Yalta a Winner on Price
Yaltacraft 2000 Deluxe
The Sunday Times, June 18, 2011
One of the quiet achievers of the 2011 Boat of the Year awards was the Yalta 2000 Deluxe. It was the winner of the Imported Fibreglass category, and it won handily. The word imported, incidentally, does not imply foreign: for slightly insular W.A. even the Eastern States, from where Yalta hails, does not qualify as local.
A longer revisit to the Yalta gave more time to play with it, and reinforced the view that this boat ticks the boxes and does so at a reasonable price, being les than typical for a well equipped 6m fibreglass cabin boat.
The 2000 fits the bill as a family all-rounder, with the ability to also take off and do the job for the dedicated fishermen among them. At first look the cockpit seems to have been given more than the lion's share of the length, but a second look reveals that by some trick the cabin has reserved enough length for genuine bunks with generous stowage below them.
With only a partial bulkhead ahead of the driver, the cabin is an airy space - and a comfortable one.
The cockpit offers seats for half a dozen, or alternatively for just two. The two permanent forward seats are upholstered bucket models with bolsters, mounted on tall tapered boxes with two-tier caves. There is a recessed dash grab rail, and each seat has mini caves alongside for oddments.
The rear seats are particularly clever. The settee is in two sections, removable independantly. One sits on an icebox, the other on a storage bin, also removable. This allows a stripped-naked cockpit for maximum space, one that is fully equipped, or the choice of seat on Esky or bin - which can be brought aboard fully loaded. There are no lockers with doors on the 2000 other than the bait boxes, bettery and oil tank living within the transom and behind the settee.
It has the quintessential fishing boat quality of being a stable platform. The idea of tiptoeing around when you really need to concentrate on a hooked fish is unthinkable, and in the 2000 unnecessary; three or perhaps four anglers can operate without causing nasty motions.
The whole area is well protected. A powerful targa arch carries a high-set bimini and clears link it with the stylish curved screen. And, in passing, this is a boat with a lot of style.The profile has proportions you would normally see in a larger boat. The detail of finish is there too, a flush fore hatch giving an unbroken line to the cabin front - as well as access to a competent anchoring set-up; lidded cable well, chain-catch bitts, split bow rail and bowsprit.
A 115hp Yamaha two-stroke powers the Yalta; not a fashionable motor, but the aim with this boat is affordability and the equivalent four-stroke would add over $5000 to the price. Current two-strokers are leagues ahead of their ancestors in civilised qualities and this was a fine example: first turn of the key started it, no visible smoke, instant smooth idle.
The vigorous accelleration reminded us this was indeed a two-stroke, and 115hp was enough for plenty of fun.
The Yalta has a shapely hull with a 22-degree deadrise that worked well for us. Ride was right up there with the better fibreglass 20-footers.
Although pitched at the price conscious, the Yalta has been fully equipped down to navigation lights, sounder and safety gear.