If you haven’t seen the television add for Triumph boats, I suggest you get to it. Not only will you have a good giggle while watching the ‘Bubba Boat Test’, you will also be amazed at how obviously strong and indestructible these boats are.
First impressions of the Triumph 195CC are very impressive. For a ‘plastic’ boat it looks great, and the finish is far better than what I had expected.
Out of the water, the boat sat on a Triumph trailer made out of the solid I-shaped aluminium. It looks quite different to other trailers, which normally have rectangular tubing, however it does serve a very practical purpose. It helps to prevent rust in the trailer, as no water can get inside the metal where it can’t be properly washed out.
The boat rested on the trailer with carpeted skids. It was here that I also noticed what looked to be a shallower deadrise than many other boats around. It is in fact 16 degrees, so I was very keen to see how it went in the water.
With the boat off the trailer, Brett from Going Boating in Geelong idled around in the windy conditions that have been battering Melbourne. Instantly you could tell the boat was from America, with that distinct look that many US boats have. In fact it looked as though it would be right at home around the Florida Keys area – but maybe that’s because I was wishing I was there instead of enduring a windy 12oC day in Melbourne.
As I parked the car, Brett brought the boat in towards the pontoon to pick me up. It was about then I realised the wind had hold of the boat, sending it on a beam on collision course with the pontoon. I cringed, waiting for the expected crunch, but as I ran to the boat Brett was all smiles. “See, you like that, not a scratch!” This was a proper introduction to how tough these things are.
Once in the boat I was amazed at how well finished it was. In fact in many ways it looked no different to fibreglass. Designed as a bay boat that could be used for a variety of applications, from fishing through to water skiing, and just some good old cruising, this boat had some real potential.
The boat was laid out in a centre console arrangement, which really made the boat feel big and roomy. Best of all, the centre console was a true two person console, with a pair of seats behind it, and the steering wheel off to the port side. The gauges were nicely spaced out on the ample dash space. On the top of the console there is also a hatch that can be left open or closed with a clear front. This can be used as a dry store, or would also be a top place to store the sounder and GPS.
The bottom half of the console housed a moulded, angled footrest as well as a deck hose, battery switches and a tackle box locker. Added to this, the top half of the console can be folded open to reveal a great dry storage area, and below this it’s a simple matter of lifting out a moulded board to reveal the batteries in a completely dry environment.
The overall appeal of the boat, and especially the console area, was added to through the use of a stainless steel steering wheel. The very solid and extremely neat stainless tubing that made up the frame for the bimini top and rocket launcher was also impressive. The strength of the frame was also partly due to the fact it was mounted to the floor, rather than the actual console.
As mentioned there is seating behind the console for both passenger and driver, with comfortable padded seats on a forward/backward slide so you can adjust them to get a comfortable ride. These seats sit atop a well designed, decent-sized circulating livewell, with a clear viewing window in the top of it. It is positioned centrally rather than off to one side as in many other boats, which will help the boat to ride better, especially when travelling or fishing with only one person.
At the back, the 150hp Suzuki sat on a flat transom with a recessed engine well, while either side of it were stainless rod holders. The starboard side also had a small boarding platform and ladder.
Moving towards the bow, the gunwales had several stainless steel, angled rod holders in handy positions for the fishers, while the bow area is sure to impress the non-fishing passengers with its large padded seating that can easily accommodate several people. Beneath the lounge style seats there is also ample storage for a variety of bits and pieces, as well as a waterproof hatch in the floor.
With the boat in the water, it was time to see how it went. Instantly it felt different to any other boat, due to the Roplene hull and the injected closed-cell foam beneath the floor. The boat was amazingly quiet going through the water, especially when you pushed the boat into some sharp and uncomfortable chop. It was quite unique how the hull acted like a big shock absorber. You would feel the nose hit the wave, but the crunch or thud never made it to you – it was absorbed through the hull.
On water performance was good. With the 16 degree deadrise and a beam of 2.49m, the hull sat quite high in the water and popped onto the plane easily. The Suzuki pushed the boat easily along at 20mph at 3500rpm, while when opened up the Triumph reached 50mph at 600rpm.
Quartering into the chop, we did encounter a bit of spray over the nose, however it was far more bearable with the big console to hide behind, so it didn’t really pose too much of an issue. The only other real point I noticed with the hull was that when pushed into a sharp turn, it tended to lean into it. With the big beam and its design, at no stage did it feel unsafe. In fact it was a lot of fun to drive.
If you are in the market for a bit of a ‘do everything’ boat, you would be wise to take a Triumph for a test run. There are several other great models in the range, so you are sure to find something that suits your needs.
Length (overall): 6.10m
Deadrise: 16 degrees
Dry hull weight: 907kg
Maximum horsepower: 150hp
Fuel capacity: 227lt
COST AND CONTACT
Price as Tested: $62,500
Contact: Going Boating, Geelong 03 5224 2085
Roplene’s correct title is ‘marine formula rotationally moulded polymer’. This very tough, impact-resistant material is also used for roadside crash barriers. According to its manufacturers, Roplene has five times the impact resistance of fibreglass.
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 also inject closed cell flotation foam within the 195 CC’s one-piece hull.