Issue: March 2006
A Cruising Fishaholic. Here’s a plate-aluminium boat that gives its fibreglass sisters a run for their money.
In all my years of boat testing, this is the first vessel I’ve seen capable of carrying the number of rods I normally take on fishing expeditions. Without using any of the in-deck rod holders, the Fisher 670 can carry 14 rods! It’s an ideal boat for any keen sport fisho.
Every Fisher boat is custom-built for its new owner, but this one could have been built for me. And not just because of its rod carrying capacity. The attention to detail used in its design and construction is first rate.
Take the transom-workstation, it’s a fishing work of art and features separate insulated-bait wells, a Teflon cutting board and four rod holders. There’s even lighting for night fishing.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Of course, the workstation is the type of fitting you pay for when commissioning a custom-built boat, but few aluminium boat builders achieve the standard of workmanship evident here.
Some bog here and there and a flash paint job can make anything fabricated from aluminium look good. But when the welds are all left ‘au natural’, the way Fishers Boats are, they have to be perfect or they can look terrible.
Let’s not get into how boats should be measured, but this 6.7m (hence the 670 model number) boat actually measures 7.4m overall. Fisher calls it a “walk-around cuddy with extended hardtop”. What isn’t evident is that the cabin uses all of the hull’s beam as bunk space, with a wide walkway down each side of the cabin above that.
Below the waterline is something else that makes Fisher Boats stand out in the plate-aluminium crowd. This hull runs a steep 23-degree deadrise at the transom and a finer bow entry than can ordinarily be achieved in aluminium. Normally, a steep deadrise causes a boat to topple from one chine to the other at rest, but Fisher Boats are more stable on the water than many of its peers.
This is achieved with a water-ballast system comprising two large tubes set low in the hull. They’re open at the back, so they flood quickly when the boat comes to rest and drain immediately as it moves forward.
Each holds 250lt (approximately 250kg) of water. And this much weight low in the boat makes all the difference to the hull’s static stability.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
Out on the Pumicestone Passage where we tested the Fisher 670, the boat sliced through the mild chop effortlessly, but the characteristic sound of water slapping against an aluminium hull did make itself heard.
I asked Fisher Boat’s Col Svensson if he had ever built a boat with foam-filled buoyancy chambers and carpet inside the bow and he replied (funnily enough) that the next boat would be their first.
With 280hp (twin 140hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards) out the back (the hull’s maximum rated power is 300hp with a twin installations) the considerable weight of this big plate hull (it weighs-in at 750kg) goes unnoticed. It leaps onto the plane with the minimum fuss, hitting 37 knots at 6000rpm.
More to the point for fishos, using only one motor, the GPS showed an in-gear idle speed of 2.3 knots. Cruising speeds of 15-20 knots are attained under 3000rpm, while cruising at 3500rpm she hit 20.4 knots. At 4000rpm the Fisher was running at 23.9 knots and 30.8 at 5000rpm. Minimum planing speed was a mere 7 knots at 1600rpm.
This big, deep-vee mono hull turns like a rocket sled on rails, with no tail slip or propeller cavitation. The hull slices through swells cleanly and throws water and spray down and well away from the cockpit for a soft, dry ride.
A 350lt-fuel tank is contained in a safety capsule under the floor, so even with the 280hp strapped onto the transom, Aquaholic still has a substantial range.
Starting at the transom, there’s a 100lt freshwater tank and a handheld shower, so several days onboard can be enjoyed in comfort. Below the fully self-draining deck is an enormous fish pit, which again has been fully-insulated to keep the catch fresh. Behind this is a lounge across the aft bulkhead that folds flat when not in use.
Along the cockpit sides are roomy side pockets. I habitually whinge about side pockets, but these are underneath the top deck overhang, so they don’t get in the way when fishing.
Aquaholic’s extra-high gunwales are at just the right height to brace against when playing a big fish, which is another feature that’ll please keen fishos. There’s also a live-well set in to the port side of the transom. Step out onto the extended transom, which is basically a mini aft deck, and you find a hatch accessing the fuel filters and transducers for the Navman fuel metering system.
At the helm station are a pair of Raeline seats that are more like armchairs than boat seats. They’re mounted on top of storage lockers and have upholstered tops, along with reversible backrests that convert them into aft facing seats.
The lockers are also insulated iceboxes. The extended hardtop and clears keep the elements off the helm/passenger area and provide good shelter from the sun.
Aquaholic is also a boat with everything conceivable electronic aid. There’s a fish finder, GPS, radar, electronic engine and fuel monitoring, plus radio communications and a top quality entertainment system.
Inside the cabin the bunk is quite large, more than big enough for a pair of burly fishos to overnight in comfortably. Beneath the bunk is a portable toilet.
A pair of large hatches in the front of the cabin and fixed windows in the cabin walls let in plenty of natural light and allow plenty of flow-through ventilation in the cuddy cabin.
Aquaholic is the consummate fishing platform, with a finish that defies the efforts made by most aluminium boat builders to compete with the finish attained by building with fibreglass.
Basic Fisher 670 boat, motor and trailer packages start at $70,000, but as tested, Aquaholic cost around $95,000.
Fisher boats are built on Bribie Island near the shores of Moreton Bay in Queensland. Each boat is custom-built by fishermen for fishermen.
For years the boats have been sold by word of mouth alone and even today, Col Svensson and his team have no need for a large showroom.
Years of boat building experience combined with a lifetime of fishing experience has led to the superior designs of these individual aluminium plate boats.
These boats deliver top rough water handling, good overall safety, excellent stability at rest and an outstanding finish for plate-aluminium vessels.
Fisher Boats range in size from 4m tiller steered dinghies through to its latest 7.3m Maxi Series model and custom fitouts are a Fisher specialty.
Twin smooth and quiet 140hp four-stroke outboards power the Fisher 670 Maxi.
With two adults onboard and spinning a 21in Suzuki stainless steel prop, the Fisher 670 Maxi Series returned the following performance figures.
KNOTS – RPM
2.3 – 750
7 – 1600
16.4 – 3000
20.4 – 3500
23.9 – 4000
30.8 – 5000
37 – 6000
HULL LENGTH: 6.7m
DEADRISE: 23 degrees
HULL WEIGHT: 750kg
HP RATING: 200-300hp
BASE PRICE: $70,000
WORDS : WARREN STEPTOE
+ Overall finish; Great stability at rest
– Nothing to report