by Steve Lague

Atomix Boats is a relative new player in the recreational boating market, established in New Zealand in 2004, with a vision from the to build high quality boats at an affordable price. It has enjoyed almost immediate international success now producing around 1000 boats per year.
They were bought into Australia in 2012 when Hi Tech Marine, a company that has won the national Mercury Mercruiser Dealer of the Year several times, was granted sole rights to distribute the range in Australia.
Kiwi Brett Bakewell-White, whose work includes a wide variety of craft from small motorboats, kayaks and dinghies, through to 40 plus metre super yachts, designs them with moulds manufactured in New Zealand and the boats built in Atomix’s purpose built factory in China. They are then freighted back to New Zealand or Australia.
The 600 range has proven to be its most popular to date and this week Boat Advice tested the 600 centre console, WA’s best selling variant in that range.

WHAT YOU GET
The 600CC has a starting price of $39,900 and, like all Atomix boats, that is a turnkey package that includes a 115hp Mercury four-stroke outboard with Smart Craft Digital gauges, GPS and fish finder, an electric anchor winch, all safety gear and sitting on an Atomix dual-axle trailer.
The boat we tested has been fitted with nearly $30,000 of additional equipment taking it up to $69,000.
Atomix 600CC 20
Atomix 600CC 5The most notable of these was an upgrade to a 150hp Mercury four-stroke engine, a brushed aluminium Targa Top and a $4000 Simrad NSS12 electronics package.
The 600CC has a high bow rail that is split enabling easy access on and off the boat from the front while a seat/storage area also provides a handy step to access it. There is a second seat in the foredeck, at the front of the centre console. At the helm there is a bench seat, which is wide enough for the skipper and one other passenger, with storage that can be accessed by lifting the cushion top.
The dash is a modular unit made from GRP, and easily accommodates the large 12-inch Simrad screen, VHF and switch panel fitted on the test boat. The Simrad multi-function display, which eliminates the need for any engine gauges, includes a GPS, fish finder, engine management system and stereo and can be set up in a number of configurations with a few touches of the screen. There was plenty of room between the console and seat to drive standing up and whether driving sitting or standing, the throttle was in easy reach.
For passenger comfort there are plenty of grab rails around the helm area, which came in pretty handy during the test.
The aft cockpit, which is about 12cm lower than the rest of the deck, is all about storage with three big in-floor lockers and another two small lockers in the aft corners. These vessels are finished off with an inner mould that forms a double-skinned hull for most of the boat’s length. This feature gives the boat a nice clean finish and provides good comfortable support when fishing but it also means it does not have any side pockets which are handy for storing all those odd little things like scaling bags, boat hooks, gaffs and all those other bits and pieces.
Atomix 600CC 6
Atomix 600CC 9The test boat was fitted with an optional deck wash and bait board with five rod holders which was clipped onto the stainless bar that separates the deck from the engine well. The guys at Hi Tech Marine have also opted not to put carpet on the non-slip self-draining deck, a sensible move on a boat designed specifically for fishing.
A large compartment in the middle of the transom, accessed via a hatch, houses onboard systems such as oil and batteries.

POWER
The 600CC is rated from 115 to 175hp so the Mercury four-stroke 150hp fitted seemed like a good middle-of-the-road option. It turns the centre console into a weapon. With a top speed of over 40knots it is a seriously quick fishing boat making even remote fishing spots seem not that far away. Getting the hull up onto the plane is never an issue with the 600CC taking off like a scalded cat with what seemed only the slightest pressure on the throttle.
On the day we tested the boat the most comfortable speed for the conditions was 15-17knots. At that speed the motor was spinning at 3000rpm and using 15.0-litres of fuel per hour making it pretty economical. By adding another 500rpm we increased the speed to 22knots and fuel consumption to 19.0-litres per hour. We couldn’t get anywhere near the top speed because of the conditions but the 3.0-litre, four cylinder single over-head cam engine is capable of pushing the 600CC along at 40knots at 5250rpm. As you would expect the fuel consumption also spirals north to 52.2-litres per hour. At the other end of the scale you could spend the entire day trolling at 5.6 knots and use only 5.0-litres per hour, giving you a range of more than 150 nautical miles from the 140-litre tank.

ON THE WATER
Atomix boats are all built from resin infused GRP rather than the traditional hand laid GRP. The vacuum bagged method enables them to get a better, more consistent, finish as well as a stronger, more rigid boat.
Atomix 600CC 24
Atomix 600CC 3And to help reduce the weight of the hull, the 600CC which is 6.0m long weighs just 850kg, uses foam stringers instead of wood. Atomix also builds in what it calls a spray deflector, which is like a small ridge running the length of the boat just above the waterline designed to push the water wide of the hull. On the test day, there was a messy 2.0m swell running which provided the perfect opportunity to fully test its rough water capabilities and the Atomix passed with flying colours. Despite being offered no protection from the elements we emerged from a 45-minute test where we ran the boat into, along and with the swell virtually dry. And we were not bashful with the speed getting up over 25knots, which was way too quick for the conditions. The Atomix also has a 23deg dead rise which helps it carve its way through the water more cleanly. The planing strakes held the boat high out of the water and also assisted through tight, controlled turns.
But it was not all perfect sailing either. There were a few occasions the 600CC hit the water hard making life uncomfortable, the combination of the deep V and lightweight hull construction also made it very susceptible to weight change. Even with just two of us onboard it was easily put out of balance if we were not both centrally situated. Despite this when the boat was at rest and we were both standing on one side to fish, it felt a lot more stable. And with the 150hp engine on the back it felt quite skittish which can all lead to an uncomfortable and unnerving ride in the hands of an inexperienced skipper.

ON THE TRAILER
The 600CC comes on a two-tonne Atomix dual-axle multi-roller trailer with disc brakes and independent suspension. The suspension, which is fully sealed, eliminates the need for springs and therefore one of the big maintenance issues with trailers. The mudguards are also galvanised steel, and there are steel steps either side of the guards to make access to the boat easier when it is on the trailer.
Atomix 600CC 30
Atomix 600CC 4The multi-rollers make launching and retrieving the boat easy enough for one person to be able to complete the task on their own. The combination weighs just under 2000kg meaning it can be towed by most medium-sized SUVs and even some large cars, though the Falcon station wagon the dealership used did struggle to pull it up the ramp that was covered in seaweed.

 OVERVIEW
Overall, this is an impressive boat for a relatively modest outlay. Any quality concerns should be allayed by the 10-year hull warranty. It is also one of the few trailer boats in Australia that meets both European and Australian build standards. After testing it with the 150hp engine I would be happy to save money and stay with the standard-fit 115hp Mercury four-stroke outboard which would still give the 600CC a top speed of over 30 knots.
Thanks to Hi Tech Marine, Perth for supplying the test boat.

Atomix 600CC 23POSITIVE

  • Value for mone
  • Finish
  • Nice and dry

NEGATIVES

  • Lack of dry storage, especially for fishing tackle and bits
  • Hardness of ride in rough conditions

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: $39,900 (starting) $69,000 (as tested)
Length: 6.0m
Beam: 2.3m
Length on Trailer: 6.7m
Tow Weight: 1850kg
Engine: 150hp Mercury four-stroke
Fuel: 140 litres