COL ALLISON has been making boats up there in Archerfield, Brisbane, for many years and has a penchant for building well-thought-out fishing machines that handle offshore conditions with ease.
However, the Vision 175 is a slinky-looking boat with not so much a half-cabin design as more of a sports cab. From stem to stern, she is only 5.3 metres long but gives the feeling of a much bigger craft.
There is no wood used in the construction of this boat. All stringers are fibreglass so there’s nothing to rot. Up forward there’s a V-berth that will easily sleep two, yet there is still plenty of room for a large, uncluttered cockpit. The V berth is a massive 1.8 metres by 1.7 metres so even two people my size could sleep in comfort.
Sitting on the bunks, there is no shortage of headroom, courtesy of the high ceiling. Full-length upholstered pockets are for all the nick-nacks. There is also heaps of room under the bunks, although I would advise to keep things off the floor as water can gather in there.
A large, smoked glass hatch (fastened by four latches for security and waterproofing) plus small side windows provide ample cabin light. All cushions, padding and a bunk infill come standard. Even with a large cabin there is still a 2.1-metre by 1.75-metre cockpit which gives plenty of room for three anglers to fish. The squabs in the transom corner seats can be removed, allowing full access to the rear corners to fight fish.
There is a small bowsprit with roller, split bow rails and a split bollard. A lockable hatch gives easy access to the large, self-draining anchor well that will hold a mile of rope and a selection of anchors. I found the bow rails needed a bit more support as occasionally, a person’s full weight is put on them when working the ground tackle in rough water.
The cabin roof is solid – in fact, I stood on it with no indication of it bowing or buckling. The large, raked and tinted three-piece windscreen is solid and its frame acts as a hand hold for passenger and helmsman when standing. It is perfectly positioned, not restricting vision so you can see over the top of it when seated There is plenty of dash room for electronics and a moulded binnacle for the compass. A four-gang, fused switch panel regulates the electrics. A full array of instruments, including fuel gauge, gives instant status on engine operation.
Two pedestal seats with hip support are provided for helm and passenger, with the helm seat having fore-and-aft adjustment. I found the driving position comfortable, with good forward vision, and the throttle quadrant nicely at hand.
There is a passenger grab rail and driver and passenger have footrests. Full-length, off-floor side pockets are wide, strong and rigid. Although the standard configuration is without carpet, the floor has a very effective non-skid surface.
A large, drained in-floor hatch near the transom acts as a kill tank or can be filled with ice for drink storage. Two aft stainless steel cleats are provided for mooring but I would have liked to have seen two short grab rails near the stern. The single battery is off the floor on the starboard side and there is a similar platform to port to accommodate another battery for a twin system if needed. A battery-isolating switch and water-separating fuel filter come standard. The oil container sits underneath the transom well.
To avoid water intrusion and salt penetration, all electrical wiring is soldered and shrink-wrapped by Watersports Marine. In the transom well is the filler to feed the 150-litre under-floor fuel tank. A single breather is on the port side of the well. Boarding platforms either side of the engine allow easy access to the boat and both platforms have grab rails. The port platform includes a transom ladder.
The test boat was powered by a brand-new V6 140hp Mercury extra-long-shaft two-stroke spinning a 21” Vengeance propeller. This gave heaps of grunt – too much for an old fart like me – and a 115hp or even a 90hp would have coped. At 5000rpm we skimmed over the water at 58mph (93kmh) and still had a bit left on the throttle! However, for those who don’t care about the fuel bill and enjoy a dash of speed, the 140hp could be for you.
With two large, full-length hull strakes, the Vision was up and planing at 2000rpm. There was no data on the transom deadrise but at a guess I would estimate it around 19°. This, along with large lipped inverted chines, gave a very smooth ride and a large degree of stability at rest. Exact trim was needed on the Mercury to take the stiffness out of the steering. Fitting a hydraulic set up to a motor this big would be money well spent.
The boat was an absolute joy to drive. It performed all testing manoeuvres with ease and lapped up choppy water like a thirsty dog. The boat had little lean into turns and under power showed no sign of cavitation or the hull wanting to slip.
By moving the wheel hard left, then right, some vee-bottom boats tend to ‘chine walk’ or rock from side as they bounce off the chines. There was no sign of that in the Allison. As soon as I straightened her out, the vision 175 tracked straight and I was in control at all times. In hard reverse, the boarding platforms submerged, and tried to push the transom down – something to watch for.
We motored back to the ramp. Dane, who knows boats backwards, asked me my opinion. “I think you have a winner here” was my simple reply.
Driving the boat up on the Dunbier trailer was a breeze. With mudguards, fully-galvanised frame, override brakes, swing-away jockey wheel and spare wheel, the trailer adds to the look of the boat.
A boat spends an average 98% of its life on the trailer, so boat buyers should spend more time inquiring about what trailer comes with the package. Dean wound the boat up to the transom post, connected the safety chain and within a minute we were away from the ramp discussing our morning’s work.
The new Vision 175 from Allison, although a departure from the thoroughbred fishing machines which have made the company famous, still has many fishing credentials. It can be used as a ski boat, a cruising or pleasure boat yet still is a complete fishing platform with little compromise.
Boat supplied by Watersports Marine, 11 Binney Road, Kings Park, NSW 2148 phone 02 9676 1400, fax 02 9676 7588, email --e-mail address hidden--
Price as tested including 140hp V6 Mercury, safety gear, all registrations, Dunbier fully-rollered trailer with Galpack and spare wheel on carrier : $33,950.00
Boat/Motor/Trailer package with 90hp Mercury from $31,450.00
|Centreline Length (hull only)
|Height keel to windscreen
Two-tone deck; curved windscreen; mechanical steering; alloy deck hatch; self-draining anchor well; under-bunk storage; upholstered shelves in cabin; 2 x pedestal seats; alloy fuel tank with sender; passenger grab handle; 2 x stainless cleats; bow roller; bow eye bolt; split chrome bollard; compass; six-gang switch panel.
|Two-tone hull; nav lights; cabin light; riding light; canopy; tonneau cover; sink;
|shower with pump; under-seat stowage; stainless boarding ladder; hydraulic steering; depth sounder; two-way radio; fully lined cabin.