Challenger 595SE

By: Norman Holtzhausen

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The 595e answered the demand for a high level of finish from the sporty Challenger range, and features premium padded seating for four occupants, upholstered bunks, stainless fittings and bow rail

Challenger 595SE
Challenger 595SE
  • Capable of multi-purpose use
  • Predictable handling, great in confined spaces
  • Plenty of storage
  • Comfortable seating arrangement
  • Powerful take-off from the Honda engine

The real mark of a Challenger is the ride, and all Challenger boats feature a unique strakeless hull. The lack of strakes and relatively steep deadrise of 18.5 degrees mean that the hull slices through the water effortlessly and lands softly if it becomes airborne. Laid up in solid fibreglass, the hull provides a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride.

The new model has been teamed up with the brand new Honda BF115 four-stroke Honda.

The review boat came with the optional black hull gel coat. It features an open cabin, although a bimini top and clears can be fitted as an option.

The boat is supplied on a single-axle galvanised Prescott trailer, fitted with wobble rollers and hydraulic brakes. The towing weight is reported to be around 1350kg.

The low cabin roof means there is little wind drag on this combo. The braked trailer performed flawlessly and at times it was easy to forget the load behind the car.

We launched off the beach at Maraetai without any fuss, the boat slipping easily off the trailer. This hull has a draft of just under 40cm so after parking the trailer it was possible to get back aboard without getting wet beyond the knees.

Honda delivers

The Honda fired up easily and quietly. Thanks to the economy of the four-stroke, two tote tanks would be good for almost 50 nautical miles. Wwners wanting a larger range should look at specifying the under-floor fuel tank.

Soon the boat was scooting along at 34 knots. A large-pitch three-blade prop on the motor gave astonishing acceleration. This configuration would be ideal for towing skiers or water toys, giving good low-speed power and excellent acceleration.

The boat tracked extremely well under calm conditions, holding a dead-straight line even with hands off the wheel. We enjoyed the rare ability to travel at 30-plus knots in a boat this size.

Inside the cabin

The cabin bunks are full length and well padded. An infill makes the full width of the cabin usable for sleeping, and a padded shelf runs along both sides. The sides and roof of the cabin are carpet-lined, and the hatch has adjustable stays to allow it to be fastened at an angle for ventilation.

Doing the business

Deploying the anchor manually was easy thanks to the large polycarbonate hatch in the cabin roof, although it is possible to walk around the sides of the cabin.

A capstan can be fitted behind the split hatch, and there is enough space inside the anchor well to fit a drum winch.

The king-and-queen seating arrangement worked extremely well, with the rear-facing seats also allowing the occupants to sit sideways. The queen seats are hinged and lift up to reveal a huge storage area.

There were four rod holders fitted. A stainless steel ski pole (actually a reinforced frame) is fitted for towing water toys or skiers, and a bait station option is available.

The Portofino-style stern is perfect for swimming or diving off, with a transom step-through on the port side. A stainless boarding ladder is in place, and grab handles on each side of the boarding platform.

Fitted in the transom are two hatches; one occupied by the battery and master cut-out switch and the other available for stowing loose items. Padded and lined shelves run the whole length of the boat, and a marine carpet is fitted. Under a hatch in the floor is another huge storage area.

The boat has all the required navigation lights, as well as good LED cockpit and cabin lights. The Raymarine A50 chartplotter/fishfinder combo has integrated NMEA input, facilitating the monitoring of fuel usage, remaining range and other engine data on the same display. Although the screen on this unit is only five inches, it has VGA-quality resolution (640 by 480 pixels).

The windscreen did an excellent job of directing the chilly night air away from us.

The helm position is comfortable and the boat rides well. The boat tracks fine through an angled swell and the lack of strakes makes little or no difference to the handling.


This model is set up for watersports, although it proved to be a fish-magnet as well and could easily be set up for dual purpose. The boat is, of course, built to CPC standards and is unsinkable.

See a range of Challenger boats for sale.


Length 5.96m
Beam 2.30m
Draft 0.38m
Deadrise 18.5 degrees
Motor Honda BF115 four-stroke
Fuel capacity Tote tanks
Trailer Prescott single axle galvanised braked
Towing weight 1350kg

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