Bella 600R boat test

John Willis | Photography: Alison Kuiter
The Bella 600R is a centre-console runabout for all forms of family watersports.

Once upon a time, centre console designs were considered the realm of sports-fishing fanatics, yet nowadays we recognise their all-round versatility for family fun-atics.

A prime example from well-established Finnish boatbuilder Bella is the 600R, which blends traditional deep-vee values and spritely European design to produce a chic-looking craft with the ability to please all-comers.

Bella boats feature composite infusion technology combined with foam filling and fully synthetic construction, producing a strong hull with soft-riding characteristics, good stability and a high safety factor.

The internal layout is multifunctional, starting at the bow with an enclosed anchor well, followed by a bow platform with upholstered seating and a large wet box under the hinged lid. A side-by-side seat is moulded into the front of the centre console.

Drop-in cushions convert this area into a dual sunbed, a perfect spot to whittle away leisure hours. The peak is surrounded by a short but effective bow rail and there are recessed mounts in the side walls for fender storage.

The console, meanwhile, gives good access to the back of the instruments on the dashboard as well as room to carry the added lounge cushions.

The helm offers an excellent driving position with access to all the instruments and controls. The driver and first mate are treated to moulded footrests and deluxe swivel pedestal seats, with the added protection of a wrap-around windscreen and grab rail.

The expansive dashboard is finished in ebony gelcoat to dull any operational glare, and there’s tonnes of space to fit big-screen electronics. Our demonstration boat had a Simrad multifunction unit.

Our tester John Willis was in two minds about the transom layout, only because his primary cause in a boat is fishing – and often bait fishing at anchor – which requires walk-up access to the stern. Still, there are many others who’ll love the full-width rear platform/lounge.

There’s also a novel flip-up fibreglass moulding that retains the standard-supply bimini, although our test boat was fitted with a locally produced awning.

Watersports fun is catered for with large boarding platforms either side, along with a telescopic ladder and ski pole.

Running a Mercury 150 ProXS, the test boat accelerated to 36 knots (66km/h) at 5500rpm and still had plenty to go if conditions had allowed. The JV Marine crew say they’ve done 40.5 knots (75km/h).

It responded quickly to the throttle with virtually no obvious transition to plane, and powered on confidently. The hydraulic steering control felt terrific, the hull didn’t display any bad habits and was very responsive to trim.

It cruised at 20 knots (38km/h) at 3600 revs, which is a common speed offshore or in choppy conditions. Fuel usage was 2.09km/lt, giving a range of 254km (137nm) from the 135lt underfloor fuel tank with 10 per cent reserve.

Bella Boats are part of Scandinavia’s Nimbus Group, with fellow brands including Aquador, Flipper and Falcon (aluminium). While relatively new in Australia, they spruik more than 50 years of experience in boating design and manufacture.

The Bella 600R is smooth, smart, inviting, accommodating, strong and ready to excite your boating pleasure. The ride will win your heart.

Price correct as of March 2023

  • Price from: $98,990
  • Price as tested: $109,770


  • LOA: 6.05m
  • Beam: 2.34m
  • Displacement: 900kg
  • Fuel capacity: 135lt
  • Load capacity: 7 people
  • Power: 150hp Mercury ProXS



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