A Revival to savour
There’s your production boat and then there’s your production boat with that special something, as BARRY WISEMAN reports after checking out the Revival 640HT Offshore from Midway Marine.
Mangles Bay Fishing Club member and sponsor, Warwick Rann, loves his boating and relaxing on the water, although admits his fishing techniques could be better.
Every summer the Principal of Rockingham’s Midway Marine orders a new demo boat from the Revival factory in outer Melbourne.
Midway is one of the nation’s biggest outlets for veteran boat builder Sam Catanese’s fibreglass products.
Renowned for their ‘holding’ power on the water, the ‘standard’ production boat Sam builds is high class.
Sam is a perfectionist and every Australian boat show circuit he turns out a new product, never resting on his laurels.
However, when you get Warwick and Sam together as they do prior to each summer boating season, you can expect something special.
“Wozza-fied,” the former joked as we checked out his latest arrival, the Revival 640 Hard Top Offshore.
To fellow marine industry colleagues, staff and club mates, Warwick is fondly known as ‘Wozza’.
He is from a well-established and respected Perth boating family and followed his father, the late Jim Rann, into the industry.
Jim was one of Perth’s earliest boat dealers and a board member of the Boating Industry Association of WA.
Sole distributor for Mercury marine engines, Warwick and his staff also keep abreast with the latest developments in electronics, boating hardware and trailers.
So when Wozza ordered the new company demo boat from Revival, it was bound to be something special, and the R640HT Offshore is just that.
For the blue water fisher, the vessel comes 200kg heavier than the standard model.
That’s because the transom has been upgraded to carry the Mercury 250hp V8 motor as against the standard maximum transom rating of 225hp.
The amount of fibreglass has also been increased during the production stage.
While the Revival is an excellent sea boat, the increased weight in the hull of this boat gives it greater stability and performance.
While the roomy rear deck is going to be appreciated by anglers, the R640HT Offshore is a versatile craft, making it perfect for family situations and overnighters.
There’s room in the cockpit for a portable table for those lazy picnics, plus the high sides make it safe for children.
The spacious cabin has twin bunks plus a toilet under the starboard cushion.
The bunks quickly convert into a large double bed with the addition of an infill and while there is a soft cover that attaches to the cabin bulkhead for privacy, the open effect would be welcome on a warm summer night.
Tinted side windows allow natural light into the cabin with its wide shelving.
In the cockpit the cushioned coamings and transom are welcome features for family outings and fishers wanting to lean against the sides and tuck their toes under the side pockets to give them greater stability when fighting a big one.
The rear lounge on the review vessel was in the form of two padded storage bins that could be removed completely for greater fishing space.
The bait board has drop-in supports that come with right-angled uprights so the board does not protrude into the cockpit space.
Ideas like this may not sound like much, but it’s the practicality that make it very workable.
The same goes for the stainless steel rod holders Wozza had fitted to this craft.
How often do you want to have multiple rods in the water and various angles?
Not all adjustable holders fit the grab rails on your boat, but those on this R640 HT Offshore are flush fitted to the side decks, with a 360-degree rotating inner.
With the rod butt in place, press a side button and you can turn your rod and fine tune the positioning to suit trolling or tidal movement.
These holders come in either 30, 15, or 0-degree angles, another excellent idea.
Still at the transom, there’s a walkthrough door on the port side which is completely removable, with no hinges to rattle or break off.
The door is the same thickness as the rest of the hull and simply lifts out to store up front, leaving easy access to the marlin board and stainless folding ladder.
To assist swimmers, solid grab rails are located on the left and right sides of the marlin board.
Non-skid foam is fitted to this aft section to match the same material inside the cockpit, resulting in a cooler deck underfoot.
The starboard transom has an insulated compartment which can be used as a bait well or icebox for food and drink storage.
SAFETY A PRIORITY
Non-slip side decks have been incorporated into the vessel during the production stage at the correct locations as you step aboard and the 640HT has a full walkaround deck around the forward cabin.
The moulded fibreglass hardtop is a serious piece of equipment and while the interior lining houses such things as marine radios, sound systems and speakers, the exterior comes with grab rails that double as roof rack tie-downs for swags and even a 2.0m tender that Mercury has in its inflatable range.
Just the job for that next Western Angler Seafari to the Mackerel Islands!
At 19kg in weight, the tender can take a 2.5hp Mercury four-stroke motor and the inflatable fits comfortably on the roof of the hard top.
A bank of six rod holders run along the rear of the hardtop, which also supports the radio aerials plus a forward light bar to illuminate the course ahead.
Clears were customised by local Rockingham marine trimmer LJ Canvas and Marine using the latest leak-proof materials from the hard top to the curved five-piece windscreen, with toughened glass in front and Perspex sides.
Black trim has been used on the clears to match the theme of the bar work selected by Warwick for this rig.
From the bow to the stern, all the stainless steel safety rails, grab rails and hard top supports are all treated and powder coated in black.
A welcome change from the usual gleaming chrome stainless.
The black contrasts against the white superstructure of this R640 and blends in with the black and gunmetal grey hull and hard top.
It’s a striking combination and one that is bound to get more than a second glance at the ramp and bays at Rottnest Island.
Built for true offshore conditions, as the name suggests, designers have made sure any green water that may come over the front quickly disperses over the sides.
From the windscreen to the anchor well at the bow, the nose is designed for any water to roll away rapidly and the side decks have gutters at the helm position to make sure water does not enter the cockpit.
This design not only helps make this a dry boat, but also creates lots of head space in the cabin.
Thought has also gone into the size of the forward hatch to the bow and it’s large, taking up more than a third of the foredeck.
It’s narrow at the front and widens at the rear, with enough room for a big bloke to access the anchor well for any reason.
A step in the upper mould inside the cabin provides a workable height to be able to get good leverage if required up front.
As mentioned earlier, there’s also good access to the bow via the side deck with plenty of bar-work to hang onto.
A Viper anchor winch is fitted in the well, and again the matching stainless sprit is in matching black.
AT THE HELM
The dash of the R640HT Offshore is simple but stylish, and very practical.
Its biggest feature is the capacity to accommodate a big 16-inch monitor and in this case, a Simrad multi-purpose unit.
Split screens make it possible for you to tailor your preferences according to your present activity.
Chart and sonar for travelling, down and side scan once on location.
All your engine management information is also fed through the large Simrad.
To the left is the Viper electric anchor control, while the far right has the Mercury trim tilt display with the ignition and switch panel below.
All very neat and there’s space for even more items if needed.
The Mercury 250hp V8 comes with the latest fly-by-wire flush control located just at the right height on the right interior cabin wall.
Resting the elbow on the side wall positions the right hand at the control lever.
A grab rail runs from the dash console to the passenger side and above the large entrance into the step-down cabin.
The co-pilot has a large pocket shelf to the left, plus a drink holder, and a matching holder is located to the right of the steering wheel for the skipper.
Another full-beam grab rail is secured to the top of the screen frame.
The hard top console above the skipper’s head houses VHF and 27Mhz marine radios, plus sound system head unit with subwoofer.
There’s been an upgrade too in the seating arrangements, with top quality Relaxn armchair seats with bolster cushions secured to matching black steel frames with twin 70-litre ice boxes underneath.
The boxes come with split lids for easy access and padded cushions matching the surrounding interior colour scheme have been fitted, making ideal dickie seats.
The R640 is rated to carry eight adults.
Between the two seats, there’s a moulded fibreglass kill tank approximately 200 litres in size under the deck.
Also under the floor is the 200-litre fuel tank and on the hard top R640 it has been moved forward slightly compared to the soft top range to assist in weight distribution.
Side pockets run the length of the cockpit and the review vessel also came with rod and gaff racks port and starboard.
Extra support has gone into creating a step on both sides to assist when stepping out of the boat when alongside.
Side grab rails have been recessed into the gunwales; matching black of course.
BELOW THE WATER
Even a newcomer to boating would have to be impressed with the ride and performance of any Revival boat.
A veteran of 60 years in the industry, Sam Catanese learnt his trade on wooden boats and his fibreglass range today all have the same traits.
They rise quickly on the plane, full-length strakes keep the vessel on a true course and help give lift, and the reverse chines throw the spray away while providing stability at rest.
Their holding power on the water is very impressive, especially in tight turns.
Economy wise, initial sea trials with the Mercury 250hp V8 outboard produced a WOT speed of 44 knots, travelling 19.7 kilometres using 20.7 litres.
Data revealed the average fuel economy was .9587 Km/L in over two hours on the water.
There’s a lot of experience in this boat and its deck space will attract offshore fishers, plus the family will enjoy the luxuries and overnight camping potential.
Important features such as the high freeboard, grab rails and padded coamings will be welcomed by anglers when fighting fish.
Courtesy lights are fitted under the gunwales plus an underwater squid light on the transom for night fishing.
The Revival 640 HT Offshore is a very impressive rig and Wozza’s touch makes this that little bit more special.
An excessively big tick from me.
NUTS & BOLTS
- Model: Revival R640 Hard Top Offshore
- Length: 6.40m
- Beam: 2.48m
- Power: Mercury 250hp V8
- Fuel: 200 litres
- People: Eight
- Tow Weight: 2350kg
- Manufacturer: Revival Boats, Bayswater, Victoria.3153.
- Agent: Midway Marine; 43 Hurrell Way, Rockingham, WA; phone: (08) 9527 6963; www.midwaymarine.net.au .
- Pricing: As reviewed, $169,000. (From $149,000)
PROS & CONS
- Offshore fishing plus family boat
- Large deck area
- Removable rear lounge/storage bins
- Excellent sleeping accommodation
- Beefed-up transom
- Electric anchor winch
- Deck and hardware upgrades
- Economic running
- Zipwake trim tab blades
- Dunbier electric braked trailer
- I would like one tomorrow