Surtees 6.7 Gamefisher

By: Norman Holtzhausen, Photography by: Norman Holtzhausen


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The Surtees 6.7 Gamefisher enclosed hardtop is a perfect pocket-rocket for serious fishermen wanting big-boat facilities in a more compact package

Surtees 6.7 Gamefisher
Surtees 6.7 Gamefisher
  • Surtees' unique self-flooding shut-able chamber
  • Single person launching with the trailer catch
  • Well laid-out and compact console
  • Functional transom with step-through gate, bench seat, and livebait tank
  • Smooth ride and stable at rest

The quality of the build is evident in the Surtees 6.7, with neat welding and finishing.

The hull is constructed from 5mm alloy, with sides being 4mm and the cabin 3mm.

Surtees boats have some unique features, most notably the self-flooding 380-litre ballast chamber that runs along the length of the keel line. This fills with water when the boat stops moving forward, allowing the boat to sink slightly lower, which stabilises the hull at rest. When power is applied the chamber empties almost instantly, reducing weight and allowing the hull to rise onto the plane.

This feature allows Surtees boats to have a very fine entry (18 degrees deadrise at the stern) while forming a stable platform at rest. A shut-off gate also allows the water to be retained in the chamber for additional stability underway in heavy conditions.

Another feature is the trailer catch, which allows single-handed launch and retrieve.

Cabin, cockpit and helm

The 6.7 Gamefisher has a fully enclosed lock-up cabin with twin hinged doors at the rear that can be clipped open with solid vibration-proof catches, or closed to provide complete protection from the elements.

Helm and passenger seats are plush-upholstered bench seats with fold-up footrests. Under the helm seat is a large storage locker, and the passenger seat lifts up to reveal a lined storage tray. A 12V fridge is located in the seat pedestal. A parcel shelf runs either side of the cabin.

The review boat was fully equipped, with controls for the automatic capstan, trim tabs, wipers, a full set of Suzuki dials, an electrical switch panel, a Fusion stereo system, and a VHF radio all fitted into the dash. A Raymarine A70 display on a pedestal mount completes the electronics.

The forward cabin contains two full-length bunks with upholstered squabs. An infill section can be lifted up to reveal a marine toilet with electric macerator.

Grab-handles welded to the cabin roof plus a non-slip surface on the footway around the cabin make stepping round the hardtop safe enough. A bow roller keeps the anchor secure and away from the hull, while an automatic capstan makes setting or lifting the anchor easier. Two welded alloy bollards are fitted for securing to a mooring.

The cockpit is spacious and well set-up. The wide gunwales feature numerous rod holders, each with a matching drink holder.

There are two further bench seats outside in the cockpit. These are well placed to keep the occupants dry while underway, and the vinyl-covered squabs lift up to reveal a hand basin with running hot and cold water on one side and a two-burner gas cooker on the other.

The cabin roof framework extends into the cockpit, and has a clip-on sunshade section. A rocket launcher with six rod holders is mounted along the rear. A deck floodlight is fitted for fishing after dark.

The transom

The transom features a hinged seat that drops down to provide for up to three people. This also forms the cover for the battery compartment (twin batteries and cut-off switches).

The transom step-through on the port side has a livebait tank with viewing window. The gate for the transom step-through is hinged, ensuring it cannot be lost. In the starboard side corner is a glass fuel filter, enabling any fuel problems to be diagnosed at a glance.

The Portofino stern has a huge boarding platform, with a hinged boarding ladder.

Under the floor is a 240-litre fuel tank, giving a huge range thanks to the efficiency of the four-stroke Suzuki 200hp. This motor was so quiet at idle that we literally forgot to turn it off while we were taking photos. The filler for the fuel tank is right in the middle of the cockpit floor under the carpet, which makes gassing up a bit fiddly. In the rear of the cockpit is a large underfloor wet locker.

Performance and handling

A wind of 25 knots had whipped up a nasty chop on our test day. Although a lot of spray was generated, the wipers were generally not necessary and the occupants remained warm and dry.

The flooding keel is not immediately noticeable as it responds so quickly. Coming to rest, the boat settles down immediately. It feels more stable than most similar sized boats, and would easily accommodate four or more anglers moving around.

Pushing the throttle up causes the boat to jump onto the plane, and again there is no discernible lag due as the keel empties. Trim tabs are fitted, although we found no reason to use them during our test.

The hull has no planning strakes but has wide downturned chines. The chine is made even wider through an additional strip welded to the hull, turning the spray down and forwards. The hull handles well, with the chines gripping the water in a tight turn to prevent side slip. On our return to the boat ramp we had a severe cross swell, which the boat handled with ease with no tendency to surf or steer itself.

Fuel usage

While conditions were not ideal for optimum fuel economy at one point we were running at a stable 19 knots but using less than 16 litres per hour. Clearly this is a very economical hull to push along, and the fuel-efficient motor helps.

Read in-depth boat reviews inthe latest issue of Trade-A-Boat magazine, on sale now.

See Surtees boats for sale here.

Specifications

LOA 6.7m
Beam 2.35m
Construction Hull 5mm Alloy, sides 4mm, topsides 3mm
Motor Suzuki 200hp fuel-injected four-stroke
Fuel capacity 240L
Water capacity 75L

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