Caribbean Reef Runner

I’ve sold my beloved 6m Stessl. It was great and tough boat but not quite right for us as a family/fishing rig. It rode hard in the chop (really hard) and has a very narrow waterline for a 6m boat which made it surprisingly tippy. The ride was improved with some ballast (100kg) in the nose but still rough. After only a few months the misses and family were reluctant to go out in less than perfect weather which rarely happens here and as such it became only my hobby. Whilst I enjoy my boys fishing trips, I’d rather have something we can all want to use on other occasions too (plus it makes planning permission much simpler).

 I've ordered a new Caribbean Reef Runner Hull from Mansfield Marine that should be here in a few weeks. I'm buying the boat pretty bare and fitting it out myself where I can. I really enjoy that kind of stuff and can save a fair amount of coin along the way. The Reefrunner is a solid performer that ticked all of the boxes (except the wife thinks its ugly) plus the resale value seems to be unrivalled when compared to boats of similar sizes should we ever need to sell it.

Caribbean is providing the Hull on a 2200kg ATM C Channel Easytow trailer (Manual hydraulic brakes on both axles). Options from the factory are:

·         Stainless steel Rocket Launcher

·         Side Clears

·         Starboard (Drivers side only seat slider)

·         Bunk Infill Cushions

·         Port side swim platform with swim ladder

·         Starboard side swim platform (No ladder)

I’ve got to fit bilge pump/s, washdown pump, duel batteries, isolators, carpets/matting, sounder/GPSetc once it arrives.

 I also kept my furuno fishfinder, bait board, pot tipper, esky, remote mounted VHF, fenders, EPIRB, flares, lines and accessories from my last boat to refit to the Reefie. It’s amazing how much all those small items add up to if you replace them but nobody seems to considers their value when buying secondhand.

Once in Perth, I’m going to get a Merc 150 4stroke fitted. The Merc 150 seems to be well received within the marketplace with strong performance, good torque, lightweight, decent reliability reports (though only 4 years old) from the commercial sector and well-priced. It’s nearly 4k cheaper than a Yamaha.

These hulls can take up to 200hp but the 150 still gives the Reefie a WOT of 37 knots which Perth weather rarely lets you achieve anyway. A 21knot cruise will give a fuel consumption of around 0.45ltr per KM according to their testing. 500km range @ 40km/hr. I’m still shopping between dealers at the moment so any recommendations are gratefully received.

I’ve managed to pick up a Simrad NSS12 Evo 2 from the fishwrecked classified that I intend to install as my MFD. I planned to use it as the controls for the engine but there is very little saving between the cost of the vesselview link box and the actual Mercury vessel view 4” gauge so I might as well opt for the gauge and the NSS for extra screen realestate.

I already have a Furuno 628 that I had installed on my last boat that I will probably reinstall again. I just need to pickup a transducer (sold with other boat).

I would like to have the 3D downscan on the simrad but that will probably have to wait on the list with an anchor winch, stereo, autopilot, freshwater bladder & pump, solar, rear shade and camper setup for overnighters with the kids.

This boat needs to be as appealing for the family to spend a day on the river or Rotto/Carnac as it is for heading off the westend or the trips up north.

I’m looking at installing twin bilge pumps (1 small auto & 1 monster ebay manual) and a through hull intake whilst I’ve got some room prior to batteries etc.

What are people’s thoughts on the suction/pick-up fitting for a deckwash…  A flush fitting would be cleaner and less risk on the trailer but the scoop fitting will enable it to be used whilst going along/heading home however could interfere with the trailer? I also read that the constant pressure against the suction of the pump when going along can cause premature seal failure. Thoughts?

Either option will be stainless with a stainless ball valve directly mounted.

I've trawled this site many times over for ideas and research but please share any ideas or lessons learnt you may have picked up along the way.

I'll add picture as and when they come...


Posts: 42

Date Joined: 27/05/14

Nice one

Thu, 2017-02-23 16:14

 Nice one, sounds like a nice rig. The only thing I would add is a toilet fitted from factory rather than a porta potti, keep the missus happy!

Posts: 65

Date Joined: 23/09/14

 Sounds like a cracker set up

Thu, 2017-02-23 18:26

 Sounds like a cracker set up and you have most bases covered.

Can back up Ricko19 on the flush mounted electric toilet, will be a absolute win with the Mrs also.

Can also recommend a flush mounted transom shower, super handy and easy to install and set up to a pump. If possible try to have a water tank built in as it looks untidy having jerry cans of water everywhere.

 www.jpwmarine.com.au/products/plumbing-toilets/shower-accessories/transom-shower-kits.aspx

Plenty of LED lighting to under the gunnels,coupla floods off the back,lighting in the cabin. Nothing worse then pulling up at night for a BBQ and trying to cook under phone light.

Never had a problem with the forward facing deckwash pick up mine sits on the transom and never damaged a pump,can't comment on the flush mounted pic up sorry.

Think about battery set up to in regards to how many you can fit for house/start batteries, You dont want to be caught short with dead batteries all the time. Last abrohlos trip I had three batteries , two in parrallel for house and never ran low on power. A second boat we had with us was constantly running his engine up to re charge his batteries.

Hope that helps.

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

 Thanks... Planning 210 a/hr

Thu, 2017-02-23 23:13

 Thanks... Planning 210 a/hr with a dedicated house and motor battery. I will rotated these every 12months. The house battery will be connected to a 80-120w roof mounted Flexi solar panel that will also charge the starter battery providing the voltage is high enough for the VSR to open. Likewise in reverse from the Altenator. 

I've got an 18w led flood already to go in but will assess lighting as I get to use it.

I was thinking that a potti would be better for those extended shallow water stays but maybe I need to give that a bit more thought!

Posts: 132

Date Joined: 10/02/11

Hey mate. Congrats on the new

Thu, 2017-02-23 19:05

Hey mate. Congrats on the new boat.

As far as the looks go you either like the classic lines or don't. I reckon theyre great

 

 

I have a reef runner. Good hull.

Two things I would recommend

Trim tabs (not essential but definitely worth putting on) Gets the nose down a bit more when punching into chop and makes a difference

I have a 150 yamaha. Great motor but I reckon the reef runner would benefit from a few more horses. In good weather its plenty of power but in a big sea it just seems to bog down more than I would like. Not dangerously just takes a bit more on and off the throttle.

If you haven't already done so, get the new hardtop that has the clears section at the top for air flow. The hardtop is awesome when its gnarly but frickin hot up north

Enjoy

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Tabs are on my wish list.

Fri, 2017-02-24 06:27

Tabs are on my wish list. They would have made a big difference to my last boat also.

I spent a fair amount of time reviewing my engine options. I have a mate with a late 90's reefie fitted with a Yam 200 that whilst impressive, I couldn't justify the price difference. I also spoke alot with Aquasport and Mansfield whom fit both and the difference between the 2 (fair weather testing) was only 4knots WOT for 38%/$7.5k premium (even against a fishwrecked sponsor special price). I hope the 3ltr displacement and torque should overcome some of the bogging you refer too. Neither party had any merit in sending me down the Merc route as Mansfield have no skin in the game from an engine perspective & Aquasport sell both.

I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, so it will be what it will be but this setup seemed to be the best comprise on price/performance/weight providing Mercurys "black anchor" reliability reputation is Behind them. Only time will tell...

 

 

Stevo81's picture

Posts: 824

Date Joined: 16/04/12

 Those merc 150hp 4-strokes

Fri, 2017-02-24 08:00

 Those merc 150hp 4-strokes are a strong 150 and comparable to the Suzuki & Yamaha I4-200 in performance from what I've read. 

All reports so far indicate it's a great motor with heaps of torque and piss easy to service

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 Check the regs on your

Thu, 2017-02-23 19:11

 Check the regs on your trailer. You will only be able to license it in WA with those brakes up to 2T

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

 2200kg ATM... 1999kg GTM

Fri, 2017-02-24 08:40

 2200kg ATM... 1999kg GTM registered in WA. (200kg on the ball of the cruiser). That's the deal anyway. It's a bit of a loophole in the system that will give me enough margin with the reefie that is on its 2T limit with basic essentials and a full tank of fuel. Easytow seem to be the only boat trailer manufacture that have cottoned onto it whilst its been fairly common practice in the racecar trailer industry for some time.

Posts: 610

Date Joined: 09/10/06

 Good luck with that

Fri, 2017-02-24 12:30

 Good luck with that loophole. Hope you never need to rely on it.

 

Posts: 43

Date Joined: 14/12/11

agree

Sun, 2017-02-26 14:37

  you dont get the 200 kg's on the ball.....they weight the entire trailer as one weight. I know from first hand experience having had mine weighted by transport.

Chinbald's picture

Posts: 159

Date Joined: 21/02/09

Hardtop Ventilation

Thu, 2017-02-23 19:54

Recommend hatches in the roof if you don't have the extended hard top. Not cheap but worth weight in gold on a tropical day. I am running a Whitworths pick up tube to my deckwash works fine. Congratulations on buying a new Reefy, Brand spanking new, you wont be disappointed.

 

 

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

I didn't go the extended

Thu, 2017-02-23 22:58

I didn't go the extended hardtop but it might be something I look at doing later down the line if the need warrants it. Might be a DIY project. Roof vents will defiantly be a consideration and unfortunately the 'new hardtop' with skylights is only for the 2300 & 2400. Those hatches are seriously expensive!

just dhu it's picture

Posts: 1034

Date Joined: 14/05/09

Dash power

Thu, 2017-02-23 21:54

 despite how many batteries you are installing , ensure you run an oversize cable up to your helm for your electronics and radios , theres plenty of questions on the site why my sounder or radio turns off when starting the motor due to volt drop from rear of boat up to dash , bigger cable will prevent this from occuring

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Thanks

Thu, 2017-02-23 22:53

With plans for an anchor winch at some point, I will run suitable/oversized sized power to the dash most likely where the switchgear will be mounted. I have a cousin who has offered me up some fat battery cable he picked up from a leftover job.

Posts: 581

Date Joined: 20/04/09

Hatches

Fri, 2017-02-24 09:28

get the hatches fitted in the hardtop to allow some breeze in when it is hot.  

Baden01's picture

Posts: 61

Date Joined: 11/10/12

 Not a fan of the Merc have

Sat, 2017-02-25 18:49

 Not a fan of the Merc have you checked out the Suzuki"s

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Stevo81's picture

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Date Joined: 16/04/12

Bad experience?

Sun, 2017-02-26 14:28

 Why's that mate? I"ve only heard great things about Mercs 150 4-stroke?

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Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

I've PM'd him to as I've yet

Sun, 2017-02-26 15:57

I've PM'd him to as I've yet to hear any negitive feedback based on use of the new motor rather than Merc prior reputation with there early 4strokes.

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Wireless Kill Switch

Tue, 2017-02-28 13:09

Just ordered the MOB+ wireless kill switch kit from the east coast. I'm the kind of guy who only really thinks to put the kill switch on in hairy conditions so I think this will be a worthy investment. After watching how lucky oldmate was in Exmouth on Sunday night and the fact that I have been known to pull puts and fish solo if the deckie lets me down then this should be a solid $300 investment. The system can be bypassed by pressing and holding for 10 seconds if you happen to forget your fob.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4syNjrNQL0

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

It's here...

Fri, 2017-04-07 11:57

After a couple of weeks delay in the factory, I finally got word that the Reef Runner was finished last week and loaded onto a truck heading West on Monday morning.

The guys at Mansfield have been fantastic to deal with throughout the process. We've made several small changes to the boat and trailer along the way and they've keep in communication the entire time. I only had time to grab a few quick snaps this morning before dropping it off at Aquasport in Midland to get the motor fitted. Because of the delay its turned into a rush to have it ready in time for Easter.

On inspection at handover it became clear that I was going to struggle to mount all of the behind the scenes electronics without drilling multiple hose through the bulk head. Coby showed me a photo of that they had recent done with a 2300 by mounting a piece of carpeted ply to the cabin side of the bulkhead. Once finally home and with the kids in bed at 8pm, I headed off to the green shed to pick up some 12mm marine ply. I'd only thrown some out 6months ago that I'd probably had in the garage for 3 years! Anyway, Mansfield had given me an offcut of Caribbean carpet so I cut, glued, carpeted and mounted using an existing fixing and three new SS machine screws that fitted in an area concealed behind the helm. Job done by 10pm ready to head off to Aquasport at 7am. I'm really happy with the boat in the little time I've had to take it all in. The finish is excellent and attention to details has exceeded my expectations or other experiences. I had been concerned that I would have size envy as I was considering the 2300 at the same time but my fears are gone. It's amazing how much bigger a 6.4m Reed Runner is compared to my previously supposedly 6m Stessl. I've opted to remove the passanger seat icebox to provide maximum fishable deck space but have plans for some other removable seating for family ordinated trips. The trailer looks really good although again I've not spend much time going over it. I'm so pleased Easytow offered a full C channel option ensuring with a bit of preventative maintenance, it'll still be around in 20years time! We did have a drama with one of the rear roller guides not fully tighten, but to Mansfields/Easytows credit they had a solution and plan in place by 9.30am this morning...

pelagicyachts's picture

Posts: 626

Date Joined: 23/02/11

did they not fit the swim

Fri, 2017-04-07 12:09

did they not fit the swim ladder?

interesting trailer - is it bunk at the rear and roller at the front? -

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Swin Ladder

Fri, 2017-04-07 12:20

No, Caribbean only offer a 2 step top folding ladder from the factory. We ordered with it not being fitted and Mansfield have upgraded it to a 3 step underneath mount. They are just machining up some poly spacers so I can mount it.

Yes, trailer is full drive on with bunk and keel rollers with two extra rollers at the front. It has the drive on V guides along the length of the trailer with a batwing entry guide at the rear.

pelagicyachts's picture

Posts: 626

Date Joined: 23/02/11

nice one interesting trailer

Fri, 2017-04-07 12:36

nice one
interesting trailer set up - I have only ever seen full bunk or full rollers, I have had full bunk and its terrible unless you can float on or off on a deep ramp so the keel rollers obviously alleviate that problem

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Trailer

Thu, 2017-04-13 09:33

 Heres a video from easytows' Facebook page of a identically setup bunk, keel & front roller setup on a runabout. It seem to centre nicely. I added the rear guides on mine for solo launches where there isn't a jetty and a current or side wind.

www.facebook.com/Easytowboattrailers/videos/1486366778041362/

timmy k's picture

Posts: 370

Date Joined: 04/05/14

sweet rig

Fri, 2017-04-07 16:52

 what donk did you end up choosing for it?

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

 Merc 150... By all accounts

Fri, 2017-04-07 20:27

Double post

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

 Merc 150... By all accounts

Fri, 2017-04-07 17:23

 Merc 150... By all accounts it goes like a 175 and is only slight down at top end on a Yammi 200.

timmy k's picture

Posts: 370

Date Joined: 04/05/14

Nice!

Fri, 2017-04-07 17:49

 was there a big difference in price compared to yammie? or even other brands? i've seen a few mercs on the back of boats more often now so they must be doing something right. 

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

nearly $4k difference for a

Fri, 2017-04-07 18:09

nearly $4k difference for a like for like with the Yammi. (Flush control & smart gauge)

3ltr Merc has a bucket of torque and mercs approach to DIY basic service/maintenance was a winner for me. I could have got a Honda for the same price (current special) but much heavier and older technology plus alloy prop.

Suzuki 140 would have been cheaper but underpowered really being a 2ltr but the jump up to the 150 puts it near the Yammi pricing. 

 

timmy k's picture

Posts: 370

Date Joined: 04/05/14

shit thats a big differnce

Fri, 2017-04-07 18:22

 thats 4 grand worth of sounder and fishing gear you can buy now  

Dale's picture

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Date Joined: 13/09/05

Fri, 2017-04-07 17:51

 Bloody nice boat Darren, must admit, I'm a fan of the Caribbean also.

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Stevo81's picture

Posts: 824

Date Joined: 16/04/12

 Very nice mate! Must be

Fri, 2017-04-07 20:29

 Very nice mate! Must be hanging to get her on the water, outboard run in and some fish on that nice new deck 

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Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 3266

Date Joined: 07/05/12

Mate, this thread is better

Thu, 2017-04-13 10:41

Mate, this thread is better than watching porn. Love Caribeans and you must be absolutely fanging to get her in the water!

Let me know how the MOB+ goes as I am getting sick of my kill switch lanyard getting tangled around the steering wheel and I'm keen to get a sensor for each of the kid's life jackets.

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If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

MOB+

Sat, 2017-04-15 21:20

Thanks,

Re the MOB+… It didn’t come! They cancelled the order only a few days after I posted about it. Apparently they are reworking the frequency to meet some US standards so the new model won’t be available until May. I might hold off until I hear some reports of the new ones, mind you, I only heard good reviews of the older frequencies so I doubt it was a reliability issue.

richie68's picture

Posts: 43

Date Joined: 07/08/11

Hi Mate, Spoke to you

Sat, 2017-04-15 09:10

Hi Mate,

Spoke to you yesterday at the ramp. Hope she went well on her maiden journey. I have a Caribbean Intruder 20ft and it has been an awesome boat. How did the Merc go? and more important , did you catch any fish?

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Thanks for coming to say hi

Wed, 2017-04-19 22:39

Thanks for coming to say hi mate...

Picked it up on Thursday evening. Worked until 11pm installing the Simrad, VHF and wiring to the switchboard. I must say I was pretty disappointed after paying someone to install a motor and duel batteries to find they didn't bother running power to the switchboard so I had no lights, pump etc... We're not talk small change here and I consider myself lucky I'm more than capable of doing it myself, even if it was it the dark at 10pm at night. Cutting the dash was a mission! That stuff was tough as nails and chewed through 3 jigsaw blades.

Yep, all went well with the test. I've got a couple of trailer adjustments to make but other than that it was happy days. The anchor was catching on the bow roller on launch so that will need adjusting down. I've still got to remount the second rear guide also. The hull was fantastic and chop that would have me cringing in the Stessl just seemed to disappear without a trace.

The motor went really well. I need to get it out on some flat water to test the WOT as I think it may be slightly over propped. It's running an 18" at the min (which was recommended) and I had 37.2knots at WOT but that was at around 5200rpm. The water wasn't really flat enough to fine tune the trim and we had 3 big blokes in there. The manual says its range is 5000-5800 so I'd like WOT to be up towards the 5500/5600rpm. At 4000rpm it was doing 28knots using 0.5l/km. Happy days! It seems slightly louder than my Honda was but that could be the acoustics of the hard top

We got into the salmon action out at mewstones. We gave the boat carpark a wide birth and instead scouted out our own school only 500m away from the masses. 4 other boats joined us and it was great fun. A couple of guys were fishing fly and absolutely smashing it. We got 4 or 5 in the boat and lost just as many... My rear swim platform cost me my first fish, thankfully it was only a salmon not a dhuie! 

 

 

 

barracuda's picture

Posts: 158

Date Joined: 01/09/13

price of hull

Sat, 2017-04-15 12:59

 how much is the hull, as you bought it. nice work putting it all together

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

 PM sent

Sat, 2017-04-15 20:10

 PM sent

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Prop Selection Help

Wed, 2017-04-19 22:37

Did some testing on the river today... It turns out that Aquasport would normally install a 14.25 x 17" Mercury Enertia SS prop but they only had a 18" in stock when fitting my boat.

The 150 has a WOT range of 5000-5800rpm. The boat was fairly light with only 125 ltrs of fuel and 3 guys on Friday in light/moderate chop and solo (130kg) today in the river. on Friday i reached 37.2 knots at a WOT of around 5200rpm. The motor was fairly neutrally trimmed and not trimmed out due to the conditions. Today i managed to get just on 5500rpm producing 40.3knots at ideal trim using 0.74ltr per KM. This blew my mind being a 6.4m fiberglass boat with only a 150hp donk! At 4000rpm 28kt using 0.52ltr/km which is very economical.

Aquasport are going to give me a 17" prop to try and do some testing next week. I'm interested to see how the midrange and topped economy compares.

What are peoples experience with WOT on a fairly empty boat vs loaded with say an extra 300kg of people & fuel? My thinking is that dropping to the 17" will give me another 150-200rpm at WOT so i'll be closer to the upper limit when unloaded but probably around 5400-5500 with full tanks and a couple of people onboard?
Have people experienced any problems running a prop closer to the lower end of the WOT range?

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Video

Thu, 2017-04-20 09:36

Not working

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 1241

Date Joined: 12/08/12

I'd be going for the lower pitch

Thu, 2017-04-20 07:19

 Those numbers are nice, but, in perfect conditions ideal trim  and lightly loaded, you really should be seeing your upper limit. As you are still 300 rpm short of that, I would at least try the 17" and fill the fuel and have something close to a more normal load. If you can't get passengers to participate, use a heap of 20 litre containers of water, 20kg each, and even try moving them around the boat. The human type ballast is easier, though.

Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Weekend progress between family time, kids sports & swimming!

Sun, 2017-04-23 18:37

 No boating this weekend... Finished off the deck tread flooring this afternoon. Plenty of time with a 1m steel rule & square this weekend!

During the week i finished mounting the behind the scenes electronic and installed the autopilot. I scored the NSS12 and 3D structure scan from the fishwrecked economy! Still need to mount the 3D transducer. Not really impressed with the 26mm hole that is required to pass the plug through the transom. I'm looking at going through the well instead.

 

 

 

 

gerrit's picture

Posts: 26

Date Joined: 26/04/10

New Boat

Sun, 2017-04-23 19:14

Hi Darren 

 

Congrats with the new boat it looks good happy fishing days coming up.

Stevo81's picture

Posts: 824

Date Joined: 16/04/12

 Coming along nicely mate.

Sun, 2017-04-23 19:22

 Coming along nicely mate. What trannys you running? Why transom mount instead of thru hull? 

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Darren253's picture

Posts: 174

Date Joined: 23/07/16

No real room in a reef runner

Sun, 2017-04-23 19:43

No real room in a reef runner for a decent in/through hull setup. I've only got the 3D structure scan for the Simrad and then need to decide what to do for a finder. I've got a Furuno 628 that I ran on the last boat. The fuel tanks and kill tanks run pretty much the length of the deck apart from a small rear bilge area (+/- 200mm) at the back, but that will be full by the time I add a water pickup with all of the existing hoses and bilge pump etc.

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 3266

Date Joined: 07/05/12

Love it. For some reason I

Sun, 2017-04-23 19:57

Love it. For some reason I just remembered I need to check my Sat lotto ticket...

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If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis