“Hey, that’s a good-looking boat” – that was my first impression of the CSB Huntsman Series 6000.
Built in Christchurch, New Zealand, CSB Huntsman boats have earned a reputation for their high-quality finish and secure rough-water handling.
The CSB story began in 1992. That was when Geoff Robinson set up a part-time business producing Stingray ski boats, also offering a unique gelcoat and fibreglass repair service called Canterbury Superior Boats – that’s where the ‘CSB’ came from in the Huntsman name.
He soon found he couldn’t meet demand and so he set up a full-time factory; a year later the first of the Huntsman designs hit the water. The NZ boating fraternity liked what it saw – so much so that the 6.2m CSB Huntsman Series 6000 is now in its second generation.
There are now six different models in the CSB Huntsman stable with more models on the way.
Our test boat, supplied by Nitro Marine on the Gold Coast, was powered by a 150hp Mercury four-stroke that came with all the SmartCraft instrumentation, including the Verado SmartStart system that guarantees a start first time, every time. The Lowrance HDS-7 mounted on the dash directly in front of the drive can also be hooked up to operate the stereo and the engine gauges.
The Huntsman is rated to carry a 225hp outboard but during the test run the boat performed very well indeed with the 150hp, so why spend the extra? If power is a priority, however, with the Series 6000’s SeaStar hydraulic steering you could consider a 150hp Verado or even a 200hp donk for some serious go.
The foam-filled hull has a deep-vee entry with serious reverse chines that run aft to a 21° deadrise, making it very predictable and safe for open-water running. The ride was soft and quiet and it was out of the hole in just on four seconds, virtually gliding onto the plane at 18.5 knots (34.3km/h) with the outboard running at 3000rpm.
The sweet spot for cruising was around 23.2 knots (43km/h) at 3500rpm using 23lt/h, and at full song it ran along at 42 knots (77.8km/h) with the outboard spinning at 5600rpm. The engine will rev to 5700rpm depending on the prop being used. The test boat ran a 17in, three–blade stainless steel Inertia Mercury prop.
Even when a big Horizon went past dragging a monster wake capable of swamping the QEII, the boat rode over the top and landed softly on the other side.
An inexperienced boatie would find it hard to get into trouble in this boat. It will virtually turn 180° on itself without a hint of losing its grip on the water. With a little trim in for the turn the prop bites the water and the hull sits in nicely. This is a boat that could be turned around quickly to retrieve, say, a youngster who has fallen off a tube or a wakeboard.
The 6.2m Huntsman is produced in limited numbers so a lot of thought has gone into the fresh styling of its interior. It seats five people with back-to-back seats up front. The rear-facing seat lifts up to reveal a big storage bin and two rear seats are mounted on fish bins for more storage.
The backs of these seats lift up to give access to the two batteries mounted well up and out of the way of any water that may come onboard. If it does there’s non-slip marine matting under the fish boxes – this helps to keep the boxes in place while any water is taken care of by the selfdrainage system.
Under the floor, and along with the 100lt fuel tank, is plenty of storage for wakeboards or waterskis. There is marine carpet throughout to cover any bare fiberglass and there are lights in the side pockets – a nice touch many manufacturers don’t bother with.
Two adults can stretch out in the small cabin which has a sliding cabin hatch with steps up to the foredeck via the walkthrough windscreen. The test boat had a split bowrail, which makes it easy to get onboard when the boat is bow onto a beach. But given that there are moulded non-slip footpads around the side decks and on the foredeck, a couple either side of the bow roller wouldn’t go astray.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The level of attention to detail was obvious and according to Nitro’s Robert Waugh it was evident when the boat came off the ship from New Zealand. “It looked as if it had come straight off the showroom floor,” he said.
There are a huge number of options available, among them a bimini with a six-tube rocket launcher.
For a 6.2m runabout the CSB Huntsman Series 6000 is a real head-turner; it’s tailor made for family boating in any open-water environment.
SPECIFICATIONS: CSB HUNTSMAN SERIES 6000
Weight: 820kg (hull, dry)
Power as tested: 150hp Mercury FourStroke
Recommended power: 115-225hp
Performance at planing speed: 18.5 knots (34.3km/h) at 3000rpm
Performance at WOT: 42 knots (77.8km/h) at 5600rpm
Fuel capacity: 100lt
Price from: $64,636 including safety gear, registration and a full tank of fuel.
Price as tested: $67,000
For more information contact Nitro Marine Gold Coast, tel: (07) 5532 5812 or go to: nitromarine.com.au.