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Twin 350 Verados turn CamCraft 6.8 into an off-shore beast

by Mercury Marine 30 Nov 02:56 UTC 30 November 2017
Twin 350 Verados © Mercury Marine

It’s something else altogether – a 6.8 metre fishing boat that touches 120 km/h!

But what do you expect when it’s being pushed by a pair of Mercury 350 Verado outboards.

“When we first put the boat in the water we were doing 115 but since then the engines have loosened up a little bit and we’ve hit 120 (65 knots),” said Neil Robertson, the man who owns the CamCraft 6.8.

And to say it’s turning heads along the Mornington Peninsula would be an understatement.

“Since getting the boat I’ve taken it out a lot because I wanted to get my 20 hours up really quickly so I can go off-shore,” Neil said. “And every time I start it up at the ramp, heads spin around.”

“Then when I push the throttle the sound is unbelievable – not loud – just unbelievable. Everyone stops talking just to listen to the engines,” he said, smiling.

But you’d be wrong to think Neil has only gotten himself a muscle boat.

“I went out with my wife recently and we were cruising at 3,500 revs, about 72-75 km/h, and only using 60 litres an hour, so not only do I have all this power I have brilliant fuel economy as well.”

It sounds like a pairing made in heaven but the original plan was to put the 350 Verados on a different, larger boat.

Neil originally ordered one of the new eight-metre CamCrafts and bought the outboards for that.

“When I saw there were two Verado 350s available in white I got the builder, Cam Strachan, to grab them straight away because I think they look so good,” Neil said.

But then, with the eight-metre boat being delayed, Neil asked Cam to put the Verados on a 6.8 he could use in the meantime.

“As soon as I had it in the water, I thought ‘forget about the eight-metre; this is perfect’,” Neil said.

“The only thing I was worried about was the weight but all it’s done is make the boat sit down in the water a little and actually handle better which is what CamCrafts are known for.

The Verados were fitted and adjusted by Leigh McGilp at Supreme Marine on Westernport Bay.

“Putting 700hp on a six-metre boat is a bit out of the norm for anyone I think, but the outcome is mind-blowing,” said Leigh, who spent a lot of time getting the balance and trim just right, eventually pairing the outboards with 23” four-blade Mercury Revolution 4 props.

“It’s a lot of power but we were assured by Cam the builder that the boat could handle it and he was absolutely right.

“Actually, in some ways I think I have created a bit of a monster because the phone doesn’t stop ringing now with people asking about adding more power to their boats,” he said.

For Neil, he just can’t wait to get out into the deep blue.

“I have another boat, a 13½ foot Haines Hunter that I use for fishing in-shore,” he said.

“This one really is an off-shore boat that I’m going to use to chase marlin, and it’s going to be amazing.”

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