Back in the 1980s, Yellowfin boats were renowned a serious offshore fishing machines and after disappearing from the market for a decade, these rugged alloy hulls are now back in a big way.
You could even say they are back better than ever, with recent advances in aluminium boat design and construction techniques allowing the new generation of Yellowfin boats to take full advantage of the enormous power delivered by today’s high-tech outboards.
There are three sizes in the current Yellowfin line-up, the 5700, the 6200 and the 6700, each of which comes in centre console or cabin configurations (the C denotes the cabin models).
The 6700C is the largest of the range and is a substantial vessel. It measures just under 7.5m length overall and has a beam of 2.4m. Yellowfin use sturdy 5mm plate alloy for the hull and 4mm plate for the topsides and with its fully-welded sub-frame, this rig weighs approximately 990kg.
You can see this is no little tin boat and it has certainly been built to handle the rigors of offshore work.
You have to take only a quick look at the sharply raked bow of the 6700 to realise this boat has been designed for serious offshore travel. With a 20° transom deadrise and razor sharp entry, the 6700 is able to slice through waves with minimal effort and should have little trouble getting you where you need to go in a minimum of fuss.
Let’s run through some of the main design features, because it’s often the little things that make or break how a boat performs as a fishing platform.
The anchoring arrangements are simple but effective. The anchor well was cavernous enough to swallow a realistic length of rope and ground tackle for a boat of this size.
Access is via a ‘man-sized’ tinted hatch in the centre of the cabin roof. With the split bow rails, chunky bowsprit and large bollard, handling the anchor should be easy enough even in a bit of sea. If you like, you can always go for the optional Stress Free anchor winch.
Turning to the cabin, I think it’s fair enough to describe the Yellowfin as a ‘bloke’s boat’. Yes, there’s provision for a couple of bunks but that’s about it.
The cabin really is only a place to store your extra gear out of the weather and for putting your head down for a couple of hours’ kip on an overnighter and it will serve that purpose admirably.
In contrast, the driver and passenger get looked after in a surprising degree of comfort. The skipper’s and mate’s seats are again ‘man-sized’ and have good back support and quite a degree of cushioning.
The pedestal seats are mounted on storage boxes and the first mate has the all-important grab bar to hang onto when the going gets rough.
On the test boat, protection from the elements came in the way of a generously sized bimini and in conjunction with the clear covers and the three-piece screen, made for a dry and comfortable ride.
While the clears and bimini are optional extras, I’d imagine most owners would choose them, simply for the extra shade and shelter they provide.
At the helm, all-round visibility was excellent thanks to the elevated driving position. I found the screen high enough that I didn’t need to constantly duck down to look under the alloy rim.
The controls on the test boat were much like the rest of the rig, simple and highly functional. The throttle fell easily to hand whether seated or standing and there was plenty of room on the dash to mount all manner of electronics. No doubt the dash will quickly be fitted out with a top notch sounder and GPS.
Of all the features on the Yellowfin, it’s the expanse of cockpit that will most readily be appreciated by hardcore fishos. There’s just nothing to get in your way here when fighting or landing fish.
Indeed, four or five anglers could easily wet a line without tripping over each other.
Storage space has been spread all around the boat. There were numerous pockets and shelves in the cabin and the full-length cockpit side pockets would easily hold larger items like gaffs, tag poles or even spare rods.
The pockets are high enough off the deck to allow you to get your toes under and it is easy to brace your thighs against the deep gunwales while playing a fish.
On the starboard side there’s a drop-down transom door which in conjunction with the rear ladder makes getting in and out of the boat easy, even when it’s on the trailer.
Should you be lucky enough to hook a billfish or a big tuna, you simply open the door and drag the fish aboard, rather than having to hoist it over the side.
In the centre of the transom cap is an alloy cutting board/rigging station.
Next to it on the port side is a 65L live bait tank and a berley bucket has been fitted into the pod on the port side as well.
Beneath the welded, self-draining treadplate floor there’s a 135L plumbed kill tank. There’s also a 250L fuel tank, which will give you plenty of range with an economical outboard like the 225hp four-stroke on our test boat.
One of the only faults I could find with the Yellowfin is the bright silver aluminium treadplate floor. Sure, it’s going to be easy to hose out and keep clean but on a hot day, I doubt you would be able to stand on it in bare feet without getting burnt on a hot day. It would be like walking on frying pan and I’d probably have to go with some sort of covering simply to reduce the glare and heat.
In terms of overall workmanship, I rate the Yellowfin highly. It’s been very carefully put together. Welds were neatly finished off and there has obviously been a high level of quality control in construction. The optional two-tone paint job on the test boat was first class and certainly gave it a lot of eye appeal.
Our test run was conducted on a filthy, dull and showery day. There was an honest 10-15-knot breeze blowing, stirring up a small but annoying chop.
Conditions on the day didn’t allow us to truly test out the rough water capabilities of a boat of this type but I have no fears in that regard. On our test run, the Yellowfin simply ate up what chop we could find like it wasn’t there, giving a smooth and surprisingly quiet ride. Any spray is thrown back and well wide of the boat and the ride was dry even when running across the wind.
At least the conditions did allow us to test the more sporty aspects of the boat, and I was quite stunned by how fast and nimble this boat-motor combo is.
The whisper-quiet 225hp four-stroke made the Yellowfin feel almost like a ski boat at times. Pushing the throttle forward had the 990kg hull jumping out of the hole and you could feel yourself being pushed back into the seat. Just remember to tell the passengers to hang on before you try it!
Once up and going, the boat cruised along comfortably at 24 knots (44.4km/h) with the motor sitting just under 3500rpm. Top speed was about 45knots (83.3km/h) at 5500rpm and even at that speed it handled very sweetly.
Throwing this big boat through some tight turns revealed no obvious vices and I’d have to rate it as a very easy rig to drive.
While the hull is rated to 250hp, I reckon the 225hp was a perfect match and unless you wanted to fit twin 125hp outboards for extra safety and peace of mind, you’d be hard pressed to find a better match than the big V6 test motor.
As a hardcore fisho, I give this boat a big thumbs up. It’s rugged and reliable but sporty enough to be fun to drive.
It’s been well built and nicely finished off and while it probably won’t win any beauty contests, I reckon it’s ruggedly handsome.
If you are after a no-nonsense truly offshore-capable fishing boat that’s easy to run and maintain then I recommend that you check out the Yellowfin 6700 and 225hp four-stroke combination. On a matching Yellowfin alloy trailer with 14” wheels, price is around $80,900.
Call into Gladstone Marine Centre located adjacent to the Gladstone Marina or call them on (07) 4972 7111 and see just how good these boats are first hand.
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.
|Overall length:||7.44 m|
|Hull weight:||990 kg|
|Length on trailer:||7.8 m|
|Max power:||250 hp|
Options as tested: Two-tone paint; bimini; front and side clears; deck wash; dual batteries; trim tabs