Boat Review Date: June 2011
Author: Mike Brown
One of the quieter achievers of the 2011 Boat of the Year awards was the Yalta 2000 De Luxe. It was the winner of the Imported Fibreglass category, and it won handily. The word imported, incidentally, does not imply foreign: for slightly insular WA even the eastern states, from where Yalta hails, does not qualify as local.
A lengthier revisit to the Yalta gave more time to thoroughly play with it, and reinforced the view that this boat ticks the boxes and does so at a very reasonable price. AUD $48,498 is less than typical for a well equipped 6m fibreglass cabin boat.
The 2000 fits the bill as a family all-rounder, with the ability to also take off and do the job for the dedicated fishermen among them. At first look the cockpit seems to have been given more than the lion’s share of the length, but the second look reveals that by some trick the cabin has reserved enough length for genuine bunks with generous stowage below them.
With only a partial bulkhead ahead of the driver the cabin is an airy space, and a comfortable one. As a sheltered spot to eat lunch it offers well upholstered settees with padded backs in the right place to match human backs.
The cockpit offers seats for half a dozen, or alternatively for just two. The two permanent forward seats are upholstered bucket models with bolsters, mounted on tall tapered boxes with two-tier caves. The matching foot rests are well placed, and the whole set-up is neat. There is a recessed dash grab rail, and each seat has mini caves alongside for oddments.
The rear seats are particularly clever. The settee is in two sections, removable independently. One sits on an icebox the other on a storage bin, also removable. This allows a stripped-naked cockpit for maximum space, one that is fully equipped, or the choice of seat on esky or bin – which can be brought aboard fully loaded. There are no lockers with doors on the 2000 other than the bait boxes, battery and oil tank living within the transom and behind the settee. This works for me and makes everything more easily checkable.
The 2000 has the quintessential fishing boat quality of being a stable platform. The idea of tip-toeing around when you really need to concentrate on a hooked fish is unthinkable, and in the 2000 unnecessary; three or perhaps four anglers can operate completely independently without causing nasty motions. Other nice inclusions for the fisherman are a pair of bait boxes within the transom, recessed cleats aft for minimum interference, a bait tray, and padded coamings within high sides.
The whole area is well protected. A powerful Targa arch carries a high-set Bimini capable of clearing a Fremantle ruckman, and clears link it with the stylish curved screen. And, in passing, this is a boat with a lot of style. The profile has proportions you would normally only see in a larger boat. The detail of finish is there too, a flush fore hatch giving an unbroken line to the cabin front – as well as access to a competent anchoring set-up: lidded cable well, chain-catch bitts, split bow rail and bowsprit.
A 115hp Yamaha two-stroke powers the Yalta; not a fashionable motor, but the aim with this boat is affordability and the equivalent four-stroke would add over AUD $5,000 to the price. Current two-strokes are leagues ahead of their ancestors in civilized qualities and this was a fine example: first turn of the key started it, no visible smoke, instant smooth idle.
The vigorous acceleration reminded us this was indeed a two-stroke, and 115 was enough horsepower for plenty of fun. Steering is basic cable, but almost light enough to convince me it was hydraulic, and wheel and throttle location nicely matched the driving position.
The Yalta has a shapely hull with a 22-degree deadrise that worked well for us. Ride was right up there with the better fibreglass 20-footers, handling was utterly predictable, and spray suppression good.
Although pitched at the price conscious, the Yalta has been fully equipped down to navigation lights, sounder and full safety fit-out. All you need to supply is a tank of fuel.
Price as reviewed AUD $48,498
Fuel capacity 150L
Motor fitted 115hp Yamaha two-stroke