I must admit, the Whittley CW2150 was the first boat that I’d driven by water, to a marina to pick up for testing. Launching at the Rye boat ramp, we headed down the coast a little and found this craft nestled in a berth, neatly covered in a full canvas cover.
It belonged to a customer of Whittley’s who was happy for us to take his pride and joy out for a run – we thank you for that, John and James Hawkins.
Whittley’s Angelo San Giorgio was with us for that day on the water where we concurrently tested the ever-popular CW1600 alongside the flagship of the CW range, the CW2150. You can see the interview and the video of the test day by scanning the QR code hereabouts on your smartphone.
According to Angelo, John had a pretty simple design brief – it had to be simple and easy to clean. This boat wasn’t going to be garaged. It was going to live in a marina pen or on a swing mooring in the bay. As such, Whittley reinforced the bow eyelet and the bow rail mountings to reduce any potential gelcoat damage.
At the same time, there are reinforced cleats to allow the owners to tow a tube around for the kids in summer.
The simplicity in design is evident. As Angelo said, there’s a whole lot of white fibreglass that’s easy to hose down and prepare for mooring.
But just because the design and layout is simple, it doesn’t mean that it’s not functional.
Take the helm seats, for instance. Using the Relaxn seats, the stainless frames come with an inbuilt footrest and they are built to store a stand-alone cooler under each one. Fill them with bait, ice and fish for the fishing trips or food and ice for a day on the bay.
Increasingly we’re seeing the booster-seat design being used in local craft. If you haven’t seen it in action, the front half of the seat folds up to make a booster seat – ideal for when you need that little extra elevation to see over the bow when you’re jumping onto the plane or idling around populated areas.
The helm itself is simple and functional. Hubbed around a Raymarine combo unit with a joystick control, there’s what you need to get the job done and no extra clutter.
“It was a conscious decision of the owners to leave the addition of any permanent fixtures until they had a feel for the boat,” Angelo explained. “Permanent rod holder mounts and the like will be added in due course.”
That said, there’s an ample bait board fitted in front of the uber-quiet Yamaha 150 4-stroke, and the size of this boat means that getting caught in a bit of rough weather in the Bay isn’t that much of a worry. 6.5m of hull can handle it, as well as any tuna-flavoured forays into the Southern Ocean.
A quality upholstered rear lounge folds away while fishing but allows three extra passengers to travel in comfort in the softest riding part of the boat.
Performance wise, this rig belied its price tag. Quick on the plane, there are no hidden surprises for the first time big-boat owner. And did I mention quiet? The Yamaha 150 was running all through the video interview we’ve posted. I’m sure that you wouldn’t have known unless I’d pointed it out.
If you’re trailering this boat, it comes supplied on a braked Mackay trailer. Both the boat and the trailer are locally made in Melbourne, for the parochial amongst us.
When it comes down to it, if you have less than $75K to spend on a boat of this size, there’s not much in the market that can match the value of the Whittley. Visit www.whittley.com.au for more information.