Hi folks. Here's a quick update on the Highfield Ocean Master 540 and Honda BF90 I bought recently. This is the 2014 5.4 metre version of the Pink and Black Panthers that featured in the PBR Round Ireland Challenge; their performance in that being a key part of my decision.
My first proper trip on Sunday was an 18 mile return run to West Bay. Conditions were fair with a southerly F3 and just enough movement on the sea to make it interesting. I had 3 adults on board, 2 behind the console and 1 on the console seat. I was very pleased with the ride and handling, but the 15 stone weight up front kept the nose down and limited the fun a bit.
Launched again in the evening with just 2 of us behind the console, and what a difference! The wind had increased slightly to southerly F4 and although still fairly flat, the onshore wind and incoming tide produced enough swell and chop to bring on the smiles.
In my limited experience, I thought the Highfield handled superbly and was totally dry, jumping through the waves, and landing smoothly without a hint of slamming. She responded well to trim and throttle with a 4-blade 19 pitch prop, and provided a very well balanced, smooth ride. Although still running in, the occasional blip up to WOT would indicate a top speed of about 38kts @ 5,800rpm
Needless to say, very happy