Eliminator 25 Daytona Review

Issue: March 2005

In the mid 1980s, the Irish rock group U2 penned the song Sunday, Bloody Sunday. But I reckon Bono and the boys got it wrong. It should have been titled Monday, Bloody Monday. You know what I mean; we all have to endure them. Mine, like many others, are normally dreary and mundane, but not this Monday.

Today, the Modern Boating team get to test one of the horniest boats on the water the Eliminator 25 Daytona. As the name Daytona suggests, she’s fast, bloody fast and capable of pulling 70mph plus, from her single 425hp, 490 HO MerCruiser, driving through an upgraded Bravo X outdrive. The Aussie importer of Eliminator Boats, Chris Sutton, said he came across these high performance boats on the US west coast. 

He was blown away by their performance and looks, so, it wasn’t long before he’d done a deal to begin importing them to OZ. And it has been ‘all ahead full’ (pardon the pun) ever since. Out on the water it is also ‘all ahead full’ for the Modern Boating team as we thundered across Sydney Harbour under the power of the big block 425hp V8.

Normally, during these tests, we set the GPS and meticulously log speeds ‘ 20, 30, 40mph etc, ‘ across the rev range, but during this run things were different. Why ? Because the Eliminator 25 had a slow cruise speed of 50mph, but wound out across the harbour at more than 70mph.

Surprisingly, the Eliminator has its own analogue GPS speedo. And a GPS speedo is something we haven’t seen on a boat in Australia before. We cross referenced the team’s handheld GPS with the boat’s speedo and they were in sync, so we sat back and concentrated on the boat’s gauges for all relevant information. For a 25-foot bowrider, the speed-torpm readings were phenomenal: 20mph at 2500rpm; 26mph at 2800rpm; 40mph at 3000rpm; 50mph at 3600rpm; 60mph at 4000rpm; and 70mph at 5000rpm. So, why is this boat’s performance so good ?

The Eliminator’s air-entrapment hull enters its ‘comfort zone’ at speeds above 50mph and this aids her overall performance. It is also at these higher speeds that the twin-hulled rig lifts, feels light to drive and scoots across the top of the waves. At anything less than 50mph the hull sits a bit too low, displacing more water, slowing speed and dampening handling. The Eliminator’s stepped-tunnel hull is extremely strong, balsa cored, hand laid and features full-length stringers. Every Eliminator Boat is an original. This one has an open walkway between the bow and aft seating. 

The finish and layout also separates this craft from many other ‘fast’ boats on the market. The layout consists of an aft lounge, the helm and passenger seats and a walkway leading to a bow cockpit seating. There are plenty of drink holders and a bimini for sun protection when at rest. The helm and passengers seats have round racing-style windscreens that force the slipstream up and over the heads of the driver and observer.

However, move aft and you’ll cop the full force of the wind as it is funnelled from the bow down the walkway straight onto your face, fun. The vinyl seats are heavily padded with storage underneath and have strategically positioned grab rails for passenger security. 

There’s also a locker in the cockpit floor to store skis or other long items. The engine room is huge and the hatch/sunpad lifts on hydraulic rams. Here you’ll find twin batteries, engine room lighting and twin upholstered fuel tanks. The helm station is impressive with exaggerated analogue gauges, but the Maxi Bluewater trim gauge is a great bonus. It clearly and accurately displays the leg-trim position when underway.

The low set non-adjustable bucket seats offer good protection from the wind and hold the occupant in position even during tight turns; however, short blokes like me yearn for a bit more seat height to improve visibility. But Eliminators are custom boats, so I am sure the seat could be adjusted to suit the owner. 

Driving this craft is great fun, because she responds quickly to both helm and throttle. But you can never forget that this is a tunnel boat, because turns are a little wider than similar mono-hull boats and slightly inverted. However, once familiar with the hull’s characteristics it would be possible to flick the hull around in tighter turns, but that might mess up the hair on the multitude of bikini clad female passengers that will no doubt be ensconced in the bucket seats. So, let’s cut to the chase, this is no ordinary bowrider. 

The base model with 250hp MerCruiser costs around $99,840, while the fully optioned test boat runs out at around $155,150. If you are keen on plenty of head turning speed, but still want all the comforts of a family bowrider, the Eliminator will suit you down to the ground and probably eliminate most of the competition along the way. 

Words by Andrew Richardson