: when not in use the unit unplugs and lives in the console. Naturally there are rod sockets, a demountable bait board and an under deck catch tank. The chosen electronics are Garmin, a 95V sounder-GPS combo.
This boat’s owner long ago decided that when retrieving a boat from a beach manoeuvring it onto the trailer in the water is a fool’s game – and often dangerous. On the other hand it is hard work winching off dry land. Coraline fixed this by building him an aluminium trailer with a massive electric winch that laughs at hard work. The trailer also incorporates a lot of high density plastic among the rollers. This ensures that however awkwardly the boat is aligned it automatically corrects itself. And, of course, this is just as handy at a ramp. A feature of the trailer is its extendable drawbar, reducing the distance the tow vehicle has to back into the water.
The bow rails – pointless ornaments on many boats – are not only useful to occupants of the casting platform but a near necessity for people in the water handling the boat at a beach.
There is no shade on board, the drag and complexity of a T-top being replaced by hats all round. The lack also vastly reduces wind drag on a long tow, as does the windscreen’s ability to tilt horizontal; also handy if overhead garage clearance is tight.
Seating is adequate rather than especially comfortable. It comprises a double mounted on a useful sized locker at the console, and a pair of quarter seats either side of the full height splash well. These are simple carpet coated aluminium. Not so much a regular transport seat but still part of the inventory is a swivel chair, socket mounted on the forward casting platform.
The chosen 70hp Yamaha four-stroke was a good match. The hull could handle bigger power but it would probably be wasted on the mainly short trips the boat is destined for. Two up performance was brisk and crisp and would undoubtedly remain so with a couple more on board. The owner, clearly a man after my own heart, specified hydraulic steering, an item you quickly grow used to and miss horribly when you drive a mate’s boat without it.
Hull form is standard Coraline: well Veed with broad reverse chines. It delivered a comfortable and quiet ride. The lack of padding in the quarter seats is made up for by their location in the low motion area.
A pure fishing boat has little real need for much stowage but, ironically, the 525 abounds with the stuff: a vast cavity below the casting platform, the console itself and the seat locker, besides the usual side pockets. Good for family days, perhaps; they always seem to need a week’s gear for a day’s play.
Price as reviewed AUD $49,990
Length overall 5.6m
Hull length 5.25m
Fuel capacity 100L
Motor fitted 70hp Yamaha Four-stroke