Boat Review Date: May 2010
Author: Mike Brown
The Tournament brand name is getting known in its own right, but anyone wondering about its provenance should be reassured by hearing that it is a re-badging of the well-known Mustang. The Tournament on review, the 1900 Bluewater CC, melds a thoroughly proven hull with a new centre console interior, making a currently fashionable style of boat in a popular size.
The price at a touch under AUD $60,000 should also be popular. For this you get the essentials and several frills; a few deletions and simplifications hold the price, and probably the weight, down. One neat lightweight simplifier is the cover for the battery compartment: instead of a locker door a press-studded piece of fabric does the job. No carpet is fitted, but a fibreglass deck transmits a lot less heat to bare feet than aluminium does.
Storage is perhaps a shade light on. There are compartments under the shallow bow platform and below the deck ahead of the seat, and a sizeable space within the console - although this would benefit from a shelf. There are side pockets for about half-length and these seemed vulnerable. There are no steps built in to aid getting on and off the coamings when boarding, so the pockets are bound to be used instead and are likely to eventually be damaged.
Rod stowage is emphasised, with horizontal racks within the bulwarks, and a total of 12 sockets in coamings, seat back and Bimini. The fisherman also gets a fitting rarely included as standard: a reef anchor socket. It lives alongside an anchor well that is provided with a lid – another rarity on smaller centre consoles. Recessed cleats are reasonably common and the 1900 has a pair of these; they make fishing, and life in general, just that bit smoother.
Open boats with few seats need to compensate by providing plenty of handholds, and the 1900’s designers realised this. Besides the Bimini’s framework, there are recessed side rails, a rail that surrounds the windscreen and another across the seat’s rear. There is also a bow rail that continues aft to the console. Some centre consoles’ canopy supports – which passengers assume are secure people supports too – are fragile arrangements. Not this one: it is strongly braced and rattle-free.
Another feature to give a secure feeling is the cockpit depth. The coaming reaches to well over half way from knee to hip, welcome both with children on board and when standing at it. Aft of the console thighs are pampered by padding, ahead of it they still get a good depth of coaming turnover.
The 1900CC is a few hundred kilos lighter than its cabin-equipped parent, useful for trailing or for consuming less horsepower, but which could mean a twitchier boat at rest. We had only two people on board to test stability, but the movement we induced was small enough to suggest at least average steadiness as a fishing platform.
The lower weight persuaded the dealer to fit this first-of-model with a smaller motor than the 150hp normal on the cabin version, and the 115 Evinrude ETEC was well up to the job. Acceleration was explosive; fuel injected two-stokes are usually quick off the mark but this was something out of the bag, suggesting that a larger pitch propeller could be a possibility. With the fitted 15-inch pitch we topped out at 31 knots, which meant easy cruising in the low 20s. Buyers not wanting the ability to tow the occasional skier might even be happy with 90hp.
This was a very satisfying boat to drive. Hydraulic steering and low friction throttle cables made the mechanics of it pleasant enough, and the ergonomics were good too sitting or standing. Reaction to instructions was what made it special: the heel into turns felt just right, hitting a wake mid turn caused no upset at all, and response to the throttle was beautifully progressive.
This is a very complete package. A good fishing platform for three or four friends, a delightful boat under way, and equipped with a substantial trailer that makes driving-on a straightforward operation.Lowdown
Price as reviewed AUD $59,990
Price from AUD $56,610
Length overall 6.05m
Hull length 5.80m
Maximum power 150hp
Motor fitted 115hp Evinrude ETEC