by Steve Lague

Baysport is a Queensland boat builder specialising in good quality, affordable, entry-level family boats. It only offers a small range with four models in total ranging from 5.4 to 6.4m in length. All four are aimed at families who enjoy fishing and contain some clever design features. The hulls are built using a fibreglass stringer system that is then foam-filled providing superior strength and additional sound deadening. But only one, the Baysport 600 Offshore that we are testing, is purpose designed for open water use.
It is the second Baysport I have reviewed, the other being the biggest model in the range, the 640 Sport.
Apart from the length, the major difference between the 640 Sport and the 600 Offshore is the walkaround side deck on the latter that provides easy access to the bow without having to crawl through the cabin hatch.
Like the 640, the hull has a Concave Tunnel (an exclusive Baysport Boats design feature that was first introduced under the Freedom nameplate) running down the middle of the hull. The advantage of the tunnel is that it directs a greater flow of water toward the engine propeller, which in turn improves the performance and fuel consumption of the boat. The extra water also pushes the boat on to the plane quicker than a more conventional hull design with a centreline or Vee bottom.
Baysport 600 Offshore 11
Baysport 600 Offshore 16WHAT YOU GET
The Baysport 600 Offshore is a good-sized fishing boat with some clever little extras that make it equally adept for family cruising or just spending a day sitting in your favourite bay swimming and snorkelling. The cockpit is a good size for a 6.2m boat with enough seating for four people if required. And there is a large built-in esky under the passenger seat to ensure there is plenty of cold food and drinks for the whole family. The fibreglass baitboard, that is part of a fishing pack fitted to the test boat, is one of those clever design features I talked about earlier. For those times when you are using the boat for entertaining, the baitboard can be lifted out of its holder, the stainless steel legs removed, via clever slide attachment, and it can be stowed at the side of the driver or passenger seat out of the way.
As someone who uses their boat more for fishing than entertaining I was not sure about the large passenger seat, simply because it took up too much room.
But after spending an afternoon on the boat I did come to appreciate the size of the cooler box. The top can also be used as a seat while fishing or simply as a step to get in or out of the boat from the jetty or up to the side deck.
Baysport 600 Offshore 14
Baysport 600 Offshore 13For the fishermen, the cockpit comes equipped with a self-draining locker on the port side of the transom, next to the baitboard. There is a transom door on the port side. Under the transom door there is enough space to slide a second big esky or large tackle box so that it does not take up any valuable cockpit space.
There are two built-in rod holders on either gunwale as well as two small tackle trays built neatly into either side (also part of the fishing pack). The freeboard is nice and high, coming up to my thighs, providing plenty of support when you do hook into a big fish.
The test boat, supplied by All Boats and Caravans in WA, also had a two-tone rubber matting glued to the floor that not only looked great but was comfortable to stand on, and not hot.
Because of the wide side deck around to the bow of the boat the helm area on the Baysport 600 Offshore is a little narrower than many of its competitors. While it did not seem noticeable standing at the helm, which was covered by a stainless steel targa with a bimini and six rod-holders along the back, it did have an impact on the size of the dash area. And when you combine that with the sweeping design it did not leave a lot of space for a multi-function display screen. On the test boat this was fitted on the shelf above the dash. On the test boat the only electronics built into the dash was the electronic engine gauges for the Suzuki outboard. Apart from that there was a small switch panel and compass.
The helm seats both have a bolster so you can sit or stand in equal comfort. If you prefer to drive, or be driven, seated there is a footrest on both sides and a stainless steel grab rail for the passenger.
Moving forward into the cabin there were two large bunks that I could stretch out on (I am 180cm) comfortably. There is also an optional infill that turns it into a good-sized double bed. There are storage shelves on either side of the cabin as well as under the bunks.
Baysport 600 Offshore 10
Baysport 600 Offshore 12You can access the anchor well via a hatch in the cabin roof or by walking around the side. If you use the latter (always my preferred option) the walkway is nice and wide and there is a stainless steel rail running all the way back to the end of the windscreen to keep you nice and safe.

POWER
The test boat was powered by a 140hp Suzuki four-stroke that gave it a top speed of just over 30 knots (60km/h). The inline four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine utilises Suzuki’s Lean Burn System that allows the engine to operate on a leaner, more efficient fuel mixture providing significant improvements in fuel efficiency. It also is the first four-stroke to utilise an oil cooler, ensuring that full power is available in any conditions.

ON THE WATER
After testing the Baysport 640 Sport last year I was impressed by the way the hull rode and handled. Spending a few hours behind the wheel of the Baysport 600 Offshore did little to change my opinion. The conditions were not rough, but there was enough of a swell running to get a reasonable feel of its ride comfort. When we did hit the swell the boat landed gently and spray was deflected away from the cockpit. The test boat comes standard with front and side clear infills that will keep everyone on board dry, even in the roughest conditions.
Baysport 600 Offshore 1
Baysport 600 Offshore 7We did not fit either for the test drive because conditions were not bad enough for spray to be an issue and I have to say having the breeze coming through the helm area was very pleasant.
Turning, the hull leans in nicely and grips well with no sign of slippage or cavitation while the standard hydraulic steering made the whole operation easy and smooth.
While the Baysport 600 Offshore did not feel explosively quick off the mark it did get up on plane easily. It cruised comfortably at 20 knots, which had the motor ticking over at 3500rpm.

ON THE TRAILER
The Baysport 600 Offshore comes on a Dunbier dual-axle multi-roller trailer with mechanical brakes. It has been set up to drive the boat on and off the trailer but manual launch and retrieval is a simple operation with two people. With a trailerable weight of around 1800kg it can be towed by most medium sized SUVs.
Baysport 600 Offshore 21
Baysport 600 Offshore 20OVERVIEW
The Baysport 600 Offshore is a neat package that will suit families looking for a boat for both fishing and day cruising. It is well built, well finished and rides well. It also is at a price point where it can be shopped against similar-sized tinnies making it one of the better-valued 6.0m fibreglass boats on the market.

POSITIVES
Finish
Standard Features
Good Storage

NEGATIVES
Baysport 600 Offshore 6
Small dash area

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (as tested) $74,500
Length Overall: 6.2m
Beam: 2.48m
Deadrise: 21 deg
Recommended HP: 115-150
Max HP: 150
Engine Fitted: 140hp Suzuki four-stroke
Fuel: 170-litre
Trailerable weight: (approx.) 1850kg