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Ocqueteau Twin Test

Ocqueteau Twin Test

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  • Whatever model ticks your box, and however you specify it, both boats are built for a specific purpose, and both have abilities beyond their size. 
  •  They are both … constructed with a no-frills approach, and represent good value for money.

Ocqueteau Twin Test

The Ocqueteau Ostrea 700 and 800 go head to head as judge Greg Copp gives his verdict on where to place your bets in a photo finish …

The French-built Ostrea 700 and Ostrea 800 are two similar but different boats. One is inboard diesel powered while the other has a petrol outboard engine. The 700 is powered by a shaft-driven 205hp Nanni Evo2, while the slightly longer 800 has a 200hp Suzuki DF200 ATX on the transom. Luckily for us, it just so happened that UK distributor Eastern Counties Leisurecraft Ltd had one of each for a back-to-back twin test.


Ostrea 700

As expected, the torque of the Nanni Evo2 does not hang about in popping the 700 up onto the plane at around 15 knots. We had quite a bit of short, sharp chop to start with, which at this speed produced bangs from the hull’s midsection. Push her up to 18–20 knots and the nature of the ride transforms itself. This is very clearly the boat’s sweet spot, both from a fuel efficiency perspective and in terms of seakeeping. The extra lift at the stern works well at digging in the forefoot that extra touch. Pushing up to the boat’s top speed just shy of 27 knots, I felt that the ride was slightly better. It is evident above 20 knots that the noise level is quite high – the product of putting a 3L diesel engine in a GRP enclosure, close to the wheelhouse. It is an inevitable consequence of such, though I would opt for extra soundproofing if I was planning to cover any distance in this boat.

For a single-rudder boat she turns very well at speed, and unlike her outboard-powered counterpart she does not heel into the turns. One thing that struck me in the marina was just how easily the 700 spun round within her own length, thanks to what is, in relative terms, a very powerful Sleipner bow thruster. The driving set-up is good, as nothing is too much of a stretch in what is a small wheelhouse. I like the flip-up bolster seats, which give a great standing position with your feet wedged against the forward bulkhead. Alternatively, when seated, you have a stainless foot bar that works well. All-round visibility is good, and with side doors opening onto wide side decks encased by tall bulwarks, this boat has a safety factor that exceeds its size. However, if you want to sit a couple of extra crewmates in the wheelhouse, you have some rather small rear seats. One is a well-made port-side stainless steel fold-down seat, while the other is a cushion over the sink. Realistically you would only want to use them if the weather dictated it, otherwise the fold-down seating in the cockpit is where your fellow fishermen would choose to sprawl.

The cockpit is big, and the bonus of the inboard engine is the full-width bathing platform. However, the downside is the slightly raised engine hatch, aft of the sliding wheelhouse door, which you need to be aware of when moving about underway. There are twin lazarette hatches either side of the engine – one houses the cockpit table and the other, apart from also providing storage, gives easy access to the batteries and cut-off switches. Like the 800, this boat can come with bait wells and wheelhouse-mounted rod holders.

You can opt for a 150hp MerCruiser diesel, which I would not recommend, as the 205hp Evo2 engine is a realistic minimum. There is a 270hp Nanni Evo2 option that gives another 4 knots, but the extra cost, in what is a well-priced 7m boat, tends to defeat the object. There are quite a few extras as is often the case, but then this depends on how much you wish to embellish what is a practical fishing boat. I will say that I find it unusual that both boats have an optional rear wheelhouse door at £1,456, as I can’t imagine what the alternative is.


Ostrea 800

Getting in the 800 after having driven the 700 was very much a case of chalk and cheese. I was expecting to enjoy the 700 more than the 800, but the performance and handling of the outboard-powered 800 impressed me. To be fair, with a 2-tonne boat, petrol power, especially when up against a shaft-driven diesel engine of equal horsepower, is a clear winner in performance terms. The 800 is a quick boat hitting 20 knots in 7 seconds, and it races up to its 34-knot top speed in a flash. If you are happy cruising in the mid-20s it is fairly frugal, and with that extra space below deck it can house a big 400L fuel tank, giving it some serious cruising credentials. It steers quickly and is pretty sure-footed in the turns should you feel the need to use it as a sports boat.

Driving at 30 knots into short chop produces a fairly comfy ride. If you need to, you can trim the outboard in to get the nose down further to smooth matters out, which works well in head seas. It is more capable with the weather on the bow than the 700, simply because its natural fore and aft trim is better. Though the 700 has its motor further forward, this engine with gearbox and shaft is 200kg heavier, and the 800 has more length to counteract the weight of its transom-mounted outboard engine. Running at 20 knots or less, there is not much to choose between the two in terms of ride quality. The 800 does not have that full-width bathing platform, but it does have a big central lazarette into which you could fit a roll-up inflatable tender. Like the 700, it has wide walk-around decks, wheelhouse side doors and a huge anchor locker housing a serious windlass. Sensibly, Ocqueteau have anticipated that a fishing boat needs to be able to drop a decent hook down to a decent depth, so both boats boast this cavernous feature, flanked by cleats that look like they belong on a 30-footer.

Below-deck accommodation on the 800 is identical to the 700. It is a cosy cabin affair with a double V berth by sliding the leg section of the bed under the foredeck. There is a portable toilet under one of the cushions, which can be upgraded to a proper toilet with a holding tank for £2,700. You can opt for a bigger engine than the 200hp Suzuki, but I felt it matched the boat well, so unless you anticipate heavy payloads it makes a perfect choice. The wheelhouse on the 800 is the same set-up as on the 700.


Verdict

There is no clear winner between the two, as although they are based on much the same boat, it is very much a case of horses for courses. They are both built to a budget and, being typically tough French boats, are constructed with a no-frills approach, and represent good value for money. Both drove well for their size in what was, on occasions, a short, sharp chop. However, there are fundamental differences in how each boat handles. The 700 feels more planted and stable than the 800 up to 20 knots – the product of being shaft driven. Above 20 knots the 800 comes into its own and gets better, depending on the weather, the faster you go. It is a much quicker-steering boat, and being very throttle responsive it is easier to work up and down the waves in a seaway. If you anticipate doing a fair degree of cruising at semi-displacement and low planing speeds, then the 700 is the boat to go for. Having a lower centre of gravity, it will also be more stable at anchor and in big beam seas.

Like many yards, Ocqueteau are guilty of an extras list that reads like War and Peace. Choice is a good thing, but charging £3,122 for that serious electric windlass and £914 for a set of curtains …?

Of course, there is the question of running costs and fuel availability, which in some cases will be the deciding factor on which model to choose. In simple terms, the inboard diesel is cheaper to run at sub-20-knot planing speeds, mainly because the fuel is cheaper. However, outboard petrol engines are easier to service and repair, and the 800 has a much bigger fuel tank giving a whopping 250-mile range with a 20% reserve at 25 knots. Whatever model ticks your box, and however you specify it, both boats are built for a specific purpose, and both have abilities beyond their size.


Ostrea 800

Ostrea 800 powered by a 200hp Suzuki ATX outboard engine

 

Fuel Consumption (Suzuki fuel flow meter)

Engine speed       GPH                   Knots                       MPG

2000rpm                1.4                      6.5                           4.6

2500rpm                2.1                      7.3                           3.5

3000rpm                2.9                      9.8                           3.4

3500rpm                3.8                    13.4                           3.5

4000rpm                4.9                    18.8                           3.8

4500rpm                6.1                    22.8                           3.7

5000rpm                7.5                    26.0                           3.5

5500rpm                9.8                    29.1                           3.0

6000rpm              12.6                    32.5                           2.6

6200rpm (wot)     15.0                    34.0                           2.3

0–20 knots: 7 seconds

All performance/fuel figures are a two-way average


Sound Readings (taken at helm with wheelhouse doors shut)

20 knots: 81db

25 knots: 88db


 Specifications

  • LOA: 7.8m (25ft 8in)
  • Beam: 2.73m (9ft)
  • Displacement: 1950kg (dry with single Suzuki DF200ATX)
  • Power options: Single 140hp–300hp outboard – all engine manufacturers
  • Fuel capacity: 400L (88 gal)
  • RCD category: C for 8
  • Test engines: Single 200hp Suzuki DF200ATX outboard

Performance

34 knots (2-way average), moderate sea conditions, wind gusting F5


Price

From: £49,803 (inc. VAT) with a single 140hp Suzuki DF140ATX outboard

As tested: £60,502 (inc. VAT)


Ostrea 700

Ostrea 700 powered by a 205hp Nanni 205 Evo2 inboard diesel shaft-driven engine 

 

Fuel Consumption (Nanni fuel flow meter)

Engine speed      GPH                   Knots                       MPG

1000rpm                0.5                      5.4                         10.8

1500rpm                1.4                      7.0                           5.0

2000rpm                2.8                    10.0                           3.6

2500rpm                4.1                    16.7                           4.1

3000rpm                5.9                    21.3                           3.6

3400rpm (wot)       8.9                    26.5                           3.0

0–20 knots: 10 seconds

All performance/fuel figures are a two-way average


Sound Readings (taken at helm with wheelhouse doors shut)

20 knots: 89db

25 knots: 96db 


Specifications

  • LOA: 6.92m (22ft 10in)
  • Beam: 2.65m (8ft 9in)
  • Displacement: 2200kg (dry with single 205hp Nanni Evo2)
  • Power options: Single shaft-driven 150hp–270hp inboard – MerCruiser or Nanni
  • Fuel capacity: 135L (30 gal)
  • RCD category: C for 8
  • Test engines: Single shaft-driven 205hp Nanni Evo2

Performance

26.5 knots (2-way average), moderate sea conditions, wind gusting F5


Price

From: £62,453 (inc. VAT) with a single 150hp MerCruiser inboard

As tested: £81,027 (inc. VAT)


Contact

Eastern Counties Leisure Craft Ltd

Unit A

Essex Marina

Wallasea Island

Essex SS4 2HF

www.ecleisurecraft.co.uk

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