YELLOWFIN Plate is hoping to make a big impression with its recent brand relaunch.
You may not be familiar with the Yellowfin Plate name, yet the brand has a 35-year history in Australia. Think of the Yellowfin family tree in a similar vein to the Hemsworth family and you’re on the right track. So you’ve got Quintrex (Chris), Stacer (Liam) and Yellowfin (Luke). Basically, it’s the less-renowned brother of well-known sibling brands.
However, Yellowfin Plate doesn’t want to fade into the background and let its siblings garner all the fame and attention, no, it wants to kick serious goals with serious offshore boats hand built in southeast Queensland. Apart from being hand built, what has the brand one in relaunching itself to pop up on your radar? A focus on customer comfort is key, with increased spacing between helm seats, dry storage, massive fuel tanks, increased dash space for up to 16” electronics and more helping to make stepping into a Yellowfin for an offshore fishing trip an inviting proposition.
On a recent test day leaving from Manly on Brisbane’s bayside I was able to step aboard a number of new Yellowfin Plate models, but I spent the most time on the 7000 Southerner HT. This 6.98m boat certainly isn’t lacking in visual impact, especially not as tested with deep, gloss grey paintwork covering the majority of surfaces including the h-u-g-e cabin and hard top. Designed to comfortably punch through a coastal bar and then spend at least a night offshore, cabin space and comfort were clearly priorities during design.
These two boxes are well and truly ticked by the big Southerner, with loads of walking room between the helm seats, masses of headroom (even for six-footers and above), a panoramic glasshouse and enough cushioned sleeping room to comfortably accommodate two adults. The joy of a 7m platform is a massive cabin does little to impede on fishing room, and the 7000 Southerner has no problem fitting three fishos along one side of the boat. Handy with a rated capacity of seven people!
Looking at the spec sheet, the options list is mighty tempting but this is no bare-bones special, with standard features including carpeted cabin storage, live bait tank, outrigger mounting plates, windscreen wiper, self-draining treadplate (checker plate) deck, Zipwake trim tabs and more. Our test boat was understandably plumped with a few tasty extras such as the aforementioned grey paint, an electric motor bow mount plate (spot locking is the new anchoring, duh), driver’s seat with suspension and a few other niceties throughout the cabin. I tell you what, you absolutely feel like the ocean is your oyster when sitting in the driver’s pew.
The expansive wraparound windscreen, high seating position and just that feeling of security in a hard top provide the perfect platform for oceanic exploring. The test boat was fitted with the maximum horsepower in the form of an Evinrude E-TEC G2 225hp HO. I remain a sucker for the maximum rated horses on a boat and damn, every time I jump back in an E-TEC-powered boat I’m reminded of just how bloody punchy these motors are.
Acceleration is genuinely savage, especially when hitting the throttle from a cruise, with the motor responding without hesitation and rocketing the bow towards the horizon. The rolling acceleration is truly addictive (perfect for bar crossings), and I felt the 225 HO was well matched to the hull, able to settle into a comfy 46km/h cruise at barely 3500rpm, just humming along out the back. Despite all its fury, the big E-TEC showed its direct-injection tech isn’t all for show by returning impressive economy numbers when matched to the 1250kg hull (dry).
That 46km/h cruise speed saw the Evinrude drinking 24.4 litres of fuel per hour, which thanks to a 320-litre fuel tank equates to a range of over 600km! As I said, the ocean is your oyster. Flat out during testing with one person on board, the 7000 Southerner HT and E-TEC 225 HO combo topped 82km/h at 6000rpm, which is more than enough to ruffle your feathers in an open boat but feels barely half that speed when cocooned in the comfort of the big hard top.
With a bunch of other Yellowfin Plate models getting about on the test day, I took the opportunity to run amok over their wakes in order to give the 7000 Southerner something of a challenge. The big plate boat just ate up whatever I threw at it, with the Zipwake trim tabs ensuring the hull ran straight and true even when surfing a sizeable wave. Its 6mm bottom sheets dissected any smaller waves with aplomb and nudging the nose up once on the plane, I found the ride to be incredibly soft for an alloy boat.
A little bit of alloy slap permeates the hull when copping a wave on the front quarters but apart from that it’s a remarkably quiet boat under way. And boy does that suspension seat ensure you remain comfy no matter the conditions. Overall, the Yellowfin Plate 7000 Southerner HT is an easy boat to like. Big, beamy and comfy as a lounge chair yet able to explore the farthest reaches of most offshore fishing grounds, you’ll want for nothing, especially after taking a quick trip down options lane.
You can get into a 7000 Southerner HT as tested for about $95,000 from Brisbane Quintrex, though prices start at $85,625 with a 200hp ETEC. For more information on the Yellowfin range, visit yellowfinplateboats.com.au
To see the boats in person and find the one that’s right for you, drop by Brisbane Quintrex at 3775 Pacific Highway, Loganholme or head to brisbanequintrex.com.au