According to the many White Pointer owners I have spoken with ,White Pointer boats are purpose-built, mean fighting machines. White Pointer owners, while not quite a cult group, are a devoted group of people who swear by their boats, with many of them being repeat White Pointer owners.
White Pointer 7.5 Sports Hard Top exudes an air of robustness. The hull is constructed of 6mm aluminium plate with 4mm sides and decks. The welds throughout have not been ground back so as not to compromise their strength – I felt that this also gives the boat a strong, rugged look, as the welds look clean and even and are of the highest standard of workmanship.
Standing at the helm you have a robust two-piece 6mm toughened glass windscreen equipped with wipers and good freshwater washers either side. All-round visibility is good, and being an open hard top there is good airflow through the cabin, more so by opening either the overhead hatches or sliding side windows. One thing that did impress me was the noticeable lack of rattles – all the windows, hatches and fittings were all firm and rattle free.
Although an open hardtop (the enclosed version is also a very popular option for White Pointer owners) both the cabin and helm area felt cosy due to being fully lined. If an owner wants them, clears can be ordered, offering a little more shelter from the elements. There is a strong-framed canvas canopy that extends from the rear of the hardtop right to the transom, offering excellent protection from the elements – in better weather the canopy can be easily and quickly broken down and packed away.
The helm is comfortable either standing or sitting. The swivelling Soft Rider pedestal seats (and jump seats immediately behind) are covered in an upmarket looking, hardwearing leather and both backrests are embroidered with the White Pointer logo as well as the boat’s name. Instrumentation is easily viewed either standing or seated. The Raymarine C120 multifunction navigation display, Volvo Penta instrumentation and BEP switch panels are flush mounted into a very neat leather-look helm console. Mounted overhead are an Icom VHF and a Fusion MP3 stereo, with speakers positioned in the cabin and cockpit.
For those wanting to venture out in the earlier or later hours of the day there is plentiful lighting throughout the boat, in the forward cabin and the helm areas and a spotlight in the cockpit – all powered by the house battery tucked away conveniently within the transom along with the designated engine battery.
Hand rails are strategically positioned throughout the cabin as they are is in the cockpit. The cockpit sole is tread plate covered in tube matting. The tube matting also lines the side trays, ensuring that items do not slip around and cause irritating rattles. Below these side trays are handy hooks for storing a gaff, boat hooks and paddles. There are three good-sized wet lockers underfoot which all drain through hoses into the hull sump. The centre locker has a smaller teriyaki door where fishermen can drop their catch straight into a removable plastic fish bin, not allowing the odour of fish or bait to permeate into the alloy. Protected under the removable fish bin is the through-hull 1kW transducer.
Any other water that finds its way into the cockpit drains into rear sumps positioned port and starboard either side of the engine cover. Sitting above the engine cover there is the choice of either a pad for more seating or as in this application a good sized removable bait station with bait board, tray and six rod holders. There is also accommodation for another six-rod holders in the rocket launcher and another four mounted in the gunwales. There seemed to be plenty of room in the cockpit despite having to share the room with the engine. Additional room for fishing is available on the boarding platform accessed via the walk-though transom either side, great for multiple divers boarding and leaving simultaneously, with the transom cage dropping down and becoming boarding ladders, on both sides.
The cabin was spacious, with good headroom seated. Add the infill to the V-berth and you have a double berth. There is plenty of storage available below the squabs and within two large side trays either side – as in previous models, these trays also double as hull side stiffeners that break up the large forward panel spans and provide good support to the hull in the impact areas. There is good natural lighting from the cockpit, quarter windows and the hatch overhead. The Cule hatch offers access through to the foredeck, on which is mounted a Lewmar freefall rope and chain winch. Access on and off the bow of the boat was relatively easy, but for those a little less agile, a split bow rail may be worth considering. Manoeuvring the boat into position for pick-ups and drop-offs can be done with ease thanks to the generous traction the duo props supplied (and Rex, our skilled helmsman).
For the short journey to the ramp the rig towed easily behind the Toyota Land Cruiser. The trailer is an alloy custom twin-axle, designed and built by White Pointer, with drive-on-and-off skids. As the new owner will be using the boat around Whangamata where there is a bit of cross current, the owner had opted for a full catch cage for the trailer with plastic hose lining for ease of launching and retrieval. Another handy little device that we tend to see on more and more alloy boats is a snub catch system that locks on retrieval and releases on launching.
On board, the 7.5 Sports Hard Top feels bigger than it actually is, and moving about the boat while at rest it felt stable at all times. Although on our day out the sea conditions were relatively calm for Gisborne, I believe the 7.5 would eat up most sea conditions thrown at it. In the swells we experienced the 7.5 handled well in head seas, quarter-on, on the beam and in following seas. The Volvo Penta controls and steering were responsive and were well positioned.
There were two 7.5 White Pointers being sea tested the day we visited and we were lucky enough to take a run in them both. The Volvo Penta D4 260 we tested and a similar boat powered by a Volvo Penta D3 190 which seemed to have sufficient power for the 7.5 – I guess some owners just like to have that little extra up their sleeve. The D4 260 had the transom pushed out just a little further to offer the hull a little more buoyancy to compensate for the extra 300kg of the D4.
The D4 260 we spent most time on had a mountain of punch and leaped up out of the water and onto the plane with little difficulty; the counter-rotating duoprops have a great bite in the water on take off and also while the boat is thrown into a sharp corner. There was no irritating diesel engine noise to speak of, even though we were in an open boat – Volvo Penta is one diesel engine manufacturer that sure has put some serious time and investment into smoothing out and quieting its diesels.
The makers of White Pointer boats pride themselves in the quality design and construction of serious, tried and tested fishing boats.
A second hand White Pointer, when you can find one, commands very good resale value and those that do become available are often owned by an existing White Pointer owner selling so as to buy another, usually bigger, White Pointer.
Today’s White Pointer 7.5 has been developed over the years in some of the harshest of New Zealand’s conditions, and the manufacturer has worked with some keen owners to get it just right, so if you are looking for a true 7.5m blue water alloy fishing machine, this would have to be one close to the top of your list.
- Make: White Pointer
- Model: 7.5 Sports Hard Top
- Price as Tested: $112,000
- Packages from: $189,000
- Designer: White Pointe
- Material: Aluminium plate (6mm/ 4mm)
- Type: Hardtop
- LOA: 7.60m
- LOH: 7.20m
- Beam: 2.5m
- Deadrise: 18 degrees
- Trailerable Weight: 2560kg (with 100L of fuel & alloy trailer)
- Engine Capacity: 115 to 225 hp
- Power Options: Single or twin outboards, or sterndrive
- Fuel Capacity: 350L (optional)
Speeds recorded on a Lowrance GPS