Blue Water Alloy Boats – known for their range of terrific plate craft designed principally for fishing – now sells directly to buyers. This means customers can specify the level of appointments in their craft while saving money!
The big 670 centre cab (one of their Ocean series) featured a high standard of finish, lots of features for anglers and was both bone dry and extremely stable while underway. Graham Greer generously loaned the reviewed craft and came along for test runs.
Up front a strong bow sprit and roller made snugging anchor warp into the open locker a piece of cake. Non-skid decks provided secure footing on the cabin sides via the wide non-skid walkaround on the side of the cuddy cabin with its central hatch and two elliptical side windows.
To access the walkaround area you simply step up onto a seat box and ample hand holds from the targa frame’s side and overhead rails make it safe to go forward.
Entry to the cuddy cabin was via a zippered fabric door and inside there is a pair of well-padded and 2m+ Vee berths. I noticed plenty of head and foot room, decent shelving plus room for a marine toilet. Naturally, with such a generous amount of floor depth, there is a lot of storage room below the bunks as well. The craft’s smart design included a lip at cabin entrance to keep any water well away from its interior.
Seating for skipper and forward passenger is on Reelax seats with fore and aft adjustment. Reelax make great seats and the sturdy pair within the big Blue Water, mounted on large boxes, featured slide adjustment. The forward seat boxes can also be set up as fully insulated iceboxes.
A fair amount of forward storage was a feature of this craft and knee height side pockets provided storage for skipper and first mate. There were also side shelves at elbow level. A novel touch was the set of tackle trays on the passenger’s side of the craft, just ahead of the storage compartment. A very large grab handle at dash level was set up for the passenger.
Shelter for forward occupants was provided by a targa top and bimini extension with removable clears above the windscreen for foul weather running. Due to the conditions on the test day we removed the clears to enjoy the breeze in the hair although the windscreen did a very good job of deflecting most of it. The big targa unit was set up with an overhead shelf, a CD/Radio and marine radio being installed well out of the weather.
Another smart move was the bimini extension that could be slid out to provide extra shade if necessary. As a set of rod holders was mounted on the targa a handy zipper allowed access through the bimini to remove or replace a rod as desired.
The large dash included a neat carpet liner, behind the windscreen, that ensured any personal items stayed put. A Furuno FCV 620L sounder and Garmin 172 plotter were installed over towards the skipper, along with a compass. Below were the gauges to monitor the big 225 Suzuki with switches for various functions set a little lower to one side of the soft feel wheel. The wheel was linked to hydraulic steering. I liked the dash set up: it was plain but very effective and I did not have to hunt all over the place to check trim angle or remaining fuel. The side mounted forward controls were all within reach from the Reelax chair. Visibility was very good whether seated or standing.
The big cockpit was designed for fishing. It was a massive self-draining affair with a checker plate floor that could be hosed out at the end of day or washed down with deck wash if the incoming fish made a bit of a mess.
The deck wash was handily set up in the 3m+ starboard side pocket. Wide decks atop the gunwales (which were 750mm high) were equipped with a couple of rod holders each side to compliment the four rod holders aft in the two tier bait station central on the full height transom.
A storage locker to starboard, another central, boarding gate to port (with ladder) plus a central live well were also transom features along with corner cleats and rails leading down to the large swim platforms on each side of the boat. A massive underfloor kill tank opened just ahead of the transom and stretched far forward below the floor. You could fill the tank with an ice slurry or simply leave it filled with water. There were also iceboxes up the front for storing your catch.
Although these craft are rated for up to seven, no aft seat was provided in the test rig as Graham had specifically requested that the entire cockpit be devoted to fishing pursuits. However Scott Berkely from Blue Water Boats told me that a seat is no problem if an owner wants one.
The big 225 Suzuki four-stroke was whisper quiet at idle and remained very quiet while under way. The rig is rated for engines from 150-250hp and was near top power with the 225hp. The craft planed easily at 2,800rpm for 13 knots. 3,000rpm saw 17.1 knots, 4,000rpm a speed of 23.6 knots, 5,000rpm 32.8 knots and a WOT run at 5,800rpm recorded 37.3 knots.
I noticed the Suzuki had a stack of mid-range power and would accelerate hard when the throttle was pushed forward. And for such a large craft it proved very nimble too.
This is one rigid boat thanks to full welds throughout and a construction involving five cross frames on a 5mm bottom and 4mm sides. With a hull weight of around 1100kg, the big plate craft’s 21 deep Vee hull ironed out waves and chop off Bribie Island in fine fashion. High-speed wave impacts did very little to upset the three of us aboard. Waves only registered as a slight bump with spray thrown well off to the sides thanks to a decent amount of bow flare and a big reverse chine on the water line.
The Big Blue 670 is a real pleasure to drive. The craft’s terrific freeboard, top ride and handling would make offshore work a breeze. Having three people on one side did not have any affect on the craft’s stability so a team of anglers could work anywhere in the cockpit, or up front, without hesitation. The features are all there to make fishing of any kind a real pleasure but best of all is the finish. Simply superb: it’s typical Blue Water, like the rest of the craft.
The craft as reviewed, with a tandem trailer, came in at around $85,000.