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The Explorer Bluewater 610 is part of a family of six centre console RIBs in the Explorer Bluewater line up and was introduced recently as a replacement for the Explorer 6000. We look back at the previous model and look at the changes that have been introduced to the new model.

The Explorer Bluewater 610 shares the same well-proven GRP hull for all the Series 6000 models, which utilises a sliding plug at the transom end of the mould. Available as the 610,650 and 680, the only real difference in layout and design between the six models is the available space. Also, maximum horsepower ratings increase as the boats get bigger. While the Series 600 is based on a 23 deg composite hull, the larger Series 700 (710,750 & 780 use a deeper 25 deg composite hull.

Explorer offer a full customisation service so you can design the layout to suit your requirements around the base hull and tubes. The console is one of the big upgrades on the new Explorer Bluewater 610, with more space and better storage. It’s wider and deeper with twin hatches below for ease of access, plus both a larger facia and area behind the screen for bits and bobs. The screen also wraps around for added protection. Overhead is a very robust stainless frame bimini, with fabric top and optional drop-down clears to complete the overall protection from the weather. The thick sections make obvious hand holds and the frame is so placed on the side of the console that it’s still an easy fit past the console through to the bow area.

If you are into your fishing then rod holders will have to be mounted on the stainless steel bimini frame or onto the rear roll bar. This is also your attachment point for ski and wake board ropes and the detachable bait board.

There was ample space on the console for a Simrad GO9, with ample space for a larger version, Fusion stereo, Cobra VHF, plus all the necessary displays for engine functions and controls. The new console still retains a glovebox for keys, cellphone, sunnies, wallet, etc., something that so many boat builders forget to include. There are various seating options, with either a double moulded bin base with cushion seat and reversible backrest, or a pair of twin swivelling pedestal seats. The space below makes great storage or you could set this up as a fully functioning fridge/freezer or simply drop in the right sized chilly/esky bin.

There is seating for six to seven with a jump seat either side of the outboard well, a forward seat moulded into the console, insulated and drained for an ice bin and a forward pad over the anchor locker. This bow pad is another area that has undergone a transformation and is now a lot bigger than on the previous 6000.

Storage throughout the Explorer Bluewater 610 is reasonably good for a RIB and most available spaces have been well utilised. Dry storage lockers can be found in the console and under the forward facing console bench seat. There are also wet lockers in the cockpit sole, fore and aft and within the transom. The sole is now finished in U-Deck by Ultralon, which adds a classy touch.

Although the standard anchoring system on the Explorer Bluewater 610 is a GRP fairlead glued onto the tube, the company makes provision during the build process to retrofit a stainless steel post and anchor capstan just aft of the bow seat. There is also the option of a thru-hull anchoring system, which neatly hides the anchor and tackle below the tubes. 

Previously, the 600 Series was available with either outboard and inboard (sterndrive or jet) power, but that’s now changed to only an outboard option. The range is 115hp to 150hp, which as I found using power from both ends of the scale is perfectly matched. 

Our boat was powered by a Yamaha 115 Four Stroke, which gave a maximum speed of 35 knots @ 6000 rpm with a maximum fuel burn of around 49L/h. When I pulled back the throttle to a more sedate 4500 rpm, the speed dropped to 24.5 knots, and fuel burn dropped to a very economical 19.2 L/h. Given we had a 150-litre fuel tank and allowing for a 10% margin, we had enough fuel for a 172 nautical mile (NM) trip.

Explorer have continually been improving the Series 600, since it was first introduced in 1999. The latest Explorer Bluewater 610 is an evolution of that first design and continues to improve with age. Superyacht tender or an all-rounder for diving, fishing and general family boating, the Explorer Bluewater 610 is right up there with the best in class.


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