Boat Review Date: November 2009
Author: Mike Brown
Paintwork on an aluminium boat probably encourages you to be more careful when parking alongside jetties, and perhaps it gives you a finer feeling of ownership. But a graunch in the two-pack would give you an infinitely worse sensation than the same blow to an unpainted boat, and would take away a lot more value.
My own view is that if I am going to be hauling pots onto it, dragging lines over it and filling it with careless mates, then there is much to be said for going naked. Which instantly attracted me to the Coraline 600 Long Runner, or rather to the unpainted and generally Spartan example on review.
The Long Runner series is the latest in Coraline’s seemingly numberless range. It features hulls with more deadrise and less beam, adding an interesting variety to the choice. The bigger the boat, generally the more seaworthy, but adding length rather than beam probably has the greater effect. You miss out on some stability, but you get a more easily propelled boat. You pay your money and you take your choice.
Our 600 (six metres hull length of course) was only lightly narrowed with a beam of 2.15m, and this gave proportions that were easy on the eye. As well as being paintless, it was light on bells and whistles, in a deliberate move to hold the price down. AUD $42,570 on a multi-roller, braked trailer is under the odds for a six-metre boat, even one propelled by a two-stroke motor.
Its two-strokes might be unfashionable, and 90hp might sound on the low side, but it did an excellent job: 34 knots from that hull and motor combination is very good going.
The centre console layout is the logical one for a craft clearly aimed at the active areas of boating. The sides have a pronounced sheer, raising them forward at the casting platform and giving added protection against spray. There are rails down the entire length; high forward in the form of guardrails, lower aft as grab rails, and carefully formed and placed. The grab rails are sited at the outer edge of the coamings, so an angler can take a casual roost on the coaming, and the bow rails are canted slightly inboard to remove any chance of them being the first contact with a jetty.
The console is a simple structure with an even simpler windscreen: a one-piece wrap-around bolted to the console. The console contains a storage shelf, and has side grab rails to make up for the lack of handholds a canopy support would have provided – although a canopy is an option.
The seat is a tight double with a reversible back, and has a locker beneath it; more storage is on offer under the bow platform and in side pockets. The transom lockers of most Coralines are absent, the structure being the conventional transom with splash well. This leaves room either side of the well for basic quarter seats, and actually slightly increases the size of the cockpit. There is provision for more seating, with a socket in the bow platform accepting a pedestal chair.
All the important things are on board. Carpet (walk on aluminium in bare feet and you will vote it vital), bowsprit, cruciform bollard and cable well – simple anchoring is a must locally – catch tank, self-draining deck, rod sockets, and hydraulic steering. Cable steering is usual with this boat size and motor power, but on a centre console the cables lead through such tortuous bends between motor and wheel that it would have intolerable friction.
And although cost has been held down, it was not at the expense of construction. The hull has the usual full-depth frames, 5mm bottom and 4mm sides, and a five-year structural warranty.
The whole thing comes together well once afloat. With two of us on board the boat was pretty much impervious to any of our movements, meaning sure-footed fishing. We caned the boat hard in the modest sea, multiplying its effect to simulate something close to average cruising conditions. As an earlier inspection of the hull form had suggested, it coped very well. The forefoot is sharper than average, as is the deadrise, and these combined with the narrower beam to give a soft ride with low accelerations.
For fuss-free, low maintenance boating, the 600 Long Runner would be hard to beat.
Price, as reviewed AUD $42,570
Length overall 6.5m
Hull length 6.0m
Fuel capacity 120L
Motor fitted 90hp Yamaha 2-stroke