This boat is so new we didn’t have time to get it in the water before Waterline went to print, so we talked to one of the people who knows a lot about it, Ryan Carmichael at Master Tech Marine.
The Buccaneer 440 Esprite is a new model off a new mould and it’s just been released. Master Tech are selling it with a 60 horse Suzuki four stroke, and a New Zealand made DMW trailer registered and warranted, for a one off introductory special at $29,995.
The normal price is $37,995.
With two king and queen seats the boat comfortably seats four adults and there are two smaller stern seats moulded in the hull.
“I think that’s the key selling point,” says Ryan. “You can get a good volume boat that can take four adults, that has a super reliable motor on it, that is super economical on fuel.
“You might burn 20 litres in four hours. You are only talking $10 each for four people, it makes boating look very affordable.”
The size makes it an easy boat to launch, easy to retrieve, and the Esprite is suitable for fishing, water sports or sight-seeing.
“They go remarkably well.”
The fibreglass hulls have an internal liner, which makes for a smoother and softer riding hull for the passengers. The insert creates a buoyancy chamber and makes the boat easier to clean. There are no corners or carpets. They run special non-skid deck on the floor.
They have removed a lot of timber to reduce weight, They have gone to composite fibreglass which is stronger and stiffer, with the addition of the internal liner makes the boat quieter and easier to clean.
“They handle well. They behave well in the harbour chop we get out here, they are absolutely perfect. Even the likes of the little shore chop you get on the lakes they are very dry, smooth boats and they do run remarkably well.”
There are recessed grab handles in side gunnels, and two rod holders which are standard, and offer mounts for a ski pole of bait board.
The 60 horse Suzuki gives a top speed of about 37 miles per hour (59.5kmh) with a cruising speed of about 20-22 mph or 32kmh. Fuel is stored in 22 litre tote tanks.
The 440 Esprite is equipped with a Garmin 551 GPS fish finder as part of this introductory package which can also display engine data; speed, revs, fuel consumption.
At a cruising speed of 19.5 miles per hour, fuel consumption is 7.3 litres per hour or 0.4 litres per nautical mile - an easy trip to Mayor Island and back on a single tank.
At optimum cruising at 3000 rpm which is just under 10mph or 16 kmh boat speed, the consumption is 5.3 litres per hour.
“If you are only running one tote tank you can see exactly how many litres are left in that tank,” says Ryan. “As much as people say ‘you only have to go back and give it a shake’, the thing I look at is if you are crossing a bar in a boat; you only have to look down to know there’s say six litres left in that tank, because the unit is telling me.”
Not only are people getting maximum fuel economy out of the Suzuki four strokes, they are also super quiet. They don’t run cam belts instead they run oil bath cam chains which brings maintenance costs right down, says Ryan.
“You still have to do the first 20 hour service but after that it’s every 100 hours or every 12 months whatever comes first.
“The motors are unbelievable. The Suzuki four strokes would have to be one of the best motors on the market at the moment. And with a five year warranty they are definitely selling like lollipops.”
He sees the boat as good for a younger family, or older people, or just someone who wants to take a couple of people out to the lakes or wherever. Or first time boat owners.
“Everybody wants to start off with something reasonably small before they jump into a 6.5 or seven metre boat,” says Ryan. “It’s not a marlin fisher by any means, but with all-round day to day use they do open up quite a large area.”
The other good thing about it is you can keep it on its trailer in the garage. Open the garage door, hook the trailer to the car and go.
This is affordable boating at its best.