Euro panache

Graham Lloyd | VOLUME 29, ISSUE 1

New to Australasia, European brand Quicksilver offers a model that should win many friends.

The key attributes to look for in a successful family cruiser include stability and safety, plenty of headroom, and spaciousness in the cabin. The larger the boat, the easier it is to address all these criteria, but it’s more challenging when overall length is restricted to around seven metres.

The Quicksilver 705 Cruiser meets that challenge.

The style of the 705 is very European, with a helm position that’s more forward than usual and a cabin that is quite large for the size of boat. The Quicksilver 705 has character and a special appeal, with benefits that will be immediately apparent to experienced boaties.

The 705 in the name derives from the 7.05m length, with a beam of 2.55m. It’s probably easiest to keep this size of craft in a marina or on a mooring, but it can be trailered under the various state rules for over-size boats.

COMFORT AND PRACTICALITY

The helm position is a beauty. When seated, the backrest actually provides genuine support and there’s an angled footrest that’s just right, too. Standing to drive is equally comfortable and, from both positions, visibility in all directions is excellent. Protection inside the cabin from weather and spray is balanced by plenty of ventilation from sliding side windows as well as a large overhead hatch, while twin wipers clear the screen of spray or rain.

The helm seat is double-width so a partner, child or friend can keep the skipper company, while opposite to port is a single seat for the first mate. Behind the latter is a galley area with a workbench, including a sink with pressure water plus space for a camp-style cooker. Under the first mate seat is a 12-volt fridge-freezer.

Aft of the helm is a clever set-up that can be either another forward-looking double seat, a dinette area with facing seats or a double berth.

The walkway through the cabin has easy lift-out hatches, with big storage spaces below. Under the foredeck, there is a cabin with in-fill cushions to form another double berth, with more stowage areas below and underneath the floor. To port of that cabin is a small, but very welcome separate toilet, optionally fitted with a holding tank and an electric discharge into shore-based facilities (or overboard if well out to sea).

A hatch behind the instrument panel provides easy access to the wiring. Another very good touch is the two clear tubes alongside the dash wiring, acting as drains for the dash drink-holders.

A step-up at the rear of the main cabin leads into a big cockpit, with seating across the back and provision for another removable table; the port seat-back hinges open for easy access over the boarding platform to the shore. The centre seat pivots forward so that the Mercury 150 can be tilted clear of the water when moored.

On the starboard transom is a bracket for an auxiliary outboard, while a pull-out swim ladder is to port, with rod-holders set into the tops of the aft gunwales. A canopy folds out on stainless arms to provide shade for the cockpit, and a full set of covers can be included to weather-proof the back of the boat.

On either side at the front of the cockpit, steps lead up to the side decks; these are just wide enough to move along to the foredeck. Guardrails are mounted on the gunwales from about mid-way along the cabin, aiding the sense of security.

A removable sunlounge cushion is securely clipped across the foredeck in front of the windscreen, and there is a lift-out centre section above the fore-cabin hatch so you can get to the front of the boat through the cabin if preferred.

Recommended power is a Mercury 150 four-stroke EFI outboard. Outboards to 200hp can be fitted and there is also an inboard version of the boat with diesel or petrol engines. However, the 150 outboard (as tested) is the way to go; it provides plenty of power, economical operation and simple maintenance. Factory figures show a cruise range of around 264km from the 220lt fuel tank; more than enough for most owners.

Quicksilver boats are pre-wired, including Mercury’s excellent SmartCraft engine management system and instrumentation. Collins Marine installs the Mercury 150 and, as the boat and engine both come from within the Brunswick Group, everything is compatible and thus delivers safe, reliable performance.

DRIVEABILITY-PLUS

Across the calm waters of Sydney’s Middle Harbour, we opened the throttle on the 150 and accelerated to a very brisk top speed of 57.5km/h (31 knots exactly). Relaxed cruise speeds anywhere between 3000rpm (24.5km/h) and 4500rpm (45.6km/h) were easily attainable. The 705 came on plane with nary a misdemeanour and showed good manners at all times, with a soft ride through wakes and washes and controlled banking through tight turns.

The Mercury is not at all sensitive to trim – a lazy skipper could leave it at just under a quarter on the gauge all the time if so desired. It’s best, though, to trim right in for initial acceleration and for tighter turns, and skippers who love to feel a boat respond to small adjustments will find the 705 very rewarding.

The hydraulic steering has a good feel through the triple-alloy-spoked and leather-rimmed wheel, while the dash panel helps with clear displays. Instrumentation includes a Lowrance HDS7 GPS plotter, plus analogue gauges for speed, revs, fuel-level and outboard trim. The Mercury SmartCraft system has digital displays inset in the tacho and speedo that cycle through various data for the engine.

It all adds up to a delightful day-boat or short-haul cruiser with such a spacious and light cabin, including headroom – as well as a generous cockpit.

Whether for relaxing, entertaining or fishing, the Quicksilver 705 is a strong contender. There is, in fact, quite a range of Quicksilver boats, so if the style of the 705 appeals, but you’d prefer a different size or layout, check out the website or give Collins Marine a call.

SPECIFICATIONS: QUICKSILVER 705 CRUISER

Overall length: 7.05m

Beam: 2.55m

Draft: 0.48m

Weight (dry): 1796kg

Capacity: Max 8 persons

Capacity sleeping: 4 persons

Fuel capacity: 220lt

Water capacity (optional): 45lt

Power – max: 147Kw/200hp

Power – as tested: Mercury 150 4-Stroke EFI Outboard (112Kw, 150hp)

Base price: $88,829

Price as tested: $105,856

More information: quicksilver-boats.com.au; tel: (02) 9319 5222.


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Boat
Runabout
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