Adding to the Family
By Freddy Foote
In just a few short months the Lazercraft brand has not only re-emerged back onto the market, but they have also just released their second model. Freddy Foote gets aboard the new Lazercraft GT 640 Sport.
Re-introduced onto the market back in May, Lazercraft launched their new GT 580 Sport. A great little boat that we tested in the last issue. Lazercraft has now followed that up with the launch of the new GT 640 Sport. The GT 640 Sport is the new version of what was the GT 620 Sport, a very popular model a number of years ago.
As previously reported, the brand is under the ownership of Southern Boats in Mosgiel, who only have plans to build a handful of Lazercraft models.
“The 580 has been really good for us since it was launched earlier in the year, with lots of great feedback from the regions where Lazercraft has previously been strong, particularly in the far north. There has been a lot of excitement about this new 640 too,” says Lazercraft General Manager Jono Bakker.
“We’ll limit Lazercraft to 3-4 models, with the 640 being the biggest. From there and for anything bigger it will be boats under the Southern brand.”
Like the 580, the 640 features an alloy hull, with a fiberglass deck and gunnels.
Forward in the very roomy and well-appointed cabin you are greeted with velour squab upholstery and sizeable side shelves for miscellaneous gear storage. Extra storage space is available under the vee berth squabs. A toilet can be fitted as an option should you wish.
The seating configuration is in the form of two upholstered, and adjustable pedestal seats mounted on bases with storage underneath. These can be accessed by hatches that face inwards, or by lifting the aft facing seat squab.
The seating position offers good protection from the high curved windscreen and the bimini targa top provides extra protection from the elements. A grab rail along the inside top edge of the windscreen is great for passengers to hold onto when underway.
The helm seat is positioned so that there is adequate room to stand to drive allowing an even better view forward. While a footrest isn’t fitted, one is fitted at the time of purchase by the dealer so that it can be positioned to suit owner requirements.
The dash area is extremely neat and tidy. Engine instruments and switches are cleanly mounted into the fibreglass dash section as well as a Garmin multi function display and a VHF. Jono says that the next boat off the production line will feature a larger dash to accommodate bigger display screens and more accessories.
Though not fitted at the time of test, there is provision for a Maxwell rope/chain windlass.
The cockpit is very generous, with wide carpeted side shelves running full length. The tread plate floor is standard but you have the option of clip=on carpet or other forms of matting.
All of the onboard systems, such as batteries, switches, wash down pump, are housed inside the transom and can be accessed via hatches. A sizeable underfloor storage locker is situated between the helm and passenger seats while behind that is the 200L fuel tank.
Four-rod holders adorn the coamings, which themselves are fitted with a non-skid rubber finish. There is a bait board aft and a transom walk through to starboard where a sizeable t-bar boarding ladder is fitted. A sizeable live bait tank with a viewing window facing into the cockpit is also provided.
There are two cavernous storage compartments underneath the transom that run right into the far corners of the boat. These are designed to take a 70-litre Icey-Tek chilly bin.
Our test boat came fitted with a Yamaha 175hp four-stroke outboard, while the hull is rated from 130hp to 200hp.
The GT 640 Sport achieved 40.2 knots at wide-open throttle of 5800 rpm swinging a 17″ Reliance propeller, with the maximum fuel use 63.8 lph at 5800rpm.
Water conditions during our test day were glassy calm on Auckland harbour as we gave the boat a quick run out to Motouhie Island and back while dodging rain showers. Encountering the odd ferry wake, the GT 640 Sport delivered a fantastic ride, was comfortable, and dry. Coming off a couple of swells, the hull was immensely quiet, and as I said when I tested the 580 model, it’s hard to believe you’re riding in a boat that has an alloy hull. It was just so quiet. No matter how hard you pushed it into the chop, there was no banging or crashing. It was that good. Quite easily one of the best performing alloy hulls I’ve experienced.
3500rpm will see a comfortable cruise of around 23 knots using 20lph giving you a range of about 190 nm. Peg that back 500rpm to 19 knots @ 3000rpm and you’ll see a fuel burn of 15.7lph giving a range of 210 nautical miles. We were running the boat with a light load of fuel and two onboard.
I feel the Yamaha 175hp four-stroke outboard is the ideal match for the 640 hull, giving plenty of torque when you need it and returns healthy fuel numbers.
As mentioned the hull is rated up to 200hp, and it would handle it, but it probably doesn’t need it. The Lazercraft hulls have always loved lots of horsepower and will handle anything you throw at them, but they are a boat you have to drive and not be afraid to drive it hard. I found on the 640 that the faster you drove it, the better it went.
Like the 580 model, the 640 gets a 5mm alloy hull and runs a series of full-height stringers to the floor which stiffens the whole boat – eliminating all that banging that traditionally is received with an alloy boat.
Add to the performance of the hull while underway, stability at rest was superb. We put two of us to one side and the boat hardly shifted at all.
Along both sides of the cockpit are two pressure tested buoyancy tanks which means, if the boat should happen to be filled with water, it will still float.
As tested, this rig was $NZ84,995 which includes a few optional extras off the Lazercraft spec sheet such as the bimini Targa top and the 175hp four-stroke outboard. However, basic packages start from $NZ65,995, powered by a 130hp Yamaha outboard and with a tandem axle alloy trailer.
This was my second Lazercraft test in recent months and again I was very impressed. What could make it even better? The addition of a hardtop would be at the top of my list. I’m happy to report a hardtop model will be due on the market by the end of the year. Watch this space.
- Model & Model: Lazercraft GT 640 Sport
- Priced from: $65,995
- Price as tested: $84,995
- Type: Cabin
- Construction: Aluminium/GRP
- LOA: 6.40m
- Beam: 2.35m
- Deadrise: 19 degree
- Test Power: 175hp
- Propeller: 17” Reliance
- Power options: Outboard
- HP Range: 130-200hp
- Fuel Capacity: 200L
- Trailer: Tandem Axle Alloy Braked
Performance & Fuel