Gardner Marine’s 770 Pro-Edition Custom Console is a pleasure craft that has a high standard of finish and lots of great features. This fishing-orientated craft guarantees comfortable and enjoyable times aboard. So, let’s learn a bit more about this beauty.
The 770 Pro-Edition is a massive centre console craft. Manufacturer Darryl Gardner explained that the owner didn’t want a centre cab so he engineered a large console set up to the owner’s specifications.
I think the concept behind the 770 Pro-Edition is great. There is plenty of leg and head room, stacks of storage below the ample seating and the marine toilet is a handy accessory.
The bow area incorporates a 100mm lift in the sheer line, allowing for even more freeboard than the massive 750mm amidships. Four anglers could easily fish from the 770 Pro-Edition. A life raft is tucked ahead of the cab but it doesn’t intrude into fishing space much and there’s ample room to walk back to the rear of the craft.
A bimini is set onto the aft section of the overhead targa and provides plenty of shade for skipper and mate on their Reelax seats. Each seat is mounted on a storage box with hatches facing aft.
The fully lined console is equipped with a pair of well-padded bunks large enough for four people to sit on. Leg and head room is excellent as is interior light thanks to a pair of windows and a cabin light overhead.
A curtain provides privacy if required, and the doorway side-rail will be useful in boisterous sea conditions.
Sheltered by the bimini, the front passenger enjoys two handrails, a large side pocket and a drink holder.
Over on the skipper’s side it’s the total dash layout, and standard of finish, that really sets this craft apart from contemporaries. The main dash area resembles that of a motor vehicle (Darryl likens it to the new Falcon’s dash) and sports a cleverly shaped lip over the main instruments in their upright fascia.
To starboard of the wheel there are winch controls, a bank of switches and separate ones for freshwater (100L) and saltwater washes. Up top there’s a Navman Track Fish 6600 Sounder Plotter. All instruments are within the skipper’s reach, whether seated or standing. Forward controls are side mounted.
The 770 Pro-Edition has a brilliant gun-metal grey finish that is standard throughout the interior. The level of craftsmanship is superb with no sign of welds, seams, joins or sheet metal (6mm bottom, 4mm sides).
The top shelf turn-out extends to the neat galley unit installed centrally behind the skipper’s and mate’s seats. The front of the unit has a large bench seat built into it with a jumbo Eva Kool ice box tucked below. Passengers can easily chat to the skipper and first mate while under way. The galley unit is well set up with a work bench style top lifting up to reveal a sink and stove, while there’s ample cupboard space below. In all, a handy place to whip up a feed. The galley is equipped with handrails as well.
The big 770 is rated for eight people, and almost all of them could fish from the massive cockpit with its long and deep side pockets, self draining floor, cavernous in-floor kill tank and 750mm padded high sides. Other cockpit features include a fresh water deck wash, clip-in carpet and off-floor storage lockers in the transom. Also set into the transom was a live well. A seat is an option here but this custom rig was without one.
A rod holder equipped bait board was set up high enough above the live well to be out of the way. The craft’s boarding gate was set to port, with a bevel on the leading edge to ensure it could not open outwards in error. The gate can be lifted straight up off its hinges if necessary. A non-skid swim platform with associated boarding ladder is handy for swimmers or divers.
Again, the finish of metal work was of an impeccable standard and is a credit to Gardner Marine.
Power steering made driving the 8m craft a pleasure. The twin Suzuki 150s hummed gently until the linked throttles were pushed forward and the craft shot out of the hole and onto the plane in a little over its own length. The ride was very soft, as might be expected from a 2800kg craft, and very little water impact sound was transmitted into the cockpit.
The Suzuki’s hardly made their presence felt either. Even at highest revs there was little intrusion into the forward cockpit area. Stability was exceptional and with two on the one side, the hull didn’t lean at all.
I took the opportunity to belt over a couple of really big pressure waves in the Brisbane River. Charging onto the wash of a container ship at a nice clip I had the chance to find out that the craft rides as well as it looks. The result as we bounced upwards and back was merely a soft slapping sound punctuated with a gentle bump as the big Gardner Pro-Edition regained her composure.
The 770 Bluewater Pro-Edition Custom Console planed at 21km/h at 2,500rpm, cruised at 3,000rpm at 28km/h, 4,000rpm saw 42 km/h on the GPS, 5,000rpm some 61.6 km/h and 6,000rpm 78.8 km/h.
This sort of build quality, features and performance comes at a price which in this case is $128 000, but a basic Pro-Edition custom console rig with a 175hp Suzuki on Tinka tandem trailer will cost around $88,900.
For more information contact Gardner Marine on 0416 155 341.
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