Extreme 620 Sportz Fisher

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Extreme 620

Introducing yet another aluminium boat to the market may seem somewhat foolhardy, especially when it’s to be pitched into probably the single most popular size range of around 6m. However for Whakatane based Alan Keys, the number of different boat brands that were already on the local scene wasn’t a consideration, apart from the fact that he made the obvious scrutiny of what potential owners were looking for in a boat – what sold, what didn’t and what attracted the buyers. The end result was the release late last year at the Waikato Boat Show of the prototype Extreme 620.

From first glance the Extreme 620 looks different and it was its clean flowing external lines that first attracted me to it at the show. Designed by Scott Robson, the hull form takes on the classically conventional medium vee configuration, with a full bow entry and variable deadrise.  There are no strakes or an external keel, but there is an exceptionally wide downturned spray chine, that goes from 120mm wide at the transom to 80mm amidships and then tapers away gradually into the stem.

Tough in the Rough

Does it ride well? An unequivocal yes! I had the opportunity to give the Extreme 620 a good test in a variety of sea conditions in the Bay of Islands, where the waters changed from mirror calm to a short 1.5m breaking swell. Local dealer Doug Brown of Bay of Islands Marine provided an Extreme 620 Sportz Fisher – the higher spec’d version of the base 620 Fisher – complete with a Honda 130 and let us loose to do our worst. According to Brown, this was the best conventional deep vee 6m monohull he had ever driven.

The Honda 130 I found a little shy on top end speed, delivering a GPS reading of 42 mph @ 5600 rpm, swinging a stainless 17” Honda prop. The same boat with a Yamaha 115 4-stroke has been clocked, also with a GPS at 44 mph. With a recommended rating of 100hp – 225hp, the Extreme 620 would be well matched with 150hp – 175hp and have a predicted top speed in the 48mph – 55mph bracket. It’s a boat that loves horsepower!

Testing the Extreme 620 around Tapeka Point, just around the corner from Russell, I found myself punching into constant sets of very close together 1.5m swells, with just enough wind to whip the tops off. In the head sea, I started off with the throttle hard down and too much out-trim, which left me pointing skyward. However once I got it settled about midway on the gauge and the speedo on 35 mph, I discovered an extremely comfortable, soft riding, 100% dry and quiet boat, that was responsive to the helm and didn’t do anything unexpected. It was the sort of water that at that speed was more than acceptable, although given a little more time I feel I could have had the hull absolutely flat out and riding even better.

In the following sea the ride was equally as impressive with the boat barrelling down the faces at full throttle and thanks to the full bodied bow sections and the spray chines carried well forward the hull lifted early, never once steering by the nose. With no strakes and a 5mm plate bottom there was virtually no ‘tinnie’ slap. There is a flooding keel section running almost the entire length of the keel line, which adds to the boat’s stability at rest and is quickly expelled when the boat accelerates onto the plane.

Playing in the side seas and generally making a huge attempt to get the hull to do something badly wrong also proved fruitless, although I think tabs would be an advantage in the windy conditions, especially if you had a full canopy or  hardtop fitted.

As for the driving position when standing, I have to be critical, although it is something that could be easily changed. I found the aluminium seat base about 500mm too far forward, which meant when standing to drive I was in danger of losing my family jewels on the steering wheel and my teeth on the aluminium handrail around the inside of the screen. The screen handrail also needs to be cut short on the starboard side as it rubs constantly on your arm. Simply fixed with a repositioning of the seat base and putting the drivers seat on an adjustable slider. Apart from that the driving position when seated was fine with the screen at a good height. On the 620 Fisher the seating arrangement is completely different with two single seats on pyramid type pedestals.

Functional Cockpit

All instruments are clearly visible on the fibreglass fascia, which has been designed to handle flush mounted electronics. There is also space behind for bracket mounted units in the large parcel tray area. Storage is something that the boat is not short of and even in the base model there is a place to stow just about everything. Two underfloor wet lockers are ideal for the dive gear, waterskis and wakeboards, or one can be individually plumbed as a kill tank. A 144-litre fuel tank takes up the remaining space aft. There is massive space provided for gear in the seat bases, which are accessed via hinged rear seat bases. An interesting feature within this area is the dedicated alloy panel to mount an EPIRB and/or fire extinguisher.

There are also a number of side trays and lockers to tuck away the fishing rods and other associated gear. Across the transom, So Pac hatches open to give access to the battery locker and washdown pump. Our test boat was fitted with the optional live bait tank complete with glass front. If you don’t want a livebait tank, then you have the option of another locker or cutting the area away for a walkthrough transom arrangement. This is a cockpit that is designed for fishermen, with its chequerplate alloy floor and big self-draining scuppers. Divers will like the big drop down T shape ladder that has treads large enough to climb back aboard with your fins still on.

Cosy Cuddy

One surprising aspect of the Extreme 620 is that it doesn’t have a full size cabin, although from the outside styling you would almost expect to see one. With full aft bulkheads either side you have the option of a fully lockable cabin with the addition of a sliding or drop in door. The design layout provides for a cuddy style with two small triangle shaped cushions and sitting headroom for 2-3 adults. At ??m long they are still great for the kids, but it would require the bulkheads being moved back if you wanted to accommodate “adult” sized berths. However, being an alloy boat, anything’s possible. The area is fully fabric lined, with wide side trays to stow more gear and the whole interior is the best dry locker in the boat. A carpeted centre section extends through to the forward bulkhead, so that all the anchoring chores can be carried out standing in the forward hatch and using a foot or kneepad to operate the anchor winch. The anchor locker is massive and comes with its own curved hatch that also hides away the bollard and the small Seawinch. There is no storage under the squabs as the space is taken up with buoyancy chambers, which extend right through to the stern of the boat either side. Unsinkable, perhaps, but I didn’t try to find out.

Conclusion

The Extreme 620 is a boat that is aimed at the day fisherman and in no way pretends to be an overnighter. The boat is offered with loads of options to dress the boat up even more, from a fully carpet lined cockpit to a rocket launcher and hardtop. The builders have achieved a nice balance of fishing functionality and stylish flowing lines, taking away that serious ‘blokes’ look from what is still a serious fishing boat. The Extreme 620 has the good looks and style coupled with a practical layout and bluewater handling. Already a larger 690 has been built and the company has plans to increase the model range with both bigger and smaller boats. Given that the boat I tested was one of the very first, it was an extremely good effort and will take little in the layout to make it an even better boat. As for the ride, try it for yourself. You will definitely be impressed.

HULL

  • Model: 620 Sportz Fisher
  • Price As Tested: $67,000
  • Price (Hull Only) : $32,000
  • Designer: Scott Robson
  • Material: Aluminium 5mm/4mm
  • Type: Cuddy Cabin
  • LOA: 6.2m
  • Beam: 2.40m
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees Hull Configuration semi deep vee
  • Trailerable Weight: 1500 kgs (est)
  • Engine Capacity: 100 -225 hp
  • Power Options: outboard only
  • Fuel Capacity : 140 litres

PERFORMANCE

  • 500 rpm                 @  2.5 mph
  • 1000 rpm               @  4.5 mph
  • 1500 rpm               @  6.0 mph
  • 2000 rpm               @  8.5 mph
  • 2500 rpm               @  12.0 mph
  • 3000 rpm               @  18.0 mph
  • 3500 rpm               @  22.5 mph
  • 4000 rpm               @  28.0 mph
  • 4500 rpm               @  32.5 mph
  • 5000 rpm               @  36.5 mph
  • 5500 rpm               @  42.0 mph

Speeds are recorded on an Eagle GPS and rounded off to the nearest 1/2mph.

Notable Standard Equipment

Self draining cockpit, flooding chamber, 4 rod holders, moulded dash, transducer brackets.

Notable Options on Test Boat

Painted hull, bowrail, canopy, electronics

ENGINE

  • Make: Honda
  • HP:130
  • Model: 4-stroke
  • Cylinder Type: 4 in line
  • Displacement: 2.2 Litre
  • Max RPM: 5500 rpm
  • Propeller: 17” stainless
  • Retail Price : $22,298

TRAILER

  • Make: Voyager
  • Model: A18
  • Braked: Yes
  • Suspension: springs
  • Rollers: Multi roller
  • Std Features: submersible lights, galvanised springs and equaliser, wind-up jockey wheel.
  • Price: $6400

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