BOW RIDERS are aimed squarely at the family boatie who is equally at home spending a day on the water with his partner and the scone-grabbers as he is wetting a line with his mates. The Bermuda 560 Seascape certainly suits this growing band of anglers who want to cover more options with their leisure craft.
The test boat, supplied by Boat Scene in Cairns, came with a couple of options which makes time on the water that bit more relaxing. The optional fold down boarding ladder makes it a breeze for boarding over the stern, from the bank or after a cool dip. The fold down/lift out rear lounge is another great option, as it allows passengers to shift from the bow to a more comfortable ride at the stern in rough conditions, while allowing it to be removed when on serious fishing trips.
The storm cover for the bow lounge is another great idea, as it keeps dust out when in storage and offers more protection from the elements when at sea. A hinged door gives access to the bow and seals it off, along with the cover, when not in use. Access to the forward lounge is excellent, with a good width walk-through created by opening the door and folding back the centre section of the screen. The perspex screen has support struts either side of the opening and a grab rail around the inside for added strength and passenger security.
There is a huge amount of storage available under the three cushions in the front lounge, with the padded top and backrest offering good passenger comfort.
This set up makes it a safe and simple operation to work the anchor from the safety of the lounge. The large self-draining anchor well will hold plenty of ground tackle and the low-profile bow rail feeds the rope straight onto the bow roller on the end of a small bowsprit. An oversize cross bollard, on the rear side of the anchor well, is within easy reach for tying off the anchor rope.
The twin consoles have a mass of storage area underneath, which is made even bigger by a substantial step down just in front of the twin pivoting bucket seats. The consoles have moulded fibreglass tops, with the passenger side containing a lockable glove box. The helm dash holds instrumentation such as fuel gauge, speedo, tacho and trim meter, along with a four-switch panel to operate the other electrics such as nav lights, riding light and bilge pump.
Other fittings on the test boat included oversized rear quarter cross bollards, two through-gunwale rod holders in trolling position, clip-in riding light, side pockets and full width under transom tray, which is up off the floor to store the battery and oil reserve.
Uncomfortable conditions created by a northeasterly blowing straight up Trinity Inlet were handled easily by the Seascape, which offered a surprisingly soft ride when running into the waves. The ride was made more comfortable by having so much weight at the stern and the Seascape rode through the rough stuff on its tail. The Bermuda was dry at all angles to the swell, and while the waves weren't huge they gave a good indication the Seascape would stay pretty dry.
The Seascape manoeuvred beautifully, with a turning circle more in keeping with 12ft tinny than a 5.6m boat. It hung on like a kid to mum's skirt when throwing a tantrum in the supermarket but behaved like a dream child.
The 90hp Mariner two-stroke had more than enough power and got the bowrider out of the hole almost too quickly. All on board agreed it needed a 18”-pitch prop rather than the 16” fitted at the time of testing, as it tended to rev out too much. Just the same, it had plenty of top end speed, which would be even higher with the right prop.
With three up, the Mariner produced 31km/h (19mph, 17kt) at 3500rpm, 38km/h (24 ph, 21kt) at 4000rpm, 43km/h (27mph, 23kt) at 4500rpm, 49km/h (30mph, 26kt) at 5000rpm and 62km/h (39mph, 33kt) at 5800rpm. If a 115hp motor (which is the maximum rated horsepower for this hull) was fitted, the Seascape would hardly touch the water.
The extra-beamy Bermuda 560 Seascape has a stack of room to hold the whole family and all their gear, has the versatility to cover a wide range of boating options and will find plenty of customers in the budget conscious family boating market.
For more details contact Boat Scene (Cairns) on (07) 4051 4922
Length - 5.60m
Beam - 2.4m
Depth - 1.30m
Boat on trailer – approx. length 6.85m and approx. height 2.15m
Weight (boat only) - 585kg
Transom height - long shaft
Bottom sides - 4mm
Top side - 2mm
Max. hp – 115
Max. transom weight - 195kg
No. of people - 6
1) The 90hp Mariner two-stroke produced plenty of top-end speed.
2) The Seascape behaved like a dream child.
3) The storm cover protects the front lounge from the elements when it’s not in use.
4) The console layout, showing the door which accesses the bow lounge and massive storage area under the consoles.
5) The bow with storm cover off, screen folded back and door open.
6) A close-up of the moulded fibreglass dash.
7) The rear lounge folds down or can be easily removed.Reads: 1348