Boat Review Date: December 2015
Author: Mike Brown
Like every other Coraline the 700FX Oceanrunner Series II, before it is anything else, is a fishing boat. That it is also a comfortable, sea kindly boat is due to the builder’s opinion that fishing boats should be that too.
The fore cabin has a solid rear bulkhead –an element in the vessel’s extreme rigidity – pierced by a doorway with a zip-up door; privacy without weight. The cabin is not a weekender; more for storage, toilet, refuge and children’s retreat when fishing ceases to be a joy. It will also sometimes be a transit lounge on the way to the fore deck, and has a large clear hatch for the task. This is the route for the cautious; side deck access, with hardtop safety rails as well as side guard rails, is easy and safe. Like all other walking surfaces the side decks are finished in non skid paint.
That hardtop, the open variety with fresh air on tap by removing the clears, is the usual massive Coraline construction with equal massiveness below it in the form of the framing of the armour glass of the windscreen: apparently capable of withstanding any breaker. The hardtop’s strength, and that of its rails, makes it capable of carrying useful loads – kayaks, surfboards and the like.
The driver’s positioning relative to the dash and the associated controls must have been arrived at after a lot of thought and experiment. The seat base-locker, with its seat slide and swivel, was positioned to allow a wide range of driver dimensions to get comfortable with minimum movement. Foot rest, throttle and wheel are in an unusually harmonious relationship; eye movement from lookout to instrument monitoring is small.
The dashboard after the fitting of engine monitors and switchgear has space left for a serious area of fishing electronics. Rather than installing their own choice of sounder-plotter Coraline includes a AUD $2,000 allowance in the total price so the owner can select his own.
The driver’s and navigator’s seats are beauties. Stainless steel framed for near-indestructibility they are comfortable too. Not soft; in a boat, soft comes second to a resilience tuned to the boat’s characteristics. Coraline nailed this. Lesser mortals inhabit the, still comfortable, settee aft. This folds or completely removes to open up a large fishing space; compared to most trailer boats, vast rather than large.
Working area and stability are probably the two key properties a good fishing boat should provide; the sheer size of the 700 ensures the first, and size plus cunning hull design fixes the second. Like all the current generation Coralines the 700 Series II has the sharp deadrise, wide reverse chine hull. The old aluminium trade-off between ride and steadiness under way no longer applies. This one goes and stops immaculately.
The fit out should make any fisho happy. Besides the two primary properties all the most wanted features are here. The capacity to hold large numbers of rods is taken care of by rocket launchers across the hardtop’s rear plus coaming sockets. The self-flooding catch – or ballast – tank is large and positioned close to the centre of gravity. The other plumbing item is the deck wash, a natural partner with the self draining deck. The deck has a tailor made carpet that was absent on the review day; easy removability is useful on a boat that might shift between fishing and family use.
The coaming hits a standing fisherman comfortingly high, and as a safety enhancement grab rails are fitted round most of the perimeter. Overhead a fabric extension of the hardtop provides one of fishing’s most wanted extras – shade.
The 700 is available with a wide range of horsepower, but 200 is the most chosen motor. The buyer of the review boat opted for 25 percent more. With a perfectly pitched propeller the 250 Yamaha delivered substantially more performance, especially acceleration, than I mentally predicted. This was reversed-cap, make use of the dash grab rail country. And the hull happily absorbed it all. The hydraulic steering made light work of our thoroughly enjoying the performance.
A boat capable of providing a lot of fun over a long life.
Price from AUD $108,000
Price as reviewed AUD $123,000
Length overall 7.6m
Hull length 7.0m
Fuel capacity 300L
Motor fitted Yamaha 250hp four-stroke