Wellcraft is renown for incorporating some very clever design features in its boats and it seems the 2600 Martinique is no exception. Making maximum use of available space is obviously the company’s goal and at times it’s hard to believe you’re standing on a 26-footer.
Boarding the 2600 Martinique is as simple as stepping aboard the fully-moulded swim platform and entering the cockpit via a hinged door on the portside of the transom. The swim platform also incorporates a retractable dive ladder and stainless grabrails to aid boarding the boat from the water.
A two-seater lounge along the transom incorporates wet storage and doubles as a dining chair when the dinette table is removed from the cabin and positioned in the middle of the cockpit. If the weather suits then outdoor dining is the way to go and while it’s a bit of a pain to bring the table from down below, the set-up delivers the best of both worlds and the cockpit is commendably clear when the table is re-stowed.
There is another two-seater lounge on the portside at the forward end of the cockpit which backs on to an L-shaped lounge opposite the helm. The backrests on these two seats are hinged and fold out to form a massive sunlounge… Just the thing for stretching out on those warm summer days.
The helmsman is treated with a big, comfy, pedestal helm chair and a magnificently appointed dash. Typically Wellcraft, the dash features woodgrain panelling, beautiful Faria gold-trimmed gauges, waterproof switches, stereo remote, depth gauge and custom steering wheel.
A compass is mounted above the dash and the MerCruiser controls fall nicely to hand. Although trim tabs were fitted to the testboat, I found they were not required. However, get a few extra friends onboard and I think they would come into their own.
The raked-back, toughened-glass windscreen provided good wind deflection and vision while seated at the helm – just be careful when you stand up, or you might lose your hat like I did. A drop-down bimini overhead provided necessary protection from the sun.
Access to the foredeck is possible via a hinged door in the windscreen; however you have to step onto the lounge, then onto the dash to make your way forward. Of course, an electric windlass means you don’t have to head forward to tend anchoring duties.
Good quality stainless hardware is noticeable throughout the boat, including bowrail, cleats, handrails, etc.
Engineroom access is relatively easy, just lift up the cockpit carpet and raise the large hatch in the cockpit sole. Gas struts hold the hatch up while working on the engine.
Stepping down from cockpit level through a bifold door you are greeted by a surprisingly spacious cabin. Immediately to starboard is a good-sized fully-enclosed head featuring Vacuflush toilet, vanity with sink, hand-held shower, lighting and shower curtain.
Opposite the head is a small galley with microwave oven, single-burner cooktop, sink and AC/DC refrigerator. A small bench with storage below is adjacent to the galley.
Forward of the head is a dinette which uses that same table that can be positioned in the cockpit. The forward seat on the dinette actually folds up to turn the forward berth into a good double size. There is storage below both the double berth and the dinette seating.
A mirror is located on the forward bulkhead, while a ventilation hatch is located above the forward berth.
Appropriate lighting is located throughout the cabin and there is a notable use of cherrywood timbers and pleasant upholstery.
If you’re wondering where the guests or the kids are going to sleep, there’s a transverse double berth located at the aft end of the cabin under the cockpit sole. While these somewhat concealed berths are not for those who suffer from claustrophobia, they do add another dimension to a boat of this size.
Like all of the Wellcrafts I’ve tested, the 2600 Martinique was a very tidy package with an outstanding list of standard inclusions. If only the Aussie dollar could mount a resurgence… Then no doubt the Wellcraft name would be a much more common sight on our waterways.
- Excellent use of available space.
- Good engineroom access.
- Plenty of seating for entertaining friends.
- Easy-to-handle rig.
- Affordable family package.