The Baysports 600, turned out in a well-finished package by Glen Grams of Noosa in South Queensland, has every hallmark of a rig built to last. There’s 28 years of boat manufacturing experience behind each hull, while modern glass crafting techniques, the use of solid fibreglass mouldings throughout linked to a complete fibreglass under-floor stringer system, plus a complete absence of timber within the transom and centre board flooring on Baysports ensure longevity.
And this hull is solid. Brick like, actually. In a sneaky test I like to do now and then, I gave a few sections of it a good, hard thump with a clenched hand to see if the glass was as strong as it looked. All I did was hurt my hand as there was not the slightest vibration from those very thick and solid fibreglass panels.
The Baysports can certainly handle chop; I can attest to that with ease. The reviewed 600 Offshore was launched at Bribie Island on a miserable, windy southeasterly morning that gave every indication of testing the Baysports’ hull to the fullest. Dodging showers, Paul McNaught (from Brisbane Yamaha of Burpengary) and I made the best of things, and although the weather didn’t shine, the boat’s capability and practical features certainly made me smile.
A look at the Baysports’ lines reveals a well proportioned cuddy cab with lines blending neatly, and a high standard of finish. A walkaround facility allows anchor access in easy weather. There’s plenty of room in the cuddy cabin with its big anchor access hatch up front, large bunks, very long side pockets plus under bunk storage and space set aside for a marine toilet.
A bimini on a very strong frame came standard, offering ample shade while we sat on the high-backed bucket seats on moulded storage boxes. The passenger’s seat is set up with an 80L ice box under it, and there’s also a seat to the rear.
At the helm, Yamaha digital gauges updated the engine data while a compass marine radio and switches were also handy. Also standard was a Garmin 751XS colour GPS/sounder touch screen combo.
The driving position from the skipper’s seat benefitted from a handy foot rest, and I enjoyed a full 360° view when at the Sea Star hydraulically-assisted helm.
Within the main, carpeted, fishing area aft, there are 700mm high cockpit sides, a big live well to starboard, boarding gate to port, collapsible three-person bench seat, deck wash, four rod holders in gunwales, underfloor storage, and 2.4m long side pockets.
A glance at the Baysports on its tandem Sea Link trailer reveals a 21° vee hull with reversed outer chines and decent full-length strakes. In many respects it’s similar to other cuddy cabs around that size – that’s until you see the large concave, central, tunnel-like section that takes the place of a flat planing plank that’s so often featured in this style of hull. The concave central section starts well forward along the hull and terminates at the stern, where it’s around 35cm wide.
Baysports Boats claim several benefits from their unique hull design, which they refer to as a Hydralift Tunnel Hull. Firstly, the compression of water caused by the downward curving surface sees the propeller working in less aerated water. Secondly, the set-up virtually gives the Baysports a pair of keel lines right on the central planing surface, which is larger than normal due to the curvature. Another bonus is the high degree of inherent stability from the twin keels amidships.
Brisbane Yamaha, who supplied the Baysports 600 for review, said they haven’t seen the need to fit trim tabs to any Baysport, even those models larger than the 600 Offshore reviewed. The stability of the craft at rest was excellent, and I have no doubt the overall hull design, including both the other reversed chines plus the central hollowed section, had generous input there.
It’s an unusual, if not radical, departure from the norm but the system seemed to work very well. The Baysports rose gently onto the plane rather than jumping forward with its bow in the air, as we might expect from a 6m long, 2.48m wide hull topping 1000kg in weight, when moving off in choppy conditions with a powerful 150hp outboard pushing it.
Another aspect I noted was that the Baysports 600 Offshore seemed to require only minimum revs to keep running smoothly. Certainly, there was ample input from the Yamaha 150, but a good example of efficiency was a planing speed of under 20km/h in those quite choppy conditions, and a sweet cruising speed of around 46.5km/h at 4000rpm. Fuel capacity was 165L, very good for this size of boat.
The four-cylinder, 2.6L, 150hp Yamaha four-stroke was ideal power for the craft. With a top speed recorded of over 64km/h in those quite choppy conditions, this engine should be well suited to long distance travel and tow sports.
In summing up, this well-built and attractively finished seven-person craft would be ideal for either family boating or offshore work. The hull handled Pumicestone Passage chop well, with very little spray coming up when belting hard into nasty 1m high breakers courtesy of wind against strong tide. One important point is that the rig, including braked trailer, weighs less than 2 tonnes, so it can be towed by many family cars.
With standard features including the bimini, Garmin unit, tandem trailer and more, I regarded the Baysports as very well equipped and good value for money at $66,990 as supplied by Brisbane Yamaha. You can find out more on their website at www.brisbaneyamaha.com.au, or call them on (07) 3888 1727.
• 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.
|Engine||150 Yamaha four-stroke|
|Towing||family four or six|