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Coraline 525 Bowrider

KEN BROWN
The West Australian Saturday, March 23, 2013

Coraline Bowrider 525

The 525 Bow Rider is designed for the sea and a family.

Many people associate the bow rider layout with sheltered waters. This is fair enough for many imported examples with low freeboard and not even a decent anchoring system, but the Coraline 525 is in a different class: plenty of freeboard on a seagoing hull, bowsprit and anchor well, abundant rails and a self-draining deck. The kicker is the pot winch and tipper - not too many rock lobster in the river.

The buyer wanted a boat the whole family could enjoy, something to pull his pots from, and a boat to tow north for holiday fishing. In a bigger boat the choice might have been a walkaround, but in this size range a bow rider was probably the best bet.

The forward cockpit has settees around it's perimeter and could comfortably seat three. Two seats at the twin dashes plus the rear settee add another five options. These add to room for a big family. For non-family days the forward upholstery can be left at home. The rear settee has the useful options of folding or simply lifting out.

Two is the most common number in a fishing boat but the Coraline could comfortably fish three; with less luxurious elbow room four would not be a squeeze. Stability is more than acceptable.

Coraline's new generation hull with more V and wider chines combines this stability with a good ride.

There is no catch tank. These are standard on nearly all Coralines but the owner's reasoning is easy to deduce. Except with low sea-water temperatures an ice slurry is not going to survive long in a non-insulted tank; straight sea-water in the tank will do nothing to stop the fishes' deterioration. In northern waters the tank would turn into a fish cooker. The easy solution is a portable icebox, with the extra advantage of being shore-side transport for the catch.

The bow rider layout automatically puts the driving position weel aft, comfortably away from the slam zone. Not that this boat is prone to slamming, but we tend to open the throttle as far as comfort allows and the 525 allows quite a distance. People ahead of the windscreen might disagree but there is always the rear-lounge seating alternative.

Forward passengers can be grateful for a lack of spray. Subtleties of hull shape make some boats send water over passengers on the mildest days but this one is well-behaved.

Only the first-class seats get shade, provided with a simple bimini that furls neatly into a sock. And it does the job.

The 525 was fitted with an 80hp Yamaha four-stroke and a worthwhile extra, hydraulic steering - worth gold if you have lots of wheel turning to do. But, at any time, the lack of effort it needs improves the day's experience. The Yamaha did a fine job. Crisp response and a top speed, two up, of 34 knots.

The boat's natural trim is good and small amounts of power trim were enough to adjust it for different headings.

The Coraline's fit-out and equipment inventory leave nothing to buy beyond bait and fuel: good ladder with transom door, radio and sounder-plotter, navigation lights and, not that common in this style of boat, lots of storage - under the forward seats, in two transom lockers, in cave lockers under the main seats and in side pockets.

The Whole rig sits on a multi-roller trailer that rounded our day nicely by needing little winching effort.

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