Winner of the ‘Specialist Fishing Boat Up to Eight Metres’ and ‘Best New Model’ categories at the 2018 show, the Extreme 795 Walk Around is a new model specked to the max, but in a very practical sportfishing way that leaves nothing to chance.
It is stacked full of innovative features, all designed to make the crew’s life easier and enable them to do what they want to do most – catch fish.
The boat has been set up in conjunction with Jonathon Barlow of Northland Marine and Custom Alloy Marine (CAM), himself an accomplished angler and charter boat skipper.
Normally we mention the trailers last, but it was the first thing that stood out as the rig was towed past me on its way to the ramp.
As mentioned, Johnathon is involved with CAM, a company which builds customised alloy trailers. The one under the Extreme is a beauty, with a dual axle electric braking system and its own self-contained winch to make retrieving the boat a push-button affair. This review took place at Tutukaka, which allows vessels to be driven on, but for places where this practice is banned, an electric winch is a big advantage.
On bigger boats that sit right on the legal road width, the trailer ’s guide poles are removable. There is also a feature available where the outriggers have their own storage system running the length of the trailer – a great idea.
Back to the boat: the fishing features start right at the pointy end where a helm-operated Maxwell RC8 capstan takes care of the ground tackle deployment via a double fairlead.
Alongside it is a 36 volt, 112lb thrust, 72-inch shaft, helm-deployed MinnKota Ulterra electric motor. It has its own separate battery bank and onboard charging system. The benefits of electric motors have been well-documented in recent issues. This one has plenty of power to hold the boat on station enabling anglers to ‘sit’ over a school of fish. We got just under five knots of speed out of it going forward, ideal when chasing schooling fish.
Inside the cabin is an electric toilet and sleeping arrangements for three – two on the v-berths (with in-fill) and the third on a drop-down ‘pipe’ hammock berth on the starboard side. This also serves as a great storage space for rods and the like, keeping the rest of the cuddy uncluttered. A domed curtain drops down to keep everything on the bunk in place.
A vessel of this size is good for overnighting. This is made more comfortable with the inclusion of a 65-litre Isotherm fridge under the helm seat and a freshwater sink behind it, with a two-burner gas hob on the other side. Sitting beside the fridge are two drawers – one pulls out to expose a rubbish bin, the other is a cutlery drawer.
Facing backwards are two upholstered seats, an ideal spot to sit in transit or watch the lures while trolling. Beneath are two large storage areas.
Centre stage at the helm is a Simrad NSS 16 EVO III sounder/ plotter/radar with full CHIRP and side-structure capability. The two 1kW transducers are through-hull. The Halo radar is ideal for spotting bird activity – and to an angler, bird life equates to fish life – find the birds and you will find the fish.
The Simrad is linked into the autopilot and is an integral part of the Sea Zone switching system which enables all the electrics, from the extensive Hella lighting package through to the bilge pumps – to be run off the Simrad screen. This is something you tend to only see on larger craft but is becoming more popular with top-end trailer boats.
Completing the electronics package is the recently released award-winning Fusion Apollo touch-screen stereo – what would fishing be without sounds – and a GME VHF.
You are never going to go short of illumination aboard this vessel which is bristling with Hella marine product. Pride of place is the forward-facing LED Sea hawk 470 combination flood/spotlight. Small flood lights have been recessed into the hull, port and starboard, to make docking or dealing with a big fish alongside at night, easier. There are two cockpit floods, subdued and recessed LED lighting ‘everywhere’, including illumination of the cockpit floor for night snapper fishing where you don’t want a lot of light shed on the water. This kind of setup shows why Hella is the company that has really set the standard in marine lighting in our industry. The vessel has 70 litres of fresh water on board, enough for several days at sea. It feeds the sink, the windscreen washer, a freshwater washdown hose and a hand washer.
On either side of the cockpit are hand washers, one freshwater, the other salt. There is a pressure switch mounted on the gunwale – lean against it and the pump is activated, sending an eight-second stream of water externally out from the hull, enough time to give your hands a good rinse – genius!
There is a freshwater connection in the forward casting area, perfect for washing down the gear when overnighting or giving the windows a clean.
Fishing space aboard is excellent, as you would expect with a walk-around vessel. There is plenty of room around the cabin sides for an angler to follow a hard-running fish and the forward casting platform offers an ideal spot to work softbaits or poppers and surface lures from. For those into their saltwater flyfishing, this is the spot to work the rod from.
While there are plenty of strategically-placed handholds, there is excellent grip underfoot courtesy of SeaDek product. This relatively soft-on-your-feet but hard-wearing product offers excellent grip. It is everywhere on the Extreme – all floor areas, cuddy top, swim step and gunwales. It sets the boat off nicely and helps with noise and vibration reduction.
The fishing area is further extended with the caged boarding platform, accessed via the twin walk-through transom. The cage has doors port and starboard – one drops down to form a ladder, the rungs for which are non-slip. The other swings open as a gate. It is these little things, the attention to detail, that makes the difference. There is also space for a drop-in berley dispenser.
The Extreme is fully fishing-accessorised. There are two tuna tubes set into the transom alongside the two-drawer centrally located bait/rigging station. I lost count of the rod holders. There is a double row of holders in the rocket launcher, four more around the rigging station, the normal array set into the gunwales and two vertical holders next to the forward casting platform. In addition, there are rod racks on the inner cabin walls and rod storage in the already-mentioned hammock bunk. The cuddy is secured with a roller door, enabling rods to be locked up out of sight, out of mind to the people who don’t do their fishing gear shopping at a tackle store!
A large live-bait tank is accessed via the port transom walkthrough and is large enough to hold 30-40 jack mackerel with ease. A clear front enables the crew to check on the health of their baits at a glance – fish TV!
The Extreme is fitted with Viper outriggers and mounts set into the cabin tops. There are two plugs in the cockpit to power-up deep-drop electric and dredge reels.
Last, but not least, is the power plant – a 300HP Yamaha four-stroke. This economical unit has the power to comfortably drive a hull of this size. The 400-litre underfloor fuel tank gives this rig plenty of range, enabling crews to safely get a couple of day’s fishing in – perfect for an overnighter.
The Extreme 795 Walk Around handles well, the 8mm plate hull giving it just that little more weight – an advantage in the rough.
At rest, it offers a stable fishing platform for both bait and lure fishers. There is plenty of storage on board, including an approximately 100-litre space under the cockpit floor, ideal for fenders or dive gear.
The vessel, as tested, is valued at $248,500.
It is a boat I would be proud to call my own; everything about it shouts ‘fish’!
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