Boat Review Date: January 2015
Author: Mike Brown
To some extent almost every Coraline is different to every other one, but this 750 special is very much a one-off. Coraline built it for as dedicated a fisherman as you are likely to find. For instance, the bow rail-mounted Jabsco spotlight for late returns has power swivel and tilt, can light up a football field, and cost over $2,000.
There are only two genuine seats on board but they are beauties, the kind hardly ever seen on leisure boats. Suspension seats like long haul trucks and cray boats favour. Cray boats go to work pretty much regardless of weather, and they are driven by men who wore their backs out lugging pots in their youth. They want something that pampers and so does this owner. These seats do that.
They live in a short wheelhouse with a lockable door. No goodies like a galley share this space; refreshments are brought aboard in an esky or thermos flask. What has pride of place in here is a 15 inch Garmin touch screen, linked to a 1kW transducer; very serious stuff. The dash also houses an entirely analogue set of engine monitoring gauges, the kind that yield their information to the merest glance. Sliding side glass keeps the space vented, and the usual Coraline grab rails assist the suspension seats in retaining their occupants.
Under the foredeck is space available purely to stowage; no fripperies like bunks, which usually remain unused even on less single minded vessels than this one. The combined brevity of wheelhouse and forecastle means a great deal of deck is available for the prime function. Although not the entire rail length is open to fishing; most of the transom is out of bounds due to the presence of an engine box.
Sterndrives are unusual in Coralines, and diesel sterndrives unheard of until this 750. Diesels like this one had been previously undreamt of. It is nominally a Mercruiser, and is certainly linked to a Bravo-3 leg, but is manufactured by Volkswagen. Only a very big Volkswagen could cope with this twin turbo 370hp V-8 and it takes up a noticeable portion of the deck. But it does not waste it; the box lid is upholstered to provide casual seating for those people fortunate enough to be invited along.
A 500 litre tank feeds this famously frugal engine, so range between refills promises to be long. Even with the tank full the VW accelerated the 750 rapidly to 43 knots. The entire deck is shaded by a permanent fabric awning; permanent in the sense that its hefty frame and tough fabric can cope with 43 knots. Not many can.
A leading reason for not getting home unaided is running out of electricity; an unlikely event for this boat – it has no less than four batteries. One pair is dedicated to engine starting the other to the electrics and electronics, although the latter would surrender their Amps if the starting batteries were low on cranking power.
The fuel load and the diesel motor make this a heavier than usual 750 Coraline – and the boat loves it. The ride is excellent, with no skittishness present. The actual ride quality is given an apparent enhancement by the quietness with which the 750 goes about its business. A lot of acoustic insulation in the engine box contributes to this, as does the boat’s beefy construction including 6mm bottom plating.
To hold down the trailing weight, the trailer is in aluminium – including the wheels. To remove the effort of hauling the boat onto it Coraline fitted a power winch. In these days of super-low friction trailers this is a rare extra, but it uses the low friction to do a speedy job.
Clearly the owner has had his wishes fulfilled: a fast, comfortable fishing machine.
Length overall 8.1m
Hull length 7.5m
Fuel capacity 500L
Motor 370hp Mercruiser (Volkswagen) diesel