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Brace yourself for the Cyclone
  |  First Published: August 2004



THE CYCLONE Boat Co. is back producing top quality sportfishing boats. Designer Ross Wilson stopped production to focus on developing 43-foot offshore racing machines for the US market about 12 months ago. After selling the moulds for his 540 and 680 fishing boats, Ross and his growing band of exceptional boat builders are now back in production.

In a win-win deal with their new owner, the Cyclone Boat Co. sold the fishing boat business to the same US company which commissioned the offshore racing boats. Ross and his team have now started production of an even better quality range of family fishing boats, which now includes a 680 side console. All the new technology and latest techniques learned in the production of the offshore rigs are evident in these sleek new fishing boats.

SUPERIOR WORKMANSHIP

A Cyclone fishing boat is no ordinary rig, with the best workmanship and finish you’ll find on the market. This has been brought to a higher level with the standard of manufacture necessary to meet US offshore racing market demands. New hull tinting and striping techniques are the first things to catch your eye, with variable colour tones and inlaid striping rather than the industry standard stick-on striping. Little extras like all stainless steel fittings, which are attached using polished Allen key button head threads, and a tilt steering wheel, like those found in cars, separates Cyclone boats from the pack.

The fully hand-laid hulls are built from the best materials, using vinylester resin laminates and high density Klegecell foam in the floors, stringers and transom, with no timber or ply to be found anywhere in the boat.

LAYOUT

The 680 side console used in the water test was custom designed and fitted for a wheelie who just loves his fishing. Rocky, who will be the proud owner of this rig by the time you read this article, lives at Injinoo near the Torres Straits and wanted a fishing boat that would get him safely and quickly around those treacherous waters. He couldn’t go past the exceptional ride and handling offered by a Cyclone.

The side console layout offers an incredible amount of open floor space and it makes for a really open, roomy boat to fish from. Four bucket seats and two slide out rear quarter seats, with padded back rests and storage boxes underneath, offer comfortable seating for six, which is unusual in a boat of this size.

Cyclone boat seats are fully moulded, one piece, solid fibreglass, which is fully upholstered in top quality materials with the Cyclone logo built in. Ross, of course, made the seat mould in the factory and the seats are laid up by hand. Not happy with the production through-the-floor seat mounts available on the market, Ross also has a locally-made, extra-large stainless steel base plate for each seat.

The helm seat is a work of art. It has a cut-away bucket on the access side so Rocky can easily transfer from his wheelchair, then a forward and back slide adjustment to get him perfectly comfortable before he tilts the steering wheel to suit. Any knickknacks can be stored for easy access in the elastic top storage pouch on the back of the seat, with bigger items stored in the box underneath the seat. This gives the driver access to a heap of gear without having to leave the helm.

Access over the stern, on the trailer and the water is a breeze via the two-step, twin rear quarter boarding platforms, fitted with non-skid rubber matting and grab rails. The same non-skid surface is found on all underfloor hatches and the anchor hatch and bowsprit to protect high-use areas from damage, as well as to offer excellent grip. A Bermuda Essentials baitboard with rod holders is fitted, but Cyclone also make their own higher profile baitboard, which doubles as a ski pole for anglers who want a multi-function boat. There are four through-gunwale rod holders, with splash caps, positioned in the four corners of the Cyclone.

There are three underfloor hatches/wet wells offering a massive amount of storage, as well as two small side pockets and a massive storage area under the raked back side console. A two-tray slide-out tacklebox is recessed into the front of the console. The console has a very sporty moulded perspex screen, which looks flash but is also very functional, shooting the air up over the driver’s head while providing clear vision over the top of the screen. The dash holds standard Mercury instrumentation, with a stack of room for electronics.

The upholstery in the test boat was of exceptional quality. It’s all custom colour and pattern matched, with inlays also available. Ross’ own ski boat has the best inlaid upholstery I have ever seen in a boat. Even the tilt steering is colour matched with the hull trim.

The large self-draining anchor well is an excellent design, with a divider that runs two thirds of the way to the front of the well. This means the owner has the option of using two totally separate anchor systems for sand and reef, or using the same rope with two anchors. The split cross bollard, with lock pin, is positioned in front of the well, with a bow roller so the anchor can be carried on the bowsprit in reasonable conditions.

AWESOME PERFORMANCE

As the 680 side console has its pedigree based on the world’s fastest racing ski boats, it’s no surprise that its performance and handling are off the scale of a normal fishing boat. The test boat was fitted with a 200hp Saltwater Series Mercury two-stroke. By Ross' standards it was a bit slow, but for this crusty fisherman it felt like it was going to peel the sunscreen off my face.

Ross fitted the Mercury with a 19-inch Vengance prop, which will allow Rocky to carry heavy loads around the Straits with ease. Six big Islanders is one hell of a payload. For more standard loads Ross would prefer a 21-inch prop for higher top-end speed, but with the test boat doing 82km/h (51mph, 44kts), who needs more speed?

The 200 Mercury got the Cyclone absolutely flying, doing 38km/h (24mph, 21kts) at 3000rpm, 57km/h (35mph, 31kts) at 4000rpm, 72km/h (45mph, 39kts) at 5000rpm, and as previously mentioned, topped out doing an unbelievable 82km/h (51mph, 44kts). That’s what I call going fishing in a hurry!

The Cyclone 680 side console is another example of performance sportfishing excellence which leaves its competition wondering what happened.

For further information on the Cyclone range of quality sportfishing and family boats contact The Cyclone Boat Co. on (07) 4056 5761.

Facts

SPECIFICATIONS

Make/model - Cyclone 680 Side Console

Length - 6.85m

Beam - 2.19m

Fuel - 170 Litres

Max hp - 250

[CAPTIONS]

1) The Cyclone 680 side console flies as good as it looks. With a 200hp Mercury on the back, it will get you to the islands or reef in a big hurry, in absolute comfort.

2) The side console layout leaves a stack of usable floor area, while allowing Rocky to get around easily in his wheelchair.

3) The helm is as comfortable as it gets. The custom made cut-away bucket seat allows easy access and the tilt steering wheel and forward and back seat adjustment makes for a perfect fit. The padded grab rail makes it easy to slide the seat back and forwards.

4) The fully moulded side console, with wrap around perspex screen, not only looks great but is also super functional.

5) The Bermuda Essentials storage box slides out to double as a rear quarter seat. Note the padded back rest and grab rail.

6) The self draining anchor well is huge and has a divider to create two separate wells.

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