Chelsea Yamaha brought the big guns into town for out latest Horizon/Yamaha boat test – Horizon General Manager, Scott James was waiting for us at the ramp on a miserable Melbourne morning, bursting to tell us all about their latest version of the Sea Breeze bow rider – the 515 Sea Breeze Elite.
“This boat is the best of both worlds,” Scott said (you can watch the full interview by scanning the QR code below on your smartphone), “and we often call this ‘the boat that the missus will let you own,’” he quipped.
By that, we’re sure that he meant that ‘it was the boat that would most impress your lovely wife with its appointments and versatility.’
Of course, the bow rider genre features a couch up front, a helm area amidships and a cockpit aft to give shelter, relaxing areas and fishing areas in the same hull.
With a 2.4m beam, this is a 5m hull with plenty of room. Underneath, it features a variable deadrise – Scott says 15° at the transom and sharpening to 21° at the bow to help cut through chop. It also features reverse chines, which help to keep spray down and increases stability simultaneously.
Naturally, these combine to make this a very stable boat, and there’s nothing that the family could really do to upset the balance of the craft while at rest.
This is one of the smaller boats we’ve seen on the market with a walk-through transom with door. Originally featured in game fishing or dive boats, this feature makes it easy for the family to both board from a beach and re-enter the craft on the water after swimming.
Combine this with the duckboards either side of the outboard, and there’s no way you’ll keep the kids out of this boat.
Another versatile addition is the rear lounge seat. Usually, you’ll find a rear lounge as a simple fold-down bench – the Horizon however, has a full storage box with a padded lid that’ll chew up a mountain of gear. Tilt this box forward and it gives access to the transom behind and extra storage. It’s a great idea.
When the weather finally cleared and calmed, we fired up the Yammy – an 80HP 4-stroke version – and headed out into Port Phillip Bay to see how this rig performed.
From a standing start, the combo got up on the plane in just over 4.5 seconds with two on-board. Through the economical part of the rev range, the Yamaha delivered just over 2km/L of fuel burned, which is good, but not spectacular.
Like all Yamaha 4-strokes, it was quiet and clean. You’ll definitely try to start a motor that’s already running! That’s a given and a hazard of modern motors!
Chelsea Yamaha set this boat up on a single axled Dunbier trailer. Apart from a cheaper purchase cost, the single axle allows for easy manoeuvring in tight garage spaces. With the canopy folded down, it’ll fit in plenty of suburban garages.
At the helm, the position was comfortable and there was somewhere to rest your forearm when adjusting the throttle. Passengers are treated to the biggest waterproof glovebox I’ve seen yet – room for everyone’s mobile phones, wallets and car keys.
As tested, this Horizon/Yamaha package weighed in at $37,990, however you can drive away in a boat/motor/trailer package for as low as $32,500 – visit www.chelseayamaha.com.au for more details.
Scan this QR code to watch the full interview with Steve Morgan and Scott James.Reads: 833