Simple and Practical
Coraline 460 Series
The West Australian Saturday, March 26, 2010
If Coraline has a motto it must be along the lines of "Leave no niche unfilled". The boat maker's vast range runs from 8m down to 4.6m, with constant redesigns and refinements ensuring that few are the same. The range of optional extras and deletions adds to that likelihood. The review 460 Runabout illustrates this well. Its recent redesign has seen an increase in deadrise to 14 degrees, with reverse chines added to balance it.
Go for a couple of portable fuel tanks instead of built-in (they are far more convenient in a boat of this size), delete the paint and be satisfied with a 40hp two-stroke and you get a 4.6m plate aluminium runabout for $23,719. That is pressed aluminium country, and there are plenty of people who want the extra ruggedness of plate together with a self-draining deck.
Or you could move in the direction of the review boat. With the paint restored, fuel tank, rod locker, kill tank and sounder added, the side plates bumped up to the 4mm thickness of the bottom, and the motor upgraded to a 60hp Yamaha four-stroke, the price climbs to $35,990.
Even in stripped-down mode this is a well-equipped runabout. It has coaming rod holders, motor and anchor wells, a bowsprit, safety and grab rails where you want them, a footrest fence to restrain gear under the foredeck, and seats for four. Two of them are welded into the quarters at either side of the motor well - coated with carpet they offer acceptable comfort. The two at the dash are swiveling armchairs.
There is only one set of hinges on board and that is on the centre section of the windscreen to give access to the anchor. This is part of the 460's refreshing simplicity and lack of breakable bits.
Total storage volume is quite high. Besides the caves and the side pockets there is space under the foredeck for light, bulky gear.
The 460's stability surprised me; it felt as though beam was a few inches more than the quoted 2m. My query revealed that I was more or less right. Part of the redesign was to make the topsides nearly vertical, so that although the overall beam stayed the same, the waterline beam increased.
With the 460 moving, the sensation of being on a bigger boat remained. It has a solid presence on the water and when heading out to sea had the more measured movement of something longer and heavier.
The driving position is well forward to maximize cockpit length, putting the driver and friend in the slam zone. This has the practical advantage of encouraging you to slow down earlier than you might in say a centre console, but the motion was far from extreme.
My comfort-seeking back was impressed with how well the 460 coped with speed over the small chop and larger wakes we found.
The 60hp Yamaha gave us a top speed of 28 knots, which with more hours on the engine could rise a knot or two. This means effortless cruising at speeds up to the low 20s, which will not be available for a big percentage of the time on the ocean.
Dropping 10 or so horsepower would be reasonable unless you expect to have four people on board a lot of the time.
Having the traditional well instead of a trendy extended transom means there is no built-in boarding platform. Instead, Coraline added a platform to port and equipped it with rail and boarding ladder which does the identical job. Simplicity again. As an inshore fishing boat the 460 has a lot to be said for it.