Telwater’s Yellowfin plate boats have a very interesting history. They gained a popular following in the 1980s, were discontinued for a spell, then resurrected in late 2009 as value for money, well finished and strongly constructed plate craft with a ‘modern as tomorrow’ design.
Features within the new range of Yellowfin cabin and centre console craft were designed to make fishing as easy and successful as possible. At the initial release of these new Yellowfin boats, I liked the concept of scupper drainage of tread plate floors, live bait wells, kill tanks for the catch, berley buckets, welded rod holders, big transom doors, wide side decks, useful large side pockets and bait stations.
Complementing these attributes were vee hull designs that emphasised ride quality and easy handling. Heading far offshore in search of serious fish would never be a chore in these well-designed craft.
Complementing the existing Yellowfin range are newly released 6400 and 6900 Synergy console craft, which offer all of the traditional centre console work room, as well as ready access to the hull’s storage areas.
My initial impression on surveying the big 6400 centre console rig, on its dedicated Quintrex drive-on trailer, was that the design parameters would see the craft ideally set up for keen anglers, yet still quite suited for blue water fishing as well.
Offshore at Mooloolaba, Damien Duncan of Telwater explained that both the 6400 and 6900 Synergy Consoles were designed with northern anglers in mind: two 150L underfloor fuel tanks, three pedestal seats, six seating positions, a 65L live bait tank, four welded rod holders, up front storage compartments, and a 130L compartment that could double as an ice box.
Putting the solid list of features aside for a moment, the Yellowfin success story starts at the Coomera Telwater factory. Construction is rigid thanks to a robust underfloor frame work of solid longitudinal and cross bearers linking the extruded keel to the craft’s 4mm plate sides and 5mm plate bottom. A solid tread plate floor adds to the overall rigidity, as do full welds. Yet there’s more to the craft than an almost over build construction. Finish is up with the best, welds visible but smoothed, hatches were neatly recessed with strong hinges, the paint job designed to look good while lasting for years.
As the craft is well kitted out in standard form there are not many options on the factory’s list. A radio, bimini and envelope, deck wash and berley bucket are listed along with anchor winch plate, winch and two-tone paint.
The 6400 Yellowfin Synergy Console is a lot of boat; bare hull weight is 860kg, beam is 2.4m and overall length is 6.44m. A freeboard of 1.3m ensures a high degree of sea keeping ability and matched by deep interior depth inspires great confidence when working in wild conditions.
The craft had three seat positions at the console, another two near the cast deck, plus another on the deck. The set up allows for easy weight distribution during those tropical runs where two hour’s travelling to a favourite bit of rubble or barra water is nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever. The 380mm high front deck was set up with two hatched storage bins suited to either tackle, tucker, or in the case of the larger compartment, a convenient place for the catch.
The Yellowfin’s trim centre console was well thought out. Handholds on top and both sides were standard, there was an EPIRB mounting point to port, plus a storage shelf inside for personal items. On the test craft paired Evinrude I-Command gauges and a switch panel were set into the vertical upper section of the console but the gauges could easily be relocated and a couple of 12” screens installed in lieu. Helm seating consisted of well-padded and very comfortable bucket style seats on pedestals.
The 6400 was a sweet craft to helm: hydraulic steering offered fingertip control while the 175hp E-Tec engine controls set into the starboard side of the console were slick, instantly responsive, and without jarring or glitching.
Aft of the helm area the cockpit side pockets were long and wide enough to offer good storage space and, moreover, offered toe-holds under them to brace against.
The cockpit door, to starboard, was quite large and had an accompanying boarding ladder for a swimmer’s use. Solid bow and stern rails complemented the Yellowfin’s design without being intrusive. The craft’s clear lidded live well was set into the port quarter of the wide transom that housed, on its lower area, compartments for a pair of batteries complete with an isolator switch.
Power ratings were 115-175hp. The maximum rated 175 Evinrude E-Tec offered instant, almost fierce, response offshore from Mooloolaba and made the solid Yellowfin hull, with three aboard, perform like a small Stacer or Quinnie. It burst the craft onto the plane and, most importantly for offshore work, offered a rolled gold guarantee of instant power response when required. And if you don’t think that’s an important power consideration, you’ve never had a big green one breathing down your transom!
The fuel injected V6 175 two-stroke could be throttled back to 3000rpm to offer a gentle ocean cruising speed of around 38.2km/h with a fuel consumption of just 18.9L per hour. Ocean cruising saw the Yellowfin in its chosen element. Swells pressing from astern caused not the slightest deviation from a chosen course and incoming rollers were crested in a surprisingly gentle manner without any fuss or nasty impact whatsoever.
The other recorded speeds were: planing occurred at 2300rpm at 18.9km/h, 4000rpm saw 52.9km/h, 5000rpm a feisty 61.5km/h and WOT of 5400rpm saw 66.7km/h on the I-Command gauge. Not every owner will require maximum power of course and I’d see a 130 E-Tec still making easy work of powering the solid Yellowfin with larger payloads, a 115 when two up would be the norm.
The ability to travel far in comfort then fish with ease is foremost in these top end orientated rigs, as it should be. Stability of the solid plate rig with its 20º outer spray chine equipped vee hull was impressive with even three on one side hardly causing any leaning whatsoever.
Like other centre console craft, virtually all of the interior offers fishing room. A couple of anglers could work aft with ease, another three up front on the big fore deck would do it just as easy. The flexibility in seating offers just that bit extra comfort when undertaking a long trip while the storage space caters for individual gear requirements, tucker and tackle.
In summing up the Yellowfin 6400 Synergy I’ve given it full marks as a well set up, great performing fishing craft. Rated for five people it has a lot to offer in terms of value for money and comfort levels for those aboard.
Ramp work was easy going thanks to the rig’s dedicated trailer; also at day’s end that self-draining floor would be very easy to clean after hard use.
The well-finished and impressive looking Yellowfin comes with a 3 year Telwater backed structural warranty. Price of the rig as reviewed from Springwood Marine, Logan City, with optional bimini and envelope would be $62,000. Springwood Marine can be contacted on (07) 32978200 or at www.springwoodmarine.com.au
|Length on trailer:||6.80m|
|Height on trailer:||2.75m|
|Construction:||Plate alloy bottom 5mm, sides 4mm|
|Weight of hull:||860kg|
|Engine fitted:||175 E-Tec Oeda 3 star|
|Towing:||6 wagon or larger 4x4|