There is no introduction required when you feast your eyes on the Extreme 665 Hardtop, a true fishing machine built to handle a confused swell, rolling waves and at least 20 knots of wind.
New Zealand’s boat manufacturing company Extreme Boats has produced this purpose-built fishing craft in their range and to the eye, the Extreme 665 looks like a seagoing army tank and it’s no different when you step onboard. This boat gives you an incredibly safe feeling, the same sort of feeling that you get when you step on dry land after enduring a 4m swell when chasing tuna. It’s a fantastic introduction to any boat built for serious offshore fishing.
For those looking for a boat that’s reliable, stable and safe, the 665 Hardtop is a great pick and worthy of serious thought. It accommodates everybody from the beginner to the experienced and for those hardcore anglers heading offshore for sharks, marlin and tuna; well it’s got everything for you too.
On the water, the 655 comes into its own, proving stability and performance are key features. The hull design of the Extreme 665 is specifically designed for all sea conditions, although it is at its best when ploughing through waves, busting them apart and keeping every droplet of water out the long, hardtop cabin.
With the 20 degree deadrise and deep V hull the Extreme is well balanced on the water. This excellent stability has a lot to do with the flooding keel that Extreme boats are built with. The large chines keep water spray to a minimum, but apart from the odd wave making it over the top, the cabin will quickly make short work of what spray is left, sending it clear of the deck.
Hop inside the boat and you’ll notice plenty of fishing room with a nice wide beam of 2.4m. Better yet, being designed for ocean fishing, the internal freeboard is about waist height for an average person. This high freeboard is a good feature, especially if you’re playing around in some uncomfortable conditions as the higher freeboard keeps you safe and inside the boat. It also gives anglers some leverage when putting the hurt on big gamefish.
Although the test boat was fitted out with a single motor, the transom can accommodate a twin outboard rig. Access is easy with a slide up/down transom door and storage rack underneath should you need to store it out of the way.
Unlike some other boats, the Extreme 665 Hardtops fuelling point is located outside the transom. This great feature keeps any expelling fuel outside the boat when refuelling.
I guess when you’re out testing a boat like this, the last thing you’d need is for it to be flat calm and resembling a mirror. This wasn’t the case when I got to pump this beast around on Port Phillip. The evening before I checked the weather, and sure enough 20 knots and 1m seas were predicted; everything you’d want for this boat to show itself off.
The Extreme was fitted with a Honda 4 stroke 150hp, and had the 665 on the plane with ease. The Extreme mowed down whatever came at it and, with the very average conditions, felt almost as smooth as silk with next to no jarring or sudden impact between waves. With each wave the Extreme made contact with it divided them in two, spreading excess water to the sides before engulfing the next.
Like most tinnies though, the odd bang was felt and couldn’t be dismissed, but nothing like I have felt in other similar aluminium hulls, it was very comfortable even at 4000rpm doing 23mph.
While attempting to get a top speed reading, we managed 35mph doing 5500rpms. At that point we were heading with the waves but only for a short period.
The Extreme has a maximum rating of 200hp and with something of this calibre on the back you’d be a speck in the distance in no time.
This boat is a definite fishing machine. Everything it has featured has been either strategically placed or purposely moulded to suit an angler.
From the bow, the standard inclusion of a stainless steel sprit was within short grabbing distance of the fitted electric winch. What’s better is the small, all-weather hatch covering the mechanical winch cap.
Access to the bow is easy through the clear Perspex hatch in the cabin or along the side of the hull. This is quite wide and can support quite a large person should you need to get to the bow. Aiding this is the stainless steel bow rail extending almost the entire length of the cabin; a nice inclusion.
The fitted hardtop is where this boat draws most of its attention due to the wrap around windscreen providing excellent visibility and shelter from the elements. The cabin also contains sliding side windows should you require some fresh air or ventilation. There are specific moulded grab handles on each side of the hardtop, which makes you instantly notice that this boat was built to withstand rough conditions. Also moulded to the top of the cabin is a set of 6 rod holders and a tow point for those who want some skiing action in favourable conditions for the non fishing family members.
Although the helm is compact and can accommodate a suitable array of electronics, the overhead hardtop also has provisions for radios, speakers and more. Fitted with a full set of Honda gauges and Navman Fish 4500 sounder there was still ample room for a GPS or larger combo unit in the dash should you choose a different electronics package. This model doesn’t come standard with a sounder package, so it is entirely up to you what you go for to best suit your requirements.
The roomy cockpit has been well thought out providing easy access into the large cabin, which easily sleeps two or three, and fully carpeted might I add. In the cabin there is plenty of storage space in the side pockets and under the bunks.
Both the helm and passenger seats in the cockpit have each been mounted onto raised moulded storage boxes and between these are two self-draining underfloor kill tanks totalling a capacity of 400L.
With wide gunwales, deep side pockets and four standard rod holders, there is more than ample fishing and storage space unless you’re a tackle rat in which case you can make provisions by using the lockers under each seat.
At the transom there is also two drop down doors where both batteries are stored should you need to gain access.
I’m a huge fan of all-weather boats and the 665 Extreme fits the bill perfectly. There is no doubt it is very tough and can deal with all Victorian and Tasmanian sea conditions within reason.
If you’re in for some serious offshore work or you’re just a keen angler and aren’t fussed about fishing in uncomfortable weather conditions, then this boat is worth a serious look.
If it was up to me, I’d be taking a good look into an electronic package, and fitting it out with some custom designed stainless steel snapper racks. This boat is built for a specific purpose so you might as well add the bells and whistles to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Aside from the extras, the 665 Extreme is a well designed boat allowing anglers to fish in a wide variety of sea conditions and still have a comfortable day on the water without all the bashing and banging of a normal tinny.
If you looking for that serious offshore boat or just want to make sure your safe while on the water, the 665 has everything you’ll ever require.
The Extreme 556 Hardtop will sell for around $______ as tested. Contact __________ for more information on this fantastic offshore fishing vessel.
|Dry Hull weight||750kg|
large pressure tested buoyancy chambers
tread plate floor
alloy moulded bump rail
transom storage with hatches
large storage shelves in cockpit
self draining kill tanks and anchor locker
self filling/draining stabilising keel system
alloy rod holders
alloy bow sprit and bow rail
dive platform hand rails
180 litre fuel tank with sender unit - transom mount filling point
400 litre underfloor storage space
2 x navigation lights
single colour non-metallic paint
2 x king/queen seat base with extreme seat covers and underseat storage lockers
wiring loom including 6 way panel switch
bilge pump fitted and wired to panel
bonnet hatch and all other hatches and covers
extreme 'hard top' all weather cabin
rocket launchers on hard top
sliding side windows in hard top
lined cabin with squabs
interior light in hard top
radio speakers mounted in hard top
passenger grab rail
ski pole, compatible for bait board
walk thru transom