Cruise Craft Resort 6m Review

Wide open water with a bad habit of cutting up rough is the kind of water the Cruise Craft Resort 6m takes in its stride.

It’s an ability that is no doubt helped by the bloodline it shares with its offshore-running stable mates the Cruise Craft Outsider and Explorer hulls. So the Resort 6m bowrider isn’t fazed by the 25klm open-water crossing of northern Moreton Bay that’s required to reach those pieces of heaven we call Moreton Island’s western beach.

Not only can the Cruise Craft Resort 6m make this crossing safely, but she does so without pounding the livingbejesus out of her occupants and instills in the crew the confidence that the trip home against the sea will be just as comfortable. The run back to the ramp from any of the similar boating heavens that are dotted along the coast between Cairns and Port Philip Bay ‘ where an average 20-knot afternoon sea breeze makes open water boat rides a misery are no different. They are all lovely places for bowrider style boating, but few boats of this type are capable of giving that ‘no worries’ peace of mind ride like the Resort does.

The Cruise Craft Resort 6m is a hybrid of Cruise Craft’s earlier Resort 600. Many of the changes that have been made to the boat are purely in details, such as the new sporty carbon fibre instrument panel and a new windscreen frame with a rounded top section that doubles as a grab bar. However, others are more significant. For example there’s a new wrap around aft lounge, which integrates well with an optional table unit, plus there are 55lt storage bins under each seat. But when you lift the centre section of the lounge seat to stow the table away, there’s an even more profound change to be found.

The boat the Modern Boating team tested was an outboard powered Resort 6m. When we opened this centre section we discovered a huge empty space, about the right size for a sterndrive motor. I wonder if there is a sterndrive version in the wind’ If there was one on the way it would bring the Resort 6m into direct competition with many imported 6m bowriders. And why not, this all-Aussie effort from one of our proudest family-run boat builders can stand next to any of them and still be proud. From the waist down the Resort 6m hull shows its true bloodline. She looks exactly like the Explorer 600 hull with a distinct plank along the keel line, a 20-degree deadrise at the transom and large turned-down chines.

One of two running strakes at the forefoot fades three quarters of the way down the hull leaving its neighbour to continue all the way aft. But from the waist up the Resort 600 is all bowrider, or at least a bigger and better version of this increasingly popular layout. The beauty of being 6m long is that she can carry six or more people in comfort and style. The bow lounge area is as spacious as only a 6m hull can allow it to be, with high upholstered backrests and a pair of well positioned grab handles. The area beneath the bow seating is used for storage, while a neat bow tonneau closes the bowrider cockpit off when it’s not required.

The bow tonneau comes as standard equipment on the Resort 6m. There’s an anchor locker set into the tiny foredeck that has a flush fitted hatch, which keeps the ground tackle under control. The bow mooring bollard is also hidden away inside this locker. It’s completely functional, but remains completely out of sight. Set into each side of the walk-through windscreen bulkhead are watertight hatches that seal storage compartments under the dash area. A hatch beneath the glove box in front of the passenger seat lifts to reveal a small insulated ice box/drink cooler.

Above this is the (lockable) glove box proper. The team liked the new reinforced windscreen frame, which serves the dual purposes as frame and grab bar. Our time with the Resort 6m occurred during a steamy subtropical summer morning, which encouraged us to remove the bow tonneau and enjoy the airflow beneath the screen. We deduced that with the centre of the screen closed and the bow tonneau clipped in place, the deeply upholstered bucket seats behind the screen would enjoy excellent shelter in those cooler climates down south.

A Clarion marine CD/radio sound system, tucked safely underneath a spray-proof cover behind the steering wheel, was another option fitted to our test boat. A tilt adjustable and very ‘racing car’ brushed metal, leather and carbon fibre steering wheel comes as standard. Yamaha digital instrumentation also looked the part integrated into a carbon fibre dash panel. A switch panel controlling bilge pumps and the likes, resides beside the driver’s knee. Only the driver’s seat adjusts fore and aft to enable the driver to adopt a comfortable position behind the racy steering wheel.

Between these seats was a usefule underfloor ski locker. We’ve already looked at the aft lounge, but neglected to mention another worthwhile development in this area ‘ the transom door. This opens towards a folding ladder that’s stowed in a recess on the port swim platform. It’s kept out of the way until it’s folded down to allow easy exit and entry over the stern. Beaches, swimming and skiing are obviously on the agenda for the Cruise Craft Resort 6m. The aft cockpit table is another option that stows out of the way on this outboard powered boat. It was an option we’d find hard to do without.

Other options fitted to the test boat were a ski pole and a bimini top, which we removed for the photo shoot and missed greatly once the day got tropical. Not much has been left to option on this boat. We like the way Cruise Craft build boats and it’s easy to take for granted details like the pop-up stern cleats, the armoured glass windscreen, the quality of the upholstery and the flawless finish of the hull’s gel coat. Our test boat was powered by a 200hp Yamaha HPDI two-stroke brandishing impressively loud V-Max logos. The team thought these added to the racy looks of the bright orange hull and we heard that all future Yamaha HPDI two-strokes will wear these decals.

At the time of our test, Cruise Craft were of two minds about whether the Resort 6m performed better spinning a 17′, or an 19′, Yamaha stainless prop. We ran a full set of figures with three adults onboard and recorded a top speed of 42.2 knots at 5700rpm with the 17′ prop. Later we ran the boat again, but this time with the 19′ prop and only two adults onboard. This time we hit a top speed of 46.2 knots, also at 5700rpm. We won’t bore readers with two sets of quite parallel figures except to note that without resorting to stop watches there was little discernable difference in acceleration with either propeller.

About the only difference between the two we found of interest was that at a 3500rpm cruise the 17′ prop produced 23.7 knots, while the 19′ version hit 26.1. Power delivery from the low emission two-stroke was effortless right across the rev range and the big bowrider certainly went just like it looked… fast! At the time of writing final pricing figures were still to be decided.

Words and Photos by Warren Steptoe