I couldn’t help but feel a little bit excited when I first laid eyes on the Extreme 645 Game King. It happened when I was standing on the main ramp in Port Macquarie, about to get a firsthand look and test run on the boat with Jason Herbert from Hastings Marine.
The first thing that caught my eye as it reversed down the ramp was how good it looked with the black sides and white hard top. Its tread plate deck looked very impressive, and when it was eased off the Tinka Classic trailer and put alongside the jetty I realised how spacious the deck area was. It was clear that this boat had some serious fishing potential.
The test day was a perfect Port Macquarie day, with only light winds – not that great for a boat test. Still, with a little swell still hanging around from previous days, Jason believed we could give it a good hit out on the back of North Beach and its prevailing swell. The test boat’s power plant was a 150 Mercury EFI 4-stroke, which is the recommended maximum horsepower, so I knew we were in for some fun.
Extreme Boats is based at Whakatane, in the Bay Of Plenty in New Zealand’s North Island. The Owners are Glenn and Dianne Shaw. The Shaws began manufacturing boats in 1998 and have gone from strength to strength, and now have a staff of 40-plus. They produce more than 200 boats each year, and all the hulls are designed in-house. Extreme has a large share of the aluminium boat market in New Zealand, and have won many awards. They also have a range of dealerships in Australia.
The Game King’s deep vee hull (20.5° at the transom) performed sweetly going through the beach swells, and no doubt would be good in sloppy conditions. We pushed the boat down the swells, across them and then straight back into them without once feeling concerned. Turning on a swell was brilliant. Jason pushed it to the extreme (pun intended) throughout the entire test period, and not once did he back off the throttle.
Another thing that impressed me was that when running across the sea, the Lectro Trim tabs enabled quick and easy ride adjustment while underway. This would be very handy into a decent cross wind and side-on swell.
Underneath the tread plate deck there are four welded buoyancy chambers, and with the flooded keel this makes the Extreme very stable at rest. This is a cleverly designed hull, and I’m sure this boat will get you out there to the fishing grounds and back again with comfort and reliability.
When you enter the wheel house you will notice all the instruments are flush mounted, with the Raymarine ES 98 with CPT-100dvs sitting above the hydraulic steering, and the Mercury VesselView directly above the sounder/GPS unit. The trim tab control is within reach so you don’t have to leave your comfy deluxe swivel seat, and there are neatly positioned grab rails for those sloppier conditions. Sitting above the fishing electronics are a neatly fitted Fusion stereo and Raymarine VHF radio.
Visibility is excellent from the helm. It has sliding side window panels, and the main view has a wiper. The fore cabin could sleep two adults and has two side shelves for storage. The fore cabin also provides access to the drum anchor winch. When you are not in the fore cabin, an aluminium rolling door can be pulled down. Back in the wheelhouse you will also notice side pockets which will keep cabin uncluttered.
The deck gives you a feeling of room to play when the fish are on. There are two under deck storage units, with one between the seats. Both rocket launchers are out of the way (one across the hard top and another above the bait table), and there are four aluminium through-gunwale rod holders on the sides.
At the stern there is a removable three quarter bench seat, along with two transom lockers for batteries, oil reservoir and the wash-down pump. There is a livebait well and a walkthrough transom which is very effective. To the side of the cabin is a freshwater bladder and a pump tap, which is great for washing your hands before lunch.
Anchoring was a breeze on the test run. We anchored in the river using the Stressfree Mini NG drum, which can lower or retrieve at 80-90ft (24-27m) per minute. The Stressfree is super responsive; it can free fall at 600ft (183m) per minute, but once the anchor hits the bottom the revolution speed slows down and stops, thanks to the engineered braking system.
The Extreme 645 was quite easy to put on the Tinka Alloy fully rollered trailer. It has a 12V Stressfree Trailer winch, but was an easy drive-on to the tandem axle trailer. With a weight of 1550kg, the rig was towed behind Hastings Marine’s dual cab Navara with ease.
The Extreme is an eye catching, well designed and top-of-the-line offshore fishing vessel which is very comfortable and dry. The Extreme has plenty of room for serious anglers to ply their trade, secure in the knowledge that the boat can handle the rough stuff!
If you’d like to find out more about the Extreme 645 Game King you can contact John Morton or Jason Herbert at Hastings Marine on (02) 6583 5511, drop into the premises at 185 Hastings River Drive, Port Macquarie, or visit the website at www.hastingsmarine.com.au.
• Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
FACTORY FITTED OPTIONS
Cabin roller door
Upgraded fuel tank
Fusion stereo MD-UD650
Choice of black or white
Rear pop-out bimini
Hard top to transom cover
HASTINGS MARINE FITTED EXTRAS
Raymarine ES98with CPT-100DVS
Freshwater bladder with pump
Stressfree Mini NG with SARCA anchor
Stressfree 12V trailer winch
DLX Seat upgrade
Price as tested: $107,000 drive away*
*Price includes NSW registrations, offshore safety equipment, Tinka alloy trailer TA640 T MO with spare wheel, and Mercury 150hp 4-stroke with VesselView 4
|Side and deck thickness||4mm|
|Length on trailer||7400mm|
|Width on trailer||2440mm|
RPMSpeed (knots)Fuel (L)