“An honest boat”
Credits: Dan Jones
Okay, so we’ve just changed location. We’ve come up to the beautiful Sydney’s Middle Harbour because it’s one of the last warm days in Sydney. So, every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s decided to go boating today, and it’s school holidays, which obviously is great on a boat like this because this is a family boat. Not so great if you want to do a test drive.
So, here we are, we found some quieter water. Ruby’s joined me at the helm, and as you can see, for space, we could have two Rubys. [Nick and Ruby laughs} Well, I’m just saying, there’s enough space. Probably shouldn’t have said that.
Anyway, we’ve got the twin 225 horsepower Mercury, so you could option this with more horsepower. I really don’t think it’s necessary. Plenty of guts, plenty of grip when we’re getting on the plane, and I’ll talk to you about that in a second when we accelerate. But firstly, I want to start with the hull shape.
“We’ve got the twin 225 horsepower Mercury.”
We’ve got a V-section at the bow, a bit of a flared bow, which gives us that beautiful big open social lounge area up the front. And then it’s carrying its beam down aft with a moderate to deep V as we’re going through the middle section of the boat and carrying that V to a somewhat bit of a planing plate at the back of the boat.
So, this is great in moderate conditions. You’ve got to slow it down in aggressive offshore conditions, and essentially you just drive to the conditions, which you should at any time. Anyway, I’m just checking for any other people, all good.
So, I’ve got the engines down. We’ve got 270 litres of fuel, just the two of us on board and no equipment, and I’m just going to go through the motions. I’ve got my revs here, just a second before I do that. Oh, here they go.
Okay, so 2,000 revs, bringing her up. We’ll get her on the plane. I’ll just wind her up. 3,700 revs, she pops on the plane in about four-seconds, and I’m just doing a little bit of engine trim up and yeah, that’s comfortable.
I had a moderate bow raise on acceleration. I’m cruising here at 3,500. That’s about 22 knots SOG, and it feels like it wants to go a bit faster. So, I’m just going to wind it up a little bit there. And there you go, that’s the sweet spot. So, 4,000 revs, they’re about, and we’re sitting on 25 knots and climbing.
The bow has flattened off about 2 degrees of trim on the motors, and that’s comfortable. You know, we’re an efficient rev setting. We’ve now dropped down to 3,900, and good speed return at 25 knots to 26 knots. I’ll just now open it up a little bit.
Okay, so it feels like I just want to do a little bit more engine trim up for that, just a degree. It’s going to go wide open throttle. Oh yeah, okay, 34 knots and climbing. Not good for dresses, sorry about that. Didn’t think about that.
36, 37 knots and climbing. A little bit of engine trim. 38 knots, it feels fine. You’re not going to drive around like this, but in terms of wide open throttle, we’re getting 38 and a half knots. So, I’m going to back that off.
That’s really just to explain the speed that this thing is capable of with the higher horsepower motors. She’s definitely a 40-plus knot boat. I don’t know if you’re going to be using it for those sorts of speeds because it’s more about communication. It’s more about having fun, enjoying this. And if you’re going to be taking kids, if you’re going to be taking friends who perhaps are not regular boaters, you’re going to cruise around at these sorts of speeds.
We’re just going to go past a couple of these fishos, and I’ll put this thing through a couple of tight turns and talk to you about what we experience. So far, visibility is fine. It’s absolutely perfect. A little bit of bow raise on acceleration, nothing dangerous. No blind spots, but it is slightly noticeable.
Now sitting at 26 knots, I’ll just do some sweeping turns here. Wow, this water’s still dirty from all that rain that’s like two weeks ago, isn’t it? Crikey! We’re going to look out for debris, but can’t see anything in the water. So, that’s comfortable.
So, this is where the boat’s size and displacement are really coming into effect. She just glides through these turns, little effort at the wheel, not too much feedback. So, that’s really simple to do. I love these electronic throttles. I mean, you can get these on all Mercury’s, but I’ll just tell you what, if you’ve got the option, get these throttles. They are the best. It’s so comfortable to drive.
“We’ve got a V-section at the bow, a bit of a flared bow, which gives us that beautiful big open social lounge area up the front.”
Wind it up a little bit. I feel like the fast cruise is about 30 knots. “How does that feel?” Nick asked Ruby. “Good, not good for the hair though,” Ruby chuckled. “Yeah, that’s a good point. But my face doesn’t feel too windy. Is it just because you’re sitting at the back?” Nick asked. “Yeah, it’s because the wind is coming through on both sides,” Ruby said. I’m going to hook it into a turn, I’ll drop the engines. I’ll stay on the plane for this. “It’s because you are protected from the front [windscreen],” Ruby added. “Yeah, see, I’m not feeling the wind where I am, but you’re feeling it where you are,” Nick responded.
Okay, so that’s good. No cavitation, stayed on the plane nicely comfortable. I think I just opened the gate by accident. I didn’t secure it properly before, but that’s not the end of the world.
And we’re just going to go through our waves here, straighten the boat up. Fine, safe, secure. We’ll give it another little turn just up here. I think what I would say about the performance and the characteristics of this boat is that it does what they say it’s going to do.
You can knock your socks off if you want to, you can give it some, be a hoon, or you can just do some normal fun practical boating. Look at this, that’s fine, it’s not dangerous. It’s not a Ferrari, but it’s not trying to be a Ferrari. It’s a Ford F-150 that can chuck all your mates in the back, have fun for the day. You’re all going to be comfortable, and you’ll still make a good impression when you rock up at your destination. What more can you ask for?
Okay, bringing it off the plane, I’ll just do some slow-speed manoeuvring coming off the plane. I really like boats where you can see all points on the vessel and you can access all points, which is definitely something that you can do on a boat like this.
So, for manoeuvring, none of your friends are going to be, well, maybe they’re going to be useful, but chances are they’re not when it comes to berthing or picking up moorings or even dropping the anchor on a boat like this. “I’m not talking about you, Ruby. You’re very useful,” Nick laughs. “You even know where the fenders are,” Nick added. “Yes, I do know where the fenders are,” Ruby laughs. “You’re learning, which is great!” Nick replied. But you can seat your friends down there [cockpit]. You can have a few up there [bow]. And as a helmsman or woman, you can get to the side, get to the bow, move to the back, reach the cleats, see the front, see the back, and stay in control. So that’s a nice thing, and it just makes days out less stressful.
So now, if I’ve got the engine centred, I’ll just try a little bit of transverse thrust and see how this thing performs. So, on a dime, no worries. So that is super easy.
Close quarters manoeuvring at the marina, this thing’s going to be a breeze. And we even have a bow thruster. Oh yeah, heaps of juice. So, I don’t see this being a difficult boat to manoeuvre as a single operator at all. You could slide it sideways by angling the engine and combining that with a bit of bow thruster to slide it into the dock. You can do the transverse thrust that we just did. You could tow biscuits very easily, tow biscuits, not a problem. And it’s going to be a safe boat to do so. You’ve got your throttle only, so that’s a neutral button. If the kids are in the water and you’re picking up the ropes, you can press that so no one accidentally knocks it into gear. So it’s nice and safe.
And we haven’t really spoken about this very much, but this solid T-top, I love this. Like, you know, we get enough sun in this business, and you don’t need to be out in the sun all day long. So like, the sun was out before and I could still see underneath the helm and underneath this T-top, you’re protected, and it’s going to give you proper rain protection because it goes out quite a way to the side. At the back, you might get a little bit of water on your back depending on how heavy the rain is, but if you’re moving fast and forward, you’ll be dry. Obviously, these people are wet, but in terms of shade, this thing extends that far out, so it’s going to go to here [cockpit]. So this whole area [cockpit] is in shade. So, pretty good! Alrighty, I think it’s time to get the drone up in the air.
Well, that was fun. That was really enjoyable. And what’s my wrap-up on this? I think the Cap Camarat is an honest boat. This is a boat that does what it says it’s going to do. It does it with ease. It looks after you for the day, and it’s a boat that you can bring large groups of people and just have a good time.
I think there’s a great appeal to no-nonsense, good fun boating because everyone’s got busy lives these days. Everybody has so much else in their life to manage, whether it be, travel, cars, kids, sports, other activities. Managing a big, complex boat might not be something that you’re necessarily ready for at your stage of life.
“The Cap Camarat is an honest boat. This is a boat that does what it says it’s going to do.”
And something that’s worth noting is that this particular boat, is part of the Four Points Boat Club. So you don’t even need to buy one of these. You can actually just become a member, pay your monthly fee, and get access to the boat on a regular basis. You’re essentially renting access to the boat. Not only that, you can leave whenever you want. You know, give them a month’s notice and you can leave and go pursue your other interests.
I think that’s a great idea. I can see people wanting to boat in summer, ski in winter, and maybe throw in a little bit of boating in the off-season. And in a situation like the Four Points Boat Club, you can do that. They’re located at The Spit in Mosman. Super convenient, and with parking-level access to the marina, that’s no-nonsense boating. Park the car, take your bag, invite your mates, go out, and have a good day.
This is the sort of boat you could throw it on the beach with a stern anchor. You could pull up to the restaurant. You can go and watch some sailing. You can pop out and do a little whale watching in winter or find a nice quiet place like this and have a long lunch. Happy days! I think it’s an all-round good prospect. “What about you, Ruby?” Dan asked. “I think it’s great!” Ruby replied. “Yeah? Nice!” Dan exclaimed. Well, look, thank you for joining us. We’ve really enjoyed making that, going for a bit of a burn, talking about this boat. My name’s Dan Jones, this is Dan’s Boat Life. See you on the next one.