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‘Best ever’ boat show prize sure to be a winner.
Each year, organisers of May’s Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show get together with a leading Kiwi boat manufacturer and engine distributor to create a “Grand Prize Package” giveaway for the show.
Anyone who buys a ticket to the show is eligible to enter the draw, they simply need to collect stamps from several clearly marked booths, answer a simple question and add their contact details. The winner is drawn and announced shortly after the show closes.
This year’s winner will be a particularly lucky one. They will take home the biggest and highest value prize ever offered at a boat show in New Zealand: a 7-metre Surtees 700 Game Fisher Open hardtop, powered by twin Yamaha 115hp 4-stroke engines, packed full of extras and worth over $150,000!
Until the show opens (on May 18 at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland), the prize boat is living at the Fishing Boats NZ yard in Glenfield, on Auckland’s North Shore. When Bayfisher arrives to take it for a run out into the Hauraki Gulf, we cannot help but be impressed.
The Surtees/Yamaha Grand Prize Package sits on a stylish, black Epic tandem axle braked trailer, complete with new Surtees protective stone guards, mag wheels and a Balex Auto Boat Loader. Gracing the hardtop is a Garmin radar dome, part of an almost $12,000 Garmin package that includes a 12’ GPS/Map 7412 multi-function display, 3D G2 vision charts, GM24 xHD radar, TM265LH CHIRP 1kw transducer and VHF.
Launching the approx 2-tonne rig at Westhaven proves easy, despite the low tide. One simply backs into the water, detaches the boat from the trailer and pushes the “launch” button on the ABL (we actually used the remote while on board, inside the cabin). To make things even easier we had already lowered the twin Yamaha 115hp 4-strokes and started them; although it was hard to tell, as they were so quiet, even partly submerged. The twin engines also made manoeuvring exceptionally easy in the tight confines of the marina.
Once free of the confines of speed restrictions, we open up the twin Yamaha 115s and enjoy comfortably blasting across the waves. Although light winds had been forecast, there is a reasonably messy chop in the Rangitoto Channel. However, a quick tweak of the Lectratab trim tabs keeps the 7-metre Surtees on an even, comfortable keel.
In fact, very little fazes this prize package, regardless of whether one is running flat out into, across or down the waves, or throwing it into high speed tight turns. Partly that is due to what the company calls “Surtees IQ”: their unique combination of water ballast technology, non-pounding deep V hulls and engineered sub-floor systems.
The other part is the perfectly matched engines. The latest generation lightweight Yamaha 4-strokes are 4-cylinder, 1.8 litre EFI engines with 16 valves and double overhead camshafts. Compatible with Yamaha’s Digital Network System, the twin outboards require just the single digital instrument panel to provide all the information (revs, speed, trim position, fuel economy, etc) that one requires.
The port engine on the prize boat has also been fitted with a counter-rotating propeller, ensuring both propellers turn outwards to ensure a smoother, more balanced ride with no tendency to pull to port.
Also contributing to the smooth ride is the Ultraflex hydraulic steering and a Softrider pedestal seat for the driver (the crew’s seat is on an aluminium bracket, under which lives a large Iceytek chilly bin, complete with rear-facing seat squab.
Perfect for fishing
With a large 280-litre fuel tank, this prize boat boasts a huge cruising range and its large cabin, complete with infill bunks, means one can easily overnight, too. However, the boat is really designed for those keen on fishing.
A Surtees bait station (complete with Eze-mount, three rod holders and drainage house) is centrally positioned on the transom and the plumbed live bait tank is close at hand under the port side walk-through. There are another three rod holders per side in the coamings and a further 6 up in the integral rocket launcher. There is more rod and general stowage in the deep side pockets and handy toekicks on the both sides for those needing to brace themselves while fighting something decent. Acknowledging that fishing can often be thirsty work, Surtees has thoughtfully inset a stainless steel drink holder alongside each of the side rod holders.
There is also LED floor, cabin and floodlights for those out after dark and a triple Century Batteries system under the transom to ensure there is always enough power.
Other extras on board include a Lone Star GX2 drum winch system (complete with Sarca anchor and rode), a Fusion UD750 stereo system, Jabsco washdown pump and a driver’s side Exalto window wiper, which proves handy in the cross breeze coming home.
Making this a truly enviable prize package are the painted hull and cabin, the sliding windows in the hardtop (so good on a hot day!), the canvas cockpit shade extension (ditto), cabin carpet and fold-away back bench seat.
Like every Surtees owner, the lucky winner of this prize boat will get a 10-year recreational hull warranty. They will also receive a year’s worth of Yamaha Marine Insurance, a set of Hutchwilco Surtees lifejackets and the Epic trailer will be both registered and warranted.
What: Surtees/Yamaha Grand Prize Package
Will be won: At the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show
ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland
May 18-21, 2017
Show open: 10am-6pm daily, late night Friday until 9pm
Admission: $20 at gate, $18 on line*, children 16 & under free
* A one-off delivery charge applies to each order