The Lab Sport Xtreme Tournament 570 was launched at the 2005 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. It’s a product of many months of research and development from Sydney-based boat builders Jeff and Bruce Stubbs, who make waterski and ski-racing boats as their core business. Therefore, the real challenge was not building a boat that goes fast, but adding an efficient fishing platform to a proven hull.
We took the opportunity to take a ride in the 570 before it returned home to Sydney.
I’d have to say that the 5.7m Ventilator hull that the XT is designed around felt like one of the safest hulls in which to go 100km/h on the water. Jeff explained why.
“The XT is an air entrapment positive stepped tri-hull design with air pockets (creating lift) between the central planing area and the sponsons on the chine. At rest the sponsons aid in flotation while at speed the sponsons will never leave the water, meaning it’ll never chine walk and it’ll corner superbly.”
As Jeff was telling me this, he pulled the XT into a sharp turn at close to 70km/h while I held on – quite tightly!
With many tournament anglers now wanting more speed from their rigs, safety is an obvious plus for the 570. The fine-tuning of the ride is trim responsive.
Pretty much anyone with a little boat driving experience and common sense won’t find themselves out of their depth in this craft.
So, what’s gone into this boat and what can it do for your fishing?
Bolted to the transom on the test boat was an Evinrude 175HP Direct Injection 2-stroke. Fitted with a 23” 4-blade Vengeance propeller, the XT behaved sweetly throughout the rev range, planing efficiently at 4000rpm, and winding the GPS out to 99.9km/h at wide open throttle.
Like most high performance boats of its ilk, the design aims to locate most weight near the transom, hence the boat’s three batteries – two for the MotorGuide and one cranking – are located centrally and rear of the passenger seats.
Flanking the battery compartment are two huge rear tackle lockers. Both are around twice the size of standard lockers in a boat of this size.
The seating is for three people, low and comfortable.
The driver used the side-mounted lever to change gears, with a foot throttle and helm-mounted trim switch to control speed and attitude when both hands are on the wheel.
This is a dual console boat, and both driver and passenger are protected from the wind by a back and upswept console that negates the need for delicate perspex windscreens.
The passenger has access to a lockable and voluminous glovebox area with miles of room for as many mobile phones, sets of keys and wallets as you can fit in your collective pockets.
Enormous, stainless steel grab-rails on the driver and passenger side are real features of this boat. Not only does this give your passenger something to hold onto in a sharp turn, it’s a convenient place to tie a mooring rope.
With a 5.7m hull, you’d expect a mile of deck space up front, and the XT has just that. You could fish three anglers reasonably comfortably in this boat and a pair of anglers has plenty of room if cat swinging is your thing.
Under the forward deck is a livewell, twin rod lockers and another enormous tackle locker that’s more than capable of swallowing anyone’s soft plastic collection.
The workstation on the bow includes a fascia to mount a fish finder and a trim/tilt switch for the outboard. It saves you from walking back down to the other end of the craft to lift your outboard over an obstacle.
A lot of what’s good about this boat can’t be illustrated in these pages.
The tolerances in the deck and hatches are fine, drainage holes are oversized and the Stubbs’ open workshop policy means that you can be truly a part of the construction of your custom tournament fishing machine.
The trailers are a work of art – the flash mag wheels would suit those tournament anglers who like to look the part.
As tested, the Xtreme Tournament will cost you $49,950, but base models start at around $37,000. Call the Stubbs boys on (02) 9540 5444 if you need more information or a brochure.
Length – 5.7m
Beam – 2.05m
Hull weight – 495kg
Transom Height – 20”
Fuel – 130L
HP Rating – 200max
Dry Storage capacity – 1370L
Price as tested – approx $50,000