Barry 2019-10-07

The AOWBS attracted some of the countries best alloy boats, amongst them White Pointer’s latest 970 Custom Cruiser. 

Just like the beast they’ve been named after, White Pointer Boats are created to be perfect predators. They combine strength with poise and balance and can switch to pure aggression in an instant.

The brainchild of their owner, Rex Briant, White Pointers are built in Gisborne, with first White Pointer Boat built more than 25 years ago. Since then over 500 have been launched.

The range comprises 13 models from 7.30m to 10.50m, in four styles.

The Custom Cruiser of which the 970 is the latest addition was first released in 2005 as more up market alloy boat with all the "living aboard" features to make longer overnight stays a comfortable pleasure. The Custom Cruiser incorporates many curves and rounded edges giving it a look comparable to fibreglass boats combined with the ruggedness of an alloy boat.

The 970 Custom Cruiser, like every White Pointer is designed to cater for the serious fisherman who knows what they want in a boat. So right from the start of the buying process, the owner of the latest 970 Custom Cruiser had direct access to the builder so as to enabling personal input into his new craft. While the external styling remains unchanged from previous 970s, the layout and general equipment fit out is all owner driven.

Rex says that one thing that never changes with the White Pointer product is the emphasis on quality construction, superior sea keeping shape and durability. The 970 Custom Cruiser delivers all that and more.

Destined for an Australian client, the 9.7m hull, with a wide beam of 2.9m, has been upgraded from 5mm to 8mm and runs a twin pod outboard set up with a pair of Yamaha 5.6 litre 425hp V8s, with the addition of Helm Master joystick control system. You have the option of single or twin outboards or a single diesel sterndrive. While the diesel sterndrive has certainly been favoured in recent years, the arrival of the big horsepower V8 outboards has certainly seen a swing back towards outboards.

While the electronics are optional, the latest 970 Custom Cruiser is fitted out with a pair of Furuno TZ Touch, 12.1” MFD screens, with thru-hull 1kW to 3 kW transducers. There is also a Furuno TZT 36nm radar, Flir camera, plus GME VHF. Fusion MS770 provides all the music. Over the transom is a pair of Zipwake Dynamic trim tabs and there is a Lewmar bow thuster at the bow.

As the custom cruiser name suggest, the 970 is a boat to stay out overnight, so there are enough living aboard features to make longer overnight stays a comfortable pleasure. The cuddy has a low V berth and a rollaway starboard side bunk berth. LED lighting throughout is standard as is the deck hatch.

The lockable wheelhouse has a central bi-fold door and port and starboard electric cavity sliding windows in the rear bulkhead. Windows are all 6mm curved toughened glass with a pair of pantograph type wipers. Custom seating with Elite bolstered seats with fold up arm rests and Soft-Rider pedestals are an owner’s choice.

There is a compact galley station behind the helm seat with two burner stove and sink built into the custom cabinet with 5 litre fridge and storage drawers.

There is a squab infill for the rise and fall rosewood dining table to make an extra berth, which means you have dedicated berths for 4-5. Ideal for a small family or a boys fishing trip.

The self-draing cockpit is fishing friendly with everything set where it is needed and not cluttered. This includes a cockpit seat with freezer under the port side, a fresh water system with 12 volt water heater with a pull out shower, on board had washers either side and eight stainless steel rod holders in the cockpit gunwales.

There is a bait station built into the top of the transom full width between the walk thru with rod holders, knife slots and stubbie holders and cutting board. There is also a fresh water wash down option fitted and a live bait tank. The boarding platform has a cage either side with built in boarding ladders and Midnight Blue Oceanled underwater lights will help attract the squid and other fish at night. To run everything there are quadruple batteries under the transom.

There’s no doubt the White Pointer 970 Custom Cruiser is the Perfect Predator and anyone looking for a seriously tough, blue water capable, exceptionally well built maximum size trailered fishing machine, then you would have to go alongway to find anything better than this. My only regret was I only got to review it on a calm Auckland Harbour, maybe it could be the Ranfurly Bank next time Rex.



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