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Just as that old advertising slogan says 'oils ain't oils', many recreational boaters are now realising that 'boats ain't boats'. The differences between a 'built to survey' vessel and a standard production boat are numerous, but it seems they're benefits many recreational buyers are prepared to pay that little bit extra for. 

The judges at the Australian Marine Industry Federation Boat of the Year Awards also agreed, because they crowned the Theodore 720 Coastal the AMIF Dayboat of the Year at a gala ceremony held on the Gold Coast recently.

Theodore Marine Managing Director, Jim Theodore, said just because a boat is built to survey standards doesn't mean that boat's 'in survey'. 

'While all of our boats are built to USL Code specifications, only those destined for commercial work are inspected during every phase of their construction by the relevant marine authorities (making them 'in survey'), but there's really no difference between the two,' he said. 

'And that's the way our recreational buyers like it. Their fully hand-laid boats are much stronger than a standard production boat, because there's twice as much glass used in the hull. there's no chopper guns or cored section used in a Theodore boat'. 

The obvious question here is doesn't making a boat out of solid glass make it heavier than similar cored boats? The answer's yes, but it's this added weight that also adds to the boat's overall stability and quiet running. 

All Theodore 720 hulls feature wide, aggressive chines they carry well forward. But it's the extra weight of the hulls that make them sit in the water 'on the chines' at rest, not on top of the water like many production brands. If a boat's chines aren't in the water at rest and people move around in the cockpit, the boat will flop from side to side as the hull leans over until the chines connect with the water and push the hull back up. The result is an unstable boat that wouldn't pass survey stability testing. 

Jim Theodore classifies the 720 Coastal as the entry-level boat that buyers can build on. For a around $134,000 you get this great 8m offshore boat in an open configuration with a basic bimini. Then, later, when the coffers build up, you can add a hard top and clears, or even an enclosed hard top. Every Theodore 720 is designed to be upgraded at anytime with a minimum of fuss. And they're all built to survey standards, so buyers know they're getting a boat with a proven inherent safety they can count on.