Boat Review Date: October 2011
Author: Mike Brown
Probably every Leisurecat ever built had a fisherman for an owner, but the Islander 6000 is the purist’s fishing boat. This is the boat that can head offshore in almost any weather, has room and stability for four or five mates to fish along one side, has all the fishing niceties, and is light enough for beach launches.
It also offers a fair bit of comfort. The console is wide enough and the hardtop long enough to shelter a generous double reversible seat - not that a trace of spray made it aboard - and the four seats moulded-in forward give a very acceptable ride to their occupants thanks to the Leisurecat’s thoroughly evolved hull form.
Ride and stability are a catamaran’s basic stock in trade, but there are differences in degree between different brands just as there are between monohulls. Some slam their bridge decks in big head seas, others dip their noses in following seas, and a few get nauseating and even a little frightening in quartering seas. There are others that suck water mist aboard over their transoms, eventually soaking the occupants and sometimes mixing with the engines’ induction air. The Leisurecat’s design was sorted out long ago, and is acknowledged as a benchmark.
Slamming is fixed by a combination of carrying the bridge deck high, and running a spine down its underside that makes a pair of semi-circular topped tunnels. Re-entries are cushioned, and the secondary effect is to put a blast of air out aft that suppresses spray and mist. Nose-diving is prevented by putting just the right amount of buoyancy in the bows.
The bulwarks are well supplied with side pockets, but all round the boat toe space has been let in below them. The sides are high enough for anglers to stand there with their centres of gravity comfortably placed for security with both hands on their rods; side rails give extra height as well as something to grab.
An extra fishing spot is provided aft. Leisurecat has extended a central walkway from the marlin board to the after edge of the Yamahas, protected by rails and with a gate at the rear. This is also the rear boarding spot; there is another at the bow where a folding ladder is installed.
For those who value deck space more than comfort, the driver’s seat is readily removable. Alternatively it can be replaced by an icebox seat, although there are a couple of other possibilities for cold storage. Both the forward seats have lockers below them that can be specified instead as iceboxes. The 6000 has still more storage space. Besides the pockets there is a vast volume in the console, and a pair of bait tanks in the transom that can alternatively be configured as lockers.
This is a very straightforward boat to drive. Yes, getting the trim dead right pays dividends as always, but if you get it completely wrong it does not make a huge amount of difference. Similarly, the throttle: picking the exact speed for the conditions is the way to go, but if you simply push the levers forwards and hang on the boat looks after you. If you get everything very wrong and manage to land heavily the 6000’s structure is tough enough that nothing complains, and the foam filling amongst other features absorbs the noise.
The review boat had a pair of 12-inch touch screen displays for the plotter and sounder, and the dash still had plenty of room left over for engine monitors and any other items an owner might want. Another thoughtful touch was the anchoring equipment: A power windlass, but a cable locker big enough to take a cable drum instead.
A boat for the fisherman short of time: whatever weather the available day lays on, you can be pretty certain the 6000 will let you get out there.
Price as reviewed $105,000
Price from $95,000
Hull length 6.0m
Fuel 360L in two tanks
Trailing weight 2.2T with full tanks
Motors fitted 2 x 115hp Yamaha four-strokes
Builder Leisurecat, 40 Port Kembla Dve, Bibra Lake