This big plate-alloy boat from Gold Coast manufacturer Mako Craft is sure to appeal to offshore anglers. The test rig, with twin 75 Mercury two strokes, was heading to Fiji, where it will be used for offshore fishing charter work. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to follow it there!
The 610 Trophy Console concept is not new to Mako Craft. The hull has been well-received by the boating community for a while but, like today’s car makers, boat manufacturers often seek to improve on a model that's already doing well – hence the new craft.
While the previous 610 was an excellent rig, some serious redesigning of the hull to incorporate a finer bow section and reversed outer chines to almost 200mm wide have seen some significant changes to a hull that rode and handled well.
The 610 is a workhorse, no doubt about it. There are, however, some nice touches, just the same. The open anchor well is very large and is carpet-lined to reduce noise – a good idea. There’s also a small bowsprit set up with a large bow roller plus a split bow rail, which offers security while up forward.
There’s a huge amount of fishing room forward of the centre console. This craft is rated for up to six anglers and I can see three of them fishing up there with ease.
The centre console came equipped with a central horizontal shelf, a tinted perspex windscreen, a grab rail plus a useful upper storage area similar to an open glovebox alongside the main instruments set to starboard.
Controls for the Mercuries were set to port of the helm, which features non-feedback steering. Ignition and other switches were located a little lower than the wheel but were still quite handy. There is a lot of space available on the big flat area behind the screen for any nav aids, fish finders and anything else required.
Seating consisted of a two-person padded icebox with the popular and very versatile bolster-style backrest that can be flipped forward or backwards as required.
There was a wide bimini T-top to shade skipper and mate while under way. The unit was strongly constructed and should give years of service. Six rod holders were set onto the rear of the T-top.
The whole cockpit was fishing room. Side pockets do protrude somewhat but, being mounted above the floor, there are brace points under which to hook your toes if playing a fish.
A full-width off-floor aft shelf provided storage as the dual engine batteries took up little space. A pair of grab handles aft completed the cockpit fittings. No rod holders were set up on the 25cm wide decks of the test rig but they are, of course, factory options.
This craft has terrific seakeeping capability. The gunwales and full-height transom are well over thigh height at 1.55m from the waterline and it would be hard to take in any water, other than rain water. The floor is non-skid checkerplate alloy so even when wet there’s not much chance of losing one's footing.
The hull – with its 14 cross ribs – is fully welded, which greatly reduces vibration.
This big centre console rig seemed as tight as a drum. There were no annoying vibrations at any stage of the rev range and about the only sound was the hiss of the hull on the water as we powered along.
The 610 Trophy Console was fitted with a pair of Mercury 75hp two strokes. Tucked behind the high transom and down on the boarding platform, they were remarkably quiet, even at near full revs.
Top power rating is 150hp but Tim Stessl of Mako Craft said that the rig would perform quite well with a 115hp on the back if buyers wanted to economise. The twin carburetted Mercs had power to spare and pushed the craft onto an easy plane at 20km/h at 2600rpm and at 3000rpm my hand-held GPS recorded 17.4 knots (32.4kmh). At 4000rpm we were doing 23.8 knots (44.1kmh), while a brief burst at 5000rpm saw 32.6 knots (60.4kmh).
What impressed me was the easy manner in which the Mercuries pushed the rig onto the plane and then cruised so quietly and effortlessly with ample power in reserve at 3500rpm and 18 knots (34kmh).
The twin-engine set-up is a sensible option for offshore work and the driver has the option of using alternate trim controls on each throttle lever – which emulates trim tabs – or simply using the central trim unit which commands the engines in unison.
Thanks to a hull design incorporating a 13° vee and reversed chines, the hull is very stable at rest with little tendency to lean. Under way, it was certainly a well-behaved and smooth craft – not surprising given the great amount of freeboard.
We carried out water tests via the Gold Coast Seaway and Tim Stessl went to great lengths to show me just how soft-riding the new Trophy Console could be. I was impressed with the finer bow section, which certainly makes the ride very easy to live with.
And with a dry weight of 550kg, it’s only natural that this hull tends to iron out bumps and chop effectively. Handling was very good, too, and if you want to throw the rig about in tight turns the hull will oblige.
This is a fishing boat through and through and it will fulfil that role admirably. In all, I'd have no qualms about any aspect of the plate-alloy rig as a bay, estuary or offshore fishing rig. Full marks to Mako Craft for improving on what was already a great product. The price for the rig as tested was $51,000.
|Construction||4mm plate bottom, 3mm plate sides|
|Engines Fitted||2 x 75hp Mercury two strokes|