Seafarer brand gets a fresh boost this summer with the new family-friendly 6.2m Vanquish cuddy/walk-around.
Amidst the tougher times many boat manufacturers have reassessed their model line-ups, and in quite a few cases chopped a few models. The Haines Group is no exception. It may be one of Australia’s biggest boat companies; however, it has had to respond to market forces as much as anyone else. This is why last summer they dropped the Traveller brand, which had been the near-sister of the Signature range.
This was a good sense move because Traveller had failed to get out of the shadow of its more famous sister brand. The result is some of the very latest Traveller models have migrated over to the Seafarer range, which also forms part of the Haines Group along with Suzuki outboards.
Like Signature, the Seafarer brand is highly regarded in the Aussie boating world and arguably was the one to keep. So it was with a lot of interest I took a run in a ‘new’ Seafarer model that has strong Traveller DNA. The Seafarer 6.2 Vanquish is certainly a boat that family boaties will immediately identify with. It's nice looking, has stacks of room, a very comfortable interior and comfortable cab with proper berths.
The Vanquish is certainly a welcome addition to the Seafarer line in more ways than one. It doesn’t just bring fresh styling but also very keen pricing. Vanquish also has some really nice touches like foam-filled, underfloor flotation that makes it a safe boat to use offshore.
Seafarer has long been associated with quality, and buyers aren’t going to be disappointed with this latest model. Another factor also underlying the value of this Seafarer is the exceptional warranty – 10 years on hull and two years on fittings/deck hardware.
Buyers looking for a good all-rounder family cum-fishing boat won’t have any further to look. For starters, Vanquish delivers practical wide side deck. These aren’t deeply recessed decks so you don’t lose cabin space, however, deep enough to help get a footing.
This is a very practical design and one that is typical Aussie. It is a boat that suits family boating, suits inshore or offshore fishing and adapts with your needs over time.
Another appeal of the Vanquish is the extra big cockpit with plenty of internal depth for safe angling offshore. The same deep cockpit also means safety for kids, which is going to get a big tick of approval from mum!
The sporty fastback transom is also a nice feature of the 6.2 Vanquish and leads us to the subject of its unusual but highly effective ‘twin pod’ style transom. This gives you pod extensions either side of the motor, a bit like an inflatable boat. The result is high at-rest stability for fishing. It also means the Vanquish comes onto the plane more easily and uses less fuel.
So, if you think I’m painting a picture of a good family boat, you’re right! Vanquish goes against the current trend of hardcore, centre console fishing boats but what’s wrong with that? We certainly need a few more family boats so we can get the kids into boating. If we don’t do this enough, recreational boat-fishing will die in decades to come!
Families will also like the social-friendly seating with a split lounge at the back. They’ll like the nice upholstery, carpeted floor and walk-through door at the back for easily access for the kids after a swim.
You’ll also be able to enjoy some camper-boat holidays. The interior can bunk down two adults in the cabin and two kids on the cockpit, using air beds.
We tested this boat through Sydney dealer, A&L Outboards & Services who are Sydney’s exclusive Seafarer dealer. Jim and the boys delivered the boat to the Sylvania ramp on the shores of Georges River, which was a good choice because it’s an excellent ramp and one I’d recommend for fishing Botany Bay, or cruising up the lovely Georges River.
Fitted with the all-new Mercury 150hp four-stroke our test boat came to $63,995 ready-to-go. This is good buying considering it includes a sun bimini/rod rack, floor carpet, chemical toilet, deluxe upholstery, coloured hull and safety package.
Design: This is without doubt the most modern of the Seafarer designs, but still keeps the Seafarer tradition of a name beginning with the letter V- in this case, Vanquish.
Length overall is 6.2m, including the moulded bowsprit and the pod transom. Beam is bang on the maximum day/night trailing limit of 2.5m and this means you can travel all Aussie roads and highways.
Looking closer you find a very contemporary ‘modern’ design with sporty, aerodynamic lines and a fastback transom. It’s also a deep Vee hull with a wave-cutting 22.5 degree deadrise at the transom.
If you look closer you notice that the Vee bottom actually has a slight gull-wing that helps it ride through rough water and be more stable at rest.
You also see modern design touches such as a runner-plank keel plus down-deflecting chines either sides. This combination ensures fuel consumption is reduced and the Vanquish isn’t as thirsty on fuel as many big boats this size.
While the bow entry is quite sharp the Seafarer 6.2 Vanquish carries quite a bit of fullness into the bows above chine level. This ensures she won’t dig her bows in too easily when running downhill with the waves.
The styling of the Seafarer 6.2 Vanquish certainly won’t disappoint the family buyer either. It looks very smart on the trailer especially with the optional black/white colour scheme. You could also have a plain white hull, or variety of other colours.
You’ll also notice this Seafarer doesn’t have any flash topside graphics and relies on a simply brand nameplate. It’s all part of the classy, understated image that Seafarer likes to convey – the name says it all!
Structurally, you won’t be disappointed. The Vanquish features an advanced, weight-saving Nexus construction that incorporates foam buoyancy. This ensures she is both safe, plus quieter underway.
Hull weight is lighter than most boats this size at 1150kg. This translates to a lower trail weight for towing of about 1900kg, depending on the motor choice. This means the Vanquish is easily towed behind popular mid-size SUVs like the Ford Territory, Chrysler Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Pathfinder. Provided your vehicle has a two-tonne towing capacity it will tow this baby OK.
Performance: It was a sparkling, sunny, winter's day when we took the new Seafarer 6.2 Vanquish for a spin on Botany Bay.
The Sylvania ramp proved to be surprisingly good facility despite being barely big enough for two boats at a time. We got the big Seafarer in the water quite quickly, thanks to her multi-roller Dunbier trailer and having a loading dock nearby.
I’m pleased to see more of these docks being added to Sydney boat ramps, and I strongly suggest owners use these ramps when family boating. That’s because they make a huge different to the enjoyment of boating and keep families involved.
Motoring slowly out from the ramp we found the bay in a fairly calm mood. There was hardly a bump in sight so once we were clear of the eight-knot zone we hit the throttle and got the big Vanquish on the plane and blasting along at 30-40 knots!
The big Queensland boat felt comfortable at this speed range and fuel consumption was particularly nice around 28-30 knots, even if 40 knots is lots of fun and gets you places fast.
We know from testing the previous Traveller version this hull rides really well in choppy water and is a good all-rounder. From what I’ve seen so far it shouldn’t need electric trim-tabs, which is quite a compliment for a deep Vee boat.
I noticed straight away that the foam-filled floor buoyancy does quieten the ride and make for a more enjoyable experience on the water. It also feels a soft ride thanks to the deep, gull-wing bottom shape.
I also noticed this boat has a lighter feel underway than most deep Vees but that’s because she is a bit lighter in weight. That said, she still holds true to the course and feels good to drive.
We also liked the new Mercury 150hp four-stroke. This is one of the new ranges Mercury has developed lately separate from its Verado program. This motor is one of the lightest four-strokes so this helps improve performance, especially hole-shot acceleration.
Speeding down the bay we found the Vanquish sliced over this stuff with ease. She also powers through fast turns easily without any noticeable drama with prop slip. The boat feels under control at all times and runs quite flat at speeds, which is going to make her suitable for longer fishing trips.
The combination of a high windscreen and the fuller bows also means the 6.2 Vanquish keeps her crew quite dry. With the additional bimini and clears we had on the test package we were well protected from rain or spray.
We did the usual at-rest stability test with both our crew on one side. The boat seemed to be quite stable with only a bit of heel. It seems the pods are doing their job, which is good news for those who will be fishing in, or offshore.
Power: The 6.2 Vanquish is rated for single outboards 115hp-175hp. As part of the Haines Group she is automatically matched to Suzuki four-stroke motors, however, only if the dealer represents that brand. In this case the dealer package is Mercury so that’s what you get.
While the boat is rated for 175hp I would think the following GPS confirm the 150hp size motor is very suitable:
3500rpm 23 knots
4000rpm 28 knots
4500rpm 34 knots
5300rpm 40 knots
These speeds certainly are quick by any standard, in fact, the dealer was later able to squeeze a few more knots by changing from a 19-inch to 17-inch propeller pitch.
Other attractive standard features on this new model include hydraulic steering; a 12-volt plug within the passenger glovebox for accessories, The Vanquish also comes standard with wire loom, waterproof switch panel, master switch and hydraulic steering. The latter really takes the load off the steering and makes the craft a joy to drive for everyone – including mum!
Under the floor there’s a poly-plastic in-floor fuel tank of 150-litre with sender kit. This should be quite sufficient for most fishing trips, however, it be good to have a bigger tank for serious bluewater fishing. Perhaps the factory can do one as an option?
Deck design: The 6.2 Vanquish ticks the box for general boating and fishing with features like a moulded fibreglass anchor sprit with roller and Tee bollard. Up front you also get a stainless steel split bowrail, anchor locker and LCD navigation lights.
The attention to detail is impressive and includes non-skid finish on the side decks, plus self-draining gutters around the forehatch and at the cockpit juncture.
I also like the design of the foredeck that would allow you to fish up front in calm waters. And it’s good to see a platform space under the hatch, which allows you to tend the anchor from the safety of the cabin.
Moving aft you find the wide side decks are easy to negotiate and you get a toughened glass, curved windscreen with enough height to provide really effective spray protection over the helm.
Meanwhile, a comfortably cabin provides cushioned bunks and backrests to let you relax below. The bunks extend back aft with foot-wells to give full-length sleeping for two adults.
The interior also has its own light, instrument cover and has a portable chemical toilet. In all it makes for a genuine cruising rig for pleasure boating trips. Indeed, it takes little imagination to see how you could add a portable stove, esky and go away on weekends cruising and overnight fishing.
The helm dash provides plenty of room to fit a modern sounder/chartplotters and a VHF radio. You also get a nice black carbon sports steering wheel, compass, switch panel and flush-mounted throttle box.
The comfortable helm/passenger pedestal seats are adjustable and are matched with footrests for comfortable boating offshore.
Back aft there are raised side pockets for stowing fishing and general boating gear. There are also recessed side grab rails and a wide rear lounge to seat three adults. You also get (optional) cockpit lights recessed into the side of the coamings, which would be helpful for night fishing. Also back aft is a stainless steel boarding ladder.
This boat also has an in-floor kill tank, four deck rod holders and the aforementioned rear door. You also get recessed stern mooring cleats and a large plumbed live-bait tank as standard. You can add the optional bimini rocket-rod rack and raised bait-preparation board as factory options. Bring all this together and you have a pretty nice fishing package.
I might mention the cockpit is not self-draining, however, the moulded floor drains directly into a bilge sump with an automatic pump. This should take care of any stray water coming aboard like rain or splash.
Verdict: The new Seafarer 6.2 Vanquish is bound to be a winner with family fishing buyers. It might be a bit of a stretch to call her an entry-level boat, however, if young couples have the money why not!
The comfort of the ride, together with the size of the Vanquish for comfortable cruising and fishing means she is an ideal family boat and great for offshore fishing as well. It’s big, yet not too large for regular launching and parking at home.
The 6.2 Vanquish is rated to a maximum of seven adults; or total loading of 630kg so she should suit most families – plus all their gear.
Throw in a decent sounder/plotter, VHF radio and EPIRB and you will be ready to do some serious deep water fishing.
Apart from the Mercury motor package, you could team this boat up very nicely with a Mercury 150hp OptiMax or the Suzuki DF150 four-stroke. Hopefully, we’ll get to test this latter rig in future.