Merry Fisher 655 Boat Reviews

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First impressions jumping aboard the Merry Fisher 655 is that it has a massive amount of space for its size with lots of small features that make the boat easier and more comfortable to work and fish with.

Inside the main cabin the helm is on the starboard side and features a round wood rimmed wheel with the instruments housed on a wood console panel and the switches at either side. A neat addition behind the wheel is a small shelf area with depressions to take drinks to stop spillage when underway. You also have a large shelf area behind the console capable of taking GPS and Plotter units. On the test boat the VHF was housed on the cabin ceiling, easy to reach and read, but out of harms way.

Yes, two individual upholstered helm seats are comfy and give a superb all round area of vision both forward and to stern when manoeuvring the boat. These also hinge upwards to give access to the front engine bay below.

The galley on the port side has a sink and cooker space with three cupboards below giving ample storage.

The forward cabin features upholstered bunk seating all the way round with hidden locker space, plus a storage shelf again running fully around the inner cabin wall. The seating can be turned in to a double bunk area, but also features a table for fitting between the bunks. You also have a neat built in toilet to the rear starboard side. Both cabin and main cabin have skylights and lighting.

The outer cabin door is tinted and slides open to the starboard side. This area is protected with an extension off the cabin roof over the immediate deck area.

Out on deck it gets very clever. You have a seat and locker area rear of the cabin, but with a seat and locker area on the starboard gunnel that can be literally clipped out and left ashore to create an open deck working area. You then have space to fish four anglers comfortably. The deck area can also have a table added for outside eating and is stippled finished for grip.

A locker seat also sits across the transom which hinges open for full access to the engine bay. There is also an access door off deck to the wide marlin board positioned on the port quarter.

The gunnels feature a single rod holder each side, but with very neat rope support holes at each stern corner with a stainless T cleat below for tying off. 6in stainless steel safety rails are positioned across the stern and up both gunnels to increase occupant safety.

The marlin board at the stern features a hidden stainless dive ladder secreted below a hinge up hatch cover.

A short step leads off the deck on to a wide walkway for bow access with a safety rail running from the end of the cabin right to the bow.

Stainless Bow Roller

The bow area is spacious and easy to work from. You have a stainless bow roller, plus T cleats at either side, plus a huge anchor locker that opens to the starboard.

Looking back at the cabin the upper roof area can take a full stainless steel gantry if desired for adding aerials and GPS too, plus features grab rails.

What also really adds to the looks of the boat is that the cabin side windows are curved to give a really neat line. Both the side and two front windows are tinted, again adding to the looks of the boat.
The test boat was powered with a Volvo 110hp inboard engine. Performance testing suggests a top speed around 20-knots burning in the region of 3.7 gallons per hour cruising, or 5 gallons at top speed.

 

What Is The Difference Between A Boat And A Ship?

The 655 feels a big boat, bigger than her true size. Acceleration is smooth throughout the range, the boat quickly getting on the plane and settling down. Sat in the helm seat hull noise at speed is minimal with little slamming evident, even in a short high chop.
Little spray gets back on to the screen either.

The boat is nimble and very predictable through tight turns under power and grips the surface water extremely well. She is also stable at speed and at anchor for passenger comfort.

 

The test boat was also fitted with an optional rear canopy that some anglers will favour for added protection in wet weather, as well as being a useful addition to turn the deck area in to additional sleeping quarters.

THINGS I’D CHANGE

As with all the Merryfisher cabin boats I’ve tested the Nav lights are set way too low for easy identification in rough seas and bad weather. These would be better positioned on the cabin’s top rear edge for maximum elevation.

CONCLUSION

I’ve always been impressed with previously tested Merryfisher’s and this boat is no exception. They have maximised space to the full inside to create a comfortable spacious cabin and sleeping/living quarters.

Little tricks like the starboard deck seat lifting out is a massive advantage to an angler. Other things like the extra small shelves in the cabin for storage of bits and pieces, drinks holders and a grab handle on the steering console when accessing the cabin all add to the working ability of the boat.

The finish on the boat is also superb and these boats tend to hold their money better than others as a consequence.

The 655 is a great choice for the serious angler looking to work offshore marks and wrecks, but also she’s ideal for shark fishing as big fish such as tope, blues and even porgies can easily be worked on for release off the marlin board at the back. She also makes a great family boat for weekend living and fishing.

DIMENSIONS

Length: 21’ 10”
Beam: 8’ 68”
Draft: 2’ 03”
Approx Weight with Engine: 4562lbs
Category: C – 7persons

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