Solid all plate alloy construction and good lines are hallmarks of the Goldstar Sailfisher series 6500 Whiteline centre cabin. It’s a pure and simple offshore craft, and has the features and ride to match its sea keeping ability.
Goldstar Boats, of Western Australia manufacture very solid craft. The reviewed Sailfisher 6500 Whiteline centre cab boasted 5083 aluminium plate construction of 5mm bottom, 4mm sides and 3mm decks built around 6mm under floor stringers and cross bulkheads which are fully welded to the hull’s bottom sheets and floor.
While construction of this almost over-build quality is not readily seen, buyers can take comfort in the knowledge that their investment is sound in every sense of the word.
Up front a very large anchor well (with Muir winch) sat in close proximity to the Goldstar’s wide bowsprit and roller, a split bow rail extending aft towards the rear of the centre cab. Non-skid decks alongside the centre cab were over 30cm wide and offered excellent reassurance for people moving up front to fish.
Side height up front at around 85cm was also very good: a pronounced rise in the bow sheer line affording both security for those aboard plus even greater protection against water intrusion under way.
The Goldstar’s centre cab featured a padded floor and while one or two people could easily sit in there I saw it best used as an area to store valuable fishing gear or other important items away from the elements. Access was via an open area directly in front of the mate’s seat, within the bulkhead extending the width of the centre cab.
A large floor lip ensured that any water from the self-draining cockpit area could not find its way into the centre cab.
At the helm area both skipper and mate will enjoy an obstructed view through the three piece windscreen while a bimini (plus side and front clears) were attached to a targa frame linked to the top of the centre cab to provide both sun and general weather protection.
An LED light was also set within the targa framework which featured a handy fold down capability: ensuring that owners had a useful storage option at their disposal.
Helm seating consisted of high quality swivel seats mounted on storage boxes with hatches facing aft; the seats also featured grab handles on their backs.
The dash layout of the 6500 Whiteline was fairly comprehensive. First up a wide top shelf extended between the windscreen and main dash area, another lower shelf being directly below main instruments. In front of the first mate was the craft’s locking glove box and marine radio, the skipper having an array of gauges to monitor the 175 Suzuki astern set into an elevated lip in front of him.
A Lowrance HDS 10 sounder/GPS took pride of place on the dash while switches for various functions were lower and to port, while the winch controls were to starboard; all were in easy proximity to the skipper.
I found the Goldstar’s driving position ideal, thanks to the slide adjustable seats with ample support from the seat’s back rest and general shape. The deluxe steering wheel linked to hydraulic steering offered finger tip control of the well balanced craft.
In all, an excellent helm set up for both skipper and mate.
The self draining main cockpit work area of this fine offshore craft featured carpet throughout and with side heights of 85cm all round up to four anglers working there would feel quite safe. Handy cockpit features anglers included three rod holders per side, a deck wash, very large 2m long off floor pockets, a plumbed bait station with a live well at the transom, with another two rod holders, plus an under floor kill/storage tank aft.
The reviewed craft also featured a folding three person transom lounge seat which was set to starboard to provide access to the craft’s boarding gate. I noted the lounge was easily removed to allow extra fishing room or access to the under floor storage space. Twin batteries with an isolator switch were also mounted within an off floor locker at the transom, with access via twin hatches.
Aft of the craft’s full height transom the features continued. A boarding ladder and grab rail were linked to the boarding gate to port with another wide non-skid boarding platform (again with grab rail) to starboard. As the 175 Suzuki was mounted on a high lip on the transom, the twin boarding area would be ideal for divers or swimmers to use.
Rated for outboards from 130-200hp the 175 Suzuki four-stroke on the transom of the 6500 Whiteline had a lot of grunt. With two aboard the craft planed at 20.4km/h at 3,000rpm, 44.1km/h at 4,000rpm, 57km/h at 5,000rpm, and a brisk 68.4km/h at 5,800rpm.
For a fishing craft, this was certainly ample performance. The Suzuki was very willing at all revs and it was quiet, tucked down below the transom it intruded very little with the cockpit ambience.
With a bare hull weight of some 935kg+ a design incorporating a 16º deadrise linked to a wide outer pray chine, the Goldstar’s hull made easy and dry progress during test runs. Let’s face it: with that sort of hull weight the ride could not fail to impress with its gentleness, although excellent bow design did its part as well.
Throwing the big rig (effortlessly, thanks to the hydraulic steering) around into tight turns and figure of eights was quite an experience. The craft tracked very straight and returned to upright stance rapidly after turns. Stability at rest was impressive: the modest Vee configuration, overall mass, and generous beam ensured that the hull sat quite level with two people to one side.
Sea keeping was excellent and the craft revelled in the prevailing swells at both planing and sub planing speeds on a run out into the South Pacific via the Southport Seaway. The ride was dry thanks to the 90cm over all freeboard and the lift in the bow sheer line as a bulwark against spray entry. The centre cabin also does its bit to keep those aboard sheltered.
As mentioned, the big Goldstar is a fishing rig pure and simple with the layout and features reflecting this aim. The design is such that one or two could could fish up front, braced against the centre cab while others fish aft in the 2.5m wide cockpit area.
The height of the targa and bimini ensure that they won’t interfere with rod lift if jigging offshore and with a live well aft at the bait station and rod holders handy while baiting up, serious anglers could easily go about their business in this rig.
This craft would also make a great family boat as well, the cuddy cab would be handy for family use, with bunks an optional extra. The spacious five person seating capacity cockpit would be ideal for touring between fishing expeditions.
The Goldstar Sailfisher series 6500 Whiteline centre cabin is an attractive and very strongly built rig with definite offshore fishing credentials highlighted by excellent sea keeping ability. Features are there for the angler or family boater wanting a mix of space, performance and comfort. With a 200L fuel tank under floor the fishing or touring range of this rig would be exceptional. Finish was very good with a faultless Midnight Blue paint job, well trimmed upholstery and while welds were visible they were neatly smoothed.
The package as reviewed including a Dunbier tandem trailer was $82,990 or with a 150 Evinrude E-Tec in lieu of the 175 Suzuki it would come home for $70,590. Coastal Powerboats supplied the test rig, for more information phone them on (07) 55260858 or visit www.coastalpowerboats.com.au.
Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
|Hull construction:||bottom 5mm, sides 4mm, deck 3mm plate|
|Engine fitted:||175 Suzuki four-stroke|
|Overall length on trailer:||7.8m|
|Overall height on trailer:||3.4m, folded at hinge, 2.8m|