DNA 570 XHT Alloy 1 DNA’s 570 XHT is the first of a new model hardtop that brings together all the requirements for its owner. The 570 XHT was a design and build for a local client who want ed to upgrade from his DNA 5.7m cuddy cabin, into an overnighter that would be suitable for his family. This meant a reasonable size cabin with an infill to transform the two singles into one extra large berth and adequate seating. There are in fact two infills, that transform all the area forward of the seat bases into one massive 2m plus length berth. Perfect for the owner and his wife and two small children. There is plenty of storage under the berths and in wide side trays. The option of a portable head under the forward squab is also available. As the boat was still a ‘ work in progress’ the interior was yet to be fully lined, including insulation behind the fabric. This also applied to the yet to be fitted Maxwell RC6 auto winch. Without a winch, you can stand in the forward hatch to do your anchoring, although I would certainly have an auto winch if it were my boat.
DNA use a two piece toughened glass screen, which offers excellent visibility, especially with a pair of wipers or a coating of Rain-X. Combined with sweeping curved panels and smart tapering folds it helps create very pleasing aesthetics to the boat. The three-sided hardtop wraps around just behind the two forward seats and then with soft clip-on extensions and drop curtains you get all the protection of an enclosed hardtop that closes in all the seating space. I liked the way the short hardtop comes at about the same distance as the back seats, so when your fishing a bit aggressively you are not going to catch your rods on anything overhead. The driving position can be altered with the sliding bucket seat, mounted on an alloy seat base. The helm seat base is all storage, with the passenger base designed to slip in a chilly bin.
With two small rear seats, the 570XHT provides built-in seating for four. Storage trays either side look after the keys and cellphones, with side trays running the full length of the cockpit for the rods. There was no underfloor storage in Carpe Diem, but there is space forward of the fuel tank if required.
The cockpit will comfortably fish four and there are rod holders provided overhead, on the side coamings and around the bait board – 14 in all. A solid alloy frame in the centre of the transom serves both as the mount to tow water toys, wakeboarders and skiers as well as a mount for the hinged and also fully removable bait board. The transom has a couple of lockers behind plastic hatches and room under for extra tote tanks. DNA also offer a sliding rear bench seat that clips on over the side trays and can be removed so it doesn’t get in the way when you are fishing. There was no walkthrough to the large boarding platform, but again this is an option. The chequer plate sole is standard but you can finish it with tube matting or full carpet.
X Series hull
“The X series hull alloy pontoon boat was introduced to make a wider boat. The key element of doing this was to achieve extra beam but not require extra horsepower to push a wider surface through the water”, says designer Jason Elvines. “We did this by adding tapering down-turned chines to the hull, and thereby step the pontoon out further to increase internal beam. It also meant the pontoons were slightly lifted so not to cause any drag in the water once planning as they are clear. With 115hp, the DNA 570 XHT is good for 40 knots.
Specifications Model: DNA 570 XHT Priced from: $NZ49,500 Construction: 5mm/3mm alloy LOA: 5.70 mBeam: 2.27 m Deadrise: 20 degContents: DNA Alloy Boats NZ Ltd | Ph: +64 3 5423977 | Mob: +64 276352425 | [email protected]| www.dnaboats.co.nzFC535
Centre Console Alloy 2
The FC 535 CC has all the right characteristics of the original FC 500 but comes with a few new improvements that make it an even better boat. Three years ago when FC Boats released the FC500 centre console, they struck it right. The boat was an immediate success and until it was replaced by the FC535, proved to be one of their top selling centre consoles. The main difference between the FC500 and the new FC535 are a new transom with three storage lockers, a new outboard pod, increased hull side thickness from 3mm to 4mm and full longitudinal stringers for a more rigid hull.
The centre console has also been moved forward. Storage is impressive and you are able to stow so much gear away and off the cockpit sole. The FC535 has a huge centre console pod that incorporates a forward seat, which when hinged up, reveals a cavernous dry storage space. Impressive and a real feature of the boat. Then when you go forward, the extra large foredeck not only provides a great casting platform if you are soft baiting, it also encompasses a deep exposed anchor locker forward and split shelves aft with easy open access. On the shelves we stowed some more gear and by the time we had the rods clipped into the side racks and the fish bin secured, space left to walk around was still very generous. Storage is also provided in lockers across the transom. There are rod racks under the wide coamings but no shelves as the upper space are all a foam filled buoyancy system, which along with the natural buoyancy under the sole makes the FC535 virtually unsinkable.
The FC535 has a very simple and efficient centre console layout, with practicality the key. It is also available in a side console version. The beauty of alloy is that you can change the layout around reasonably easily to suit your purpose. So when it comes to seating, the base boat comes with forward seating on the centre console and that’s it. Options include a couple of transom fold-away seats and twin pedestal helm seats. A large bin seat with a cushion would be a good option and you can then move this aside when fishing. Also gives you a perfect bait or catch bin. With the console now slightly forward of the previous FC500, the workable fishing space is increased, so why fill it up with seats. I found the wide side decks and transom made great seating when underway, being dry and comfortable. The T-Top is two piece, with a 2.5m overall trailerable height, that reduces to 1.6m when the top section is removed. A Mercury 60 4S, running a 13” 4 blade Trophy Sport will give a top speed of just over 30 knots and some great fuel economy. The extra wide chines (FC call it their Dry Riding Gunnel System), really work to keep the spray low and flat and add to the great stability at rest.
Fish & Dive Ability
All FC boats use a built-in passive live bait tank, which is simple and very effective. Centre console boats are certainly gaining popularity again and while the grp versions are restricted mostly to imports, the alloy boat manufacturers have not held back and today it’s not uncommon to see 6-8m centre consoles. If you are seriously into fishing and diving and taking the wife and kids away for a family outing is not the criteria, then centre consoles are the answer. The FC535 is one of four FC Boats centre console models, ranging from 4.3m to 6.4m, so there are other size options based on the same platform to suit. I have spent the past three seasons fishing from a tiller steer 4.8m open alloy boat, but after taking the FC535 out for a day, I now appreciate more why people like them. The FC535 is certainly a great example.
Model & Model: FC535 Centre Console
Priced from: $29,995 (60hp 2Stroke) Construction: 4mm/4mm alloy LOA: 5.35m Beam: 2.05m Deadrise: 13 deg Contact: FC Boats –Albany 09 476 4282 | Hamilton 07 846 6675 | www.fcboats.co.nz
Ramco Fishmaster 6250 Alloy 3
Ramco is one of the oldest names in alloy boat building and while the brand has been quiet for the last few years, it’s all changing Built in Rangiora by Ramco Boats New Zealand, a division of Icon Brands, theRamco name is going through a growth curve, with the appointment of a much-enlarged dealer network throughout the country now in progress.The Fishmaster 6250 Hardtop started live as the Ramco 600 but was given some hull changes to not only improve the balance of the boat but also to offer more cockpit space. Now 300mm longer it was also to fit in between the 6m and 6.5m Ramco hardtops.The Fishmaster 6250 Hardtop has been around for four years and has proven one of the most popular of the larger hardtops in the Ramco range. In all, there are five hardtop models from 6.0m through to 8.45m and all are also available as cuddy cabins or centre console models.The layout of the Fishmaster 6250 is, as the name suggests designed around fishing, so naturally our test boat came with all the extras. As the company demonstrator, it came with all the fishing orientated add-ons and then some. When you buy the basic 6250 standard features, include such items as twin moulded pedestal seats, underfloor fuel tank, hydraulic steering, boarding/dive ladder and a full nav light package.
As well as the usual deck hardware, handrails and storage lockers, the 6250 comes ready to go boating. The forward cabin space comes with the conventional twin single berths with storage under and a central infill. The berths are a generous length, with plenty of sitting headroom and a fully lined interior. There are storage trays either side and space for a head under the forward squab.While all the anchoring can be done from the helm, there is a deck hatch should you need to access the anchor locker or winch.
The hardtop profile is perfectly balanced and the flow from the bow to the rear of the hardtop is pleasing to the eye. It’ s also functional, with good standing headroom, handrails for passengers and wide screens that give great visibility. Toughened glass means you can add wipers and sliding side windows help with clean air flow. Cabin lights and fully lined roof and side panels are also standard.The cockpit is open and practical so you can maximise the fishing workspace. The seating layout has been kept to minimum with a single helm pedestal and a back to
back to port. You do have other seat choices such as twin back to backs to give you more dedicated seating or twin pedestals if you want to maximise your fishing space.Storage for rods is in wide side shelves or rod holders both in the side decks or overhead in the rocket launcher. Underfloor storage is provided forward of the fuel tank, (90-180 litres) with sealed chambers either side providing positive buoyancy. The business end of the cockpit has been designed for fishing with a central bait board and a live bait tank built into the walk-though transom opening to port. A drop down ladder is also standard, with a six pole option.
Running a Yamaha 130 2S, will return a top speed of 33 knots (38mph). The 6250 is rated to 150hp, which is about as much as you would want on this hull. The deep 21 deg deadrise certainly helps the ride in the rough and it is a very quiet hull in the short choppy seas. The Ramco 6250HT is a good all round entry level hardtop. It’ s well built, looks good and is well priced. Like Ramco’ s of the past, the 6250 is a good wholesome kiwi boat with all the functionality without the frills.
Model: Ramco 6250 HT Priced from: $NZ65,000 Construction: 5mm/3mm alloy LOA: 6.25 mBeam: 2.33 m Deadrise: 21 degManufacturer: Ramco Boats, 305 Flaxton Road, Rangiora, 4700. | Ph +64 3 3133560 | [email protected] | www.ramcoboats.co.nz