Boat Review Date: July 2017
Author: Mike Brown
Six metres is pretty large for a runabout, especially when the measurement is the genuine hull length. But the Coraline 600 Runabout gives the impression that it is half a metre longer still. There are several reasons. The volume delivered by the healthy beam of 2.45 metres makes its contribution, as does a traditional simple splash well instead of the currently common transom geared up for storage. Most of all, perhaps, the sheer emptiness of the boat is responsible. This starkness is a feature much appreciated by the buyer: pretty well every element that he could not see a use for became a deletion (paint was an early one of these). This really is a purist’s boat. The only feature even approaching luxury is the carpeted deck and, realistically, that is more of a necessity for a bare footed purist.
The 600 has a raised foredeck, elevating the windscreen and creating a lot of potential storage volume. An aluminium pound board is in there to restrain loose stored gear. Unlike most current runabouts there is no opening windscreen centre section. This is in sympathy with the boat’s overall simplicity, and good access to the foredeck is available via the side decks. These are wide enough for the job, have good hand rails, and a step up is provided by the fore end of the side pockets (another advantage of welded plate aluminium).
Driver and offsider have good swivel seats mounted on boxes that contain cave lockers with shelves. The use of cave lockers further typifies this boat’s simplicity: hinges are confined to items like the scupper flaps and the transom door. A third, basic, seat is a carpeted platform to starboard of the splash well. A drop in version can be specified for the port side; it has to be removable to give access to the door.
The 600 has the Coraline Series 2 hull form that allows a boat to be beamy yet still have a steep deadrise; the biggest part of the secret is in the broad reversed chines, removing excess buoyancy. It also has a fine entry, something aluminium boats never used to have. With its chines immersed at rest it is a remarkably stable vessel.
Despite 4mm plating throughout, this is a light vessel due to all the things it does not have. It has a 200 litre fuel tank so it does have the means of getting heavier, but on the review day it had little in it. The self-propelled ballast consisted of only two middleweight humans making this a lightly loaded boat and easily propelled by its 130hp Yamaha.
Very easily actually; performance was close to exhilarating. More importantly we were able to cruise well throttled back in the low 20s, suggesting good fuel economy. The ride was interesting. Smart candidates in boat-of-the-year competitions fill their entrant’s tank to the brim and encourage plenty of judges on board. Lots of weight makes for a good ride, but with our close to zero load the ride was still good, although the sea on the day was hardly challenging.
The 600 has a large self flooding kill tank, so it has the means of ballasting for ride improvement on rougher days. It can also be filled if you want extra stability when fishing. We had only the two of us to test the unballasted stability, but concluded that hull form alone would do the trick on any day that sensible people would choose to be afloat.
Steering was effortless despite using cable instead of hydraulics (careful installation here). Sitting or standing the wheel and throttle fell neatly to hand; sitting, vision was through the windscreen, standing, it was over it. Sounds logical and is, but having the windscreen frame at eye level – as sometimes happens – can be maddening.
For a boat with the hallmarks of a fishing machine, it is not over endowed with angling paraphernalia. Apart from the kill tank there are four rod holders, a GPS and a sounder. Still, that would be enough for most people. And more than enough for divers; they would love all the space and the boarding access.
Price as reviewed AUD $55,999
Hull length 6.0m
Overall length 6.4m
Fuel capacity 200L
Motor fitted 130hp Yamaha