NZ Propeller - Extreme 650 - Taking it to the Extreme

In 2001 NZ Propeller editor Barry Thompson tested one of the first Extremes built by the original owners, the 620 Sportz Fisher, and had the following to say: "The builders have achieved a nice balance of fishing functionality and stylish flowing lines, taking away that serious 'blokes' look from what is still a serious fishing boat." A couple of years later, with new owners and a new direction, it's a builder to watch. Freddy Foote went to experience the Extreme 635.

The Extreme name has been around for a few years now, and quickly grew a good reputation, largely to the design name of Scott Robson firmly entrenched behind it. However, new owners took over the company just prior to last year's Auckland Boat Show, seeing growth potential for the brand and quickly set about building the name and boosting production. Currently, production sits at around 50 to 60 boats a year, but the aim is to have that number up around 150 boats a year before not too long, and as this goes to print, an export deal to Australia has almost been sealed.

Around 10 models are available at the moment, and our 650 is one of the first of its kind to hit the water. The boat had been sold just prior to Christmas to Aucklander Jason Lynch, whose previous boat had been a Lazercraft. Having wanted to purchase a No Limits, only to find the company had ceased production, his eyes turned to Extreme and the 650. With already a few hours on the clock, Jason has used it thoroughly over the summer and already customised the boat to his liking, such as adding carpet throughout, a bimini top, and getting a road cover custom made.

The boat is primarily used for fishing all year round, and during the summer months, his sons take over and wakeboarding is number one on the agenda for boating activities.

As for a lot of the aluminium boats on the market, the set-up of the boat is quite amenable to customisation by the owner, and the layout of this boat was exactly to Jason's requirements.

I found the driving position was perhaps set a little too far forward for my liking. I found that when wanting to stand I was pressed up against the steering wheel. But to be fair this was due to the chosen seating arrangement chosen by the owner The seated position on the other hand was very good with the seat being very comfortable and giving good side support, a well-placed footrest was a great benefit as well.

The bonus of the king/queen seating arrangement was that the rearward facing seats lift up to provide ample storage space underneath. One suggestion that I could make was that the lift up seats were actually quite heavy, and if you were storing a number of items in there just before a day out on the water, rather than having to hold the seat up, perhaps the addition of a small latch might be worth a look.

The dash had plenty of room for everything imaginable. There was a Navman 5500Tracker GPS, a Navman 4500 fishfinder, a CD player, the controls for the Quick winch and below a Uniden VHF

Next to the driver's seat, there were two big storage shelves, and on the passenger side, there was the same setup. In front of the passenger seat, on the dash there was a grab rail for the passengers, and Jason tells me, that although there isn't a footrest for the passenger at the moment, he plans on fitting one in the near future.

Jason had had the boat carpeted shortly after he had purchased it, and it looks great. But after a bit of use, reckons he would have been better off with a clip down carpet, which makes it easier to keep the boat clean.

The carpeting reaches into the cabin, and what it lacked in having no storage underneath the squabs it made up for in having two big storage shelves on both sides of the cabin. The cabin footwell could be drained through a small bung on the cabin floor. Set in the cabin roof was a hatch, which would provide great cabin ventilation, as well as giving easy access to the Quick winch mounted up on the deck. Inside the cabin there was access to a sizeable anchor locker and the lower half of the winch unit.

Back in the cockpit, under the floor there was quite a large storage compartment that had two separate access panels. It's a self-draining compartment, with two drain bungs, one on the side which drains down through the scuppers. There is another bung on the floor of the compartment, which drains into the flooding keel.

Any water that may find itself on-board, would drain down the stern of the boat into the bilge or would find its way out of the scuppers.

The cockpit itself is huge and provides more than enough room for a couple of fishos. Deep side pockets are located on both sides for rod or gear stowage, and is big enough to house a couple of skis. The sides are nice and high - great for stand-up fishing when playing big fish and there are two rod holders each side, on the top of the coamings. There is a flooding keel section running the entire length of the keel line, giving this boat excellent stability at rest and making it an excellent fishing platform.

The design of the aft section was well thought out and is ideal for divers, with a T-style boarding ladder, and ample room on the transom to walk over into the cabin.

The batteries and fuel/oil are all housed up on a shelf on the transom, accessed via three hatches. On top of the transom is a fitting for a bait board and a ski pole. A wash down pump and hose has also been fitted, with the hose being tidily stored away underneath the transom.

This 635 was powered with the very latest 2004 Mercury 150 OptiMax swinging a 17" High Five propeller. We managed to obtain a top speed of 38 mph at maximum rpm of 5500. Perhaps a little slow, but bear in mind that the boat was carrying a full load of 200 litres of fuel, three adults and some gear, so the results were to be expected. However, the 150 OptiMax provided excellent holeshot and running the High Five propeller held on very well with no prop slip through turns. If you weren't a petrol or speed freak then the 150 is a good option, but traditionally, Scott Robson designs love horsepower, so this boat would be ideally suited to a 175hp or a 200hp.

The ride was excellent, very smooth and soft riding - it handled a crossing chop with absolute ease, but unfortunately we didn't get to experience any really rough water, as just after our photo shoot, the wind dropped and the water flattened to dead smooth. But again, the reputation of the Robson design suggests that this boat would be another excellent performer in rough water.

So overall, another successful design from Scott Robson, a more than happy owner, and an excellent build from an up and coming builder. Many new boat buyers are venturing towards smaller builders, for they find that the builders are only too willing to please customers and to fulfil their requirements, each one coming out with a boat that's 100% to the customer's liking. Extreme is one of these builders and I can see the order book filling up fast.

Model: 650 Sport Fisher
Price as Tested: $61,400
Price Boat Only: $22,151
Designer: Scott Robson
Material: Aluminium 5083
Type: Cuddy Cabin
LOA: 6.5m
LOH: 6.50
Beam: 2.45m
Deadrise: 20.5 Degrees
Hull Configuration: Monohull – Semi Deep Vee
Trailerable Weight: 1750kg
Engine Capacity: 130-200
Power Options: Outboard
Fuel Capacity: 180 litres

  1. Performance
    1000rpm 1.0mph
    1500rpm 2.0mph
    2000rpm 2.5mph
    2500rpm 3.5mph
    3000rpm 5.0mph
    3500rpm 31mph
    4000rpm 25mph
    4500rpm 29mph
    5000rpm 32.5mph
    5500rpm 38.0mph
    Speeds recorded on a Lowrance GPS
    and rounded off to the nearest 1/2 mph.
  2. Notable Standard Equipment
    Self-draining cockpit, flooding keel, moulded dash, transducer brackets, cured moulded screen, free draining anchor well
  3. Notable Options on test Boat
    King/Queen seats, bimini top, rocket launcher, full paint, CD player, GPS sounder, anchor winch, hydraulic steering, bow rail, dive ladder.
  4. Engine
    Make: Mercury
    Model: Optimax
    Horsepower: 150
    Cyl Type: V6
    Max RPM: 5500
    Propeller: 17” High Five
    Retail Price: $26,011
  5. Trailer
    Make: Extreme
    Model: 630
    Braked: Yes
    Rollers: Yes, 20
    Std Equipment: Multi roller, submersible lights, multi leaf springs.
    Retail Price: $6500