Have you ever heard of Roplene? It’s the material that Triumph boats are made from. Roplene’s correct title is marine formula rotationally moulded polymer. This very tough, impact-resistant material is also used for road-side crash barriers. According to its manufacturers, Roplene has five times the impact resistance of fibreglass.
While reviewing the Triumph 195CC (centre console) I discovered that Roplene is great for shock absorption and still provides an unbelievably soft and quiet ride.
Yet Roplene is not soft or noticeably flexible; it’s actually quite dense which means that it can be drilled and tapped when mounting fittings. It also floats, although Triumph do inject closed cell flotation foam within the 195 CC’s one-piece hull.
The 195CC is a typical bowrider: cushions up front and storage below. When the cushions have been removed a specially made casting platform slots into place up front and instantly converts the craft from bowrider to sports fishing boat. A full bow rail and enclosed anchor well ensure obstruction free fishing while a large under floor storage area stretching centrally right back under the centre console can take some ice plus a share of the catch.
The centre console also offers forward storage with access to a large space up front. Twin batteries are floor mounted at the base, with a removable overhead shelf. The remaining area could hold a bag or two of clothing.
The rear of the console was well set out with several distinct layers of features. Up top, behind the high windscreen, a compass sits forward of a drained storage shelf. The next level comprises a lockable, Perspex-fronted electronics compartment that includes a Clarion radio/CD player. There’s plenty of space for nav aids as well. The Perspex cover is spring mounted and fits into a neat slot when opened.
The next level on the console consists of gauges to monitor the 150 Evinrude E-Tec on the transom plus an array of circuit breakers. A 12-volt accessory point is there, along with a couple of storage recesses as well, each drained with a grommet fitting.
The tilt adjustable steering wheel (mounted to port and linked to hydraulic steering) and the engine’s forward controls are on the next level along with a grab handle for the passenger. The next section of the console, around knee level, was equipped with a deck wash, three tray tackle box and isolator switch. The non-skid foot rest is a little lower down.
A bimini top on a heavy duty stainless steel frame is mounted over the console and provides handy shade for skipper and mate, as well as a mounting point for four rod holders. There were two overhead lights under the bimini top – handy for night fishing. Also useful was the (optional) set of clears that attached to the top of the bimini to provide additional weather protection for the centre console and forward passengers.
Pedestal ladder back seats were mounted on a big Roplene box, which also housed a 70L plumbed, pump equipped live well.
The cockpit floor sported a non-skid surface. Removable padded coaming featured along the rod holder equipped gunwales that are around 70cm deep – perfect for offshore fishing.
The test craft had a pair of lift out aft quarter seats that slotted neatly into the transom rod holders. The Triumph 195CC is rated for up to eight persons, and these aft seats would help to distribute the weight between fore and aft seating positions. Also balancing the rig is the 270L fuel tank.
Other aft features include gunwale rod holders (there are 12 in all), a full height transom with drink holders and a handy centre drop-forward area to facilitate entry. Non-skid boarding platforms each side of the engine and a boarding ladder complete the transom features.
I have not experienced a ride of this quality in any other 20 footer be it glass, alloy or other material. The Triumph handled chop brilliantly without any noise thanks to the combination of excellent hull design, Roplene and the foam filled hull. There’s enough freeboard to keep any spray away, too, even when pushing hard into quartering seas with a bit of wind behind them.
The hull weighs around 900kg without an engine but all of the onboard features contribute to the overall mass as well as ride quality and degree of stability at rest.
The 195CC has a 16 Vee with solid strakes and pronounced water line chines. At speed, it runs cleanly and the craft’s fine entry barely kisses the water while all wash comes away around the last third of the hull’s length. On test runs in the Broadwater we purposely belted into some steep wash from passing craft and the 195CC treated it as though it was a ripple. The craft’s ride was so good that I repeatedly powered into heavy areas of wash but the result was always a gentle slap with only the slightest perceived impact. Handling was pin sharp: turning at high speed saw some heavy G-forces generated in the process.
The 150 Evinrude E-Tec was a quietly powerful unit that pushed the hull onto a lift free plane at 14.3 knots at 2800rpm. 3000rpm gave the craft a speed of 19.4 knots, 4000rpm produced 27 knots and 5000rpm gave 36.7 knots. At around the 3800rpm we experienced very easy cruising at 25 knots and with unbelievably low noise levels from both hull and engine. The rig felt very well balanced too, so far as engine and hull were concerned, with strong power available throughout the entire engine rev range. Minimum power suggested would be 130HP.
This is a great fishing craft. The freeboard, ride quality, extreme stability and easy handling inspire a huge degree of confidence. Offshore work would be something to look forward to thanks to the brilliant ride and purpose built angling layout which takes in space, features, a giant live well and generous sized kill tanks. And topping this off is excellent build quality, a highly attractive appearance, and the Roplene’s maintenance free construction.
Price as reviewed is $64,900.
The test Triumph, one of several models available, was supplied by Going Boating. You can contact them on (07) 5502 3374 or visit them online at www.goingboating.com.au.