Kiwi-built Surtees 6.7 Game Fisher defines offshore strength, fishing practicality

Kiwi-built Surtees 6.7 Game Fisher defines offshore strength, fishing practicality

Five years ago (Issue No. 52) we tested a Surtees and our abiding impression, that of the boat’s sheer strength, was reinforced recently off The Bluff aboard this Surtees 6.7 Game Fisher open hardtop, powered by a very willing 225hp Yamaha 4-stroke.

It was also good to catch up with Greg Wenzel again after all that time. He moved to join South Coast Marine this year and so continue his long and successful association with Surtees Boats of New Zealand.

The unmistakeable raked lines of the 6.7 Game Fisher set off the boat’s contrasting white on grey livery and typically, the topsides bristled with rod holders, including those eight on the strongly-build hard top.

Built for diehard fishing enthusiasts, the 6.7 Game Fisher provided a feast of impressive features, including a strongly reinforced deep-V hull with full length stringers, air tight buoyancy chambers and a 380 litre water ballast chamber incorporated into the keelson. This chamber filled when at rest for true fishing stability, then emptied quickly as the boat moved off, or could be kept filled, with a hand operated flap, to smooth out the ride over choppy seas.

At the bow, a Sarca anchor was controlled by a Stress Free Free Fall electric winch, set in a large anchor well, ahead of a tinted access hatch in the centre of the foredeck.

Tinted, toughened glass was used for both the large windscreen (with its three wipers) and each sliding side hardtop window. The trailing edge of the roof carried an 8-rod ‘launcher plus a very smart cloth verandah. Fully lined, the cuddy held a comfortable V-berth with a plumbed marine toilet under the in-fill plus two full length side shelves.

Both wide side decks, clad in deck grip, held three rod holders plus a stern quarter extruded grab rail, that would also serve as a cleat. Both deep cockpit shelves were fitted with detachable/sliding rod-holder racks, while in the starboard stern quarter was a readily accessible fuel filter and opposite, a deck wash.

Folding down the two-person rear lounge revealed a large locker for two batteries in boxes and an isolator panel with “start”, “house”, “emerg. parallel” plus a BEP digital voltage sensitive relay. To port, its top acting as a step-over to the boarding platform and two-step fold-down ladder, was a big live bait tank with toughened glass window. Atop the transom was a sturdy bait board with three rod holders.

On top of the helm bulkhead under the hardtop sat a Simrad NSS12 12.1” touch-screen chart plotter set just aft of the ‘wiper motors. The big helm seats, with fold-down bolsters, sat on large aluminium box pedestals with storage in front and elasticised bands on three sides for securing small items.

Ahead of the passenger’s seat was a wide grab rail extrusion which also formed the frame of two shelves, with non-slip matting, the lower also serving as a footrest. Here, as we found all through the Surtees 6.7 Game Fisher, comfort blended with safety, security and functionality.

Dominating the compact helm station was a Yamaha 6Y9 hi-def. screen to display the full range of engine telemetry, set in a black panel along with a sporty wheel for the Ultra Flex hydraulic steering. Next to this panel were two switch panels and a Raymarine 49E VHF marine radio. To the left of the wheel were switch panels for the Lectrotab and Stress Free functions and to the right, an iPod dock. To the skipper’s right was the digital electronic control engine remote with trim.

Cornering at speed produced a nice lean-in, with the 225hp Yamaha powering along smoothly. In fact, the sheer grunt from the Yamaha, delivered through its factory “Alliance” 15 x 153/4” s.s. propeller, was an outstanding feature of this test.

We stopped to gauge heel at rest (< 2° with two men on one side) then closed the ballast flap and set off with 380kg of seawater in the keel. This caused the hull to run more nose-down, giving a noticeably smoother ride.

We then opened the flap and dispelled the water in seconds. Later, the 6.7 Game Fisher was shot out-of-the-hole with a huge surge of continuous Yamaha power.

With four adults on board, about 150kg of gear and 220 litres of fuel, during the Novita “Mighty River Run“ in November,

Greg recorded the following at our request: 23 kph @ 2500 rpm (1.2 km/l), 43 kph @ 3500 rpm (1.5 km/l), 56 kph @ 4500 rpm (1.3 km/l), 74 kph @ 5500 rpm (1.0 km/l) and flat out, 78 kph @ 5700 rpm (0.9 km/l).

Throughout the test run the steering proved to be perfectly weighted for the conditions. The performance of the 6.7 Game Fisher was faultless.
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