Autumn 2008 | No. 47 | SA  Waters & Leisure


With their brilliantly designed, strongly built, impeccably presented range of 720 Coastal craft attracting buyers at a steady rate, the team at Theodore Marine knew that more has to be done by way of promotion and typically, they did not hold back.

In the first week of March this year, Leica and Jim Theodore, with the invaluable assistance of staff members, friends, clients and associates, staged what must have been the boldest promotion campaign ever staged by a South Australian boat builder and where else but on Kangaroo Island.


Leica had hired a large holiday house on the western tip of Emu Bay, with views extending from the picturesque inner mooring area right out to the majestic sweep of Backstairs Passage. Here were gathered more than twenty people, among them some of the top boating writers from the eastern states, for several days of testing and let's face it, simply enjoying no less than four Theodore 720 Coastal craft.

Jim Theodore had just finished his latest interpretation of the Coastal range, a stunning enclosed hardtop called the 720 Coastal Offshore, powered bu a 300hp Volvo Penta D4 turbo charged, supercharged 4-cylinder common rail diesel.

The original Coastal was here too, courtesy of her owner and now called 'Radar', packing a big 285hp Volvo Penta KAD-300.

She was joined by 'Ina', another hardtop with 260hp of Yanmar 6BY grunt and an open runabout version, again with Volvo Penta power. The owners of all three craft had been so impressed, with both their purchases and the concept of this collective boat test concept, as to make themselves and their boats for the better part of the week.

Also on board, to help facilitate the several photographers among us, were a luxuirous 33' flybridge Riviera and the fishing charter boat 'Fish Stalker', a 50' Westcoaster out of Wirrina Cove. Video, digital and film cameras followed the exploits of the four Coastals as the journalists put them through their paces each day.


Fine weather over the first few days provided the interstate boating scribes with excellent opportunities to fling the Coastals about at speed, fish from them over low, gentle swells and appreciate the space, amenity and quality of these superb craft, However, when the time came to head back to Wirrina Cove, a stiff south easterly blew up and the sea took on a very different attitude.

Having topped up their tanks at Kingscote, the fleet headed into rising seas and began the long, at time turbulent haul back to the mainland. It really was the best of both worlds for the V.I.P. guests as they now had the chance to push their charges through head-on seas for more than 2m, with regular twin waves cresting close together as they passed under the hulls.

At speeds closer to 25 knots than 35, the Coastals pressed on competently to the calm leewards waters of Wirrina Cove, where both acrobatic dolphins and a cruising 5.5m white pointer were waiting to provide differing forms of entertainment.

Just what the heavy hitters of our national boating press made of these S.A.-built boats will become more clear at the 'Boat of the Year' awards soon and we'll certainly let you know. For further information on the Theodore 720 Coastals phone 8242 0788 or go to

Article SA Waters Issue 47 Autumn 2008 p
Article SA Waters Issue 47 Autumn 2008 p