Video: McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781

By: Matt Jones

McLay Boats is renowned for making tough aluminium fishing boats. The new McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 is no exception.

Trade-a-Boat reviewer Matt Jones headed to the North Island waters to review the aluminium McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 off Whakatane.


 See this boat reviewed in full, here: McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 review



For this boat review Matt Jones got to test both the inboard and the outboard motor versions of the McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781. The McLay Cruiser you see here is the inboard version, powered by a 315hp Yamaha ST1 diesel. The leg is the Yamaha hydra-drive with 23P duo-props. The combination made for a very economical setup, tipping 34kts at 3800rpm.



The McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 has a lockable cabin which accommodates a two-person vee-berth and electric toilet.

As the boat is almost 8m long, there is no shortage of space within, with loads of storage throughout plus more under the seats.

Vision from the helm is brilliant and there’s a large dash for modern marine electronics. Sliding glass windows and roof hatches provide good ventilation too.



Outside of the cabin the layout on the McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 is all about fishing. There are welded rodholders, big underfloor fish bins and a saltwater washdown for the easily cleaned treadplate cockpit floor. A large livebait tank is at the stern (with more storage under the transom) and the Portofino-style transom means room for anglers down that end. A removable transom door (which stores neatly out of the way) and a solid boarding ladder add to the appeal.



The McLay Cruiser Hardtop 781 is a tough and dependable aluminium fishing boat. The build quality is excellent and the Yamaha sterndrive will go many miles offshore.


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