Tournament 2000 Bluewater Hardtop: Fishing Boat Review
Published: 1 April 2016, by Jeff Webster
Read the review online: Tournament 2000 Bluewater Hardtop: Fishing Boat Review
'Gen2' Tournament Bluewater hits the mark with sturdy new hardtop and upgraded interior Tournament Pleasure Boats’ popular 2000 Bluewater half cabin has been given a new lease of life with the addition of a hardtop and interior modifications. We tested this excellent family/fishing package with power from Suzuki’s lightweight in-line four cylinder, four-stroke 200hp outboard.
- Refining the Tournament Boats’ range
Tournament Pleasure Boats has been manufacturing trailerable family and fishing boats for many years. The brand started as Mustang Pleasure Boats but was re-branded as Tournament boats in 2009 following a change of ownership. Tournament is now owned by The Haines Group, Australian and New Zealand distributor for Suzuki Outboards and manufacturer of Haines Signature and Seafarer power trailerboats.
When Tournament Pleasure Boats joined The Haines Group stable a few years back, the Haines design team set about refining and improving the Tournament range. New models were added, some old models dropped.
Some of the more successful Tournament models have been given a make-over, including the subject of this report, the longstanding 2000 Bluewater half cabin.
PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
- Choose your price-point
The 2000 Bluewater is now available in a couple of different models and with varying levels of fit-out. Package prices start at around $67K for a basic boat with a traditional windscreen and cuddy layout, through to the $97K boat we tested which came with the new fibreglass hardtop, a trick hydraulic steering system, a range of options and a 200hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards.
The deluxe package is a lot more expensive than the entry rig, but that is the beauty of this boat – it can be rigged up to suit your needs and price-point.
We should stress also that the standard boat is no bare-bones, no frills package either. It is very well equipped – with standard features like a 25” extra-longshaft transom, foam-filled hull with fibreglass stringer grid, curved, wrap-around toughened glass windscreen, two-berth cabin with lock-up sliding door, deluxe helm chairs on pedestals, split folding rear lounge seat, padded coamings, bilge pump, two-tone coloured hull, split bow rail, bowsprit, heavy-duty stainless deck hardware (including recessed coaming rails and stern cleats), hydraulic steering, navigation and interior lighting, drink holders, four rod holders, live-bait tank, transom door, boarding platforms, telescopic boarding ladder – and more.
The 67K price-point also includes a Dunbier tandem-axle steel trailer with mechanical over-ride brakes and a Suzuki DF140ATX extra-longshaft outboard motor. The latter is arguably on the small side for a 6.3m boat like the 2000 Bluewater, but it would be enough power to achieve a low 30 knot top speed.
To the base boat you can add a range of options. The excellent new fibreglass hardtop with toughened glass windscreen and sliding side windows is the most costly of the options – but well worth the investment if you intend to regularly fish offshore waters.
The addition of the hardtop will push the weight of the BMT package over the two tonne mark – so you will need to budget for an upgraded trailer with a break-away braking system. With Dunbier’s upgraded trailer (the SRW6.1M-14THE) the hardtop equipped 2000 Bluewater will be priced around $79K.
Our test package was outfitted with several other options, chief of which was an engine upgrade from the DF140ATX to Suzuki’s excellent DF200ATX lightweight in-line four cylinder, four-stroke outboard. The bigger engine (see full test report here) was coupled with Seastar’s clever (and expensive) Optimus EPS (electronic power steering) system, Garmin GPSMap 7407xsv 7 inch GPS/fish finder, bait board, dual batteries, helm seat storage boxes and two extra rod holders.
The above options lift the price to $97,217 – which is still not bad for a fully-fitted, 6.3m hardtop trailerboat. Worth noting also is that the Seastar Optimus EPS steering system is priced at $6.7K by itself. Is it worth it? Not sure. It is a very clever steering system as it offers fingertip control and can be rigged to reduce or increase the number of lock-to-lock steering wheel turns, depending on boat speed. This gives the skipper better control at low rpm, and the ability to make more subtle steering and course changes at higher rpm.
- All-weather hardtop model a welcome addition
The Tournament 2000 Bluewater has been a popular model ever since it started life as the Mustang 2000 Tournament back in the early 1990s. Apart from a few tweaks to the interior along the way, the layout and configuration of the boat has remained largely unchanged – until now. To broaden its appeal to both family boaters and offshore fishermen, the Haines design team decided to develop a hardtop model – and they've done a pretty good job of it.
We reckon the new hardtop version of the 2000 Bluewater looks great. The curved windscreen model may be sleeker, more streamlined, but the new hardtop boat has a purposeful look and has been designed in such a way that it does not intrude or extend too far back into the cockpit area – which serious anglers will certainly appreciate.
The hardtop is very well designed and strong. The fibreglass top is mounted over a tall, toughened glass windscreen with stainless steel bracing struts providing excellent support. There was no movement, vibration or rattle in the hardtop at any point during our test.
Taller people will be happy with the 1.9m standing room height under the hardtop and everyone will appreciate the excellent ventilation and air-flow from the sliding side windows.
There was some glare/reflection coming off the windscreen in bright sunshine, but this was the only negative we could find. We should stress too that we have found this to be an issue with most hardtop trailerboats we have tested in recent times.
As noted earlier, a few interior changes have been made to improve the 2000 Bluewater. The transom wall/rear cockpit has been re-profiled and the dash and fascia has been enlarged so you can flush-fit today’s big 12 inch multi-function displays – and still have room for engine gauges, switch panels, etc.
The helm layout is ergonomically sound; the steering wheel is ideally placed for a standing skipper, but still works okay when seated – although we felt the helm seat to be a little too far back, even with the sliding base moved right forward.
The side-mount throttle lever was comfortably within reach of the helmsman when standing or seated and the view forward and to the rear was clear and unobstructed. The reflection off the dash was the only visibility issue.
- Deceptively spacious
The forward cabin in the 2000 Bluewater is tucked away behind, and a step down from the lockable sliding door and full cabin/cockpit bulkhead. It is bigger than it appears from the outside. The berths are over 2.0m long and there is around 900mm of headroom above the berths.
Cabin features include wide side storage pockets, a horseshoe shape berth layout with three under-berth lockers, covered wiring box (neatly done too) and a perspex hatch.
The Tournament Boats website lists a chemical toilet as an option – but we can’t see how it would fit in the small locker under the centre berth.
For anchoring and beaching the boat you access the foredeck by climbing around the cabin sides, but we would recommend using the cabin hatch in inclement weather.
The anchor well caters for large anchor systems and there is provision for an anchor windlass. The bowsprit is split for access to the bowsprit and bow roller.
COCKPIT AND TRANSOM
- Great for fishing – and family boating
There is no great secret to designing a cockpit that works for both a fishing and family boat. The key is to have modular or removable seating, high 650 – 800mm cockpit freeboard, lockers to store fishing gear and other stuff, and most importantly, uncluttered cockpit space.
The Tournament 2000 Bluewater has all of the above bases covered – so we reckon it can serve double duty as a fishing/family boat with ease.
The Bluewater also has above floor side pockets, wide coamings, padded coaming and transom bolsters, and special lockers behind the transom for the batteries, oil tanks, fuel filters and access to the bilge and steering gear, etc.
Built into the transom is a decent-sized live-bait tank while opposite is a transom door leading out to the boarding platform with telescopic S/S ladder.
The test rig was also fitted with one of the several optional bait boards. This one was removable and equipped with a tackle tray, knife holder and a pair of rod holders.
ON THE WATER
- Safe, comfortable, proven hull with Suzuki four-stroke power
The 2000 Bluewater has a good looking, seaworthy 21 degree deep vee hull. We have tested this hull on a number of previous occasions and have always found it to be well balanced, stable, comfortable and efficient underway.
This remains true of the new hardtop model, although the boat will list into the wind when presented with a strong cross breeze – due to the higher cabin superstructure. This is easily countered by fitting a set of trim tabs (which we recommend for all 6.0m plus boats) to keep the boat balanced in all conditions.
The 2000 Bluewater is rated for power up to 200hp and for a little as 140hp. Somewhere between those two extremes will prove ideal. Mind you, we really enjoyed the performance of the test rig with the maximum power fitted – in the form of Suzuki’s DF200ATX in-line four-cylinder four-stroke outboard.
With Suzuki’s big block, four-cylinder 200hp engine on the transom we recorded a top speed of 40.1 knots, and a best cruise of 19.8 knots at 3500rpm. This was also the most economical speed for the boat/engine combination, as it was able to run 1.17 nautical miles per litre of fuel burned for a maximum range on 95 per cent of the standard 155-litre fuel tank of 172.2nm.
- Hardtop and revisions boost the appeal of this versatile trailerboat
The new 'Gen2' Tournament 2000 Bluewater is an excellent all-rounder for family boating and offshore fishing. The boat is well equipped, competitively priced and offers solid performance from a proven deep vee hull design.
The upgrades to the cockpit and helm have smartened up the interior, and the sturdy new fibreglass hardtop is a welcome new option. The hardtop is certain to boost the appeal of this craft as it offers a whole new level of weather protection - over and above a regular cuddy/half cabin with bimini, etc.
>> Excellent all-round performance
>> Spacious, lock-up cabin
>> Rigid, well braced hardtop
>> Keen entry package price
>> Versatile cockpit layout
>> Superb, but costly steering system
>> Coaming padding
NOT SO MUCH
- Helm seat a little too far back – even with slider
- No toilet
- Glare/reflection off windscreen
Overall rating: 4.66/5.0
Packaging and practicality: 4.7/5.0
On the water performance: 4.6/5.0
Value for money: 4.8/5.0
PERFORMANCE - SPEED
3.2kts (6.0km/h) @ 1000rpm
5.0kts (9.2km/h)@ 1500rpm
6.4kts (11.8.1km/h) @ 2000rpm
7.9kts (14.6km/h) @ 2500rpm
13.5kts (25.0km/h) @ 3000rpm
19.8kts (36.6km/h) @ 3500rpm
24.6kts (45.5km/h) @ 4000rpm
29.2kts (54.0km/h) @ 4500rpm
32.2kts (59.6km/h) @ 5000rpm
36.0kts (66.6km/h) @ 5500rpm
38.6kts (71.4km/h) @ 6000rpm
40.1kts (74.2km/h) @ 6200rpm (WOT)
PERFORMANCE – ECONOMY
2.7 l/ph @ 1000rpm
4.5 l/ph @ 1500rpm
6.1 l/ph @ 2000rpm
10.1 l/ph @ 2500rpm
13.3 l/ph @ 3000rpm
16.9 l/ph @ 3500rpm
23.8 l/ph @ 4000rpm
27.8 l/ph @ 4500rpm
35.4 l/ph @ 5000rpm
41.9 l/ph @ 5500rpm
66.0 l/ph @ 6000rpm
68.8 l/ph @ 6200rpm (WOT)
MAXIMUM RANGE ON 95% OF 155-LITRE FUEL TANK: 172.2nm @ 3500rpm
Price as tested: $97,217 including Suzuki DF200ATX four stroke outboard and Dunbier tandem axle trailer with electric hydraulic break-away brakes, fibreglass hardtop with rocket launcher, Seastar Optimus EPS (electronic power steering) system ($6.7k alone), Garmin GPSMap 7407xsv 7 inch GPS/fish finder, Suzuki multi-function digital gauges, removable bait board, two extra rod holders, dual batteries, and storage boxes under the bucket chairs (in place of pedestals).
Priced from: $79,437. Base boat but with hardtop, toughened glass windscreen and surrounding side windows, Suzuki DF140ATX with standard hydraulic steering, Dunbier SRW6.1M-14THE trailer with break-away brakes and analogue gauges.
Priced from: $66,827. As above but with a traditional windscreen instead of the hardtop and a Dunbier SRWM-13TB trailer with mechanical over-ride brakes.
Length overall: 6.50m
Hull length: 6.29m
Hull weight: 960kg
Towing weight: Approx 2,200kg
Deadrise: 21 degrees
Maximum power: 200hp
Engine as tested: Suzuki 200hp four-stroke outboard
Fuel: 155 litres (235 litres optional)
Maximum Persons: Six
The Haines Group
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