Sometimes you know before you even get aboard a boat that it will be great and will not hold any surprises. The Highfield Sport 660 is such a boat. The super deep vee hull aligns with the striking interior layout and finish. While no boat is faultless, the Highfield Sport 660 comes pretty damn close.
Another beautiful day on the Gold Coast’s Broadwater was my venue to review the Highfield Sport 660, a follow-up from a previous encounter last year on the same water with a Highfield Sport 700. I said then that the Sport 700 was a beast on the water and the smaller Sport 660 is equally as good. Based on a super deep vee 26 deg hull, the Sport 660 loves the rough water, and as a driver, you really get absorbed into the way the boat handles, the super smooth ride and the dryness. It has no vices and does precisely what you ask of it.
Okay, you will feel a few knocks and even spray when the sea state is excessive, but so does any boat. The difference with the Sport 660 is that its tolerance level is much higher than most. The hull features a deep entry with reverse chines and strakes that carry well forward.
While the Sport 700 has 565mm diameter Hypalon or PVC tubes, the Sport 660 is a little wider at 580mm. Either way, they both help towards the soft, balanced ride, and despite the 26 deg vee, they settle the boat at rest with no stability issues. Power options are 150-200hp, with our review boat powered by a Mercury 175.
This returned a top speed on the calm waters in The Broadwater of 38 knots. The Sport 660 doesn’t hang about when you punch the throttle all the way down, and it reached maximum 5500 rpm and top speed very quickly. Drop the throttle back to 4000 rpm and the Sport 660 has a sweet spot, using 31 lph, a speed of 28 knots and a range of 100 nm.
The finish and presentation of the Sport 660 are as good as it gets, from the diamond stitch patterned squabs, EVA flooring and the overall attention to detail. The company is fully integrated with all components for the Sport 660, from the hull and tubes to all the fittings made in-house in the Highfield factory in China. Plus, all products and parts are designed using CAD and CNC cut.
Highfield’s core is performance and strength, which the brand has focussed on above anything else. Overall the Sport 660 is 48cm shorter, 34cm narrower, and 283kg lighter than the Sport 600. The Sport 660 layout differs from the Sport 700 due to the narrower beam between the tubes.
Despite this, in no way is space compromised. While the Sport 700 is a centre console, the Sport 660 is more of a side console, leaving extra space on the port side. This means you don’t need to clamber over the tubes to go forward. Certainly an intelligent use of the room.
The Sport 660 seating layout provides a triple bench seat aft, twin helm seats and a forward seat off the console. The sizeable bow seat can be added with extra cushions to form a full bow sunpad or casting deck. The console seat lifts, exposing storage space in the console module, plus there is further storage under the bow squabs.
Anchoring is over the bow with an enclosed anchor locker. EVA foam is used on the short foredeck and throughout the sole of the self-draining deck.
More storage is provided under the rear bench seat, plus there’s another locker beneath the helm seats. I liked that I could drive the boat in either the seated or standing position, thanks to the bolster seats. The helm is spacious, and there is plenty of flat area to mount all your favourite accessories.
A flush-mounted MFD, VHF radio and a Fusion sound system would be a great start. The perspex screen is surrounded by a solid alloy rail, which is an excellent handhold when the driver gives the Sport 660 some air time between the swells. The rear of the helm seating console is complete with triple drink holders and a lift up table.
With our harsh UV rays in New Zealand and Australia, it is always a good idea to have some shade, and on the Sport 660, this is provided with an optional soft bimini which covers most of the aft section of the boat. This folds back against the rear alloy roll bar and is an option I would tick. Talking of the roll bar or rear arch, it also serves as a mount for the masthead light, a tow point for water toys and is the perfect place to mount some rod holders. The rear cushion backrests are hinged for ease of access aboard.
These can also be removed and the mounting bracket used for a baitboard or bbq. This also has a strategically placed handhold to assist you when coming back aboard from the water, when using the port side telescopic step ladder.
There’s a handheld freshwater shower nearby to rinse off. The Highfield Sport 660 is rated for 13 people or 1287kg load, so it is undoubtedly designed as a people carrier.
If you have ideas to use the boat as a tender for a large motor yacht, the Sport 600 comes with integrated davit lifting eyes. It has a heavy- duty rubbing strake all around to protect against brushing up against things like piles and docks.
The Keel guard helps eliminate any chips and scratching of the keel when you bring the Sport 660 up on a beach. With a trailerable weight of around 2000kgs (depending on fuel and gear aboard), the boat is easily towed by a medium to a large vehicle.
PICK YOUR SIZE
When you have built nearly 50,000 boats, you would expect Highfield to get it pretty right. With the Sport 660, they have. The Sport 660 is the company’s biggest-selling boat in the 5.5m-7m sector, and it is easy to see why. The 2023 Sport range in the 5.5m + market comprises six models from 5.6m to 9.0m, so depending on your budget and size requirements, there is a model to suit.
The Sport 660 is a multi-functional family sports cruiser, yacht tender, dive boat or whatever you want to do with it. In all, 13 models in the Sport series make up just a part of Highfield’s 39 models and five Series lineup.
- Year Launched 2023
- Price As Tested $151000
- Style Centre Console
- Builder Highfield Boats
- LOA 6.51m
- Beam 2.59m
- Internal Length 4.75m
- Internal Beam 1.35m
- Tube Diameter 580cm
- Deadrise 26 deg
- Trailerable Wgt 2000 kgs (est)
- Boat Weight 740kg
- Max Speed 38 knots
- Construction Hypalon/GRP
- Fuel Cap 140 litres
- Engine Make Mercury 175
- Max Power 200hp
- MFD 2 x Simrad 12”
- Sound System JL Audio
- VHF Simrad
- Flooring EVA