The pelagic 680HT is truly a magnificent fishing machine.
Towering high on the trailer the 6.8m beast looks absolutely huge and is no different when on the water.
This is the big daddy of the Pelagic range and the big brother to that of the previously reviewed 5.80; this boat is one that has to be seen to be believed.
After heading out of the Paterson River on test day, Port Phillip was in prime condition. An easy 20knot north-westerly was belting waves right into the entrance, proving to be the ideal conditions to be taking this boat out for a test.
Getting up on the plane was no problem with the 250 Suzuki doing what it does best, laying down the power. The first 2m wave hit the bow, and before the water washed off the windscreen we were well and truly through the thick of it up on the plane and powering over the tops of all of the waves.
The extended pod on which the 250 4-stroke Suzuki sat could accommodate twin engines should you wanted a different power option. For constant offshore work though the safety, economy and reliability of twin engines is a traditional option, although with modern 4-stroke engine reliability this may not be an issue.
Access into the deck is via the rear door. The test boat was fully fitted with a nice array of snapper racks. This design of stainless snapper racks also included a flip up section where the transom door is, a clever design indeed.
Inside the boat and there is space aplenty. Easily accommodating six anglers, this boat has more than enough room. The beam is 2.5m, which is perfect for this sized craft.
The transom was set out very well; everything was strategically placed so that when gaining access to any of the features nothing could get in the way.
Fitted in the transom was a single door providing access to the batteries and oil container. Neatly next to that was a very nice fully plumbed live bait tank complete with clear front window.
The deck is self-draining thanks to two scuppers under the transom.
The wide gunwales are ideal for those wanting a boat for offshore work. The side pockets are also unique, with Pelagic’s shelf design. This splits the side pockets into a middle shelf for extra storage of items such as gaffs, rope, tackle boxes and whatever else you could think of.
This boat can easily accommodate six anglers to enjoy some hot saltwater fishing action.
The cabin again is much like the deck, simple, organised and roomy. Both the helm and passengers seats are fully upholstered relax-chairs complete with arm rests. Under each seat are more storage areas along with rear cushions for those extra anglers you may have onboard.
Under each rear seat is more storage or as an optional extra you could have them fully plumbed for live bait tanks. Personally, they are ideal for bait storage.
The solidly welded rocket launcher on the hard top could accommodate a fairly extensive arsenal consisting of eight outfits.
Under the hardtop, everything is within easy reach so you don’t have to climb over chairs or other protrusions.
The helm is very spacious with only gauges, switch panels and the stress free switch mounted on the dash. This prevents overcrowding, allowing the electronics package to be mounted to the top of the dash while any UHF, VHF, DVD or CD players can be mounted overhead, again freeing up the dash and keeping it simple.
For the passenger, a very spacious dash complete with twin stainless steel cup holders built in. Also the glove box and grab rail were in good position.
For the driver, the helm part windscreen allowed excellent all round vision and for those playing in rougher than normal conditions, the windscreen wipers displaced any build up of water by brushing it aside.
Although these are mounted only on the port and starboard front windows they are ideal for clear vision.
The cabin is the simplest of designs; a fully upholstered cushion took up the entire sleeping area. Although the cabin is very plain, there were two portholes to look through.
This boat is designed for fishing, which is I guess why the cabin is plain.
Access the bow is either through the front hatch in the cabin or around the side of the hard top. For safety measures, there is a neat grab rail on the top of the hard top to hang onto along with a stainless steel grab rail running the length of the cabin to the bow on either side.
The test boat was fitted with a Stress-Free anchor winch, so there is no real need to regularly visit the bow unless you’re hooked up to a beauty that keeps heading forward.
For this type of boat, the test conditions of 1-2m waves and a stiff breeze were ideal. After belting out through the entrance, very little water came into the boat, rather it brushed right over the top keeping me cosy and dry in the cabin.
The power from the Suzuki 250 4-stroke was more than ample. At 2000rpm we were on the plane at 15mph, up to 6000rpm and 35mph. To get these speeds, we were running along with the waves, as running into or with them would only reduce speed. For those heading out into any chop of this size, the need for speed isn’t warranted, rather power in short bursts to punch over waves is more important.
For what was delivered however from the Suzuki was more than enough. As I said earlier, this boat can have fitted twin engines.
Pelagic boats have done it again with another purpose built offshore fishing boat. This boat is a good all rounder for the saltwater angler allowing snapper fishing in Port Phillip and Western Port in almost any weather conditions as well as some serious offshore work for all sorts of game species.
This boat has the ability to do anything you want, even if it is a day out on the calamari.
Price as tested: POA, The test boat was privately owned and had extra fittings installed.
For more information on Pelagic Boats or if you want to take the 6.80HT for a test drive and see for yourself, contact Lyndpark Boating Centre on 8768 7990.
|Engine:||250hp (can be set up for twins)|
6.8m full hardtop
Sealed rear battery
Under-floor long-range fuel tank
In-floor kill tank
Dual side shelves
Extended rear duckboards
Sealed self draining deck