The Bluefin range has always been pitchedat the ‘mid budget’ buyer, and while they are not perhaps ‘blinged out’ as some of the competition, they certainly lack nothing when it comes to quality construction and on water performance.
Those familiar with the Bluefin 665 Offshore will see very little difference between that and the Lock Up externally apart for the obvious full bulkhead at the rear of the wheelhouse, but look closer and there are quite a few differences.
The 665 Lock Up was developed along the same lines as the larger Bluefin 720 and 769 Weekenders, which have also proven popular with owners wanting a more versatile boat with comfort options that are really only available with enclosed wheelhouse. It also gives you a secure space to ‘lock-up’ your gear when away from the boat.
The 665 Lock Up retains much of the 665 cockpit and forward cabin layout, but it is in the wheelhouse where you find the main difference. Also while the hull is unchanged, the side decks have been narrowed by 100mm per side, offering a wider cabin beam, yet without compromise to the safety and security if you need to walk around the side decks. The wheelhouse now being a 300mm longer has sliding toughened glass side windows, but does mean you crimp that space from the cockpit.
It’s hardly noticeable and makes little difference to the fishing space. The 80mm high cockpit sides and extra wide 350mm coamings have been retained. First impression of the wheelhouse is security and comfort. Protected from the elements, yet still offering plenty of good space and a very social layout. Add a small gas heater and you could make the wheelhouse a very cosy environment. The Bluefin 665 Lock Up is much like the Offshore with an emphasis on space. It’s a large volume fishing boat with overnight options and isn’t too big so that you can’t handle it with just you and a mate. It’s also exceptionally good value for the finished boat at $73250, complete with a Sportline tandem unbraked trailer and a Mercury 150 Optimax.
As Simple As You Want
The Sportcraft team chooses to market their boats as a good value for money package, and then allowing and guiding the customer to ‘create’ their own boat, tailored to their personal unique requirements and budget. A big difference inside from the 665 Hardtop to the Lock-Up is the seating layout has been completely reconfigured to be more in keeping with the enclosed design. Gone are the pedestal seats, replaced by twin bench seats with large storage space beneath and the ability to add a central infill to complete a full width bench seat. From the bulkhead forward, there is no change.
Forward there is a very good sized anchor locker, capable of handling plenty of anchor tackle for those deep water fishing trips. No need to worry about manpower to bring the anchor back, the Bluefin 665 Lock Up comes with an optional auto anchor pack that includes a Lewmar rope and chain windlass, rope chain and anchor.
Within the lined forward cabin there still seemed to be plenty of room to store your gear or take a break. There is plenty of light within the cabin, from the wide entrance, cabin windows and glass foredeck access hatch. There is an infill provided to enlarge the upholstered area, providing an area to lay and rest should one need to. Under the infill in the step-down, there is enough room for a marine toilet. And a security curtain for privacy.
Storage is available under the squabs and in the wide cabin side trays. Another big change from the 665 HT and the 665 Lock-Up is there is now no portside bulkhead between the cabin and wheelhouse, with a completely open space, although with the addition of a security curtain for privacy. You now feel that both the cabin and wheelhouse are one, with a very open feeling to the interior.
When standing at the helm, there is a decent 1.96m headroom and the visibility is good through the toughened forward glass screen. The screens are pre drilled for wipers, which are available for all three forward screens. The standard electronics package for the 665 Lock Up includes a fishfinder and VHF radio, which in this case was a Garmin GPSMap 750S and GME VHF. The facia is large enough for a 10-12” MFD screen, plus there is plenty of space for instruments, switches and controls for the likes of the anchor winch and trim tabs. A switch panel and Mercury SmartCraft gauges are flush mounted into the helm. Above, there is plenty of room for other bracketed instrumentation along with a place for your loose belongings such as keys, cellphones and the likes on the large shelf above. The VHF and optional GME stereo package is mounted overhead and within easy reach.
The wheelhouse is nicely trimmed with fabric on all surfaces and bulkheads apart from the sole that in our boat was dressed in tube mating. Carpet is an option.
Sportcraft Boats will do a custom fit out on the 665 Lock Up, should you want something extra such as a small galley with cooker, fridge and fresh water. Interestingly from the lockable doors forward is a mirror image of the Bluefin 720 Weekender, which shares the same hull. The extra space of the 720 is gained only in the cockpit.
Clutter Free Cockpit
The cockpit area is open and clutter free, with wide flat side decks offering a good comfortable place to sit when fishing or socialising. The cockpit sides are at the right height to lean against when fishing and also offer added security for those with younger boaters onboard.
There are six alloy rod holders mounted into the side decks and provision for a further five rods in the rocket launcher, which is stylishly integrated into the hardtop. Under the cockpit sole there is a 140-litre underfloor fuel tank, with two buoyancy chambers either side. The Bluefin team have added additional buoyancy on this new model through the introduction of two further buoyancy chambers under the side pockets which run the length of the cockpit. There is a storage shelf, with two hatches for access in the transom, which houses the batteries on the starboard side, with further storage available to port. Now standard is a deep, wide transom walk through complete with kill tank beneath and drop in security gate.
For ease of access on and off the boat, particularly for divers, there is a generous size boarding platform with hand rails either side and a boarding ladder on the port side. If you are planning to use the 665 Lock Up as a weekender and would prefer a separate toilet space, then you can add it into the port forward side of the cockpit. It does take up a bit of room, but there’s still plenty of useable space available for your fishing.
On the Water
It was a few years ago that we tested the first of the Bluefin 665 Offshores and the Lock Up shares exactly the same hull. Interestingly the water conditions we had back in 2009 on Tauranga Harbour were identical to that we experienced five years later.
The only difference was we had a Mercury 135 Optimax for the Offshore version and a Mercury 150 Optimax for our Lock Up test. With a 2.5 litre Mercury 135 Optimax, the 665 was certainly not underpowered and returned a top speed of 41 mph @ 5500rpm. The 3.0 litre Mercury 150 Optimax was only marginally better recording 43.5mph @ 5800 rpm
For both tests, the water conditions on Tauranga Harbour was calm, with virtually no wind. The day you could have barefooted out to Mayor Island! At 3500 rpm travelling at around 24mph the Optimax 150 burned just 24 lph, so you could make a return trip to Mayor Island and probably use less than 50 litres.
If you prefer a sterndrive, then the 665 Lock Up is available with the Mercury Diesel 2.0 TDI. This fits very snugly and unobtrusively under the transom.
Although we only had flat calm water, the 665 Lock Up showed its ability on the water well, with a very slippery hull onto the plane and a boat that proved predictable to the helm. I did feel it was a little tender at rest and it certainly reacts very quickly to any trim tabs alterations. Big hardtops need tabs to correct for windage and the 665 Lock Up is no exception.
The underwater sections of the 665 are very straightforward, with no planing strakes, a 17-degree deadrise at the transom and a slight downturn close to the chines. The hull is 5mm, with 4mm sides and the cockpit sole is now 4mm, (was 3mm) as are all Bluefin and Scorpion models over 6m.
The 665 Lock Up is a natural progression from the open version and it does give this extremely well built boat a whole new market. While you can put the boat on the water for around $70,000, you are more likely to spend over $80000 if you want all the extras. Still at that price it is exceptionally good value for money and you still have the availability of customisation, something that is so much easier with an alloy boat.
With a trailerable weight, empty, of just 1800kg, it can be towed easily behind most family cars, although, for a typical family car, brakes would be needed on the trailer. The build quality is very good, something often compromised when a product is built to meet a price conscious market and purchaser, but not so with the Bluefin 665 Lock Up.