Boat Review Date: July 2017
Author: Mike Brown
Recently we have reviewed boats with centre consoles in various positions on the centre line and, a current trend, side consoles. Here is a compromise: an offset console. This Coraline 525 Series 2 was built to the specifications of a buyer who knew exactly what he wanted, and he wanted plenty of space for manoeuvring rock lobster pots. Naturally, this meant that he also wanted a pot winch and removable tipper.
He knew too what he did not want, principally paint anywhere but on the sides and front of the console. The reason for the minor exception remains unexplained. Interestingly, the console was the subject of other detailed instructions. At the rear there are locker doors feeding two levels of shelves; the windscreen is taller than typical, with reinforcing tube work as well as a robust frame. The screen hinges too, the owner being well aware of the disproportionate wind drag increase as towing speed climbs.
The 525 has the decent beam of 2.25 metres, so offsetting the console to starboard still leaves easy sidling room to starboard of it as well as abundant pot handling space to port. Permanent seating is limited to non upholstered infills either side of the motor well. There is also a padded stool whose pedestal has the choice of sockets near the bow or at the wheel. Frequently it will be left at home; the owner will usually have only short travel times to his grounds, and prefers the hugely increased deck space to the brief comfort of a seat.
Forward is a raised casting platform, the step up increasing the foot room here as it lifts the deck to a beamier part of the boat. There are good rails here protecting the more elevated angler. The platform, carpeted like the other horizontal surfaces, has a useful sized locker below. Added to side pockets and the console’s shelves the total volume available for putting stuff in is respectable for a console boat.
Anchoring arrangements are good. The well is capable of holding a lot of cable, which is deployed over the roller in a longish bowsprit, itself strongly formed by extensions of the coamings. The cruciform bollard at the well’s rear is accessible as only an open boat can make it. Towards the rear of the cockpit is an underdeck catch tank, big enough to suit an optimist. Unlike the tanks of many boats, using this one does not require rolling back the carpet; it uses the blindingly obvious technique of a partial cut out in the carpet. Standing on the tank lid and facing aft positions an angler for using the large lift-out bait board. The other universal fishing requirement is somewhere to park the rods. This is taken care of by four aluminium rod holders welded into the coamings. This might seem a scanty capacity compared with the batteries of holders seen in many current boats, but this boat is tailored for a man who knows what he needs.
The chosen motor was a 70hp four-stroke Yamaha. 50 would do the trick for many people but a few horsepower extra is always acceptable. It is mounted in a near full height splash well that still allows for full tilt. The gentle sea conditions gave little to test the hull, but its designation as a Series 2 means it has the same form as a string of successful Coralines all featuring steep deadrise and wide reversed chines. Certainly the good stability at rest of the series was present. The driving experience was all good. The tall windscreen gave shelter to a standing driver, and that basic stool positioned a sitting one at exactly the right height: 100 percent all round vision, with the sounder combo just slightly below eye line.
For much of its life this Coraline will be operated off beaches. The naked aluminium makes sense for that, as does its rugged construction; nothing like being towed trailerless over sand to show up weaknesses. Both the bottom and sides are in 4mm plate; the substructure below the self draining deck is beefy and copious. This 525 is as near indestructible as the boat builder could make it.
Price, as reviewed AUD $49,950
Price from AUD $40,000
Length overall 5.5m
Hull length 5.25m
Fuel capacity 110L
Motor fitted 70hp Yamaha four-stroke