Issue: April 2003
During the car ferry ride over to Berowra Waters Marina the ferryman was singing that old classic I'm Free … I'm Free, to do what I want, to do …, which is how you'd feel cruising towards the Heads in a New trophy 2052 Walkaround all keyed up for a solid day on the lines.
The Trophy is the kind of craft that will satisfy many nooks and crannies in the local market. But the boat's immediate appeal will be to the well-heeled fishermen and the gentleman (or gentle-woman) who just love messing around in boats.
This classic small offshore cruiser with features such as wide 20cm bulwarks, high topsides and economical diesel power, make this 6.5m package a pleasure to be aboard. There are other fishing boats on the market, such as the Arvor 20, that have taken a similar approach, but the Trophy's American design influences have created an open boat well suited to the typical Aussie fishing day.
From the moment we climbed aboard the Trophy we experienced a feeling of stability and sea kindliness. No matter where you walked around this boat she was rock solid. We cranked over the engine and the tune played by the small block high-revving diesel spelt economical and dependable power.
In fact, the 116hp MerCruiser diesel, spinning a 19 prop through a Bravo I leg, had more than enough power to push this 1588kg rig to a comfortable 27.5 knots at 4150rpm. On the day of the test the conditions on Berowra Creek were still and the water was glassy. I would've loved to have had the chance to take the Trophy out to sea, but time and distance were not on our side even though this beauty can travel at 20 knots plus. So, a search for some wayward wakes proved helpful in confirming my hunch that the Trophy 2052 Walkabout would cut through the chop with confidence. But not only did it cut through other boat's wakes cleanly, it threw all spray down and away from the boat.
The high-revving diesel buzzed a bit when flat out, but knocking 200rpm off WOT produced a comfortable cruising speed. I found that 21 knots at 3500rpm was a good economical speed at which to travel that also allowed the boat to respond well to leg and trim tab adjustments. The Trophy had the feel of a genuinely good sea boat with solid fittings, relatively high topsides and no loose gear that would end up all scattered about the cockpit floor after dropping off a steep wave.
A 10-year transferable structural hull warranty is a good indicator of how tough the hulls are. The stringers and other components are built into the hull while it's still in the mould. The wiring is coded and all cleats are given solid backing plates. There is also a Vinylester resin barrier coat applied to the underside Gelcoat to prevent osmosis and blistering.
PVC chases are fitted to support the wiring and hoses, which allow more accessories to be fitted at a later date. There were many quality fittings onboard including stainless steel and rubber boots for the steering cables, stainless skin fittings, stainless grab handles and bowrail and strong rubber and stainless latches for all hatches.
The interior layout of the Trophy is practical with removable bench seats aft on either side and two high bucket seats for the driver and navigator. Access to the centre cabin is provided between these seats. Moving forward to the bow is easy, because of the security provided by the wide, deep bulwarks and the solid stainless steel bowrail, which extends from the bow down to behind the helm seats.
There is also a seat at the bow located in front of the forward cabin hatch, which is a cool place for a passenger to sit when underway on a hot day. The aerial can also be clipped out of the way when it's not needed, while all the rod holders have rubber caps to seal them off when they are not being used.
The boat has a small Spartan cabin forward with a table, portable head and surround seating that converts to a vee-berth. The simple upholstery and laminates may not look as good as some, but should handle the test of time better than other more luxurious cabins.
This area is the least impressive part of the boat, but when the weather turns, it still provides a comfortable haven where you could sip tea from a thermos flask. Perhaps a small food preparation area, or sink in the aft cockpit would come in handy, but where do you stop? All of these added features increase production costs and obviously will encroach on inboard space.
Standard features at the helm include fuel, speed, temp and oil gauges, plus a compass and 12V outlet. There is also a vacant panel above the main instrument display where a GPS/Chartplotter and good sounder can be fitted. These two items are an added expense, but for today's fishos they are almost a standard requirement.
The helm area is comfortable with good visibility, while standing behind the windscreen at speed is also easy because of the solid grab rails. There's plenty of storage throughout this vessel with two excellent self-draining, live bait/ fish wells located underfloor to port and starboard. Either could also be used as an icebox if required.
However, to run one as a live bait tank would require the fitting of some form of water circulation system to aerate the water and keep the bait alive. Although the basic hull is well set-up, Trophy do offer a Pro Package that incudes coaming pads, cooler seat, cruise curtains, saltwater deck wash, toilet, shore power cable, trim tabs, VHF radio and windscreen wiper.
All these features were included on the test craft and they really did add to the practicality of this boat. And to be brutally honest, the team agreed that the boat needs these extra's to keeps its edge over the other offerings that are now available on the Aussie market.
Overall the Trophy 2052 Walkabout is an impressive, well-built, economical package aimed primarily towards fisherman. It's solid build and well thought out features combined with the innovative diesel engine ensure the craft will endure the test of sea and time.
At $75,990 on a trailer, and including all the extras of the premium pack, she's also pretty good value for a solid American seagoing vessel. If you want to save a few bucks in the short term the new, more powerful, 220hp 4.3lt petrol MPI MerCruiser package will set you back $71,990.
MerCruiser's diesel engine is a lightweight, high-revving, 1.7lt 116hp engine driving through an Alpha I sterndrive spinning a 19 prop. And surprisingly, for a small diesel engine, it was very, very quiet.
Story by Andrew Richardson