Article by Wayne Kampe
Published in “Fishing World” – November 2002
This big new fishing boat combines the best of twin hull stability with mono hull economy and performance
THE Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder is a trihulled half cabin that will appeal to anglers searching for a solid craft that offers a lot of comfort. It’s a dedicated fishing craft which very successfully makes the transition to a family cruiser as well (hence the All Rounder denomination). A good hard look at the unique design reveals the Lifestyle combines some of the best features of multi hull and mono hull craft in the one package. Certainly, the great stability and sea keeping ability of the multi hull design prevails throughout every aspect of the boat’s performance but it also comes with the economy associated with running only one engine.
The hull of the Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder is roomy, stable and boasts great sea-keeping ability. The tri-hull design features a central deep vee section with smaller side sponsons. Under way the central section of the hull makes initial contact with oncoming waves while the side sponsons are riding high and dry to a point about half way back along the hull. This means there is far less of the Lifestyle’s hull in contact with the water at speed than there is at rest with greatly reduced drag when underway a bonus. On the flip side of the coin, once the hull is at rest the deeply vee’d side sections of the hull then come into full water contact to provide a great deal of stability. In fact, I noticed that three adults on the one side of the Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder are a non-event. This is one very stable rig.
A neat engine pod protrudes aft. This pod also incorporates a wide boarding/swim platform. A huge walkaround cabin, plenty of cockpit fishing room and enough creature comforts to keep the family man in the good books with mum and the kids as well make this a great, well, all-round boat.
The Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder is packed with features in standard form, although the test rig had been thoroughly optioned up. Easy anchor access is standard with a large bowsprit and heavy duty roller. An anchor winch is an option. Standard, though, are the paired anchor wells up front along with the split stainless steel bow rail. Access to the walkaround area is via pairs of moulded steps on each side of the cockpit with both the windscreen, targa frame and bow rail offering support. A moulded targa arch is standard and makes an excellent place to mount a rocket launcher or bimini with clears: the test craft featured both of these options. A set of speakers for the radio and CD player were also fitted within the targa.
The dash layout consisted of a neat moulding on the starboard side of the substantial full width bulkhead in place below the screen. On the upper section of the dash section were instruments to monitor the rig’s Honda 225 four-stroke engine. A compass is there as well. Mounted below these instruments was a Garmin plotter/sounder unit and an array of switches plus a decent grab rail. The dash had ample room for more nav aids as well. A grab rail set near the door leading to the cabin was there for the passenger while both passenger and driver were offered a fair amount of side storage in the pockets provided.
The steering wheel of the Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder was mounted on a vertical section of the dash moulding and both the wheel and engine controls were well placed for ease of use.
The bucket seats on the test craft were very comfortable and featured plenty of adjustment plus full swivelling capability. The driver’s seat was also serviced with a footrest built into the lower dash moulding. Both driver’s and passenger’s seats were mounted on moulded storage boxes and there was an interesting option here in that one storage box had also been set up as a refrigerator.
Entry to the cabin area was via a tall hinged door that opened to port. The finish of the cabin is top shelf and the contrasting tones between lining and large Vee berths was quite eye pleasing. The usual storage compartments were set up under the berths. I’d rate the cabin size as an XOS and an in-fill cushion would allow both parents and a couple of youngsters to sleep aboard with ease. Unfortunately the TV in the photo is an option but it sure would keep the kids quiet when the fish were hard to come by!
ROOM TO FISH
The heading about sums it up. The Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder has a large, angler-friendly cockpit that would fish at least five rods under most conditions. Four rod holders are set into the top of the gunwales as standard but on the test rig five more were also located up on the targa mounted rocket launcher. The cockpit is self-draining, a sensible feature in a craft with as much offshore capability as this one.
Anglers fishing from within the cockpit will notice there is plenty of free board and anglers can get stuck into fish with their toes hooked under the well placed lower gunwale padding. Large side pockets are featured within the cockpit as well. Another excellent feature is the high transom which guards against water entering from astern even when reversing into following seas. The Lifestyle’s wide transom features two very large bait tanks with hinged covers as well.
The driving position is comfortable either seated or standing. Plenty of room for electronics.
The 225 Honda on the stern of the test boat was right at the upper limit of power requirements but the rig still balanced and performed beautifully. At 5,700 rpm the big Honda, fitted with a Solas four-blade Torquemaster propeller, pushed the rig at 40.8 knots! Planing was at about 13 knots for a modest 2,800 rpm and a sensible cruise speed would most likely be around the 26.5 knots at 4,000 rpm. Dropping back a little will see the rig travelling at 21 knots at 3,500rpm if need be.
Sea travel is always governed by prevailing conditions but a big plus for the Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder is the fact that it planes at a level attitude at all speeds and trolling at 13 knots would see the engine almost whisper quiet, consuming very little fuel and with the craft trimmed quite flat.
Both the ride and handling of the big tri-hull were really quite exemplary. The steering effort seemed to be virtually nil thanks to the Sea Star hydraulic steering fitted and the inherent balance of the craft as a whole. At speed and into oncoming seas the under-hull tunnels always seemed to have a cushion of air trapped below them to soften the ride. And the craft was surprisingly quiet under way – no vibrations or rattles at any speed.
The Lifestyle’s hull reflects the time taken in design and development in that the ride was as dry as it was soft. Very little spray or water can find its way aboard this craft, even when pushing into seas with the wind quartering on the bow.
The Lifestyle 6700 All Rounder is a boat that will have tremendous appeal to anglers wanting to fish anywhere from estuaries to oceans. The comfort levels make it really suitable for families to enjoy yet the sea-keeping ability, cockpit size and the many angler orientated features will endear it to hardcore fishos as well. Level of finish was in the deluxe class and a wide range of options is available, including a lower transom for twin engine installation, toilet, the targa canopy and many others.
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