ASK anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you it’s not often I’m lost for words.
But I absolutely was when I stepped aboard the Australian Master Marine 7000 Tournament. What a beautiful example of marine architecture. When I regained control of my vocal chords, the first thing I said to Matt of AMM was: “This is the nicest boat I’ve ever been in.” This was no overstatement.
The whole rig looked as if it had been covered in 20 coats of perfect gloss paint, and this was a customer’s boat that had seen about a year of fairly regular use. However, the high quality of the AMM Tournament series is much more than just skin deep. Built on a proven plate alloy hull with a 6mm bottom and 4mm sides as standard, you can rest assured the Tournament will go anywhere you point the bow.
AMM’s hulls feature full-height girders and frames underfloor, with a full-length keel bar and external keel cap to guarantee you punch through the rough stuff with ease. This is paired with a pretty aggressive 20-degree deadrise and 150mm reverse chines that on the test day offshore from the Gold Coast saw the big 7000 Tournament carving through the minimal chop with absolute ease.
Matt mentioned he would have preferred it to be rougher than it was, as the low rolling ground swell from the east and 15-knot southwesterly wind resulted in near-ideal offshore conditions. We wanted to give this boat a challenge! As it was, we ran both with and against the chop and maxed the boat out both ways at 81km/h.
Attached to the stern of our test boat was a 300hp Yamaha four-stroke that clearly had no trouble shifting the considerable mass of the AMM 7000 Tournament. Any boat that can run out to 80km/h, even inshore in dead-calm conditions, is considered a quick rig, so to be surpassing that speed offshore is no mean feat. The funny thing is, the 7000 is rated to 350hp, and man it would be an absolute weapon with that extra 50hp.
Does it need the extra power though? Negative, rubber ducky. Our boat absolutely launched out of the hole and quickly reached a happy cruise speed of 55km/h, which was both comfortable and economical. Speaking of comfort, those lucky enough to perch in the front pews of any AMM Tournament boat will be treated to Reelax seats with armrests as standard.
The driver’s seat also has the ability to slide back and forth, just like a car’s, to ensure you’re comfortable at the helm. The unique selling point of AMM is absolutely everything is open to customisation.
If you want it, you’ve got it.
This means if the features on this test boat don’t suit your tastes, don’t worry, AMM will happily alter the design and specs to whatever you desire. Want a wider cabin? Longer cabin? Extended hard top? Different floor layout? No problem, AMM can do it all.
Back in the driver’s seat, you’ve got excellent all-round vision thanks to a tall and broad glasshouse, and ventilation isn’t an issue with sliding side windows that open from both the front and back. Despite its massive 7m length, the 7000 Tournament is a doddle to control at idle speeds and when cracking along at 80km/h. And when you’re really motoring, closing the side windows results in a fairly hushed cabin atmosphere, with Matt and I able to hold a steady conversation with only slightly raised voices.
It goes without saying that on this day and in these conditions, the interior of the boat was a spray-free zone. I’ve little doubt it would remain this way regardless of the conditions, mainly due to the excellent hull design and chunky reverse chines that simply pump water out and away from the boat.
Check out the photo on the previous page to see the hull doing its thing. On the off chance that water does make its way into the boat (or you’ve used the standard deck wash), the standard self-draining deck will make short work of drying things out. Also standard are a kill tank, live bait tank and rod holders galore in the side decks and on the bait board and hard top.
As you’d expect, the positioning and number of rod holders is up to the customer. In the cabin, the customisation continues. Our test boat did without the optional toilet and shower (yes, shower!), and instead had cushioned bunks that measured over 1.9m, providing loads of room for me to lie down and stretch out.
Removing the two central bunk in-fills revealed a super-deep storage/walk space that allowed you to stand up with your head poking up through a cut-out in the dash. Spacious doesn’t begin to cover it and yet the sizeable cabin doesn’t impede on deck space and fishing room. The joys of a 7m boat.
A tinted central hatch in the cabin roof lets in sunlight but on the test boat, access to the bow was best gained via walking around the cabin on the 300mm-wide side decks. Non-slip coating everywhere and full-length grab rails on the hard top ensure you remain safe and sound while walking around to the front of the boat, and the side decks are so wide that you can actually stand looking forwards with your feet side by side.
Once at the bow, it’s a comfortable and spacious place to be, with the cabin top flat and broad enough to easily lie or sit on for chilling out or fishing.
The anchor well is deep and broad and happily accommodates an anchor winch while the high bow rails are great to brace against. Back in the cockpit, the side decks are also the perfect height to lean against and would no doubt make things more comfortable when buckled over fighting a big kingfish.
A transom ladder, full-width pod, multiple grab rails and rear door make getting in and out of the boat as easy as possible. However, I’m not sure why you’d want to get out of it.
On the water testing Australian Master Marine 5200 Sea Class and 7000 Tournament!!! Awesome!
Posted by Bush 'n Beach Fishing Magazine on Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Of course, all this quality (the best I’ve ever seen) and customisation doesn’t come particularly cheap and you’ve got to pay to play, but for the boat you get in return, I would happily say you’ll be overjoyed with your return on investment. Yet again I find myself lost for words, other than to say this: If you can afford one, buy one.
For more information, contact Australian Master Marine on 07 3889 7380 or visit australianmastermarine.com.au