Ozcraft offer three models in their range of Eureka plate alloy centre cabs: the 610, 640 and 670. You know it’s a pretty impressive range when the ‘baby’ is a twenty footer!
The word impressive certainly sums up the Ozcraft range if the Eureka 640 is a reliable yardstick. It’s a high, wide and handsome craft, is rated for up to 6 people and features a top quality finish with all welds neatly smoothed and an eye-catching paint job. Anglers will find plenty of onboard features, plus a smooth and quiet ride from the plate hull with its 5mm bottom and 4mm sides. The test boat was powered by a 150hp Evinrude E-Tec.
Up front there’s a big anchor well, T bollard and split bow rail. The carpeted casting deck, around 30cm higher than the helm/cockpit area, is a great place for a couple of anglers to work and when moving, the seat set into the front of the centre cabin is just the place for those who like breeze in the hair. There’s also an under floor locker up front which I’d see more suited for clothing or the like, with fish going into the big under floor kill tank central in the aft cockpit area.
Moving forward to fish is simple due to the ample hand holds on the hard top, and the step up onto the forward area’s walkaround space is easy thanks to the large grab rail at the rear of the hard top. The checker plate step was certainly a nice touch.
Sheltered by the hard top, skipper and first mate sit on quality slide adjustable swivelling pedestal seats mounted on storage boxes. There’s a grab rail for the first mate, with the marine radio handy and a large upright area ahead of the skipper on which engine, fuel gauges, steering wheel and switches are mounted.
There’s a large flat area behind the four-piece windscreen on which plenty of nav aids plus a fish finder could be set up. The test rig came equipped with a Garmin 340 fish finder as standard equipment. Forward controls for the E-Tec were side mounted and well placed for easy operation by the skipper.
Entry to the centre cab with its side windows and handy storage areas involved nothing more than ducking between the pedestal seats and moving straight in for a sit down out of the weather.
Clint Kratzmann, CEO of Ozcraft, the company marketing the Eureka range of plate alloy craft, made no bones about the fact that the Eureka 640 is designed as a fishing craft. Not surprisingly, a look at the fishing room aft of the forward seating confirms this fact.
There’s a generous amount of work area, and with a transom height around the thigh (overall freeboard is 1050 mm) the carpeted cockpit inspires plenty of confidence for offshore fishing pursuits. Four rod holders are offered each side, a pair aft in the bait station plus another five on the rocket launcher-style racks on the hard top. Big side pockets are ideal for storage of gear too, while the big icebox/seat in the aft starboard quarter would be quite handy for some tucker, drinks or your catch. Cockpit coaming forms a handy backrest for whoever is seated on the box.
Another handy feature is the well set up aft shelf extending across from the starboard side of the cockpit to finish almost at the boarding gate to port.
In effect, there are three levels in the starboard quarter of the cockpit. There’s the aft floor, the mid shelf plus the wide and full cockpit height transom with its bait tank and central bait board. The boarding gate (with ladder) is on the port side of the craft and the fact that the boarding gate does not come right down to the deck prevents water intrusion if reversing. It wouldn’t be too difficult to step over the gate and the sea keeping advantages are enormous.
Other aft features include T bollards and side rails aft of the transom leading down to non-skid boarding platforms each side of the 150 E-Tec, which was mounted on the swim platform.
The Eureka 640 is a very strong and rigid craft with full welds, not tacks, along decks and all contact areas within her. No less than 14 cross ribs brace the gunwales and floor and it’s not surprising that no drumming or vibrations mar the sweet sound of displaced water under way.
It’s hard to find a plate alloy craft on today’s market that does not offer a quality ride and the Eureka 640 can mix it with the best of them. Powered easily by an Evinrude 150 E-tec (engine rating is 130-175hp), the Eureka 640 was quite nimble for a 930kg craft with two aboard plus a full fuel load of 180L. She planed easily, getting up onto a level plane in around three boat lengths at 14 knots and 2700rpm. 3000rpm saw 21.4 knots on the GPS unit with 4000 offering a snappy 28.8 knots. 5000rpm saw 37.3 knots with top speed being 38.2 knots at 5200rpm.
Thanks to the E-Tec 150’s quietness and the fact that the outboard is mounted well below the transom, there was very little engine noise intrusion at any speed.
Test runs were undertaken off Redcliffe – close in for easy camera work at first, then into a fair amount of northerly chop out wide. I noted that the Eureka 640 sliced through and across wave action with minimal fuss. Power steering made for fingertip control, the craft slipping easily in and out of turns with minimal hull lean. Not surprisingly, with the amount of freeboard offered by the very high gunwales and elevated bow area, no water found its way aboard.
Stopping well out of Redcliffe in the long lazy swells moving from the north, the solid 17 degree Vee hull with its big waterline chine and dual bottom strakes settled nicely in the water to offer plenty of stability at rest. Offshore angling would be fine, thanks to the excellent freeboard and that inherent stability.
The new Ozcraft is an excellent value offshore rig that will appeal to family boaters or hardcore fishos. Features for the angler abound and the ride is certainly a strong point. The finish and build are excellent and the price at $53,500 is quite realistic. If a 6.4m plate is what you’re after, this craft is well worth a look over, with a test run sure to confirm the value in the package.
Enquiries to Clint Kratzmann at Ozcraft on (07) 3888 2755.
EUREKA 640 SPECIFICATIONS
|Towing:||Big 6 wagon or 4 x 4|