To experience one model from the range of superb Tournament craft is a pleasure, but to be offered two recently proved to be a privilege.
Our first test boat was a truly impressively presented, about to be delivered Tournament 1900 Bluewater, powered by a 150hp Suzuki 4-stroke and mounted on a dual axle Dunbier trailer.
The buyer had opted for the optional twin Garmin GMI-10 engine gauges. These could be split up to four times on each screen with either digital or graphic displays of engine telemetry, including fuel usage, fuel used/remaining and a range of navigational data.
Set atop the helm bulkhead was a Lowrance HDS7 touch screen fish finder/chart plotter with built-in sonar imaging, 3D map displays, a single Ethernet port and full sized SD card slot among a host of other features. Don Morton Marine had also fitted a GME GD9600 AM/FM DVD/CD/MP3 player with a speaker on each side of the helm station.
A Micks Winch was installed in the anchor well while on the transom was a magnificent removable factory bait board, complete with two drinks holders, two rod holders and a lidded, drained bait locker, complete with a “legal size” fish chart.
As with all Tournament craft, the 1900 Bluewater carried a host of standard features, including hydraulic steering, bilge pump, fully upholstered swivel/slide helm seats, folding 3/4 rear lounge, bunk cushions with large, padded shelves above, transom door, boarding platform with hinged, telescopic ladder, full length cockpit shelves and padded inner side decks.
Also in the water was a Tournament 2100 Walkaround, powered by a 175hp Suzuki 4-stroke. Not only was the boat finished to a very high standard throughout but also its clever design provided both a large, accommodating cabin, with nearly 2m long bunks, plus a spacious, 4m2 cockpit.
A strong, stylish bimini gave over 2m headroom at the helm and carried six rod holders. Big comfortable swivel/slide helm seats were fitted, while access to the cabin was via a clever two panel folding door.
A large tinted hatch and side windows let plenty of light into the roomy cabin. The walk-around deck gave excellent, safe passage to the bow.
Both boats moved out onto troubled, white-capped Gulf waters before we headed south, punching into the nearly 1m seas as fast as conditions allowed. First, aboard the 1900 Bluewater, we noted just how protective the ‘screen and clears were as spray was hurled back from the bow by strong winds. Comfort levels remained high while noise levels were pleasantly low. Running up, down and across these seas, the 1900 Bluewater kept its poise, handling staying reassuring with the Suzuki’s instant power on hand.
Longer and heavier, with a tad more power on tap, the 2100 Walkaround was noticeably more at home in these conditions, daring us to push it harder regardless of sea angle. This we did and were rewarded with an exhilarating, exciting ride which was worth our copping the odd face full of flying sea spray.
It is testament to the quality of build and professionalism of design, both hallmarks of Tournament craft, that these two, so close in size, could demonstrate quite distinctive characters.