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When only the best will do
  |  First Published: March 2005



Cyclone Boats has been building top quality fibreglass racing and fishing boats for over 12 years, and the quality of its workmanship is second to none.

A Cyclone boat is aimed at those people who would prefer to pay a little more for the absolute best than settle for the rest. The attention to detail and quality of finish on these boats is mind boggling, right down to every screw head, which lines up across the boat.

Producing quality fishing and family boats has been the focus of Cyclone Boats since director Ross Wilson sold his world champion ski racing moulds to a company in England. To keep on the absolute cutting edge of boat manufacturing, Ross Wilson and his talented craftsmen are designing and building from scratch a 43-foot offshore racing machine to be fitted with 200hp engines and be capable of speeds in excess of 100mph. The techniques and skills necessary to build such a craft are being transferred into Cyclone’s recreational boats, which means buyers are getting cutting-edge technology in a domestic craft.

TEST DRIVE

I had the pleasure of driving one of Cyclone Boats’ latest 540 side consoles, supplied by Mitchell’s Marine in Cairns. The 540 was also fitted with leading edge power unit, the all new Evinrude E-TEC. What a combination! Those among you who have hopped out of an old Falcon into a BMW will know the feeling. Pure driving pleasure!

The Cyclone was superb to drive. Ross has rounded off the edges of the running plank slightly and it has added superb handling to its already legendary rough water capability. I put the 540 into full lock at full tilt (67kmph) and it stuck like a Formula One on a dry track. I have never felt safer in a tight turn at top speed. It’s not the sort of stunt that the general fisho would perform but it shows that the Cyclone is idiot-proof, so when some maniac is behind the wheel of your pride and joy you know they can’t flip it.

LAYOUT

The Cyclone 540 comes with a fully moulded side console which looks like it is built into the top deck mould, the fitting is so good. There are two mid-ship custom-made moulded fibreglass Cyclone seats with a third one in the middle at the front. Storage is found under the console, in two small side pockets, two soft pockets, and under the floor in a rear wet well, a mid-ship fully insulated kill pen/esky, front dry well and anchor well. All underfloor compartments have solid fibreglass hatches with top quality stainless steel fittings and non-skid lids.

90HP EVINRUDE E-TEC

The 90hp Evinrude E-TEC looks almost too small for the boat, with a profile more in keeping with a 60hp outboard. Inside that little cowling beats a big heart and a very hi-tech one at that. The size also translates into weight reduction, with the Evinrude E-TEC stacking up very favourably with comparable horsepower motors. At 141kg it is well under the Mercury 90hp Optimax two-stroke (170kg) and Saltwater Series four-stroke (175kg), the Honda 90hp four-stroke (174kg) and the Yamaha 80hp four-stroke (172kg), but slightly heavier than the Yamaha 90hp AETOX two-stroke at 125.5kg.

The 90hp Evinrude E-TEC has plenty of punch, producing 12km/h (6kts, 7 mph) at 2000rpm, 32km/h (17kts, 20mph) at 3000rpm, 48km/h (26kts, 30mph) at 4000rpm and topped out doing 67km/h (36kts, 42mph) at 5300rpm.

The all new Evinrude E-TEC, which has behind it the engineering expertise and financial security of the renowned Bombardier company, is the absolute cutting edge of marine technology, winning the prestigious 2003 Innovation Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The real standout feature of the E-TEC is that it doesn’t require servicing for three years (yes, three years!) after purchase. It also doesn’t require a break in period. It’s full throttle from day one. Add to that features like first turn start (even the 90hp can be pull started), pistons that are three times stronger than standard, a combustion system that burns the fuel and oil so thoroughly that it easily meets EU2006 and CARB’s 3–star ultra-low emission standards and quietness on a par with four strokes and you can see that the Evinrude E-TEC is going to build a big following in a hurry.

The Cyclone/Evinrude E-TEC is the absolute best of both worlds and will put a smile on the face of many a discerning fisherman who has quality as a priority. For more information contact Mitchell’s Marine in Cairns on (07) 4051 3512

Facts

SPECIFICATIONS

Length - 5.4m

Beam - 2.18m

Draft - 0.3m

Deadrise - 22 degrees

[CAPTIONS]

1) The nose, showing the forward storage hatch and anchor well.

2) The deep self-draining well will hold a stack of rope, while the all stainless steel split cross bollard with lock pin, bow roller and split bowrail make up an excellent anchoring system.

3) The small side console looks as though it is moulded into the top deck.

4) The small rear quarter side pockets will hold a bit of gear up out of the way.

5) The 90hp Evinrude E-TEC looks almost too small for the Cyclone.

6) The soft pockets are great for storing more delicate equipment like GPS’s.

7) The all new Evinrude E-TEC certainly got the Cyclone 540 on the fly.

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