Published: Issue 26, Sept/Oct 2016, test report and photos by John Ford
Read the review online: Fishlife Boat Test - Tournament 2000 Bluewater
When The Haines group took Tournament Boats into their stable a couple of years ago they not only kept the popular brand alive they added to their increasing range of versatile seagoing models with boats from 16’ to 26’.
Tournament boats have been around for many years, having had their beginnings as Mustang in the 90’s and rebranded as Tournament a decade later. Long considered a capable offshore fishing all-rounder, the Bluewater 2000 has been one of their most popular models. With an easily driven hull it can be powered down to 130hp and still achieve reasonable performance on a low budget.
Our test boat showed the versatility and strength of the design because with a 200hp Suzuki four stroke installed performance is impressive and the new hardtop looks right at home.
The capability and experience of the Haines manufacturing and development team shows through with this latest version which has a few refinements on board as well as the new lid transforming the boat into an even more desirable canyon runner.
Below the skin the factory has included improvements to construction that make the boat a stronger and more enduring prospect. Like in their Signature and Seafarer ranges thick layers of biaxial glass are employed in the hull layup and a fibreglass stringer system. The foam filled hull aids buoyancy and also improves sound insulation.
The Gen 2 hull has wider chines than the original hull and a redesigned transom which is claimed to give 17cm more room. Other improvements include a redesigned dash for modern screens, a wider walkway around the side deck and an anchor well capable of housing the latest generation of drum winches.
A stylish appearance belies the boat’s late 90s heritage. It looks modern and fresh and the new hardtop adds a level of purpose without diminishing the flowing lines of the well-proportioned appeal.
A raised cuddy cabin and higher sides at the helm drop to the cockpit gunwale then droop to a cutaway at the transom while the narrow profile top, supported on stainless steel tubes, looks light and streamlined.
Once on board the hardtop transforms the feel of the boat into something bigger and more substantial than the standard soft-top version without impinging on visibility or accessibility. It’s nice and roomy under the 1.9m headroom and sliding windows each side provides good airflow that fishers from warmer climes will appreciate.
Many manufacturers are turning to hardtops to refresh their line-up and they are proving popular because of the practicality they bring to all season boating. Not only warmer in winter, they keep the summer rains at bay and make for a dryer boat and thus a more pleasant ride in a strong cross wind after a long day’s fishing.
Stainless uprights plant the hardtop securely to the hull and I found no squeaks or rattles throughout the test. The two section tempered glass screen has a beefy central mullion and along with twin bars to the roof I initially expected vision forward would be affected but in reality, once underway, I hardly noticed any restriction.
Finish all round the boat is really good – nearly to the extent that some may be wary of blooding the boat with fishy bits.
Blue, grey and white upholstery on the helm seats, coamings and rear lounge look a treat and lend some upmarket bling and a hint that this is a fishing boat in which the family will find them selves at home. Part of the family appeal includes the folding lounge at the back and long berths in the surprisingly room cabin.
Padded coamings at thigh and shin level, a nice high 79cm of freeboard and footholds at deck level all help make fishing more enjoyable and comfortable when hooked up to tonight’s dinner. The stipple coloured flow coat cockpit floor is a practical non-skid solution but I thought it undersold the otherwise exemplary finish.
Down at the transom things are neat and practical. The ¾ lounge lifts out of the way to reach plastic hatches opening to the service area, where batteries are fixed off the floor on stainless steel brackets and the fuel filter, bilge and pumps are readily accessible.
On the port side is a locking gate leading out to a swim platform/ boarding step with ladder and to starboard is a generously sized plumbed live bait tank. There’s a second swim platform on the other side of the engine and strong looking grab rails to help re-entry. These options are great for a family boat but some might consider them a hindrance to serious fishing so you can, of course, leave them off your order list.
Although not shown in the photos, a simple bait table is standard and there are three upgraded options depending on your requirements.
Storage pockets on both sides run the length of the cockpit and each is fitted with a narrow aluminium step with room for rod and gaff holders to be mounted. The insulated kill tank doubles as an esky and is located between the helm seats as most of the space under the cockpit floor is taken up with the 155L fuel tank and the stringer grid. I noted an option for a 235L tank, which eliminates the storage/kill box.
Helm seating maximises stowage and comfort with well-contoured sliding bolsters on moulded boxes, the tops of which hinge with the seat to access large dry storage spaces. There’s room between the seats for an extra passenger to stand when underway and good grab handles for support while the lockable sliding door to the cabin adds a level of security and lessens the chance of falling forward in rough conditions.
The revised dash now has room for screens up to 12” so it easy accommodated a Garmin 7407 XSV on the test boat with room above in a recessed section for three smaller engine displays.
It’s a step down into the cabin where the U-shaped bunks are lit from side windows and a clear hatch that opens to the bow. There was enough height over the bunks to make enough headroom for up to five crew to sit without crouching and the bunks are long enough for two to stretch out, giving the boat some overnighting capability.
Running our test at the Gold Coast let us try the boat in flat water and experience its high-speed handling and performance as well as see how the it coped with some rougher water outside.
As you might expect with 200hp on tap the hole-shot was lively and acceleration through the range was impressive to a maximum of 38kts at 6000rpm and a fuel burn of 62lph.
Economy in the mid range was highly impressive. 3500rpm gave 19kts and 16.3lph for a range of 162nm with a 10% reserve, while at 4000rpm figures came in at 24kts, 19.5lph and a range of 171lph. Even at 5500rpm and 33kts you should expect to travel 141nm or around a litre every nautical mile with a 32.5lph fuel burn. That puts those wide Bluefin in range and that’s without resorting to the bigger optional fuel tank.
At sea we had about a metre of swell and a short wind blown chop around the same. The 21 degree deadrise easily handled speeds in the mid 20kt range without bashing anyone around. The ride was smooth and landings when we pushed on were soft and safe. There’s plenty of power and the steering was responsive and precise. At rest there was no undue rolling, even in the sloppy conditions, so long sessions of bottom bouncing should be a joy.
With the Gen2 hull and the new hardtop Tournament have breathed new life into the venerable 2000 Bluewater. Its very presence in today’s competitive market is proof of the design’s integrity; nothing that doesn’t work well survives as long as this concept has.
You can get into a 2000 from around $67,000 with a standard bimini and a 140hp engine. Ramp up the options list and expect the total to be closer to $98,000 for the package as tested on a trailer. Weight will be just over 2 tonne so still easily towable with a medium sized vehicle.
Go for the Suzuki 175 if you want to save a few dollars and you would still have a rig capable of heading wide and towing a skier out of the water on family occasions. The 2000 Bluewater is aimed at those looking for a versatile all-rounder because it’s a great handling sea boat with the comfort, style and space for socialising.
4kts @ 1000rpm kts — 3lph
5.6kts @ 1500rpm — 4lph
8kts @ 2000rpm — 6.4llph
9kts @ 2500rpm 10.2
12kts @ 3000rpm — on the plane — 14.5lph
19kts @ 3500rpm — 16.3lph
24kts @ 4000rpm — 19.5lph
28kts @ 4500rpm — 23.3lph
33kts @ 5000rpm — 32.5lph
34kts @ 5500rpm — 42lph
38kts @ 6000rpm — wide open throttle — 62lph
Priced from: $66,872
Options fitted: Hardtop, engine upgrade, electronics, swim platform, more.
Price as tested: $97,595
Type: Monohull hardtop
Length: 6.7m LOA
Weight: 2040kg aprox BMT
Deadrise: 21 deg.
Rec. HP: 130-200hp
Fuel: 155L (option 235L)
Make/model: Suzuki DF200A
Type: In-line four cylinder, fuel injected four-stroke
Gear ratio: 2.5:1
SUPPLIED and MANUFACTURED BY
Tournament Pleasure Boats
Wacol Brisbane QLD
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