Over the last couple of years we’ve done plenty of boat tests on Whittleys – from cruisers to fishing boats and most things in between. The most watched Whittley test on YouTube that we’ve done is the smallest in the range. It used to be the entry-level CW1600 at around 8500 views.
That boat has now morphed into the CW1650 – just a little bit longer, but now large enough for it not to be mandatory to wear a PFD full-time in some states. That doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a big difference to a day on the water – especially in the warmer months.
We got to spend the day on the water with Genevieve Whittley, who works in the family business and loves the versatility and affordability of this entry-level fibreglass package.
“For under $40,000, this boat is great for all sorts of fun with family and friends,” she said, “There’s plenty of shade, lots of fishing room and the standard marlin boards make it easy to get in and out of the boat while towing a tube around.”
Indeed, it’s a small, light package that’ll tow easily with most family cars and with a single-axle trailer, manoeuvrable into many suburban garages. The fold-down bimini top helps with this process.
The cabin is an open design, which helps to maximise apparent room and the helm is simple, compact and able to accommodate mid-level electronics quite easily. The test boat was fitted with the quality Raymarine Dragonfly unit.
On the trailer, you can see there’s not much deadrise at the transom of this boat. Surprisingly, it wasn’t much of a factor on the test day. In up to 10 knots of breeze, the 1650 skipped soundly across any wind chop.
As the waves get bigger, expect this hull to ride over the lumps more than through. It’s really a problem that won’t eventuate, as you wouldn’t be heading out in 20 knots in this rig anyway. Bigger and heavier Whittleys are more suited to the marginal days.
As usual, the ridiculously frugal Yamaha F70 4-stroke uses virtually no fuel and it jumps the boat onto the plane easily with three on board. With a 14” propeller, it’s rigged for grunt, not top-end speed, with the rig topping out at around 50km/h.
Whittley and their dealer network are proud of their on-water training and delivery, which is part of the tradition of owning a Whittley.
“We like to show you how to launch and retrieve your boat as well and take you through what all of the electronics and switches do on your handover,” said Genevieve, “which is particularly important for first-time boaties and customers stepping up into a drive-on trailer.”
Genevieve also commented on the ease of washing down and cleaning the simple design of this package. You can hose everything down, let it dry and you’re ready to back it in the garage until the next weekend.
The Whittley CW1650 packages start from $36,990 (which equates to less than $100 a week with finance) and you can get more information by watching the Fishing Monthly Boat Test video via the QR code or by visiting www.whittley marinegroup.com.au.
*fitted with 14” aluminium Yamaha propeller.
The Whittley CW1650 is a new model in the range and is an ideal step up into the world of fibreglass boating. On the water for a lot less than $40,000, the rig is light enough to tow with the family car and will fit into a lot of suburban garages.
Rear ladder and port and starboard marlin boards are standard and make getting in and out of the boat easy, whether from the bank or after a swim.
Maxing out a 50km/h with the Yamaha F70 4-stroke, the CW1650 is easy and economical to launch and drive.
The fold-down canopy offers plenty of shade, if not total protection from the elements. The walk-through windscreen gives access to the bow and various anchoring duties.
There’s a fair bit of cockpit space there for fishing a couple of anglers in comfort. The rear seats are handy for when there’s four on board.
The Mackay drive-on trailer is easy to use – no more winching – leave that process back with your 12ft tinny.
It’s the little things – like the Fulton retractable straps at the transom and on the winch post – that simplify the process of launch and retrieve. If we had our way, they’d be on every boat in Australia. Once you’ve used them, you’ll never want a tie down strap again.
You never know that you need a boarding ladder until you’re wallowing at the transom wondering how the hell you’re going to climb up the outboard with dignity. The marlin boards and ladder are standard.
Although there was no fuel metering available on the boat, rest assured that the Yamaha F70 runs on the smell of an oily rag. Daily fuel consumption will not be a determining factor on whether you go out or not.
Genevieve Whittley demonstrating just how easy the CW1650 is to drive.
Once you’ve had a drive-on boat and trailer combination, you’ll never go back. You’ll only be winching on the shallowest of all launches.
With four basic rod holders in the transom, you can expand the capacity with three-way inserts.
There’s a surprising amount of space in the front cabin and generous storage in the side pockets and under the seats.
A simple dash design and open cabin helps maximise usable space. The seats rotate 180° to face your spread of rods or watch the people being towed.
Whittley keeps the costs down by keeping the build no-frills and simple.
There’s only a small amount of deadrise in the 1650, so don’t expect it to ride like a 20ft+, but if you choose your days, the foam filled glass will take a lot of the sting out of small chop.
Scan this QR code on your smartphone to watch the CW1650 in action on Port Phillip Bay.Reads: 134